Real life Helen Worth, actress Gail Platt from Coronation Street

Coronation Street will see the end of an era later this year as Gail Platt leaves Weatherfield in what has been described as an ’emotional’ departure for the iconic character.

Actress Helen Worth recently announced the difficult decision to quit her role in the ITV soap as she celebrated a major milestone. She will celebrate her golden anniversary on the show next month (July) but by the end of 2024, viewers will see Helen and Gail leave Weatherfield in a key story for the Platt family.

It has been confirmed that the 73-year-old will start filming his retirement story next month and the emotional scenes will be on screen at the end of the year.

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Speaking about the upcoming exit, Helen said: “This year felt like the perfect time to leave the show after celebrating 50 years in the greatest job on the greatest street in the world. I made the decision at the beginning of the year and spoke to the exhibitors who were very kind and understanding.

“I’m truly blessed to be given the most incredible scripts week after week, and to work with amazing actors, directors and crew. I’m still missing a lot.”

The acting legend joined the ITV soap aged 23 in 1979, 14 years after viewers were first introduced to the Weatherfield family. She was originally meant to be very small, a friend of the more established character Tricia Hopkins, who was introduced as part of a new family.

The Hopkins family had little impact on the show, and, after they were written out, Gail went on to become one of the most popular and high-profile characters in the show’s history. Over the years the Platt matriarch has dealt with several failed romances, jail time, near-death experiences, drama with her children and recently discovered her brother was a serial killer.

Helen during her early years in the ITV soap as Gail -Credit:ITV

Helen during her early years in the ITV soap as Gail -Credit:ITV

As for Helen’s career, she graduated from drama school and went on to work in repertory theatre, including a year with the BBC Radio repertoire company. She had uncredited parts in the films Oliver! and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and she appeared on television in Doctor Who Colony in Space, The Doctors, Helen: A Woman of Today, Within These Walls, and The Carnforth Practice.

But her first well-known role was in Z-Cars, a police series on BBC One, in which she played the role of Maisie for one episode. However, she was known then as Helen Wiggleworth and is not technically Helen Worth – she was born Cathryn Helen Wigglesworth – but she never seems to have explained the reason for the change.

As for Corrie, Helen is a mainstay in the cast of the ITV soap and in 2014 ITV honored her with a 30-minute documentary to mark 40 years of the ITV drama series, with a one-off special called Gail & Me. At the time, the TV icon said she never planned to quit the street, saying she was happy with Gail’s endless drama, and that she loved her job.

And last year, she was delighted to be made an MBE by the Prince of Wales. She swapped the famous cobbles of Coronation Street for Windsor Castle in January and was full of praise for Prince William. Helen told the PA news agency: “He (William) was so lovely, so easy going. He asked all the right questions. He was very complimentary.”

Helen collecting her MBE -Credit:Getty ImagesHelen collecting her MBE -Credit:Getty Images

Helen collecting her MBE -Credit:Getty Images

She added: “It feels really amazing. It’s very special to collect an MBE. But to find it in this beautiful building and to be able to walk through it and look at all these paintings and tapestries, it’s lovely I have castles and historic houses, so it’s great for me to come here today.”

And, while her off-screen life is less dramatic, her ups and downs from childhood loss to unfaithful marriage splits have been incredible. In her life behind the cameras, Helen has spoken about her two marriages – firstly to the late Michael Angelis and secondly to teacher Trevor Dawson.

Soap star Michael married the Liverpool-born narrator, best known for voicing Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, in 1991, after meeting years earlier in the 70s.

But, a few years after tying the knot, the couple hit rocky ground after dating in 1995 and revealing his infidelity to his wife after it was leaked to the press. Despite forgiving Michael, Helen later divorced him in 2001 when it was revealed that the star had another affair with model Jennifer Khalastchi – whom he married the same year.

Speaking to the Mirror at the time of her heartbreaking split from Michael, who died aged 76 in May 2020, Helen said: “Nothing can ever prepare you for the day that comes. your husband and he tells you that he is having an affair. .

“My marriage was everything to me. It was the foundation on which everything else was built. I was with Michael for almost half of my life. I never imagined that we would not grow old together.”

Helen and the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PAHelen and the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PA

Helen and the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PA

More than ten years after her divorce, Helen married Trevor in 2013, and admits it was ‘love at first sight’ with the ‘fantastic’ music teacher from London. Speaking to her former co-star Nigel Havers on a segment on This Morning back in 2021, she said: “I met Trevor about 10 years ago and I thank my lucky stars.

“It’s just gorgeous.” And Trevor previously shared how she managed to turn it off. “Cooking is Helen’s department. I do the cooking. She’s very good.” But Trevor, who is seven years younger than Helen, was already a fan of the star – regularly watching his character on screen.

“We watch the show together. I’ve always been a fan going back several years. I used to watch it with my mum. Of course, Gail was my favourite,” he told The Mirror in 2016. The pair kept their relationship really private. for more than a year before tying the knot in 2012 in front of many of her Corrie co-stars.

Nearly 200 well-wishers welcomed the newlyweds and cheered each other as they left the ceremony. Helen told her guests at the time: “It was the most amazing day, it exceeded all expectations. We are delighted that so many of our friends and family could be here to celebrate with us. “

Although a long time resident of London, Helen grew up in Morecambe, Lancashire. At the age of eight, her parents fostered an 11-year-old foreign student born in Ghana, who stayed with the family for eight years.

He left their home shortly after Helen’s mother was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident. The actress was only 20 years old at the time, and she spoke of her devastation that her mother did not see her in the great role of Gail. The Daily Star reports Helen said in a previous interview: “My mum was the only person I wanted to tell when I got the part of Gail.

“​​​​​​She would be very happy. More excited than me. She was there all the way – at the dance classes, holding my hand before the competitions, putting on her best outfit to bring me to London for auditions. But when I finally did, she wasn’t there to share it with me.

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