Coronation Street is to axe the character of Laura Neelan.
The flighty blonde - estranged mum of Weatherfield teen Kelly and estranged wife of late loan shark Rick Neelan - will be written out in a story which sees her pass away from stomach cancer.
Speaking about her impending exit, actress Kel Allen, who has played Laura on and off for almost two years, says, “I think for me, it's bittersweet. I guess Laura could have stayed around, but then what would have happened? She’d be up to her old tricks again.
“Every actor wants to get their teeth into something so gritty, and there's always twists and turns. I'm excited for what's to come.
“I'll be so sad when I leave because obviously I've made so many bonds with everybody off set. It does sound extremely cliché when people say it's a family [at Coronation Street] but it genuinely is. And I've still got quite a lot of time in the show yet.”
Laura’s final chapter will begin next week when she returns to Weatherfield to speak to her daughter, and finds her in Roy’s Rolls.
Kelly refuses to engage and storms off, but Laura follows her to Speed Daal, where the teen is having a meal with Gary and Maria.
Breaking the news of her illness, Laura adds that the cancer is terminal and she has just months to live.
Given that her mother isn’t the most trustworthy individual, Kelly initially refuses to believe her. But, she later admits to Gary that Laura looks ill enough to be telling the truth. And, in the coming weeks, we’re set to see mother and daughter reconnect.
Adds Allen, “Laura’s got this bedsit. It's so funny - in typical Laura style, there's food everywhere and bras all over the place. Kelly shows up, and she starts looking after her and they start spending time together.
“She's doing a bit of cooking here and there - I mean, they're microwave meals, but Kelly's doing her best.
"There's still resistance between the pair of them, but that slowly breaks down, and the bond is there between them both again, which is so lovely.”
Laura first arrived In Weatherfield in April 2020 when she was summoned by Gary, who had secretly murdered Rick in self defence the previous Summer.
Gary had promised Rick’s former sidekick Sharon Geary that he would financially support young Kelly in exchange for her silence over Rick's murder, but he discovered that Laura had been pocketing money intended to be used for Kelly’s school fees, and he warned her that Rick would “kill her” if she found out.
Laura absconded but went on to make several returns and was last seen in September 2021, testifying at Kelly’s trial for Seb Franklin’s murder.
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.