Michelle Collins has said she chose to leave Coronation Street as the long commute from her home in London to the soap’s studios in Manchester left her feeling like a “zombie”.
The 51 year old actress announced her decision to leave her role of Stella Price in August. Speaking to The Sun about her forthcoming departure from the cobbles, Collins said:
I threw myself wholeheartedly into Corrie but I ended up spreading myself far too thinly. Like a lot of working mums, I worked so b****y hard and I was just tired all the time.
The tiredness is the worst, it can make you a zombie. Work is fantastic, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. That’s what Corrie has taught me.
If you don’t have a work-life balance it can start to drive you a bit crazy. So I had to step back and say, ‘I can’t be Superwoman. I just can’t do everything’.
The producer, Stuart Blackburn, did try to persuade me to stay. But he understood that I was doing it for Maia [Collins’ daughter] and that she had to come first.
I will miss the warmth and friendliness of Corrie, but I won’t miss the travelling.
Collins also addressed her lack of screen time in the soap since her character was replaced as landlady of the Rovers Return by former Rovers boss Liz McDonald (Berveley Callard).
I would have loved to have been more involved in the Hayley and Roy right-to-die storyline, because it was brilliant. You do feel a bit left out when everyone comes back to the green room after those big emotional scenes.
But you can’t expect to be at the front of the show all of the time. And if I was still centre stage it might have been harder for me to walk away.
On what a post-Corrie future might hold, the actress adds:
I feel like I need a challenge. I miss being a jobbing actress.
Some people will think I’m mad for leaving such a stable job but I’ve always liked a bit of danger and I’m excited about being out in the big wide world again.
It is a relief to be leaving but I’m going out on a high. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved on Corrie because I put in 100 per cent.
Collins will release her autobiography This Is Me on April, 3. The book is expected to detail her early career as a singer before moving on to soap stardom when she landed the role of soap bitch Cindy in EastEnders in 1988. She has portrayed the role of Stella since 2011.
Coronation Street, Monday (7.30 and 8.30pm), Wednesday (7.30pm) and Friday (7.30 and 8.30pm), on ITV, STV and UTV.