Why everyone left Coronation Street in 2023

coronation street has a wide cast of long-established and beloved characters, but not everyone can stay on the cobblestones as long as Ken Barlow.

From cast members wanting new challenges to storylines reaching a natural ending, each year sees a handful of characters step down and 2023 was no exception.

Here, we look back at the biggest departures of the year so far and why each of the exits happened.

1. Jack James Ryan (Jacob Hay)

jacob, coronation street


2023 kicked off with a very surprising start, as Jack James Ryan chose to step down as fan-favorite Jacob Hay. Jacob was driven out of town shortly after the arrival of his mean father Damon, who unfairly blamed him for messing up a £50,000 medicine delivery to the Bistro.

In real life, Jack made the bold decision to leave Corri even though the show bosses had long-term plans in mind for her character.

He said digital spy and other media in January: “It was a really tough decision, because I love the character so much. But I was coming two years into the show and the conversations upstairs were mostly about the long term of what Jacob was going to do and who he was going to be with on the streets.

“Of course, it was incredibly humbling. These types of conversations are just amazing. But I’m still young and there’s so much I want to do. I felt, in a way, that I was going to come in and do what I set out to do.”

2. Grant Burgin (Teddy Thompkins)

stephen reid, teddy, coronation street


Grant Burgin has never been a guest actor on coronation streetwhich may have made his character Teddy Thompkins an easy choice when show bosses determined who should be the second victim in Stephen Reid’s serial killer saga.

Stephen killed Teddy in January after the concerned father discovered the terrible truth behind the death of his son Leo.

Teddy made a final appearance in March as a hallucination as Stephen’s guilty conscience seemed to catch up with him while on LSD.

3. Michael Condron (Griff Reynolds)

nugent spider, griff, coronation street


Michael Condron did a brilliant job playing far-right gang leader Griff Reynolds, but it was no surprise to see him leave the show when the issue-based plot ended earlier this year.

The nature of Griff’s story means he was never intended as a long-term character, so CorriThe writers arranged for him to be sent to prison for his crimes in early January.

Griff was last seen in February, when he made a final appearance in some prison scenes with Spider Nugent.

4. Twana Omer (Daryan Zahawi)

daryan, maria connor, coronation street


Twana Omer starred as Daryan Zahawi for five months, which saw the character play a pivotal role in some major storylines with Maria Connor, Gary Windass and Max Turner.

In February this year, Daryan’s time on the show came to an end when he left Weatherfield to search for his brother in Nottingham.

Twana didn’t issue an exit statement at the time, so it’s not entirely clear if it was his choice to go, but it all turned out well anyway as he soon landed an exciting role in a Broadway play.

5. Steven Meo (Rufus Donahue)

rufus, coronation street


Steven Meo was another guest cast member on coronation street which had a memorable ending as part of Stephen Reid’s serial killer story.

Rufus appeared on the show from February this year, causing Stephen a lot of trouble along the way. He made his last appearance in April when Stephen finally lost his patience and brutally killed his business rival.

As Rufus was never a long-term character, no exit statement was released after his final scenes aired, but it seems reasonable to assume that he was still brought in for a limited time in the service of the Stephen saga.

6. Ellie Leach (Faye Windass)

jackson, faye windass and miley, coronation street


Ellie Leach’s departure from the role of Faye Windass was revealed in tabloids in early April, with Street sources suggesting she was keen to move on and pursue other roles after 12 years on the cobbles.

Faye’s outing aired the following month, as she left Weatherfield to move to Slough with her daughter Miley and young Jackson Hodge’s father.

It meant Faye had to say a heartbreaking goodbye to her boyfriend Craig Tinker as their relationship came to an end.

Ellie said digital spy and other press of the time: “It’s hard for Faye because it’s a question of – do you go with your head or your heart?

“It was so, so emotional. You see, there are two people here who love each other, but there are so many other factors. Love isn’t always enough, and you can definitely see that in the final scene.”

7. Andrew Still (Justin Rutherford)

justin, coronation street


Andrew Still’s departure from the role of Justin Rutherford was another inevitable exit due to the nature of his storyline.

Justin’s character was introduced to the series for Daisy Midgeley’s stalking plot, which resulted in the award-winning acid attack scenes.

Justin was never going to be a long-term player once the story was over, and fans were relieved when he was given a prison sentence for what he did to Daisy and Ryan Connor.

Supporting the decision to punish his character, Andrew said digital spy and other press at the time: “When I’ve been on a show and seen a character do terrible things, I can’t help but hope he’ll come back to bite them and I think Justin certainly deserves justice because what he did was horrible.

“I really think he should get his reward.”

8. James Craven (Aaron Sandford)

amy barlow, aaron, coronation street


Rounding out a trio of villains on our list, Aaron Sandford is gone Corri this year as his consent storyline with Amy Barlow reached its conclusion.

Aaron left the cobblestones in disgrace after a final conversation with Amy, in which he subtly admitted he had raped her months earlier. He had previously made repeated denials of his crime.

James Craven, who played Aaron, always knew his character couldn’t stay once the story was over.

He said digital spy and other media at the time: “It’s obviously very sad, it’s been a lot of fun and I really, really loved my time there. I met so many great people and made so many great friends for life. But I’m excited – I’m really, really excited to move on and do something else.

“There are a few things I have to say but I can’t really say too much right now.”

9. Martin Hancock (Nugent Spider)

nugent spider, coronation street


Martin Hancock said goodbye to coronation street again this week. As he had been back on screen since July 2022, his departure seemed to come at the end of a one-year contract.

In his recent exit chat, Martin didn’t say if it was his choice to leave or if the producers wrote it down, but he did confirm that he’d be open to returning should show bosses ask him to return.

Martin said digital spy and other press: “I said it the first time I left, then the second time, the third time and this is the fourth time. I love the show. It would be nice if a Spider and Toyah wedding happened at some point.”

On his future, he added: “I can’t tell you! Like people always say, ‘I have a few projects in the works!’ If they happen, they happen – if they don’t happen, they don’t happen, otherwise I’ll just go back to what I was doing before – which pop up every once in a while in reasonably good movies.

Discover more of our coronation street blanket:

coronation street star Adam Hussain reveals Aadi’s ‘scorching’ drama

coronation street films moving scenes of Paul Foreman as he suffers another bad fall

coronation street confirms storyline of Paul Foreman and Billy Mayhew’s wedding

14 huge coronation street spoilers for next week

coronation streetAdam Barlow is wary of Sarah in 29 new spoiler images

coronation street casting 2023 – who plays who?

Soap Movers: who leaves, returns and joins coronation street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, At home and away And Hollyoaks?

coronation street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

Learn more coronation street spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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Portrait of Daniel Kilkelly

Daniel has been writing about soap operas on Digital Spy since 2004 and took over as soap editor in 2010.
He’s interviewed hundreds of soap opera stars over the years, from Bill Roache to Lacey Turner, and regularly visits the sets of Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks for behind-the-scenes trips and press events.
He has been an awards judge on numerous occasions for the BAFTA TV Awards, the RTS Program Awards and the British Soap Awards. In 2020, he was highly commended for Best Section Editor at the BSME Awards.

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