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Savident was 'disappointed' by Corrie chiefs

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Savident was 'disappointed' by Corrie chiefs
Former Coronation Street star John Savident has admitted that he was reluctant to leave the show.

The actor, who played Fred Elliott on the ITV1 soap for 12 years, decided to quit in 2006 because he wanted to spend more time with his family in Hertfordshire.

However, Savident has now revealed that he would have been willing to stick with the role if producers had given him a lighter workload.

"I did think they might find some way to accommodate me," he told The People. "Quite honestly I was surprised and disappointed that they didn't try a bit harder.

"I told them a year in advance that I was going and then they took me out for dinner and said, 'We're not going to insult you, John, by trying to make you stay'. And I'm sitting there thinking, 'Please, go on, insult me'."

Savident has also claimed that programme makers Granada had angered the show's cast by cutting back on bonuses.

"Granada were becoming increasingly mean. All the nice little extras that the cast enjoyed were being whittled away," he explained. "The subsistence allowance - basically for working away from home - only got paid for the first couple of years you were in the show, not for five, as it had been.

"Holiday pay was slashed. I think Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth, was in floods of tears and someone like Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) must have lost a small fortune. And then Granada reduced the weekly retainer we got for showing 'loyalty' to the programme, from £470 to £100 a week. Loyalty clearly doesn't mean a thing now, especially in television."

The actor will return to screens with a new role on ITV1 crime drama Above Suspicion next weekend. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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