Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper to get cancer?

Julie Hesmondhalgh

'Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper looks set to be written out of the show after losing a battle against cancer later this year, leaving fans and her on-screen husband distraught

'Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper is to get terminal cancer.

Soap bosses are considering writing the character - played by Julie Hesmondhalgh - out with a sad, highly emotional, storyline which will leave her onscreen husband, Roy Cropper (David Neilson), distraught.

According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Julie, 42, has agreed to the hard-hitting scenes, even though it means she can never return to the show.

If it is decided transsexual Hayley will lose a battle with cancer, it is sure to be one of the more teary scenes in the soap's history as she is one of the most popular characters in the show.

Julie has quit the soap after 15 years to pursue other projects, but admits it wasn't an easy choice to make.

She said: "The decision to hang up Hayley's red anorak was a tough one but doing [a] play [last year] made me realise 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."

Executive producer Kieran Roberts added: "We'll be sorry to say farewell to Hayley, and to Julie, but we're planning a screen exit worthy of one of our best-loved characters."

After Hayley's departure, due to be filmed in autumn, show bosses have promised a new beginning for Roy.

'Coronation Street' story developers are set to meet later this month to finalise the details of Hayley's exit. Part of any proposed cancer storyline will help to raise awareness and fight against the disease.