Coronation Street: Graeme Hawley thinks fans would have hated John Stape if he had stayed any longer

Graeme Hawley has admitted that he was relieved to leave ‘Coronation Street’ because he had started to worry that it would “ruin” his career if he stayed on the show.

Graeme’s exit scenes will air on Friday night, after evil killer John’s crimes will finally catch up with him and the star confessed that he is glad to be leaving before the show’s writers take his storyline “too far”.

He told the News Of The World newspaper: “I had an affair with a schoolgirl, kidnapped her, buried a colleague, killed an old lady and murdered an old friend.

“I loved the part, but you would worry it was going to far. I think if I had stayed too much longer it could have ruined my career. I feared the backlash of playing a murderer. Once the viewers start to hate a character then that’s it, you don’t get another job.”

In a dramatic series of special shows this week, John admits to wife Fiz Brown (Jennie McAlpine) that he murdered Joy Fishwick. He also begs her to help when he learns the underwear factory where he buried her son, Colin – covering up his death form a heart attack – is to be dug up for drainage work.

John then flees with their baby, Hope, and when Fiz gives chase she’s run over. When he visits her in hospital, Fiz alerts the authorities, leading John to be chased to the hospital roof. Show bosses haven’t said if he jumps or is arrested.

Graeme reckons the public still have sympathy for his character, but that it is wearing thin.

He added: “I’m pleased I left while people still felt sorry for John. It could have been horrendous if they hadn’t. I tried to keep the role funny, but in another six months viewers would have been fed up with him.”