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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Street's Shaw to leave
Ashley holds Tracy Shaw as Maxine in their wedding scene
Ashley and Maxine's wedding was a Street highlight
Coronation Street star Tracy Shaw is to leave the hit soap after seven years as hairdresser Maxine to pursue other projects.

It is not yet clear how Shaw will be written out, but it is likely to be at the beginning of next year, a spokeswoman for the show said.

The actress met producers earlier this year and informed them of her desire to move on.


We are looking forward to devising a great plotline for Tracy's exit next year

Kieran Roberts
Coronation Street
Shaw met producer Kieran Roberts this week and agreed the timing of her departure.

"Leaving Coronation Street was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make," she said.

"I have had a fantastic seven years, worked on some fabulous storylines and made some great friends.

"But the time has come for me to spread my wings and move on.

"I am very excited about the future, I am already talking to people about possible projects and although I am nervous about saying goodbye to such a big part of my life I am relishing the prospect of new challenges."

Strict secret

Shaw posed for a photocall outside the ITV1 soap's local - the Rovers Return.

Asked by photographers to look downcast about leaving, she laughed and replied: "I don't want to be miserable."

The spokeswoman said the storyline leading up to Shaw's departure would be kept a strict secret.

Tracy Shaw arriving at an awards ceremony
Shaw is well-known for raunchy outfits
Shaw has been contacted about possible roles in two West End productions and is also considering drama work at Granada itself.

She has become almost as famous for her raunchy poses in men's magazines and arriving at awards ceremonies in risqué outfits as she has for her acting.

Mr Roberts said: "Maxine has been a hugely popular character for the show and, while we are sorry to see her go, we fully understand Tracy's desire to try her hand at other things.

"Characters come and go in soaps all the time and the departure of a character like Maxine does give the scriptwriters great scope to come up with dramatic storylines for the viewers to enjoy.

"We are looking forward to devising a great plotline for Tracy's exit next year."

See also:

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