Katherine Kelly quits Coronation Street

Katherine Kelly has quit 'Coronation Street' after five years of playing bolshie blonde Becky McDonald in the ITV1 soap

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Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly

Katherine Kelly

Katherine Kelly has quit 'Coronation Street'.

The 31-year-old actress - who has played bolshie barmaid Becky McDonald in the ITV1 show for the past five years - has admitted making the decision to leave the soap has been "one of the hardest" of her life.

She said: "It's been one of the hardest decisions of my life. I love 'Coronation Street' and everyone here. I have had the most blissful five years, I wouldn't change one moment of it - but it feels like the time is right to say goodbye to Becky."

However, Katherine has been told by 'Corrie' bosses her alter-ego will not be killed out of the show and the "door will be left open" in case she decides to return in the future.

She told Hello! Magazine: "I've been told the door will be left open. It's never been about money and, my goodness, how could you get bigger stories than those Becky has had. The fact that I have stayed so long is a testimony to the writers and producers - they made it utterly irresistible.

"But there are lots of people in my life I just don't get the chance to see as much as I would like. The down side has been missing special events in my family and friends' lives."

Katherine will bow out of the soap in a series of explosive storylines after she is investigated by social services about buying her wicked sister Kylie Turner's (Paula Lane) adorable son Max, which she blames on scheming temptress Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) - the ex of her hapless husband Steve (Simon Gregson).

An ITV spokesperson said: "Viewers will see Becky go into meltdown when social services start investigating her 'purchase' of her sister's son Max.

"Believing Tracy Barlow has reported her to the authorities, Becky goes on the rampage - putting Tracy's life in jeopardy and risking the future of her marriage to Steve McDonald."

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