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The Women Of Weatherfield

The women of Weatherfield take centre stage this month as secrets unfold, lies are unearthed and love is put to the test.

As relationships come under fire, we gathered the nine ladies at the forefront of the drama together to shoot this exclusive image and chat to us about their own friendships and life on the soap in 2024.

Leanne (Jane Danson) and Toyah (Georgia Taylor) Battersby first walked onto the cobbles in 1997 and as sisters have always had the fiercest of bonds. But with Leanne falling more and more under the spell of Rowan and the institute, and Toyah growing ever closer to Leanne’s fiance Nick as he supports her through her own trauma of the stillborn baby she last many years ago, is that bond about to face the ultimate test?

Since returning to Weatherfield, Bethany (Lucy Fallon) has been a rock for mum Sarah (Tina O’Brien) as she faced the heartbreak of partner Damon being sent down. But with Bethany’s evil abuser Nathan out of prison and making his presence felt, it’s been Sarah’s turn to step up for her daughter. Witnessing Bethany’s devastation at the hands of Nathan’s cruelty all over again, we’ve seen just how far Sarah will go to protect her daughter and how far Bethany will go in pursuit of the truth into the mystery surrounding missing teen Lauren’s disappearance.  

Carla (Alison King) and Dee-dee (Channique Sterling-Brown) came together as they fought to clear Roy’s name. With Roy now out of prison, cleared of any involvement in Lauren Bolton’s murder case, it’s time for both women to look to the future. For Carla that involves repairing her fractured relationship with Roy who is struggling to accept she lied to the police, despite the fact it was done to protect him. Dee-dee meanwhile is excited to throw herself back into her relationship with Joel now Roy has been released. But as Joel pops the question has she finally found her happy ever after?

Maria (Samia Longchambon), once a Connor herself, is fighting her own battle at home. Still desperately trying to be there for son Liam following his bullying ordeal, she’s also wracked with suspicion about the secrets husband Gary seems to be keeping as he grows closer to ex Sarah again. With Liam’s mental health having taken a turn for the worse and Maria’s fears seemingly confirmed, will Maria reached breaking point?  

Mums Abi (Sally Carman) and Bernie (Jane Hazelgrove) have previously bonded over their sons, the son Abi lost and the son Bernie is about to lose. As both confront their grief once more we’ll see them draw on the strength that the iconic women of Weatherfield are known for. With news of a documentary featuring her son’s killer Corey, Abi has been forced to relive Seb’s murder. But as she comes out fighting she was hit with another bombshell as deep fake videos of her circulate on the web, catapulting her family into a devastating chain of events. Bernie meanwhile is facing the unthinkable as Paul’s MND progresses and she can see the life draining out of her son. But with the child she gave up for adoption, Kit, now back on the scene and out for revenge will she get the time with Paul that she so desperately needs?

As the lives of these women interweave once more we see their power is their strength and the unbreakable bonds they share. 60 years on the women of Weatherfield still reign supreme. 

We chatted with lovely ladies all about their storylines and their time on the Cobbles:


Abi’s life has been thrown upside down again recently with reminders of Corey and then the deep fake videos, has this really rocked her?

It’s really rocked her yes, she thought that she was just getting back on the straight and narrow, finely everything had settled down, she was coming to terms with Seb’s death and trying to look to the future. But then this comes along and just shakes the ground.

She’s tried so hard to change her life over the last few years, could this push Abi to revisit that darker side of her past?

I think there will be some moments where she goes into auto pilot and old behaviours resurface. We’ll have to see what happens in regards to her going right back. In these moments where she feels she’s going to lose everything that’s where she comes out fighting because they’re such big things for her to face losing now that anyone would react in a way that isn’t maybe an obvious reaction for them. But for someone that’s already very reactionary then yes she’s definitely going to pull on some old behaviours.

Are we going to see a return to the impetuous side of Abi that we all love?

I hope so because I love that side of her too! I love the scenes where I just get to call the shots, cause mayhem, storm into buildings, set fire to things, it’s just brilliant. So yes there’s definitely going to be a few moments of Abi doing whatever she pleases and hanging the consequences, with absolutely no cares given. She’s a law unto herself and I love it when we get to see a little bit of that lawlessness again, it’s fabulous and I say bring on more.

Do you think this could threaten her relationship with Kevin?

Yes I do, how she reacts to things could press some buttons in Kevin, but equally his reactions to what happens to her could press some buttons in her. Whatever her past she has to feel that he trusts her, so it will be six of one and half a dozen of the other I think.

