The real reason James Carlton left Heartbeat

Heartbeat remains a classic show on British TV to this day, and its popularity has even grown a new audience thanks to ITV re-airing the drama from the very beginning.

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As well as reaching out to loyal fans and new viewers, the drama has brought back plenty of its familiar faces for TV lovers to enjoy. A lot of the stars of the show became part of the Heartbeat furniture during their tenure, but a few didn’t stick around quite as long. One of those actors is James Carlton who left the show after just one year.

MORE: All you need to know about James Carlton

James (middle) as PC Steve Crane

The actor played PC Steve Crane in the police drama. James joined in 2003 towards the end of series 12 and left the following year at the end of series 13, reportedly to pursue other roles in the TV world. At the time of his departure, and ITV rep said in a statement: “Lead characters normally stay for around five years. But James stops filming in March and viewers will see his exit in May. We’re sorry to see him go. But we respect his decision that he wants to try other acting work.”

James was on the show for a little over a year

After being transferred from Manchester, his character Steve was assigned to take over as Aidensfield constable after Mike Bradley’s promotion to CID. Steve was considered a hard-working officer who did his best to investigate things. His keenness in such matters and his good work as a result led to him being given additional work as a Community Liaison officer. Steve came to his end after investigating the disappearance of a six-year-old girl.

The character came face to face with the girl’s father who had kidnapped her. The two struggled, resulting is Steve falling from the bridge and dying. Since leaving the show, it seems James went on to lead a more quiet life. He and his wife, along with their two children, live together on a farm in California.

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