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ITV Coronation Street's Melanie Hill quits role as Cathy Matthews after seven years

By Sarah Robertson & Gemma Jones

Coronation Street's Melanie Hill quits role as Cathy Matthews.

The actress said that it was an “extremely emotional” decision to leave the ITV soap after seven years. However, she is thrilled ITV producers have not killed off her character, leaving the door open for her to return in the future, reported The Mirror.

Melanie said she has chosen to part ways with the role to spend more time with her family. She has two grandchildren Bowie, five, and Daisy May, three, who live in Melbourne, Australia.

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The 60-year-old said: "It’s not been an easy thing to decide. My family has been important but the pandemic has made a lot of people think about the future. It has changed a lot of things in my head. You’ve just got to see what’s important to you. I absolutely love everybody but it’s made me think about my family a lot and what the priorities are in my life.”

Melanie had to rush up to her native Sunderland two weeks ago to look after her 88-year-old mother Sylvia. The actress, who has appeared in Corrie for seven years, now believes the way forward is to take on more roles like her part in BBC One drama The Syndicate, which will allow her to have more time between commitments.

Melanie said: “I’ve been at my mum’s for two weeks and what’s nice is I’ve got the freedom to do that because soaps are pretty relentless. You never stop, really, and you’re always on call. My sister Samantha normally helps look after my mum but she is in hospital with a smashed leg.

“It’s lucky that I finished shooting just over two weeks ago so I’m here the whole time. If I was still working on Corrie, I would have been going out of my mind with worry. I cannot stand letting people down – and even if I’ve been ill, I would turn up for work. Now I don’t have to worry as much.

“If you get a drama series, you know your commitment has got an end to it. I’m hoping I can do jobs now that I’ll be able to work around my family.”

Speaking of returning to the soap in the future, Melanie said: "Corrie has been absolutely fantastic because I could have just disappeared. I won’t say where Cathy goes but I’m a stone’s throw away from Weatherfield.

“My nephew Alex, played by Liam Bairstow, is there and Peter Gunn, who plays Brian Packham, so the door is open for me to come back – and that’s a great compliment. I’m flattered and grateful."

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30pm on ITV and the ITV Hub

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