Steve Carell has confirmed that he will leaving the US version of The Office after the next, seventh, series.
‘I just thought it was time for my character to go,’ he said of Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott, America’s David Brent.
The actor, who has an increasingly successful film career, said: ‘I didn't see it as a huge thing and I certainly didn't anticipate any sort of hubbub over it.
‘When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go.’
Two months ago, he said he would ‘probably’ quit the show, in an interview with Radio 5 Live’s Richard Bacon, but now he has confirmed the news to E! Online.
He said: ‘The show is great, and the ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it's just one part of that ensemble drifting off. They've incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great story lines that I have no doubt it'll continue as strong, if not stronger, than ever.’
His last series of The Office, which attracts about 9.4million viewers to NBC, will start this autumn.