Steven Arnold is "fuming" after being axed from 'Coronation Street'.

Ashley and Claire have been part of the fabric of Weatherfield for many years. But like any community, people come and go. The actors and myself felt we'd reached a crossroads. We mutually decided to start working towards an exit.

The actor - who has played butcher Ashley Peacock for 14-years - and Julia Haworth, who has played his on-screen wife Claire since 2003, are said to be stunned after being told their contracts are not being renewed.

Show producer Phil Collinson said: "Ashley and Claire have been part of the fabric of Weatherfield for many years. But like any community, people come and go. The actors and myself felt we'd reached a crossroads. We mutually decided to start working towards an exit."

Details of the pair's exit have not yet been revealed, but bosses have promised an "explosive" storyline that will see them bow out around the time of the show's 50th anniversary at the end of this year.

Following the news, fans immediately posted messages of support for the stars, speaking of their upset at the decision to let them go.

Iandale tweeted: "Ashley and Claire Peacock are being axed from Coronation St. Save Ashley! I say, Save Ashley!"

Posting on a fan forum, user Faycorgasm wrote: "I am horrified that they are axing normal people to bring back unbelievable ones who are played by terminally bad actors, it indicates that corrie is going to carry on down the line of badly written plot driven drama instead of character driven drama which used to be its strength (sic)."