08:28 03 August 2010
Coronation Street veteran Vicky Entwistle is quitting the ITV soap.
For 14 years, Entwistle portrayed loudmouth factory worker Janice Battersby.
Soap bosses claim that the star "agonised" over her decision, before deciding that the upcoming 50th anniversary of the soap would be a fitting coda. She joins a string of stars leaving the show around the same time, including legendary character Jack Duckworth.
Entwistle said: "Corrie means so much to me and I could easily have continued to play Janice for the rest of my acting career. But I've been thinking of leaving for some time, and couldn't deny those feelings. I've a hankering to do other drama projects and so if I don't make this move now I never will."
The actress, whose husband Andrew Chapman at one point held a job in the props department, added: "The programme has given me my husband Andy, as we met and got together when he worked on the show, and I've had a fantastic time playing an extremely feisty character.
"I'll miss the great friends I've made during my time in Coronation Street, but I know we'll stay in touch and I'm grateful to be part of the show's 50th anniversary as it's a huge landmark in British television."
Meanwhile, producer Phil Collinson said: "When she first appeared on screen in 1996, Janice Battersby caused a stir and has continued to do so ever since.
"Vicky created a strong and uncompromising battleaxe with a heart of gold lurking underneath - in the true tradition of great Coronation Street women. She'll be missed by us all and we wish her well."
A Coronation Street spokeswoman, however, would not reveal details over the character's exit and whether or not it will leave room for her to come back to the show if she changes her mind.
The 50th anniversary plotline will see some characters killed off when a tram crashes on to the cobbles and causes carnage.
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