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The Peacocks to leave 'Coronation Street'

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Claire Peacock from Coronation Street

© ITV

Coronation Street couple Claire and Ashley Peacock are to be written out of the Weatherfield soap later this year, Digital Spy can confirm.

Actors Julia Haworth and Steven Arnold recently met with new producer Phil Collinson to discuss their future with the serial and all three parties mutually agreed that their characters had run their course.

Speaking of the decision, Collinson said: "Ashley and Claire Peacock have been part of the fabric of Weatherfield for many years but like any community, people come and go.

"Both the actors and myself felt that we had reached a crossroads with the characters, to the point that as actors they were not being fulfilled and stories were harder to find.

He continued: "We mutually decided to start working towards an exit for the Peacock family, giving the actors the chance to explore new opportunities and for us to devise a dramatic exit storyline.

"I wish Steven and Julia, and of course the young boys who play Josh and Freddie, all the best for the future."

Contrary to reports in the Manchester Evening News, however, show officials insist that no "dramatic showdown" or confrontation occurred at the meeting.

An ITV spokesperson said: "Julia and Steven are to leave the show but contrary to some press reports, there has been no confrontation with the show producer Phil Collinson."

They added: "All parties agreed this was the right time to say goodbye to the street's Peacock family."

Writers are said to be working on a "fitting exit" for the pair, who will remain on screen "until at least" the end of the year.

Arnold first appeared as butcher Ashley in 1995. He went on to marry Maxine Heavey (Tracy Shaw) four years later. Their happiness, however, was short-lived as she had an affair with Dr Matt Ramsden (Stephen Beckett), before being murdered by evil Richard Hillman (Brian Capron).

Ashley went on to marry Claire Casey on Christmas Day 2004. Their relationship, however, hit the rocks when she began suffering post-natal depression following the birth of their first son Freddie. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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