Coronation Street star Tony Hirst is set to make his departure from the soap later this year, it has been revealed.

The actor, who has played fireman Paul Kershaw since 2010, will leave the popular ITV soap when his contract comes to an end later this year.

The Sunday Mirror quotes an ITV spokesperson saying: "It's a big year for the character of Paul. He will be at the centre of some explosive storylines which will culminate in a dramatic departure".

Hirst plays the love interest of Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver) on the cobbles.

The 45 year-old actor rose to fame portraying the character of Mike Barnes on Hollyoaks between 2006 and 2010. Hirst also lends his voice to the popular Discovery Channel UK version of How It's Made.