Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh “dedicated” to landing Doctor Who role

The former Corrie star explains why her daughters have made her want to appear in the BBC sci-fi series, and just how obsessed they are with Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch...

Julie Hesmondhalgh, AKA Coronation Street’s recently deceased Hayley Cropper, is hoping to go from Roy’s Rolls to the Doctor’s Tardis, with landing a role in Doctor Who apparently being a “massive ambition” for the former soap star.

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Speaking in the latest issue of Radio Times, Hesmondhalgh explains that ever since her emotional exit from Corrie last year, in which Hayley killed herself after a battle with pancreatic cancer, she has been longing for a part in the sci-fi series in order to please her 13 and ten year-old daughters.

“My daughters were upset when I left Coronation Street,” she says. “As a desperate measure, I said, ‘You never know, I might be in other really great stuff, like Doctor Who.’ Now I feel like I need to dedicate my life to doing it!”

She’s certainly going the right way about it. Hesmondhalgh’s next on-screen appearance is in Channel 4 drama Cucumber, written by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, and airing on Thursday.

There is, however, another popular show that one of her daughters wouldn’t mind her featuring in: Sherlock.

“My husband [actor and writer Ian Kershaw] and I have just introduced the 13 year-old to Sherlock. She’s now the biggest fan in the world and has a poster of Benedict Cumberbatch on her door. She’s doing drawings of him. She’s obsessed.”

Aren’t we all? Elsewhere, Hesmondhalgh also talks about her role in Cucumber (“it’s just a drama about a group of people having sex with each other), watching Corrie post-exit (“it upset me more than I thought it would”) and why she would like a night with Paul Hollywood…

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Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times, out Tuesday 20th January