Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank who plays the role of Billy Mayhew says ”we're grieving Peter leaving" following the confirmed exit of his on-screen partner Paul Foreman.

Peter Ash who features as Paul in the ITV soap will be leaving one of the nation’s most loved streets as it was revealed he is dying after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).

In an earlier episode, the character first realised he was unwell after being knocked from a motorbike when the Underworld van crashed into him.

Speaking to the Metro, Daniel said: “Even though we know it isn’t real, knowing that Pete’s time on the show is now coming to an end, there is a deep sadness in that.

“I mean, Jane Hazlegrove, who plays Bernie, she can’t keep her b***** eyes dry at all! She sees Pete limping onto the set and she’s welling up. We’re grieving Peter leaving, Peter’s not dying but the emotions are genuine.”

When he was asked about his character’s reaction to the news about Paul, he explained: “Obviously, Billy being Billy he does the research on what the potential outcome is, especially as he’s not been there through the initial diagnosis and journey with him.

“Of course, he’s devastated. I think it’s a difficult thing as he’s going to be stuck in between being a pastoral role, but also, this is a personal journey, so it’s not the same as a parishioner.

“He’s very, very aware that time together is coming to an end. And their time as it stands, is coming to an end, because of course the longer it goes on, the less Paul will be able to do.

“I think he’s sort of trying to live every moment as we all should, really through general life, because I think we all forget that our time is tied up for all of us anyway.

“We all get so wrapped up in the b******s of life that we that we forget that actually, we need to celebrate all of these moments because none of us know what’s around the corner.”

Daniel added: “But I think for Billy it’s utterly heart-breaking that he feels like he’s just got this guy back and they’ve got things on track, and he thought that everything was going well, and then all of a sudden, bang!

“This thing comes in and literally smashes everything out of the park, completely dismantles the future that he thought that they were building on.”

What is motor neurone disease (MND)?

Motor neurone disease (MND) is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves which causes weakness that gets worse over time, reports the NHS.

At present, there is unfortunately no cure but there are treatments used to help reduce the impact it has on a person's daily life.

Although some people live with the condition for many years, MND can shorten a person’s life expectancy.

Symptoms can happen gradually but early signs include:

  • weakness in your ankle or leg – you might trip, or find it harder to climb stairs
  • slurred speech, which may develop into difficulty swallowing some foods
  • a weak grip – you might drop things, or find it hard to open jars or do up buttons
  • muscle cramps and twitches
  • weight loss – your arms or leg muscles may have become thinner over time
  • difficulty stopping yourself from crying or laughing in inappropriate situations

You can find more information and advice on the NHS website and the Motor Neurone Disease Association website.