Brooke Vincent boldly left her career-defining role as Sophie Webster in Coronation Street to focus on family life in 2019 after 18 years on the soap.
Her character, Sophie Webster, departed the cobbles at the time to go off on her travels after girlfriend Paula Martin (played by Stirling Gallacher) bought the tickets for her.
Speaking for the first time about her reasons for leaving the soap, Brooke said the long and unpredictable hours made it impossible for her to go back without sacrificing time with her kids Mexx, two, and 16-month-old Monroe.
Speaking exclusively to OK!, she said: "I left Corrie when I was pregnant. From the age of 11, there’s always been something that’s been the main focus that has had to take priority over other things.
"I’d wanted to be a mum for so long that I didn’t know how I’d feel about going back to work straight away.
“The hard thing about Corrie was that the hours aren’t a normal nine-to-five, or you couldn’t go part-time, or you couldn’t start after 10am. There was physically no way that I could do it without having a nanny. And there’s Kean’s football as well. I didn’t want the pressure of making those decisions when I didn’t know how I was going to feel.
“I didn’t want that to affect my time with my first baby. I thought while I was able to step away, I did, and I felt that was the best decision for me and my family at the time.”
Brooke, 30, who is engaged to footballer Kean Bryan, 25, has opened her up to the prospect of acting work again, but she’s still not ready to make a full-time commitment to the soap.
She added: “Corrie for me will always be home, but Corrie’s ongoing – it’s forever there,” she says. “They don’t have an end date. So for me, smaller projects will be doable because they have a start and an end date.
“It’s hard with Corrie because it’s set in Manchester and I don’t know where Kean’s going to be next season. I don’t want to be in a situation where one of you has to stay in one place, and the other somewhere else, especially while the boys are so young. I think anywhere could be a little adventure before we have to settle down and look for schools and give the kids that stability.”
Brooke became famous as Sophie Webster in Coronation Street in 2004 and hit the headlines as a part of the soap's first lesbian storyline in 2011. She is now best friends with Sacha Parkinson, who played Sian Piowers, her lesbian love interest in the soap.
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