Coronation Street producer's 'easy decision' killing Hayley Cropper

Julie Hesmondhalgh

'Coronation Street' producer Stuart Blackburn insists it was the "easiest decision" he ever made to kill off popular character Hayley Cropper after actress Julie Hesmondhalgh told him she wanted to quit the show

'Coronation Street' producer Stuart Blackburn says killing Hayley Cropper was "the easiest decision" he ever made.

The ITV soap's boss admits he knew loveable factory worker Hayley, who has been diagnosed with stage-two pancreatic cancer, had to go when he failed to convince Julie Hesmondhalgh to stay on the show.

He told TV Times magazine: "I would have done anything to persuade Julie to stay, but I appreciate that her mind was made up, which made killing off Hayley the easiest decision I've made. There was no other way."

The storyline explores the right to die issue and see's Hayley - who was born as a man named Harold - decide to take her own life after being diagnosed with the terminal illness.

Stuart recently said: "Hayley has been through such a lot in her life and is very concerned about losing control as the disease progresses.

"The palliative care Hayley receives is superb but she is scared that the pain relief can cause confusion and a loss of clarity. She is concerned she could regress to being Harold. She's already had one such nightmare.

"She wants to die in peace with clarity of thought, she wants to die as Hayley, the identity she has spent her whole life fighting for."

Before she dies she tries to reach out to her son, Christian Gatley (Andrew Turner), who she has distanced herself from, but she doesn't end up telling him about her illness.