Gillian Taylforth is leaving Hollyoaks after a year in the role as Sandy Roscoe.

The soap star has made the decision to bow out in order to spend more time with her family.

However, Hollyoaks bosses have promised that her character won't be killed off so that the door is open for her to return for future storylines.

Taylforth said in a statement issued to Digital Spy this morning (March 9): "I have loved the role of Sandy Roscoe playing mum to six gorgeous boys, all of whom I will miss desperately, but the time is right for me to spend more time with my own family.

"It has been enormous fun and hugely rewarding to be part of settling in a new Hollyoaks family and it fills me with pride that they have so quickly been taken to viewers' hearts.

"I am really happy that I will still be able to pop back to check on the Roscoe boys but it's now time for them to fend for themselves!"

Taylforth's final scenes are expected to air in June.

The actress previously starred in Eastenders as Kathy Beale between 1985 and 2000.