Michelle Collins is set to leave Coronation Street when her current contract ends in April 2014. The actress, who plays Rovers Return landlady Stella Price, has decided not to stay on after more than two years on the hit soap.
Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn said, "When an actor decides to leave a programme like Corrie, it means the writing team can creatively scale new heights.
"We promise the tour de force that is Stella Price will leave with a bang. We wish Michelle every happiness as she moves on to pastures new."
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The news comes amid speculation that Liz McDonald — played by Beverly Callard — will return as the pub landlady when she arrives back later the year.
Michelle, 51, has been at the centre of a number of high-profile story lines during her time on the show.
Following the shock revelation that she was the biological mother of Leanne Tisley — played by Jane Danson — Stella went on to have a relationship with Jason Grimshaw — Ryan Thomas — before being trapped in a fire at the Rovers.
More recently, Stella has been suffering from money problems after refurbishing the pub and sold half of her stake to her mother Gloria — Sue Johnston.
She first appeared on screen in June 2011, alongside her daughter Eva — Catherine Tyldesley — and husband Karl Munro, played by John Michie.
Now, with her time in Weatherfield drawing to a close, Michelle has said she will miss playing the feisty landlady.
"Stella Price has been a revelation to play," she said. "So much has happened to the character since we discovered she was Leanne's real mum.
"From catching Karl with barmaid Sunita to her near-death experience in the Rovers fire, I've loved playing Stella and will be very sorry to leave her behind."
Michelle, who has a 16-year-old daughter Maia, became a household name playing Cindy Beale in rival soap EastEnders from 1988 to 1998.