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Home and Away just wouldn’t seem like Home and Away without Irene Roberts. But fans of the beloved soap will have to make do without one of their favourites (for a little while at least) as Lynne McGranger, the actress who plays the iconic character, announced she would be taking a break from Summer Bay after nearly two decades.

In an interview with TV Week, the 64-year-old soap star said, “getting bored easily” was the chief reason behind her departure, adding, “I'm one of those people who needs a bit of a change-up and something different.”

While the move might have some hardcore-Irene fans frightened, McGranger has assured Home and Away viewers that she was taking a brief overseas trip and would returning to reprise the role of Irene when she was done.

“I'm off to York to play the wicked fairy in Beauty And The Beast. I'm really looking forward to it,” she said. 

This is not the first time McGranger has headed to the UK for stage work, as she played the Wicked Queen in Snow White last year, and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella in 2015.

“The UK panto experience is always exciting - even though I am working hard and doing two shows a day, it's also like a holiday,” she said.

“I love being somewhere new, meeting people and making new friends.”

What are your thoughts? Will you miss Irene?

Hero image credit: Twitter / Soap Spoilers 

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