Former EastEnders star Janet Dibley joins Coronation Street to play school headteacher

The actress will feature in a Christmas 2018 plotline

Janet Dibley to join Coronation Street

Actress Janet Dibley, known to soap fans for her role as Lorna Cartwright on EastEnders, is joining Coronation Street for a Christmas 2018 storyline.

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Dibley, who first came to prominence in 1980s’ ITV sitcom The Two of Us, is to appear in seven episodes over the festive period playing the headteacher of Bessie Street School and will be seen as part of a plot involving Brian Packham and a nativity production.

A source told the Daily Star: “This is a coup for producers. Janet was a big favourite on EastEnders. But she’ll now be spicing things up at Corrie.”

Dibley’s first stint on EastEnders came in 1997 when alcoholic Lorna met Phil Mitchell at an AA meeting, their subsequent affair resulting in his break-up from then-wife Kathy. Dibley then returned to the BBC1 soap nearly two decades later in March 2016, when Phil once again encountered Lorna at an alcohol support group.

Janet Dibley playing Lorna on EastEnders

The actress’s other screen credits include a two-year period playing Dr Elaine Cassidy on BBC1’s Doctors, as well as roles in Broadchurch, Unforgotten and Fat Friends.

Speaking recently about his plans for Christmas on Coronation Street, show boss Iain MacLeod told press: “I wanted it to be a Christmassy Christmas. There’s a history in soap of trying to do the Angie and Den Christmas where it’s all acrimony and divorce papers and vitriol.

“That’s not really my preference – when you’re trying to digest your stuffing balls and sprouts, you need things to be warm and lighthearted in places and to reek of Christmas.”

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