Michelle Keegan, once voted the “sexiest soap star in the world” is to quit Coronation Street to further her acting career.

The actress, who is currently suffering from a mystery virus, said it as time to move on and tackle new challenges.

She  has played Tina McIntyre in the show for six years and said that the decision was a difficult one to make, as the cast were like a second family.

However, the curvy 25 year-old will stay with the show until her contract runs out in 2014, and insiders on the show say “something dramatic” is being planned.

Michelle, who has been also been voted “Sexiest British Soap Star” a record FOUR times is likely to divide her time between Manchester and London, where she has hooked up with The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright.