‘Grantchester’ Season 4 Will See The Exit Of James Norton As Sidney Chambers

The handsome vicar will be written out of the popular 'PBS' series this season.

James Norton speaks onstage during Masterpiece's 'Grantchester' panel as part of the PBS portion of the 2016 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

The handsome vicar will be written out of the popular 'PBS' series this season.

All good things must come to an end, and while Grantchester will continue, James Norton — who plays the lead in the show, Sidney Chambers — will reportedly be departing from the cast. The show, now in its fourth season, is popular on both sides of the pond, airing on ITV in the U.K. and PBS in the United States. But why is Norton leaving such a successful series?

Express shared Norton’s thoughts on leaving Grantchester, and why he thought it was time to depart. The actor said a conclusion in the storyline regarding the relationship between Sidney and Amanda was written in, and that made his exit feel natural.

“The Amanda storyline tying up the way it did with her and Sidney breaking up and him choosing the church in the third series felt like a natural conclusion to Sidney’s story. Then when the possibility of a fourth series came along, the decision was whether or not to start a whole new journey for Sidney.”

Norton explains that the show is Grantchester and not Vicar Sidney Chambers, so there is nothing to say that another clergyman can’t solve crime.

“It felt like it would be better to hand over the baton to someone else and give Grantchester a fresh injection of energy.”

It’s unclear at this time when — or how — Sidney Chambers will be written out of the series, but Reverend Will Davenport will join Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) in sussing out crime in the Cambridge area parish. Reverend Davenport will be played by actor Tom Brittney (formerly of Unreal), and is described as an “affable, charming, friendly character who tries to bring his youthful energy to the church.”

But Gentleman’s Journal thinks that Norton might have another reason for leaving Grantchester, and that’s his rising star — and potentially the lead in a top movie franchise.

Those in the know are said to be placing bets on James Norton to be the next 007 in the Bond films. The magazine asked the actor, who also starred in the ITV/Netflix series Happy Valley, about the rumor that he will be the next James Bond. Norton would not confirm nor deny these rumors.

“People love to speculate. Bond’s such an icon, and he means so much to so many people, so there’s an inevitable amount of speculation and guessing and betting. But that’s as much as it is — speculation. Very flattering, very humbling speculation.”

Only time will tell where fans will see James Norton next.