It’s the Coronation Street curveball nobody saw coming – Michelle Connor is leaving the cobbles. Well, at least for a while.
Kym Marsh has announced that she’s bowing out from the role after 13 years to pursue other projects, but her exit is being billed as a break rather than a permanent departure.
That means show bosses have already ruled out a shock death for Michelle, but can we guess at some other likely options for writing her out? Here are our top theories…
You may have forgotten since Ali Neeson has been off screen for so long, but Michelle’s son is now a ruthless killer. Ali murdered Ronan Truman to protect his family last autumn, leading to speculation that he could become the next Pat Phelan.
Ali’s had a pretty turbulent time with his mum since returning to Weatherfield last year – especially in his first few months, when he bitterly resented Michelle for not being part of his upbringing. If Ali really is going to be a major new villain for Corrie, could he set his sinister sights on Michelle next and scare her out of town?
The possibility of Ali being a new Corrie supervillain could also tie in with the show’s biggest storyline of 2019 – the Underworld roof collapse. We know that a mystery figure will be responsible for disaster striking at the factory in March, and Ali is definitely on our suspect list given his track record.
If Ali is ultimately exposed as the cunning culprit who brought the roof down, Michelle may not be able to face her BFF Carla and the inevitable backlash from the locals. Will she decide it’s best to get herself away from the shame of having such a sinister son, especially as she’s been covering for him over Ronan’s death?
Mind you, Eileen’s backlash over being married to serial killer Phelan lasted for about two episodes, so ‘Chelle really shouldn’t worry if you ask us.
Unless Corrie chiefs are keeping quiet about plans for Robert to sling his hook too, it seems that Michelle’s relationship with the Bistro boss isn’t made for keeps. Probably for the best that Phelan hijacked their wedding, then, saving them the bother of a messy divorce.
Michelle and Robert have survived various mishaps in the past couple of years, from stalkers to murder cover-ups. But could a whole new drama prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Will Michelle decide that she’s happier away from Robert – and Weatherfield?
Could Michelle be the next Corrie favourite to end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit? We only ask because Corrie loves to repeat this storyline so much with its favourite female characters – Deirdre, Gail, Fiz, Anna and Sally have all served time in prison after being fitted up for all manner of devious deeds.
Perhaps Michelle will be next to find herself banged up on the flimsiest of evidence? Maybe someone will frame her as the Underworld supervillain? Well, we do need some way to spend our free time now we’ve stopped making Free Sally t-shirts…
We’ve always felt there’s unfinished business between Michelle and Steve – and we know from their media interviews that Kym Marsh and Simon Gregson both feel the same way. Steve has never quite been able to decide whether he loves his wife Tracy or not, while Michelle and Robert are far from a picture of happiness most of the time.
Could Michelle – rather inexplicably, some may argue – find herself drawn back to the man who betrayed her? Let’s face it, stranger things have happened in Weatherfield and such a plot twist could see a pitchfork-wielding Tracy chasing Michelle straight outta town.
We’re also not ruling out Robert as the one who could stray. Well aware of how Michelle feels about love cheats, could Robert wreck things with her by sleeping with another woman?
Michelle has a habit of finding herself in the sinister sights of dangerous madmen – Rich, Will, Phelan, Ronan – so we wouldn’t be surprised to see history repeat itself one more time before she goes.
Ali, Robert and Ryan all have foolish streaks which could see them take out a loan from Rick, but could that have dire consequences for Michelle? Maybe Rick will be the reason she feels safer away from Weatherfield for a while?
In the event that Corrie might want to give Michelle a happy ending, there is a possibility out there – a certain Ciaran McCarthy. Boyzone star Keith Duffy played the charming character for two separate stints between 2002 and 2011, with Ciaran romancing Michelle during his second run on the cobbles.
When Ciaran left the Street in 2011, Kym Marsh made it clear that they were still “very much in love”. So, could Michelle decide she’s had enough of her doomed relationships on the cobbles and needs some time out with lover boy Ciaran?
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
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