Carley, who plays Steph Cunningham, told The Sun that her decision to leave the Chester based soap after ten years of playing the character was, “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
The announcement that Carley is leaving the show has prompted speculation that her character – who recently discovered she has cervical cancer – may be destined to die of her illness.
The show’s bosses introduced the storyline to raise awareness of cervical cancer among young women following the death of Big Brother star, Jade Goody, who died aged just 27 of the disease.
The show’s writers have scheduled Steph to undergo a hysterectomy in December, and Carley’s last scenes will be aired over Christmas.
Carley told the paper that she’s now hoping for a career in musical theatre.
She said, “Leaving Hollyoaks is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made.
“It has been my dream job for 10 years and I shall miss all of the fantastic friends I have made in the cast and crew.
“I am very sad to leave but I’m ready for new challenges and I’m looking forward to pursuing a career in musical theatre.”
And Hollyoaks Series Producer, Paul Marquess, added, “We are very proud of the cervical cancer story-line and Hollyoaks’ ability to bring a sweet and humorous tone to such a tragic story.
“Viewers can look forward to the return of ‘Stephanie De La Dean’ as Steph revisits her desire for fame and stardom in a bid to cope with her illness.
“We also hope that the message of early detection for cervical cancer reaches our young audience.
“We are obviously very sad to see Steph go – she has been a much-loved character on the show for a decade – but we wish Carley all the best for a very bright and successful career.”