Helen Worth, Gail on ‘Coronation Street,’ to leave soap after 50 years

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Gail Rodwell is leaving her home on Coronation Street.

Helen Worth, the actor who portrays the iconic owner of house No. 8, will be exiting Coronation Street after five decades of starring in the ever-popular soap.

Worth, 73, joined the cast in 1974 as the formerly named Gail Platt. She will celebrate her golden anniversary with the British soap next month.

In a post to the Coronation Street Instagram account, the production said Worth is bidding farewell to the cobbles.

“Not only will she be celebrating 50 years on the nation’s best loved soap, Helen will also be looking forward to a very different future, as she has made the difficult decision to step down from her role as Gail Rodwell at the end of the year,” the statement reads.

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“Half a century after she first walked onto the cobbles, viewers will see Helen and Gail bid farewell to Weatherfield in a major storyline for the Platt family,” the post continues. “Helen will start filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year.”

In a statement of her own, Worth said she’s been thinking about leaving Coronation Street since the beginning of 2024.

“This year felt like the perfect time to leave the show after celebrating 50 years in the most wonderful job on the most wonderful street in the world,” she said. “I made the decision at the start of the year and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.”

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“I have been truly blessed to have been given the most incredible scripts week in week out, and to have worked with fantastic actors, directors and a brilliant crew,” Worth said. “The past 50 years have flown by and I don’t think the fact that I am leaving has quite sunk in yet.”

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Across her five decades on Coronation Street, Worth’s character made for some of the most iconic moments ever featured on the soap. Gail’s experienced it all, from being mistakenly jailed on suspicion of murder to when she was pushed down a flight of stairs after taking her son’s girlfriend to an abortion clinic.

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Fans might also recall when Gail married serial killer Richard Hillman in 2003. The series finale, which saw the Platt family kidnapped, amassed nearly 20 million viewers when it aired, resulting in a power surge in the British national power grid.

Coronation Street executive producer Iain Macleod said Worth is a “legend” and an “icon.”

“In Helen’s hands, Gail has been a huge part of Coronation Street for five decades and at the centre of some of the most memorable storylines – often deriving from her catastrophically bad luck in choosing husbands!” he said.

“Gail has given us countless hours of entertainment but it should also be said that Helen herself is a consummate professional and a thoroughly good egg,” Macleod added. “Everyone connected to the show will miss having her around the place just as much as the viewers will miss having her on their screens and we wish her all the very best for the future.”

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Already, fans of the show are mourning the loss of Worth and her iconic character.

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Coronation Street is the longest-running TV soap opera ever. The first episode premiered in 1960 and it has since aired over 11,000 episodes.

Worth is the second-most featured actor ever on Coronation Street and has starred in 4,453 episodes. The record is still held by actor William Roache, 92, who appeared in 4,773 episodes as Ken Barlow.

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