Few Corrie fans could have predicted a return for Sharon Bentley, who flounced out of Weatherfield way back in 1999 after upsetting former foster mum Rita.
But she’s back with a bang and is set to turn lives upside down; being on a secret mission to find Leanne Battersby for nephew Harvey, who wants to silence the AWOL mum for grassing him up to the cops for drug dealing.
Off-screen, actor Tracie Bennett, whose first stint in Corrie as Sharon was from 1982-1984, certainly hasn’t rested on her laurels during her absence from the soap.
Tracie, 59, has carved out a glittering career on stage; winning Olivier Awards for her performances in the musicals She Loves Me and Hairspray and being nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow following its transfer to Broadway.
Here, Tracie talks about being back in Sharon’s shoes, and why her stage success hasn’t changed her one bit...
It’s taken 22 years for Sharon to make a comeback. Have you been asked to return to Corrie before now?
Yes, but it’s like a dance – everything has to align. They can put the word out there, but if I’m in a show for two years, it’s a complete no. There have been a few times where they’ve made an enquiry, but I couldn’t get out of what I was doing. This time, I think they realised they had to ask earlier, so the machinations of this started about 18 months ago. They said they had a couple of storylines ready but weren’t sure which way to go.
How have you prepared to play her again after all this time?
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