Corrie: Hayley Cropper actress Julie Hesmondhalgh to leave the show!

by Lynn Connolly

Julie Hesmondhalgh

It’s been revealed today that Corrie actress Julie Hesmondhalgh is leaving the show and her role as transgendered Hayley Cropper.

Julie, who’s played the role of Hayley for 15 years, will reportedly have a “dramatic exit” from the soap later this year, and it has of course been speculated that Hayley may be killed off.

Speaking about her decision to leave the show, Julie said, “I’ve had the most wonderful and happy time in the life-changing 15 or 16 years I’ve been in Corrie…

“And I owe so much to the show and the special team that make it happen.

“The decision to hang up Hayley’s red anorak was a tough one but doing the play at the Royal Exchange made me realise there’s life in the old dog yet and that there are other things I want to try…

“Whatever happens next I’ll always be proudest of lovely Mrs Cropper and, in particular, what we achieved in changing attitudes to transgender — and in portraying possibly the most loving, faithful and steadfast couple in the history of soap.

“I’ll always be the show’s biggest fan.”

The Sun reports that many of Julie’s co-stars took to Twitter to express their sadness that she’s leaving Corrie, with Antony Cotton, who of course plays Sean Tully, remarking, “So here is the sad, sad news…

“Send your love to her @juliehes. She’s the lynchpin in our Weatherfield family. I honestly don’t know how we’ll cope…”

And Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, added, “@juliehes will miss amazing Julie Shes very special lady, corrie will never be the same #loveyoujules”

roy, hayley, coronation street

Corrie’s executive producer Kieran Roberts said, “Who doesn’t love Hayley Cropper?

“The character’s warmth and decency, spiced with a great sense of fun and adventure, have put her at the heart of Coronation Street.

“The enduring popularity of, and affection for, Hayley — and of course her wonderful partnership with Roy — has so much to do with the brilliant way Julie has brought the character to life on screen for the past 15 years.

“We’ll be sorry to say farewell to Hayley — and to Julie — but we’re planning a screen exit worthy of one of Coronation Street’s best-loved characters.”

Aww I’ll really miss Julie! Will you?

Here’s a reminder of one of Julie’s major storylines on the show…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.