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Emmerdale star Adam Thomas is leaving the ITV soap

The 28-year-old has played Adam Barton since 2009

Gemma Strong

Emmerdale has officially confirmed that Adam Thomas is leaving the soap after eight years playing Adam Barton. There has been a great deal of speculation about Adam's future on the show following his successful appearance on I'm A Celebrity in 2016, and it has now been revealed that he will be quitting the Dales early next year. In a statement released on Emmerdale's website, Adam said: "I've had an amazing eight years working on Emmerdale and I've loved every minute of it.

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Adam Thomas has played Emmerdale's Adam Barton since 2009

"It was a really tough decision to take to leave, but I felt that now is the time to move on and challenge myself with some new roles. I'd like to thank everyone at Emmerdale for both giving me the opportunity to work as part of such a great team and for giving my character Adam Barton some great storylines too."

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Adam joined Emmerdale in 2009 and has been involved in a number of high-profile storylines, including the deaths of his father John and sister Holly, discovering his uncle James was actually his biological dad, his break up with wife Victoria Sugden and his long-standing bromance with gay best friend Aaron Dingle.

adam-thomas-caroline-dalyVIEW GALLERY

Adam pictured with his fiancée Caroline Daly

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Speaking about Adam's departure, series producer Iain MacLeod said: "Everyone will be really gutted to see Adam go! He's a top bloke and a really talented actor. But he's given us a lot of notice, so we've been able to prepare a huge exit story for him. I'm really excited to see it play out on screen - however sad it will be to wave goodbye to such a brilliant character and cast member."