Pauline Quirke announces Emmerdale departure

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 16 May 2011
Pauline Quirke

Pauline Quirke

Pauline Quirke has revealed she will leave 'Emmerdale' when her contract ends later this year so that she can focus on bringing sitcom 'Birds of a Feather' to the stage

Pauline Quirke is leaving 'Emmerdale'.

The actress' reported £100,000 contract with the ITV1 soap finishes at Christmas and she has revealed she will step down from her role as Hazel Rhodes to concentrate on bringing classic sitcom 'Birds of a Feather' to the stage next year.

She told What's On TV: "They very kindly asked me to stay on until Christmas. And then next year I'm going to be doing a tour of 'Birds of a Feather' - we're going to bring 'Birds of a Feather' back to the stage!

"We thought it was about time we resurrected us three old girls, so we'll be doing a tour next spring. But I'm certainly going to be on the Woolpack steps until this Christmas."

Pauline's character Hazel is currently involved in an assisted suicide plot after her tetraplegic son Jackson Walsh - who lost the use of his limbs following a horrific road crash in the soap last year - asked her to help him end his life by administering a lethal dose of tablets in his drink.

However, despite 'Emmerdale' bosses' best efforts to deal with the harrowing plot as sensitively as possible, the storyline has been slammed by industry watchdogs for exploiting a serious topic in an attempt to "boost ratings".

Media Watch UK spokesman David Turtle said: "'Emmerdale' has been trying to push the boundaries for some time just to boost ratings. It's a soap, not a serious discussion about a serious topic."

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