The cult US show 24 is to be axed after its current season ends, US TV network Fox has confirmed.

The show, which stars Kiefer Sutherland as anti-terrorism agent Jack Bauer, has run for eight series and is best-known for playing out each of its episodes in real time.

“We always wanted 24 to finish on a high note, so the decision to make the eighth season our last was one we all agreed upon,” Kiefer said in a statement.

“This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible.”

“But when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience of playing the role of Jack Bauer, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

The star added that he was looking forward to creating a film version of the show.

24 premiered on November 6 2001 and was an immediate hit, thanks to its real-time format with scenes often playing out in split-screen.

The first six seasons were set in Los Angeles. After the show was forced to take a one-year break due to a writers’ strike in Hollywood, the seventh series was set in Africa and Washington DC.

The eighth, and last, series, sees Bauer trying to thwart a terrorist attack in New York.

By the time the current series ends the show will have run for 194 episodes, making it one of the longest running action shows in TV history.