Words: Alison James Pic: Rex Shutterstock
When Sally Dynevor joined Coronation Street in January 1986, her character, Sally Webster, (then Seddon), had a younger sister named Gina who was a real wild child. In 1988, Gina moved in with Sally and her husband Kevin in order to get away from the girls’ violent, domineering father. Work-shy, bed-hopping Gina outstayed her welcome and she and Sally weren’t on particularly good terms when she left Weatherfield several months later. But now, 26 years on, the real-life Sally wants her soap sister to return.
“I’d love if Gina came back,” she tells Yours as we chat over pre-lunch drinks. “She’s the only extended family Sally has left as both her parents passed away some years ago, I think. There’s been no talk of it so far as I’m aware but it would be wonderful if they cast a new Gina and she turned up in Weatherfield after all these years. Can you help put it out there? Heaven knows what Gina is up to now but it would be fascinating to find out. It would also be great to see how Sally reacted to her little sister.”
We’re thinking comedy gold if Gina happened to clash with Sally like she did back in the Eighties. “That would be brilliant,” real-life Sally agrees. “The more nosey and snobbish Sally is, the more I enjoy playing her – and it’s a great way to get your frustrations out. When I get scripts and she’s not being like that, I’m a bit disappointed!
“Sometimes I wish she were still at loggerheads with Maddie because I love it when she’s being nasty. Sally's not nice, really. She looks down on her neighbours, thinks she’s better than everyone else, bosses her partner Tim around and is generally annoying. But she’s also very funny without meaning to be and that’s what really makes me laugh.
“I laugh a lot on set. Out of all the cast members, I’m the one who laughs most at the lines I get to say. Sometimes I find it so hard to keep a straight face. When there’s me, Joe Duttine (who plays Tim) and Michael Le Vell who plays Kevin, Sally’s ex, together in a scene, we know we’ll be told off for laughing too much.”
It’s almost 30 years since Sally (52) joined Corrie. “Where on earth has the time gone?” she smiles. “It’s ridiculous how quickly the years have passed – the older you get the quicker they go, don’t they? I can’t believe it’s been so long. When I first joined Coronation Street, never did I imagine I’d still be here in 2015. Not that I have regrets about it. There’s the odd time when I’ll wonder what might have been, but I have three children (daughters Phoebe, 20, Hatty, 11, and son Sam, 18) and they’ve always been my priority. I’m so lucky to have been able to be a mum as well as do the job I love.”
Sally has a great relationship with her children. In fact Phoebe and Sam are at her side as we chat. So what’s she like as a mum? Without hesitation Phoebe replies, “The best. She’s quite liberal, not at all bossy like Coronation Street Sally, and she supports us in whatever we choose to do.”
In Phoebe’s case, this is becoming an actress like her mum. She’s already enjoyed considerable success in TV dramas The Village and Waterloo Road but Sally admits she was worried when her elder daughter first told her of her ambitions. “I said, ‘Oh don’t act, Phebes – it’s so hard as a career,’ but I saw how passionate she was, how much she wanted it and realised it was what she had to do,” Sally explains. “If you have a passion for a certain career, you just have to do it. You can’t not. As a parent you’ve got to support your child as much as you can and I really do support her. I’m happy Phoebe’s doing what she wants to do. If she’s happy, I’m happy. I’m very proud of her but I’m just as proud that Sam wants to go to university to study politics. My husband, Tim, is quite political and as a family we sit and discuss what’s happening in the world and certain issues. We all have quite strong opinions.”
What, even Hatty? Sally laughs. “Not yet. What Hatty likes to do is to go out with me for a cuppa and a slice
ITV is 60 this year and to celebrate, Corrie will screen an eagerly-anticipated live episode in September. Is Sally nervous or excited? “Both. But doing a live episode is really nerve-wracking,” she replies. “I had quite a lot to do in the 2010 live episode which celebrated 50 years of Corrie and I was extremely nervous about that, but it was so exhilarating. The biggest fear is forgetting your lines and messing it all up. The EastEnders’ live episode a few months ago was brilliant, so there’s extra pressure on ours to be just as good.” If you’re involved Sally, rest assured it will be!
- Coronation Street is on ITV1
Who could play Sally's sister Gina Seddon?
If Sally gets her wish and Corrie does decide to bring back Gina, we reckon these well-known faces should be considered for the role. . .
- Sarah Millican – the comedienne could play a version of herself and her potty mouth would appall Sally.
- Fay Ripley – of Cold Feet fame, could play Gina as a man-eating vamp who makes a play for Tim.
- Lesley Sharp – the Scott and Bailey star would make a great psycho-style sister for Sal.
- Jane Horrocks – Ab Fab’s Jane could play a plain-speaking, no-nonsense version of Gina who’d rejoice in taking her social-climbing sister down a peg or two.
- Patsy Kensit – the former child star and Emmerdale and Holby actress could play Gina as a Weatherfield-lass-made-good who’s now fallen on hard times.
There's more star chat in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday