Michelle Keegan is to leave Coronation Street in 2014 after six years playing Tina McIntyre.
The actress will be on screen for the next 12 months, with work now beginning on devising an exit for her character. Speaking today, Keegan 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.
“I will miss Tina and will always be grateful to ITV and Coronation Street for giving me such an amazing role to play for my first ever acting job. Most of all I will miss the amazing people who work on the show, my acting colleagues, cast, crew, producers and writing team. I have met people who I know will be friends for life. I am very excited about what the coming months hold for Tina and what the future has in store for me.”
Producer Stuart Blackburn added: ’’There is more than a year of drama to come for Tina McIntyre before we bid farewell to Michelle and plans are already being made for what will be a powerful and gripping story. We will be sorry to see Michelle go but wish her every success for the future.”
Since her arrival in 2008, Tina has been at the centre of many high-profile storylines such as the death of her father Joe and the current surrogacy saga involving Gary and Izzy, as well as having ill-fated relationships with David Platt, Graeme Proctor, Jason Grimshaw, Dr Carter and Tommy Duckworth.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com earlier in the year, the actress admitted that she would like to try her hand at period drama, 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.”