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'It was the right time for me to make the next step': Michelle Keegan to leave Coronation Street after six years of playing Tina
08:34 GMT, 20 April 2013
09:40 GMT, 20 April 2013
Michelle Keegan has announced she is leaving Coronation Street after six years of playing Tina McIntyre.
The brunette actress, 25, will bow out of the ITV soap in Spring 2014 to focus on other acting roles.
The soap star's big announcement comes as her character Tina is pregnant with a surrogate child for friends Gary Windass and Izzy Armstrong.
Farewell: Michelle Keegan, pictured at the TRIC Awards last month, is quitting Coronation Street
ITV confirmed in a statement on their website on Saturday that would Michelle was leaving the show after completing her contract.
The actress said: 'I have had the most amazing 6 years at
Coronation Street and it was such a difficult decision to leave. But I
felt it was the right time for me to make the next step in my career.
will miss Tina and will always be grateful to ITV and Coronation Street
for giving me such an amazing role to play for my first ever acting
job. Most of all I will miss the amazing people who work on the show, my
acting colleagues, cast, crew, producers and writing team. I have met
people who I know will be friends for life.
'I am very excited about what the coming months hold for Tina and what the future has in store for me.'
Celebrity couple: Michelle and her reality TV star boyfriend Mark Wright
Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn added: 'There is more than a year of drama to
come for Tina McIntyre before we bid farewell to Michelle and plans are
already being made for what will be a powerful and gripping story. We
will be sorry to see Michelle go but wish her every success for the
However, a friend close to the star said her burgeoning relationship with ex-The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright has nothing to do with her decision to quit.
In fact, Michelle is determined to remain in Manchester rather than move down to London.
A source told The Sun: 'This was her first proper acting job. She is really grateful for that, but feels the time’s right to do something new.'
I'm of! Michelle's departure was confirmed on the ITV website
Back in February, Michelle told of her wish to try other acting roles and admitted she would love to be in a period drama.
She said: 'I really want to do a period drama – something like The Tudors or Downton Abbey.
'I’m working on the accent at the moment!'
Michelle first appeared in Corrie in January 2008 when she clashed with future stepmother Gail McIntyre at the medical centre.
Newbie: Michelle as Tina in one of her early scenes with David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) in 2008
She soon started dating bad boy David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) and fell pregnant with his baby, but was persuaded by Gail to abort it.
She was also left heartbroken and depressed when her father Joe died in a boating accident on honeymoon after marrying Gail, later finding solace in David's best friend Graeme Proctor's (Craig Gazey) arms.
Last year, Tina found love again with Tommy Duckworth (Chris Fountain).
However, in a bid to pay off his debts, she agreed to enter into a surrogacy agreement with Gary and Izzy.
Loved up: Tina in a touching scene with current boyfriend Tommy Duckworth (Chris Fountain)