Home and Away star Sonia Todd has revealed that she left the soap for new challenges.
The actress's character Gina Austin made her final appearance on screen in Australia last week, passing away suddenly after falling unconscious at the wheel of her car.
In real life, Todd is now working on ABC1 series Janet King.
She told TV Week: "[It] felt like time to move on and enjoy other acting challenges. Shooting Home and Away was a constant challenge due to the pace of the show and the quality of the drama. It certainly kept me busy!"
Upcoming episodes will explore how Gina's husband John (Shane Withington) and foster son Jett (Will McDonald) cope without her. Gina's son Xavier (David Jones-Roberts) will also make a short return to Summer Bay for her funeral.
Todd added: "Gina would want John to be happy. But I imagine there'll be many challenges ahead if he takes on the role of a single father."
In a separate interview with Home and Away's official website, Todd praised show bosses for giving Gina the right exit storyline - pointing out that death was the only plausible way to write her out.
She explained: "My overall feeling when I read the final scripts was relief, I think, in the way that the writers had handled the story. It's very hard for Gina to leave them. She wouldn't leave them for any other reason.
"It was really sad. Fortunately for me, I don't have to do any heavy lifting when it comes to the acting side of it, but I really do feel for Shane and Will - they're going to be exhausted, I think!"
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 in the UK, and weekdays at 7pm on Network Seven in Australia.
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