ANOTHER Coronation Street star will make a shock exit next week

The much-loved character will be the ninth to leave the soap this year.

Coronation Street stars Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker), Tristan Gemmill (Robert Preston), Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor), Faye Brookes (Kate Connor), Lucy Fallon (Bethany Platt), Connie Hyde (Gina Seddon), Bhavna Limbachia (Rana Habeeb) and Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) have all left the cobbles or announced plans to take a break from Coronation Street over the last few months.

And now another is set to join the exodus, when Kirk Sutherland, played by Andrew Whyment, bids a heart-melting farewell to his wife Beth Tinker (Lisa George) to head off in search of stardom.

We saw Kirk show off his vocal talents in the ‘Rovers Got Talent’ talent show this week, and while his neighbours weren’t altogether impressed and viewers were left in hysterics, he was invited out to lunch by a talent scout.

Beth was floored by her husband’s revelation that Jasmine (the talent scout) had asked him to go on tour, and lashed out by saying she must want him as a comedy act.

Kirk Sutherland

Kirk performs in Rovers Got Talent

Tensions between the couple will seem to continue next week, but Kirk will reveal that he is only pretending to be angry with his wife, so that he can surprise her with a romantic performance outside the Rovers Return. But the couple will only have a short time to make up before he leaves in a taxi to go on tour.

However, hot on the heels of the shock return of Carla Connor and boyfriend Peter Barlow to the soap this week, viewers can look forward to an influx of new and returning characters to fill the void left by Kirk and the rest.

Former Casualty star Jane Hazlegrove will be joining the cast to play Gemma Winter’s mother Bernie in July, and we’ll also be welcoming a whole new family to the cobbles, led by Doctors actress Lorna Laidlaw.

Happily, Helen Flanagan has also revealed that she is ‘definitely’ going to return to the soap after her maternity leave. ‘I miss Coronation Street so much, and I definitely am going to go back,’ she told Lorraine viewers.

Coronation Street continues on ITV.