Craig Charles, whose BBC Radio 2 Show was dropped as part of the shake-up, played Lloyd on the cobblestones for a decade but was urged to leave by a sudden tragedy
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Craig Charles spent a decade on Coronation Street before leaving under tragic circumstances.
The 57-year-old, who first rose to fame on the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf, joined the Corrie cast in 2005 as the lovable taxi driver Lloyd Mullaney.
Steve McDonald’s best friend Lloyd is known for trying it out with lots of Weatherfield women and even once had an affair with Liz McDonald.
Craig took a sabbatical in 2011 when he first joined Red Dwarf as Dave Listner – but returned to the ITV soap until 2015.
“I’ve had an amazing 10 years on Coronation Road and I’ll be sad to leave,” the actor announced as he revealed he’s going back to space.
“Lloyd has become an important part of my life and I’ve made some great friends with whom I will always stay in touch.
“But I feel indebted to my Red Dwarf colleagues as I filmed the new movie with them and found out what was in store.”
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But Craig later revealed that the tragic death of his brother, Dean, was also what prompted him to leave Corrie.
Craig’s brother sadly passed away while he was in I’m A Celebrity Forest returned in 2014 – and he left Australia after heralding heartbreaking news.
He said OK Magazine : “My brother passed away when I was on I’m a Celebrity. He was only 52. I thought, ‘If I died suddenly, would I be happy with what I’ve achieved? ‘
“The honest answer is no. So I promised myself new adventures. I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I did if I stayed on Coronation Street.”
In November of last year, Craig revealed Corrie’s departure and was critical of how much he was paid.
“They really make it hard for you to leave Coronation Street. It’s a great job. The pay isn’t great but it’s better than digging ditches in the cold,” he told Metro.
“But I wanted new adventures so I left and started my favorite show The Gadget Show. I just started doing this new daytime game show on Channel 4 called Moneybag , where you can win a million quid a week!”
Craig admitted he loved the role and was able to bring different aspects of his personality into his character.
“They allowed me to add so much of myself to the role that it didn’t feel like acting, to be honest,” he said. “Me and Simon Gregson [Steve McDonald] such good friends.
“At least once a month, the producer would ask us to come into the office, begging us not to use the script as a model because we just make it all like pub chat buddies.”
But he didn’t want to be a “typist” and decided to leave and do more episodes of Red Dwarf.
When asked if he’d ever return to the famous cobblestones, Craig said: “I assume you never say never but when I’m in the woods [for I’m a Celebrity…] my brother passed away and I thought, ‘If I died, would I be happy with where my career path was?’ And I said to myself, ‘No, I won’t.’
Craig’s focus has now shifted from acting to radio, presenting his House Party on BBC Radio 2 and two shows on BBC Radio 6 Music.
He can be heard on BBC Radio 6 Music every day of the week, 1-4pm and The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show airing on Saturday nights, 6-9pm.
However, the curtain is on on Craig Charles’ House Party, which is currently airing Saturday, 10pm – midnight, as it is being phased out as part of the Radio 2 kickoff event.
The broadcaster’s new look line shows that Drag Race star Michelle Visage will join the station permanently in the Friday night time slot, Longtime host Tony Blackburn’s Golden Hour will air at new 7- 8 p.m. Sunday.
Speaking after the announcement, Charles said: “Every party has to come to an end and even though I’m getting ready to broadcast Trunk of Funk on Radio 2, I’d love to bring the party to a lively audience every night. Saturday.”
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