Leanne Battersby with Jez Quigley in Classic Coronation Street and today

Leanne Battersby’s emotional farewell from Coronation Street in 2000

She waved goodbye to Weatherfield for four years.

Leanne Battersby waves goodbye to Weatherfield in classic Coronation Street episodes from 2000, this week.

But what were the heartbreaking circumstances leaving to her exit?

How long was she gone? And what did actress Jane Danson do in the four years she was away from the cobbles?

A teenage Leanne Battersby and Nick Tilsley hug in Coronation Street
Leanne and Nick ran off to get married (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Read more: Coronation Street has three exits lined up already in 2022

When did Leanne arrive in the Street?

Bolshy teenager Leanne arrived in Weatherfield in 1997, with her dad Les Battersby, stepmum Janice, and stepsister Toyah, and sporting a Geri Halliwell-esque hairdo!

She got into all sorts of trouble right from the off, including running away to Scotland to tie the knot with equally troublesome teen Nick Tilsley!

But as the new Millennium dawned, Leanne got into her worst situation yet.

Dodgy drug dealers

When Leanne and Nick split up, she began dating Vikram Desai.

Vikram was a big partygoer, and Leanne loved it. But she was soon enjoying the drugs a little bit too much.

She started taking cocaine and ended up owing a lot of money to unsavoury drug dealer, Jez Quigley.

As Leanne’s addiction spiralled out of control. her debt to Jez grew bigger. He forced her to sleep with him, and even talked her into letting him rob the Rovers on New Year’s Eve.

But Leanne backed out and ended up fighting off Jez’s henchmen instead. She was hailed a hero – until her drug secret was revealed.

Jez Quigley threatens a scared Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street
Jez had Leanne scared for her life (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock

When did Leanne leave Weatherfield?

Jez was accused of killing Tony Horrocks, but when he was found not guilty at his trial he returned to Weatherfield.

He sent presents to a terrified Leanne and then eventually snatched her off the street and brought her to his flat, where he declared his love for the frightened woman.

We can think of better ways to show your love, Jez!

Not surprisingly, Leanne was worried for her life, so she fled. She left Weatherfield for good and ran away to Amsterdam with her friend – and Mike Baldwin‘s son – Mark Redman.

Of course, we know Leanne returned to the cobbles four years later, but she was away for a long time!

Leanne says goodbye to her family, dad Les, stepmum Janice and stepsister Toyah in Coronation Street
Leanne said a tearful goodbye to her family (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Read more: Does Leanne die in Coronation Street?

Who plays Leanne Battersby?

Leanne is played by actress Jane Danson. She’s married to fellow actor, and former Hollyoaks and Brookside star Robert Beck, and the pair have two sons.

What did Leanne do while she was away?

Leanne was eventually spotted in a lapdancing bar in 2004, by her shocked dad, Les and returned to Weatherfield.

Off-screen, Jane Danson was kept super busy while Leanne was off learning how to pole dance.

She landed the role of nurse Samantha Docherty, in ITV hospital drama Always and Everyone – which was later rebranded as A&E.

Jane also played the first lesbian police officer, Gemma Osbourne, on The Bill from 2002 until 2003.

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Coronation Street is on ITV3 every week day at 3pm and 3.30pm.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer