Michelle Keegan has admitted she was "shocked" when she was told she could never make a return to Coronation Street.
Her character Tina McIntyre was killed off in a dramatic storyline that saw her murdered by Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis).
The brunette beauty said: "As an actress, there is something very reassuring about working on a soap. You're working every day and it's regular work.
"So I guess ['Coronation Street'] was a bit of a safety blanket.
"I had hoped they wouldn't [kill off Tina] so it was a bit of a shock. I wanted them to leave the door open because it would have been reassuring to know the show would always be there."
The 27-year-old star says it wasn't an "easy decision" to leave the ITV soap behind but producers insisted she was "very lucky" to exit in such a dramatic storyline.
She added to BBC Breakfast: "But then they told me they had this great leaving storyline - and I was very lucky to go out on such a high.
"It wasn't an easy decision to leave the show and jump ship. It took me a few years to actually do it. I still miss everyone."
Meanwhile, Michelle - who is engaged to television personality Mark Wright - recently praised the soap for making her a "better actress".
She said: "'Corrie' made me a better actress, it was an amazing platform.
"You go in day in, day out for 12 hours and I had amazing storylines in 'Coronation Street' so I do think it gave me the experience to go on and do other things."