Do you love the fact that Abi’s past can still impact on her future?

Yeah I love that. A lot of the things that Abi gets up to, the drugs aside which were always more to numb the pain of her mistakes, a lot of her reactions she actually doesn’t think are particularly bad because she’s fighting the good cause in her head. So when she holds people up to how they’ve behaved, whether it be with a gun or whatever she's like yeah but you did this and I love the yeah buts in Abi’s life, I hope she yeah buts forever. 

When do you love playing her best?

I like playing her best when she’s completely off the wall, because it’s brilliant being able to find the truthful moments in that. I love just doing something you’d never normally get to do. But I also love playing her when she’s funny, when there’s those comedy moments with her, I’m all for that. I enjoy the laughing and I enjoy the craziness, I get the best of both worlds. 

You auditioned for Corrie quite a few times before you got Abi, has this role been a dream come true?

Well I think I auditioned for Coronation Street about 500,000 times! It felt like that, to the point where Angie who used to work in reception knew my name. But it did then come around at the right time and Abi was definitely the right part. I wouldn’t change a single thing. It was perfect timing and the character couldn’t be better for me. I’m nearly 7 years in and it still feels like I started yesterday. I still find it exciting, I still enjoy getting my scripts, I love everyone who works there, it’s just a brilliant gift of a job.

As a woman, what’s the best thing about working at Corrie?

The other women, it’s as simple as that. The women on the cast, the women on the crew, all these brilliant women just seem to gravitate to this building, there’s some real diamonds here regardless of what area they work in. Solid, brilliant, awesome women and that for me has just been the best. I know I could call on any one of these women on this shoot if I needed help, someone to celebrate with me or be there for me. Making lifelong friendships and getting to work with people who you’d be happy to be stuck on a desert island with makes it such a brilliant place. Also meeting my husband too, that was alright.   


Carla’s had a tough start to the year, losing Peter, Bobby’s unannounced arrival, then Roy being imprisoned. How do you think she’s coping?

To be fair I think she's coping pretty well. She kick started the year by making a huge decision to end her relationship with Peter for his sake but also for both their mental health which was a really adult decision. So I think she started the year off being very strong. Then of course Bobby came along and she dealt with that in a really positive way too. She was unsure like everybody would be because of the ramifications with him being Rob’s son but she took it on the chin and dealt with it, again in a really adult way. After all the support she gave to Ryan, I think this maternal instinct has become a bit instilled and that has kicked in. Obviously she’s devastated about what Roy’s going through but she’s doing what she can to help him. She’s in control of her life again, she’s fiery and she’s not taking any nonsense from anybody.

Bobby’s trouble but do you also think she likes having him around, having that family link?

She does, that’s what she’s been missing especially since Michelle left, she likes having that family link. She just keeps having to remind him to press the recall button for things he's done wrong because he's got no learning curve. We need some more new Connors I think.

Her relationship with Roy has become strained, despite trying to help him, what does Roy mean to her and how worried is she about him?

She's extremely worried about his vulnerability in prison, being a person that is a little bit different. She supports that all the time in the real world but she's very aware of what that might mean for him in prison, particularly with what he's accused of. Roy’s been a constant in her life since she first bonded with Hayley in those early days, so it's probably been about 16 years now that Roy’s been a father figure to her. Their relationship has grown on trust and honesty, and I think the fact that she's broken that honesty, even though it is to protect somebody, he can't quite see past that and she has to hold her hands up. Although she says to him, I did it to protect Bobby, she knows she's been telling Bobby he should go to the police but she hasn't gone through with forcing that either. There’s a typical Carla conflict of interests here.

Do you think she is ready to start looking for love again, is there anyone she might have her eye on?

No I don’t think she’s ready for another relationship at all and she's definitely not got her eye on anybody. I don't think she's thought twice about it. I think it’s the last thing on her mind. 

Over the years you’ve played so many sides to Carla; the businesswoman, the Connor matriarch, relationships, addiction. What is it about her that you love to play?

I like playing all Carla Connor’s unexpected, varied sides. She's got so many sides to her and I think she tries to grow as a person but ultimately her core is fiery and fearless. She is vulnerable, she can be frightened of things but she attacks things face on which ultimately gives me brilliant storylines because she either gets into trouble or she does the right thing. The viewers understand that she's going to go off the rails, but she'll come back again. It's just been such a lovely thing to be able to get to play, all those vulnerable situations with the psychosis, through her addiction and the grief she’s had to deal with, but to be able to show those from a strong woman's perspective has been brilliant. Going out to those places but then being able to come back to the core of her somewhat damaged soul. I love being able to show that journey and that though she makes mistakes she's ultimately a good soul. 

