Sixty Seconds: Sally Dynevor on the 60th anniversary of Coronation Street

The Coronation Street actress, 57, talks about how the soap is filming despite the restrictions, her 12-day trek to Everest base camp and her love of cooking.

You’ve chalked up the fourth-highest number of episodes in Corrie’s history. How does that feel?

Have I? I didn’t know that. That’s amazing. Gosh! I feel so proud to be part of the show. I still look at Bill Roache [Ken Barlow] and can’t quite believe I’m working with him, when he was in the first episode in 1960.

I look back at all the great characters who have come and gone, and I watch old clips, and it’s incredible that it’s 60 years old. I’m sure when it was originally written nobody imagined it would be going on for this length of time.

Are you part of the 60th anniversary storyline?

Yes, I think the whole cast is involved because it’s a community story, which is lovely. My character, Sally, is about to sell her house to a woman called Roxy and finds out that businessman Ray Crosby owns the company buying it.

He’s planning a huge development and they’re going to knock down half of Coronation Street. Everyone is unhappy and they all get together and fight back. It’s a great little story.

How has the pandemic affected filming?

It’s such a shame it’s happened in the 60th year. If the pandemic had been last year, the 60th celebrations would have been higher and the stories might have been different.

But we’ve done a brilliant job in the circumstances.

How do you think Corrie has reflected the ‘new normal’?

I feel that now, since the pandemic, people want to smile with their friends. Viewers want to see their on-screen friends going through the same problems they’re going through, with a bit of humour.

When we see that in Corrie, I think it’s brilliant. How are you coping with the pandemic?

I can’t get my head round it – it’s because we don’t know when it’s going to be over. But I’m so relieved we can do the 60th and we can carry on.

The makers of Corrie have been fantastic about coming back to work. The two-metre rule has become the norm – we’re all very careful and it feels very safe.

You left Coronation Street for six months in 2009 after being diagnosed with breast cancer. How important was it to get back on the cobbles after that?

Your job sort of defines who you are, and during periods like that and in lockdown you suddenly lose your balance because you’re not quite sure who you are when you’re not working.

I appreciate this job even more now – I’ve clung on to it and it’s important to me. I’d never take Coronation Street for granted but the moment when something like that is pulled away from you, you realise it’s a massive part of your life.

Where’s the most bizarre place you’ve been recognised?

I’ll never forget when my daughter Hattie started at nursery. This lady was hanging her child’s coat up next to Hattie’s and screamed when she saw me.

She was from Canada and had just moved over here. Coronation Street is big in Canada and she was so excited!

Is there anything left on your bucket list?

I’d love to travel more and do more challenges for the charity Prevent Breast Cancer. I did a 12-day trek to Everest base camp with them. I really enjoyed it and I’ve got my ear to the ground for different challenges.

It’s really important to me to carry on doing as much work for them as I can.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love nothing more than pottering about – I’m such a home bird! I really enjoy cooking, I’ve got two dogs, my husband Tim and I love walking, and I like meeting up with friends.

What are your plans for Christmas this year?

My three children will be home and we’ll probably just hunker in and make the best of it.

We normally have my inlaws so they may be there too. Usually, on Christmas Day I have an open house in the morning so anybody walking past can pop in for a glass of something but that won’t be allowed.

We usually rent a cottage in the Lake District for the new year and go walking but we probably won’t be able to do that, either, so it will be a different, simpler Christmas.

If you’d had a different career what might it have been?

I’ve been acting since I was 22, when I appeared in Juliet Bravo, but perhaps a florist or a cook – something nice and simple! I find cooking therapeutic.

So you’re hoping for cookery books in your stocking, then?

I’ve got loads of cookery books – far too many! Tim was going through them all recently and said, ‘Can we get rid of some?’

You collect so much stuff over the years and I just want to get rid of it all – but I’ll need a day to decide which ones can go!

ITV celebrates Coronation Street’s 60th anniversary in the week of December 7.

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