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018.JPGAs already widely reported, Michael Le Vell will return to Corrie in February on a £250,000 deal having last month been cleared of all 12 charges of child sex abuse, and co-star Charlie Condou has broken a distinct cast silence to talk about plans to throw Michael a massive welcome back party.

He said:

"It's brilliant to have him back, everyone's relieved that stuff is over.

"He has had a lot of stuff thrown at him and people saying things, but he's got through it.
"I think there will be a party or something planned for his return. I think he is just itching to get back."

Brooke Vincent added:

"We can't wait to have him back. I've missed him."

"People forget that we are a team and we spend more time with them than we do our friends and family. We all get on and everyone has their role in the green room."

The show of support comes as it was revealed that Michael has recently been sent death threats and has suffered damage to his car.

013.jpgHe's played Peter Barlow since 2000, but it is now being reported that Corrie favourite Chris Gascoyne is the latest star to leave the cobbles in late 2014.

The actor has apparently told friends that the soap schedule is 'too demanding'.

A Street spokesman said:

"Chris has signed a new one year contract, which takes him to autumn 2014, and he is involved in some of the biggest storylines of the next 12 months. It is too early to comment beyond that."

We don't want to give too much away, but it is currently being rumoured that the news may link in with the well-publicised departure of Michelle Keegan in 2014. This as yet remains unclear.

258.jpegCorrie favourite Julie Hesmondhalgh has given a boost to an on-line petition which a Scunthorpe widow started to force a debate in parliament about the illness which killed her husband.

The addition has seen the names on the petition more than double to more than 13,000 since July, with numbers still rising.

Organiser Maggie Watts said:

"Coronation Street just embarked on a pancreatic cancer story-line with Julie's character Hayley.

"Julie has completely embraced the e-petition and is promoting it on Twitter and in the media wherever she can.

"Her input has made a significant difference to raising the profile of the e-petition and pancreatic cancer in general.

"We will now receive a response from the government because we hit the 10,000-name petition.

"We are awaiting that response which will give us an update on where the government stands on the issues raised".

Maggie, whose husband Kevin died in 2009 aged just 49, said:

"The survival rate for sufferers has not improved in the past 40 years.

"Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of UK cancer death with the worst survival rate of all cancers, yet it receives only one per cent of the budget for research.

"We want the government to provide more funding and awareness".

In an interview with a national newspaper, actress Julie said:

"There's an amazing woman called Maggie Watts who lost her husband to pancreatic cancer.

"She started this e-petition. To get it to Downing Street you have to get 10,000 people to sign it, and to get a debate on it, you need 100,000 signatures.

"I've put it all over my Twitter and I am trying to get as many people backing it as possible.

"It's really bad, there's no research funding and no improvement in survival rates."

136.jpgShe's well known for having an opinion on anything and everything, but now controversial Katie Hopkins has hit out at Corrie star Ryan Thomas after he was declared bankrupt, calling him"a little boy" with an 'exceptionally small brain'.

The gobby ex-Apprentice candidate unleashed her thoughts on Thomas - who we reported earlier this month to have declared bankruptcy in August, despite earning a reported £90,000 salary - in an opinion piece on celebrities with financial troubles in Now magazine.

"Bankrupt celebs are like lips without gloss. The shine has come off and they're left looking thin and miserable," she writes.

"[Ryan] may earn big but his brain is exceptionally small. Perhaps he should spend less time drinking by the pool in the sun and a bit more time saving for the rainy day the taxman wants his money back."

She continued: "Some say bankruptcy has taught them a valuable lesson. Well, here [is one] more I'd like to hammer home....don't spend like Rihanna if you're just a little boy called Ryan from Corrie."

Further on, Hopkins branded Kerry Katona "the queen of credit disasters" and said that Joe Swash "clearly skipped maths as a kid". Both stars were declared bankrupt for a second time earlier this year.

Hopkins has become notorious for her extreme views since ranting about 'lower class' children's names on This Morning in July. She returned to the show in September to argue that it is right for working mothers to miss their children's birthdays and made another appearance last week where she blamed parents for childhood obesity.

So a withdrawn little soul then.

018.JPGMichael Le Vell has reportedly suffered death threats and a vicious vandalism campaign. The actor, had his car windscreen smashed - and told friends he is petrified by the campaign of abuse which started shortly after he was cleared on child-sex charges earlier this year.

