Coronation Street’s Sue Johnston is to bow out as the gloriously ghastly Gloria Price.
Johnston, who has played Michelle Collins’s on-screen mum since 2012, will film her last scenes at Christmas and make her final appearance on the ITV soap in spring next year. It is thought that the actress, well known for her roles in such TV hits as The Royle Family and Waking the Dead, is leaving to concentrate on other TV projects.
A spokesperson for Corrie said today: “Sue will be on screen until early spring 2014 when Gloria will leave Weatherfield for the time being.”
Johnston, 69, first experienced soap success as Sheila Grant in Brookside, on which she appeared from 1982 until 1990. However, the part of Gloria Price actually marks her second stint in Weatherfield – in the summer of 1982, she played Mrs Chadwick, the wife of a bookmaker.
When asked in August 2012 about that original time on Corrie, Johnston commented: “I remember it so clearly because I was terrified. At the time, the characters were truly legendary and some of the actors were very intimidating. It really was true that if you sat in somebody else’s seat in the green room, you’d get in trouble. Thankfully, Liz Dawn [Vera Duckworth] took me under her wing and we’ve been close friends ever since. She was one of the first people I called when I knew I was going to be in the show and she was delighted.
“One of my strongest memories from 30 years ago was being in the ladies loos when Doris Speed [Annie Walker] entered. I froze. This was Doris Speed! I stood in awe as she chatted away to me ten to the dozen. She then brought her Annie Walker wig out of her bag still talking away. She popped it on, snapped into role, left the toilets and walked straight into the Rovers. I thought about that on the first day that I walked onto the Rovers set and had a chuckle to myself.”
News of Johnston’s departure follows the announcement back in April that Michelle Keegan would also be departing in spring 2014. However, former regular cast members Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald) and Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) will both be back on screen later this year.