Sarah Harding’s soap career would seem to have crashed and burned after barely having taken off, with the news that her ‘Coronation Street’ character Joni Preston is to be removed from the show after just four episodes.

Former Girls Aloud singer Harding, 33, played the estranged wife of Robert Preston in the long-running ITV soap this week, but was slammed by ‘Corrie’ fans and TV critics for her acting skills. In the aftermath, the show has decided not to take up the option of extending her character’s storyline.

Sarah HardingSarah Harding in London earlier this week

“Sarah was always only contracted for a four episode cameo role,” a rep for Harding confirmed to the MailOnline on Thursday (July 30th) in an attempt to put a positive spin on the disaster. "There are no immediate plans for the character of Joni to return.”

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However, according to The Sun who broke the story, the view among the show’s producers is that casting Harding was a regrettable experiment. “It's safe to say Sarah's ‘Corrie’ career hasn't gone as planned. Fans and critics have been pretty unimpressed with her acting.”

“It doesn't reflect well on ‘Corrie’, who have been accused of chasing ratings with gimmicks. They will not be getting her back and the general consensus on set is that this was a failed experiment.”

It was revealed earlier this year that Harding, who has had previous acting experience in the hit movie St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold and the Danny Dyer-featuring catastrophe Run For Your Wife, would be making a brief series of cameo appearances as Tracy Barlow’s feisty rival.

However, social media has been incredibly unkind towards her acting talents (or lack thereof), with one fan tweeting: “Sarah Harding is literally the worst actress ever it physically pains me.” Another gave a decidedly back-handed compliment with: “Well, Sarah Harding is a much better singer than actress.”

Speaking about her time on ‘Corrie’ on ITV’s chat show ‘Lorraine’ earlier this week, the singer seemed nervous about how she was going to go down. “I know it’s going to be a mixed reaction, because people are going to be expecting high standards, and so as long as I’m prepared for that, that’s fine,” she said ebulliently.

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