The ITV comedy Benidorm has lost its main writer, Derren Litten, after he told them he would quit after four series.

According to The Sun, Derren Litten, 40, has been with the Spain-bases sitcom since the start in 2007. But he told fans he would be leaving once series four, which starts this Friday, 25 February, had been completed.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to series four although it is mixed with emotions because it is the end of my Benidorm journey. I won’t be writing any more episodes.

“For me, the story of the Garveys and all the other characters I created, ends at episode six of series four. The time is right.”

Derren’s exit signals a significant loss for the show after it landed the Most Popular Comedy gong at this year’s National Television Awards.

A show source said: “Derren was the backbone of the show. It’s devastating. We will talk to the producers and writers about future episodes after this series has gone out.”

Benidorm series four starts Friday, 25 February at 9pm on ITV1.

Watch the series four trailer: