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Julie Carp.jpg
Coronation Street actress Katy Cavanagh who plays Julie Carp has said her character wants to find a new love.

Her current boyfriend Brian Packham, played by Peter Gunn, will soon be leaving Weatherfield.

Details of Brian's exit are still to be revealed but Julie will be left heartbroken as the romance comes to an end.

Cavanagh told Digital Spy: "She's going to be devastated and moan for England.

"However, with Julie being Julie, she will bounce back.

"She's a bit of a survivor and as long as she has her family around her and she doesn't get too lonely, I think she'll try and find herself a new man."

Viewers will see the couple start to drift apart as Brian tries to tell Julie that he does not want to foster children. Brian is then offered a job in Wales but doesn't tell Julie about it.

Cavanagh explained: "It's actually Todd who finally lets slip about the job.

"He randomly comes up to her in the street when she's getting her Christmas cards and tells her.

"I think the fact that she doesn't find out by Brian makes it even worse for Julie to grasp.

"I think she would like to forgive him, but this is a huge thing for Julie. She won't see it as just a little white lie because this affects her whole life.

"This might be the wake-up call that shows her that things aren't working and they both want different things.

"They both really love each other but I'm not sure if they can make a compromise. Julie wants children but Brian doesn't and Julie is going to have to realise that Brian's not going to shift."

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018.JPGAs already widely reported, Michael Le Vell will return to Corrie in February on a £250,000 deal having last month been cleared of all 12 charges of child sex abuse, and co-star Charlie Condou has broken a distinct cast silence to talk about plans to throw Michael a massive welcome back party.

He said:

"It's brilliant to have him back, everyone's relieved that stuff is over.

"He has had a lot of stuff thrown at him and people saying things, but he's got through it.
"I think there will be a party or something planned for his return. I think he is just itching to get back."

Brooke Vincent added:

"We can't wait to have him back. I've missed him."

"People forget that we are a team and we spend more time with them than we do our friends and family. We all get on and everyone has their role in the green room."

The show of support comes as it was revealed that Michael has recently been sent death threats and has suffered damage to his car.

013.jpgHe's played Peter Barlow since 2000, but it is now being reported that Corrie favourite Chris Gascoyne is the latest star to leave the cobbles in late 2014.

The actor has apparently told friends that the soap schedule is 'too demanding'.

A Street spokesman said:

"Chris has signed a new one year contract, which takes him to autumn 2014, and he is involved in some of the biggest storylines of the next 12 months. It is too early to comment beyond that."

We don't want to give too much away, but it is currently being rumoured that the news may link in with the well-publicised departure of Michelle Keegan in 2014. This as yet remains unclear.

258.jpegCorrie favourite Julie Hesmondhalgh has given a boost to an on-line petition which a Scunthorpe widow started to force a debate in parliament about the illness which killed her husband.

The addition has seen the names on the petition more than double to more than 13,000 since July, with numbers still rising.

Organiser Maggie Watts said:

"Coronation Street just embarked on a pancreatic cancer story-line with Julie's character Hayley.

"Julie has completely embraced the e-petition and is promoting it on Twitter and in the media wherever she can.

"Her input has made a significant difference to raising the profile of the e-petition and pancreatic cancer in general.

"We will now receive a response from the government because we hit the 10,000-name petition.

"We are awaiting that response which will give us an update on where the government stands on the issues raised".

Maggie, whose husband Kevin died in 2009 aged just 49, said:

"The survival rate for sufferers has not improved in the past 40 years.

"Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of UK cancer death with the worst survival rate of all cancers, yet it receives only one per cent of the budget for research.

"We want the government to provide more funding and awareness".

In an interview with a national newspaper, actress Julie said:

"There's an amazing woman called Maggie Watts who lost her husband to pancreatic cancer.

"She started this e-petition. To get it to Downing Street you have to get 10,000 people to sign it, and to get a debate on it, you need 100,000 signatures.

"I've put it all over my Twitter and I am trying to get as many people backing it as possible.

"It's really bad, there's no research funding and no improvement in survival rates."

136.jpgShe's well known for having an opinion on anything and everything, but now controversial Katie Hopkins has hit out at Corrie star Ryan Thomas after he was declared bankrupt, calling him"a little boy" with an 'exceptionally small brain'.

The gobby ex-Apprentice candidate unleashed her thoughts on Thomas - who we reported earlier this month to have declared bankruptcy in August, despite earning a reported £90,000 salary - in an opinion piece on celebrities with financial troubles in Now magazine.

"Bankrupt celebs are like lips without gloss. The shine has come off and they're left looking thin and miserable," she writes.

"[Ryan] may earn big but his brain is exceptionally small. Perhaps he should spend less time drinking by the pool in the sun and a bit more time saving for the rainy day the taxman wants his money back."

She continued: "Some say bankruptcy has taught them a valuable lesson. Well, here [is one] more I'd like to hammer home....don't spend like Rihanna if you're just a little boy called Ryan from Corrie."

Further on, Hopkins branded Kerry Katona "the queen of credit disasters" and said that Joe Swash "clearly skipped maths as a kid". Both stars were declared bankrupt for a second time earlier this year.

Hopkins has become notorious for her extreme views since ranting about 'lower class' children's names on This Morning in July. She returned to the show in September to argue that it is right for working mothers to miss their children's birthdays and made another appearance last week where she blamed parents for childhood obesity.

So a withdrawn little soul then.

018.JPGMichael Le Vell has reportedly suffered death threats and a vicious vandalism campaign. The actor, had his car windscreen smashed - and told friends he is petrified by the campaign of abuse which started shortly after he was cleared on child-sex charges earlier this year.

Michael has been bombarded with hate messages via his Facebook and Twitter account, and he is reportedly concerned that people have been following him near his home.

Police have visited the actor at his house in Cheshire and are now investigating the claims. They are due to return to carry out a forensic check of the vandalised car.

A friend close to the actor said:

"Michael is scared for his life at the moment. What started with some hate-mail over the Internet has now turned into something far more sinister.

"And when his car was smashed up he realised he had to go to police and report it. The idea someone could turn up to the place where he lives and cause damage like that has left him disturbed.

"After everything Michael has been through in the past few weeks this is the last thing he needs."

Friends and family are said to be supporting rallying round the actor who is due to return to Coronation Street in February. He has recently been told that he will not be appearing in ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' because the self-confessed alcoholic has failed to convince producers he can go a month without drinking.

"Michael had been focusing on flying off to do I'm A Celeb," a friend said.

"But now that has fallen through he has nothing else to do but hang around in the pub waiting for the day he can go back on Corrie.

"He just desperately needs to get back to work. But all the story lines for the show are set in stone until the New Year and he won't even be seeing a script for weeks."

A spokesman for Greater Manchester police said last night: "We were called to a report of damage to a motor vehicle in the Hale area of Manchester at 5pm yesterday. Enquiries are on-going."

It's been a very hard year for Corrie and many of its actors. Let's hope the next few months see a change in fortune for all concerned.

381.jpgWho could forget Roy and Hayley's emotional trip to Blackpool in last week's Corrie? Well if you do, you can always take a trip to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester to see a miniature recreation - all in Lego, of course.

The scenes feature a 10ft recreation of the Blackpool tower - made from 20,000 LEGO bricks - and show the couple walking on the seafront in painstaking tiny detail.

This is not the first time the LEGOLAND centre has taken inspiration from the ITV soap - they've previously made their own version of the 2010 Corrie tram crash, as well as this year's tragic fire at the Rovers Return featuring a dastardly Karl and a melted Sunita.

Well we made the last bit up but the rest is true.

150.jpgAndrew Lancel is making his comeback after being cleared of sexual abuse charges earlier this year, reprising a stage role he'd secured before his arrest - as legendary Beatles producer Brian Epstein.

Audiences watching 'Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles' on its six-week run next summer will see Andrew, as Epstein, be taunted by a boy for being Jewish and gay. The impresario's homosexuality was an open secret among friends, but was not widely-known as gay activity was still a criminal offence until the year of his death in 1967.

This week the actor declined to talk about the exhausting court battle to clear his name but confirmed he was looking forward to reprising his role as the Beatles' manager and entrepreneur.

He said: "We only did 21 shows but there were 21 standing ovations and people are still asking about it and talking about it.

"I knew it was destined to have a life both inside and outside the city and I'm really made up for the whole team that it's going to the West End.

"Brian is back in people's psyche. He's having a renaissance and part of that has been helped by this play.

"And it's a gem of a part."

Brian Epstein was a household name, but his controversial personal life remained very much just that: private. He died of an overdose at just 32.

cilla black.jpgSHE may have just celebrated 50 years in showbusiness, but she still hadn't appeared on the Weatherfield cobbles - until now that is. Thanks to one of her best friends, Paul O'Grady, Cilla Black has finally got that special chance to say a few lines in the Rovers Return.

