Reports have emerged today suggesting that actor Chris Gascoyne is to leave Coronation Street in late 2014.
The 45-year-old, who has played alcoholic Peter Barlow for the past 13 years, is said to want to spend more time with his family and to embark on fresh acting ventures.
Gascoyne has recently extended his current deal on the ITV soap to October 2014, with a high-profile storyline set to unfold for Peter in the coming months as the character begins an illicit affair with Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan).
But it seems that his future beyond that date remains in doubt: “Chris has had a great run on Corrie but is knackered from the demands the long hours have put on him and his family,” a source told The Sun. “He wants some time away from the show to spend with his family and to try other roles. He has talked about taking at least two years away from the show.”
However, it appears that Peter – who during his time on the cobbles has been involved in a bigamous marriage as well as periodic battles with the booze – will not be killed off by the show’s scriptwriters: “Chris has told bosses he is keen to come back in the future and they are leaving the door open for him.
A spokesperson for Corrie responded to the claims with the statement: “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.”
Gascoyne is not the only actor to be departing in 2014: Michelle Collins and Sue Johnston are both exiting in the spring of next year, while rumours have suggested that Tina (Michelle Keegan) will come to a sticky end after being killed off in a whodunit plotline.