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Kate Ritchie news

Guest Heathsgirl

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SHE holds the record for the longest continuous role in an Aussie drama series but golden girl Kate Ritchie is expected to announce she is finally saying goodbye to the sandy shores of Summer Bay today.

While Channel 7 refused to confirm rumours sweeping the industry yesterday, it is believed the small screen star will reveal the news on Sunrise this morning.

The network's website yesterday ran a teaser stating one of Australia's most loved young actors would be making a "major announcement" on the show at 7.15am, with network sources revealing to Confidential that it would be regarding a "career decision".

The soapie stalwart, who has been playing Sally Fletcher on Home and Away for 19 years, is expected to stay with the network and work on other projects. She has already been branching out this year, co-hosting It Takes Two with Grant Denyer and having a brief stint on Nova radio's drive shift with funnyman Akmal Saleh.

After winning the Gold Logie this year, the 29-year-old star said she was finally at peace with her long-running role.

"I've finally started to embrace that I've been on Home and Away for such a long time rather than worry about what it's going to do to my career," she said at the time.

"I'm certainly not ashamed of that and I'm not going to try to bury that, but it's been nice for people to see a bit more of me.

"The network has been great - they gave me time off to do radio and now It Takes Two."

With Ritchie's departure Ray Meagher - aka Alf Stewart - will be the only original cast member left on the show.

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