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Helen Worth to depart Coronation Street after 50 years

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Helen Worth to depart Coronation Street after 50 years

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Coronation Street star Helen Worth has quit her role as Gail Platt in the ITV soap.

Half a century after she first walked onto the cobbles, viewers will see Helen and Gail bid farewell to Weatherfield in a major storyline for the Platt family. The actress will start filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year.

Helen Worth said

“This year felt like the perfect time to leave the show after celebrating 50 years in the most wonderful job on the most wonderful street in the world. I made the decision at the start of the year and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.

“I have been truly blessed to have been given the most incredible scripts week in week out, and to have worked with fantastic actors, directors and a brilliant crew.

“The past 50 years have flown by and I don’t think the fact that I am leaving has quite sunk in yet.”

Helen first appeared on the cobbles on July 29, 1974, and is the second longest-serving continuous cast member after Bill Roache, who has played Ken since the show’s first episode on December 9, 1960. She has also accumulated the second highest tally of appearances in the soap, with 4,579 compared to Bill’s 4,841.

Gail holds the record for the woman with most marriages on the show, having tied the knot a total of six times. Steve McDonald has the honour for the males.

1974: First photo shoot for Helen Worth on the set of Coronation Street

In 1979, she wed Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and had Nick (Ben Price) and Sarah Louise (Tina O’Brien) with him; they divorced in 1987 but remarried the following year. He was tragically killed in 1989 after being stabbed outside a nightclub. She later had a son, David (Jack P. Shepherd), with second husband Martin Platt (Sean Wilson). Gail and Martin’s marriage came to an end due to his infidelity with a nursing colleague. Gail later married Richard Hillman, who attempted to kill her family after committing two murders on the street in 2003.

In 2010, she married Joe McIntyre (Reece Dinsdale), but the union ended tragically when he died in a boating accident while attempting to fake his own death for insurance purposes. Later, in 2015, she married Michael Rodwell (Les Dennis), but their happiness was short-lived as he passed away from a heart attack just a year later.

From her daughter Sarah’s teenage pregnancy to her ongoing feud with Eileen Grimshaw, dealing with her son David’s rebellious behaviour, and being deceived by Lewis Archer, Gail’s life has been anything but dull.

1974: Granada issue the first photo of ‘Gail’ billed as a friend of Tricia Hopkins (Kathy Jones)

1975: Helen is chosen by Granada bosses to be their face of the ITV Summer Festival

Executive Producer Iain Macleod said:

“The words ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ get used a lot these days but they genuinely do apply to Gail and to Helen Worth. However, given her humility, I know Helen won’t thank me for saying so! In Helen’s hands, Gail has been a huge part of Coronation Street for five decades and at the centre of some of the most memorable storylines – often deriving from her catastrophically bad luck in choosing husbands!

“Her ill-fated marriage to Richard Hillman was one of the most ground-breaking stories in soap history and cemented Gail’s already established status as one of the Corrie greats. As the matriarch of the Platt clan, her affectionately prickly relationships with her kids and flighty mum Audrey epitomise what makes the show great: complicated family dynamics brought to life impeccably by Helen’s dramatic and comedic chops, alongside those of her fictional clan.

“Gail has given us countless hours of entertainment but it should also be said that Helen herself is a consummate professional and a thoroughly good egg. Everyone connected to the show will miss having her around the place just as much as the viewers will miss having her on their screens and we wish her all the very best for the future.”

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV1 and STV.

Gail in her more feisty era…

See more of Helen Worth in Corrie as well as in BBC and ATV programmes in our gallery…

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