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Coronation Street's Derek Griffiths leaves after just one year

by Gemma Strong

Coronation Street actor Derek Griffiths has decided to leave the ITV soap after just one year. The actor, known to Corrie fans as mechanic Freddie Smith, is set to appear in an upcoming stage production of Driving Miss Daisy, according to the Sun. A source said: "Derek has been a great asset to the soap but bosses decided not to renew his 12 month contract. He's looking to the future and can't wait to get stuck in with the play."

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Derek Griffiths played mechanic Freddie Smith in Coronation Street

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Derek joined the cast of Coronation Street in March 2016 as an "unlikely friend" for Kylie Platt, played by Paula Lane. He arrived shortly after the death of his wife – a client at Kylie's beauty salon. Speaking at the time his casting was announced, Derek said: "I remember being a young boy and watching Violet Carson [who played Ena Sharples] on Coronation Street. She was a brilliant character that people loved to hate, and later, when I became an actor and played the villain in panto many times, those were the qualities I would bring to the role. When I came for my audition, one of the first things I saw was a huge photo of Violet Carson on the wall. I am very much looking forward to walking in those hallowed footsteps."

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His character was introduced as an "unlikely friend" for Kylie Platt

Prior to Coronation Street, Derek was best known for presenting Play School in the 1980s, alongside Chloe Ashcroft, Johnny Ball and Brian Cant. He has appeared in a number of stage productions, including Beauty and the Beast and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the West End, and worked for two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Derek was also the voice of SuperTed.

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