Why Did James Norton Quit 'Grantchester'? The Reason Actually Makes So Much Sense

Grantchester / ITV

Mystery busting, all good person vibes, clever as can be, and (frankly) a dish — James Norton's what-I-go-to-church-for character is sadly set to make a departure from ITV's addictive AF show Grantchester. What the actual eff?! This is not a drill. When terrible things happen, all you can do is fall to your knees, look up to the sky, look up at at whichever deity takes your fancy and scream "WHY?!". Or, you could just read on to find out why James Norton left Grantchester?

Well y'all, according to an interview he did on BBC's The One Show it looks like big things are a brewing for this angel faced vicar. Yes sir, Hollywood called and he took that damn call. He told the hosts, "I think, ultimately, you have to keep moving forward. After the three series, we had a kind of natural end to the storyline with Amanda. It felt like, to start a whole new storyline, which could potentially, hopefully, take a few more series, that would be a long commitment. Onto pastures new. Sadly, yes."

He admitted it wan't an easy decision as he loved the job so much. "It was a heart-wrenching decision, I've said it many times, I've never had as much fun on a job as I do on Grantchester. It was a strange one."

Grantchester/ITV

And to be fair, what more would you expect? He has been acting for a while now, and getting some serious roles. Apart from this hit show, he also starred in War And Peace, McMafia, and is going to be hitting our screens in an upcoming production of Little Women. Safe to say this guy knows his way around a period drama costume department.

OK but like what is going to happen to the very great Rev Sidney Chambers? This is all getting a little worrying. So Norton didn't give much away in the interview but he was clear that he wanted to be involved in the decision, and he didn't say if it would be an open ended departure or not.

"I can't comment on that, I did suggest many ridiculously elaborate ways [to leave], including, I mean, sharks."

Luckily for fans though, his departure does not mean the end of the show. Nope, ITV would absolutely not do that to us, bless their cotton socks. In a kind of controversial move though, they are basically replacing your dead pet (Norton), with a new pet (Tom Brittney) — in the shape of new nosy vicar Will Davenport. Brittney might be familiar from his roles in Outlander, Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, and UnREAL.

Grantchester/ITV

Speaking to Digital Spy about coming into an already very established show, Brittney admitted "Of course, it was daunting." He was also keen to address the concerns fans might have with the new changes. "You can expect the series to still retain the wonderful quality that makes Grantchester, Grantchester," he said. "However, there’s a new vicar in town, and he’s very different from Sidney, and he shakes things up a little bit."

According to Brittney, his character is very different to that of Norton's and causes some friction between himself and Robson Green's character, Geordie. "It’s a very tetchy start to our relationship. It’s not easy. Me and Geordie’s characters have a sort of resistance to each other, which means that our relationship has to really develop over the series."

Grantchester airs Friday Jan. 11 at 9p.m. on ITV.