Neighbours spoilers follow.
Neighbours star Tim Robards has told Digital Spy why it wasn't possible to write out Pierce Greyson early.
Show bosses recently shocked fans with the announcement that Pierce had been recast for his final few weeks on screen, with Don Hany stepping into the role to play out the character's exit storyline.
Tim, who was always due to leave the show this year, bowed out early due to changing regulations and travel restrictions in Australia amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The actor chose to fly back to Sydney to be with his wife ahead of the birth of their first child.
After the news was announced, some Neighbours fans questioned why the producers hadn't simply rewritten the scripts to give Pierce an earlier departure.
However, speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Tim has now shared: "I was super happy when they were able to replace me. It would have either meant rewrites or replacing me with another actor. I was happy with this, because I knew it would affect less people.
"Pretty much everyone's story on Neighbours was going to start revolving around one of Pierce's storylines, so it's not like you can just rewrite things for one person. They would have had to rewrite every single script, every single episode.
"To have Don step in and take over was a blessing for everyone, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the role. I'm super glad that he's been able to take it on."
Pictured: Don Hany.
Tim told us that it was a stressful time as he was forced to consider whether he could continue in the role or not.
He said: "I had about a month to go, but there were changing restrictions. I've got a pregnant wife in Sydney and normally I would travel back and forth every week. I'd already found myself down there [in Melbourne] for a lot longer than I expected to.
"Then, with the restrictions increasing, it just meant that it was getting too close to the birth of my child to risk being in hotel quarantine and not being available if there was an emergency or anything like that.
"For me, as a father-to-be, it just didn't feel right to put myself in a position where I couldn't be there with my wife in those key moments like the birth of my child. I just couldn't risk that.
"It was such a hard decision. I was extremely stressed out at that point. Normally I'm really good with stress, as I don't stress about the things you can't control. But this is something I could control – it was a decision I had to make.
"I was so concerned as I know how hard things have been already for Neighbours. They've got to keep moving through this whole COVID thing and I didn't want to add to that stress."
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).
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