Michael has been bombarded with hate messages via his Facebook and Twitter account, and he is reportedly concerned that people have been following him near his home.

Police have visited the actor at his house in Cheshire and are now investigating the claims. They are due to return to carry out a forensic check of the vandalised car.

A friend close to the actor said:

"Michael is scared for his life at the moment. What started with some hate-mail over the Internet has now turned into something far more sinister.

"And when his car was smashed up he realised he had to go to police and report it. The idea someone could turn up to the place where he lives and cause damage like that has left him disturbed.

"After everything Michael has been through in the past few weeks this is the last thing he needs."

Friends and family are said to be supporting rallying round the actor who is due to return to Coronation Street in February. He has recently been told that he will not be appearing in ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' because the self-confessed alcoholic has failed to convince producers he can go a month without drinking.

"Michael had been focusing on flying off to do I'm A Celeb," a friend said.

"But now that has fallen through he has nothing else to do but hang around in the pub waiting for the day he can go back on Corrie.

"He just desperately needs to get back to work. But all the story lines for the show are set in stone until the New Year and he won't even be seeing a script for weeks."

A spokesman for Greater Manchester police said last night: "We were called to a report of damage to a motor vehicle in the Hale area of Manchester at 5pm yesterday. Enquiries are on-going."

It's been a very hard year for Corrie and many of its actors. Let's hope the next few months see a change in fortune for all concerned.

150.jpgAndrew Lancel is making his comeback after being cleared of sexual abuse charges earlier this year, reprising a stage role he'd secured before his arrest - as legendary Beatles producer Brian Epstein.

Audiences watching 'Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles' on its six-week run next summer will see Andrew, as Epstein, be taunted by a boy for being Jewish and gay. The impresario's homosexuality was an open secret among friends, but was not widely-known as gay activity was still a criminal offence until the year of his death in 1967.

This week the actor declined to talk about the exhausting court battle to clear his name but confirmed he was looking forward to reprising his role as the Beatles' manager and entrepreneur.

He said: "We only did 21 shows but there were 21 standing ovations and people are still asking about it and talking about it.

"I knew it was destined to have a life both inside and outside the city and I'm really made up for the whole team that it's going to the West End.

"Brian is back in people's psyche. He's having a renaissance and part of that has been helped by this play.

"And it's a gem of a part."

Brian Epstein was a household name, but his controversial personal life remained very much just that: private. He died of an overdose at just 32.

030.jpgIt's been a bad year for Corrie actor Chris Fountain, but his Corrie character will finally be given an off-screen exit in the episode scheduled for next Wednesday.

In the show, Tommy will pack his bags and leave in a hurry after finding out that girlfriend Tina McIntyre has moved a homeless David Platt into their flat.

His speedy exit comes after the actor was sacked in August after being exposed as a masked rapper who posted inflammatory videos online.

The former Hollyoaks star issued a statement afterwards saying he was "deeply ashamed by the lyrics" and was said to have apologised privately to ITV executives - but he was still publicly sacked.

The actor has continued to appear on Coronation Street in scenes he filmed prior to his dismissal, with next Wednesday's episodes being the first time that his sudden exit has been addressed.

Screen girlfriend Tina will be seen taking pity on David after mum Gail Platt kicks him out after his evil plotting is revealed.

But when Tina arrives home after inviting David to stay, he breaks the news, saying:
"It's Tommy. He proper kicked off when he found me here. He went mental, saying how he always comes last with you and how you think you can do what you want."

David goes on to add that Tommy packed a bag, called a cab and left for the airport.

We don't think there's any chance of a return somehow.

136.jpgCorrie favourite Ryan Thomas has reportedly been declared bankrupt.

The actor, who has played builder Jason Grimshaw in the soap for the past 13 years, was declared bankrupt last week after a petition by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill, reports the Daily Mail.

It is thought the bankruptcy was confirmed on October 4 in the High Court Of Justice.

The actor signed a new one-year contract with the soap earlier this year, which will at least guarantee his £90,000 a year role until at least next summer.

Is it just us, or has it been a bad year for Corrie actors this year?

005.jpgWe're loathe to report on the private lives of Corrie stars, but we're very sorry to announce that Kym and Jamie Lomas have decided to part. It's being reported that Kym had an affair with co-star Oliver Mellor, the little-seen Street doctor.

A source close to Jamie allegedly told the Sunday People: "Kym has been having an affair since February and kept it a secret. Jamie found out a few days ago and is absolutely ­devastated. It was a bolt out of the blue.

"He doesn't think there is any opportunity for them to get back together. He's told her it's over."

The affair is reported to have begun during a cast night out on Valentine's Day.

As news of the separation spread, Kym has pulled out of a charity bash "due to unforeseen circumstances". The former Hear'Say star was expected to sing alongside her daughter Emily, 15, at a ball in Merseyside.

While the tabloids splash this all over, we'd just like to say that we appreciate that life is rarely perfect and often turns out how you least expect it; we're sure it can't be easy having the details of your life laid bare. Let's hope it can be settled amicably and with least disruption to the children.

alan bradley.jpgAlan Bradley has to go down in Corrie history as one of the most devious villains the Street has ever seen.

Making his first appearance in 1986 when his wife Pat was killed in a road accident, Alan - played by Mark Eden - began relationships with both Rita and the Rovers' barmaid Gloria. He dropped Gloria after learning the extent of Rita's financial assets, at first he appearing to be genuinely in love with her.

Rita was warned that Alan was only after her money: what she didn't know is that he had already "borrowed" the deeds to her house, impersonating her dead husband, Len Fairclough, to get a mortgage to support his ailing business.

When Rita discovered Alan's deception, he assaulted her and almost killed her. At the conclusion of his trial, his plea bargain meant he walked free. He then returned to the Street and conducted a campaign of harassment against Rita, who had a breakdown and moved to Blackpool. Many residents believed that Alan had murdered her, and he became the object of widespread hatred and suspicion. Having tracked her down, Alan famously met his end after being hit and killed by a Blackpool tram while chasing a distressed Rita across the tracks. An incredible 26.93 million viewers watched the character meet his untimely demise in 1989, the 9th most-watched UK broadcast of all time.

On 8 December 2009, actor Mark Eden unveiled a blue plaque to mark the 20 year anniversary of the screening of the famous Coronation Street episode. The plaque is located outside The Strand Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool which was the venue chosen for the filming of much of the footage.

Born in London, Mark has appeared in repertory theatre in England and Wales and at the Royal Court Theatre. Although probably most well-known for the role of conniving Alan, his many television and film roles include the Doctor Who serial Marco Polo (1964) in which he played Marco Polo. He played Number 100 in The Prisoner in 1967, and Inspector Parker in the TV adaptations of several Lord Peter Wimsey stories in the 1970s. He is married to Corrie stalwart Susan Nicholls - better known as Audrey Roberts.

055.jpgMichelle Keegan has spoken about her urge to go travelling after she leaves Corrie.

The actress, who has confirmed she'll be leaving the cobbles next year, says she hopes to land other roles within the TV industry, but not before she's cured her itchy feet.

Speaking to the Daily Star's TV Extra, she said:

"Post- Corrie and work-wise, I want to try other acting roles.

"I may also do some travelling as well if I get the time and the opportunity."

Meanwhile, Michelle has also revealed how she keeps the figures which won her Sexiest Female at the Soap Awards again this year.

"I work out whenever I have the time, which can be around three times a week," she added.

"I enjoy eating a balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruit. I don't eat a lot of bread or potatoes but I enjoy the odd pudding and cocktail on a night out. Everything in moderation!"

Announcing her Corrie depature, Michelle previously said: "I have had the most amazing six years at Coronation Street and it was such a difficult decision to leave.

"But I felt it was the right time for me to make the next step in my career."

317.jpegCorrie actors have turned out in force for a memorial dinner for Corrie legend Bill Tarmey.

Liz Dawn - who appeared to be on good form a week after revealing the heart attack which nearly killed her - raised a glass to her on-screen husband at the dinner, which raised £13,000 for charity Brain Tumour Research.

Liz, who has emphysema, fell seriously ill a fortnight ago.

But she said she was "determined" to be at the tribute to her pal who died last year.

Liz joined fellow stars Nigel Pivaro, Alan Halsall, Lucy-Jo Hudson and Samia Ghadie at Friday's bash in Manchester.

Bill's widow Ally said: "It's been a very emotional evening.

"Nearly a year has gone since Bill passed away. The love and support shown by everybody had got me through.

"The only person not here is Bill. He'd be gobsmacked by all this. He'd say 'what's the fuss all about?'"

