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Ex-EastEnder Jessie Wallace for new Corrie drama

Jessie Wallace

Story by Jack Foley

FORMER EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace is to star in a new drama about the birth of rival soap Coronation Street, the BBC has announed.

Wallace, who played Kat in EastEnders, will portray Pat Phoenix, who starred as Elsie Tanner from the early days of the soap.

She will join a strong ensemble cast, including Lynda Baron as Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) and Celia Imrie as Doris Speed (Annie Walker), in the drama, which is due to air on BBC Four later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the long-running soap.

The drama, being filmed in Manchester, will tell the story of how Coronation Street creator Tony Warren (to be played by David Dawson) first brought his characters to the small screen in 1960.

Warren has served as a consultant on the drama, while current Coronation Street scribe Daran Little has contributed to the script.

The cast is further rounded out by acclaimed actress Jane Horrocks, who will play Granada’s casting director at the time (Margaret Morris), and former Cold Feet star John Thomson, who recently appeared in Coronation Street.

In a particularly nice touch, the soap’s longest-serving cast member, William Roache, will be played by his son James.

ITV studios is making the drama for the BBC, which will form part of the Great Northern season on BBC Four this autumn.