Once the 20-year-old actor - who plays student Josh Ashworth in the Channel 4 show - heard series producer Paul Marquess planned to axe his screen family from the programme, he begged him to push his departure back as far as possible.

for the next few months.

Sonny explained: "I'm not leaving for the next few months. I spoke to the producer and we came to a mutual agreement."

Although he will be upset to portray his alter-ego for the last time, Sonny hopes his departure will open plenty of new doors for him.

He added to the Blackpool Gazette newspaper: "I will be very sad to leave and I've loved working with everyone.

"I've made so many friends over the last five years but it'll be nice to move onto pastures new and an exciting time."

Josh was one of the first characters to be given the boot when Paul took over from former producer Lucy Allan in January.

As well as getting rid of Sonny's screen parents - mother Suzanne (Suzanne Hall) and Neville (Jim Millea) - the new producer has cut a further 11 character from 'Hollyoaks' since he joined.