What keeps you at Corrie, what's the best thing about working here?

The people, everyone must have said that! Our team is a family, my brothers and sisters are here really, people may come and go but they always remain. I've made so many friends it’s a dream really. It's definitely the people and obviously as an actor getting to play something different every day and practice my art, that is incredible for me. I've got to work constantly now for 27 years, probably with only a year and a half out, so getting to practice your art every single day is sensational for an actor. 

What does the show mean to you as a working mum?

It means everything, being able to do this and also being able to bring up my child and see her most nights and weekends is incredible. It inspires Daisy to follow the path she wants to take, it can be a tricky industry but there's nothing that Daisy loves more than to go to her acting school on a Saturday. She goes to Actor Tribe with Jennifer James and Lee Boardman and there's just nothing more inspiring than that.

What bonds and friendships with other women has the show brought you over the years? 

I have such amazing bonds with absolutely all of them, it’s impossible to single anyone out. Me and Jane Danson had our children at the same time, they’ve been in the same class, so we really bonded through them. Our babies are still really good friends and look out for each other which is really nice even though they’re in their teens. But with so many of the women, we've all grown up together and I love all of the women here. What has also been lovely is looking after the newbies, me Liam and Cait all meet up and one of the things I love about this job is it’s multi-generational and you get to spend time with old and young. It's brilliant and it encourages that growth and contact with all generations. I love being a mentor and a work mummy but equally I rely on Helen Worth who I've had as a mentor for years and years and will go to with any problem whatsoever. 


Maria’s been heartbroken this year as she’s tried to support Liam through his bullying ordeal. How has it left her feeling?

It’s been a massive rollercoaster of emotions for her, she’s gone through the shock, anger, sadness and then distress after learning what he was thinking of doing. I think she’s feeling a bit shattered by it all and that’s had an impact on her relationship with Gary as well.  

We’ve seen her using hidden cameras and being obsessive about checking up on Liam, do you think this has affected her mental health too?

It’s had a massive impact on Maria’s mental health, she’s had obsessive thoughts, she won’t leave Liam alone for a second. She’s not been able to think of anything else, her work has taken a backseat and so has her relationship while her focus has been on Liam, obsessively so.

The cameras have led to her discovering what still seems to be a very close bond between Gary and Sarah. Is she worried something could be going on there?

Yeah she is, she’s had all the stuff with Liam to worry about and now this has just given her something else to be concerned about. She’s never been happy about Gary and Sarah’s friendship after them previously being together and she’s always had her doubts about whether they’ve still got feelings for each other so it’s another thing making her massively insecure. 

She’s stood by Gary through a lot, do you think their relationship can withstand this?

I think they have built a really good, strong relationship over the last few years so I think if they get through this they will come out stronger than ever but it’s whether they’ll be able to get through it or not. 

You’ve been in the show for 24 years now, how does that feel looking back?

It’s crazy and I can’t quite believe it when I say 24 years, I mean I still feel 24 so to say I've been in the show for 24 years just makes me realise how quickly the time has gone. It’s a bit of a reality check when I’m chatting to the younger cast in the green room and some of them are not even 24 and I think wow I’ve been here longer than you’ve been alive. I would never have expected it, I didn’t have any long term plan when I started, I was only 17 and I was grateful to just have a 3 month contract. That seemed to me like a long time as a jobbing actress. 

What’s it meant for you to have that stability and all the friendships over the years?

It’s been really special, when I look back I don’t regret staying in the show this long. I’ve had some amazing storylines that I’ve been honoured to play out and the friendships make it so special. A lot of the cast and crew have been there as long as I have, if not longer, I’ve made lifelong friendships and that’s really lovely because you don’t often get that in our industry. Jane (Danson) is one of my best mates, we live round the corner from each other, as does Ali (King) they’re definitely great friends outside of work as well. Tina I’ve known since we were kids, we went to the same drama school, they’re lifelong friendships and we’re really lucky.

What’s the best thing about working here?

It’s difficult to narrow it down because it really is a special place. For me I like the fact that I get to act all year round and I can come home to my family at night, that’s a massive draw for me as an actress and a mum. I also love the variety of the storylines and the cast that I get to work with, it’s just an absolute pleasure.

