Why did Alun Armstong leave New Tricks?

Alun Armstrong left New Tricks after a decade of being on the show, and although he was sad to leave, he admitted that it was time to go.

Alan Armstrong is a 74-year-old English actor, also known as Alun Armstrong. He grew up in North East England and started showing interest in acting through Shakespeare productions at his grammar school. His career started in the early 1970s, and he has since played a full spectrum of characters. He is best known for his role as the eccentric ex-detective, Brian Lane in New Tricks.

New Tricks is about a group of former police detectives who help investigate unsolved and open cases for the London Metropolitan Police. Armstrong’s character is an obsessive recovering alcoholic who has a great capacity for remembering details of old cases and colleagues. Armstrong has been on the show since it premiered in 2003. He stayed on the show for 10 seasons before announcing his departure in August 2012.

After word got out that Armstrong would be leaving the show, a lot of fans hoped that Brian was not going to meet a horrifying end. Armstrong admitted that it was nice to reassure fans that his character would continue his life alongside his wife, Esther, played by Susan Jameson. Brian is now working as a private detective after leaving the New Tricks team.

Armstrong’s departure also meant that Jameson’s role would come to an end. He stated that when he made the decision to leave, she was the first person he discussed it with and she supported his decision. The actor admitted in 2013 that it was the right time to leave the show. He stated that he loved every minute of being part of the team, and that he was really sad to go. He added, “I like to try other things. I felt if I did not do it now, I will be on New Tricks forever.”

After New Tricks, Armstrong was seen in various television films and series, as well as theatre pieces. He also turned down some offers in the past because of his then commitment to New Tricks. He also stated that the theatre side of his career suffered the most, and that he always hoped to get back into it.

In 2014, the actor portrayed King Berenger in the Exit The King theatre drama. His most recent project was in 2019, where he played in the television mini-series, Year of the Rabbit.