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Natasha Blakeman to leave Corrie

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Natasha Blakeman from Coronation Street

© ITV

Natasha Blakeman is to be written out of Coronation Street later this year, it has been announced.

The hairdresser, played by former Holby City actress Rachel Leskovac, will bow out from Weatherfield in dramatic circumstances in the build-up to the soap's 50th anniversary celebrations.

An ITV spokesman told The Sun: "We can confirm that Rachel Leskovac will leave Coronation Street later this year. Her departure will be the culmination of a dramatic storyline which will be seen on screen this summer and into the autumn."

Coronation Street's new series producer Phil Collinson added: "Rachel is a really talented actress who has been an asset to the show. Her character will be involved in an exciting and dramatic storyline which will be an integral part of the build-up to Coronation Street's 50th anniversary.

"She will leave behind a trail of devastation - a real testament to the impact Rachel as Natasha has had on many lives in our community. We wish her much success for the future."

Natasha joined Coronation Street in 2008 as a new recruit for Audrey Roberts's (Sue Nicholls) hair salon. She later became embroiled in the programme's dramatic Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien) storyline by starting a relationship with the villainous businessman. More recently, she has focused her attention on Audrey's grandson Nick Tilsley (Ben Price).

News of her departure follows last week's announcement that the Peacock family are to leave the long-running soap later this year. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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