Michelle Keegan has revealed that her Corrie character Tina McIntyre will be killed off in the new year.
Asked on tonight's Jonathan Ross Show (10.30pm, ITV) about whether the door was being left open once she quits the ITV soap, Keegan revealed: “She’s getting killed. At first she wasn’t and then they came up with a really good storyline that involves a lot of characters on the street and it’s going to be a big storyline next year. So, in a way, it’s an honour and I’m very excited for it.”
The 26-year-old announced back in April that she would be leaving Coronation Street in spring 2014, with the show's producer Stuart Blackburn also saying that plans were already being made "for what will be a powerful and gripping story".
When asked by Ross whether her exit was "going to be something bad like a murder", Keegan replied, "Yes, I think the viewers might know". But when quizzed about the possible perpetrator, the actress remained tight-lipped: "I'm not giving anything away," she said.
The character of Tina McIntyre has been at the centre of many high-profile plotlines since her debut in January 2008, the most recent being her decision to be a surroagte for Gary Windass and Izzy Armstrong's baby. One of this winter's key stories will see Tina embark on an illicit affair with Peter Barlow as he prepares to marry factory boss Carla Connor.
Back in October, reports emerged that Tina would be killed off as part of a major whodunnit, but a spokesperson for the show said at the time that "many ideas" were under discussion. Keegan's revelation on the ITV chat show is the first confirmation that Tina will now face a terminal exit.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com earlier in the year, the actress admitted that she would like to try her hand at period drama post-Corrie, confessing that she craves a role in ITV hit Downton Abbey:
"Oh my God, I’d be there! That’s my favourite. I love Downton Abbey. Big fan. I’ve always wanted to do a period drama. I’ve always been obsessed with history and it was always one of the subjects that I loved in school. When I was younger, I used to go camping so I could visit castles because I was amazed at how people used to live.
"So yes, I do love period dramas: The Tudors, that kind of thing. I’m also enjoying Mr Selfridge with Kate Kelly. I’d also like do something really gritty, like the kind of dramas Suranne Jones does. So, who knows? Maybe one day."