Running Man co-host leaving show

Rapper Gary (third from left) will film the last episode of Running Man - which also includes co-hosts (from left) Kim Jong Kook, Song Ji Hyo and Haha - on Monday.
Rapper Gary (third from left) will film the last episode of Running Man - which also includes co-hosts (from left) Kim Jong Kook, Song Ji Hyo and Haha - on Monday.PHOTO: VIU

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

On Tuesday, the variety show announced that one half of the popular 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 Monday. The show does not intend to introduce a new member to the cast, said Korea Star Daily.

From next month, it will continue with 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 and Song are called the Monday Couple because they have a playful pretend romance on the show, which is filmed on Mondays.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2016, with the headline 'Running Man co-host leaving show'. Print Edition | Subscribe