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ALMA OUITS STREET; I want to move on, says star.

CORONATION Street favourite Alma is quitting the soap, it was revealed yesterday.

Actress Amanda Barrie said she wants to move on after 11 years with the popular show.

Alma has been involved in a string of gripping storylines - from her bitter divorce from wideboy Mike Baldwin to the recent armed siege at supermarket Freshco's, where she worked.

Yesterday, Amanda, 65, said: "I thought it was about time I bowed out in the hope that there's one more show in me.

"I want to endlessly thank Granada and Coronation Street.

"I've had a very happy time and I feel blessed and proud to have been in the show. But everything has its time.

"I feel it's time to hand over to the youngsters in the show, who I think are so brilliant."

Amanda's departure will be seen next year as the show celebrates its 40th birthday.

Executive producer Jane Macnaught said: "We are sorry to see Amanda go and wish her well for the future.

"She has been a much-loved character and we truly appreciate her loyalty and commitment to the show. I respect her decision and appreciate that she feels she has to move on. We will now work on an exciting exit for the character."

Amanda appeared in a string of comedy films - including the title role in Carry On Cleo as well as in Disney's One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing - before landing her role in Corrie.

Her departure follows a recent exodus from the show. Among those who have left are Charlie Lawson, who played fiery Jim McDonald, Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby) and Martin Hancock (Spider Nugent).

Amanda said: "As both the show and I have reached special birthdays this year, I thought it was about time I bowed out.

"This is something I've been thinking about for ages but couldn't face up to the emotion of leaving or tear myself away."

A spokeswoman for the show said the actual date of departure would depend on the storylines.

"We don't know how she will leave. It is a long way away," she added.

TRACY'S STAR TURN

- PAGE 35
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 24, 2000
Words:351
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