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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

ITV Coronation Street: Real life of Lydia Chambers actress Rebecca Ryan - actor brothers, wedding setback and rival soap role

She's only arrived in Weatherfield in December but Lydia Chambers has already caused a whole heap of damage - and there is more to come.

Coronation Street's bunny boiler character is played by Rebecca Ryan who signed up to the ITV soap for a brief stint last year and it has already been confirmed that her final scenes will air this month.

Fans of the soap have been left both baffled and frustrated by Lydia since she arrived as a PA to one of Underworld's clients. During a meeting, she hit it off with Sarah Barlow, and the pair bonded over having a young son.

READ MORE: ITV Coronation Street star Tina O'Brien's age stuns This Morning fans after Alison Hammond causes wardrobe blunder

However, it wasn't long before Lydia discovered Sarah's husband to be Adam Barlow, who she had a brief fling with back when they were at university. And when Adam claimed to not remember her, Lydia's attitude changed and since then she has been causing havoc for the solicitor, claiming to Sarah that the pair have been having an affair.

And while Lydia may be causing havoc on the cobbles, Rebecca could not be more different to her on-screen character, despite admitting she's 'not well liked' thanks to her role.

Asked about the reaction to playing a villain, Rebecca told OK! Magazine : "I’m not very well-liked at the minute, let’s just say that. I get a lot of hate for the character with people saying how much they dislike her and that she’s awful and ruining Sarah’s life.

Rebecca as Lydia in the ITV soap (ITV)

"But it’s all part of the fun. It’s great that people are so invested in the storyline and getting so into it, and I’ve had lovely messages from people saying they’re enjoying it."

Playing Lydia wasn't the Manchester actress' first attempt at getting on the soap. During a press event before her arrival on-screen, Rebecca revealed she had auditioned for another role.

She then later revealed: "I auditioned to play John Stape’s daughter, Jade Rowan. She was a bit troubled as well - I must have that sort of face!

"There was also an audition years and years ago, but I can’t remember what character it was for. So twice I have auditioned, and getting Lydia was a case of third time lucky."

But Corrie isn't Rebecca's first time in a soap as she recently revealed she appeared on ITV's other flagship show Emmerdale as the daughter of Dales legend Bob Hope. She appeared in 2001 and 2006 as Carly Hope then in December 2014 it was revealed that Carly would be returning to Emmerdale and that former Hollyoaks star Gemma would be taking on the role which she did from 2015 to 2017.

And Rebecca has told OK! Magazine that she had an "amazing time" on the show and that "it would be great to go back." But when Rebecca made her debut in the Salford-based soap, fans quickly realised where they had seen her before.

Rebecca was in Shameless (Channel 4)

She played Debbie Gallagher in the gritty Manchester-based Channel Four comedy-drama Shameless from 2004 to 2009 and played the role from the age of 11.

From 2009 to 2011 she played pupil Vicki MacDonald in the Rochdale-based BBC One school-based drama Waterloo Road before playing hospital porter Gemma Dean in the BBC medical drama Casualty from 2017 to 2019.

But it's her role in Waterloo Road, which is set to return to screens this year, that already gave her a link to one of her Corrie co-stars. Rebecca actually worked with Tina O’Brien, who plays Sarah, before on the show.

She told us last year: "It’s lovely to get to work with Tina again because we worked together on Waterloo Road for a little bit and it’s really lovely to have Tina there. It makes it feel much more comfortable."

And Rebecca also worked on Channel 4 hit Shameless at the same time as Corrie star Sally Carman, who is now best known for playing Abi Webster - nee Franklin - in the ITV soap. But they're not the only familiar faces Rebecca may bump into on Corrie as her own brother is also on the soap.

Rebecca with her brother Jack James Ryan (Jack James Ryan/Instagram)

Jack James Ryan joined as Jacob Hay for a short stint last year but he recently made a return this year as he struck up a secret relationship with Amy Barlow which, of course, didn't stay secret for long.

"It’s so amazing to be working with Jack," Rebecca said last year. “That is another dream come true, to get to work with Jack at the same time on the same thing."

And last month, her younger brother was asked about working with his sister on Corrie and he had the sweetest response. "An absolute dream come true, we're super close outside of work so it's just like getting to work with your best mate," he said.

But he was also quick to defend his older sis as her character received backlash. Jack said: "Side note: I'm so proud of her, she'd been killing it on Corrie" Jack, 25, gushed. "I know first hand how hard it is for the fans to get behind the villains but she deserves all the love!!

Jack shared a throwback snap alongside his older siblings, Rebecca and Charlie (Jack James Ryan Instagram)

"If you hate Ludia then you know @rebeccaryan__ is doing an incredible job. She couldn't be any less like her character in real life, she is a literally angel lol."

Jack also shared a sweet throwback snap from his childhood with Rebecca and their other sibling, Charlie, who is also in the acting world.

He appeared in Hollyoaks as Paul for a number of episodes in 2019. The character was a member of Stuart Sumner's far right extremist organisation who recruited Channel 4 soap favourite Ste Hay. Charlie's also had roles in Children's Ward and Doctors.

While her character my not have had the best experiences in relationships, Rebecca is actually all loved-up with her fiance, British Airways pilot Dan Acraman.

Rebecca with her fiance Dan (Rebecca Ryan Instagram)

The couple got engaged in the summer of 2018 and Rebecca excitedly shared the news on her Instagram with a selfie of herself looking stunned with her hand over her mouth to show off her huge, sparkling engagement ring.

She said in the caption: "I said YES #nomorehints #ivejuststoppedcrying," but hasn't ever shared details of how Dan popped the question.

However, like many couples planning to wed in 2020, Rebecca and Dan hit a stumbling block due to the coronavirus pandemic and now the bride-to-be has recently said they're 'back to square one'.

Rebecca when she announced she was engaged in the summer of 2018 (Rebecca Ryan Instagram)

Posting a selfie on Instagram earlier this week from her stunning Manchester home, Rebecca wrote: "2nd time trying to plan my wedding!’ Rebecca wrote on social media. ‘The first one was cancelled due to Covid so we are back to square 1!"

Rebecca also spoke to Lorraine Kelly about her wedding plans during an appearance on her ITV show, confirming that organising the event has been difficult due to Covid.

"We were supposed to get married two years ago, but Covid hit,’ she told the presenter. "So we’re back to square one now really – looking for a venue because we couldn’t change the date. I’m hoping, we’re hoping to still get married this year, but we haven’t planned anything so I need to see how it goes and get on it really."

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