Last month, it was reported that the star would be bowing out as David Metcalfe after 17 years, and now Matthew has spoken publicly about the departure for the first time.
Appearing on yesterday's (September 6) This Morning, the star said: "I'm so nervous about leaving, almost two decades."
However, Matthew went on to tease that he could be back in the future, saying: "It feels like the right time. The door's left open, they're not killing me off, I've been promised. I'm allowed to tell you that. So who knows, I might be back, we will see."
The star, who was emotional, further reflected: "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."
The actor also teased how his exit could play out, confirming that Victoria Sugden will be central to the storyline.
"There is a resolution of sorts, I can't give too much away," he said. "Victoria is the reason why he leaves the village. Put it that way."
It comes after the soap has hinted at a romantic twist for David, as old feelings around Victoria resurface in upcoming scenes.
Following his departure news, Matthew has lined-up his next role as Buddy in the musical adaptation of ELF, and is set to appear at London's Dominion Theatre between November 15 and January 6, 2024.
The production also stars Tom Chambers as Buddy's father Walter Hobbs, Georgina Castle as Buddy's love interest Jovie and Rebecca Lock as Walter's wife Emily.
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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