Coronation Street has reportedly been plunged into crisis, with ‘poor wages and exhausting hours’ to blame for seven cast members quitting the soap in three months.
Sources told The Irish Sun that the recent increase in departures stems from a ‘poisonous atmosphere’ backstage, after Lucy Fallon announced on Thursday she would be leaving the soap in 2020.
It comes as Lucy joined co-stars Faye Brookes, Kym Marsh and Katie McGlynn who have decided to leave the soap in the coming months, as they hope to find the same success as ex-stars Michelle Keegan and Katherine Kelly.
Shocking: Coronation Street has reportedly been plunged into crisis, with ‘poor wages and exhausting hours’ to blame for seven cast members quitting the soap in three months
On Thursday Lucy announced that she had quit Coronation Street, four years after first joining the cast as teen Bethany Platt.
In a statement she told MailOnline: ‘After the most incredible 4 years, I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave Coronation Street at the end of my contract in 2020.
‘It’s hard to put into words how much this show means to me. I’ve made lifelong friends with some of the most talented and hardworking people in the industry, I’ve had some terrific and immensely important storylines and I’ve laughed with the best people everyday.’
Raging: Sources told The Irish Sun that the increase in departures stems from a ‘poisonous atmosphere’ backstage, after Lucy Fallon (above) announced she would be leaving in 2020
Goodbye! After confirming her exit in a statement to MailOnline, Lucy insisted her Twitter her departure ‘has nothing to do with anyone’ who works on the show
The star added: ‘I’m so thankful to Iain and everyone at Coronation Street, I owe everything to them and I will miss them greatly.’
Lucy then went onto clarify her decision in a tweet, writing: ‘My decision to leave was made in August last year and has nothing to do with ANYONE at Coronation Street. I didn’t make it lightly and I am going to miss every single person there.’
The beauty has joined stars such as Faye Brookes, Katie McGlynn and Kym Marsh who have recently decided to leave the soap, with a total of seven stars quitting in the last three months alone.
On Thursday it was also claimed that recurring actor Liam Bairstow would be taking a break from the soap, as he took to social media to announce he had wrapped filming as Alex Warner.
Bosses have since clarified that Liam will be back on set later this month, and Alex is by no means leaving the show.
They’re going! Lucy’s departures means a total of four cast members have quit the soap, including Faye Brookes (left) and reportedly Katie McGlynn (right)
Coronation Street: Who’s Quit?
Gone: Lucy will leave Corrie in 2020, after five years of playing Bethany Platt
Lucy Fallon – plays Bethany Platt
Lucy is set to leave the soap in 2020, five years after joining the cast as teen Bethany.
In a statement the star said she’s made the ‘extremely difficult decision’ to leave the show, after earning much praise for a 2017 storyline which saw her character be groomed and abused.
Katie McGlynn – plays Sinead Tinker
It has been reported that Katie will be leaving Corrie later this year after six years on the show.
The star is currently playing out a storyline which has seen her character battle cervical cancer.
A source told MailOnline: ‘This story still has a long way to go. Any speculation threatens to undermine the storyline for viewers’
Faye Brookes – plays Kate Connor
Faye took to Twitter to announce that she was ‘off to pastures new,’ four years after joining the cast as Carla Connor’s half-sister Kate.
Leaving: Tristan Gemmill is also set to leave his role as chef Robert Preston
The character – who has had much support from the soap’s LGBTQ fanbase – has had a fair share of heartache, following her brother Aidan’s suicide, and fiancé Rana’s death in the factory roof collapse.
Tristan Gemmill – plays Robert Preston
Tristan has also tweeted he will be leaving Corrie later this year, four years after joining as Tracy Barlow’s ex-husband.
The hunky chef is currently a prime suspect in the Underworld Factory collapse.
Kym Marsh – plays Michelle Connor
In February Kym told The Sun she would be leaving Corrie later this year to explore other roles.
Michelle has been at the centre of many hard-hitting storylines, including the stillbirth of her son Ruari in 2017.
Off she goes! Kym Marsh will also leave the cobbles after 13 years on the soap
Bhavna Limbachia – played Rana Habeeb
Rana exited Corrie in March after she was brutally killed off in the Underworld Factory roof collapse.
Bhavna had previously announced she would be leaving the soap, but it had been implied she had several more months before her exit would air.
Connie Hyde – played Gina Seddon
Gina’s exit also aired following the factory collapse, after she struggled to reconcile with her sister Sally and was repeatedly blamed for the tragedy.
After her exit scenes aired, Connie announced she had quit the soap after two years in the cast.
Controversial: It has since been reported that upset has been brewing behind the scenes, as many of the soap’s newer stars are unhappy with the vast differences in salary
It has since been reported that upset has been brewing behind the scenes, as many of the soap’s newer stars are unhappy with the vast differences in salary.
The publication claimed that veteran cast members such as William Roache (Ken Barlow) are on a staggering £250,000 a year, while newcomers are paid just £50,000, with their fee dependant on appearances.
Simon Gregson (who plays Steve McDonald) also allegedly earns around £150,000 and Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster) is on a reported £170,000.
Cashing in: The publication claimed that veteran cast members such as William Roache (above as Ken Barlow) are on a staggering £250,000 a year, while newcomers are paid just £50,000
A source adds that the pay gaps have been an ‘open secret’ among the cast, with many stars earning more money for far less screen time.
