Helen Worth is departing Coronation Street after 50 years

Helen Worth has announced she is leaving Coronation Street after 50 years on the ITV soap credit:Bang Showbiz
Helen Worth has announced she is leaving Coronation Street after 50 years on the ITV soap credit:Bang Showbiz

Helen Worth is quitting ‘Coronation Street’ after 50 years on the soap.

The 73-year-old actress has played Weatherfield stalwart Gail Rodwell since 1974 and she celebrates her golden anniversary next month, but she has made the difficult decision to step away from the ITV show at the end of the year.

Half a century after she first walked onto the cobbles, viewers will see Helen bid farewell to the street in a major storyline for the her family, which includes son Nick Tilsley (Ben Price), daughter Sarah Platt (Tina O'Brien), son David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd), granddaughter Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) and Gail’s mother Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls).

Making her announcement, she said: “This year felt like the perfect time to leave the show after celebrating 50 years in the most wonderful job on the most wonderful street in the world. I made the decision at the start of the year and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.

“I have been truly blessed to have been given the most incredible scripts week in week out, and to have worked with fantastic actors, directors and a brilliant crew.

“The past 50 years have flown by and I don't think the fact that I am leaving has quite sunk in yet.”

Helen will start filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year.

Paying tribute to Helen’s five decades on ‘Corrie’, Executive Producer Iain Macleod said: “The words ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ get used a lot these days but they genuinely do apply to Gail and to Helen Worth. However, given her humility, I know Helen won’t thank me for saying so! In Helen’s hands, Gail has been a huge part of ‘Coronation Street’ for five decades and at the centre of some of the most memorable storylines - often deriving from her catastrophically bad luck in choosing husbands!

“Her ill-fated marriage to Richard Hillman was one of the most ground-breaking stories in soap history and cemented Gail’s already established status as one of the ‘Corrie’ greats. As the matriarch of the Platt clan, her affectionately prickly relationships with her kids and flighty mum Audrey epitomise what makes the show great: complicated family dynamics brought to life impeccably by Helen’s dramatic and comedic chops, alongside those of her fictional clan.

“Gail has given us countless hours of entertainment but it should also be said that Helen herself is a consummate professional and a thoroughly good egg. Everyone connected to the show will miss having her around the place just as much as the viewers will miss having her on their screens and we wish her all the very best for the future.”