ITV has confirmed that Derek Griffiths is leaving Coronation Street.
The actor has opted to leave his role as mechanic Freddie Smith to pursue other acting opportunities including starring in a stage production of Driving Miss Daisy.
Freddie’s final scenes on the cobbles are expected to air in the near future but as yet there is no information on what they will entail.
“Derek has been a great asset to the soap and has thoroughly enjoyed the filming. He’s looking to the future and can’t wait to get stuck in with the play.” – Coronation Street source
The character was introduced to the serial in March 2016 when he formed an unlikely friendship with Kylie Platt (Paula Lane) following the death of his wife, a beauty client of Kylie’s. He later landed a job at Webster’s Autos and found a companion in Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls).
“I remember being a young boy and watching Violet Carson on Coronation Street. She was a brilliant character that people loved to hate and later when I became an actor and played the villain in panto many times those are qualities I would bring to the role. When I came for my audition one of the first things I saw was a huge photo of Violet Carson on the wall. I am very much looking forward to walking in those hallowed footsteps.” – Derek Griffiths talks joining Coronation Street in 2016
Griffiths is well known as one of the hosts of Play School and its sister series Play Away during the 60s, 70s and 80s. His acting résumé also includes West End Productions Miss Saigon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and guest spots in Doctors and Holby City.