CRAIG Charles is quitting Coronation Street after a decade to head back into outer space with Red Dwarf, ITV has confirmed.

Liverpudlian Charles, who has played Weatherfield cab company owner Lloyd Mullaney for 10 years, is to reprise his role as Lister in two new series of the cult comedy show on comedy channel Dave.

He is the latest high-profile departure from Corrie’s famous cobbles after actress Alison King, who plays Carla Connor, announced she would be taking a break from the soap for “creative reasons” next year.

In a statement, Charles, 50, said: “I have had an absolutely fantastic 10 years on Coronation Street and I will be very sad to leave. Lloyd has become a huge part of my life and I have made some amazing friends with whom I will always keep in touch.

“But I feel I owe it to my colleagues on Red Dwarf to join them in filming the new series and finding out what is in store for Lister and the others. I would love to return to Coronation Street at some point in the future.”

He will remain in the soap until September, ITV said.

The two new Red Dwarf series, 11 and 12, reunite Charles with Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Danny John-Jules (Cat) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) as the four hapless space explorers for the first time since 2012.

The now legendary Red Dwarf attracted a cult fanbase and a dedicated following after first airing in 1988 on BBC2.

The first episode featured the technician character Dave Lister on the mining spaceship Red Dwarf waking up to discover that he had been in stasis for three million years and that his fellow crew members had been killed by a radiation leak.

The show went on to attract more than eight million viewers, was broadcast in 25 countries and scooped International Emmy and British Comedy Awards.

The shows will air on Dave in 2016 and 2017 after beginning production in the autumn.