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Last Updated: Monday, 20 December, 2004, 16:19 GMT
Street star Dev to take a 'break'
Jimmi Harkishin
Jimmi Harkishin plays shopkeeper Dev Alahan in the soap
Actor Jimmi Harkishin is to take a break from Coronation Street following revelations about his private life.

Harkishin, who plays shopkeeper Dev Alahan in the hit ITV1 soap, was pictured in the News of the World on Sunday apparently taking drugs.

His agents and producers declined to comment on the allegations.

A spokesperson for Granada said Harkishin had been granted indefinite leave to sort out his "problems" and had their full support.

Advance filming

"Both Granada and Jimmi recognise he has some problems that he needs to sort out," a spokesperson said.

"He will be taking a break from the show while he seeks help to deal with these issues.

"This is with the full support of the Company, Coronation Street and his colleagues."

Harkishin has already filmed five weeks' worth of scenes in advance and storylines will be re-written to explain his absence.

His character has been at the centre of some of the show's most dramatic recent storylines, being kidnapped and almost killed in a fire before a scorned lover tried to run him over.

In real life, Harkishin recently denied allegations of theft at a shopping centre.

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