Running Man cast member Lee Kwang-soo to leave show after 11 years

Lee Kwang-soo, one of the original cast members of variety show Running Man, has called it quits after 11 years.
Lee Kwang-soo, one of the original cast members of variety show Running Man, has called it quits after 11 years.PHOTO: RUNNINGMAN/INSTAGRAM

South Korean actor Lee Kwang-soo, one of the original cast members of variety show Running Man, has called it quits after 11 years.

His management agency King Kong by Starship said on Tuesday (April 27) that Lee, 35, decided to leave the show as a result of an injury from a traffic accident last year.

It said Lee has been undergoing physical therapy since he suffered a right ankle fracture in February last year after he was hit by a car which beat the red light.

His agency said he has difficulties keeping up with the show due to the physical demand and has raised his concerns with the production team.

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

Lee was praised for his professionalism last year when he returned to the show two weeks after his operation.

He was seen recording the show in crutches, with some fans saying that his ankle might not have healed fully.

SBS, the broadcaster of Running Man, released a statement later on Tuesday, saying the production team and cast members respected Lee's decision to leave the show.

Lee is one of the original members of Running Man, which first aired in July 2010, along with comedian Yoo Jae-suk, rapper Gary, singer Haha, comedian Jee Seok-jin, singer Kim Jong-kook and actor Song Joong-ki.

Song left the show in 2011 to concentrate on acting, while Gary left in 2016 to focus on his music career.

Running enjoys immense popularity in South Korea and other parts of Asia, and has spin-offs in countries such as China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Lee also became popular outside South Korea with his funny and friendly image, which earned him the nickname "Prince of Asia".