FORMER Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh is making her first television appearance since her controversial exit from the soap in a new drama about 21st century gay life.

More than 10 million viewers tuned in to watch her character on the Street, Hayley Cropper, commit suicide in a controversial right-to-die plot in January.

The actress will join Freddie Fox and The Thick Of It star Vincent Franklin in the cast for Channel 4 drama Cucumber.