Coronation Street star Bruce Jones was sacked as Les Battersby on Wednesday as fan favourite Bradley Walsh is poised for a shock return as wheeler-dealer Danny Baldwin, according to reports.

Bruce, 54, was suspended from the soap back in March over allegations of drunken antics in a family restaurant and will not be appearing again, ITV said.

A statement from the channel said: “ITV today announced that Bruce Jones will not be returning to his role of Les Battersby on Coronation Street.

“Bruce’s current contract will not be renewed when it ends in September of this year. The character of Les will not be seen back on screen.

“A decision is yet to be made as to how the character will be written out. It is likely to be linked to the departure of his wife Cilla.”

Bruce said in the statement: “I have had a fantastic time at Coronation Street, but the time has come to move on and try my hand at other things.

“I have already had some very exciting offers and am looking forward to what the future holds.”

Meanwhile, Street bosses are desperately looking for a way to bring Bradley’s character back to Weatherfield for a month to boost the ratings.

A source on the soap revealed: “Danny Baldwin was a brilliant character and was sorely missed when he left. Bradley has been in talks about coming back and it’s something everyone is keen to make happen.

“It looks as though it will happen in the autumn just before Bradley has to disappear again to star in panto in December. It will be great for the ratings.”

Bradley’s character left in disgrace almost a year ago after a fling with son Jamie’s girlfriend Leanne Battersby.