The TV presenter arranged for the showbiz stalwart to film a scene in the famous pub as part of her special ITV show 'The One and Only Cilla Black.'

Cilla's storyline sees her in the Rovers with Rita and Norris, but neither of them realise who she is.

"I play myself and I walk in the pub and no-one realises it's me!" Cilla said of her cameo.

Her appearance in the soap comes after years of being approached by Corrie bosses who were desperate for her to appear on the show, but Cilla was always forced to turn it down due to her long working hours.

"They have asked me to join the show. It's not their first approach - they have asked me several times," Cilla said back in 2010. "I love Corrie, but I keep saying no. I couldn't cope with all the hours they do, they work them like dogs. It's really hard work.

"It would be nice to do a cameo, but even Ian McKellen worked long hours when he did it for a while. If the role was right, I would do a one-off thing."

Let's hope she doesn't get in a scrap with newly-returned Liz McDonald - locals could have a marmalade sandwich on their hands.

030.jpgIt's been a bad year for Corrie actor Chris Fountain, but his Corrie character will finally be given an off-screen exit in the episode scheduled for next Wednesday.

In the show, Tommy will pack his bags and leave in a hurry after finding out that girlfriend Tina McIntyre has moved a homeless David Platt into their flat.

His speedy exit comes after the actor was sacked in August after being exposed as a masked rapper who posted inflammatory videos online.

The former Hollyoaks star issued a statement afterwards saying he was "deeply ashamed by the lyrics" and was said to have apologised privately to ITV executives - but he was still publicly sacked.

The actor has continued to appear on Coronation Street in scenes he filmed prior to his dismissal, with next Wednesday's episodes being the first time that his sudden exit has been addressed.

Screen girlfriend Tina will be seen taking pity on David after mum Gail Platt kicks him out after his evil plotting is revealed.

But when Tina arrives home after inviting David to stay, he breaks the news, saying:
"It's Tommy. He proper kicked off when he found me here. He went mental, saying how he always comes last with you and how you think you can do what you want."

David goes on to add that Tommy packed a bag, called a cab and left for the airport.

We don't think there's any chance of a return somehow.

136.jpgCorrie favourite Ryan Thomas has reportedly been declared bankrupt.

The actor, who has played builder Jason Grimshaw in the soap for the past 13 years, was declared bankrupt last week after a petition by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill, reports the Daily Mail.

It is thought the bankruptcy was confirmed on October 4 in the High Court Of Justice.

The actor signed a new one-year contract with the soap earlier this year, which will at least guarantee his £90,000 a year role until at least next summer.

Is it just us, or has it been a bad year for Corrie actors this year?

005.jpgWe're loathe to report on the private lives of Corrie stars, but we're very sorry to announce that Kym and Jamie Lomas have decided to part. It's being reported that Kym had an affair with co-star Oliver Mellor, the little-seen Street doctor.

A source close to Jamie allegedly told the Sunday People: "Kym has been having an affair since February and kept it a secret. Jamie found out a few days ago and is absolutely ­devastated. It was a bolt out of the blue.

"He doesn't think there is any opportunity for them to get back together. He's told her it's over."

The affair is reported to have begun during a cast night out on Valentine's Day.

As news of the separation spread, Kym has pulled out of a charity bash "due to unforeseen circumstances". The former Hear'Say star was expected to sing alongside her daughter Emily, 15, at a ball in Merseyside.

While the tabloids splash this all over, we'd just like to say that we appreciate that life is rarely perfect and often turns out how you least expect it; we're sure it can't be easy having the details of your life laid bare. Let's hope it can be settled amicably and with least disruption to the children.

055.jpgMichelle Keegan has spoken about her urge to go travelling after she leaves Corrie.

The actress, who has confirmed she'll be leaving the cobbles next year, says she hopes to land other roles within the TV industry, but not before she's cured her itchy feet.

Speaking to the Daily Star's TV Extra, she said:

"Post- Corrie and work-wise, I want to try other acting roles.

"I may also do some travelling as well if I get the time and the opportunity."

Meanwhile, Michelle has also revealed how she keeps the figures which won her Sexiest Female at the Soap Awards again this year.

"I work out whenever I have the time, which can be around three times a week," she added.

"I enjoy eating a balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruit. I don't eat a lot of bread or potatoes but I enjoy the odd pudding and cocktail on a night out. Everything in moderation!"

Announcing her Corrie depature, Michelle previously said: "I have had the most amazing six years at Coronation Street and it was such a difficult decision to leave.

