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Coronation Street bosses address reports that Eileen Derbyshire is leaving soap

Emmy Griffiths

Following reports that Eileen Derbyshire planned to leave Coronation Street for good after having starred in the show for over half a century, ITV has released a statement to say that the 85-year-old has no plans to leave the show for good.

In a statement, they said: "Eileen is currently taking an extended break from the show and had not given any indication that she doesn't plan to return in the future."

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Eileen has played Emily Bishop for over 50 years

The actress, who has played Emily Bishop in the soap since 1961, has taken extended leave from filming for personal reasons for almost a year, sparking speculation that she planned to leave the soap. A source told The Sun on Sunday that Eileen was planning on leaving the show to spend more time with her family and would struggle to get back into the routine of filming.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Eileen, who was awarded an MBE for services to drama back in 2010, will be written back into the soap whenever she is ready to return to the role.

The soap star originally left the show back in November 2015, while her character Emily left Weatherfield to go travelling in South America with her nephew, Spider Nugent.

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Eileen was awarded an MBE in 2010

Eileen has one son, Oliver, who has spoken about his mother's dedication to the role. He told the The Times: "[She is] one of the last of a dying breed of old-fashioned actresses who do it for the love of acting, not for all the attendant publicity."

Speaking of her time on the show, Eileen said: "The writers have a tough task, trying to find new storylines for a character who has been in the serial for three decades. I just get on with it. Emily has had a more colourful past than you might think." 

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