Gary Lucy has embarked on a nine-month break from "Hollyoaks" after his character was sent to prison last night (25.09.18).
The former "Footballers" Wives" actor finished filming on the Channel 4 soap a few weeks ago to join "The Full Monty" tour, which saw his character Luke Morgan banged up for attacking Scott Drinkwell (Ross Adams) in last night's first-look E4 episode.
Luke was all set to run away from the village with his son Ollie Morgan (Aedan Duckworth) to escape his trial hearing after he assaulted Scott, but Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward) convinced him not to do anything too drastic because it might jeopardise Ollie's chances of getting justice in Buster Smith's (Nathan Sussex) upcoming sexual abuse trial.
Despite planning to go to the airport, Gary's alter-ego decided to head to court instead and face up to his mistakes.
The 36-year-old star reprised his role as alcoholic Luke last year following a 15-year absence, but he is to depart the Chester village again to resume his "Full Monty" touring stage show commitments.
A source said in March: "Gary had already signed up for "The Full Monty" before returning to Hollyoaks last year.
"Bosses know how popular he is as a character so would never want to kill him off, he'll definitely be back."
"Hollyoaks" boss Bryan Kirkwood recently admitted Gary would be taking a break, but will be returning to the soap.
He said: "I can confirm that Gary will be back intermittently. He's filming with us again very soon.
"There are still some scenes for him to shoot as part of the Buster abuse story, as well as the fallout from Darren and Mandy's ongoing relationship. We're also hoping for a full-time return at some point."
Gary admitted in July 2017 that he had another commitment, but was keen to re-join the soap afterwards.
He said: "At the moment, the stories that are coming up won't be finished by then, put it that way.
"I'd also hope that people wouldn't want them to be finished by then, because it'd be a shame if they were!
"We don't know how it will work yet, but fortunately I always have good relationships with people that I'm working with. I'd hope if they were going to make it work for anybody, they'd make it work for me!"