Lee Kwang-soo, who has been a permanent fixture in the popular Korean variety show Running Man since the beginning, is leaving the show.
According to his agency, the 35-year-old is stepping away as he has been unable to keep up with the physical demands of the show ever since suffering an injury in a car accident last year.
Korean media reports that this original cast member of Running Man, that debuted in July 2010, will film his last episode on May 24.
According to his agency, despite going for physical therapy, Lee couldn’t maintain top physical condition required during filming.
After talking to the show’s crew, fellow cast member and his agency, Lee decided to take some time and rest.
"It was not easy to decide to leave the show Lee was with for 11 years, but we agreed that physical time is needed to help him show better performance later,” stated Lee’s agency to Korean media.
“We sincerely thank all the viewers for the love and support Lee has received through Running Man."
The variety programme pits its players on various types of challenging games.
In the show, Lee comes off as the goofy and friendly guy. Thanks to this personable image, the tall actor gained popularity outside of South Korea as well, earning him the nickname "Prince of Asia".
Besides the main cast, Running Man episodes also feature top Korean celebrities making guest appearances.
The show will continue with its other members including Yoo Jae-suk, Haha, Jee Seok-jin and Jeon So-min.