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'Coronation Street': Shobna Gulati to leave show

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Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati has announced that she is leaving the soap.

The actress's character Sunita Alahan will bow out next year, and show bosses have promised an "explosive exit" for the Weatherfield mum.

Shobna Gulati outside the ITV studios

© WENN

Coronation Street sign

© ITV



Gulati is hoping to explore other career opportunities after making her departure, including spending more time on her comedy writing.

In a statement released on itv.com, the 46-year-old commented: "I have loved playing Sunita but, having played the role originally from 2001 to 2005 and then returning to Corrie four years ago, I really feel the time has come for me to focus on other aspects of my career.

"I had always told myself I would see my son through school, and I have done that. Comedy writing has long been a passion of mine and the commitment to a show like Corrie is huge and doesn't really leave enough time to concentrate on other projects. I'd love to be able to combine my writing and acting career in the future.

"Playing Sunita has been a fabulous opportunity. I've thoroughly enjoyed her journey and am looking forward with excitement to her dramatic departure. I shall miss her. That said, I have made a host of friends [in the] cast and crew - friendships that will stay with me."

Sunita hangs around in the pub until closing time, asking Karl to let her stay for one more drink

© ITV

Sunita is surprised when Karl tells her to take the job at the corner shop because they need the money

© ITV



Sunita has been at the centre of a big storyline this year, setting up home with Karl Munro (John Michie) after the pair cheated on their respective partners Dev and Stella.

Coronation Street's producer Phil Collinson added: "It's been a pleasure to work closely with Shobna these last few years. Sunita's mid-life crisis and the disintegration of the Alahans' marriage has kept Coronation Street viewers on the edge of their seats for the past six months.

"It's sad to lose such a well-loved and brilliantly played character, but it provides an exciting storyline opportunity and the writing team are already looking forward to developing a brilliant exit story for her.

"Viewers can expect something very memorable. We of course wish Shobna well in everything she does next."
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