They said: ‘Lucy is just the latest to get fed up of seeing great opportunities go to waste because Corrie won’t let her take them on.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Coronation Street for comment.
The publication also claims that even minor stars on BBC rival EastEnders earn more cash than Corrie’s counterparts.
This also comes despite EastEnders seeing lower ratings than its ITV rivals, and producing four episodes a week to Corrie’s six.
Big money: It has also been claimed that cast members are banned from cashing in on endorsement deals, with now ex-star Helen Flanagan previously given a telling-off by bosses
It has also been claimed that cast members are demanding producers lift a ban on stars appearing in panto, which has in recent years allowed actors to net a reported £200,000.
Corrie stars have been barred from these big money deals by ITV bosses, while EastEnders cast members can reportedly make as much as their annual salary for a short stint on the festive stage.
Sources went onto claim that stars such as Antony Cotton (Sean Tully) and Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) have been keen to cash in with panto, but bosses have refused.
Bosses have also reportedly cracked down on stars trying to cash in with big-money endorsement deals.
Controversial: The sources go onto claim that Brooke was given a stern telling-off by bosses after posting tweets and snaps endorsing fast food chain Domino’s Pizza
Previously actors could boost their earnings with promotions for cosmetics, clothes and fast food via Instagram, but now this has now been strictly prohibited by bosses.
The sources go onto claim that Brooke was given a stern telling-off by ITV after posting tweets and snaps endorsing fast food chain Domino’s Pizza.
Helen Flanagan was also reportedly disciplined for tweets which promoted a cosmetic surgery clinic.
Hypocritical? ITV has recently introduced major commercial deals with brands such as Costa Coffee and Co-Op, with many stars branding the move ‘a double standard’
Meanwhile ITV has recently introduced major commercial deals with brands such as Costa Coffee and Co-Op, and many cast members have been required to reshoot scenes to ensure logos are on display.
This has sparked anger among some stars who have reportedly branded the changes as ‘double standards,’ given they are not allowed to collect any other fees from promotional deals.
The Irish Sun goes onto claim that many stars are upset with the recent changes to working hours, which require cast members to not only work weekends, but be on call to film scenes anytime during the day or night.
No thanks! The Irish Sun goes onto claim that many stars are upset with the recent changes to working hours, amid the exits of cast members such as Bhavna Limbachia (above)
One star claims: ‘It sounds like good money, and of course it is compared to many people, but you are held to unbelievable conditions.
‘You can’t live a normal life and there is constant scrutiny, on top of ridiculously long and unpredictable hours. It’s anything but glamorous.’
With this recent upset, sources claim that the opportunities available away from the Corrie cobbles have become more and more appealing.
Acting favourites such as Sarah Lancashire, Suranne Jones and Katherine Kelly have all shaken off their soap roles and gone onto achieve huge success in their own right.
Huge success: Sources also claimed that the opportunities available away from the Corrie cobbles have become more appealing, after the success of ex-star Michelle Keegan (above)
Annoyed: Fans have recently blamed showrunner Iain MacLeod for the increase in cast departures, as it’s reported many stars miss former producer Kate Oates
Most recently, Michelle Keegan has earned critical acclaim for her performance in the BBC drama Our Girl, after leaving Coronation Street in 2014.
In autumn 2017, the soap also increased workload by going from five to six episodes a week, but introducing more cast members hasn’t helped ease the pressure on stars.
Fans have recently blamed showrunner Iain MacLeod for the increase in cast departures, as it’s reported many stars miss former producer Kate Oates, who quit in May 2018.
Sources have told MailOnline that Iain is not to blame for the numerous cast departures, but it can be noted that during his stint as Emmerdale boss from 2016 to 2018, ten cast members quit in a year.
Corrie’s Biggest Success Stories
Throwback: Michelle Keegan was a star on Corrie from 2008 to 2014
Michelle Keegan – played Tina McIntyre from 2008 to 2014
After Tina was brutally murdered by Rob Donovan, Michelle has gone onto land numerous big TV drama roles, including the miniseries Tina and Bobby in 2017.
Michelle’s most notable role has been as Lance Corporal Georgie Lane in the BBC drama Our Girl. A fourth series is expected to air later this year.
Suranne Jones – played Karen McDonald from 2000 to 2004
After Karen left the Street for pastures new, Suranne has appeared in a slew of successful dramas, including Vincent and Scott and Bailey.
Suranne also won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in 2016 for her performance in Doctor Foster, and will appear in the period drama Gentleman Jack later this year.
Rob James Collier – played Liam Connor from 2006 to 2008
After Liam was brutally murdered by Tony Gordon at his stag party, Rob played butler Thomas Barrow in the ITV period favourite Downton Abbey.
Katherine Kelly – played Becky McDonald from 2006 to 2012
After Becky made a spectacular exit from the Street, Katherine appeared in the period series Mr Selfridge opposite Jeremy Piven.
Earlier this year she also gripped viewers in the ITV drama Cheat, opposite BAFTA winner Molly Windsor.
Iconic: BAFTA winner Sarah Lancashire played Raquel Watts from 1991 to 1996
Sarah Lancashire – played Raquel Watts from 1991 to 1996
After a selection of acclaimed dramas, Sarah signed a ‘golden handcuffs’ deal with ITV in 2000, making her the highest-paid actress on UK television.
Sarah has also won two TV BAFTAs, won for Last Tango In Halifax and one for the gripping crime drama Happy Valley.