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Home » Corrie’s Gail Platt QUITS: Soap Legend Helen Worth, 73, Announces She Is Leaving Show After 50 Years

Corrie’s Gail Platt QUITS: Soap Legend Helen Worth, 73, Announces She Is Leaving Show After 50 Years

Coronation Street legend Helen Worth has announced she is leaving the soap.

The actress who celebrates 50 years on the ITV show next month has made the difficult decision to step down from her role as Gail Rodwell at the end of the year.

Half a century after she first walked onto the cobbles, viewers will see Helen bid farewell to the street in a major storyline for the her family, which includes son Nick Tilsley (Ben Price), daughter Sarah Platt (Tina O’Brien), son David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd), granddaughter Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) and Gail’s mother Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls).

Helen will start filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year.

Helen said in a statement on Wednesday: ‘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.’

Coronation Street legend Helen Worth has announced she is leaving the soap

The actress who celebrates 50 years on the ITV show next month has made the difficult decision to step down from her role as Gail Rodwell at the end of the year

‘I made the decision at the start of the year and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.

‘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.

‘The past 50 years have flown by and I don’t think the fact that I am leaving has quite sunk in yet.’

Executive Producer Iain Macleod added: ‘The words ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ get used a lot these days but they genuinely do apply to Gail and to Helen Worth.’

‘However, given her humility, I know Helen won’t thank me for saying so! 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!’

‘Her ill-fated marriage to Richard Hillman was one of the most ground-breaking stories in soap history and cemented Gail’s already established status as one of the Corrie greats.’

‘As the matriarch of the Platt clan, her affectionately prickly relationships with her kids and flighty mum Audrey epitomise what makes the show great: complicated family dynamics brought to life impeccably by Helen’s dramatic and comedic chops, alongside those of her fictional clan.

‘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.’

‘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.’

Helen will start filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year

In her time on the Corrie cobbles, Helen’s character Gail has been married five times, including Brian Tilsey (pictured), who was stabbed to death

One of her most iconic moment came when she was nearly drowned by her killer husband Richard Hillman

Helen made her debut as a young Gail in 1974, and was soon followed by her despairing mother Audrey (played by Sue Nicholls).

In her nearly 50-year stint on the soap, she has been married five times, including Brian Tilsey (Christopher Quinten), who was tragically stabbed to death, and Martin Platt (Sean Wilson), one of the soap’s long-serving characters.

Helen has been at the centre of an array of explosive storylines, including her daughter Sarah’s (Tina O’Brien) teenage pregnancy, and the death of her fourth debt-ridden husband Joe McIntyre (Reece Dinsdale) during a failed life insurance scheme.

One of Gail’s most iconic moments came when she featured in a two-hander episode with her husband Richard Hillman (Brian Capron) in 2003, after learning that he was a serial killer.

The famous episode, which featured a slew of one-liners, saw Richard confess he had killed several people on the cobbles, including Maxine Peacock.

It all culminated in a famous 2003 episode when Richard attempted to end his own life, and the Platts, by driving their car into a canal, and he sadly drowned while the rest of them were rescued.

Her quest to find love has never been smooth, as she was later conned out of her entire savings by Lewis Archer (Nigel Havers), as revenge to getting in the way of his love for her mother Audrey.

Helen made her debut as a young Gail in 1974

One of her more groundbreaking plots came when Gail’s teenage daughter Sarah Platt fell pregnant at the age of 13

More recently, Gail has been dealing with the fallout of her grandson Max’s grooming at the hands of far-right extremists, to the despair of her son David

Viewers will see Helen bid farewell to the street in a major storyline for the her family, which includes son son David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd)

In her nearly 50-year stint on the soap, she has been married five times (pictured with Phil Nail played by Clive Russell)

Gail is no stranger to comedic moments either, including a legendary cobbles fight with Eileen Grimshaw, after learning her son Todd had got Sarah pregnant.

More recently, Gail has been dealing with the fallout of her grandson Max’s grooming at the hands of far-right extremists, to the despair of her son David (Jack P Shepherd).

Thankfully, Helen hasn’t had quite a dramatic life as her character, and once admitted she would ‘be in a mental institution’ if her life was like Gail’s.

She married her school teacher partner Trevor Dawson, 66, in 2013, with the London wedding attended by her castmates.

In 2001 she was left devastated when her first marriage ended after 21 years together.

Liverpudlian actor Michael Angelis admitted that he had cheated on Worth in 1995, but the British star forgave him.

However, their split six years later came about because Angelis strayed again – this time with model Jennifer Khalastchi.

Following her divorce, Worth had a brief relationship with London restaurant owner Simon Hopkinson.

Helen was awarded an MBE for services to drama at Windsor Castle in January 2023, collecting her honour from Prince William.

Speaking after she was awarded with the honour, Helen said: ‘(William) was so lovely, so easy. He asked all the right questions. He was very complimentary.’

‘It just feels absolutely wonderful. To collect an MBE is very special.’

‘To have had a job and one that I love, and to be able to work in it is quite extraordinary. And then to get an award for it is just the icing on the cake.

‘I have a little time off to begin with but I will walk in with my medal the day I do.

‘There are quite a few medals scattered around the cast. They’ve all already been given them. I’m bringing up the rear really.’

Helen was awarded an MBE for services to drama at Windsor Castle in January 2023, collecting her honour from Prince William

Helen pictured as Gail Potter with Cheryl Murray (as Suzie Birchall) in 1977

In February 2024 it was reported that Helen signed a new one-year contract on Coronation Street worth £250,000.

The soap has been suffering a ‘rocky patch’, a source told The Sun at the time- following a drop in its Christmas viewing figures, which saw it fail to make it into the top 10 most viewed shows.

But ‘dedicated’ Helen, who is said to receive £2,500 per episode, reportedly signed a new one-year deal in a boost for the soap.

The Platts have been a staple of the show for a long time, but viewings figures have declined.

The Christmas Day episode was viewed by 2.6million – down almost three quarters from 10 years ago.

In December, it was reported ITV bosses are discussing a major shake-up of its soaps which could see them screened first, or exclusively, through online streaming.

The move has been prompted by declining viewing figures, forcing budget cuts to Coronation Street and Emmerdale, say ITV sources.

Anxious bosses are desperately looking at how they can attract a new audience, as even their older viewers are watching less terrestrial TV in favour of streaming giants such as Netflix.