Lucas will not return to West End role

The Little Britain funnyman was devastated by the shock death of his former partner Kevin McGee, who was found hanged at his apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland last week (05Oct09).

Lucas was too upset to face performing in the production in the subsequent days – and show bosses have now confirmed he will not return to the role.

His part as Keith Halliwell in the play will be taken over by actor Con O’Neill.

A statement from show producers reads, “Given the sad news that Matt Lucas has recently received, and the role he was playing, it is understandable that he could not return to play Halliwell at this time and our thoughts are with him.

“Ongoing support for our production from audiences at the Comedy Theatre over the past week has been wonderful and given the huge investment from our cast, director, writer and production team, we are delighted that the brilliant Con O’Neill is joining our company so that the show that we are so proud of can complete its West End run.”

Lucas and McGee married in a lavish ceremony in 2006, only to divorce earlier this year (09).