Melanie Hill, star of Coronation Street, has confirmed that she has left the soap as Cathy Matthews after seven years.
The actress, who joined the cobbles back in 2015, revealed that she made an "extremely emotional" decision to resign to focus on her family after being taken aback by the COVID-19 epidemic and filmed her final scenes over two weeks ago.
"It''s not easy to decide," she told The Mirror. "My family has been vital, but the epidemic has made a lot of people think about the future. It has changed a lot of things in my head. You''ve just got to see what''s important to you.
"I absolutely love everybody, but it has made me think about my family a lot and what I need to do in my life."
Melanie added that the soap has "been absolutely fantastic" about her departure, confirming that the door for a return is open.
"I will''t say where Cathy goes, but I''m a stone''s throw away from Weatherfield," she said. "My nephew Alex, played by Liam Bairstow, is there and Peter Gunn, who plays Brian Packham, so the door is open for me to come back, and that''s a great compliment.
"I''m humble and grateful," said the author. There''s no word on what''s around the corner, so let''s see what happens.
"Cathy has been a fantastic Corrie character," says the head of ITV in the north. Qu''illustrious, whether it''s leaving us in a line of laughter or breaking our hearts as, once again, Brian fails to meet her romantic expectations.
"We''re sorry Melanie is taking time away, she is such a talented actress that she can deliver sadness and laughter, drama and comedy often in the same scene. We''ll all miss her extremely much."
Melanie spoke out about her last episodes of being a part of Peter and I, as well as my nephew Alex. It''s quite emotional. The story demonstrates middle-aged individuals who truly care about each other, but it''s not quite working out. I think it''s really realistic.
According to The Mirror, Cathy''s final scenes will air next month, and she will see her leave after her relationship with Brian Packham appears to run its course.
Digital Spy has reached out to the soap for further information.
The actress reveals that she is intending to "do jobs now that [she] will] be able to work with [her] family."
On ITV, Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and streams on the ITV Hub.
On our dedicated website, you can find more Coronation Street spoilers.