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Sarah's Bad Romances!

As Sarah’s fiery fling with Damon looks set to come crashing down around her, actress Tina O’Brien takes a look back over Sarah’s disastrous dating history to see where it all went wrong and where Sarah developed her taste for bad boys and a bad romance!


It all started for Sarah at the young age of 13 when she catapulted into adulthood having found herself pregnant with Bethany. At first Sarah didn’t tell anyone who the father was but best friend Candice worked out it was Neil, a school friend of Sarah’s. He had no involvement in Bethany’s upbringing as Sarah went it alone as a teen single mum.

“Nothing for me will probably ever beat that story, just because of the age I was, the opportunity to play out a teenage pregnancy and how much the story blew up. Neil Fearns was Sarah’s first sexual relationship, it happened once, she was very young and very naive, Sarah just thought she was putting on weight but her mum took her to the doctors and it turned out she was 5 months pregnant. There was a conversation that Sarah might disappear off, have the baby and they’d raise it as Gail’s but it all came out at school thanks to Candice and that went out of the window. They were just so young and with not being in a relationship, Neil was never really involved. It was crazy the response to that storyline but I absolutely loved playing it.”



In 2001 Sarah went on internet chat rooms and struck up a friendship with Gary Adams. She went to his house to meet him but was terrified to discover Gary was actually a man in his thirties. Gary locked her in his bedroom but friends Candice and Todd managed to break in and save Sarah. Gail then rushed to Sarah’s aid while Dennis Stringer gave Gary a beating before he was arrested.

“I watched these episodes again not so long ago and he was really creepy, it was horrid. I was shouting at the screen for her to get out when she realises he’s a man and he’s saying sit down, have a chat with me. But she’s scared, she stays and it’s really horrible, he gets quite violent with her and drags her down the stairs. So definitely don’t go meeting strangers from internet chat rooms is the moral of that story.”


Sarah embarked on a rebellious streak in 2002 when she got mixed up with Weatherfield High’s bad boy Aidan Critchely. Sarah bunked off school, lied to her parents and dumped her daughter on whoever would look after her. They went joyriding in Ken’s car but when Aidan flipped the vehicle he ran off, unsure whether he was leaving Sarah dead or alive. Sarah was rushed to hospital where she had emergency surgery. She woke up to find Todd at her bedside who’d missed his open day at Oxford University for her. Remembering Ade left her in the wreckage, Sarah dumped him.

“She knew Aidan was bad news, she knew he wasn’t good for her but he had this ability to keep making her go back for more. Because she had a child she desperately wanted to prove to him that I am cool, I am fun to be around and I will do these things. He pushed and pushed and pushed her then when it came to it he treated her really badly, didn’t keep her safe and didn’t even stay with her when the car crashed. He was the first of her real bad boys.”


Having fancied Sarah from a distance since then, Todd finally became her boyfriend in 2003. All was going well and after leaving school she moved in with Todd, despite mum Gail’s attempts to split them up. Sarah and Todd remained strong until he rushed her into getting engaged and pregnant at 16 before confessing he was gay and had been having an affair with nurse Karl Foster. The stress caused Sarah to go into premature labour and their son Billy died after three days.

“She was so happy with Todd, I think she found her soulmate. They lived in this tiny dinky flat, they had no money but they were just properly in love. I think he really did love her in his way but unfortunately he realised he also had feelings for a man which led him to the conclusion that he was gay. He decided to explore that and started to have a relationship behind her back with a guy he was working with. She was devastated when she found out, she felt so hurt and betrayed. I don’t think it was necessarily what he did but it was the fact that he lied about it to her when he’d wanted them to have this baby together. Then she lost the baby and it was heartbreaking for her. It broke Sarah in so many ways, the life that she thought she was going to have was all suddenly gone and not only was it gone, it felt like it had all been a lie as well. The funeral was so sad to film, I totally broke down and once the tears came even when they said cut I just couldn’t stop crying. The producer at the time Tony Wood told me he blew the budget on the funeral episode because he had nearly every cast member in the show stood on the street to see the coffin go past.”


After a short relationship with Scooter Makuna in 2005, Sarah began an affair with Todd’s brother, Jason, who was with Violet Wilson at the time. Jason eventually left Violet for Sarah and they got engaged in 2006 but Jason got cold feet and ran away on their wedding day, escaping out of a toilet window! They finally married in 2007, despite Sarah’s brother David driving his car into the canal following a huge brother and sister feud. The couple planned a fresh start in Milan, however after discovering that Sarah had schemed to steal the opportunity to work in the fashion industry for their Uncle Stephen from David, a sickened Jason let Sarah go without him.

“It all started at a party, they were at Eileen’s house and they ended up sleeping together. Todd goes to take Jason a cup of tea the next morning and walks in on his ex-girlfriend and his brother in bed together and he is raging. There was a massive argument, Todd slapped Sarah, they dragged each other down the stairs fighting. After that there was a lot that went on in Sarah and Jason’s relationship, they were probably never really right for each other but I think she desperately wanted a relationship that would work. She was a bit of a madam at times, she tempted him away from Violet, she did some really underhand things to get him but then because of how she got him she couldn't trust him. She became very manipulative, very controlling, she wanted everything her own way and after scheming against David in the end Jason just said I’m not coming with you, I’m done. So off Sarah went to Milan without him.”


