Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati is leaving the ITV saga, it was announced today.

Gulati, who has played the role of Sunita Alahan for 8 years, has made the decision to leave in order to focus on other acting opportunities and comedy writing.

Bosses at the soap are apparently working on an “explosive” exit for the character when she bows out next year.

“I have loved playing Sunita but, having played the role originally from 2001 to 2005 and then returning to Corrie four years ago, I really feel the time has come for me to focus on other aspects of my career.

 

“I had always told myself I would see my son through school and I have done that. Comedy writing has long been a passion of mine and the commitment to a show like Corrie is huge and doesn’t really leave enough time to concentrate on other projects.  I’d love to be able to combine my writing and acting career in the future.

 

“Playing Sunita has been a fabulous opportunity. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her journey and am looking forward with excitement to her dramatic departure. I shall miss her. That said, I have made a host of friends cast and crew – friendships that will stay with me.” – Gulati

The character of Sunita made her first appearance in March 2001 but was axed from the show four years later in 2005 before returning in 2009.

Storylines featuring the character over the years have included an explosive hostage plot involving husband Dev’s bunny-boiler ex Maya (Sasha Behar) and more recently cheating on Dev (Jimmi Harkishin) with Karl Munro (John Michie).

“It’s been a pleasure to work closely with Shobna these last few years.  Sunita’s mid life crisis and the disintegration of the Alahans marriage has kept Coronation Street viewers on the edge of their seats for the past 6 months.

 

“It’s sad to lose such a well-loved and brilliantly played character but it provides an exciting storyline opportunity and the writing team are already looking forward to developing a brilliant exit story for her.  Viewers can expect something very memorable.  We of course wish Shobna well in everything she does next.” – Coronation Street Producer, Phil Collinson

In addition to her role as Sunita, Gulati is well known for playing the character of Anita in the BBC One sitcom Dinnerladies between 1998-2000. She has also made appearances in EastEnders, New Street Law and Where The Heart Is.

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