Les Dennis (opens in new tab) is leaving Coronation Street - and he’s not the only cast member making an exit from the soap.
Les, who plays reformed burglar Michael Rodwell, will depart the cobbles to appear in a theatre production of Alan Bleasdale’s “Down the Dock Road” at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre in the New Year.
The news comes after it was revealed Brooke Vincent (opens in new tab) - who plays Sophie Webster - and David Neilson (opens in new tab) - who plays lovable oddbod Roy Cropper - will also temporarily leave the soap to pursue other projects.
Sophie will also leave the Street, despite mum Sally's efforts to set her up with Kate
Sally Metcalfe (Sally Dynevor (opens in new tab)) is currently desperately trying to matchmake her lesbian daughter Sophie with Kate Connor (Faye Brookes (opens in new tab)) - even though Kate has a girlfriend.
And Roy's romance with Cathy (Melanie Hill (opens in new tab)) is about to hit the rocks, when Cathy discovers Roy has betrayed her.
The future doesn't sound bright for Roy and Cathy
Alison King (opens in new tab), who plays Carla Connor, is also set to depart the soap for sabbatical after nearly a decade playing the factory boss.
Carla is currently engaged to Nick Tilsley (Ben Price (opens in new tab)), but about to cheat on him with Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill) (opens in new tab), we fear there will be no happy ending for Carla and Nick.
Can there be a happy-ever-after for Carla and Nick?
And Ryan Thomas (opens in new tab), who plays builder Jason Grimshaw, has quit the soap and will leave in the summer.
It was also recently announced that Emily Bishop actress Eileen Derbyshire (opens in new tab) has requested time off from the soap and Emily will depart on New Year’s Day to visit nephew Spider in Peru.
Kate reckons a return to the show’s roots will boost plummeting ratings and plans to bring back the humour and ‘leave the dark stuff to EastEnders’, reports The Mirror.
Her thoughts were revealed at a charity event by one of the show’s stars, who said “excited” Kate believes taking the soap back to its traditions is a prime target.
And that means switching the focus away from the show’s youth and back to the likes of stalwarts like Rita (Barbara Knox (opens in new tab)), Norris (Malcolm Hebden (opens in new tab)), Audrey (Sue Nicholls (opens in new tab)) and Ken Barlow (Bill Roache (opens in new tab)).
Will we be seeing more of meddlesome Norris?
Guests at the dinner event were told: “The words ‘leave the dark stuff to EastEnders’ have been used.
“She thinks there should be more of an emphasis on bringing back the old Street humour which it was famous for – and the old brigade are just brilliant at performing that.
“Obviously the young cast are doing a terrific job but we are told there is a feeling that the likes of characters like Norris have been somewhat neglected.
“It sounds like there are exciting times ahead for the show with the new boss arriving and the more mature members of the cast are aware of the new direction that is coming.”
Coronation Street (opens in new tab), ITV.
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