Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh has announced that she is to leave Coronation Street later in the year. Julie has played cross-gender character Hayley Cropper since 1998 and is one of the show's most popular characters.
She says that her performance last year in the play Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster has help make up her mind to find pastures new: "The decision to hang up Hayley's red anorak was a tough one. But doing the play at the Royal Exchange last year made me realise that there's life in the old dog yet."
Corrie's exec producer Kieran Roberts spoke about the move: "We'll be sorry to say farewell to Hayley - and to Julie but we're planning a screen exit worthy of one of Coronation Street's best-loved characters."
And Julie had this to say about her character and her relationship with husband Roy: "Whatever happens next I'll always be proudest of lovely Mrs Cropper. In particular what we achieved in changing attitudes to transgender, and in portraying possibly the most loving, faithful and steadfast couple in soap history."
Certainly Corrie fans will miss one of the nicest and most decent characters in the soap.