Former Coronation Street star Graeme Hawley has said he is pleased John Stape was killed off so he can move on.

The 38-year-old soap star returned to the cobbles as killer teacher John last autumn, in a bid to save wife Fiz from jail, but ended up being killed off in a car crash.

Graeme told the Manchester Evening News: “If he hadn’t been killed there would always be that thing of ‘I could go back’.”

He added: “Corrie has been the perfect job for me. It’s worked out great, there’s never been a time when I was kicking my heels in the show, I was either in prison, on the run or dying. From a personal point of view I’ve been able to go away, do other stuff and return to the role over the months.

“But it was also important for me that there was a line drawn under the character this time.”

Now the soap star is appearing on stage at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in a new production of Saturday Night And Sunday Morning.

Graeme said: “It’s a good way to go, ‘That’s done’ from Corrie, and now for something completely different.”

He is starring alongside David Crellin, who played one of John’s victims Colin Fishwick in Coronation Street.

Graeme laughed: “Our characters don’t interact that much in this production, which for David’s life is probably a good thing.

“I might try to accidentally kill him in some shows just to put a twist back in it.”