Cover Running Man is Korea's hit variety show (Image: Running Man)

The popular actor cites health issues as the main reason for exiting the Korean variety show

Popular Korean variety show Running Man’s cast member Lee Kwangsoo has announced today that he will be stepping down from the show. In a statement released by the actor’s agency, King Kong by Starship, the reason for his exit is due to health issues from a previous car accident that occurred in February 2020. 

Lee has been undergoing rehabilitation treatment since the accident, but due to the strenuous physical nature of the show, he has been unable to keep his health in peak condition.

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The statement also disclosed that the actor has had long discussions between the show’s producers, his agency, as well as the other remaining members. Lee ultimately decided that taking time off from the show was the best decision for both his physical and mental health. 

His last recording will take place on 24 May, and will undoubtedly be an emotional episode for long-term fans.

SBS, the broadcasting station for Running Man, has also issued a statement wishing the 35-year-old actor well. The statement disclosed that discussions regarding Lee’s departure have been in talks for a long time, and the station respects his decision to step down due to his health concerns. Both the members of Running Man as well as the production team has affectionately named Lee an “eternal member” of the show. 

Lee is one of the original seven cast members of the show. His time on the show has garnered him loving nicknames by fans, which include ‘Asia’s Prince’, ‘Giraffe’, and ‘Betrayer’. After his departure, the hit show will continue with the other seven remaining cast members: Yoo Jae-suk, Kim Jong-kook, Haha, Song Ji-hyo, Ji Suk-jin, Jeon So-min, and Yang Se-chan.