Coronation Street star Faye Brookes has announced she is leaving the soap after four years.
She tweeted: “Thanks to everyone for your amazing support, but after 4 fabulous years in Weatherfield it’s time for me to explore new opportunities, I’ve loved playing Kate Connor, but she needs a break for a little while and so with a song in my heart I’m off to pastures new. #corrie.”
The actress has appeared in the soap since 2015 as Kate Connor, who is best known for her relationship with Rana Habeeb, played by Bhavna Limbachia.
In a statement, Coronation Street said: “Faye is a very talented actress who has put her all into the portrayal of Kate Connor for the past three and a half years, we wish her every success for the future.
“She will be on screen until early autumn and the door will be left open.”
Faye – who is engaged to singer Gareth Gates – was last month embroiled in a stressful storyline that she admitted had taken its toll, as Kate’s wife-to-be Rana Habeeb died in her arms after the factory roof collapsed.
“Rana’s death was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to film and emotionally I ran myself into the ground with it,” she said at the time.
Faye is the latest star to quit the soap amid what insiders are calling a ‘crisis’ akin to the sinking of the Titanic.
Limbachia, who played the programme’s first ever gay Muslim character, announced in January that she would be leaving the show.
Tristan Gemmill (who plays Robert Preston) and Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor) also recently announced they were leaving to explore other options.
And Connie Hyde, who played Gina Seddon for two years, revealed she’d quit back in March.
Behind the scenes, castmates are said to be stressed and close to burning out thanks to an intense schedule of filming six shows a week.