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The Walking Dead actor Andrew Lincoln to star in spin-off films

A poster showing cast members of The Walking Dead Image copyright Getty Images

If you've not watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead yet then this is your warning.

There are spoilers below for Monday night's episode of The Walking Dead in the UK.

Fans of the post-apocalyptic drama can celebrate - Rick Grimes will return.

Andrew Lincoln, who plays the lead character, will continue playing the role by starring in three spin-off films.

The movies, which are expected to begin production next year, will continue the story of the sheriff's deputy.

It was revealed earlier this year that Andrew was leaving the popular TV series after nearly a decade.

The British star said it was not an easy decision to leave the show but he did it to spend more time with his children.

Speaking before the final episode aired, he said: "I mean every day that I'm with my family and I see my children's faces I know it's the right decision. It's that simple.

"But I miss it terribly and I miss the relationships and I miss the people."

Viewers saw Andrew's character on the brink of death in episode four of season nine, which was shown last week.

It was revealed in episode five - which was shown in the US on Sunday and airs in the UK on Monday - Rick does survive.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Andrew has played Rick Grimes since 2010

Speaking on the after-show Talking Dead, Andrew said: "It's not the beginning of the end, it's the end of the beginning. And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista.

"I've always been interested in what's going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world. I want to know the meta of it all.

"And I suppose to be able to kind of touch upon that in a contained story for me is a very exciting proposition... maybe it's the start of a bigger story."

The films will be written by The Walking Dead producer Scott Gimple.

He said: "There were story ideas brewing that, as the years went on, seemed very compatible with continuing to tell the Rick story in another format that would allow him time with his family."

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