Coronation Street exit: Why has Jamie Kenna left as Phill Whittaker?

Coronation Street: Tyrone tries to punch Phill

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Jamie has played Phill Whittaker on Coronation Street for the past year, having been introduced as the new love interest for Fiz Stape (played by Jennie McAlpine) following her split from Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall). The ITV soap put the trio through the wringer over the past year but ultimately, the actor’s character was pushed out of the picture when Fiz and Tyrone got back together. It seemed inevitable Phill would leave the show shortly afterwards but the actor has now confirmed the news.

Why is Jamie Kenna leaving Coronation Street?

The soap star made his first appearance on the weeknight serial drama back exactly a year ago as he arrived on 16 July 2021, with his character taking Fiz on a date.

Fast forward to earlier this week and Phill made his final physical appearance on the show in the episode airing on 25 July 2022.

Since his final scenes aired, Jamie has taken to social media to address why he will no longer be seen on the cobbles of Weatherfield.

A video was posted on the show’s official Twitter account, with the soap star seen walking past the Viaduct where his journey first began.

Jamie told viewers: “The modern-day Jack and Vera are reunited and I feel so honoured to have played my part in that.”

“Jennie [McAlpine] and Alan [Halsall] are the best people to work with. I’ve been so lucky so I just wanted to come on here and say a massive thanks to all of you for your love and support for me and Phill over the past year,” he continued.

“I’ve had an absolute blast. I love this place.

“I love this show. What a ride it’s been for Big Phill with two L’s,” he added but he teased there could still be a future for his character.

Jamie explained: “Who knows? Maybe it isn’t the end. Maybe they’ll bring him back but for now, it’s a massive goodbye from me.

“And again, just sending loads and loads of love and thank you to everyone here at Corrie, to all of you guys for tuning in and watching and giving me support.”

I’ve had an absolute blast

Jamie Kenna

“Without you and without these guys here at Corrie, there’s no way I would have stayed for as long as I have,” Jamie said.

“So I’m so grateful for all of that. Look after yourselves, keep watching this brilliant show and keep this brilliant show alive.

“Because it really is the bedrock of British television, Canadian television, all over the world. It’s just iconic.

“So keep it alive and look after yourself. Stay safe and I will see you somewhere down the road,” he continued before blowing a kiss to the camera.

This, therefore, confirms Jamie has come to the end of his contract and the storyline he was brought in for, meaning he will now leave.

After hitting it off with Fiz last summer, the couple’s relationship moved very quickly, with the pair soon planning to move away from the cobbles.

In the midst of all the drama, Phill’s extended family arrived on the scene, with his mother Mimi Halliday (Margot Leicester) going head to head with Evelyn Plummer (Maureen Lipman) and his ex-wife Camilla (Louise Marwood) turning up on his wedding day to Fiz.

With Fiz believing this is what she wanted from her relationship, she walked down the aisle to exchange vows with the man she only met a year ago.

On the same day, she realised she was still in love with Tyrone and went running back to him, abandoning her husband.

The last few weeks have seen him try to fight for his marriage to Fiz, not realising she was already back with her former lover.

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Unfortunately for Phill, it was during a very awkward couple’s therapy session that he discovered Fiz was trying to make things work with Tyrone.

Phill felt this was a huge betrayal on both ends as he saw Tyrone as a best friend figure, with the pair having formed a bromance over the past few months.

In Monday night’s episode, he was told by Evelyn to let Fiz have the annulment and focus on carrying on with his life.

She reminded him of how Camilla was still pining over him and how he could rekindle his romance with her if he made a go of it.

His final scenes were emotional as he bid farewell to the Dobbs household and said farewell to Weatherfield for now.

Taking to Twitter, fans have been heartbroken to hear Jamie is leaving, with Sheila writing: “Please get Big Phill with Jenny!! They would make a great couple in the Rovers together!!! #Corrie @SallyAnMatthews Phill is such a great character!”

Jenny added: “Noooooo lovely Phill with two LL’s was hoping he and Jenny would get together. Best of luck Jamie.”

Alison Jane remarked: “So sorry to see Jamie Kenna go, what a lovely man he seems. Delighted Fiz and Tyrone are back together, but it would be lovely to see Phill back and in a new and happy relationship. Please Coronation Street bring Phill back he will be missed!”

“Oh, shame I was hoping there was still a twist. That scene this week ‘you were always enough for me’ was just heartbreaking – well done Jamie and hope you’re back one day soon,” Lorraine shared.

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

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