Coronation Street legend bids emotional farewell to ITV soap in post to fans

Coronation Street star Alex Bain - who played Simon Barlow on the soap for 15 years - has said goodbye to fans in an emotional post.

The Corrie star, 22, first joined the ITV soap as Simon in 2008 and has been involved in a number of storylines, from the death of Simon's mother Lucy (Katy Carmichael) to the character dealing drugs and his father Peter's recent exit. However, in scenes which aired earlier this week, Simon officially left Weatherfield.

Sending his fans a goodbye message, Alex took to Coronation Street's official Instagram page in a behind-the-scenes video. Stood by Gail's home with the Rovers in shot, Alex thanked the fans for their support over the years.

"I just want to say a quick message from me and my character Simon to all the fans of Coronation Street," he said. "I just wanted to say that it's been a fantastic experience. I've loved being here, and I've loved being a part of the nation's favourite Street.

"And I just wanted to say a big old thank you to everybody who supported me over the years, all the people I've worked with, and it's been an honour and I will always cherish my time here on Coronation Street."

Signing off from the video, he said: "Take care everyone."

A number of his co-stars took to the comments to wish Alex well, with his on-screen adoptive mum Jane Danson - who plays Leanne Battersby - writing: "End of an era. Good luck Al …. Such special times."

Meanwhile, Kate Ford - who plays Simon's aunt Tracy Barlow - commented a red heart emoji. Elle Mulvaney, who plays Amy Barlow on the show, wrote: "All the best @alexbainofficial."

Alex has played Simon Barlow on Corrie since 2008
Simon Barlow star Alex Bain has said goodbye to fans in an emotional video

In Monday night's episode, fans saw Simon leave Weatherfield in emotional scenes. The youngster hugged Leanne before jumping into the back of a taxi to join his dad Peter, who is working abroad.

Earlier this year, Alex opened up about leaving the show, saying that it was an "exciting time" to start thinking about what's next. He told The Sun : "The show has been the backbone of my life but I am 22 now and maybe it is time to see what the future holds.

"It isn’t just a job, you become part of a family and I will always have those people in my life. They aren’t just colleagues, they are friends.

"Obviously anybody leaving feels sad about saying goodbye to people but any sadness is a small part of it. That doesn't take away the excitement and anticipation," he added. "With Chris going it felt like the obvious thing for Simon to follow his dad, Simon has been through so much and he was lost without his dad around."

Coronation Street continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.