James Burrows quit Coronation Street because he wants to “explore a variety of characters”.
The cobbles star is to bow out of Weatherfield after two years on the ITV soap as Ali Neeson, and while he is grateful for the part, he wants to portray “different roles”.
He told Digital Spy: “As an actor that sort of character is great to play and I got to work with some amazing actors.
“But I came into acting to play different roles and explore a variety of characters so the time has come for me to move on.”
James has enjoyed a “great” time playing such a “flawed character” in doctor Ali, but believes his alter ego is a “good guy”.
He said: “I’ve had a fantastic few years on Coronation street, Ali is such a flawed character and so much has happened to him.
“To play such a complex character with so many flaws has been great. At the heart of it, though he was a good guy, he wanted to settle down and have a family but his upbringing and family history really meant that he had a lot of issues.”
Ali will collapse next week after his arch nemesis Gary Windass (Mikey North) poisons him with diazepam.
Ali later takes his ex and Gary’s fiancée Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) hostage in his car in an attempt to convince her that the cobbles villain is not good news.
The time has come for me to move on.
Wanting to get to her and get the truth, Ali is determined Gary is not the right man for her. Everyone else might think Gary has turned over a new leaf, but the doctor knows exactly what Mr Windass is capable of.
As Ali tries to make Maria believe Gary set him up, he starts driving erratically and his behaviour isn’t exactly convincing her that Gary’s the man on the edge.
He is desperate to get her to believe him, but he’s the one acting crazy, so it has the opposite affect.
Ali will ultimately concede defeat and leave Weatherfield.
James added: “I think it is the realisation that Gary has won. He has forced Ali to behave in such a way that he has pretty much forced Maria back into Gary’s arms and there is no way he can stick around and watch the two of them together.
“He is a good man and he knows that he has caused problems for too many people, including Maria and Toyah, two women who wanted to help him. The only way forward is for him to move away.”
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