Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find upsetting.
Hollyoaks star Rishi Nair has left the show after four years in the role of Sami Maalik, Digital Spy can exclusively reveal.
The actor filmed his final scenes for the Channel 4 soap in October and will bow out on screen imminently as part of the Maalik family's ongoing storyline.
Viewers can get their first look at Sami's exit in Hollyoaks' Christmas box set, which goes live from 7pm today (December 17).
Show bosses have decided to follow the recent tradition of releasing Hollyoaks' festive episodes early, giving viewers greater freedom over how and when to watch.
Eight episodes in total will be available for streaming ahead of their usual screenings on Channel 4 and E4.
Hollyoaks fans have seen the Maalik family face a turbulent few months, with the presence of evil Ali Shahzad (Raji James) leading to emotional times for all.
Ali raped Misbah Maalik (Harvey Virdi) when they were at university together. Misbah has reported Ali to the police for the historical crime, but has so far struggled to bring him to justice.
In upcoming scenes, Misbah's family step up their attempts to support her.
Sami takes a leading role in this, but is soon given cause to question his own values.
This ultimately leads to his departure from the village.
Fans who prefer to wait for the TV airings can see Sami's final scenes on Monday, December 20 at 7pm on E4 and Tuesday, December 21 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.
Rishi joined the cast of Hollyoaks in 2017 and has taken centre stage in a number of high-profile plots over the years.
Sami's initial revenge plan against James Nightingale gave him a dramatic start to life in the village. He also had memorable relationships with Ellie Nightingale, Sinead O'Connor, Liberty Savage and Verity Hutchinson.
Sami also played a key role in Hollyoaks' extremism storyline, which saw the Maalik family come under threat from a far-right group.
Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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