Coronation Street actor Philip Lowrie is set to make a dramatic departure from the soap in 2014 following an ‘explosive’ storyline for his character Dennis Tanner.

The Weatherfield bad boy will leave his wife Rita heartbroken after falling for Gloria Price (Sue Johnston), a continuation of a previous story which saw them become close friends.

“This is going to be a big storyline for Dennis and Rita and things are going to get messy,” a source said.

“Rita is going to get her heart broken and Dennis really falls for Gloria who gives him a lot of attention.”

Philip, 77, first appeared in the soap in 1960 – and his exit means that for the first time in Corrie‘s 53-year history there will be no original cast members on the cobbles.

The storyline is the latest bit of drama for Rita – played by Barbara Knox – who has been unlucky in love on numerous occasions.

As well as losing her first husband Len in a car crash – only to learn afterwards he was having an affair – her romance with crook Alan Bradley came to an unfortunate end when he was hit by a tram.

Meanwhile her second husband, Ted Sullivan (William Russell) died of a brain tumour.

“Rita has had a lot of bad luck with men and this is just going to bring back all the bad memories,” the source said.