Celebrity couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are saying farewell to Bermuda and temporarily leaving the island they love.

Our most famous couple and their two children are moving to New York for "work and personal reasons".

The Bermuda Sun understands the family will be leaving in the next couple of months, having already rented out their home in Warwick.

Their relocation is being called a "temporary leave of absence", with the family expected to be off island for up to two years.

The couple's agent Allen Burry told the Bermuda Sun: "They aren't moving away from Bermuda, they aren't selling their house.

"But they are taking a temporary leave of absence and going to New York as a family.

"They love Bermuda, it's just a temporary break, they'll be back. Besides they'll still be coming back and forth to Bermuda, they're sure to come down and visit."

Mr. Burry said the main reason for the move was Mr. Douglas's work commitments. The Oscar-winning actor is starring in "two films being filmed back-to-back in the city." He will film Wall Street 2 and the yet-to-be-titled biography on flamboyant pianist Liberace.

It is not unusual for the couple to travel for their movie careers, but this is the first time for their children: Dylan, 8, and Carys, 6, have been taken out of Warwick Academy for an unspecified period of time. Warwick Academy declined to comment.

The Bermuda Sun understand's that Dylan's schooling has been a factor in the couple's decison to move to New York. Mr. Burry declined to comment on this but did confirm that aside from work commitments, "other personal matters" had been taken into account.

'No big deal'

Speaking from New York, Mr. Burry stressed that the move would be "no big deal and no drama" for the family.

He said: "It won't be a big change for them, they've always had the apartment in New York and visit regularly.

"The kids are fine with the move, they are looking forward to being in the city. They travel a lot anyway and it will be a good experience for them."

Mr. Douglas has deep roots with Bermuda having spent his teenage summers here. His mother, the former Diana Dill once married to actor Kirk Douglas, was born here and the Ariel Sands resort has been in the Dill family since the 1840s.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who got married at The Plaza Hotel in New York, moved to Bermuda in 2001 to raise their children in a safe and secure environment. They wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York and escape the hoards of paparazzi that hounded them. They have always said one of the things they loved most about Bermuda was that people respected their privacy.

Mr. Douglas told People magazine last month: "Bermuda creates an environment for us away from the entertainment business, and gives our kids independence and freedom where showbiz isn't on everybody's lips. It's a lovely, lovely place."