There’s bad news ahead for Orange Is The New Black fans.

The iconic Netflix series, which heralded the new normal of high-budget streaming originals, has been going strong for six seasons now, largely thanks to its no-nonsense approach to important social issues like racism, transphobia and police brutality.

But despite how popular the show continues to be, Netflix have announced that next year’s seventh season will be its last, confirming months of rumours and speculation from fans.

The announcement was made on Orange is the New Black’s official Twitter account, along with an emotional video which saw various cast members talking about what the show means to them, and how much they’ll miss it.

“I’m going to miss playing and living on the edge of one of the most groundbreaking original and controversial series of this decade,” said Kate Mulgrew, who stars as Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov in the show.

Uzo Aduba, who plays Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren, added: “I’m so grateful for the fun times, the knowledge, the friendships, the love, the family that we have created together. Season seven, you will not be disappointed. It is a season you will not forget.

“We are going to give you everything and more that you could have ever wanted.”

If you’ve finished the most recent season of OITNB – and if you haven’t, now’s the time to look away – you’ll know that it ended with Piper being released from prison early to continue life in the outside world, as partner Alex Vause remained incarcerated.

While producers have confirmed that her character won’t be written out of the show entirely, actress Taylor Schilling said she’s “ready to say goodbye” to the show during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“It certainly is an end of an era. Orange has been such a huge chapter in my life, personally and professionally,” she said.

“I’m so grateful to have been able to play this part of Piper. I’m excited to let Piper go and put her to rest beautifully, as I’m sure Jenji will do, and let her kind of live on in her own world, when that time comes.”

At the time, many interpreted Taylor’s comments to mean that she would eventually be leaving the show, but now we know the real reason behind her comments, and we are not okay – and neither are the fans.

Buy the latest issue of Gay Times