Julie Hesmondhalgh set for first TV role since Coronation Street

The British actress will star in a new Channel 4 drama from Russell T Davies

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The Independent Culture

Julie Hesmondhalgh is set to return to living rooms in her first television role since Coronation Street.

The British actress, 44, left the long-running soap in January, when around 9.7 million viewers watched her terminally ill character Hayley Cropper take an overdose and die.

Hesmondhalgh will be back on screen in a new Channel 4 drama from Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies.

She will join fellow cast members Vincent Franklin and Freddie Fox in Cucumber, which will centre on 21st century gay life.

Hesmondhalgh will play the sister of Franklin's character Henry, 46, whose life with his boyfriend Lance is "turned upside down after a disastrous date night".

Death, a threesome, police cars and the Glee Christmas album are all rumoured to play a part.

The forthcoming series is currently shooting in Manchester and due to air in 2015. Another series, Banana, will debut on E4 and follow characters connected to Henry.

Hesmondhalgh first joined Coronation Street in 1998 as its first transsexual. Shortly after her controversial exit, Hesmondhalgh won for Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards.

Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson

"Occasionally, you get a huge reaction from a story and you realise how important these shows are because when people laugh together, cry together, you get community," said her co-star David Neilson, who played her on-screen husband, café owner Roy.