Sally Lindsay says she found it hard to get out of the shadow of Shelley Unwin and get back into comedy again when she left Coronation Street.

The 38-year-old actress, who played troubled barmaid Shelley in the soap until 2006, said she needed a ‘huge part’ before people would see her as anything else but her Weatherfield alter-ego.

Sally had a number of dramatic storylines during her time on Coronation Street, mainly because of Shelley’s bad taste in men. She had a failed marriage to bigamist Peter Barlow, before viewers watched her suffer at the hands of her abusive and manipulative boyfriend Charlie Stubbs.

“I wanted to get back into comedy and that wasn’t going to happen with Shelley because she’d turned into this very dramatic character,” Sally said. “Don’t get me wrong, this was fabulous – but I wanted to get back to what I started out for really.”

Sally has struggled to shake off the serious character that made her a household name, despite roles voicing villain Piella Bakewell in Wallace and Gromit’s A Matter Of Loaf And Death and the tea lady in Reggie Perrin.

“You are Shelley until you get the next huge part on television,” she said.

Mount Pleasant, a Sky1 comedy drama set in a wealthy cul-de-sac in Manchester, may just provide her with that part.

Sally plays Lisa, a mishap-prone thirty-something who’s happily married and family-orientated.

“I see quite a lot of myself in her,” said Sally. “My mum does a lot for me, as Lisa’s does, and I really love my partner [Paul Weller drummer Steve White]. I don’t think I’m quite as spoilt as Lisa, but my mum would probably disagree…”

Mount Pleasant begins on Sky1 on Wednesday August 24.