CORONATION Street stalwart Roy Cropper is a piece of Cobbles furniture – but his stream train-loving, butty-serving time may have come to an end.
The former Roy's Rolls boss, who recently showed his softer side in his relationship with niece Nina Lucas and her turmoil after being subject to a hate crime, has fled Weatherfield.
ITV viewers are aware much-loved Roy, played by David Neilson, has shunned the chilly climes of the north in favour of work in South America.
He made his unexpected decision after three decades and signed everything he owned over to Nina in hugely emotional scenes.
Yet will these be his last?
Roy was struggling to come to terms with the fact that the gun Abi Franklin (played by Sally Carman) obtained to shoot Corey Brent (played by Maximus Evans) was the very same weapon which was used to kill Natasha Blakeman (played by Rachel Leskovac).
Abi was stopped from putting a bullet in Corey on Wednesday (November 24) night episode by cafe owner Roy, who ended up covering for her when the police questioned about the incident.
As viewers know, the gun ended up in the hands of Harvey Gaskell (played by Will Mellor), who is intending on killing Leanne Battersby (played by Jane Danson), but shot Natasha in a case of mistaken identity.
Roy was shocked to learn from DS Abney that there was a connection between the two investigations, and despite covering for Abi once more, he felt he was unable to live with the guilt.
It is currently unknown if Roy will be leaving for good – yet soap spoilers, as well as actor David, have teased it is his final hurrah.
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Express.co.uk has teased festive soap spoilers which suggest Roy's time overseas could take a fatal turn.
They report how, after working in the country, Hayley Cropper's much-loved former husband will become embroiled in a "tragic accident."
Spoilers continue that without the medication to save him – which is only available at home – Roy could die off-screen.
They suggest the tragedy would only be revealed when Nina receives a report from the authorities and Roy's body is brought back from the UK.
Nina and Roy's best friend Carla Connor would then begin planning funeral arrangements while Weatherfield's residents would flood to pay their respects.
Yet Nina, who pleaded with Roy to stay in heart-wrenching scenes, would be left devastated and at breaking point as she feels she has no one in the world to look out for her.
Actress Mollie Gallagher who plays Nina recently spoke out on Roy's exit and said: "I would hate to see what she would do because she will have no one.
"It's really sad because Nina has had a lot of people leave her and she has lost everyone that means the most to her – now Roy is leaving too.
"When her dad left her, it was because her dad died and she remembers that her dad told her that he would have loved to spend more time with her but obviously he couldn’t."
He will be remembered for a long while,"
SET TO EXIT?
Adding fuel to the fire, in news set to devastate fans, actor David told Inside Soap: "I'm 72, obviously. When Corrie aired Norris' funeral, we had a scene with the hearse pulling up – and because of Malcolm Hebden, I thought, 'I'm really sorry that I won't get to work with him again.'
"But there are two exits in this for me: one for the character and one for David. Hopefully, they won't coincide – maybe they will.
"I know Roy leaving will get a reaction. It's a big part of your life and a big part of that popular culture.
"He will be remembered for a long while."
As a firm staple of UK television for decades, David said he still finds it "amazing" when he gets recognised.
He added: "When my son was at university, I remember going to pick up his stuff for the holidays one year and realising that I'd been in the lives of everybody there in their 30s – it's a very strange thing."
Who is David Neilson?
Roy Cropper is played by David Neilson.
He is a 72-year-old English actor born in Loughborough, Leicestershire.
The actor was enrolled at the Central School of Speech and Drama at the age of 20, which kicked started his career into acting.
Some of his TV roles include Z-Cars, Young at Heart, Mike in a single episode of Survivors (BBC), Edgar in DH Lawrence's Sons and Lovers adapted by Trevor Griffiths (BBC), Blue Heaven by Frank Skinner.
He also appeared in two Mike Leigh films: Life Is Sweet and Secrets & Lies.
He joined Corrie in 1995 and has starred on the soap for 26 years.
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