011.jpgBeverley Callard has admitted that her family are worried her return to Corrie could prove to be too much for her as she is still taking medication for clinical depression.
The star - who returns to the Street later this year - has said her husband fears she could need electroconvulsive therapy if she collapses again.

Beverley spoke to the Radio Times, saying:

"I have been very poorly and Jon was worried I hadn't given myself enough time to be me. So I'm trying to be more sensible this time although I find it hard.

"I'm a perfectionist. I worry over stupid things. The other day I was fretting because, during a lunchtime scene in the Rovers, there was no ketchup on the tables. So, I do sometimes take it to extremes.

"I'm climbing back again but I do still take medication."

Beverley left Corrie back in 2011 after her real-life mother became unwell as well as admitting she found the filming schedules gruelling.

She told The Mirror at the time:

"Corrie schedules are full-on. It's all or nothing and I had to face a choice between The Street or Mum. I love everything about Corrie but there could only be one answer."

Corrie spoilers are already linking Liz McDonald to a new character played by Jimi Mistry, who will be on screens later this year.

Mike Baldwin.jpgMaking his first appearance in 1976 as a Cockney businessman with an eye for the ladies, the knicker king galloped his way through the ladies with astonishing speed.

One major storyline involving Mike came in 1983 when he had an affair with Deirdre Barlow. Before her marriage to Ken Barlow, Deirdre had dated Mike but decided Ken suited her better. When their marriage became jaded, she turned to Mike. After she had confessed everything to Ken, Mike turned up on the doorstep in the hope of taking her away, but she decided to stay with Ken. This event began the long-running feud between Mike and Ken.

Mike went on to marry Susan Barlow, Ken's daughter, who was many years his junior. This upset Ken further. The marriage failed because Mike and Susan disagreed about their plans for the future. On discovering that Susan was pregnant, Mike wanted her to become a stay-at-home wife and mother but Susan decided to have an abortion, moving to Newcastle after just a year of marriage.

Mike's on/off relationship with Alma Sedgewick lasted the longest. It seemed to be over when he abandoned Alma to marry wealthy widow Jackie Ingram who inherited a factory from her late husband, but Jackie soon saw through him, and their marriage lasted just a week.

A couple of years later, after Alma's relationship with now-divorced Ken Barlow failed because of her feelings for Mike, Mike and Alma finally married. Mike once again had his own business, the underwear factory Underworld. In 1998, Mike was seduced by Julia Stone who blackmailed him for large sums of cash and when Alma discovered this, she left him. Unable to win her back, Mike settled with loud-mouthed machinist Linda Sykes who was interested only in his money. Unfortunately she then went on to have an affair with his long-lost son, Mark Redman.

Towards the end of 2005, Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. In 2006, he collapsed and died in Ken's arms after suffering a massive heart attack. His last words were 'You're finished Barlow, Deirdre loves me, she's mine.'

Although most well-known for playing the part of Mike Baldwin, actor Johnny Briggs has recently (2007) played the father of Cinderella at the Manchester Opera House pantomime. He has also appearanced in both Miss Marple and Holby City in 2007, as well as the short-lived ITV soap opera Echo Beach - remember that anyone?

Coronation Street: Animal stars

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cat.jpgFurther to our article the other day about famous animals of the cobbles, here's our completed list: let us know if we've missed any!

