NORTHERN Irish actor James Nesbitt has ended his marriage after nearly 20 years, blaming his hectic work schedule.
The 48-year-old star has released a statement saying that he has been living apart from his wife Sonia for some time.
The couple who are together since 1989 are parents to two daughters Peggy and Mary aged 16 and 11 years.
The actor who made his name in dramas like Cold Feet and Monroe has spent a great deal of the past two years in New Zealand filming his role of Bofur in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Nesbitt had relocated his family to New Zealand for some of the time, but has admitted in interviews that the role placed a lot of pressure on his family.
“Kids at a certain age don’t necessarily want to be dragged to the other side of the world, but they’ve certainly been made to feel very welcome; they are loving the schools,” he told one interviewer when promoting the first movie.
"I've decorated the trailer with things that remind me of home - villages and the seaside in Northern Ireland where I am from, my horse Riverside Theatre," he said.
He also hung streamers from the roof of his trailer on the set in the colours of the Irish flag green, white and orange.