Rula Lenska returns to Coronation Street next week after a seven-year absence as sultry stylist Claudia Colby, ready to reignite her feud with rival hairdresser Audrey Roberts by poaching her former employee Maria Connor.
Relations between Maria and Audrey are at an all-time low since Ms Connor was sacked for stealing her boss’s clients by offering cut-price cuts from her flat, in reaction to Aud refusing to entertain her star stylist buying into the business.
Now threatened with eviction from the flat, as the riled Mrs Roberts is also her landlady, Maria faces an uncertain future. On Wednesday 25 July, Claudia sashays back onto the cobbles to pay frenemy Audrey a visit so she can rub her nose in how successful her hairdressing empire has become.
Later catching up with Maria over a drink in the Rovers, Claud is intrigued to hear of recent falling out and offers the single mum the chance to run one of her salons as a franchise.
Leaping at the chance to be her own boss, and to annoy Audrey even further, Maria soon panics about how she’s going to raise the funds to go into partnership with coiffured Claudia. On Friday 27 July, Carla Connor eventually agrees to back her relative’s proposal if she can come up with a business plan.
But can Maria really turn her back on Audrey after all these years when it comes to the crunch? And is Claudia just using her in her quest to get one over on her old enemy?