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Eileen Derbyshire leaving Coronation Street?

Eileen Derbyshire leaving Coronation Street?

Eileen Derbyshire is taking leave from 'Coronation Street'.

The 84-year-old actress - who has played the ITV soap's longest running female character, Emily Bishop, since 1961 - is reportedly set to take six months away from the show.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Eileen asked for a few months off from filming and she is due to leave early in the New Year.

"She is obviously a big loss to the show, even if it really is temporary, because she's one of the most recognisable characters on the cobbles. And so many other popular cast members are heading for the door."

It is thought Eileen's absence will see her character Emily take a trip to South America to visit her nephew Spider.

Meanwhile, Eileen is not the first star who is taking a break from the ITV show.

Whilst David Neilson (Roy Cropper) and Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) are rumoured to be taking a few months off to star in theatre shows, the soap has confirmed Alison King - who plays Carla Connor - will be taking a "sabbatical" next year because of "creative reasons".

A spokesperson said at the time: "Alison King has indicated to producers she would like to take a sabbatical from the show for creative reasons at some point in 2016.

"She wishes to try her hand at other projects before returning to the part of Carla Connor, a role she has enjoyed playing for nine years. Before Ali takes her break Carla has much more drama to come."