Lucy Fallon admits she is terrified to quit Coronation Street but hopes to follow in some famous footsteps.
Suranne Jones, 40, has become one of Britain’s most celebrated actresses since Corrie, winning a Bafta for Doctor Foster.
And she is the example Lucy, who plays Bethany Platt, would like to follow after leaving Weatherfield in January.
Lucy, 23, said: “I don’t know what I want to do after the show. People like Suranne Jones have gone off to do amazing things so that’s the dream.
“I’d like to stay in TV but I am under no illusions about what might happen. It’s exciting that is even a possibility for me.”
Lucy has certainly made a big impact during her four years in Corrie as Sarah Platt’s daughter.
Mouthy, rebellious teenager Bethany was kicked out of school and got involved with her mum’s violent drug dealer boyfriend.
A victim of school bullying, she sought attention from older men but ended up being groomed and sexually abused by them.
Still haunted by her abuse, Bethany started working in a lap dancing club but glassed a customer who reminded her of her attacker.
She is currently a trainee stylist at Audrey’s hair salon and a waitress.
Lucy’s brilliant performances has earned her four gongs since 2017, including a National Television Award in 2018, voted for by the public.
Such success should stand her in good stead to emulate Suranne, currently in BBC drama Gentleman Jack, and other former Corrie stars.
Michelle Keegan, Sarah Lancashire, Katherine Kelly and Joanne Froggatt have all forged fine careers after the soap.
Something not always the case for actors leaving Corrie.
Lucy, happily attached to boyfriend of three years Tom Leech, said leaving the comfort of the cobbles is daunting.
She said: “Corrie is all I know. So it’s scary but it’s also exciting to think about what comes next. It’s so far away so I haven’t even thought about it yet and then when I do I’m like argh!!”
She said she will most miss her on-screen family of Sarah, played by Tina O’Brien, David – Jack P Shepherd, Gail – Helen Worth, and Audrey – Sue Nicholls.
She said: “Tina was sad I’m leaving her but they are all happy for me and supportive over my decision to go.” Some stars leaving Corrie have met a bloody end but Lucy is hoping to go quietly.
“We haven’t even spoken about my exit yet but hopefully they’ll leave the door open for me.”
Lucy’s departure is part of a mass exodus at the show, seven cast members over a couple of weeks announced they were going.
The others are Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle Connor, Faye Brookes as Kate Connor, Connie Hyde who is Gina Seddon, Tristan Gemmill, Robert Preston, and Katie McGlynn, Sinead Tinker.
They quit amid reports of unrest behind the scenes. But Lucy said they are part of natural turnover.
She said: “There’s no crisis at Coronation Street. That’s just silly.
“We’ve had amazing storylines this year. Everything is great. It’s just one of those things where a few of us announced we were going then it all came out. So, no, Corrie is not in crisis.
“There are amazing people still there, all the old legends that are amazing. It’s just a few of us who are branching off to do other things.”
Even though Lucy is yet to pin down what to do next, she has plenty of showbiz options.
She showcased her vocal talents in 2017 on ITV’s All Star Musicals, winning the show with her rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita.
She has also been linked with Celebrity X Factor later this year – Simon Cowell’s spin-off from the prime time talent show.
Sources said show bosses wanted to tap into the loyal soap fan base and stoke the rivalry between the shows.
But Lucy has ruled out one well trodden path taken by former soap stars.
She said: “There are rumours I’m going to do Strictly Come Dancing but that’s not true.
“I don’t know about I’m a Celebrity. At the moment I’m just happy at Corrie and then seeing what happens once I leave.”
Speaking at the Soap Awards in Manchester last Saturday, Lucy had to shoot down suggestions she was pregnant, after being pictured holding her tummy.
She saw the funny side and wrote on social media: “I’d like to confirm… not pregnant just KFC x.”
Lucy wore a stunning, flowing white dress at the do at Manchester’s The Lowry and told Tom she’s keen to wear another one very soon.
She said: “I am so loved up, we’re enjoying life. I don’t think there are any wedding bells, you’d have to ask him!
“I drop hints every day. We’ll have to see. I may have to wait a lifetime.”
From Weatherfield to the world
Sarah Lancashire – played Raquel Watts from 1991 to 1996
After a series of acclaimed dramas, Sarah signed a golden handcuffs deal with ITV in 2000, making her the highest-paid UK telly actress. Sarah has won two Baftas, for Last Tango In Halifax and the gripping crime drama Happy Valley.
Suranne Jones – played Karen McDonald from 1997 to 2004
Suranne has appeared in a slew of successful dramas since Corrie, including Vincent and Scott & Bailey. In 2016 she won a Bafta for Doctor Foster and is appearing in the period drama Gentleman Jack.
Joanne Froggatt – played Zoe Tattersall from 1997 to 1998
Joanne played Corrie’s teenage mum Zoe, who had a mental breakdown after her daughter died and left the Street to join a cult. Joanne went on to star in Bad Girls before landing the role that made her huge – lady’s maid Anna Bates in Downton Abbey.
As well as Downton Abbey The Movie, Joanne will return for a second series of Liar.
Katherine Kelly – Becky McDonald from 2006 to 2012
After Becky’s spectacular exit from the Street, Kelly appeared in the period series Mr Selfridge opposite Jeremy Piven. Earlier this year she also gripped viewers in the ITV drama Cheat, opposite Bafta-winner Molly Windsor.
Michelle Keegan – played Tina McIntyre from 2008 to 2014
After Tina was brutally murdered by Rob Donovan, Michelle has gone on to land numerous big TV drama roles, including the mini-series Tina and Bobby in 2017. Michelle’s most notable role has been as Lance Corporal Georgie Lane in the BBC drama Our Girl. A fourth series is expected to air later this year.