Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien says her need for a change was behind her decision to leave the top soap.

Her character, Sarah Platt, will depart for Italy over Christmas and Tina told at the National TV Awards that she’s looking forward to new experiences.

“I’ve been there for eight years, and eight years in the same job is a long time for anyone… I feel like, even though I might go and do something that’s not as successful, at least I’ll be doing something different, for myself, so I can do things that make me feel it’s a bit new.”

But she’s made sure she hasn’t burnt her bridges – a return at some stage is on her agenda. “It’s definitely something that I’d never cross off. I’ve really enjoyed Coronation Street. I’d be a fool to say that I wouldn’t be happy to go back!”

Tina was escorted by off-screen boyfriend Ryan Thomas, who plays her on-screen partner Jason Grimshaw, and he said the couple definitely leave their break-up traumas behind when they’re off set…

VIDEO: Watch the interview with Tina and Ryan.