Steve Carell, the American actor and comedian, has officially left NBC's hit show 'The Office' having played the hapless manager 'Michael Scott' for seven seasons, reports the Press Association. Steve Carell's character departed during a special episode that aired last night (18th April 2011).

Carell is leaving the Nbc comedy to concentrate on spending time with his family and to make movies, but his character leaves the 'Dunder Mifflin' paper supply company bound for Colorado with his fiancee. In Carell's final episode, his character 'Michael' played one last round of paintball with Rainn Wilson's 'Dwight' and left 'Kelly' alone so that she could text in peace. Despite the exit, the show has been commissioned for a new series and attention now turns to who will replace Carell as head of the company. Will Ferrell once again made a cameo appearance on the show, playing the equally hapless 'Deangelo Vickers', but the Boston Herald have reservations about the comedian as a permanent successor for Carell, noting, "Whatever the writers are trying to do with Ferrell's character, it's not working". Other possible replacements for Carell include the Hollywood actor Jim Carrey, 'Everybody Loves Raymond' star Ray Romano and James Spader. British actor Ricky Gervais, who played 'David Brent' in the original series, has also been rumoured as a possible replacement.

Following his exit from 'The Office', Steve Carell will now begin work on the forthcoming comedy-drama movie 'Great Hope Springs', with Meryl Streep and James Gandolfini. The film focuses on a middle aged couple who attend an intense counselling weekend to decide the fate of their marriage.