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Helen Worth leaves Coronation Street after 50 years

Helena Vale

Helen Worth’s character in Coronation Street has been married six times.
Photo: ITV

Actress Helen Worth to leave Coronation Street after five decades on the cobblestones.

Worth will celebrate her golden anniversary on the show next month, having played Gail Rodwell, formerly Gail Platt, since 1974.

Soap producers say her character Gail “will say goodbye to Weatherfield in an important story for the Platt family.”

In a statement, Worth, 73, said: “I made the decision at the beginning of the year and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.

“I have been truly blessed to have received the most incredible scripts week after week and to have worked with fantastic actors, directors and a brilliant team.

“The last 50 years have flown by and I don’t think it’s yet fully sunk in that I’m leaving.”

Gail first appeared on screen on July 29, 1974, and has been the center of several major storylines over the past five decades, including one of the most controversial in 1999, when her 13-year-old daughter Sarah she got pregnant.

Worth’s character also had a relationship with Richard Hillman, who turned out to be a murderer. An audience of over 19 million watched the story reach its climax as Hillman led Gail and her family to a canal.

Gail holds the record for the most married female character on the series, having gone through six marriages.

His total is just one behind long-standing character Steve McDonald, played by Simon Gregson.

Executive producer Iain Macleod said: “Gail has given us countless hours of entertainment” and praised Worth for being a “consummate professional and an excellent egg”.

In 2014, Worth won Outstanding Achievement at the British Soap Awards for her performance as Gail.

Helen Worth attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto) (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via AFP)

Helen Worth attends the British Academy Television Awards in London on May 12, 2019.
Photo: AFP/Nur Photo

The Corrie star has appeared in the soap a total of 4,453 times, not far off the record held by William Roache, 92, who made 4,773 appearances as Ken Barlow since the show first aired in December 1960.

Filming of his exit scene will begin next month.

This story was first published by the BBC.

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