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Craig Kelly quits 'Coronation Street'

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Craig Kelly quits 'Coronation Street'

Craig Kelly

Coronation Street actor Craig Kelly will leave the ITV soap after less than a year on screen.

The 38-year-old former Queer As Folk actor - who plays Weatherfield's mysterious businessman Luke Strong - will bow out of the show later this year when his character disappears over suspicious circumstances.

Producers cast Kelly in the role last November while he made his screen debut on February 20 after sauntering into knicker factory Underworld with the news that Tony Gordon's (Gray O'Brien) wife Carla (Alison King) had sent him to take care of her business assets while she was away.

After buying out Carla's share in the factory from under Tony's nose, Luke continued to rile the Scottish murderer with his softly, softly approach to trade. With little known about his new business partner, Tony soon hired a private investigator to track Luke's history and follow his every move. However, with a lack of information uncovered, Luke quickly rumbled Tony's covert operation and the pair reluctantly opted to work with each other rather than against.

Following a brief fling with Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh) and what will be a short-lived romance with Rosie Webster (Helen Flanagan), Luke's world soon begins crumbling around him. In October, he will leave Weatherfield in a shroud of mystery when his true colours finally shine through.

His departure from the Street will pave the way for Carla's much-anticipated return, while his actions will leave one local resident reeling in the wake of his sudden exit.

Speaking of his decision to leave, Kelly said: "I have had a ball playing Luke Strong and although it's been fun I always knew he would be a character that would enter the street in mysterious circumstances, ruffle feathers, make his mark and leave.

He added: "Being in Corrie was something I wanted to do but I didn't want to stay too long. I am grateful for the chance to have played such a great character and to have walked the cobbled street."

A Corrie spokesperson commented: "Some characters arrive in Weatherfield and stay for years, others pass through affecting the lives of the residents, just as in real life.

"Luke will not be killed off and the door will be left open for a possible return in the future."

Kelly will film his final scenes in the coming months and remain on screen until October. Meanwhile, Alison King returns to filming from her maternity leave and will re-appear in Weatherfield at around the same time as Kelly's exit. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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