Are you enjoying now getting to play stories with Maria as a mum herself?

Yeah definitely, I can relate to Maria massively being a mum myself. My daughter is the same age as Liam is in the show so this storyline has been massively relatable to me. I’ve found it easy to draw upon those emotions and it is nice to play these stories that feel really real, especially when they’re so well written.


How is Leanne feeling about life right now, with Rowan and the institute becoming such a big part of it?

In lots of ways she's very positive about life. The Institute really has made her change her mindset and has made her look at life in a different way and approach things differently to how she has done in the past, but by doing this she’s caused a lot of problems in different areas of her life. So, even though she feels positive, she’s kind of caught in negative outcomes by what she’s doing. 

We’ve seen it drawing a bit of a wedge between Nick and Leanne, do you think it could eventually threaten their relationship?

Oh it definitely could! I think Leanne is pushing people away without actually realising she’s doing it and is being very self absorbed. I don’t think Leanne see’s the bigger picture of everything because certain behaviours are making her distance herself - which is the total opposite of what she’s actually trying to achieve. Leanne’s new mindset is all about being positive and manifesting but what she’s doing is totally alienating herself leaving everyone thinking that she’s going crackers! 

Why do you think Leanne is so keen to fully invest herself in the institute? What is she/has she been missing?

Historically, Leanne doesn’t really think about things and jumps into the deep end but for the first time in her life, she's stopped doing this. On this occasion, she’s almost taken a step back and because of the certain traumas that have happened in her life, such as losing Oliver, it’s made her re-evaluate things and she’s not being quite as quick in her decision making as what she once was. It’s almost as if Leanne has had a change of personality overnight! 

Nick and Toyah have started to express their concerns over her involvement with the institute, should they be worried?

What’s really interesting playing this storyline out is that there are some things that happen that actually make you understand why Leanne is getting sucked into this. The Institute is all about positivity, bringing good energy and just being a good person but I think she’s taken it all a little bit too far. Usually Leanne is a strong character who wouldn’t typically make these types of decisions, but for whatever part of her life, she’s decided to go against time and behave differently which is of course going to give Toyah and Nick a cause for concern and start pushing them away. 

The writers always seem to come up with new directions for Leanne, are you enjoying playing this as it’s a very current topic?

It’s funny because when they first told me about the storyline, I wasn’t entirely sure about it and thought it may be a bit too tricky but I’m absolutely loving it. In some ways it is tricky because of the way Leanne is now speaking completely different to how she normally would and the language she’s now using. But what is interesting for me as an actor is exploring her from a completely different way of thinking and also it’s fun because Leanne is absolutely oblivious to all of the damage she is causing by some of her behaviours. Historically, Leanne is quite a strong person with her own opinions, but in this case she is listening to someone else and is essentially getting brainwashed into their way of thinking, which for me is really fun to play. 

There’s so much history with the Battersbys, Toyah, the Barlows, Nick do you enjoy having that to draw on? 

It’s amazing! Over the years we have all worked together so closely and as an actor, you have periods where you work with certain characters more than others. Obviously Georgia and I have worked together for the majority of our lives, certainly all of our adult lives, so we know each other really well and we are best friends. Although we have our own friendship, we’ve also built a relationship over the years as sisters on screen and we have a shared history with the rest of the family, going back to the 90s! It’s so lovely because we have that extra layer that we can add to our stories through our own friendships and history. 

What does it mean to you to be working on the show after 27 years and being such an iconic female character?

When I say that out loud it feels weird because I realise that’s a very, very long time! When I was a kid, I remember watching the likes of Bet Lynch who had been in the show for around 20 years and those kind of characters to me were the real icons and were who I admired. For Leanne to be considered as an iconic character is thrilling and it makes me feel so proud that I’ve been here for such a long period of time and that I’ve been lucky enough to have all of these wonderful stories. It’s also great that after all of this time, the writers are still investing in Leanne as a character which is an honour. 

What’s it been like growing up around lots of the other actresses throughout your time, would you say you’d made friends for life? 

I absolutely have made friends for life. As I mentioned before, Georgia is my best friend and I’ve been so lucky to work so closely with her over the years. I’ve also known Samia since I was 10 as we went to the same drama workshop together. Lots of us have actually known each other previous to Corrie, so we’ve all done life and grown up together which has been lovely. We’ve been through the nice things in life such as having babies and getting married to the tougher times like losing parents. We’ve also all got this shared experience of being on this very popular TV show, so all the pressures that come with that are made so much easier with the support from each other. I know it’s a massive cliche to say we’re like one big family, but honestly, it really is because we spend so much time together and we genuinely care about each other. 


