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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

ITV Coronation Street: Real life of Emma Brooker actress Alexandra Mardell - Spice Girls link and wedding plans with actor fiancé

This week viewers will wave goodbye to Emma Brooker as she leaves the cobbles. How she leaves, however, is still a bit of a mystery but what we do know is that the door will be left open for a return.

Alexandra Mardell, who has played the pink-wearing barmaid since 2018, announced that she was quitting the ITV soap back in February after four years saying it felt like the 'right time' for her to go and last month, the actress spent her final days on the Salford-based set which became very emotional for the star.

The 28-year-old, who starred in the crime drama Vera and the short film Chocolate Pieces before Corrie, arrived on the famous street as an apprentice hairdresser at Audrey Roberts' salon and had a fling with Audrey's grandson David Platt. And there was a surprise in store as she had no idea that she was working and living on the same street as her biological father Steve McDonald as it emerged that his ex Fiona Middleton was her mum.

READ MORE: Corrie star Colson Smith continues to wow fans with transformation as he goes back 'on pull' up north

But the last few months haven't been easy for Emma. At Christmas she went through heartache when her fiance Curtis Delamere, who suffered factitious disorder in which someone deceives others by appearing sick, was wrongly accused of stealing £100,000 meant for a charity in memory of her half brother Oliver Battersby.

She sent him packing on what was meant to be their wedding day only to discover that he had been innocent all along and the money had gone through later due to a technical fault. She appeared to want to fix things with Curtis and when she finally tracked him down, he said he had changed and was getting help for his disorder which was also a lie as she later saw Curtis at the hospital and he was back in the cardiology department demanding his get an appointment for a heart condition he didn't have.

Then, at the start of the new year, Emma was involved in another life-changing drama when she and best pal Faye Windass accidentally ran over an elderly man called Ted while she was giving Faye a driving lesson still under the influence of New Year's Eve drinks. They have since covered up their crime, with the help of Faye's boyfriend Craig Tinker, and have been attempting to get on with their lives.

Alexandra with her Corrie co-stars during her leaving do in March (Alexandra Mardell/Instagram)

But things look set to come spilling out during Emma's last days in Weatherfield after Faye and Craig discovered Emma was still seeing Ted's grandson, Jon Spear, who asked her to move to Australia with him as their romance quickly sped up.

And while Emma has faced her fair share of heartache on the cobbles, things couldn't be more different for Alexandra in real-life as she's currently planning her wedding.

Alexandra's partner, fellow actor Joe Parker, popped the question last year. She was all smiles as she revealed the news on Instagram, sharing multiple snaps of her and Joe with her thousands of followers while also showing off her gorgeous diamond ring. She captioned the beaming pos at the time: "Love locked down!! 1000000 times yes! You make me so happy, my face hurts! Love you ridiculously. Future Mrs Parker," alongside a diamond ring emoji.

Joe, who has starred in various episodes of BBC soap Doctors as Archie Campbell, had been in a relationship with Alexandra for three years before asking for her hand in marriage, also shared the news himself with a series of snaps, adding: "Went in to lockdown with a girlfriend, came out with a fiancée. What a lucky man I am. Can't wait to marry you @alexandramardell I love you."

Back in December Alexandra couldn't stop smiling as she shared her excitement at finding her dream wedding dress with her fans. She had visited The Ivory Dressing Room in Blackpool with her family and friends and shared snaps on Instagram from the memorable day, writing: "I said YES to the dress. And I can not WAIT to wear it."

Revealing details of planning her wedding to the press earlier in the year, Alexandra said: "I’ve still got just over a year yet, so I’m just doing it a little step at a time, but I’m very excited."

Alexandra got engaged to her actor partner in April 2021 (Joe Parker Instagram)

But things haven't always been easy for Alexandra and tragedy struck six years ago when her dad, a former semi-professional footballer, sadly died at the age of 54 after suffering a heart attack. He had an undiagnosed heart condition which prevented the blood from being adequately pumped around the body.

Following her dad's death, Alexandra and her siblings had to undergo tests as the condition her dad is often hereditary. Despite learning that she wasn't suffering from the same condition that her dad died from, the actress received the shocking news that she had a hole in her heart - known as a septal defect.

She previously said: "It’s not related to the cardiomyopathy whatsoever – it’s a total coincidence but obviously an issue I need to keep an eye on. I’ve been told that everyone is born with it and it’s meant to close up within the first year. In some cases, like mine, it doesn’t and that can cause problems."

Alexandra faced wedding heartbreak on the cobbles (ITV)

Alexandra added: "Luckily, it hasn't caused me any major problems so far. I need check-ups every five years, and if there are issues in the future, it's something they are able to close up. It only came to light when I was being tested for cardiomyopathy – if it hadn't been for that test, I would never have known."

Her parents separated when she was young, but she remained very close to her father, staying with him on alternate weekends. "I was very much a Daddy’s girl," the Mirror reports Alexandra, from Leeds, saying. "When my brother got older, a lot of the time it was just me and my dad, which is why we were so close."

Alexandra also has a link to the Spice Girls, or to Scary Spice aka Mel B specifically thanks to her mum as she is good friends with Melanie's mother, Andrea, and the soap star grew up surrounded by the famous girl band, as pictures of them together prove.

The Daily Star reports that one candid snap shows a young Alexandra is surrounded by Baby, Ginger and Scary. She even celebrated Mel B's birthday with her, captioning a sweet Instagram snap: "Loved every second of @spicegirls. I sang every word, danced every step and got to catch up with so many with gorgeous friends! So lovely to be able to celebrate together for @officialmelb birthday! Best night ever. I will forever #wannabeaspicegirl."

And back in 2017, she shared two photos alongside Baby Spice, aka Emma Bunton, taken two decades apart. Alexandra was seen cuddling up to the singer in both snaps and said: "20 years later! #babyspice#spicegirls #love #favourite #vivaforever #baby @emmaleebunton."

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