One of Hollyoaks' longest-standing cast members, Darren Jeffries, is to leave the popular Channel 4 teatime soap after 10 years.
Hollyoaks is Jeffries' first professional acting role
Jeffries, who plays Sam "OB" O'Brien in the Chester-based drama, says he is leaving to pursue "new challenges".
His final scenes will be broadcast on 26 February 2008.
Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood said: "The challenge is on to give him as big and iconic an exit storyline that the character deserves."
He added: "I'm absolutely gutted by Darren Jeffries' decision to leave but I totally respect that after 10 years of being a character, he wants to move on to different things."
Jeffries said: "After 10 years on the show I now feel the time is right to move on.
"It was a difficult decision to make and I will be sad to leave Hollyoaks and the wonderful cast and crew, but I am equally excited about the new challenges that lie ahead.
"I want to say a big thank you to the wonderful Hollyoaks fans that have continually supported me".
For the last two years, Jeffries has been nominated for the best on-screen partnership award at the British Soap Awards, for his TV relationship with best friend Max Cunningham (played by Matt Littler).