The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons has detailed the “intense summer” that made him quit the long-running sitcom.

The show ended last year after Parsons quit, first airing in 2007 and running for twelve seasons.

Speaking to David Tennant on the actor’s David Tennant Does a Podcast With… show, Parsons discusses how he realised there were “other things [he] needed to try and do” outside of the series.

“Our final contract was for the last two years, but no one knew when we signed it what that would mean,” Parsons said. “I kind of had a suspicion in my heart that that was going to be it for me when I did sign that contract.”

Parsons went on to detail that his decision to quit The Big Bang Theory came as he was experiencing an “intense” time in his life, with mounting work teamed with the declining health of his dog.

“I was exhausted,” he said. “I was really upset about, more than anything, one of our dogs was getting really at the end of his life around then.”

He then detailed how, a few days after the dog was put down, he broke his foot in an on-stage accident, saying: “It was the scariest moment for the next couple of days because I felt like I was at the edge of a cliff. I was teetering and I saw something really dark below between the death of the dog.

“The bottom line was that it was a really intense summer. The dog passing away, he was 14, and Todd and I had been together for 15 years at that point, so it just was the end of an era.”

He concluded: “I had this moment of clarity that I think you’re very fortunate to get in a lot of ways, of going ‘Don’t keep speeding by’. You know? ‘Use this time to take a look around.’ And I did.”

Earlier this year, a producer on The Big Bang Theory revealed that the show had planned to continue for another two years before Parsons quit.

“What had occurred was Jim Parsons had been in touch with Chuck Lorre over the hiatus week and had said he couldn’t come back and do anymore,” production designer John Shaffner said. “And Chuck had always said if one member of the cast left the show then the show would have to end.”