The actor has played builder Owen since 2010 in the ITV soap, but has now confirmed that he plans to leave when his current contract expires in March next year, meaning he will be off screen by early summer as the show shoots a number of weeks ahead.
Ian said: “Next year I will have been playing Owen Armstrong for five years and it felt like a good point to move on and take some time to focus on new projects. I have returned to my other passion of writing and in 2015 hope to put on a new play.
“I have had a fantastic time at Coronation Street and made some great friends. I certainly would never rule out returning to the role of Owen at some point in the future if I was asked.”
Owen’s storylines have included his relationship with Anna Windass (Debbie Rush) and her family, paying Tine McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) to be a surrogate mum for his daughter Izzy (Cherylee Houston), and getting into debt with crooked businessman Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre).
Coronation Street’s executive producer Stuart Blackburn said: “Over the last few years two things have been glaringly clear to me; firstly how gifted an actor Ian is and secondly – and perhaps more importantly – is what a lovely and dedicated man he is.
“We wish him all the very best and there is still a great deal of fantastic drama to come for Owen and the Windasses before Ian leaves.”
Owen’s ex-wife is due to be introduced to Coronation Street, where her past with daughters Izzy and Katy (Georgia May Foote) will be explored.