Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Coronation Street Blog interview: Sally Ann Matthews


It was a thrill last month to visit the ITV tower on London's South Bank to meet an actress who was part of one of Coronation Street's most iconic storylines and certainly one of my own personal favourites. 

As Sally Ann Matthews returns to Corrie to reprise her role as Jenny Bradley after over 20 years away, she met with us to discuss Coronation Street both past and present and a very enjoyable experience it was too. 

The Alan Bradley saga, which ran for almost three years back in the 1980s, was one of Corrie's biggest ever storylines and brought Sally Ann into the living rooms of millions of television viewers. It also began close working relationships with some of Corrie's most well-loved stars.

I really wanted to know what it was like going back into such a massive show after such a long break. Sally Ann said she feels like she has picked up where she left off all those years ago, reuniting with many familiar faces both on screen and off. She quoted Helen Worth (Gail) saying that Corrie was like riding a bike, you never lose the nack of it! Sally Ann did comment on some of the notable differences from the Coronation Street of the 1980s. Of course the programme is more like a machine these days, the organisation and the speed of filming has been taken to another level. She also commented that the cast was now huge compared to before, in fact she had been back for several weeks and was still meeting new faces! 

Sally Ann was very enthusiastic about the new facilities now that Corrie has moved to its Media City home, although one other big change was that there was now no time for proper rehearsals unlike the old days. We can all draw our own conclusions on whether that's a good move or not.

Sally Ann spoke with a great deal of affection for Coronation Street. She was only 15 when she first started on the show although she commented that it wasn't as big a deal back then as there was no access to social media and the press involvement was much less than it is today. Around the time of the 50th anniversary she realised how proud she was to have been a part of Corrie history and also that she wouldn't mind revisiting it at some point in the future.

I also asked Sally Ann what her memories were of the iconic Alan Bradley storyline which ran from 1986 until he famously came a cropper thanks to that Blackpool tram in late 1989. Sally Ann said she wasn't really aware of how big the story was as it ran over such a long period and gradually gathered momentum. It was also such a different time so there wasn't the same publicity around. She does remember that special permission was required for her to utter a swear word when talking about her on screen father at one point! How times have changed!

One very interesting and slightly peculiar anecdote that came out of this discussion surrounded Mark Eden, who of course played Alan so brilliantly. Apparently after the scenes in which Alan attempts to murder Rita were broadcast, Mark noticed a sharp increase in the level of fan mail he was receiving from female viewers. Make of that what you will! Apparently Mark also used to change a lot of the scripts they received before they shot their scenes so Sally Ann eventually stopped attempting to learn their scenes in advance. She added that the changes he made were always for the better! Of course Mark Eden is still very much around today (and is Sue Nicholls' husband) - Sally Ann says she is still in touch with him to this day.

Unfortunately there was only so much that Sally Ann could reveal about Jenny's return to Weatherfield. We do know she meets up with Kevin Webster through an online dating site and although he is pleased to see her, apparently not many other people are! We don't know how much Jenny has changed over the years although it's obvious things have happened to her, both good and bad. Whether she is seriously interested in a romance with Kevin or is just using him for another, bigger reason remains to be seen. It was revealed that Jenny's return story does have a beginning, a middle and a natural end although there was the possibility of more beyond that, but nothing is concrete for now. Personally, I hope she stays around for a good long stint!

We are promised some excellent big scenes coming up between Jenny and Rita (Barbara Knox). It will be terrific to see them sparring on the screen once again - I wonder what Rita's reaction will be? Also, there was the indication of some great comedy between Jenny and Sally Webster, who is none too pleased with Jenny's interest in Kevin. Sally Ann said she loved the direction Sally's character had taken and that Sally's snobbish exploits would immediately get Jenny's back up! Can't wait for that!

Finally, Sally Ann said she felt she was lucky to be given another shot at a character like Jenny nearly thirty years after first playing her. She said it was like coming full circle and revisiting something which had been and continues to be a massive part of her life. 

It was terrific to meet Sally Ann. I cannot wait to see Jenny Bradley once again so we can not only find out what cards life has dealt her but also see what she gets up to now she's back in Weatherfield once more. 

Follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 



Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook


Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

1 comment:

Frosty the Snowman said...

yet another character brought back to do what exactly? Oh yes cause trouble - yawn yawn. And what are they doing with Awful Andrea pray? Is she being kept on as well???

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andrew paul andy carver andy whyment anna windass anne kirkbride antony cotton audrey roberts awards barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard bev unwin beverley callard bill roache bill tarmey billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brooke vincent bruno langley Callum Logan can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans cardy o'donnell carla barlow carla connor carmel morgan catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street charlie condou cherylee houston chesney brown chris fewtrell chris gascoyne claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition conversation street coronation street art coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street spoilers Coronation Street The Tour coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig charles damon rochefort daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush deirdre barlow deirdre hunt deirdre Langton deirdre perm deirdre rachid Dennis Tanner dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples exclusive interview famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda faye windass fiz brown fiz stape flaming nora florizel street flying ducks gail hillman Gail McIntyre gail platt gail potter gail rodwell gail tilsley gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack and vera duckworth jack p shepherd jane danson jane danson's husband jason grimshaw jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street julie carp julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh julie jones julie walters kabin karen mcdonald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn Katy Cavanagh ken barlow kevin webster kim crowther kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh kym ryder leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley leanne's real mother les dennis lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney maggie jones malcolm hebden maria connor maria gordon maria sutherland mark llewellin maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell Morrissey mothers on the cobbles new set newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum on location outside broadcast paddy mcguinness pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street phil collinson Philip Lowrie pickled jo pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family props qasim akhtar returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan road to coronation street rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roys rolls ryan thomas sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia smith sarah platt schmeichel sean tully simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker sophie webster state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars stuart blackburn stuffed marrow sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terence maynard terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the road to coronation street through the years tina mcintyre todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book vera duckworth victoria court fire walking tours weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps