Rapper Gary is leaving Running Man to focus on music, will not be replaced: Reports

Gary Kang hugging one of his fans during a fan-meet session at Wisma Atria mall on Oct 2, 2015.
Gary Kang hugging one of his fans during a fan-meet session at Wisma Atria mall on Oct 2, 2015.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SEOUL - Running Man's Monday Couple will be no more.

On Tuesday, the variety show announced that one half of the popular jokey pairing, rapper Gary, would leave the cast after six years, said South Korean reports.

The 38-year-old star had spoken of his intention to leave earlier this year, according to reports quoted by Soompi website. When cast and crew tried to change his mind, he told them: "I want to spend more time on music, and I want to study it more."

The show said in a statement: "We sincerely thank Gary for putting everything into the show for years, as one of the original members of Running Man. Gary wishes to focus on his career as a musician and we wish him the best."

He will film his final episode on Oct 31. The show does not intend to introduce a new member to the cast, said Korea Star Daily.

From November, it will continue with its six stars, comedian Yoo Jae Suk, singer Kim Jong Kook, comedian Haha, actor Lee Kwang Soo and Gary's former Monday Girlfriend, actress Song Ji Hyo.

Gary is the second original member to be leaving the show. The first was actor Song Joong Ki, who has now risen to superstardom with the K-drama Descendants Of The Sun.