"But I felt it was the right time for me to make the next step in my career."

Barlow.jpgIt's recently been revealed that Gary Barlow has "spent thousands" to advertise his new solo album on the show.

Viewers will see Gary's face on a bus shelter outside of Audrey's hair salon in an attempt to help promote his first solo album in fourteen years.

The ex-Take That star's previous solo album only managed to reach number 34 in the UK album chart but it looks as though Gary is determined to receive maximum exposure this time around - and where better than on a show watched by millions?

However it doesn't look as though the clever ploy will have burnt a hole in his pocket seeing as the singer doesn't actually pay for his advertising.

Jack Shepard recently posted a photo of the ad on his Twitter page, captioning it: "spot the ad", and sparked a reaction from Corrie fans. One user tweeted that the new ad was an indication that "you've made it", with the actor then responding: "Or paid 'em enough money," before deleting the comment.

While the move might seem like a bit of a bizarre one, sources are claiming that Gary's move will certainly pay off.

"I think we are going to see a lot more product placement in our favourite shows,"

advertising expert Neil Currie told The Sun. "Gary's team have been very savvy. I would imagine he paid a high five-figure sum for the premium spot.

"Around eight million people will see it a few times a week," he added.

Looks like we'll be having a Barlow overdose for the next few months then.

317.jpegCorrie actors have turned out in force for a memorial dinner for Corrie legend Bill Tarmey.

Liz Dawn - who appeared to be on good form a week after revealing the heart attack which nearly killed her - raised a glass to her on-screen husband at the dinner, which raised £13,000 for charity Brain Tumour Research.

Liz, who has emphysema, fell seriously ill a fortnight ago.

But she said she was "determined" to be at the tribute to her pal who died last year.

Liz joined fellow stars Nigel Pivaro, Alan Halsall, Lucy-Jo Hudson and Samia Ghadie at Friday's bash in Manchester.

Bill's widow Ally said: "It's been a very emotional evening.

"Nearly a year has gone since Bill passed away. The love and support shown by everybody had got me through.

"The only person not here is Bill. He'd be gobsmacked by all this. He'd say 'what's the fuss all about?'"

011.jpgBeverley Callard has admitted that her family are worried her return to Corrie could prove to be too much for her as she is still taking medication for clinical depression.
The star - who returns to the Street later this year - has said her husband fears she could need electroconvulsive therapy if she collapses again.

Beverley spoke to the Radio Times, saying:

"I have been very poorly and Jon was worried I hadn't given myself enough time to be me. So I'm trying to be more sensible this time although I find it hard.

"I'm a perfectionist. I worry over stupid things. The other day I was fretting because, during a lunchtime scene in the Rovers, there was no ketchup on the tables. So, I do sometimes take it to extremes.

"I'm climbing back again but I do still take medication."

Beverley left Corrie back in 2011 after her real-life mother became unwell as well as admitting she found the filming schedules gruelling.

She told The Mirror at the time:

"Corrie schedules are full-on. It's all or nothing and I had to face a choice between The Street or Mum. I love everything about Corrie but there could only be one answer."

Corrie spoilers are already linking Liz McDonald to a new character played by Jimi Mistry, who will be on screens later this year.

cat.jpgCorrie has a new feline star, and they're calling her....Corrie. Perhaps not the most imaginative of monikers, but accurate nonetheless.

The cat seems to have made the set its new home and is being pampered by the team who are feeding the cat titbits and milk.

A source said: "This little thing appeared from nowhere a fortnight ago and has been here ever since. It seems to like the place. It's there first thing in the morning when people arrive. It may belong to someone or it may be a stray but it's being spoiled rotten by the crew."

It is understood that one of the make-up artists hopes to adopt the stray, so it's looking unlikely that she'll be included in the roll call of animals who have graced the cobbles over the years. How many can you think of?

(we'll post a list tomorrow)

038.jpgIt's been a bad few months for ex-Corrie star Chris Fountain, but we can now reveal that the actor is contemplating a change of career.

Shortly after his very public axing, Chris tweeted:

"6 years in Hollyoaks playing Justin Burton & 2 years on Corrie playing Tommy. Now seeing where life takes me. Oh and I DJ. Positivity breeds positivity.''

He is now back in the UK after a spell in the US. Last month Chris was unmasked as 'The Phantom', an online video showing his alter-ego rapping about women, rape and violence. After he was exposed Fountain made a public apology, insisting the videos were old and did not reflect his own views.

