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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

ITV Coronation Street's Jodie Prenger on why she 'scared people' when she found out about soap role

Coronation Street's newest star Jodie Prenger has revealed why she 'scared people' when she discovered she had landed a role on the ITV soap. The theatre actress and singer, who shot to fame as the winner of BBC TV series I'd Do Anything, has fulfilled a life-long dream of appearing on the cobbles.

She'll make her debut in the long-running soap next week as Glenda, the 'fun and sassy' sister of George Shuttleworth, played by Tony Maudsley, who made his first appearance in Weatherfield back in 2020. And his on-scree family is set to grow when Glenda arrives to save the day.

Jodie will be seen coming to his rescue when a dinner cooked by Sean Tully leads to disaster when he breaks his tooth and delays going to the dentist as a funeral comes first. Later, George arrives at the undertakers for Mr Pugh’s funeral and reveals that he has taken Eileen’s strong painkillers to ease his toothache but Todd realises he’s as high as a kite. Todd shoves George into one of the funeral cars. As Mrs Pugh gives Todd the third degree.

READ MORE: ITV Coronation Street's Bill Fellows shares what soap legend Bill Roache said to him in 'iconic' moment

Then, George’s sister, Glenda, arrives and clocking George asleep in the back of the funeral car, quickly takes charge of the proceedings. As Glenda, Todd and Sean celebrate how well the funeral went, George arrives ad he’s thrilled to see his sister and introduces Glenda to Eileen.

Speaking about how the role came about, Jodie told the Manchester Evening News and other press: "There was always a bit of talk but we did a show in Manchester called Hushabye Mountain with Jonathan Harvey and that's when the talks really started but then there was a phone call, [with] a lot of tears, that there was this part of Glenda. It was just amazing."

This means that Jodie didn't have to go through the nerves of screen testing for the part as it was created with her in mind. "It's a good job," she laughed. "Because whenever I've really wanted something so bad, I always mess up the audition like you wouldn't believe.

Jodie makes her debut on the cobbles as Glenda (ITV)

"So I'm grateful in a way but I did meet with Iain [MacLeod - Corrie's producer] prior to everything going. I know I sound like a competition winner but it's just brilliant."

And getting the role came with a very big reaction in probably one of the least ideal places. "I swear to god, I must have petrified about 30-odd people at Ikea. I was with my mum at the checkout and my agent, Michelle, called and I came out and Michelle said, 'We've got the offer for Corrie,' and I screamed, and I cried.

"These people... one woman nearly dropped her cactus. And then my mum came out, she started crying and then went back in to get some meatless meatballs for me but that's another story," Jodie laughed. "I wanted to tell the world but I knew I couldn't tell anyone and I think that was the hardest thing. But yeah, I think I scared a lot of people in Ikea that day."

One of Jodie's first scenes is in the iconic Rovers (ITV)

Jodie's family have always been big Corrie fans and discussing their reaction, the 43-year-old said: "My family are from Manchester, all from Moss Side and they used to have a laundrette and a cafe shop and my Nan's brother used to deliver Pat Phoenix's groceries." Getting tearful, Jodie added: "My nan, Terry Doyle, she worshiped Elsie Tanner.

"I think when your family have loved something for so long, it genuinely is an honour to be part of a constitution and a family. That's genuinely what it has felt like coming in. It's just a big, operating, lovely family and it's very, very special to me." She added: "On my first day I remember driving up to the gates at ITV and it felt like I was at MGM Studios. It was amazing. I didn’t need a trip to Disney World. I was already here!"

Some of Jodie's first scenes are in the iconic Rovers Return and it stirred up the emotions inside the actress. "My very first scene was in the Rovers and I got ready really early, not because I wanted to be there, just because I was scared I didn't turn up on time," she told us before adding: "I could feel the tears start to come down my face. You don’t realise the effect it has. It was a really special moment."

And meeting some of the soap's longest-serving cast members didn't come without its nerves for Jodie. “I have just met Bill Roache and I don’t know what I did with my body but it was like half a curtsy and I went to do a shake," she shared about meeting the legendary Ken Barlow actor. !It just didn’t work out and I just made a bit of a weirdo of myself but he was so lovely."


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