Entertainment & Arts

ITV drama Lewis to end after 10 years

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox in Lewis Image copyright ITV
Image caption Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox will not return when the current series ends

ITV detective drama Lewis will end next week after a decade on air.

Kevin Whately, who plays Inspector Robbie Lewis, and Laurence Fox, who plays DS James Hathaway, had "decided to retire" from the roles, ITV said.

Lewis will come to an end after a two-part story that begins on Tuesday and concludes next week.

Whately has been playing Lewis for 30 years - first in Inspector Morse, then in his own show from 2005 following the death of Morse actor John Thaw.

Thaw died in 2002. Lewis, the spin-off that saw Whately's character promoted to Inspector, began in 2005.

Whately said: "I feel incredibly fortunate to have shared a decade of fantastic worldwide success with Laurence and with the most brilliant crew, cast and production team anyone could wish for, and all that time with the loyal support of so many fans and of our backers ITV and WGBH ‎Boston."

Ratings for Lewis have declined from eight million viewers per episode two years ago to about 5.5 million for the start of this series, which began last month.

'Gone on long enough'

Last year, Whately told the Radio Times he did not want to carry on after the current series.

"Everything has a life span and I think it's gone on long enough," he said. "There were 33 Inspector Morse stories and we've now done 30 Lewis.

"I suppose it's a sentimental thing but I wouldn't want to do more Lewis than we did Morse because I do still think of it as an offshoot.

"There's the age thing as well - I'm older than John Thaw was when he died, bless him. It's a long time to play one character, but sometimes it only feels like yesterday that we started."

Announcing the decision to end the series, ITV's director of drama Steve November said: "It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Robbie Lewis, one of ITV's most loved and enduring characters.

"We owe Kevin a huge debt of gratitude for nearly 30 fantastic years of Morse and Lewis, and, of course, many thanks too to Laurence Fox who has been by Kevin's side for the last 10 years.

"We respect their decision not to continue into a further series and wish them the very best for whatever comes next."

Another Morse spin-off, Endeavour, which looks at the early career of the detective, started in 2012.

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