Coronation Street star Phil Middlemiss is returning to a rival soap opera 26 years after his shock exit from the cobbles.

The 60-year-old actor, who will now star in the hit BBC medical drama Doctors, played the role of Des Barnes from 1990 to 1998.

He left the cobbles when his character tried and failed to stop his stepson's assailants before being carted off in a body bag.

Phil will now play DI Travis Lennox on Doctors after last playing Frank Pickard in the much-loved soap all the way back in 2014.

Coronation Street legend to return to rival soap Doctors

Despite the small amount of screentime he had, many fans will be excited to see his return to the Birmingham-based programme.

However, the Coronation Street star's time on the show may be short-lived as it is set to be axed by the BBC.

The move comes as the 24-year-old programme faces "super inflation in drama production," making it cost significantly more to make.

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Screenwriter Philip Ralph said the move to end the show in December was a "disastrous decision".

Taking to X, he told fans of the soap: "Today is the last day of filming Doctors. A show that has run for 24 years, employed thousands of people, produced more than 4,500 episodes, will call ‘cut’ for the final time.

"As a writer on the show for the past 19 years I’m personally impacted along with hundreds by the disastrous decision to axe it."

When Phil Middlemiss first arrived on the cobbles in 1990, viewers quickly grew to love his newlywed character.

Even after his character's wife Steph left the show in 1991, the bookmaker continued to enjoy a longer stint, remarrying Natalie Horrocks (played by Denise Welch) in 1998.