Albert - Stray dog adopted by Suzie Birchall

Archie - Budgie given to Ena but taken in by Martha

Barney - David's rabbit

Beauty - Mavis' third budgie

Bella - Maxine's cat

Betty's Hotshot - Rovers racehorse

Bobby - Minnie Caldwell's first cat

Bobby - Sunny Jim - Minnie's replacement cat

Boomer - Dog Jack bought Vera

Cleo - Factory cat brought by Vera to catch mice

Dinah - Lillian Spencer's mynah bird

Dolly - One of Jack's pigeons killed by fox

Dolores - Tommy's donkey

Dougal - Sam Tindall's dog

Eccles (Lady Freckles) - Dog inherited by Blanche after a friend died

Fergie - One of Jack's favourite pigeons

Fred's Folly - Fred Gee and Alf Roberts' greyhound

Fury - Alsatian bought as a guard dog by Eddie Yeats

Gilbert - Albert Tatlock's homing pigeon

John - Jesse Chadwick's parrot

Harry/Harriet - Mavis' budgie renamed after it laid an egg

Harry - Mavis' second budgie originally a stray called Boris

Harry's Luck - Greyhound owned by Don Brennan

Jarvis - Becky Palmer's budgie

Kitchener - Alice Pickens' mynah bird

Leanne - Simon Barlow's rabbit

Little Hilda - Eddie's favourite chicken

Lucky Lolita - A greyhound owned by Harry Hewitt

Marmaduke - Cat owned by Betty

Mr. Woo - Rita's dog

Mr. Woo 2 - Rita's replacement dog after the first one died

Mitzi - Jenny Bradley's dog

Molly - One of Jack's pigeons killed by a fox

Monica - Tyrone's dog

Ozzy - Dog given to Liam Connor by Maria

Porky & Bess - Pigs owned by Keith Appleyard

Randy - Percy Sugden's budgie

Rat Features - Guinea pig owned by Sophie

Rommel - Cat owned by Hilda

Rover - Alsatian taken in by Bet

Saracen - Vicky's horse

Scamper - Joyce Smedley's then Judy Mallett's dog

Scarlett - One of Jack's pigeons

Schmeichel - Chesney's Great Dane

Shandy - Sean Tully's former dog

Sunny Jim - Jed Stone's cat

Tiger - Natalie's cat

Tucker & Zammo - Kittens taken in by Trevor Dean (aka Purno & Black)

038.jpgIt's been a bad few months for ex-Corrie star Chris Fountain, but we can now reveal that the actor is contemplating a change of career.

Shortly after his very public axing, Chris tweeted:

"6 years in Hollyoaks playing Justin Burton & 2 years on Corrie playing Tommy. Now seeing where life takes me. Oh and I DJ. Positivity breeds positivity.''

He is now back in the UK after a spell in the US. Last month Chris was unmasked as 'The Phantom', an online video showing his alter-ego rapping about women, rape and violence. After he was exposed Fountain made a public apology, insisting the videos were old and did not reflect his own views.

Kate Swift, founder of This Tangled Web, a support group for rape survivors, said:

"What he probably doesn't realise is that he is in a position of power and that there will be people who look up to him and are influenced by him.

"I hope he thinks twice before doing anything like this again in his new job."

118.jpgFormer Corrie star Natalie Gumede has said that leaving the soap allowed her to feel like herself again.

The actress made her dancing debut in Strictly Come Dancing on Friday, and spoke to The Sun about how leaving the Street has changed her life. She said:

'As soon as I left, it was a relief to feel like me again. It was a privilege to be in Corrie and to be trusted with such a challenging storyline but it left me completely physically exhausted.

"The problem with playing all of those violent scenes was that my body didn't know why I was shouting and crying - it didn't know it was fake.

"My mind could switch off from what I had been doing but the exhaustion my body felt was as intense as if I had gone through a real trauma.

"I'd come off set shaking and at times I did break down and cry out of the sheer exhaustion, effort and frustration and everything else I was feeling."

Natalie also revealed that fame sometimes meant she avoided leaving the house.

"Being a face on TV was a massive change. It is quite natural that people respond to you but it's not a natural feeling to be the person getting the response.

"I still find it really odd and it makes me very self-conscious. I used to get anxious before going out because I'd be asked for ten photos in an hour if I went to Boots. You get good at online shopping because you can't just go out and browse the shops if you fancy a new pair of shoes.

"It's bizarre but you don't live a normal life any more. And it is not something I ever want to get used to, because it's much healthier to be anonymous.

"But as soon as I left Corrie and came back to London, I stepped out of the bubble and it almost stopped overnight."

We don't think Strictly is going to lessen her profile somehow.

018.JPGMICHAEL Le Vell has been spotted back on the Corrie set for the first time since he was acquitted of sexual offences against a minor, it's being reported today.

He was pictured receiving warm welcomes from co-stars, including on-screen wife Sally Webster, played by Sally Dynevor.

The actor has been away from the set and off screens since last February having been suspended from the show when he was charged with five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

A source told The Sun that everyone was more than pleased to see him back on set, saying:

"Everyone looked delighted to see him - a few gave him a kiss and cuddles. It looks like they can't wait for his return."

And as we reported earlier in the week, although a Corrie representative confirmed that they WILL be bringing Kevin back on screen, ITV bosses dismissed rumours that it will be in time for Christmas.

It's also been rumoured that Michael will be appearing on Piers Morgan's Life Stories later this year - that'll be one worth watching.

