CORONATION Street will be seeing some big names return to the cobbles.
With some huge storylines lined up for the rest of 2021, here’s everything you need to know about the ITV soap’s latest comings and goings.
Stefan Brent (Paul Opacic) – joined and left
After appearing in both Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, Paul joined the cast of Coronation Street, making his appearance in the programme on April 26, 2021.
The actor took on the role of Stefan Brent, the father of bad boy Corey.
His appearance on the show was short however, as he left the soap on November 5, 2021.
During his time in Weatherfield, Stefan tried all that he could to keep his son Corey from prison after Seb Franklin and Nina Lucas’ assault and the former’s subsequent death.
Stefan’s departure coincided with Corey’s exit from the show.
Corey Brent (Maximus Evans) – left
A crush of Asha Alahan and a regular face on Coronation Street since May, 2019, Corey Brent has been at the core of a dramatic and turbulent storyline ahead of his exit.
In May, 2021, he and his gang became responsible for Seb Franklin’s death following a violent attack.
Corey even survived Super Soap Week in October, 2021.
Finding himself trapped in a sewer with Seb’s mother Abi while attending the Horror Nation Street event, he confessed his crime to her and narrowly escaped death as Roy managed to rescue them. before Abi could shoot him.
He then confessed to his father and both made plans to flee the country.
Their plan, however, failed when their getaway van was hijacked by Gary Windass.
The pair were driven to the police station, with Corey being arrested and charged again with murder.
Much to everyone’s surprise, he pleaded guilty, making his last appearance on November 5, 2021.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Maximus explained why he had decided to leave Coronation Street, stating that he is set to return to drama school.
“I’m at Guildhall currently”, he said, “I wanted to train beforehand. I wanted to get my degree beforehand and now I’ve gone back to get it.”
“I want to further my training. I’m all about the craft, you know.”
Maximus is not set to appear anywhere any time soon.
Roy Cropper (David Neilson) – returning
Corey’s attack on Seb and Nina has triggered a series of consequences along with another departure.
After 26 years in Weatherfield, Roy set off to a new beginning, leaving his Roy’s Rolls cafe behind.
David Neilson’s character made a surprise exit on November 24, 2021, with fans sobbing as he climbed into the back of a taxi, setting off to the airport for a new job.
Beloved Roy decided flew away to South America to serve food to conservation workers after seeing his lied to the law pile up.
The police had been asking many questions prior to this departure, mainly about the gun used during Super Soap Week and its link to Seb Franklin’s father. The sinkhole at the Platt’s house.
The aftermath of the events of Super Soap Week was too much to handle for Roy.
He packed up immediately, leaving his entire estate to his niece Nina Lucas and telling Abi, Seb’s mother, to sell the Woody.
Assuming he was ready to take his own life, Nina then found out he was planning to leave and tearfully tried to stop him to no avail.
While his departure was thought to be permanent, Roy appears to be ready for a Christmas comeback to the cobbles.
David has been spotted back on the Corrie set and it is claimed that he will return to the show for a “dramatic storyline” in the next few months.
Grace Vickers (Kate Spencer) – left
Grace Vickers has officially left the cobbles, after her blackmail plot took a disastrous turn.
Actress Kate Spencer, who played Grace, left the ITV soap after two years.
Grace demanded a house from Aggie and Ed Bailey after being rejected by their son Michael and threatened to take away their granddaughter Glory if they didn’t comply.
A source at the time said: “Grace and Michael’s relationship will come to an explosive head resulting in her leaving the street..
“Their relationship has been turbulent to say the least but it’s about to go up a notch once more in the Autumn. It’s going to be one of the major storylines on the show.
Grace’s final scenes were brought to air on December 6, 2021, but a return could be in the cards for the troubled character.
“The door has been left open for Grace to return to the street at a later date should producers decide they want her to return.”
Zeedan Nazir (Qasim Akhtar) – returned
Zeedan made an unexpected return to Weatherfield in September, 2021, claiming he stopped by for his grandmother Yasmeen’s birthday.
It quickly became obvious that Zeedan was in trouble after separating from his wife Marrium.
Zeedan received multiple threats from his father-in-law Hashim, and was even the victim of an assault, led by Marrium’s brothers.
Hashim then pushed Zeedan to launder money for him in the restaurant Speed Daal, forcing him to set fire to the establishement in order to collect the insurance money.
Zeedan has come clean to his family about his real motive for returning to the cobbles and, despite being desperate for a fresh start, has to settle unfinished business with his estranged wife Marrium.
“I always felt as though I would love to return at some point and when they presented the storyline for Zeedan’s return to me I felt really invested in it straight away”, Quasim said when speaking of his reprising the role according to Manchester Evening News.
“The time felt right, I had kept in touch with my on-screen family and Shelley kept asking me to come back, and I am thrilled to be here.”
Harvey Gaskell (Will Mellor) – returned
Corrie’s evil drug boss Harvey Gaskell made an explosive return from jail after targeting Leanne Battersby.
Actor Will Mellor, who plays the on-screen, returned to the cobbles on October 22, 2021, during ITV’s action-packed Super Soap Week.
