His exit will be particularly emotional for actor Joe-Warren, who has starred as David's son Jacob Gallagher since 2010.
"I'm gutted!" he told Inside Soap. "I've learnt everything from him. I had no previous acting experience, so everything came directly from Matthew.
"It's sad, but we'll keep in touch – he's my best friend! Matthew's the most genuine soul you could ever meet. I'll miss him, for sure."
On how his character Jacob will cope without having David in the village, Joe-Warren said: "It's going to be strange. I think he'll have to spend more time with Leyla and get used to not having a father figure in the vicinity."
He added: "Jacob loves David to pieces and there's a good energy between them. Jacob will struggle without him!"
Speaking about his exit earlier this month, David said it just felt like "the right time" to leave.
Reflecting on his time on Emmerdale, the actor added: "I met my wife [Charley Webb] on the show, we've had three kids. Not only has it given me 18 years of an amazing job, it's given me family. So to leave it, it's been a big, big part of my life."
However, he teased that this might not be the last we see of David. "The door's left open, they're not killing me off, I've been promised. I'm allowed to tell you that," he said. "So who knows, I might be back, we will see."
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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