31 MAY 2007

It seems Weatherfield's resident layabout Les Battersby has supped his last pint in the Rovers Return. Coronation Street bosses have announced actor Bruce Jones will not be returning to the Street when his character Les finishes his stint on the road with Irish tribute band ZZ Top Of The Morning.

Bruce, who made his Corrie entrance in June 1997, was head of the most dysfunctional family ever to reside in Weatherfield, and soon became one of the show's most popular characters. As news of the actor's exit was announced on Thursday, the show's producer commended Bruce's portrayal of Les, saying he would "be remembered for many years to come".

Studio heads say his contract will not be renewed in September. "After ten great years we feel we have reached the end of storylines with Les. We wish Bruce all the best for the future." The 54-year-old actor says he's already had some very exciting offers and is looking forward to what the future holds.

Corrie producers have yet decide on a storyline for his departure, but say it is likely to be linked to that of his wife Cilla, played by Wendy Peters. The actress is due to film her last scenes for the show in September.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The 54-year-old actor is moving on to pastures new after ten years with the award-winning ITV soapPhoto: © ITVClick on photo to enlarge