Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride, who plays Deirdre Barlow, is to take an extended break from the soap, producers have confirmed.
The star, who made her first appearance in 1972, is expected to be absent from the show for three months.
A Corrie spokeswoman said they were “happy to grant” Kirkbride a break from her role.
The 60-year-old remained on screen during the absence of her on-screen husband Ken, played by William Roache.
The actor resumed his work on the soap in June, five months after he was cleared of rape and indecent assault.
This came more than a year after his arrest when he was initially written out of the programme.
During his trial, Kirkbride was among a number of Coronation Street stars who took the witness stand.
Roache’s comeback scenes were seen by viewers in August.
Kirkbride’s character shored up the Barlow family during Roache’s lengthy absence from Weatherfield, saying that he had gone to Canada to look after his ill grandson Adam.
The makers of Coronation Street have not disclosed the specific reasons for Kirkbride’s request for an extended leave of absence.
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Source:: BBC Entertainment