After escaping from a prison van to seek revenge, Harvey once again terrorised Leanne Battersby, who desperately tried to protect her son Simon from his and his gang, by kidnapping her and making plans to murder her.
Harvey then wound up falling into a sinkhole, leading Leanne to believe he was dead.
But the accident didn’t kill Harvey and he shot Natasha (Rachel Leskovac), mistaking her to be Leanne, with the gun Abi Franklin (played by Sally Carman) was hoping to kill Corey Brent with for the death of her son Seb.
Hiding in Nick’s car after his mistake, Harvey was spotted by Leanne and her partner, as she voluntarily drove the vehicle into a skip.
Harvey was knocked unconscious by the incident and it was later revealed he had been “apprehended and incarcerated with the help of Roy Cropper.
Will previously told The Sun on Sunday that he’d been left horrified after viewers asked him to sell hardcore drugs to them after seeing his character on screen.
Speaking to OK! Magazine about his return to the show, Will mentioned he would have wanted to see a more permanent end to his character.
“I was all for them killing Harvey off. It would’ve been a good ending”, he said.
Before adding: “I wanted to go in, make a splash, and come out.”
Sophie Webster (Brooke Vincent) – returning
Sophie set off travelling in the summer of 2019 to facilitate actress Brooke Vincent’s real-life maternity leave.
After welcoming her baby boy into the world in October 2019, Brooke is expected to return to the cobbles one day but there’s no official word yet.
Brooke’s on-screen mother Sally Dynevor revealed she would love to see Brooke return as Sophie and Helen Flanagan as Rosie, who is also taking some time off with her children.
Sally told Inside Soap: “There was a point where Brooke came over with Mexx and Helen came over with her two little girls and we had lunch together,”
She added: “I said to them, ‘I can’t believe you’re in my house with your children when I’ve known you since you were babies!’ Every time I speak to Helen and Brooke I say, ‘have you told Corrie you would like to come back yet?’
In March 2020, it was revealed that Coronation Street bosses had given Brooke “as long as she needs” to decide whether or not she wants to return to the cobbles.
However, after the birth of her second child Monroe, in May 2021, Brooke has stated that her priorities have changed, teasing that she will not be back to Weatherfield any time soon.
“I love Corrie and it will always be my home”, she said during a Q&A quoted by website Entertainment Daily.
“But it’s a very demanding job and quite restrictive as you have to be based near Manchester.”
Following Sophie’s departure in 2019, her on and off girlfriend Paul Cunliffe had a shock affair with Tracy Barlow, who’s married to Steve McDonald.
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Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden) – left
Coronation Street killed off fan-favourite Norris Cole following actor Malcolm Hebden’s exit from the show after 27 years.
In January Corrie star Malcolm revealed he had quietly retired from the soap after 27 years in the role of busybody Norris.
The 81-year-old actor called it a day following a near fatal heart attack in 2017.
Norris left for care home Stillwaters in June 2019 and made the odd cameo before retiring.
He told The Sun at the time: “I absolutely adored playing Norris and I was pleased to be able to return briefly after my operation.
“It took a great deal of courage to make the decision to retire.
“But I had come to realise that although the mind was willing the body was not so much.”
Corrie boss Ian MacLeod added: “Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped barbs will be remembered forever.
“But, in his brilliant double acts with Emily, Rita and more recently Mary, Malcolm has left us with countless fantastic memories.”
Sharon Bentley (Tracie Bennett) – returned and left
Tracie temporarily reprised her role as Rita Tanner’s foster daughter Sharon Bentley in April, 2021, after making headlines for her harrowing experience with Covid.
She had originally played the character in the 1980’s and returned a first time in 1999.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to the cobbles,” Tracie said about her return.
“It is a dream come true for me.”
“I had such an amazing time there, and I am looking forward to working with Barbara [Knox] again and getting my teeth into the storylines they have planned for Sharon.”
Twenty-two years on, Sharon reconnected with Rita having recovered from cancer and being left by Ian.
But the true motive for returning to the cobbles was revealed as Sharon was hunting down Leanne for her drug-dealing nephew Harvey.
Jenny Connor (Sally Ann Matthews), Rita’s other former foster daughter, revealed Sharon’s true intentions to their mother.
Sharon fled Weatherfield but then betrayed Harvey by testifying against him in court and taking over his firm.
She once again left the cobbles, making her last appearance in June, 2021, following Harvey’s sentencing.
Dylan Wilson (Liam McCheyne) – returned
After a guest stint in November, 2020, Liam reprised the role of Dylan in January, 2021.
The 13-year-old was reunited with his dad Sean Tully (Antony Cotton) and returned on a permanent basis on January 18, 2021, as Coronation Street tackled homophobia in a new plotline.
“He’s going to come back full-time. We’ll see it in stages, as Sean gets used to Dylan being around”, said Antony to Digital Spy about his on-screen son’s return.
“I can’t wait for it, as it gives me a totally different dynamic. I’m hoping we’re going to become a little duo and it is completely unique.“