Soap stars who quit and then came running back over bankruptcy, no work and heartbreak
THE soap world is full of drama and comings and goings but it’s not always restricted to on-screen.
Behind the scenes is filled with just as juicy plots with actors and actresses quitting for all sorts of reasons.
And while some go on to never look bath – others find the grass isn’t always greener and come running back to their regular pay cheque.
We take a look at some of the soap stars who have left – only to make shockingly quick comebacks.
The actress became an Emmerdale mainstay after joining in 1998 as Bernice Blackstock.
Her most recent stint on the show began in 2012 and lasted for five years until 2019 when she decided to leave the show to take on new roles.
She told This Morning: "I want to play something a bit more gritty.
"I want to do some other stuff. There are so many things out there."
She even said she didn’t mind if they decided to kill Bernice off because she had other plans.
And then the pandemic happened and Samantha spent her two years away writing her books.
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Now she’s on her way back to the village.
This week Samantha explained: "As an actress leaving a role that you love is always a hard decision and I’d been lucky to work so consistently for so long which is rare in our business, so I knew the time had come to be brave and take the leap back in 2019 to pursue my other passion of writing and focus on getting my first book published.”
She added: "I’m a big believer in fate so when Emmerdale offered me the chance to return as Bernice I took it as a sign that it was meant to be.
"I’m delighted to be returning to play out Bernice’s future storylines which I’m sure are going to keep the audience entertained.
"She certainly arrives back with a bang that’s all I’m allowed to say right now and I’m looking forward to releasing my next two books whilst juggling her hectic onscreen life!"
The I’m A Celebrity star is best known for playing the iconic Liz McDonald in Coronation Street.
She debuted with her family in 1989 – and quickly became a fan favourite.
However just nine years later Beverley decided to leave the soap to pursue lucrative opportunities outside of it – including building her fitness empire.
She was a mainstay of fitness and home workout videos – selling hundreds of thousands.
Just four years after leaving, Bev made a dramatic comeback to the cobbles – before leaving again in 2011.
In a statement at the time, Bev explained: "I've loved every minute of my second stint on the street – it's always a difficult decision to make the leap but I returned for the 40th [anniversary], so leaving for the 50th feels like perfect timing.
"I'll miss everyone on the show but I'm looking forward to some new challenges and to see what life has to offer beyond Liz's famous mini skirts!"
Behind the scenes, Beverley had hidden the true reason for her exit – her beloved mum had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she needed to spend her last years with her.
She told the Mirror in 2012: "It pushed me into bankruptcy and I guess I'll be paying for it for years, but regrets? Not one. It was horrific. I've worked non-stop since I was 16 and somehow it all seemed it had been for nothing.
"Corrie schedules are full-on. It's all or nothing and I had to face a choice between the Street or Mum. I love everything about Corrie but there could only be one answer."
A year later Beverley returned again, and this time for keeps.
She took short breaks to star in stage shows but by 2020 Beverley had decided she was leaving – this time for good.
Lacey Turner has played Stacey Slater since 2004 when she immediately became a fan-favourite.
She was at the centre of some of the soap’s biggest ever stories – including Stacey’s affair with Max Branning and her murdering rapist Archie Mitchell.
The live episode in 2010 saw Stacey bow out – revealing she had made a pact with on-screen husband Charlie Clements to leave together.
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"I'll miss Stacey and everyone in Albert Square very much but the time has come to try something different," she said at the time.
She told Fabulous magazine: "Charlie and I always said we'd go at the same time.
“For quite a while I'd been saying I was going to go and kept realising I wasn't ready. But when Charlie said he was going last year I was like, 'Right, OK, I'm going too'."
More than most, Lacey had a hugely successful career after the soap with Our Girl and roles in Bedlam, Switch and Being Human.
But in 2014, Lacey decided to return to the soap.
"I may have left EastEnders over three years ago, but the show has always been in my heart, as has Stacey, and she has never really left my side," she said.
"I am so excited about returning and seeing what the future holds for her. It's been a while since I set foot in Albert Square and I am looking forward to coming home."
She has remained on the soap – but has left twice for two separate maternity leaves.
Lacey is due to return later this year.
Patsy Palmer was one of a host of new signings to EastEnders in 1993 – and she made her mark.
But just six years later, Patsy had had enough and walked away in 1999.
At the time she said she wanted more time to spend with her family and to spend on new projects.
She appeared in a cameo role in Gimme Gimme Gimme, Battersea Dogs Home and McCready and Daughter.
But despite her success, EastEnders was never far away and just three years after leaving Patsy played Bianca again in a special two-parter, EastEnders: Ricky and Bianca.
In 2005, Bianca laid into the soap for being “ridiculous and unbelievable” in a chat to the Telegraph and insisted she would never return.
However just two years later she did return – this time as a full-time character.
And then just six years later, Patsy quit again – this time moving to America to reinvent herself.
However in 2019 Patsy returned to the show for a one-off appearance.
And she was due to return again last year but the pandemic put paid to that.
Ben Price has played Nick Tilsley since 2009 after taking over the role from Adam Rickitt.
But eight years later he opted to bow out from his role.
He said was leaving for “entirely personal reasons” and wanted to spend more time with his family.
"The decision to leave is purely personal – I want to be able to spend more time with my family," he said in a statement.
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“I have been supported by a terrific cast and crew and have had the most glorious storylines and for that I am most grateful."
There was no question of Gail Platt’s eldest son being killed off – so Nick packed up and left Weatherfield by car.
Fans were then delighted when just a year later, it was announced Ben would be returning to the role – with a new flexible contract.
Revealing how former Corrie boss Kate Oates secured him flexible filming hours, he told The Daily Star: "I now have a different way of working. I get a longer weekend – they make sure I can get home on a Friday.
"They crush my work into busy days rather than it elongating over time.
"And they are aware that I have to find that balance now. It's a really different working week and I couldn't be happier to be back."
Emmerdale fans are obsessed with no actors like they are with Danny Miller.
His character Aaron Dingle’s relationship with ex-husband Robert Sugden turned them both into worldwide internet obsessions.
From his joining the soap in 2008, Danny was put through a lot with Aaron with his coming out storyline and a controversial assistant suicide storyline with first love Jackson.
And after four years, Danny decided to leave to see what else he could accomplish outside the soap.
"It has been an incredibly difficult decision but after three years playing Aaron and much soul-searching, I am eager to explore other roles," he said at the time.
"I am so grateful to Emmerdale for the opportunity that I have been given and have loved every moment. I will miss everyone enormously but this might not be the last we see of Aaron."
The actor landed a panto as well as small roles in Lightfields, Jamaica Inn and Scott and Bailey.
Despite this after two years Danny was back in the dales and has remained there – for now at least.
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