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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Coronation Street first look as Claire Sweeney looks unrecognisable as Tyrone Dobbs' troubled mum Cassie as she teases 'havoc'

Coronation Street has shared the very first look at Claire Sweeney as Cassie Plummer as she prepares to make her unrecognisable debut. It was revealed back in April that the actress and West End star would be joining the ITV soap as Tyrone Dobbs' real mum.

The much-loved mechanic grew up believing that his mum was Jackie Dobbs, played by Margi Clarke. But in 2018 investigations into his parentage brought him into contact with grandmother Evelyn Plummer, portrayed by Dame Maureen Lipman, for the first time who told him that her daughter, his biological mother is dead.

So when Cassie turns up on the cobbles out of the blue in upcoming scenes, Evelyn is faced with a real dilemma as she has to decide whether to come clean to Tyrone about her lies.

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Corrie fans have now been given the first look at Claire, famed for her portrayal of Lindsey Corkill in scouse soap Brookside, as Cassie - and it's fair to say she looks completely different with her old, dark clothes and without her big eyelashes and false nails.

And that's something Claire has jokingly said has been a struggle to be without as she had to ditch her usual glam in order to film for the soap at the Salford-based set. "It wasn't much, that's how I wake up in a morning," the star laughed when asked how long it takes to become Cassie and how much she has been involved in the makeup and costume side of her new character.

"I had a flare-up of my skin... I was tired, I was a bit stressed because of one thing and another and Janita who has done my makeup, she is wonderful, she was putting blue on my face and purple and pink and she was kind of following my rosacea then the dark under the eyes. They've done a fantastic my job," Claire told the Manchester Evening News and other press.

"And with my hair, she oiled it down and sprayed black on the roots. Also, I had to get my nails off. Being a scouse and getting my nails and lashes off, that's quite traumatic you know," she added with a laugh. "She's really stripped back and the makeup design team have done such good job making me look as rough as anything and working with what's there with the rosacea and everything."

Claire Sweeny is worlds away from her new Corrie character (Getty Images)

Speaking about her character in detail for the first time, Claire revealed that Cassie is a drug addict who arrives on the cobbles in need of her mum’s support. “I love Cassie and I hope the audience loves her as well, as much as I do,” she started by saying.

“She’s vulnerable, she’s troubled, she’s got major problems and as I’m reading the scripts, I want her to sort herself out because we all love Tyrone… It’s hard for me because I’m a fan as well and as a fan, we all love Tyrone and you don’t want anything to upset him so I’m reading these scripts and thinking, ‘Please sort yourself out, Cassie!’”

Adding more about Cassie, Claire said: “She’s troubled she’s feisty, she’s going to cause some trouble on the cobbles. She’s a loose cannon but she’s vulnerable as well… She’s an addict and that’s what makes her so unpredictable. She really does have great intentions to get better and be with the family but she’s an addict and it’s quite sad really.”

Sharing how Cassie ends up on the street as viewers have never seen her before or heard her mentioned by her mum, Claire revealed: Evelyn has had a relationship with Cassie for a while and people don’t know about that. Evelyn has been on-and-off supporting her and she turns up wanting to see Tyrone, she wants to get clean, she wants to be involved in the family… she needs her mum.”

Cassie arrives on the cobbles in need of her mum's help (ITV)

“She’s a tough girl. She’s been around the block and she’s got problems but there’s a vulnerability with her where she needs her mum and her mum can help her and she turns up for help.”

And being Evelyn’s daughter, it meant Claire’s first scenes were with the much-loved Dame Maureen and the 52-year-old couldn’t have spoken more highly about her new on-screen mum.

“My first scene for Corrie was a 14-page two-hander with Dame Maureen Lipman who I’m a massive fan of so you can imagine,” she told us. “A usual scene is three, four pages and this was a 14-page two-hander and I thought, ‘well, that’s baptism of fire’.

“Just working with Maureen, she was just like a masterclass. She is so fantastic and I’m just looking forward to doing more with her. As with Alan [Halsall, who plays Tyrone]. When I did my screen test with him, what a wonderful actor he is. I’m surrounded by great people.”

And teasing future scripts, Claire said Cassie is a ‘live wire’ but added:: “Not only is there great drama, the writers are just fantastic…I’m starting to read scripts now where she [Cassie] is quite funny as well and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is fantastic!’ Not only have we’ve got this great dramatic storyline we’ve got this wonderful Corrie humour which is why we love Corrie.


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