ROVERS RETURNERS Soap stars who quit and then came running back… including Coronation Street star whose secret tragedy left her bankrupt

A SOAPLAND exit is usually a dramatic affair - but for these boomerang stars it paved the way for an equally explosive return.

This week we revealed Emmerdale actress Samantha Giles is bidding farewell to the village -  the fourth time she's quit since her 1998 debut.

Samantha Giles has quit Emmerdale... again

Samantha Giles has quit Emmerdale... again

A source said Samantha's character Bernice Blackstock has been "in and out of Emmerdale village more than they change the barrels at The Woolpack".

She became an Emmerdale mainstay after joining in 1998, but left in 2002.

Samantha made a brief return in 2004, before hopping over to Hollyoaks as Valerie Holden from 2008 to 2010.

She made her Emmerdale comeback in 2012 and lasted for five years until 2019, when she left to try to "play something a bit more gritty".

"I want to do some other stuff. There are so many things out there," she said.

However, the pandemic hit and Samantha spent her two years away writing books, before heading back to the Dales in 2021.

Bernice has been at the centre of some of Emmerdale's most memorable stories, including eating Katie’s engagement ring, plotting to steal a wedding dress, and a drunken rampage in a JCB.

While she's always been welcomed back "with open arms" by ITV and fans alike, it’s "becoming a bit of a running joke".

Samantha, who will depart the Dales later this year, isn't the first soap star to quit and then discover 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 left- and then made shockingly quick comebacks.

Beverley CallardCredit: ITV

Beverley Callard will never return to Corrie

Beverley is best known for playing 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.

Four years later 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!"

At the time Beverley hid 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 said 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, but by 2020 she was off again - this time for good.

Lacey TurnerCredit: BBC

Lacey Turner has played Stacey Slater since 2004 when she immediately became a fan-favourite.

Lacey Turner has taken many breaks from EastEnders

She was at the centre of some of the soap’s biggest ever stories - including Stacey’s affair with Max Branning and 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.

"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.

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.

Patsy Palmer

Patsy once vowed never to return to the soap - and then she was back, much to fans' delight

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 decided she'd had enough and walked away in 1999.

At the time she said she wanted more time to spend with her family and on new projects.

She appeared in a cameo role in Gimme Gimme Gimme, Battersea Dogs Home and McCready and Daughter.

But just three years after leaving, Patsy brought Bianca back in a special two-parter, EastEnders: Ricky and Bianca.

In 2005, Patsy laid into the soap for being “ridiculous and unbelievable” and insisted she would never return. But she did, two years later - this time as a full-time character.

She lasted six years in that stint before she quit and moved to American to reinvent herself.

Patsy returned to the show in 2019 for a one-off appearance and was due to return again in 2020, but the pandemic put paid to that.

Ben Price

Ben Price is on his second stint on Corrie

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 for “entirely personal reasons”, keen to spend more time with his family.

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 reprising his 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... 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."

Danny Mille

Danny Miller is a fan favourite

There'll always be a special place in the heart of Emmerdale fans for 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's storylines have been one drama after after - with Aaron's 'coming out' followed by a controversial assisted suicide plot with first love Jackson.

After four years, eager to "explore other roles", Danny decided to leave to see what else he could accomplish.

The actor landed a panto as well as small roles in Lightfields, Jamaica Inn and Scott and Bailey.

After two years Danny was back in the Dales in 2014 - but he left in October 2022 and went on I'm A Celebrity, which he won.A year after quitting the soap he shut down his acting company, Cannon Professional Acting Company, with records showing it had £117,527 of debt.

Earlier this year it was reported he was facing a government probe over its collapse.

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