Chris Gascoigne is quitting 'Coronation Street', it's been announced.
The 45-year-old actor, who plays alcoholic Peter Barlow in the show, will exit the show next year, hoping to spend more time with his family.
“Chris has had a great run on Corrie but is knackered from the demands the long hours have put on him and his family,” a source told The Sun.
“He wants some time away from the show to spend with his family and to try other roles. He has talked about taking at least two years away from the show.
“His departure will be a big blow as Peter Barlow is a major character and one of the show's few alpha males.
“But Chris has told bosses he is keen to come back in the future and they are leaving the door open for him.”
The character of Peter Barlow, son of Ken Barlow, has been part of the show since 1965, when he was born to Ken and Valerie Barlow, Ken's first wife.
Gascoigne has played the role since 2000.
In the show Peter is currently engaged to factory boss Carla Connor (played by Alison King) but is set to have an affair with Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) before he leaves the cobbles.
McIntyre is also set to leave the show as part of a recently revealed 'whodunnit' murder plot culminating next year. [The Sun]
Also in today's press
'Downton Abbey' creator Julian Fellowes has revealed that he had to hire a security after he killed off Dan Stevens' character Matthew Crawley in the show last Christmas. “I was afraid to go out without bodyguards,” he said. “I was very interested by that. People didn’t understand that we’re not in control of that kind of stuff, if an actor wants to leave the show.” [Daily Mirror]
The final of the 'Great British Bake Off' battered the weekend's episode of 'The X Factor', it's emerged. 9.1 million people tuned in to see Frances Quinn scoop the first prize, 800,000 people more than watch the ITV talent show. [Daily Record]
'Hollyoaks' is to tackle a controversial gay rape plot, it's been confirmed. Teacher John Paul McQueen, played by James Sutton) will be attacked by 16-year-old pupil Finn O'Connor (Keith Rice) in the show. “We have an important story to tell that has not been told before. Hollyoaks is known for talking about difficult issues,” said show boss Bryan Kirkwood. Last week, the show killed off seven characters in its 18th anniversary episode. [Metro]