Coronation Street’s Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

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Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor, 55, on her alter ego on the cobbles, her new outlook on life, and getting what she wants…

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ByEmma Jones

  • 16:12, 18 NOV 2018

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Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally Dynevor

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Sally’s very giddy to be on our photoshoot, not only because she’s excited to
get dressed up, but because she’s off to a party later and is happy she’ll have had her hair and makeup done.

Now, you’d think she’d be used to getting made up after 32 years on the Coronation Street cobbles
as Sally Metcalfe, but now, in a perfectly soap-like scandal, her character has found herself in a less glamorous situation. She’s behind bars, after being arrested and accused of fraud while she
was dressed as a clown – just to make it even more iconic.

In the flesh, there’s nothing criminal about her. She loves gossiping about the rumours surrounding her favourite TV shows (that Strictly scandal, I’m A Celebrity , how she quite fancied a go on Dancing On Ice ), and openly ‘mum dances’ not only in front of the camera, but around the studio, all day long. While excitedly squealing about how much fun she’s having. She’s tiny, trendy (turning up in a very chic outfit of skinny jeans, Chelsea boots and a grungy jumper) and just about as pure and sweet as they come.

Happily married to husband of 23 years, Tim, and mum to Harriet, 14, Sam, 21, and Phoebe, 23, Sally lives a very non-showbiz life, preferring dog walks and trips to Sainsbury’s to any red carpet events. And being in her ninth year since she beat breast cancer after her diagnosis in 2009, she likes to concentrate on doing what she loves: family time, swimming, (‘I appreciate tiny things, like a few lengths in the pool, so much now’), or eating that extra chocolate biscuit without feeling bad.

We could all do with being a little bit more Sally…

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally Dynevor

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Does it feel like 32 years on the street?

I still feel like the newcomer, to be honest. Every time I bump into Bill Roache (who plays Ken Barlow) I think, ‘Oo, I’m still new!’ I get very excited. I just love him
so much, I’d do anything to make him happy, I just want to please him. I still
get starstruck every time.

But you’re an icon of the street yourself too…

I don’t feel like I am at all. I’d imagine
it’s a bit like how you’d feel if you won
a Lifetime Achievement Award. Old.

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally and Kevin welcome baby Rosie
(Image: Granada Television)

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What kind of reaction have you got from your character being in prison?

The cast are sad, actually. They keep cuddling me saying, ‘Aww, we don’t like you being locked up.’ But I love it so much. I don’t have to have any makeup on. I sit down for two minutes, they mess up my hair, put a sweatshirt on and I’m good to go. But I would have loved to have been at the table when the writers came up with this. I bet they said, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen to Sally?’ ‘Prison?’ Done.

We’ve never known someone so excited to be incarcerated…

I get excited to film in the court, as it’s like being on location. Sally got thumped a few weeks back, so they gave me a bruise, and because we film out of sequence, the man playing the prosecuting barrister took me to one side and asked if I was OK. He thought my husband had been beating me up.

You’ve had some tough storylines…

I’ve liked the scraps when Kevin (Webster, Sally’s on-screen ex-husband) had an affair with Denise Welch’s character. And the cancer was a brilliant story, before that all fell apart with me being diagnosed in real life at the same time. But I’m pleased I did it to raise awareness.

How did your own diagnosis affect
your outlook on life?

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally and Tim during her cancer battle on screen
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

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It’s been good, in a way. It was a horrible thing to go through and I was upset it happened when I was doing the story, because it all felt really strange.

Do people open up to you about their experiences of cancer?

All the time. I like that people want to tell me, because they know I’ve been through it, so something good can come out of something so horrible. When I got it I
was looking for someone in the public eye who had been diagnosed and who was well again. I wanted something to cling on to. I couldn’t find anyone, really. But
I don’t want it to define me. It’s a little blip. There are good times and bad times in life. The bad times only make the good times even better.

Will you celebrate the 10 years
all clear?

I’m going to be at Everest Base Camp. It will be brilliant. My doctor can sign me off, then I can go and do something I’ve always wanted to do. So exciting.

What else is on your bucket list?

Once you’ve been through cancer you do realise that there maybe isn’t as much time as you’d liked. Hopefully I’ll live until I’m 205, but instead of putting things off, now I’m going to just do them. Last year my husband and I were saying we wanted to go to India. I said we can’t talk about it, we have to book it, so we just booked it there and then. That’s how I’m going to treat life now. You put stuff off otherwise. You just don’t know what’s round the corner, do you?

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

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How do you find life in the public eye?

I’m very used to it. But none of the social media rubbish bothers me. If someone says something horrible I just think,
well that’s your problem, I don’t know you. If you get bogged down with it all it can do your head in. I’ve got other things to think about, like what I’m having for my tea.

Do you get recognised every day?

Yes, but I don’t see it any more. My husband doesn’t even bother telling me if he sees people staring now, but
my friends will. But it’s thanks to the lovely old ladies who chat to me that I have my fun little job.

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally with her children Phoebe and Samuel
(Image: FilmMagic)

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Where’s the weirdest place you’ve
been recognised?

One New Year’s Eve, Tim and I went to Wales and we walked to the pub and they were hosting a Coronation Street lookalike competition. I didn’t win a thing! I was slightly gutted. So that’s the weirdest place I’ve not been recognised.

Are you and on screen Sally one entity now?

We’re morphing into one, it’s awful. Except she’s quite a strict mum and I’m very laid back. We used to be miles apart but as the years go on we’re becoming more and more similar. I’m just as daft as Sally but I’m not a snob. And I hate showing off and God does she love it.

What do you like about her?

I love her because she’s an ordinary mum with two kids who’s fought her way up the ladder. She has a good job at the knicker factory. She was the mayor for God’s sake. That’s like winning the lottery for her. And she had a new kitchen fitted. With an island. So she’s doing alright isn’t she?

What have been your favourite moments on the street?

When Sally and Kevin got to go to Paris for our honeymoon. Oh my God it was the best trip
. The props guys were desperate to find us some fake Champagne to drink by the river but in the end they gave us a real bottle. I was pissed as fart by the end of it.

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor on why she wants to be more diva

Sally as the Mayor
(Image: ITV)

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On screen Sally is quite innocent, what was the last thing you got in trouble for?

I’m quite well behaved too. I always do as I’m told. I do everything you’re supposed to. I don’t want to get into trouble.

Naughtiest thing you did at school?

I told the prefect once to get lost. Rock n roll. Then I was begging her, ‘Please don’t tell the headmaster!’ I thought he’d give me the strap. She let me off in the end.

Can you hold your own when it comes to nights out with the cast?

No. I used to be able to. I was really good at it when I was younger. Now I’m rubbish. But I know when I need to go, I realise when I hit that point where I’m going to start saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, over and over- then it’s time for bed.

What’s the best perk of the job?

Well I’ve never had a freebie. Can you put that in block capitals please. Maybe I need to jump up and down more.

Maybe it’s time to be more of a diva…

Well let’s face it, most people don’t even know who I am. ‘Do you know who I think I am?’ is a phrase I doubt works.

Coronation Street is on ITV, Mon, Weds, Fri

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