Rula Lenska is set to leave Coronation Street to join the new Calendar Girls tour.
But her departure as glamorous salon owner Claudia will pave the way for Audrey to have some fun and games with Claudia’s cross-dressing boyfriend Marc Selby (Andrew Hall).
Rula – a Polish countess born Roza-Marie Leopoldyna Lubienska – said she is leaving to ‘concentrate on other commitments’, the Sun reports.
A source said: “We’re really going to have some fun with this. Audrey will fully embrace Marc’s cross dressing, and even help him pick out outfits.”
Audrey, also a hair salon boss, has been a shoulder to cry on for Marc after she discovered his secret life as alter-ego Marcia.
Their relationship will heat up after Claudia leaves Weatherfield – and their first kiss will be seen in July. The pair will then spend wild nights out – both done up to the nines – in Manchester’s gay village.
Rula has reportedly asked producers to leave the door open for a comeback.
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: “We’ve loved having Rula. She’s been absolutely brilliant as Claudia and we hope one day she’ll return.”
Fans can see her on stage in Calendar Girls, touring the UK from August, with ex-Brookside beauty Jennifer Ellison and former Strictly Come Dancing star Camilla Dallerup.