Michelle Keegan has spoken out about her decision to leave Coronation Street, saying that the time felt right for her to go.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s British Soap Awards – where she is nominated for best actress and sexiest female, the 25-year-old told the Mirror it was a tough decision.

However she added that she still had plenty more drama to come before her character Tina McIntyre made her exit.

“This was my first acting job and it really feels like the right time for me to go and try something different.

“There’s still a long way to go for Tina and right now that’s what I have to concentrate on. ?I am looking forward to everything that’s coming up and I’m excited about what Tina’s exit storyline will be.”

Michelle also revealed that she was ‘really flattered’ to be in the running at the British Soap Awards once again, having taken the sexiest female title for four years in a row – and this time also competing for the actress prize.

“When awards come around you don’t ever expect to be nominated,” she admitted. “I still can’t believe I work on Coronation Street, so to be nominated for Best Actress is certainly a real honour.

“I’m really looking forward to the night. It’s a chance for everyone to get together from all the soaps, have a laugh and let our hair down. We’ve all worked so hard over the last year and it’s chance for a big celebration.”

The British Soap Awards take place in Manchester on Saturday night, and will be screened on Sunday at 8pm on ITV1.