Farewell Maddie

We can confirm that Amy James-Kelly will leave her role as Maddie Heath this summer.

Amy said: "I made the decision to leave because I'm young and adventurous and I want to gain more experience and explore and improve my craft.

"Acting is my passion and I'm excited to see where it takes me."

I’ve had the most amazing 18 months and I'll be sad to leave my Corrie family.

– Amy James-Kelly

"It's been like a second home," continued Amy, "but like all young people, you eventually fly the nest. I can't thank everyone enough who made this, not only possible, but fantastic."

What's next for Maddie and Sophie?

Stuart Blackburn said: “Amy is a talented young actress and we wish her every success for the future.

"We are currently working on an exit storyline for Maddie which will have repercussions for Sophie and other Weatherfield residents."

Goodbye Julie

Unlucky in love Julie Carp is to bid farewell to Weatherfield after yet another disastrous love affair.

Her relationship with Dev will start to unravel on his return from India - forcing Julie to re-think her life and decide to move away.

Actress Katy Cavanagh has decided to leave Coronation Street at the end of her current contract, she will be on screen until late spring.

Katy said: “I have decided it's time to take a break from the cobbles and pursue other projects and opportunities.

"I have loved every minute in the world of Julie Carp and I'm not ruling out a return to the Street in the future. However I am looking forward to a new challenge and a pair of flat shoes."

Stuart Blackburn said: “Julie Carp has become a warm, wonderful and eccentric character able to raise a laugh and a tear in the same scene.

"Everyone at Corrie wishes Katy all the very best and hopefully as far as Julie is concerned, the cobbles haven't seen the last of her.”

Bethany's Back!

Watch out Weatherfield - Bethany Platt is back and she means trouble!

In this first shot of actress Lucy Fallon on the Corrie set with Helen Worth and Jack P Shepherd, Bethany looks all sweetness and light.

But it soon becomes clear that the teenager is going to cause problems for the already beleaguered Platt family.

Blackpool born Lucy, 19, started filming this week just days after landing the part. This is her first TV role.

Lucy said: “Walking onto the set was surreal and nerve wracking but everyone has been really welcoming and I am thrilled to have been given this great opportunity.”

Lucy meets Sue Nicholls for their first scene together.

Bethany will be on screen in late March when she arrives in Weatherfield from Milan - after a huge fall out with her mum Sarah.

She will be followed a week later by Sarah, played by Tina O’Brien, who is determined to drag her daughter kicking and screaming back to Italy.

Sarah and Beth will end up staying in Weatherfield when things don’t go exactly to plan and in the coming months expect fireworks at number 8 as poor Gail struggles to cope with her family’s secrets and lies.

Anne Kirkbride

It is with great sadness that David Beckett has confirmed tonight that his beloved wife and Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride has passed away peacefully in a Manchester hospital after a short illness.

David and the programme's cast and crew are heartbroken and deeply saddened at the loss of Anne who has been a Coronation Street icon for 44 years.

"There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne's passing," said Executive Producer Kieran Roberts. "We know only too acutely how much Anne meant to the millions of people who watched her create the legendary character of Deirdre Barlow.

"She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her. We feel blessed and honoured to have known her. Our thoughts are with David and their family."

ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham echoed Kieran's thoughts.

"Anne has been a truly loyal servant to Coronation Street since joining the programme in the early 1970s. She created a unique and unforgettable character in Deirdre Barlow and she'll be greatly missed on and off screen.

"Our sincerest condolences to Anne's husband David and her family at this very sad time."

Coronation Street’s creator Tony Warren captured the feelings of all who knew Anne:

“Anne was very easy to love. Her talent over the years made a massive contribution to Coronation Street.”

William Roache who played Anne’s onscreen husband Ken Barlow said:

“I feel Anne’s loss so personally having worked closely with her for over 40 years. She was such a loving and vibrant person. You always knew she was there because her laugh was never far away.

"She was an impeccable performer with superb comedy timing and an immense gift for really heightened drama. We had some rows over the years as Ken and Deirdre and it was wonderful to play those scenes opposite her. Coronation Street has lost one of its iconic characters and Anne will be greatly missed.”

Anne is survived by her husband, David, her brother John, and his family.

David has appealed to the media to respect his privacy and that of Anne’s family at this very sad and distressing time.

Anne passed away on Monday evening (19 January) aged 60.

#AskCorrie

Yesterday Corrie took over Twitter to answer your questions. It was only supposed to last 30 minutes but we enjoyed ourselves so much it went on for over an hour and a half!

Look below to see some of our favourite tweets from Oliver Farnworth, Sean Ward, Tisha Merry, Katie McGlynn, Sair Khan, Quasim Akhtar, Daniel Brocklebank, Hayley Tamaddon, Dean Fagan and Georgia May Foote!

And if you enjoyed yourself then please: Vote Corrie for Best Serial Drama

Corrie Crash Horror

These are the first shots of the dramatic minibus crash which leaves the life of one of Coronation Street’s much-loved residents hanging in the balance.

The staff of Underworld will be caught up in the horrific accident as they head off on a factory outing - in a Street Cars minibus driven by Steve McDonald.

The night ends in disaster when the bus is cut up and run off the road by a gang of boy racers.

As the dust settles at the crash scene it becomes clear that many of the passengers are injured and at least one of them is trapped in the minibus, which is dangerously close to the edge of a sheer drop!

Will everyone manage to get out safely before the stricken vehicle plunges over the cliff?

The crash will be transmitted across three episodes which will air on January 19th and 21st - but the drama continues in the weeks to come as the residents come to terms with the consequences of the accident.

Sinead is the most seriously injured and it will be touch and go as to whether she is going to recover from her injuries.

Meanwhile Steve is finally forced to face up to his depression as his actions on the night of the crash are called into question by his family and the other crash victims.

Arch enemies Carla and Tracy are also at the centre of the drama which will change their relationship forever.

The mini bus crash was filmed over three weeks and the scenes include hundreds of special effects. Some of the filming even required the cast to be strapped upside down in the smashed up vehicle.

Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn said:

”Everyone involved in filming these dramatic episodes is very proud of the end results. The stunt is breathtaking and is real edge of the seat stuff.

“But, in the spirit of great storytelling, the crash itself is just the start of the drama and will have far reaching effects for all the people involved in the coming months.”

Extras

PREVIEW PICS: See more of this week's dramatic photos

NATIONAL TELEVISION AWARDS: Vote for Coronation Street

Text Santa: Mel B on the Cobbles

Take a look at the first pictures of Mel B taking to the the cobbles of Coronation Street for the Text Santa Christmas special.

Mel will be playing Chief Operational Head of Christmas management services.

It all sounds very official - we wonder what the storyline could be?

It looks like Mary (Patti Clare) will be in for a surprise on the night.

Behind the scenes, there's no rest as the team ready for the next scene.

Keep checking back for more pictures and big surprises on the build up to Text Santa night on Friday 19th December.