Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:24 UK

Coronation Street's Peacocks given the axe

julia haworth
Julia Haworth joined the show as nanny to Ashley's son Josh

Coronation Street couple Ashley and Claire Peacock - played by Steven Arnold and Julia Haworth - are to be axed from the soap.

The actors came to a mutual agreement with new producer Phil Collinson that it was time for the Peacocks to move on, an ITV statement said.

The story team are now working on a exit for butcher Ashley, his housewife Claire and their two children.

The Peacocks will however be on screen until at least the end of 2010.

"Both the actors and myself felt 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," said Mr Collinson.

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

Ashley Peacock's first marriage
Ashley Peacock's first marriage was to Maxine, played by Tracy Shaw

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

Arnold was first seen on Coronation Street in 1995 as the son of the street's resident butcher Fred Elliott, although his character Ashley was raised by Fred's sister, Beryl Peacock and her husband.

Over the years Ashley has had his share of traumatic storylines.

His first wife Maxine was murdered by Richard Hillman. He was equally devastated by the death of his father Fred.

Haworth came into the soap as Ashley's nanny which led to the pair falling in love and then marrying in 2004.

Claire Peacock has had her share of difficulties, including suffering severe post-natal depression following the birth of her son with Ashley.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Bill Tarmey, who plays Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street, is to leave the ITV soap after more than 30 years.

This is a momentous year for the Manchester soap as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in December.

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