Coronation Street star Debbie Rush, who has played beleaguered Anna Windass on the soap for the past nine years, has quit the show to pursue new challenges. In a statement, Debbie, 51, said: "I have had an amazing nine years on Coronation Street and the decision to leave was not made lightly. I love playing Anna and will miss working with the fantastic cast and crew. I don't know what the future holds but I am excited to explore what other acting opportunities are out there. I am very grateful for all the brilliant storylines I've been given during my time on Coronation Street and am very much looking forward to what is in store for Anna in the run up to my departure next year."
Debbie Rush is leaving Coronation Street after nine years playing Anna Windass
Corrie producer Kate Oates promised a dramatic departure for Anna, leaving many fans wondering whether she will fall victim to villain Pat Phelan. "It's always sad when a huge talent like Debbie Rush decides to move on to pastures new," Kate said. "But Debbie's decision to pursue other roles will allow us to play an exciting exit story for Anna, which will see her fighting for her family and tackling old enemies head on."
Kate has been involved in some big storylines since joining Coronation Street in 2008; she was blackmailed by bad guy Pat and was more recently badly burned by a car explosion caused by David Platt. Her daughter Faye's underage pregnancy was also a major plot line. A spokesperson for the soap said: "Debbie will leave Coronation Street at the end of the year. Anna Windass will be on screen until early 2018, with plenty more drama and twists in the tale before she leaves Weatherfield. We wish Debbie every success for the future."