CORONATION STREET fans have been hit with a bombshell tonight as it was confirmed that Catherine Tydesley will be leaving the soap.
The actress, who plays Eva Price in the long-running ITV soap, revealed that she will be bowing out next year and has arranged her exit with the show's bosses.
The mother-of-one explained that she was stepping down in order to pursue other acting offers.
Addressing her decision to quit, the 34-year-old said: "Coronation Street has been a dream job for me which is why this was such a difficult decision to leave.
"Eva has been such fun to play over the last seven years, and who knows, one day she might storm the cobbles of Weatherfield again."
She told The Sun: "In the meantime I'm excited about the future, new acting projects, and spending time with my family.
It come after it was revealed that her former onscreen lover Shayne Ward would be leaving his role as Aidan Connor.
His character's exit will be part of a top-secret plot with cast and crew under strict instructions not to reveal any details of his fate.
"Nobody will see this coming," a source told the publication. "Viewers are going to be absolutely stunned.
"It's going to be a blow for the fans - but also a massive TV moment. Everybody wants Shayne to be a huge part of the show next year."
Shayne's final scenes are expected to air in May while Catherine's departure is currently unknown.