Popular soap, Coronation Street, is to say goodbye to trans character, Hayley Cropper, after 15 years on the soap.
Actress, Julie Hesmondhalgh, 42, will be leaving the soap after having rediscoved a passion for theatre acting. Coronation Street bosses have promised a dramatic plot line to see the character off, reports The Sun.
She said: “I’ve had the most wonderful and happy time in the life-changing years I’ve been in Corrie and I owe so much to the show and the special team that make it happen.
“The decision to hang up Hayley’s red anorak was a tough one, but doing the play at the Royal Exchange last year made me realise that there’s life in the old dog yet and that there are other things I want to try.
“Whatever happens next I’ll always be proudest of lovely Mrs Cropper and in particular what we achieved in changing attitudes to transgender and in portraying possibly the most loving, faithful and steadfast couple in soap history! I’ll always be the show’s biggest fan.”
Ms Hesmonhalgh joined the soap opera in 1998 as Hayley Patterson, the first trans character to appear on a British serial.
A popular character, along with her now husband, Roy Cropper, played by David Neilson, are popular on the TV series.
The actress, who is married to actor and writer Ian Kershaw, had taken breaks from the soap. In 2001, she took time off to give birth to her daughter, Martha Mo, and took a year off in 2007 to spend time with her family.
The soap’s executive producer, Kieran Roberts, commented on Mrs Cropper’s upcoming departure:.
He said: “Who doesn’t love Hayley Cropper? The character’s warmth and decency, spiced with a great sense of fun and adventure, have put her at the heart of Coronation Street.
“The enduring popularity of and affection for Hayley – and of course her wonderful partnership with Roy – has so much to do with the brilliant way Julie Hesmondhalgh has brought the character to life on screen for the past fifteen years.
“We’ll be sorry to say farewell to Hayley – and to Julie – but we’re planning a screen exit worthy of a one of Coronation Street’s best-loved characters.”
On the announcement of the decision, Julie Hesmonhaigh tweeted fans, in response to messages they had sent her, saying:
“So many lovely messages! Thank you so much. Many months of fun yet before we say goodbye to our Hayles. Xxx”
Hayley Cropper will leave Coronation street at the end of 2013.