How worried is Toyah about Leanne’s growing involvement in the Institute and Rowan?

She's hugely worried, she had quite a strong instinct early on that something’s a bit off with the institute and I think the change in Leanne’s behaviour and personality have verified that Toyah’s fears are correct. Leanne’s becoming very emotionally disconnected from both Toyah and Nick in a way that feels quite out of character because even though Leanne's a very tough woman she's loyal and she does love her sister. So when she starts pushing her away, there are definitely alarm bells ringing. 

The sisters have always been close, do you think this could come between them?

Yeah, definitely, I think it already is coming between them and certainly what we're seeing is that Leanne pushing Toyah away and Nick away is potentially damaging both her relationships.

Toyah hasn’t always been the biggest fan of Nick, but do you think they could come together here to try and take Rowan on?

Yeah I think so, they’ve found something in common here. What they have in common is that they both love Leanne, they’re seeing a change in her and they feel like they're losing her. That’s inadvertently pushing Toyah and Nick together to take Rowan on. I also think how emotionally available Nick was for Toyah when he found out about Rose, perhaps shifted how she views him a little bit and made her look at him in a different way.

In the midst of all this Toyah is going through her own heartache and it’s Nick who’s been there to support her. How is she coping without really having Leanne in her corner?

I think it's really difficult because Leanne's always been her biggest ally and her biggest support. They've seen each other through so many difficult times, so many relationships and however many times they've been married or divorced or cheated on what's remained consistent is their sisterly bond. So I think Toyah is really struggling not having that as she navigates her way through her own trauma. 

Do you enjoy how the amount of years you’ve been in the show and all of Toyah’s history are able to shape her character now?

I think that's what's so brilliant about soaps is that we have this long form storytelling because we see these characters over multiple years, even decades. So the writers can draw on the history of that character, their relationships with different people, how those relationships shift over time. Looking at Toyah’s fertility journey and how that has shaped the woman she's become and the choices that she's made, some of which have been potentially ill advised and have impacted on her relationships, that's the beauty of being in a soap because we've got this really rich history to draw upon.

When do you most enjoy playing the Battersby sisters, when they’re close or at war?

I can’t choose because we love both but we don't want too much of either! We did a huge argument scene a few weeks ago and we were both physically shaking afterwards, I could feel my heart beating out my chest. It goes without saying that Jane is my best friend and we've never, touchwood, had an argument in real life so it's quite a thing to be expressing those emotions and shouting at each other. But I hope our friendship adds an element to that because there's such a deep affection between us and I think we have good chemistry. So those scenes are enjoyable and a challenge but I also love, of course, when we have scenes where they're supportive and they're close like the scene we recently did at Rose’s graveside where Leanne gives the teddy bear from Oliver. We shot that really quickly, there was only about 20 minutes left of the day and I think we pretty much did it in one take because we have such a close connection as friends that those emotions come quite freely and quite naturally. So I love both sides to playing them as sisters. 

As you mentioned you and Jane have become great friends over the years, you also met your partner Charlie here. Did you ever imagine the show would be such a big part of your life when you first started?

No not at all, when I joined the show I was on a five month contract and I didn't see anything beyond that. So the fact that it's really shaped so much of my life and my personal life is quite extraordinary. It really is a gift and it makes that place even more special to me. Going away and coming back, meeting Charlie, being reunited with Jane at work and now being back up north near my family, I just feel incredibly lucky and thankful for the people that the show has brought into my life.

What does it mean to you to be on Corrie in 2024 and have that 27 year history?

It's just quite extraordinary because when I hear that number 27 I don't feel old enough. It's just an extraordinary turn of events that my younger self would never have believed, that I’d still be in this position and still be relishing a role that I started when I was just turned 17. It's a really unusual position to find yourself in and actually very rare as an actress. I feel incredibly lucky, to be the caretaker of your own character is something you can’t do on a lot of shorter jobs. You maybe don't feel you have as much agency or the characters aren't always as fleshed out whereas on this show I’ve played this woman for more years than I haven't. The character of Toyah was created when I was 17 and I'm now 44, she’s just a huge part of my life.


