Soap fans have been left upset that Kym Marsh is leaving Coronation Street - but why is the actress really quitting a role she has loved for more than a decade?
The news that Coronation Street star Kym Marsh is departing the cobbles has come as a big shock to soap fans - but the actress has admitted it wasn't a decision that she's made lightly.
Kym, who has played Weatherfield's Michelle Connor for the last 13 years, has confessed that she is ready to try her hand at something new.
The actress told The Sun: "It's been an incredibly difficult decision, but it feels like the right time for me to explore other roles.
"When I was lucky enough to be offered four episodes I could never in my wildest dreams have thought I'd be here 13 years later."
Kym originally arrived on the cobbles for a cameo role back in April 2006, and has been the centre of some of the soap's most dramatic storylines ever since.
But thankfully for Coronation Street fans, Kym has revealed that this isn't the last we have seen of feisty Michelle because soap bosses have decided not to kill her off.
A TV insider reportedly told The Sun: "Kym loves the role of Michelle and told bosses she hoped they would agree to keep the door open in the future. They have done - so everyone is leaving on great terms.
"The writers will want the character to go out with a bang."
Kym herself confirmed: "This isn't the last you have heard of Michelle Connor, she'll be back! I can't wait to see what the writers have in store for the future."
Coronation Street executive producer John Whiston confirmed her departure: "Kym has done a fantastic job. She has brought incredible heart and humanity to some hugely important stories.
"We will be really sad to lose her when she goes but totally understand that, after dedicating herself to the show for so long, she now fancies trying something else."
While it hasn't been revealed when or how Kym's character will be written out of the soap, it is thought she will be on screen until later in the year.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
Picture credits: Main image: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock, Kym then and now: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock, all others ITV.
Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz!
As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.
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