Why is Charlie De Melo leaving Coronation Street as Imran Habeeb? Star speaks out

Coronation Street teases upcoming week of chaos on cobbles

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Over the last few weeks, Imran (played by Charle De Melo) has been battling an inner conflict as he continued to lie about Abi Franklin’s (Sally Carman) sobriety so he and wife Toyah Battersby (Georgia Taylor) could gain custody of baby Alfie. During the ITV soap’s big week, Abi attempted to kidnap Alfie and flee to Costa Rica with the help of her husband, Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell). When Imran found out, Toyah wanted to go to the police but the lawyer believed it was the right time to be honest about his lies. Unfortunately, Imran didn’t get the chance to redeem himself as after being in a car crash with Toyah, he suffered a heart attack and died. But why did Charlie De Melo leave Coronation Street? The actor has spoken out.

Charlie confirmed his exit from Coronation Street in March but his exit had been kept tightly under wraps until this week.

Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, Charlie opened up about what drove him to leave the soap and admitted his first two years on the soap weren’t easy.

Touching on how it felt to say goodbye to Imran, he explained: “Sort of uncanny really, it is a strange feeling.

“The final week, where a lot of effort had been put into it to get it sorted out and a lot of different departments were pulling together to make sure the scale was as big as it was feasibly could be.

“So there was a real impending burden on my behalf, well I felt like ‘Oh no, I have to get this right’ so the fact that it seemed to go well and the fact that Georgia was happy with it.

“But because it does tell so much about what she is going to be doing going forward, the fact that she was happy with it meant a lot.

“It also meant by the final week it was a sense of relief that I didn’t bring the show into disrepute.

“I don’t think I did all those other departments that worked so hard, I don’t think I have done them dirty,” Charlie said.

Explaining what drove his decision to leave the show, the soap star admitted: “It’s a multitude of things where, for reasons not to do with the job at all, my first couple of years working there were trying.

“I did find it difficult, so as I was heading towards my second-year option, I kind of made the decision to move on, and I was ready to draw a line under my time in Manchester and say that it was a worthy but failed experiment to have made this big move and join a job like this.

“Then that’s when Covid struck, and so the decision was taken out of my hands, so it meant that by default, it was more the sensible choice to stay.

“My personal life cleared up a little bit, and there was an element of camaraderie that was so strong where we banded together to keep the ship afloat.

“And the stuff that I was being put in the middle of with the storyline with Ian Bartholomew and Shelley King and then subsequently meeting and working with Millie Gibson and having so much more to do with Georgia.

“It just meant that the last two years have been such a joy.

“Then it got to a stage where I wasn’t enjoying myself as much over there and constantly being challenged and being put in front of the most talented people I have ever worked with.

“I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, but Millie and the young people that Corrie have invested in over recent years are just revelations, they are astoundingly good.

“But that meant that I saw a version of myself staying there until I was booted or whatever, and I came to the realisation that I have no spouse, I have no car or mortgage or kids or any of these things that would necessitate consistency.

“I thought if I don’t just close my eyes and step off now, then I never will, it was nothing to do with the job, the job was really keeping me rooted, and I had such a wonderful time there, but it was just if not now when and if not now probably never.

“It’s a luxury that many people don’t have that I only have to think of myself so I can be in a different part of the country or the world at a moments notice because I don’t have to consider other people’s feelings in that kind of way.”

Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on ITV.

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