Debbie Rush spent two years thinking about quitting "Coronation Street".
The 51-year-old actress - who has portrayed waitress Anna Windass since 2008 - is set to depart the show at the end of the year, and she admitted it took her a long time to decide to leave because it is such a "terrifying" prospect.
She said: "It's terrifying. It was frightening before I came into this as it's tough and jobs are few and far between.
"But it's what I did before and it's what I'll do again.
"I took a really long time to make a decision and talked about it for two years before I decided to go. I told my husband and children - and I have a very close inner circle - but we kept it under wraps for quite some time."
But as time counts down to her exit, she's feeling "excited" about what the future holds.
She said: "I have a month of filming to go, which takes us to the end of January on screen. As the weeks count down, I'm really excited.
"I've been here for nine years and loved every minute. The show has been very good to me and I've been really lucky with some great storylines.
"I feel highly respected by my colleagues and it's scary to leave such a lovely job, but I just want to be creative again somewhere else. As an actress, it's time to move on."
However, Debbie doesn't have any new roles lined up just yet.
Asked what's next, she told Closer magazine"Just work. I've no plans. I'm a jobbing actress and that's what I intend to continue doing."