It’s always a joy to chat to Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor. Unlike the snobby, shallow Sally she plays on-screen, the real Sally is the kind of woman you’d love as a lunch companion – especially if she was doing the catering. The real Sally loves to cook and, in fact, harbours something of a secret ambition to be on Celebrity Masterchef or Bake Off.
“I’d really like to do something like that,” she reveals. “I’d be nervous but it would be a great challenge. Although I love poring over cookery books, I’m not great at following recipes. I’m more of a chuck-it-all-in-the-pan-and-see-what-happens kind of cook.
“I’m good at using up what’s left in the fridge and making something out of not very much.”So does she have a signature dish for leftovers?
“I do actually,” she smiles. “It’s a kind of variation on an old Delia Smith recipe. Good old Delia! It’s couscous with roasted vegetables in a spicy harissa sauce. It’s veggie because my husband Tim is a vegetarian so we always have loads of veg, which needs using up.
“I do miss cooking a roast dinner at times – although I cook meat dishes for myself and the kids, it’s not really the same when you’re not all eating it. Joe Duttine, who plays my screen husband Tim, sent me a photo of a rack of lamb he’d served the other day and I was quite jealous!”
The fact that Sally and Joe send Instagram pictures of their meals to each other suggests they’re good mates off-screen as well as on.
“Oh we are,” says Sally. “We get on really well. I think – I hope – that comes across on screen. Not that I’m sure how their marriage will survive Sally becoming a councillor, because if that happens, she’s going to be absolutely unbearable.
“The power will go to her head and she might even want to become an MP! She has no idea about politics, no idea about education or the NHS, though. She keeps talking about family values but, in fact, she hasn’t a clue about anything.
“For Sally, it’s all about her own ego and being all-powerful – that’s what she’s always wanted. She’s not talking any sense – it’s all spin and smoke-and-mirrors.
“I think she’s modelling herself on the American politician Sarah Palin. I love it, though. I’m so pleased the writers picked up on this comedic element to Sally and developed it. I never wanted her to become just a nice, middle-aged mum. While I enjoyed the tragic and very dramatic storylines I’ve had as Sally, I think I’m enjoying her most at the moment.”
It’s now 30 years since Sally first appeared on the Street but she says she still feels like a new girl… “I really do! I look at Bill Roache who plays Ken Barlow and realise I’ve still got a few years to go. I also still get really excited about the storylines, getting a new script and finding out what’s going to happen.”
Just what is going to happen on the Street when new producer, the former boss of Emmerdale Kate Oates, takes over next month will be a revelation to us all. How does Sally feel about Kate taking the reins?
“Everyone speaks very highly of Kate and I’m excited about it – it’s a new broom,” she smiles. “It’s a kind of mixture of excitement, hope and, to be honest, a bit of fear, too. There’s always an element of uncertainty with a new producer because you don’t know what they’re going to do and which way they’re going to go.”
As far as Sally is concerned, surely Kate will be best leaving well alone. Sally may still feel like a new girl, but she’s now filling the shoes of former Corrie greats – actresses such as
Jean Alexander who played Hilda Ogden and Doris Speed who played Annie Walker.
“It’s very nice of you to say so,
but I’d never compare myself to
those incredible people,” Sally
replies modestly. “TV in general is very different now to what it was when those characters were in Coronation Street.”
In the past, Sally (52) has said that if she has any regrets it is that she didn’t do more theatre before she joined Corrie. Is this still the case?
“Yes – a little,” she replies. “But you know, it’s never too late. Other Coronation Street actors and actresses have taken time out to go off and do a play, so maybe I will. It depends on storylines at Corrie and finding the right play. My youngest, Hattie, is 12 now and growing up fast, which means I’m beginning to have more time for me.”
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