Julie Hesmondhalgh, the actress who played Corrie’s beloved Hayley Cropper until her on-screen death earlier this week, has said she’ll remember fans’ reactions to her final storyline for the rest of her life.
Speaking at tonight’s National Television Awards, Hesmondhalgh, who took home prizes for best serial drama performance and best serial drama for Coronation Street, said: “I think at the end of my life, when it’s all flashing in front of me, this week will feature heavily.”
“I’m so grateful to everybody who voted for this, on top of my award as well – it’s just fantastic,” she added.
“I dedicated it to my dad who died last year who was a really wonderful man and has a lot of the great qualities that Hayley has. And I dedicated it to my husband who is proof that loyal, steadfast love can survive in real life as well and also to David Neilson [who plays her on-screen husband Roy].”
“This is the most successful I’ve ever been!” she continued. “My mum’s really chuffed. To leave and then to get this is really special.”
Asked whether her recent success has left her regretting her decision to leave the soap in such a final way, Hesmondhalgh replied: “I’ve always been saying it was the right thing to kill Hayley off because she would never have left Roy. That would have been wrong for the story.”
Plus, the actress has a novel plan for how to make her living now, involving a collection of props from her time on the soap…
“I’ve got a full Hayley ensemble. I used to be a cleaner before I joined Corrie so what I thought I might do is sell myself as a sort of celebrity cleaner and go to people’s houses dressed as Hayley. I’ll charge an extra 50p an hour.”