Lee Kwang Soo exits Running Man variety show over injury after 11 years

·2 min read
INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Lee Kwang-Soo arrives at the photocall for the 40th Blue Dragon Film Awards at the Paradise City on November 21, 2019 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images)
Actor Lee Kwang-Soo at the 40th Blue Dragon Film Awards in 2019. (Photo by The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images)

Actor Lee Kwang Soo has announced that he will be leaving SBS's popular variety show Running Man after 11 years of being a cast member.

His management agency, King Kong by Starship, followed up with an official statement that the 35-year-old actor has had trouble keeping up with the physical demands of the show as a result of a fractured right ankle sustained in a car accident last year.

Lee felt that "it was difficult to maintain the top physical condition during Running Man's filming" despite receiving regular physical therapy, which has informed his decision to withdraw from the show.

SBS, the media company broadcasting Running Man, has also issued a statement that they have been discussing Kwang Soo’s resignation for a while now in consideration of his current health situation.

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"We are unfortunately faced with a beautiful goodbye, but we ask the viewers to show warm support and encouragement to Lee Kwang-soo and the members who made a difficult decision,” SBS said.

The actor was praised for his professionalism last year when he returned to the show merely two weeks after his operation, and was seen recording the show in crutches.

Lee is one of the original members of Running Man, which first aired in July 2010, alongside comedian Yoo Jae Suk, actor Song Joong Ki, singer Haha, rapper Gary, Jee Seok Jin, and singer Kim Jong Kook. 

Since then, Song had left the show in 2011 to focus on his acting career, and Gary in 2016 to focus on his music career.

Lee will film his last episode for the show on May 24.