Rick on The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln to leave the Walking Dead

Rick Grimes will be exiting the show in season nine - find out why

Emmy Griffiths

Andrew Lincoln, who plays the lead protagonist Rick Grimes in the popular show The Walking Dead, is reportedly leaving the show after season nine. The show, which is currently in its eighth series, follows Rick as he attempts to create a safe community for his family of survivors following a zombie apocalypse. According to EW, the Love Actually star will appear in six episodes of the ninth series before making his exit. Andrew is one of the last cast members of still be on the show from season one, with just Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus and Lennie James still remaining on the show.

walking-dead-rick

Although AMC has yet to comment on the reports, the network has allegedly offered Norman, who plays fan favourite Daryl, to take over as the show's leading role following Andrew's departure. Andrew has yet to confirm the news, and recently chatted to EW about the season eight finale, saying: "I can't wait to see this next episode. It's really interesting. It's very different in a good way. In an exciting way. It's more reminiscent of the pilot than any other season that we've embarked on, which makes me very happy. It's a good time for it. It's a really exciting time for it. I feel like season one. It's a big year, and I'm excited for it."

READ: All you need to know about the Walking Dead season eight

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Fans of the show were quick to respond to the news, with one writing: "I love every actor and actress on this show but no one can take over The Walking Dead like Rick Grimes. Andrew Lincoln brings something to this show, and I know people say, 'It's not just about Rick Grimes' but we followed him throughout S1 and we still continue to." Another added: "No-one can convince me that #TheWalkingDead will be able to go on without Rick Grimes. It simply can't, this is his show. It's over."

READ: Andrew Lincoln thinks his Love Actually character Mark is a 'creepy stalker'

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