McCarthy 'devastated' to leave soap

The actor, who has played cross-dressing Kris Fisher since 2006, is going to take on a West End role in Flashdance - The Musical.

He is quoted by Fate magazine as saying: "I'll be devastated. Right now I've got another three and half months to go and I'll just be gutted when the time comes to leave. I've begged the producers not to kill me off!"

He went on: "The only reason why I'm leaving is because, hand on heart, I really miss doing something else. My background is musical theatre and having done four years at Hollyoaks, I'm really missing that.

"I just need to get this out of my system and then next year I'll be banging at the door of Hollyoaks shouting, 'Take me back!'"

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips is choreographing the musical.

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