Coronation Street is set to look very different in 2016 following the announcement that another character is taking a break from the show. Oliver Farnworth, who plays Andy in the ITV soap, will take a seven week hiatus from the cobbles to undertake a stint in a theatre production.
The actor will join Les Dennis, who plays Gail Platt's partner Michael, in a production of Alan Bleasdale's Down the Dock Road. Oliver's character was previously known as Gavin on-screen, as he stole the identity of Michael's son.
CLICK TO VIEW FULL GALLERY
Oliver Farnworth is taking a break from Coronation Street in 2016
A spokesperson for Coronation Street has confirmed that Andy's absence will be explained in the soap, with his exit storyline set to run separately from Michael's.
The announcement comes shortly after the revelations that five leading characters would be taking some time away from the soap in the next few months. Joining Les Dennis (Michael) on a planned hiatus are Alison King (Carla), Brooke Vincent (Sophie), Eileen Derbyshire (Emily) and David Neilson (Roy).
Ryan Thomas will also leave the soap after 15 years playing builder Jason Grimshaw. Announcing his decision to quit in October, Ryan said: "It has been a great privilege to be in Coronation Street for the past 15 years.
A number of characters are set to take a break from the soap
"The cast and the crew are amongst the best in the business and to have had the chance to be a part of it for so long has been an amazing experience."
The cast shake-up is not the only change coming to the ITV soap in 2016. Former Emmerdale producer Kate Oates is set to move to Coronation Street in the next few weeks, replacing current boss Stuart Blackburn who will leave the show in January.
It has already been suggested that Kate could make some major changes in her new role, including axing some of the soap's least popular characters and introducing some fresh faces to the street.