“I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”

Jim Parsons has released an emotional tribute to the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory, following recent news that the acclaimed sitcom will come to an end after its upcoming 12th season.

The CBS comedy – which is the longest-running multi-camera comedy in TV history – will end next year because, according to Entertainment Weekly, Parsons is “ready to walk away”.

On his Instagram account, Parsons said it’s impossible to “accept that this a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory.”

He continued (and bare with us, because it’s quite a lengthy post): “Something else I feel grateful for — and this gratitude needs no time to ‘sink in’ or become ‘realised;’ this grateful feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of announcing our final season — but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.

“I feel grateful to our crew — many, many of whom have been with us since day one — and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don’t see them on TV, are in many ways the heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh.

“I am grateful to all the writers of our show — those with us with no and those that have come and gone — because, without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever. The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which is a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand.

“And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again and again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast members who aren’t pictured here — whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off.

“You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will fully ever understand.

“I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”

The Big Bang Theory’s twelfth – and final – season will premiere on CBS at 24 September.

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