Roy Cropper is heading out of Coronation Street, ITV has confirmed. But fans of the cobbles favourite can rest easy – he’ll be back three months later, after actor David Neilson has taken time out to star in a play.

 

Roy Cropper and Cathy Matthews in Blackpool



Roy Cropper and Cathy Matthews in Blackpool (ITV)

 

An ITV spokesperson said: “We are always happy to try and accommodate cast requests to take time off for plays provided enough notice is given, which was the case here.”

The soap star, 66, has played cafe owner Roy on the show for two decades, but now plans to act in a stage play.

The actor has been involved in some difficult, crucial storylines during his time in Corrie. He married the first transsexual character in a British soap opera, Hayley Patterson (Julie Hesmondhalgh).

Hayley Cropper says goodbye to husband Roy



Terminally ill Hayley Cropper took her own life in Corrie last year (ITV)

 

Roy was with her as she ended her life after battling cancer last year, and has since struggled with grief.

The widower now has a slowly-developing friendship and potential romance with fellow allotment gardener Cathy Matthews (Melanie Hill).