Sheridan with the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor he won for his work on <i>Packed to the Rafters</i>.

Sheridan with the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor he won for his work on Packed to the Rafters. Photo: John Woudstra

The character of Ben Rafter may have a quick death in Seven Network's Packed to the Rafters after Hugh Sheridan defected to a rival station.

The actor signed a long-term contract with Network Ten today.

The Packed to the Rafters star will film a couple more episodes of Seven's hit series before joining Ten, Ten's chief programming officer David Mott said.

Hugh Sheridan (centre) with his <i>Rafters</i> co-stars Erik Thomson and Angus McLaren.

Hugh Sheridan (centre) with his Rafters co-stars Erik Thomson and Angus McLaren.

"There's only a couple of episodes in it (he has to film for Rafters) and we are happy for him to continue in it," Mott said.

The 26-year-old's first assignment with Ten will be to host the talent show I Will Survive, where the winner gets to perform in the Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical.

"We have an exclusive network talent deal with Hugh Sheridan," Mott said.

"That includes hosting I Will Survive and to develop other (drama) projects for the network."

Sheridan, who won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor, seems to have caught Seven by surprise with the Ten signing.

Seven has issued a one-line statement stating Sheridan would be on screen this year in Rafters and is currently filming for the series.

"The door will always be open for Ben Rafter," the network said in the statement.

AAP