082.jpgNot much meat on this story, but a story it is nonetheless - Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley has spoken out about her excitable Twitter followers sending her inappropriate pictures.
Catherine recently tweeted:

"Can't believe some people on here. Tweeting me pictures of your todger??? Seriously??? Watch some bloody telly or do a cross word will you."

The actress has reportedly considered deleting her account over the lewd photos. Ah well, at least doing a crossword will take their minds off it.

Ryan Connor.jpgDownton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has revealed he has a 'guilty pleasure' in binge-watching Corrie.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Julian confessed to getting his wife to record every episode of the soap while he's in America so that he doesn't miss a single moment's action on the cobbles.

He said: "My main guilty pleasure is a soap opera called Coronation Street, which I never miss and I tape it when I am away. So I will go back to hour upon hour of Coronation Street, which drives my wife mad.

"I actually quite like the binge viewing thing."

This potentially bodes well for Sole Heras, who is currently filming his final Corrie scenes but has spoken about his hopes of winning a Downton role in the future. Speaking to Now magazine, the actor said:

"I'd love to do some dramas - something like Downton Abbey would be great. That's my dream, but a lot of people leave soaps and go straight to Hollywood. I'm trying to be more realistic.

"I have to take the right steps to build a foundation for one day possibly doing movies."

We're sure there's room for one more in the Downton servant's quarters.

014.jpgManchester Guided Tours have released details of their autumn and winter walks and there's a new treat in store for all Corrie fans - if you have £12 each to spend.

A new walking tour called Corrie and Cream Tea will take you on a walking tour around Manchester showing you some Coronation Street filming sights, ending with a cream tea at Annie's restaurant. (In case you didn't know, Annie's is owned by Jennie McAlpine and her partner Chris Farr).

Anyway, if you fancy visiting some of your favourite Corrie landmarks, book your tickets and pack some comfy shoes. It's a big old city, Manchester.

julie goodyear.jpgDespite four marriages, a teenage pregnancy, and claims of bisexual relationships, former Corrie legend Julie Goodyear has told Piers Morgan she is 'no good' at sex.

The 71-year-old star said during her Real Lives interview that she struggles with intimacy so much that she was only ever given one bed scene playing the legendary barmaid - because she would collapse into fits of nervous laughter.

The actress also commented that current husband Scott Brand, a former builder, was 'the best of a bad bunch' when discussing her previous marriages.

Asked about her sexuality, the chat show host said:

'You've had relationships with men and women.'

Miss Goodyear replied:

'A relationship can be a friendship. A soul mate, whatever. You don't have to have sex all the time.

'There are many gay people, who work in the industry we work in. Have you no gay friends? What's it like having sex with them?'

When Morgan responded that he didn't, Miss Goodyear continued:

'Neither do I. Let me tell you, there was a time when I thought it might be worth a try. No good at it. Because I can't stop laughing.'

When Morgan fired back:

'Are we talking men or women?' she responded:

'Anybody. Which is why they only ever gave me one bed scene in Coronation Street. Because it makes me laugh.'

The actress wed first husband Ray Sutcliffe in 1960. They had a son when she was 17, but the marriage ended three years later when Ray walked out.

In 1973 she married secretary Tony Rudman, but the couple had been married for only a few hours when he ran off with the best man.

The heartbreak left her so distraught she spent a month in a mental health clinic.

She was then married to airline executive Richard Skrob between 1985 and 1987 before tying the knot with Brand in 2007, having met in 1996 when he delivered plaster to a house she was renovating.

Revealing that Mr Brand proposed to her every day for 11 years before she accepted him, she said:

'I might renew his contract. He's been the best of a bad bunch, he really has.'

Asked if she was happily married, she responded: 'Very.'

Julie first joined Corrie in 1966, but left to join a theatre company. She returned in 1970, becoming one of the most popular characters to ever grace the cobbles - and indeed the bar of the Rovers.

She left the Street in 1995, when some 22 million viewers tuned in to watch her tottering off the cobbles. A brief -17 day - return in 2002 left her struggling to cope with the 'gruelling' schedule of Corrie, and the actress declared she would never return to the Street again.

018.JPGIt is being reported that Michael Le Vell will return to the Street in 2014, not in a spectacular Christmas storyline as previously hoped.

It is currently being anticipated that the actor, recently cleared of a string of sex charges, will not appear back on the cobbles until around February.

