Coronation Streets Jacob Hay star explains why he really left soap

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James Jack Ryan, who played Jacob Hay on Coronation Street, has addressed the real reason he left the ITV soap after two years. The character’s unexpected exit left viewers gobsmacked, with many questioning whether the youngster will return to Weatherfield in the future.

Jacob made his exit following his involvement with his father Damon Hay’s (Ciaran Griffiths) drug crime.

Coronation Street villain Damon was putting pressure on his son until he felt he had no choice but to flee the cobbles, leaving his girlfriend Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) heartbroken.

The youngster had tried to turn his life around, but when he confessed what was happening to Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) he vowed to leave for good.

Jacob star James has now spoken out on why he decided to leave the ITV soap.

“It felt right, it felt like the right time to leave the show,” the 26-year-old actor shared with Radio Times.

“I’m still young, and there’s so much stuff that I want to go and do.

“I also felt like I had come and done what I intended to do.”

James continued: “We talk about the Corrie bingo cards, like where you tick off things you’ve done.

“I’ve come in, I’ve played the villain, I’ve had my redemption arc, I got to punch Steve McDonald, I went to prison, I even moved into 1 Coronation Street with Ken Barlow! You can’t get much better than that.”

The actor also addressed his exit to his thousands of Twitter followers in recent days.

He shared: “That’s all folks! Jacob Hay over and out.

“I can’t believe a two-month job on the cobbles turned into a two-year Weatherfield residency.

“Getting to work on a show I was brought up on and to follow in the footsteps of true legends has been an absolute privilege.”

He said he could not thank Coronation Street fans enough for supporting him throughout his tenure on the programme.

“Jacob has been an absolute treat of a character to play and that’s all been down to how well the writers have written for him,” he continued.

“I’d like to thank Gennie and the casting team for taking a chance on me, the multitude of talented directors I’ve had the pleasure of working with and the whole production team who work tirelessly to bring this show to life.”

The actor also paid a special tribute to his on-screen girlfriend, played by Elle who made him “cry with laughter every day”.

James then teased about a future project he is working on, but could not disclose much detail.

“I have some really exciting news to share when I’m able, but for now, I bid you farewell,” he added.

Jacob may have left the soap, but his father Damon looks set to play a big role in upcoming scenes.

“We’re currently working on June storylines,” executive producer Iain MacLeod told Express.co.uk and other media.

“There’s a build-up and a colossal explosion in that story, involving Damon and this love story that will be on air then.”

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV at 8pm.

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