One of the Street’s most popular stars Craig Gazey tells TV Times magazineon why he’s so happy with his Coronation Street exit.

Why are you leaving?
“I made the decision to do no more than two years a long time ago because I am a character actor and I like playing different parts. I missed not doing plays and because I am not responsible for anyone else, I can be out of work. But when the time actually came, I felt really sad about it and thought ‘What am I doing?!'”

Was it an emotional farewell?
“Yes, leaving was a really, really difficult thing to do and I got quite sentimental about it. I needed to get away from everything, far away where I could just relax and get my head together.”

But you have no regrets?
“No, I’m in London at the moment doing some work at the Soho Theatre. I’m getting together with new writers, performing extracts of their work and helping with script development. That’s the kind of stuff I love to do and I’m really happy that I can do it now. It was never about the money or fame for me. It’s always about the work and Corrie was a brilliant job.”

Would you ever go back?
“They’ve left the door open for me and I would really enjoy going back at some point and I’d feel comfortable in asking them, but first, I want to play parts that are totally different to Graeme so that I can showcase myself in a completely different light. I’ve got a play lined up for next year and I’m doing auditions at the moment.”

What about your exit storyline?
“It was a shame that Tina and Graeme had to split because I liked them together, but I’m glad that Graeme is not leaving heartbroken, and that Tina didn’t go off with Tommy Duckworth. I think Graeme and Xin are very suited. She’s a bit crazy and she needs him. I imagine that they’ll stay in London for a bit and move around, doing a series of different jobs. I don’t know what the story will be if he comes back – perhaps he’ll be widowed and will turn up with a child on his rickshaw!”