Emmerdale star Anthony Quinlan is reportedly set to depart the ITV soap.

Quinlan has played Pete Barton in the Dales-based saga since 2013, however The Sun claims that he has chosen to leave the role to ‘pursue other projects’. The actor first found soap fame as Gilly in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, playing the role from 2005 until 2011.

“Anthony has loved his time on Emmerdale but he is really keen to try and make a name for himself away from just soaps,” a source told the paper. He would be up for doing a reality show too, like the jungle or Strictly, but with a full-on filming schedule for Emmerdale that’s quite tricky”.

Former Crossroads script editor and current Beeb soap executive Kate Oates introduced the extended Barton family to Emmerdale in 2013. The offshoot comprised of Moira’s (Natalie J. Robb) former brother-in-law James (Bill Ward) and his sons Pete (Quinlan), Ross (Michael Parr) and Finn (Joe Gill), with the boys’ estranged mum Emma (Gillian Kearney) being drafted into the saga once the family had made their mark.

Their number has since dwindled with James, Finn and Emma all coming to a sticky end.

As well as coping with these losses, Pete’s storylines have seen him involved in a bitter feud with his brother Ross and a number of failed romances including with Leyla Harding and Rhona Goskirk.

Emmerdale is seeing something of a cast exodus at present with Ryan Hawley soon to bow out from the saga as Robert Sugden while Michael Praed and Gaynor Faye recently left their roles as Frank Clayton and Megan Sharma respectively.

Sam Giles – who has played Bernice Blackstock on and off since 1998 – recently took to Twitter to reveal that she too was leaving the saga.

“After 7 fabulous years I am shortly to be hanging up Bernice’s aprons and leaving the dales to pursue other creative projects. I will miss all the friends I’ve made on the show, but I’m very excited to be moving on to pastures new,” Giles shared with her followers

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