Nearly half of The Walking Dead fans say they’ll stop watching the show when Andrew Lincoln leaves

The results of a new survey are pretty damning for the showrunners, who still haven't officially confirmed that Lincoln will leave the show

44% of Walking Dead fans have said that they will stop watching the show once Andrew Lincoln leaves, according to a new survey.

Lincoln’s imminent departure from The Walking Dead was first reported late last month, with his character Rick Grimes – who Lincoln has played since the show debuted in October 2010 – now expected to depart the show during or at the end of its forthcoming ninth season.

While AMC have still yet to address the numerous reports and rumours surrounding Lincoln’s future, an extensive fan-held survey on The Walking Dead Reddit page has suggested that the departure of Lincoln – and therefore Rick – from the show later this year might have a significant impact on viewing figures.

One result from the survey found that 44% of responders admitted that they wouldn’t carry on watching the show following Rick’s final scene, with 37% undecided. Only 19% of fans who took part in the poll confirmed that they would carry on watching after Rick’s exit.

72% of the people who completed the poll also believe that The Walking Dead should end after season nine.

As mentioned, Walking Dead bosses have yet to publicly confirm that Lincoln will leave after season nine – but a director on the show recently let slip about the actor’s expected exit after he posted a farewell message to Lincoln on his Instagram, while maintaining that the show “will still be great” after Rick’s departure.