Michelle Keegan has paid an emotional tribute to her Coronation Street alter ego Tina McIntyre as her character’s final scenes were screened.
Barmaid Tina was killed off in the ITV soap on Monday night (June 2) and Michelle posted montages of pictures from her six years in the soap on Twitter, along with the epitaph ‘RIP Tina McIntyre… 7th January 2008 to 2nd June 2014’.
Michelle tweeted: “‘So… Tonight’s the night. #byebyetina. Don’t think I can watch this… Tissues at the ready.
“It’s an end of an era…Thank you to all you lovely people who changed my life, supported and made the last 6 and a half years so special…
“To you all I’m eternally grateful. Thank you to coronation street for putting me on the most amazing path and allowing me live my dream…
“I’m going to miss Tina so much but a part of her will be with me forever…”
The actress – who has been voted Sexiest Female at the British Soap Awards for six years running – also sent in a video message for fans on the official Coronation Street website.
She said: “Filming my last scene at Coronation Street feels very, very odd. For the past month I’d say I’ve been living in a bubble, it’s like in a dream, because it doesn’t feel real.
“I don’t think it’s going to hit me for a long time.
“The build-up to Tina’s exit and the ending has been amazing. I always wanted to go out with a bang. I think going out in a black cab would have been great because I’d have had the chance to come back. But this massive storyline surrounding Tina and how she dies and who did it, it’s been so exciting, I’m glad we did it.
“I loved playing Tina from day one. As soon as I got the brief, before I even did the audition, I read it and thought, ‘Yeah that’s me!’ She’s a great character.
“I keep getting asked what I’m going to miss about the show and I’m going to say everything. But the thing that stands out to me is the people. And I don’t just mean the cast, I mean the make-up team, production team, the directors, the crew. And I know it’s a cliched thing to say – eveyone says Corrie’s such a close-knit family. It doesn’t matter what age you are or who you work with it’s very family orientated here.
“I’m going to miss coming in every day, having a brew, getting my make-up done and I’m just going to miss everyone really. I’m quite sad.
“I just want to say thank you to all the Coronation Street fans who supported me from day one and supported Tina. And I think you’ll agree that though she’s gone in the flesh, she’s still there in spirit. I’m going to miss her and I’m sure you will too.”