HOLLYOAKS legend Helen Pearson will leave the soap with her on-screen husband Johnno Dean making a dramatic return.
The actress, 57, has played pub landlady Francine ‘Frankie’ Osborne for 15 years having previously featured in soap rivals EastEnders and Emmerdale.
Colin Wells will reprise his role as her former husband Johnno after 12 years away from the Channel 4 show.
A telly source said: “Helen is a soap legend.
“Her absence will really be felt as she is part of the furniture at Hollyoaks.
“But she’s off to pastures new and it has been a really hard decision.”
The star filmed her last scenes in September and her exit will be seen later this month.
Show bosses held a leaving do for her but reportedly told the club it was another member of the crew to keep her exit under wraps.
She was banned from driving for more than two years in 2015 after being caught on the M6 nearly three times over the drink-drive limit.
Johnno’s return was announced earlier this month with Frankie finding herself being drawn back to him.
He presents her with an opportunity to move away with him and is hurt when she does not say yes straight away.
Johnno was last seen in 2005 when he split with Frankie.
He arrived on the show in 2002 with his wife and children Jake, Craig, Debbie and Steph and was eventually cast out by them over his betrayal.
A spokesperson for Hollyoaks declined to comment.