Craig Gazey leaving Corrie
Coronation Street's Craig Gazey - who plays Graeme Proctor - has announced he is leaving the ITV1 soap in May
Craig Gazey is leaving 'Coronation Street'.
The 28-year-old actor - who has played eccentric former jailbird Graeme Proctor since April 2008 - has announced he will be bowing out of his current role in May, with his last scenes due to be aired in July.
While Craig admitted he never expected to enjoy playing a major part in the ITV1 soap as much as he has, he misses working in live theatre.
He said: "When I first joined the cast I had no idea just how much I would enjoy being part of such an amazing team. But I became an actor for the diversity of work and the opportunity to play different roles, I also really miss working in theatre.
"I feel this is the right time for me to leave after two and a half fantastic years playing a unique and brilliantly written character. I don't know what the future holds but I hope I will be given the opportunity to show my versatility as an actor and work on different projects."
Craig's 'Corrie' alter-ego first appeared on the cobbles after spending time with David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) in a young offenders' institution and recently struck up a romance with Weatherfield bombshell Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan).
However, the soap's producer Phil Collinson hopes the popular character will return to 'Coronation Street' at some point in the future.
He explained to the show's official website: "Craig very quickly created a brilliant and memorable character and we are very sad to see him go. But we wish him well and all hope this isn't the last we see of Graeme."