Ashley and Claire Peacock are the latest characters to be axed from Coronation Street , according to the Sunday Mirror.

The paper reports that Stephen Arnold and Julia Haworth, who play the soap couple, learned the news after they approached new producer Phil Collinson over their lack of juicy storylines.

However, instead of having a discussion about their future on the show, they were told they were no longer wanted.

Stephen, who has played butcher Ashley for 14 years, is reported to be “fuming” at the decision – and it has left other cast members reeling.

“Everyone is looking over their shoulder, wondering who’s next?” an insider told the paper.

Phil said of his decision, “The actors and myself felt that we had reached a crossroads with the characters. We decided to start working towards a dramatic exit storyline.”

A spokesman for ITV added, “All parties agreed this was the right time to say goodbye.”

It is unclear how the pair will leave the soap but there is speculation that it could be part of Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary celebrations later this year.