Entertainment & Arts

Michelle Collins joins Coronation Street

Michelle Collins
Image caption Michelle Collins is currently playing Fred Dibnah's wife on stage in Bolton

Michelle Collins, who played Cindy Beale in EastEnders, is to join rival soap Coronation Street, playing the new landlady of the Rovers Return pub.

Collins appeared in the BBC One show for a decade until 1998.

As Stella, she will step behind the bar of the Rovers Return with on-screen husband Karl, played by Taggart actor John Michie.

Their first scenes will be filmed in May and screened the following month.

Collins is currently playing Fred Dibnah's wife in a stage play about the late TV steeplejack at the Bolton Octagon.

She said: "I am honoured to be joining the cast of Coronation Street. The show has been part of my life since I was a child so to become a part of it is extremely exciting."

Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "Of course Michelle's soap credentials are superb and in the same way she made Cindy Beale one of EastEnders' most memorable bitches, I am certain she is going to be fantastic as the warm, funny, steely, flawed and larger than life northern matriarch Stella."

She joins a select band of actors who have had roles in the UK's two most popular soaps.

Ian Reddington, who played Richard Cole, AKA Tricky Dicky, in EastEnders, went on to star as Vernon Tomlin in Coronation Street.

Jill Halfpenny played nurse Rebecca Hopkins in Coronation Street before switching to become Phil Mitchell's wife Kate in EastEnders.

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