Bethany’s grown up and changed a lot since her ordeal with Nathan, so how does she feel now he’s suddenly back on the scene? Does he still have that ability to totally knock her off balance? 

Obviously Bethany went through a really traumatic time with Nathan and seeing him was very unexpected which leads her to believe that she is actually imagining seeing him. I think that him being back around is going to totally knock her off her balance because it’s bringing back all of her trauma that she’s worked so hard to move on from. It’s going to be a really stressful situation for Bethany and trigger her PTSD. 

Is she convinced that he had something to do with Lauren’s disappearance and murder?

Yes, she’s adamant that Nathan must be guilty. Nathan was there at the reconstruction of Lauren’s last known movements and with Lauren being young and blonde, I think Bethany is just convinced that it must be him. The fact that Nathan has gotten out of prison at the very same time Lauren is missing makes Bethany become obsessed with the fact that Nathan must be guilty. 

Will she go after Nathan herself or does she still fear what he’s capable of? Is that a side of Bethany you’d like to see?

She does still fear what he’s capable of but she’s definitely still going to go after him herself. Bethany is so convinced that Nathan is guilty so she’s really determined to make sure he will go back to prison because that’s where she believes he belongs. Bethany also knows Nathan well, and when she hears he has an alibi for the night of Lauren’s disappearance, she doesn’t believe him because he is a talented liar, which she of course knows through experience. Bethany takes it upon herself to confront Nathan and try to find out what he’s done to Lauren and where she is, which was very bold of her. I like this side of Bethany because she’s trying to claim her power back. 

How important is it to you to continue looking into Bethany’s journey as a survivor of sexual abuse?

It truly is so important to continue this journey because this is something that will live with Bethany for the rest of her life. It’s not just something that Bethany can forget about and move on, it’s always going to be in the back of her mind no matter what happens so I do feel it’s important to highlight that and carry this throughout Bethany’s time on Coronation Street.  

What drew you back to Weatherfield?

I absolutely loved working here and I just feel really comfortable. It’s a really genuinely nice place to work and it doesn’t actually feel like coming to work everyday. All my friends are here and I just love working with them, so it was always something that I wanted to do. 

What do you love most about being a part of the show?

I think it’s the friendships and how closely you work with people. I’ve only been back for seven months but I know every single part of Tina’s life and she knows every single part of mine because we work so closely with each other. You just become so intertwined in people’s lives and I just love that kind of relationship because I feel really lucky to get that at work. 

There are a lot of special friendships, which of the women here do you share a special relationship with? 

Definitely Tina as I mentioned, we have such a close bond from working together over the years. I’ve made so many special friendships at Corrie but I do also have really close friendships with Channique and Charlie which is lovely. 

Corrie is known for its strong women, are you enjoying watching Bethany develop into one of those women herself?

Corrie is filled with strong female characters, not even the characters but the women behind the characters, and the women behind the scenes. I feel like it’s a privilege to work alongside them and hopefully Bethany is also following in those footsteps. 


Sarah’s had a tough start to the year but we’re now seeing her focus turn to Bethany. How does she feel watching her daughter suffering again with Nathan back on the scene?

I think she’s just absolutely devastated, she knew that he wouldn’t be in prison forever but at least with him being there they could get on with their lives. Now they’re having to revisit it all and it’s breaking Sarah’s heart seeing how badly it’s affecting Bethany. 

How far do you think she’d go to protect Bethany, given what Nathan did to her last time? Can you see her ever getting on the wrong side of the law?

I think she’d pretty much do anything. She’s already broken the law by trying to pay him to leave so she’s crossed that line and I think she’ll do whatever it takes. She’s got another plan forming in her head and she’s clearly not thinking straight but she’s just trying to put her daughter first.

Sarah herself, do you think she’s sworn off men for a while or do you think she’s still holding onto feelings for Damon? 

I think she really thought Damon was the one and maybe had things not happened the way they did then they’d still be together. She was willing to overlook a lot of things to be with him but speaking to Gary she’s now saying maybe I just get infatuated with people, maybe I don't know what love is. Has she lost the one or does she even know which one was the one?! 

And Gary, she doesn’t seem to be able to let that one go does she, do you think there is still something with Gary?

