Helen Flanagan blessed to have been part of Coronation Street

Actress Helen Flanagan, who has played Rosie Webster for 12-years, says she has been ‘blessed’ to be part of long running saga Coronation Street.

Tonight Rosie says her final farewells to the residents of Weatherfield’s most notorious street after Flanagan decided to quit the Manchester based serial late last year.

“I’ve been on the show since childhood, so it’s been my life, really, on-screen and off-screen. I feel really blessed to have been involved in the show.” She told the Manchester Evening News, adding, “But that’s the reason that I’m leaving, too. I’ve been on it for such a long time, I felt I needed some time to be myself. I don’t think I’d ever be able to truly grow as a person without having that break away from it.”

Helen has played Rosie since she was nine and for many years had little to do other than enjoy her mothers fish fingers as part of the troubled Webster family headed by Kevin (Michael Le Vell) and Sally (Sally Whittaker,).

In recent times however the Websters’ eldest daughter has taken the spotlight with a number of storylines revolving around Rosie, including as a young teenager dating neighbour Craig Harris, played by Richard Fleeshman, and the pair transformed themselves into ‘Goths’ – although real Goths were not impressed with the portrayal.

This phase didn’t last long and Rosie turned to glamour, after being introduced to the world of ‘knickers and bras’ at the Underworld factory where she found a job in the office. While also studying her A-levels she became romantically entangled with teacher John Stape – actor Graeme Hawley – who eventually kidnapped her keeping her in his late grandmother’s attic.

Stape was sent to prison and Rosie decided to make money out of her ordeal by posing for some saucy snaps and selling her story to a newspaper. She later lost her money in a con concerning the Underworld factory, resulting in her trying to boost her finances by blackmailing Snape who had returned to Weathefield, much to the distaste of Kevin and Sally, by demanding £50,000. He refused and she made false claims he’d attacked her. She was later proved to have made it up and this lead to a truce between Snape and the Websters.

Rosie later turned to topless modelling, much to the distaste of her parents, however its made a ‘star’ of the Weatherfield girl, who has moved onto glamour shoots and its this storyline that will see Rosie depart the cobbles of Corrie for the foreseeable future.

“It was the perfect exit for Rosie. It’s all come around so quickly, and now it’s those final scenes. But I’m just so, so excited about the future and I’m so happy right now.”

The character is to seek fame and fortune as a model in London, leaving boyfriend Jason Grimshaw (actor Ryan Thomas) behind as a distant memory. But will Rosie ever return? Well Helen is happy that the character isn’t being killed off.

“He said [producer Phil Collinson] he’d leave the door open to Rosie, which is just so lovely of him. It has just been so beautifully written, I couldn’t have asked for more.” So it may not be the last we’ve seen of the hopeful supermodel, however in an interview last year she spoke of how it was now time to ‘be herself’ and she hadn’t been overly happy with the direction of the character – so there is unlikely to be a return in the near future.

Originally Rosie was played by Emma Collinge from a baby until the age of nine. Helen replaced Collinge in 2000.