Lee Kwang Soo leaves Running Man

On 27th April, fans of the long-running SBS Korean variety show Running Man received a rude shock – Lee Kwang-soo will be leaving the show on 24th May after filming his last episode.

Lee Kwang-soo leaving Running Man for health reasons

Lee Kwang Soo leaves Running Man - instagram post
Image credit: @masijacoke850714

According to Lee Kwang-soo’s agency King Kong by Starship, his departure was precipitated by a car accident that occurred in February 2020. He suffered a fracture in his right ankle and had to take a break from filming Running Man in order to undergo a surgery.

Lee Kwang-soo has been in rehabilitation for his injury since the car accident. But given the nature of Running Man, which requires the cast to physically exert themselves and complete a series of missions, Lee Kwang-soo has not been able keep his health in peak condition.

Lee Kwang Soo leaves Running Man - where's waldo instagram
Image credit: @masijacoke850714

The press release from King Kong by Starship stated that Lee Kwang-soo discussed his departure at length with fellow cast members, the production team, as well as his agency, but ultimately decided to leave for the sake of his health.

Running Man team considers him an “eternal member”

Lee Kwang Soo leaves Running Man - production team statement
Image adapted from: Naver

Running Man has expressed that the members and production team will be supporting Lee Kwang-soo, whom they see as an “eternal member” – someone who’ll always be part of the Running Man team.

Lee Kwang Soo leaves Running Man - sbs statement
Image adapted from: Naver

SBS echoed similar sentiments in their statement.

“Unfortunately, we had a beautiful breakup, but please give warm support and encouragement to Lee Kwang-soo and the members who made a tough decision, and the Running Man members and the production team will also support Lee Kwang-soo, an eternal member. Thank you.”

Lee-Kwang Soo departs from Running Man after 11 years

For the past 11 years, Running Man has been helmed by a fixed cast that includes household names such as the national MC Yoo Jae-suk, Lee Kwang-soo, Kim Jong-kook, Haha, Ji Suk-jin, and Song Ji-hyo. 

The departure of Lee Kwang-soo will change the dynamic of the variety show, given that he has been an integral part of it since the very beginning. However, we fully support his decision to prioritise his health and hope to see him guest on Running Man in the future, when his condition improves.

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Cover image adapted from: @masijacoke850714

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