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Craig Charles quits Coronation Street to head back into space with Red Dwarf

Craig Charles has played Weatherfield cab company owner Lloyd Mullaney for 10 years. Photo: PA

Craig Charles is quitting Coronation Street to head back into outer space with Red Dwarf, ITV has confirmed.

Charles, who has played Weatherfield cab company owner Lloyd Mullaney for 10 years, is to reprise his role as Lister in two new series of the cult comedy show on comedy channel Dave.

Craig Charles pictured with Hayley Tamaddon, who plays his on-screen partner Andrea Beckett Credit: ITV/Coronation Street

In a statement, Charles, 50, said: "I have had an absolutely fantastic 10 years on Coronation Street and I will be very sad to leave. Lloyd has become a huge part of my life and I have made some amazing friends with whom I will always keep in touch"

"But I feel I owe it to my colleagues on Red Dwarf to join them in filming the new series and finding out what is in store", he added.

Robert Llewellyn, Craig Charles and Chris Barrie (l-r) will reunite on the small screen. Credit: PA

Two new series of the cult sci-fi comedy classic have been commissioned and will air in 2016 and 2017 after beginning production in the autumn.

Charles' is the latest high-profile departure from Corrie's famous cobbles after actress Alison King, who plays Carla Connor,announced she will be taking a break from the soap for "creative reasons" next year.