She’s got this odd connection with Gary, they always had this ability to tell each other things that they wouldn’t tell other people. I think because he saw her at her worst I think they do tend to gravitate back to that depth of emotion. He shouldn’t be telling her how things have been with Maria but he did, despite knowing it’s probably not the right thing to do. Did they think they were getting up to anything, probably not, but were they breaking a certain code, yes. They’re the conversations you’re meant to have with your partner but they seem to be able to have them so much easier with each other. There’s definitely still a bond there, especially with Nathan back on the scene. Gary was there when Bethany went through that the first time, he knew exactly how horrific it was and rightly or wrongly I think he’s doing what he can trying to help get Nathan out of the picture. 

Do you still enjoy playing Sarah as much now as you did 25 years ago?

Wow, 25 years, that’s a big old question and it’s an interesting one, she was a 13 year old girl then and she’s a nearly 40 year old woman now. But yes I do, I love the job I do, I love the storylines I get to play, I don't always agree with her choices but I rethink that’s good, it makes it more interesting.

 What has been your favourite time on the show?

I really loved my very first storyline, the teenage pregnancy storyline, that’s hard to beat just because of the age I was, the opportunity to play out a teen pregnancy and how much the story blew up. But I’ve also really loved all the affair stuff recently, I’ve loved the dynamic of that and playing her so torn between her head and her heart.  

How does it feel to be a Platt icon?

I feel so so lucky and honoured to be in the Platt family, it’s like waking up and realising you’re winning at life every day. In a soap there’s something about being a part of a long serving family which makes you really proud. I am just in awe of Helen and Sue, they’re such great actresses but they’re also really kind and giving and I think that sets a precedent about how the rest of the Platts behave on set. It all trickles down, there’s a lot of respect on set, there’s a lot of hard work but we also all have a laugh as well. There’s always a great energy and they’re just a great bunch of people to work with. I feel really honoured and very proud to be a Platt.

Have you made some great friends and female role models on the show over the years? 

It sounds like a cliche but it’s just such a lovely place to work, with the women on this shoot today there’s never anything but support, it’s a gorgeous environment to work in. We all play very different characters but when we’re all in the green room we’re all just a bunch of women chatting about our lives. We’re very lucky that we all get on really well. I can have some really deep chats or just be having a laugh, we’re always messaging each other, we’re part of a really lucky little club where we all get each other and support each other.


Dee-Dee’s been through a lot in her two years on Corrie, but how does defending Roy Cropper for murder rank up there?

She has been through a lot over the past two years but to defend Roy Cropper is crazy! I was really excited because It’s brilliant for me to get to work with more of the cast. It’s been really exciting because it’s such a big storyline for the year and it’s been great to get my teeth into more of the lawyer side and be in court again. It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotions, especially also playing the humanness amongst everything else with Dee-Dee having her own personal feelings working on the case whilst remaining a professional side, too. It’s been a great challenge for me and I’ve definitely learned a lot. 

Do you think Dee-Dee is feeling the pressure with this case, with all the community looking to her to free Roy? Also her awareness of how much he’s suffering in prison.

I think Dee-Dee is really starting to buckle under the pressure. She’s been trying really hard to hold it all together but ultimately I think the pressure of the street and the pressure she has on herself is taking a toll on her. Roy isn’t just a client to Dee-Dee, she really values him as a person so I definitely think she’s starting to feel the immense pressure of it all and we can really see the strain that it’s putting on her. 

Joel’s been an amazing support to her at a time when she needed it most, is she totally head over heels for him?

Yeah, I definitely think she is head over heels for him. They have been through a lot in such a short space of time and in terms of agreeing to move forward, she is definitely someone who believes in forgiveness and now that she’s made that decision for them, she is really excited about the future. In and amongst all of the chaos of life, he’s almost like her life raft in it and is the one who is keeping her ticking over by making sure she’s fed and afloat. The relationship is definitely proving invaluable to Dee-Dee. 

They’ve had a few wobbles with his ex wife, his secret daughter, but does she think he’s for keeps now?

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a really hard thing to come clean about lies so Dee-Dee does respect Joel for actively trying to fix the damage he has caused and for holding his hands up. I definitely think Dee-Dee feels the foundations of their relationship are worth building on. 

You’ve been here for two years now but that’s still a relative newbie in Corrie terms, how does it feel to join a cast with such a history of fabulous, strong women?

It’s amazing to step into the legacy of Corrie women. The show is renowned for strong, funny, capable and complex women which is literally what being a woman is. It’s so important to always look for the nuances of the character, I never want Dee-Dee to be one dimensional because I just absolutely love all that she represents. I love that Dee-Dee gets to join this long line of incredible matriarchs. It’s a real privilege to get to build a character within such an iconic show. 

