ITV Coronation Street's Maureen Lipman to take extended hiatus from soap

maureen lipman
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

Coronation Street's treasured Dame Maureen Lipman, who plays the role of Evelyn Plummer, has announced she's taking a break from the cobbles on an extended hiatus.

Her temporary exit, until 2025, will see her captivate Richmond Theatre goers in the classic panto, Beauty and the Beast, this December through January. The Corrie team confirmed the star's upcoming break. A spokesperson said: "Dame Maureen is taking a sabbatical from Coronation Street towards the end of the year. We look forward to seeing her back on the cobbles in 2025."

The ITV star, famed for her wit, joked about her stint in panto: "They asked me to do panto and I said 'Oh no I can't'... They said 'OH YES YOU CAN!"

The 77-year-old soap star will join comedian Pete Firman in the festive theatre romp after voicing her frank opinions on the direction the soap has taken, reports the Mirror.

In a conversation on the Beyond the Title podcast, she voiced concerns over current plots, noting: "We've come to a point in Corrie now where people are getting murdered in knicker factories. We're having domestic abusive. Anything that ticks the box of social problems in the 21st century is going to be in your local soap."

Evelyn Plummer
Maureen is famed for her role as Evelyn Plummer on the popular ITV soap -Credit:ITV

Recalling past times she added: "Whereas back then you had the freedom to put Martha [Longhurst], Minnie [Caldwell] and Ena [Sharples] in the snug and have a conversation about Ben-Hur. It's never been political but I always like it when the women sit down and go, 'Ooh, Donald Trump, ain't his hair shocking.'

"All those wonderful expressions that your parents come out with, like my mother saying, 'Ooh, doesn't a black skirt cover a multitude of sins.' People talk like that, and we recognise it as true."

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Elsewhere, Coronation Street viewers are gearing themselves up for more sorrow as Peter Ash is due to bid his final goodbye to the cobbles, leaving his role as Paul Foreman.

In a heart-wrenching plot, Paul will sadly lose his battle with motor neurone disease this summer. Back in November 2023, a nurse gave Paul a bleak prognosis of six months to a year left.

Now seven months on, his health has drastically deteriorated. He can no longer eat without a feeding tube, and after a severe fall from his stairlift, he's essentially confined to his home.

Last year, Paul had what was termed his "last Christmas " with loved ones, and it's anticipated that his exit from the show will occur before the leaves begin to fall in 2024.

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