GARY Lucy has landed a spot in panto after quitting Hollyoaks.
The actor, 40, has signed a big money deal to take on the role of baddie Abanazar in the Sunderland Empire’s production of Aladdin.
Gary has stepped into the role after Emmerdale favourite Michael Wildman, who had originally been announced as the production’s star attraction, was forced to drop out earlier this month.
The role will be Gary’s first role since he decided to quit the soap after almost 23 years.
Gary originally joined the soap in 1999 as Luke Morgan and was part of some of the most hard-hitting stories the soap has done including being the survivor of a brutal rape.
He rejoined the soap in 2017 full-time after a 15 year absence.
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The actor, who joined when he was just 17, made the decision to kill off his popular character in a heartbreaking and tragic dementia storyline.
He previously said of his exit: “It was a story that I really wanted to tell and there was only one way it could end – with Luke’s tragic death.
“Young person dementia has never been shown on British TV before and sadly like so many others dementia is an illness that has touched my family.
“My Nan was diagnosed with dementia back when I was doing Dancing On Ice in 2010 and it’s absolutely horrendous. It really is such an awful disease.
“I always knew it was going to mean that Luke would die, but it’s been hard saying goodbye, really hard.
“Every time I was doing a scene with someone we’d realise that it would be our last one together and I was in absolute bits.”
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It was revealed earlier this year that Gary had signed up to appear in the line up for for the next series of E4’s Celebs Go Dating.
The single actor was last month spotted filming on location for the reality dating series.
It has since been rumoured that he has grown close to former Love Island star Laura Anderson, who is also appearing on the show following her split from singer Dane Bowers.
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