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11 July 2017, 12:39
After 27 years in the business, Steve Whitmire has quit as the voice of Kermit the Frog and we're not sure what the future holds for the beloved Muppet. What will Miss Piggy say?
The 57-year-old puppeteer inherited the iconic role in 1990 following the death of Jim Henson - who created 'The Muppets' - but will no longer lend his vocal talents to the high-pitched amphibian.
A Muppet Studio spokesperson confirmed to Deadline that Matt Vogel will replace Steve as the voice of Kermit.
However, it's not known why Steve, who has been with the Muppets since 1978, is departing the role.
Matt will make his Kermit debut in a 'Muppets Thought of the Week' video next week. Steve started off on 'The Muppet Show' in 1978, on which he voiced characters Rizzo the Rat, Lips and Foo-Foo, among others.
The puppeteer has reprised his role of Rizzo on several occasions in both Muppet TV shows and movies, and most recently starred as Kermit, Rizzo, Beaker, Statler, Lips and The Muppet Newsman in ABC comedy series 'The Muppets' from 2015 to 2016.
Picture | PA
He also voiced several characters in popular children's TV show 'Fraggle Rock' from 1983 to 1987, including Flange Doozer, Sprocket and Wembley Fraggle.
Kermit looks to have been left in capable hands, though, as Matt played Constantine, an evil mastermind and near-exact double of Kermit, in the 2014 movie 'Muppets Most Wanted', which also featured Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey.
What's more, the 46-year-old star has been lending his vocal talents to several Muppets characters, Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Robin the Frog, and Camilla the Chicken since 2008, and started voicing 'Sesame Street' Character Count von Count in August 2013.