There are some concerns over Michael's boozy lifestyle, with the self-confessed alcoholic having supped up to 12 pints a night for 30 years. He is currently being offered counselling to curb his drinking though he has resumed his habit since the trial two weeks ago, according to other regulars in his local.

One recently tweeted from the Railway Inn in Hale, Gtr Manchester: "In pub in Hale stood next to Michael Le Vell #randomnamedrop."

Another local said "a pint of lager never left his hand" as the actor and girlfriend Blanca Fouche the night laughing with people in the pub's smoking area.

A source at Corrie has reportedly said:

"Christmas storylines are written. We work months in advance and are mapped out until February. Kevin Webster will not be returning before then"

"The scriptwriters will decide when and how best to re-introduce Kevin."

Corrie bosses have insisted Michael's delayed return was entirely due to storylines rather than his drinking, though they have refused to comment on whether they would offer counselling to Michael, who has twice sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Le Vell is also in the centre of a bidding war between rival TV programmes to tell his story.

This Morning and Daybreak tabled bids for the actor along with Channel 4, but sources say Piers Morgan is set to sign him up for his Life Stories show.

Morgan's previous interviewees have included ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Street legend Julie Goodyear.

An ITV source said:

"Nobody can begin to imagine the year of hell Mike has had. He can now shout from the roof tops that he is an innocent man. ITV are keen to make sure that's done on their channel.

"He is being offered well into six figures to tell his story and we're pretty sure it's a done deal.

"It's a huge coup for the show and they know it's going to be a big ratings winner."

Coronation Street: Where Are They Now?

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curly watts.jpgCurly Watts was originally a paperboy for Rita, before working as a binman with Chalky Whiteley and Eddie Yeats. Romantically hopeless, Curly's first love was Shirley Armitage, a black sewing-machinist from Mike Baldwin's factory. Opposition from parents Arthur and Eunice led to tension between the couple, and the romance was ill-fated.

He then became an assistant manager at Bettabuy's supermarket, where he was a protégé of manager Reg Holdsworth. Whilst working there, he had a relationship with employee Kimberley Taylor. Once again, opposition - this time from both sets of parents - caused problems. Despite other brief flings with girls such as Anne Malone, Angie Freeman, Reg's future wife Maureen Holdsworth (who tried to get him sacked when he rejected her advances) and Maxine Peacock (who slept with him believing that he was going abroad next day) Curly seemed doomed never to find domestic happiness.

After a prolonged on-off relationship, Curly eventually married Raquel Wolstenhulme, later moved to France with their daughter. Curly did not know about the child until Raquel turned up unexpectedly one New Year's Eve to ask for a divorce.

Curly met his second wife, policewoman Emma Taylor when she came to investigate a series of crimes in the area in which Curly was innocently implicated. The couple married and had a son. Later, Emma committed perjury in order to protect a colleague, causing friction between herself and the ultra-honest Curly. The couple left the Street during 2003 to start a new life near Newcastle but when the character made a comeback for the 2010 spin-off DVD movie Coronation Street - A Knight's Tale, Curly revealed that his marriage to Emma had since ended.

In August 2007 and again in April 2009, it was revealed that Kevin Kennedy had expressed interest in making a comeback to Coronation Street but in March 2013, ITV announced that there were no plans for the character to return.

Kevin appeared in character as Curly on University Challenge Challenges Coronation Street, a special edition of University Challenge produced for the 1997 Comic Relief telethon. He also played the part of ageing hippie "Pop" in the touring production of Ben Elton's We Will Rock You before joining the cast of the West End London production in 2010.

Kevin released his biography earlier, talking about his days on the Street, his battle with addiction and recovery and his future plans in the entertainment world.

010.jpgAt last, some good news! We're pleased to report that former Corrie favourite Katherine Kelly has announced that she's pregnant with her first child. The news comes just weeks after she eloped with long-term boyfriend Ryan Clark, 33, and married in Vegas.

'Ryan & I are overjoyed to announce that we are expecting a baby! Feeling very blessed!'

Katherine told her Twitter followers over the weekend. Several celeb pals have congratulated the couple, with Brooke Vincent tweeting:

'@katherine_kelly omg!!!!!!! Congratulations'

And Jo Joyner posting:

'@katherine_kelly Congratulations! Didn't take long! It's going to be fantastic, enjoy every second xx'

Lovely news, Katherine - congratulations to you both from all of us here at Corrie Blog TV.

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