Melanie Hill leaves Coronation Street after seven years as Cathy Matthews

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Melanie, who plays Cathy Matthews, says: “It wasn’t an easy decision to make. My family has been important, but the pandemic has left many people thinking about the future.”

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Melanie Hill of Coronation Street has sensationally quit the soap to spend more time with her family.

The actress, who plays newsagent Cathy Matthews, made the “extremely emotional” decision to walk away after taking stock of her post-Covid life.

Melanie, who turned 60 this year, admitted: “It wasn’t easy to decide. My family has been important, but the pandemic has made many people think about the future.

“A lot has changed in my mind. You just have to see what’s important to you.

“I absolutely love everyone, but it has made me think a lot about my family and what the priorities are in my life.”







Melanie Hill has quit Coronation Street

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Getty Images)







Melanie as Cathy on the cobblestones

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ITV)

Melanie had to rush to her native Sunderland two weeks ago to care for her 88-year-old mother Sylvia.

The actress, who has been in Corrie for seven years, now believes the way forward is to take on more roles, such as her role in BBC One drama The Syndicate, which will give her more time between commitments.

Melanie said: “I’ve been with my mum for two weeks now and what’s nice is that I have the freedom to do that because soaps are pretty brutal. You never stop, really, and you are always reachable.

“My sister Samantha normally helps take care of my mother, but she is in hospital with a broken leg.

“I’m lucky I finished shooting a little over two weeks ago, so I’m here all the time. If I was still working on Corrie, I would have gone mad with worry. I can’t bear to disappoint people – and even if I was sick, I would come to work. Now I don’t have to worry so much.







Melanie with screen mom Jean Boht in sitcom Bread

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Getty Images)







Melanie Hill and ex-husband Sean Bean

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British press via Getty Images)

“When you get a drama series, you know that your union has come to an end. I hope I can do work now that I can work near my family.”

Melanie also worries that she isn’t spending enough time with her grandchildren Bowie, five, and Daisy May, three, who live in Melbourne, Australia.

But she’s glad ITV producers didn’t kill her character Cathy, leaving the door open for her to return.

Melanie said: “Corrie has been absolutely fantastic because I could have just disappeared. I won’t say where Cathy is going, but I’m a stone’s throw from Weatherfield.

“My cousin Alex, played by Liam Bairstow, is there and Peter Gunn, who plays Brian Packham, so the door is open for me to come back – and that’s a huge compliment. I am flattered and grateful.

“You never know what’s around the corner, so let’s see what happens.”

Viewers will see Melanie leave next month after her relationship with the unlucky Brian seems to have run its course.

John Whiston, head of ITV North, said: “Cathy has been a fantastic Corrie character, whether that be laughing or breaking our hearts because once again Brian falls short of her romantic expectations.

“We are sorry that Melanie takes time – she is such a skilled actress that she can often deliver sadness and laughter, drama and comedy in the same scene. We will all miss her greatly.”

Melanie said of her closing episodes: “They have written very nice things for Peter and me, and my cousin Alex. It’s quite emotional. The story shows middle-aged people who really care about each other, but it doesn’t quite work out. I think it’s very realistic.”







Melanie Hill with her partner Jim Davy

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Sunday Mirror)







Melanie wants to spend more time with her family

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ITV)

Melanie also revealed that there were tears on her last day and shared how she will miss all her fellow cast members. She said: “It’s the people. Pure and simple.”

Melanie has been a mainstay of British television for decades. She became famous for her playful Aveline Boswell in the popular 1980s comedy Bread, co-starring with Jean Boht, and she also had leading roles in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Playing The Field and The Syndicate.

Melanie, who is married to writer and TV producer Jimmy Daly, has daughters Lorna and Molly from her previous marriage to actor Sean Bean. Sean, 63, just got a BAFTA for his role on Jimmy McGovern’s series Time – and Melanie said she’d jump at the chance to work with McGovern and Bean on another gritty northern drama.

About her relationship with her ex, Melanie said: “We do talk, but it always has to do with the kids. I thought he was excellent at Time. He’s a brilliant actor.”

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