Coronation Street has confirmed Lucy Fallon will leave the cast in 2020 after five years in the role of Bethany Platt.
The actress has played the daughter of Sarah Platt (Tina O’Brien) since 2015, replacing Katie Redford who was cast then swiftly dropped before she’d filmed a single scene when it emerged she had lied to show bosses about her age and was more than a decade older than the character.
Bethany’s hard-hitting abuse storyline, in which the vulnerable teenager was groomed by sinister older boyfriend Nathan Curtis and forced into a sexual exploitation ring, drew praise for Fallon’s performance and won her the National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance and British Soap Awards for Best Actress and Best Female Dramatic Performance in 2018.
Speaking about her exit, the star said: “I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave at the end of my contract in 2020. It’s hard to put into words how much this show means to me. I’ve made lifelong friends with some of the most talented and hardworking people in the industry, I’ve had some terrific and immensely important storylines and I’ve laughed with the best people every day. I’m so thankful to (producer) Iain MacLeod and everyone at Coronation Street, I owe everything to them and I will miss them greatly.”
She also took to social media to quash rumours she had quit over a clash with colleagues.
Just to clarify, my decision to leave was made in August last year and has nothing to do with ANYONE at Coronation Street. I didn’t make it lightly and I am going to miss every single person there. Excited for my final year at the best place! Woo?✨
Corrie producer Iain MacLeod said: “Lucy advised us at the start of this year she would like to leave at the end of her contract to pursue other projects. She is an amazing performer and has been at the centre of some huge stories. I have no doubt that her stellar career will continue beyond the cobbles and would like to wish her all the best in whatever she does next – starting with the brilliant final chapter of Bethany’s story!”
Before she leaves, Bethany will become embroiled with newcomer James Bailey’s (Nathan Graham) storyline about homophobia in sport, as the handsome football prodigy befriends the blonde when he moves to the street with the rest of his family in June and confides in her he is secretly gay.
Fallon is the latest in a string of Corrie departures set to shake up Weatherfield throughout 2019 – with so many stars on the way out, here’s a reminder of the other big exits to watch out for.
Faye Brookes (Kate Connor)
Kana fans were dealt a devastating double blow when Brookes confirmed she was leaving in the autumn after four years, with her character Kate Connor’s exit following the tragic death of on-screen fiancée Rana Habeeb (Bhavna Limbachia) who’s demise in the Underworld roof collapse disaster brought an end to the popular pairing. Corrie says the door will be left open, assuring us Kate won’t be meeting the same fate as her girlfriend…
Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker)
Brave Sinead’s cancer battle and the premature birth of baby son Bertie with Daniel Osbourne has provided McGlynn with a showcase for her dramatic talents, but show bosses remain tight-lipped at recent reports she is being written out sparking fan fears the character may succumb to her condition and killed off. “Katie is fully committed to playing out the extremely important storyline she is currently portraying on screen,” a spokesperson recently said in response to tabloid claims. “This story still has a long way to go. Any speculation threatens to undermine the storyline for viewers.” MacLeod admitted earlier this year a decision was yet to be made about the character’s ultimate fate as the cancer plot continues. Sinead first appeared in 2013.
Tristan Gemmill (Robert Preston)
Introduced in 2015 as the recast ex-husband of Tracy Barlow, Gemmill’s time as the brooding bistro chef has seen him bed Carla Connor, become addicted to gambling and steroids before settling into a relationship with Michelle Connor, who’s wedding last year turned into a siege when villainous Pat Phelan shot the bride-to-be. The former Casualty star confirmed he was waving goodbye to Weatherfield on twitter last week.
Folks, I just wanted to let you know that the time has come for me to hang up the chef’s gear and head for pastures new. There is still a lot of drama & shenanigans to come for Robert but I will be leaving @itvcorrie later in the year.
With Robert suspected as the factory roof saboteur who caused the collapse, does his looming departure confirm his guilt?
Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor)
Robert’s fiancée ‘Chelle is also departing in the upcoming months, albeit temporarily. Marsh, and Corrie chiefs, have been at pains to point out this is an ‘extended break’ for the star, who joined in 2006 and had an entire family built around her. Michelle will be on screen until the latter half of this year. “It’s been an incredibly difficult decision,” says Marsh, “but it feels like the right time for me to explore some other roles. But this isn’t the last you’ve heard of Michelle Connor – she’ll be back! I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for the future.”
Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster)
Vincent’s real-life pregnancy means Kev and Sal’s sassy daughter will either have to be written out temporarily to accommodate her maternity leave, or Sophie is going to be hiding behind oversize bags or behind shop counters/the Rovers bar for nine months. The actress is expecting her first child with Sheffield United footballer Kean Bryan this spring.
Jimmi Harkishin (Dev Alahan)
Taking a shorter break from the show is Harkishin, aka quirky shop keeper Dev, who has been granted a two-month absence as he marks two decades on the cobbles on 2019. The actor is taking advantage of the long holiday and is currently off on his travels. “Corrie bosses have very kindly let me have time off for two months to celebrate my 20th year, which I am very grateful for, so I am going to visit China and Japan.”