Coronation Street’s duped husband Ashley Peacock is to finally discover his wife’s baby may not be his, it emerged today.
The damning disclosure comes as his wife Maxine’s night of adulterous drunken passion with Dr Matt Ramsden comes to light months after the event.
Ashley, played by Steven Arnold in the hit soap, is devastated by the news, which is coupled with the fact that difficulties with the pregnancy mean Maxine - played by Tracy Shaw - could lose the baby.
The dramatic storyline, which will unfold at the end of March, leads to the departure of Dr Ramsden and his wife Charlie, played by Stephen Beckett and Clare McGlinn, from the long-running show.
In a desperate attempt to save their marriage, the couple leave the gossips of Weatherfield behind to start a new life.
In reality, Beckett is leaving to star in a film being shot in Ireland, with his fiance Anna Brecon, who stars in the soap Emmerdale.
He said: ‘‘I have had a fantastic year and a half in Coronation Street. The cast and the crew are a fabulous bunch of people to work with and it’s great we are being given such a fantastic exit storyline.’’
McGlinn said: ‘‘We came in on a high and we are leaving on a high.’’
A Corrie spokeswoman said: ‘‘We have planned an explosive end to this storyline and it is difficult to see how Matt and Charlie could stay around in Weatherfield after everything that has happened.’’
Another character saying goodbye to the Street is Bobbi Lewis, played by Naomi Russell, who leaves after a revenge campaign against Vikram Desai, played by Chris Bisson.
Vikram makes the mistake of cheating on Bobbi with Hazel Wilding, played by Kazia Pelka.
The spring storyline also features Gail Platt, played by Helen Worth, who accepts conman Richard Hillman’s wedding proposal believing she has found true happiness at last.