Little Britain star Matt Lucas will not be returning to his role in play Prick Up Your Ears following the tragic death of his former partner a week ago.
After temporarily stepping down from the show as he mourned the loss of Kevin McGee, who was found in his Edinburgh flat last Monday, Matt has decided not to return to the West End production.
His understudy Michael Chadwick will take over until October 22 when actor Con O'Neill takes over the role of Joe Orton's lover Kenneth Halliwell.
A statement from the show's producers read: "Given the sad news that Matt Lucas recently received, it is understandable that he could not return to play Halliwell at this time and our thoughts are with him."
Since news of Kevin's death, Matt has been comforted by his friends including David Walliams and Jimmy Carr.
The thirty-five-year-old comedian and Kevin were married in a civil partnership ceremony in December 2006, but their union was dissolved in January 2008.
Photo: © Rex