Which women have been your mentors and friends since you’ve started, anyone you really look to and have learnt from?

Every single one! Of course, Lorna Laidlaw was a massive mentor for me, I learned so much from her and I’m so grateful to have her in my life. But honestly, all of the women on Coronation Street have been really supportive of me, all of the women on this shoot, Sair Khan and Charlie Jordan are also massive supporters for me. I’ve even learned from the women who are younger than me like Harriet, Tanisha and Elle - they all have so much wisdom and so much to share in terms of their perspective. I truly value every single person in this cast. 

Corrie was your first big TV job, what did it mean to you to get the role of Dee-Dee?

Playing Dee-Dee has meant a lot to me. I absolutely love the character and I love that she has faith because I have faith being a Christian myself. It also means a lot being a black Northerner, getting to play a black Northern woman and that she is so multi-faceted being so smart and headstrong but also having a vulnerable side. Getting this role has been such a huge learning curve for me and I’m just really grateful to the people who have supported and championed me along the way. 

Who have been your favourite Corrie female icons over the years?

I would have to say Sue Nicholls, she’s always been such an icon to me and I’ve always loved Audrey. She’s always been so glam, fun and exciting and Sue is even more brilliant in real life! She’s such a kind and warm woman. I remember when I came for my audition and was sitting in the reception, a few cast members had walked past but when Sue walked past I was screaming in my head “Oh my god, it’s Audrey!” So, Sue is definitely up there with one of my favourite Corrie female icons. What a career she’s had and what a fabulous story she has told.   


Bernie is going through tremendous heartache as Paul battles his illness, how helpless does she feel right now and how tough is that to play?

Bernie does feel totally helpless. It’s extremely tough to play, but we get to take these characters off and are fortunate to only be acting it rather than living with this horrible disease. It’s of course upsetting to film, but we all look out for each other and I’m surrounded with people who have a terrific sense of humour. 

We’ve also seen the arrival of the secret son Kit she gave up for adoption, how much guilt is Bernie carrying over this?

Bernie is carrying huge guilt over Kit. She’s managed to bury this guilt for years but deep down, she’s never stopped thinking about him and his well being. 

Kit doesn’t seem to want the reconciliation Bernie was hoping for, in time is she hoping they can repair their relationship?

I believe Bernie would love to begin building a relationship with Kit and try to fix all of her wrongs. Unfortunately Bernie has to accept that he’s furious with her, and with good reason, so she must realise that a reconciliation might not be what he wants. She has always imagined what he would be like but I think she perhaps realises that he’s not as decent as she had hoped he would be so she also now needs to face the reality of what and who he is rather than the imagined son she’s always kept in her head and heart for all of these years. 

How worried is she that Kit could damage her relationship with Gemma and Paul, possibly taking away from her last few months with Paul?

Bernie definitely realises that this is now a possibility which isn’t ideal given the horrible circumstances with Paul’s illness and the timing is of course not great. Bernie knows she’s got to play the hand she’s now been dealt with the best she can and try to make amends. She also doesn’t want to hurt the kids anymore than they already have been! 

 Bernie is so much more than the mouthy, useless mum figure that arrived, do you love finding all the different sides to her character?

Yes, I think Bernie has grown considerably over the years. Learning that Kel had abused Paul was the turning point for her realisation that life isn’t all giggles. Like every single person, she is very complex and will remain a work-in-progress, but anything is possible with Bernadine!  

What is it about Bernie that you love to play? As an actress is she a bit of a gift?

I’ve absolutely made sure she’s fun to play. I love that she’s always in the moment and responds to things without any emotional filter. She says what she thinks and boy have the writers given me some brilliant lines to play! In the tradition of all of those strong Corrie women that have gone before, it’s the tension between strength and weakness that makes Bernie so brilliant, certainly to play, and hopefully to watch. 

You’ve worked on lots of other huge dramas before Coronation Street, what is it that’s so special about the street?

Definitely being part of such a much loved and historical show. I have an enormous amount of pride about working on Coronation Street as a Northern woman. Getting to play Bernie is one of the highlights of my career. 

As a woman how important is it to you that Corrie keep creating these powerhouse, iconic female characters?

It’s essential for Corrie to keep creating these characters because as far as I’m concerned all women are powerful and iconic so it’s great to continue to represent that. We are following some absolutely brilliant characters and performances, which is an honour and a privilege to do so.  

There we have it, 9 incredible Women of Weatherfield.

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