Five Coronation Street stars are leaving the show, a spokeswoman for Granada TVconfirmed today.
The actors are seeing out their current contracts but will vanish from screens over the next 12 months.
They are: Tommy Harris played by Thomas Craig, Angela Harris played by Katherine Hunt, Bev Unwin played by Susie Blake, Nicky Tilsley played by Adam Rickitt and Harry Flagg played by Iain Rogerson.
The decision to ask the five to leave was taken at a long-term story conference attended by new producer Tony Wood, the spokeswoman said.
Mr Wood joined the soap last month and his previous work included the TV series Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
“Although there are five actors leaving, their departures are by no means sudden,” the spokeswoman said.
“All the actors in question have made a valuable contribution. The nature of the show is that characters come and go.
“There have always been characters who come onto the street for a limited period of time and passed through Weatherfield, as happens in real communities.”
But the spokeswoman said three other actors had been lined up to join the show by the summer.
They are former stars Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, and Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby.
Comedian Bradley Walsh also joins the Street as Mike Baldwin’s nephew.