Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh to star in new Russell T Davies drama Cucumber

The actress, who played Hayley Cropper in the ITV soap, will now feature in Davies's new project for Channel 4

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Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh to star in new Russell T Davies drama Cucumber
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Former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh is to star in Cucumber, the new drama written by Russell T Davies.

The 44-year-old actress, who bowed out as Hayley Cropper on the ITV soap earlier this year, will now join Freddie Fox and Vincent Franklin for the Channel 4 series that is currently filming in Manchester.

Davies – whose previous screen credits include Doctor Who and Queer as Folk – is set to chart 21st century gay life with this latest project, which sees Hesmondhalgh play the sister of Henry (Franklin), a man whose life is altered following a calamitous date night.

The broadcaster is also making a companion series called Banana that will air on E4 and follow the same characters. Both projects are set to air in 2015.

Over 10 million viewers watched Julie Hesmondhalgh's exit from Corrie back in January when her character Hayley took her own life in the face of a diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer.

Writing in Radio Times at the time of her departure, the actress said: "As soon as I told our producer Stuart Blackburn that I was planning to leave, it became clear that Hayley would have to die.

"For her to leave Roy and one of the most steadfast and long-lasting soap relationships ever (revolutionary in itself!) would be a betrayal of everything they’d been through together; only death could part them."