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By Katie Fitzpatrick

Soap favourite Gary Lucy has showcased a different look after filming his final scenes on Hollyoaks. Gary, 40, who has played Luke Morgan in the Channel Four soap since 1999, returned to social media on Thursday to reveal a fresh haircut with a beard.

After taking a four month break from Instagram he shared a snap of himself bathed in sunlight as he said he was feeling in 'a lighter mood' to go with his suave new look. The actor, who also played Kyle Pascoe in the ITV Football drama Footballers' Wives and Danny Pennant in EastEnders, told fans: "Been a while … new haircut / new beard … general manscaping … and more importantly a lighter mood !!!…. So … “ready or not here I come” happy Thursday everyone #possitivity #lawofattraction #itsgoodtotalk #powerful."

Steph Waring, who plays his on-screen bride-to-be Cindy Cunningham, told him: "I miss your face!!!" Aedan Duckworth who played his son Ollie Morgan, praised: "Geezzz lookin good mate." And Jessica Fox who plays Hollyoaks' Nancy Hayton told him: "FIT."

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angelanewsham commented: "I had to look twice as I didn’t recognise you. As always you’re looking good and it really suits you." samread0285 said: "You look lovely. Will miss you on Hollyoaks. You're the best ever." jerem_baker commented: "Definitely a big change Gary but still as handsome and gorgeous as ever!"

007claw suggested a return to EastEnders might now be on the cards. "Back to EE now as new Vic landlord," they told him. And sarajw1976 praised: "Looks fresh."

anthony52788 wrote: "Thought it was a younger David Ginola at first." And chrissiehunt2000 complimented: "Handsome love the beard x"

Gary's character was involved in a groundbreaking male rape storyline in 2000 for which he won best newcomer at the British Soap Awards. He left the role in 2001 after two years and was reintroduced in 2017 before he returned permanently in 2019.

And Gary was on top form as he headed to Manchester. He visited the Rozafa Greek and Cypriot restaurant in Princess Street to discuss an upcoming film role.

In Hollyoaks Luke has been battling frontotemporal dementia in a heartbreaking storyline which has seen his loved-ones preparing to say a final goodbye while planning his wedding to Cindy. Erin Palmer, who plays Luke's ex Mandy Richardson's daughter Ella Richardson, shared a selection of nostalgic snaps of the pair together with a sweet message.

"Best of times. Loved these scenes @gary.lucy - thank you for your lovely note. Till we meet again," she wrote. And he responded with applause and hands in the air emojis "that's the one."

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Dive Deeper:
Hollyoaks' Gary Lucy, 40, looks fresh-faced as he shows off suave new look
Hollyoaks actor Gary Lucy has been rocking a fresh new look and took to social media to share a rare…
Secret soap siblings - from EastEnders' Lacey Turner to Corrie's Sam Aston
Several EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale stars have siblings who have also starred on our favourite soaps
Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders and Hollyoaks stars who started out as child stars
Their careers started elsewhere and at a very young age
ITV Emmerdale's Gabby star Rosie Bentham says soap helped her cope with dad's death
The ITV soap star's father, John, tragically died two years after her on-screen dad died on-screen
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
ITV Coronation Street Tyrone Dobbs actor Alan Halsall real life away from the Cobbles
The actor is celebrating 24 years on the cobbles
ITV Corrie's Nicky hailed an 'inspiration' as she looks stunning in £3 charity shop dress
Kimberly Hart-Simpson who plays Coronation Street's Nicky Wheatley has been hailed an inspiration for her fashion choices
Get all your news in one place