Kate Swift, founder of This Tangled Web, a support group for rape survivors, said:

"What he probably doesn't realise is that he is in a position of power and that there will be people who look up to him and are influenced by him.

"I hope he thinks twice before doing anything like this again in his new job."

118.jpgFormer Corrie star Natalie Gumede has said that leaving the soap allowed her to feel like herself again.

The actress made her dancing debut in Strictly Come Dancing on Friday, and spoke to The Sun about how leaving the Street has changed her life. She said:

'As soon as I left, it was a relief to feel like me again. It was a privilege to be in Corrie and to be trusted with such a challenging storyline but it left me completely physically exhausted.

"The problem with playing all of those violent scenes was that my body didn't know why I was shouting and crying - it didn't know it was fake.

"My mind could switch off from what I had been doing but the exhaustion my body felt was as intense as if I had gone through a real trauma.

"I'd come off set shaking and at times I did break down and cry out of the sheer exhaustion, effort and frustration and everything else I was feeling."

Natalie also revealed that fame sometimes meant she avoided leaving the house.

"Being a face on TV was a massive change. It is quite natural that people respond to you but it's not a natural feeling to be the person getting the response.

"I still find it really odd and it makes me very self-conscious. I used to get anxious before going out because I'd be asked for ten photos in an hour if I went to Boots. You get good at online shopping because you can't just go out and browse the shops if you fancy a new pair of shoes.

"It's bizarre but you don't live a normal life any more. And it is not something I ever want to get used to, because it's much healthier to be anonymous.

"But as soon as I left Corrie and came back to London, I stepped out of the bubble and it almost stopped overnight."

We don't think Strictly is going to lessen her profile somehow.

scott maslen.jpgEASTENDERS star Scott Maslen has spoken out about penny-pinching BBC bosses ruining the soap.

The actor, who filmed his final scenes as Jack Branning earlier this month, said the 'Enders cast has been hammered by cuts.

"There's a bigger picture with all of the cuts at the BBC"

The actor said.

"They made big cuts about three years ago and that affected the whole community working on EastEnders.

"They obviously had to cut the number of actors and it has slowly affected the overall running of the show."

He went on to compare the two soaps, saying:

"EastEnders has definitely dipped.

"Corrie has been getting the attention - and rightly so. They're doing really, really well. They've had great stories and are keeping it true to what it should be.

"I think EastEnders lost that a little bit but that's the way it goes sometimes."

018.JPGMICHAEL Le Vell has been spotted back on the Corrie set for the first time since he was acquitted of sexual offences against a minor, it's being reported today.

He was pictured receiving warm welcomes from co-stars, including on-screen wife Sally Webster, played by Sally Dynevor.

The actor has been away from the set and off screens since last February having been suspended from the show when he was charged with five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

A source told The Sun that everyone was more than pleased to see him back on set, saying:

"Everyone looked delighted to see him - a few gave him a kiss and cuddles. It looks like they can't wait for his return."

And as we reported earlier in the week, although a Corrie representative confirmed that they WILL be bringing Kevin back on screen, ITV bosses dismissed rumours that it will be in time for Christmas.

It's also been rumoured that Michael will be appearing on Piers Morgan's Life Stories later this year - that'll be one worth watching.

Ryan Connor.jpgDownton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has revealed he has a 'guilty pleasure' in binge-watching Corrie.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Julian confessed to getting his wife to record every episode of the soap while he's in America so that he doesn't miss a single moment's action on the cobbles.

He said: "My main guilty pleasure is a soap opera called Coronation Street, which I never miss and I tape it when I am away. So I will go back to hour upon hour of Coronation Street, which drives my wife mad.

"I actually quite like the binge viewing thing."

This potentially bodes well for Sole Heras, who is currently filming his final Corrie scenes but has spoken about his hopes of winning a Downton role in the future. Speaking to Now magazine, the actor said:

"I'd love to do some dramas - something like Downton Abbey would be great. That's my dream, but a lot of people leave soaps and go straight to Hollywood. I'm trying to be more realistic.

"I have to take the right steps to build a foundation for one day possibly doing movies."

We're sure there's room for one more in the Downton servant's quarters.

004.jpgCoronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn has said the iconic soap must stay true to its working-class roots.

Stuart told TV Times he wants to ensure the show never forgets its initial goal - to portray working class-life in northern England.

Asked how he plans to progress Corrie, he replied:

"By going backwards and taking inspiration from the very first episode of Coronation Street.

"That was an attempt to dramatise what life was like for working-class people in northern England, and that shouldn't change.

