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Thursday, 10 February, 2000, 15:22 GMT
Street star Danson leaves
Jane Danson
Jane Danson: Is set to leave the Street with a bang
Coronation Street star Jane Danson - who plays Leanne Battersby in the ITV soap - is to leave the programme.

But the 21-year-old actress dismissed as "completely untrue" reports she had been depressed by the storylines her character has had to endure since she joined the soap in June 1997.

So far, Rovers Return barmaid Leanne has undergone an abortion, divorce, cocaine addiction - and survived a beating by drug dealers.

Jane Danson and Adam Rickitt
Danson with her screen husband Adam Rickitt
Danson said: "I feel it's time to move on and explore other roles. I'll be sad to leave the friends I've made, but I feel I have taken Leanne Battersby as far as I can.

"I've had tremendous storylines which have really stretched me as an actress and prepared me for the challenges to come. I'm very excited about the future.

"It's completely untrue that I'm leaving Coronation Street because of the storylines. I feel I'm leaving on a high, and I still believe Coronation Street is the best programme on British television."

It was reported she telephoned the programme's producers before Christmas to tell them she was unable to film new scenes documenting her character's falling fortunes.

But a Granada spokesperson added: "It is ludicrous to suggest as many of the papers have done this morning that Jane is quitting because she is fed up with the hard hitting storylines she has been involved in.

Coronation Street: "Still the best programme on British television"
"Nothing could be further from the truth. It is insulting to suggest an actress of Jane's calibre cannot cope with acting out such dramatic storylines."

Producer Jane McNaught said: "She is a hugely talented actress and we are really sorry to see her go.

"We are leaving the door very much ajar for her to return at any time."

Former screen husband Adam Rickitt - who played Nick Tilsley - left the show in April 1999 to pursue a career as a singer.

Danson also denied reports she was planning to move to London with actor boyfriend Robert Beck, who played Gavin Ferris in ITV soap Emmerdale.

"I've just decorated my front room at home, so I'm staying put for a bit," she joked.

Danson will leave the show when her contract with Granada runs out in July.

See also:

07 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Coronation Street goes East
05 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Street's pint-pulling novice
25 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Raquel's Corrie comeback
09 Feb 00 | Entertainment
'Exhausted' EastEnder Reid resting
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