Coronation Street favourite Maureen Lipman is ready to quit the cobbles.
The respected 74-year-old actress is set to leave the hit ITV soap to take a sabbatical.
Maureen has played the outspoken character, Evelyn Plummer, since joining Corrie in August 2018.
But it has been reported that the star, who has been a TV regular for over five decades, has decided to go on a prolonged break.
And that means there will be no more popping into the Rovers Return for a quick glass of wine – or reconnecting with her former flame Arthur Medwin (Paul Copley) – in one of the show’s likeable lines.
The popular actress has previously taken time out from appearing in the show, admitting it was “a little bit unsafe” with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I continued in Coronation Street after the first initial lockdown,” revealed Maureen, speaking to the Outspoken Beauty podcast.
“I went back and I am still officially working on it except that I am taking a bit of sabbatical until I get my vaccination at the moment.
“It [the pandemic] has been a time that I can’t personally complain about except on behalf of the people who have not been as fortunate.”
It’s unknown whether Maureen, who has also starred in 17 films, will return to Weatherfield in the future.
But for now, the accomplished Yorkshire-born writer and comedian is happy to pursue an alternative path, at least while the pandemic continues to hold its grip on the country.
Production on Corrie was suspended temporarily for a fortnight because of Covid, but the award-winning soap is now back up and running.
“This pause in filming won’t affect our ability to deliver six episodes of Coronation Street each week,” a Corrie spokesperson revealed at the time.
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Before adding: “We will also be taking the opportunity to review all health and safety requirements to ensure we continue to provide a safe working environment for the cast, crew and production team.”
Last year Maureen starred alongside good pal Gyles Brandreth in Celebrity Gogglebox.
The pair were a bit hit with fans and Maureen joked: "They kindly allowed me to be engulfed by Gyles Brandreth on the Gogglebox series.
"I had no idea what that was until I got into it. I thought I was going to be a sort of pundit.
"I've always admired that genre but in actual fact it was basically looking at willies."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
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