She originally left Weatherfield back in 2007, but Sarah-Louise Platt will make a big comeback next week in the wake of daughter Bethany’s recent decision to flee Milan.
Sarah-Lou will blast back to tear a strip off Beth, but will soon find her attention caught by bad boy Callum Logan, who continues to cause no end of problems for the Platt clan.
Here, we catch up with actress Tina O’Brien as she reveals what lies ahead for Sarah-Louise and how it felt to return to the Corrie fold after so much time away…
So, what’s it like to be back? It’s lovely. It’s been weirdly normal. I thought I was going to walk in and feel like the new girl, but it’s not been like that at all. I did a scene in the Platts’ the other day and I thought someone was going to pinch me and say I’d just been in a coma all this time.
Did you have any reservations? Well, I’d had some initial chats with our producer Stuart Blackburn. But the plans had to be put on hold because I got pregnant with Beau. But when Stuart brought it up again, I said that I’d love to come back. I jumped at the chance, really, because there’s unfinished business with David, Jason and her mum – plus this whole new dynamic with Bethany.
Is it hard coping with a baby and working? Like for any mum, it’s a juggle. I don’t think I would be able to do it if it wasn’t for my partner Adam. He’s been amazing – last night, for example, he did the night feed because he knew I had an early start. He’s a personal trainer, so he has a certain amount of flexibility with his job.
Does he make you work out all the time? I would actually kill him! I’m not back in shape yet – there are all kinds of things going on under my clothes. But there’s no expectation at Corrie for me to be a certain weight and the costume department has been fantastic. Even when I had to ask for bigger trousers!
Do you feel like a different person to the one who left the show in 2007? Yes, definitely. When I left, I was 24 and had no responsibilities. Now, I have two children and I’m juggling work and home life. But I feel more content now than I was then.
How do you feel about the sexy photoshoots that you used to do back in the day? Those days are well and truly over! But I have still got all the images and I don’t regret them at all. But with my baby only four months old, I’m not in any position to get into a bikini!
Is Ryan Thomas pleased that you’re back [O’Brien has a daughter Scarlett with Thomas]? Acutally, he really is. He has been really supportive. He knew from the very early stages as I discussed it with him. He said, “I think it will be really good for you”. We have out little girl Scarlett, so we are a very modern family. We spent Christmas morning all together this year for the first time, which was lovely.
So how has Sarah changed? She’s got a little bit older and wiser. She has mellowed, but she’s still very outspoken – and she thinks Weatherfield is a little bit beneath her. She struts back in and says to David, ‘oh my gosh, you’re still living with your mum’. But there is still a soft side of her – you see some really nice scenes with her daughter.
What do you make of Sarah’s parenting skills? She’s not a really bad parent. But she does see Bethany as more of a friend than a daughter. So she’s trying to do the right thing, but she’s just misguided. In real life, I feel very protective of Lucy Fallon, who plays Bethany. She’s brilliant. I think she is the perfect choice.
We do see Bethany causing trouble between Jason and Sarah, don’t we? Yes, Bethany tells him that Sarah’s got a Jason shrine and that she’s still in love with him!
And yet Sarah soon becomes interested in Callum… Yeah, I’m sure people will think it’s funny that she walks back into town and immediately hooks up with the guy who will cause the most problems for her family. To begin with she isn’t interested at all – it is only because David really gives her a hard time that it almost pushes her towards him.
Any kissing scenes with Callum coming up? Yes – it’s been so long since I’ve done actual romantic scenes. When I’m wearing my Ugg boots, Sean Ward [who plays Callum] says that I’m too small for him. And I reply, “well, maybe you’re just too tall for me”.
And how do you feel about re-experiencing the level of fame that Corrie brings? I don’t think you ever can be, to be honest. There’s nothing like it, in terms of acknowledgement from the public. But it’ll be fine. It will be interesting because my partner Adam has never seen what’s it like, because we got together after I originally left.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
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