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Bridgerton Fans Take Star's Defection Hard

Rege-Jean Page won't be back next season
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2021 10:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – He has his reasons, but the Duke of Hastings' decision to take his leave is upsetting Bridgerton fans. A typical viewer reaction was posted by Dionne Warwick. "I WILL NOT have it," the singer tweeted. Nonetheless, Rege-Jean Page will not appear for the second season of the period drama Bridgerton. Page stars as dashing and eligible bachelor Simon Basset. The announcement was made in the form of a note from Lady Whistledown, Bridgerton's gossip columnist. She assured fans that "Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer–more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear." Page posted a farewell, saying, "It's been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke."

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There was foreshadowing in the Julia Quinn novels, per Variety. Simon is pretty much a Book 1 character. "It's a one-season arc," Page said. That appealed to him. "I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on," Page said. The romance series is Netflix's biggest hit yet, and it's been critically praised. Page received an NAACP Image Award for outstanding actor in a drama series last week, the first acting award for the Bridgerton cast. The producer offered consolation. "Remember: the Duke is never gone," Shonda Rhimes posted. "He's just waiting to be binge watched all over again." (Read more Netflix stories.)

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