After a failed reconciliation with Jason, Sarah got divorced in 2010 and became involved with local drug dealer Callum Logan who fathered her third child, Harry. Having ignored the warnings from her family, Sarah finally finished with Callum when she found out that he'd used Bethany as a drug mule. He violently assaulted Sarah but was killed by David's wife Kylie who walked in during the attack. Rather than going to the police they then hid the body in a drain under the Platts garage conversion. In the months that followed, Sarah was treated for postpartum psychosis when she became convinced that Callum was still alive and barricaded herself and Harry inside the house.

“This was probably her worst ever choice in men! She did say I know what you’re doing, I know exactly why you’re after me, you want to stick it to David and you think if you flirt around me that will wind him up, which it did. Obviously he was Kylie’s ex but Sarah had been in Milan, she didn’t think she was sticking around for long. She thought she was going back so she just thought sod it I’ll have a bit of fun, have a fling and I’ll be gone in a week, what does it matter. She knew that he was a bad boy, she trusted her brother enough to realise Callum was an idiot but at the same time she couldn’t help being tempted by him. I think maybe also the fact she was riling David had its appeal, a case of don’t tell me who I can and can’t mess around with. I don’t think she ever planned it to become anything serious but obviously it did and Callum ended up dead in the live episode. I still remember very clearly having a meeting with the producer Stuart Blackburn who sat us down to tell us the plan and that it was going to be live. I was like wow. I was weirdly excited but not nervous, if someone told me that now I’d be terrified but maybe that’s because I now know how terrifying a live episode is. It was an amazing end for Callum after how evil the character had been. It was also really interesting to play the fallout from that. How Sarah did not cope very well mentally, how David became very nasty, how Kylie became very caring towards Sarah. It changed the dynamic in all their relationships.”


Looking for a more settled life, Sarah began a relationship with Gary Windass, once a bad lad but seemingly reformed. They got engaged and lived together with her children in Victoria Court. However, despite how much she loved him, Sarah was forced to dump Gary after his affair with Nicola and involvement with loan shark Rick Neelan took their toll. Her life in danger and knowing too much, Sarah kept Gary’s secrets but the damage was done and their relationship couldn't be saved.

“I think that Gary has possibly been the biggest rock in Sarah’s life. He knows her in a way that nobody else does, he knows all her bad bits and he loved her anyway. She’s never told Adam about what happened to Callum whereas Gary knows all her secrets and continues to keep them. He saw her as she truly was, he accepted her and loved her for what she was and that meant everything to her. I think they had an amazing bond and they were brilliant together, then he stupidly went and had an affair with Nicola (Phelan’s daughter). It created problems in their trust, then he started lying about where he was working, every time she took him back he just seemed to humiliate her more. I think if he’d been more honest with her they’d still be together as she truly loved him. Then just when she couldn’t take anymore in came Adam and swept her off her feet. There was no drama, he truly wanted to be with her, it was fresh, no embarrassment, so she decided it was time to tell Gary they were done. But I think Sarah and Gary have a shared history like nobody else does. There’s something about the way Gary sees Sarah. Adam sees Sarah as he wants to see her, he pictures her a certain way, but Gary just loved her the way she was, as the girl next door. It was more of a soulmate connection maybe.” 


Eventually life seemed to be on an even keel for Sarah when she began dating Adam Barlow in 2019. Previously a ladies man, he changed his ways for Sarah and they married in 2020, co parenting Sarah’s son Harry. But this time it was Sarah who pressed self destruct, embarking on a steamy affair with local bad lad Damon Hay which left her pregnant. Adam ended their relationship when he learned of her infidelity, they briefly tried again when Adam got shut of Damon but Sarah’s continuing lies led to Adam’s cruel gender reveal shock and Sarah losing the baby  

“So after saying that Gary was the one for Sarah, along came Adam who swept her off her feet and probably was the right one for Sarah. Maybe Sarah was right for Gary but I think Adam was right for Sarah. Adam came along at a time when she really needed him, he made her feel so special and safe. He had this womanising past but all he wanted was her and to get married and that was very attractive. There was tension with the Barlows and the Platts at first but the fact that Adam knew who he was, knew what he wanted, knew he wanted to be with only her and take on her son as well just made her fall madly in love with him. Then after all the bad boys it was her who messed this one up. Interestingly you would have thought it would be Adam, he’d always been a ladies man but it was Sarah that made the mistake. At first I found it difficult to understand why she was cheating on him but I think it became one of those situations where something new and exciting presented itself, she knew it was wrong but she just couldn't help herself. Damon offered her something she wasn’t getting at home, excitement, and rightly or wrongly she just decided she was going to go for it. After that the marriage just went into destruct mode and there was no way back.


With divorce on the cards for Adam and Sarah, Damon reappeared in Weatherfield in the New year, determined to win his girl back. Again Sarah fell for his bad boy charms and the couple are now planning to buy a house together. But with a vengeful Adam taking a step closer to the dark side, plotting to get rid of Damon for good with his gangster brother Harvey, is this another bad romance set to end in tears for Sarah? 

There is just something about Damon that’s got Sarah hooked. He isn’t a pushover, they have a lot of banter, she isn’t allowed to get too big for her boots, but she likes his sort of old school charm. She loves how he’s a bit cheeky with her and he makes her laugh a lot, maybe that’s been something that’s been lacking in her life for a while. For her it’s how lighthearted the relationship is, the laughter they have together. Sadly though, with her history and choices, I’d be surprised if things aren’t about to go wrong in some shape or form. Damon has that history, that dodgy background and the fact that Adam is so intent on splitting them up and getting Damon out of the picture I’m not sure they really have a chance. I have this awful feeling she’s about to get her heart broken all over again.”

Keep up to date with all of Sarah's love drama on ITVX

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