A busy day in Coronation Street yesterday.
First came the ratings for Tracy Barlow’s guilty verdict – watched by an impressive peak of 13.1m viewers.
Then last night it was revealed that Tina O’Brien is quitting the cobbles.
The Manchester-born actress, who plays hairdresser Sarah Platt, will leave at the end of the year.
There’s a front page pic and story in today’s MEN.
In essence, Tina, 23, is leaving to try her hand at other roles, possibly starting with a new ITV1 drama.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision to make – but I feel the time has come to see what else is out there for me as an actress,” she said.
Tina will film her dramatic exit storyline in November, with viewers seeing her farewell on screen in late December.
It’s not known yet how young mum Sarah will leave, but she won’t be killed off – leaving the door open for a possible return.
Some are claiming her decision is a major blow for Corrie after the departures of stars like Johnny Briggs, Kate Ford, Bill Ward and Sally Lindsay.
But while Tina will be missed, it’s simply part of the natural turnover in Weatherfield.
Having joined the Street at the age of 16 and been on screen for almost eight years, her ambition to seek other roles is perfectly understandable.
Producer Steve Frost said: “Tina is a fabulous actress and we will be sorry to see her go. However we fully understand her ambition and desire to play other roles.”
Her previous parts include Granada’s Children’s Ward, The Cops and a striking performance as Sarah Lancashire’s screen daughter in Manchester-filmed Clocking Off.
Tina has also been a favourite subject for lads’ mags and websites. Her inclusion in a Soap Babes calendar helped make it a best seller.
Now she’s earned a shot at other roles.
Paired yet again on screen with real life partner Ryan Thomas, who plays builder Jason Grimshaw, the storyline options for Sarah were limited.
And having been almost drowned in a canal by Richard Hillman, held prisoner by a web stalker, become the Street’s first gymslip mum and jilted on her wedding day, perhaps it’s understandable that Sarah Louise Platt might seek a change of scene.
Coronation Street Official Site