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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Katie Fitzpatrick

ITV Corrie fans seeing double when Bernie Winter meets her doppleganger - and she's been in the soap before

Coronation Street viewers will be seeing double next week when Bernie Winter finds herself face to face with her doppleganger. It will be a case of double trouble for Bernie when her lookalike Fern tries to rope the cafe worker into some dodgy antics.

Corrie actress Jane Hazlegrove, who has played Gemma Winter and Paul Foreman's mum since 2019, came up with the idea of Bernie having a double after she and former Brookside and Blackadder actress Gabrielle Glaister were constantly mistaken for each other. She mentioned the possible storyline to writer Jonathan Harvey and the Bernie/Fern mirror image plot was developed with Gabrielle cast as Fern.

Jane, who previously played the role of Kathleen 'Dixie' Dixon in the BBC hospital drama Casualty, has revealed that the pair look so similar that some of their Coronation Street colleagues have even stopped Gabrielle, who played Patricia Farnham in the Channel Four soap Brookside, in the corridor to chat thinking it was her.


She said: “I mentioned this idea to Jonathan a while ago. Gabby and I are constantly mistaken for each other with people saying they have seen one of us in something when it was the other one.

"We have often laughed about it together but then I started thinking it might be fun to have her in the show as Bernie’s secret twin or a doppelganger. I was so chuffed when they told me that they had devised this storyline and that Gabby was on board."

A lady calls at number 5 claiming Bernie has tried stealing her posh jacket (ITV)

She added: "Shortly after I had heard that we were doing the story, I was at the Soap Awards and someone who used to work with Gabby started talking to me thinking I was her. The actor was mortified when I pointed out who I was but of course I don’t mind being mistaken for Gabby, it is a huge compliment and secretly I was thinking ‘that’s brilliant, this storyline is going to work so well’.”

Gabrielle said: "Jane and I have been mistaken for each other for years and years. Me constantly denying that I was in Casualty, Jane insisting that she wasn’t in Brookside! Or people congratulating me on my performance in something I wasn’t in because it was Jane being brilliant."

She added: "A very good friend of mine texted me last week to say he caught a bit of Corrie and thought I was very good. I pointed out that I wasn’t on screen yet!! When they approached me with the storyline It seemed like fate! What they’ve written is so clever and I’m having a ball working with Jane.”

Gabrielle, pictured with Denise Welch as Natalie Barnes, played her sister Debs (Granada Television)

And avid soap fans will recognise Gabrielle for her previous role on Coronation Street. She played Debs Brownlow, the sister of Natalie Horrocks played by Denise Welch, back in 2000.

Debs was reunited with Natalie after working on cruise ships and stayed for nine months, working as a hairdresser at Audrey Roberts' salon. The character left the cobbles after she dumped former Rovers Return boss Duggie Ferguson and ran off with Natalie's ex-boyfriend Vinny Sorrell.

The Bernie and Fern plotline starts on Friday August 26 with a mix-up about a parcel collection. Bernie is collecting a new school uniform for Gemma's stepson Joseph when she is given a parcel for Fern by a shop assistant who mistakes her for the other woman.

Fern arrives at the house demanding her parcel and accusing Bernie of theft. The women are struck by how alike they are and the following week Fern offers Bernie a dodgy way of earning some money.


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