The soap veteran, who has played Emily Bishop in the ITV soap for over five decades, has reportedly asked for six months off in 2016, though she is expected to return.
An insider tells The Sun: “Eileen asked for a few months off from filming and she is due to leave early in the New Year.”
Eileen, in character as Emily Bishop
The newspaper have claimed that Emily - the soap’s longest-standing female character, with 54 years on the cobbles under her belt - could take a trip to South America to see her nephew, Spider, to explain six-month absence from the show.
Eileen’s rumoured break comes at a time when several of the soap’s principal characters are due for some time off.
Emily and co-star Malcolm Hebden shared screentime with Sir Ian McKellen, when he guest starred on the soap
Alison King, who plays Carla Connor, had initially intended to leave the show earlier this year, but was eventually persuaded to take a year out instead, while Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) and David Nielsen (Roy Cropper) will also be spending some time away from the soap in the near future.
Craig Charles also recently left the cobbles for good, after 10 years playing Lloyd Mullaney, to film the forthcoming new series of ‘Red Dwarf’.
The source continues: “She is obviously a big loss to the show, even if it really is temporary, because she’s one of the most recognisable characters on the cobbles. And so many other popular cast members are heading for the door.”