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Loudmouth Janice to say ta-rah to the Street

Coronation Street actress Vicky Entwistle has decided to leave the show after 14 years playing loudmouth factory worker Janice Battersby, the soap's bosses said today.

Entwistle said she had "agonised" on whether to leave the TV3 and ITV show but felt the programme's 50th anniversary year was the right time to depart.

She said: "Corrie means so much to me and I could easily have continued to play Janice for the rest of my acting career. But I've been thinking of leaving for some time, and couldn't deny those feelings.

"I've a hankering to do other drama projects and so if I don't make this move now I never will.

"The programme has given me my husband, Andy, as we met and got together when he worked on the show, and I've had a fantastic time playing an extremely feisty character.

"I'll miss the great friends I've made during my time in Coronation Street, but I know we'll stay in touch and I'm grateful to be part of the show's 50th anniversary as it's a huge landmark in British television."

Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson added: "When she first appeared on screen in 1996, Janice Battersby caused a stir and has continued to do so ever since.

"Vicky created a strong and uncompromising battleaxe with a heart of gold lurking underneath -- in the true tradition of great Coronation Street women.

"She'll be missed by us all and we wish her well."