Soap star Helen Flanagan reveals the real reason she is turning her back on Coronation Street in the latest edition of HELLO!.
The actress who has played Rosie Webster for half of her life, insists it was the exciting prospect of moving in with 'the One' her boyfriend Swansea City Footballer Scott Sinclair, rather than her recently reported bout of panic attacks which made her take the leap.
Helen, 22 tells HELLO!: "I didn’t feel I would have grown as a person if I stayed.
"I’d always felt that I would leave by the time I was 21, but when I made up my mind to go, it wasn’t even as if I had a choice; I just knew instinctively that this is what I had to do.
"I’ve played the character of Rosie for 12 years, but now I just want to be Helen. It’s time for me to be myself...
"I didn’t enjoy playing her when she went through a promiscuous phase, though. Luckily she shows more heart these days...
"I realised I had to do this after taking a three-month sabbatical from April to June this year. During my time away from the Street, I felt free. One of the first things I did was cut my hair short and I dyed in bright blonde.
"I felt fearless and girlie. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time."
Helen opens up about suffering from panic attacks but says that was NOT the reason she has quit.
She says: "They thought I was leaving Coronation Street because of them (panic attacks), but in fact I’d already decided, long before they started affecting me at work."
And she tells how she is taking cookery lessons in preparation for setting up home with boyfriend Scott in Swansea.
Talking about meeting Scott, she says: "I knew he was ‘the One’, the only man I wanted to be with.
She adds: "We haven’t rushed into living together or taken it lightly. We’ve been together for two years, so we’re sure we want to live with each other."
In the exclusive chat, Helen also reveals to HELLO! that she is backing her on-screen father Michael Le Vell following allegations of child rape saying: "I’ve grown up with him and give him my full support."
See the full exclusive chat with Helen Flanagan in this week's HELLO! issue 1199.