"Yes, it's the 21st century and things are different now, but I want to take Corrie back to being about the loves and lives and experiences of working-class Britain.

"It's not that we've ever drifted away from that, but I try to remind myself about it every day."

Stuart went on to say he didn't want the soap to ever become a sitcom: "I'm against 'comedy characters,' because comedy should be part of the drama. Coronation Street isn't a sitcom, it's a drama."

Most of the drama seems to have been behind the camera this year. Maybe he could take some inspiration from that.

julie goodyear.jpgDespite four marriages, a teenage pregnancy, and claims of bisexual relationships, former Corrie legend Julie Goodyear has told Piers Morgan she is 'no good' at sex.

The 71-year-old star said during her Real Lives interview that she struggles with intimacy so much that she was only ever given one bed scene playing the legendary barmaid - because she would collapse into fits of nervous laughter.

The actress also commented that current husband Scott Brand, a former builder, was 'the best of a bad bunch' when discussing her previous marriages.

Asked about her sexuality, the chat show host said:

'You've had relationships with men and women.'

Miss Goodyear replied:

'A relationship can be a friendship. A soul mate, whatever. You don't have to have sex all the time.

'There are many gay people, who work in the industry we work in. Have you no gay friends? What's it like having sex with them?'

When Morgan responded that he didn't, Miss Goodyear continued:

'Neither do I. Let me tell you, there was a time when I thought it might be worth a try. No good at it. Because I can't stop laughing.'

When Morgan fired back:

'Are we talking men or women?' she responded:

'Anybody. Which is why they only ever gave me one bed scene in Coronation Street. Because it makes me laugh.'

The actress wed first husband Ray Sutcliffe in 1960. They had a son when she was 17, but the marriage ended three years later when Ray walked out.

In 1973 she married secretary Tony Rudman, but the couple had been married for only a few hours when he ran off with the best man.

The heartbreak left her so distraught she spent a month in a mental health clinic.

She was then married to airline executive Richard Skrob between 1985 and 1987 before tying the knot with Brand in 2007, having met in 1996 when he delivered plaster to a house she was renovating.

Revealing that Mr Brand proposed to her every day for 11 years before she accepted him, she said:

'I might renew his contract. He's been the best of a bad bunch, he really has.'

Asked if she was happily married, she responded: 'Very.'

Julie first joined Corrie in 1966, but left to join a theatre company. She returned in 1970, becoming one of the most popular characters to ever grace the cobbles - and indeed the bar of the Rovers.

She left the Street in 1995, when some 22 million viewers tuned in to watch her tottering off the cobbles. A brief -17 day - return in 2002 left her struggling to cope with the 'gruelling' schedule of Corrie, and the actress declared she would never return to the Street again.

018.JPGIt is being reported that Michael Le Vell will return to the Street in 2014, not in a spectacular Christmas storyline as previously hoped.

It is currently being anticipated that the actor, recently cleared of a string of sex charges, will not appear back on the cobbles until around February.

There are some concerns over Michael's boozy lifestyle, with the self-confessed alcoholic having supped up to 12 pints a night for 30 years. He is currently being offered counselling to curb his drinking though he has resumed his habit since the trial two weeks ago, according to other regulars in his local.

One recently tweeted from the Railway Inn in Hale, Gtr Manchester: "In pub in Hale stood next to Michael Le Vell #randomnamedrop."

Another local said "a pint of lager never left his hand" as the actor and girlfriend Blanca Fouche the night laughing with people in the pub's smoking area.

A source at Corrie has reportedly said:

"Christmas storylines are written. We work months in advance and are mapped out until February. Kevin Webster will not be returning before then"

"The scriptwriters will decide when and how best to re-introduce Kevin."

Corrie bosses have insisted Michael's delayed return was entirely due to storylines rather than his drinking, though they have refused to comment on whether they would offer counselling to Michael, who has twice sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Le Vell is also in the centre of a bidding war between rival TV programmes to tell his story.

This Morning and Daybreak tabled bids for the actor along with Channel 4, but sources say Piers Morgan is set to sign him up for his Life Stories show.

Morgan's previous interviewees have included ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Street legend Julie Goodyear.

An ITV source said:

"Nobody can begin to imagine the year of hell Mike has had. He can now shout from the roof tops that he is an innocent man. ITV are keen to make sure that's done on their channel.

"He is being offered well into six figures to tell his story and we're pretty sure it's a done deal.

"It's a huge coup for the show and they know it's going to be a big ratings winner."

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