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Andrew Lincoln leaving zombie hit The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln, star of The Walking Dead, has announced he will leave the show after the next series.
As the post-apocalyptic zombie TV show approaches its ninth series, Lincoln broke the news to fans at San Diego's Comic Con on Friday.
The 44-year-old, whose character has been part of the series since it began in 2010, said: "There seems to be an elephant in the room and I think many of you want to ask a question whether or not it is my last year."This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes."There were groans from the audience as Lincoln broke the news.The London-born actor plays former police officer Rick Grimes, the show's lead character.
Andrew Lincoln leaving zombie hit The Walking Dead

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Lincoln said he would 'take a break for a while'
He said: "I love this show, it means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I'm also particularly fond of the people who watch the show."It has been the most extraordinary, beautiful experience of my career, largely because of you guys."
The actor, also known for his role in Love Actually, was asked about his post-Walking Dead plans.He said he would "take a break for a while", adding that, while the cast of The Walking Dead is his "surrogate family", he also has a "real family and it's time for me to go home"."It's been so much a part of my life, I breathed it for 10 years," Lincoln added.
Andrew Lincoln leaving zombie hit The Walking Dead

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Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, returns in the ninth series of the programme
"But what I do know is I believe in the story so much and this is a really terrific season for Rick's story."There are a couple of things I am thinking about doing but I am so in love with Rick Grimes I cannot put him down."
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The ninth series is due to air on 7 October.According to the show's executive producer Angela Kang, it will see the world "crumbling" with the survivors facing numerous challenges as "nature retakes" the environment.
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