Julie Hesmondhalgh says the Croppers’ quiet life will be rocked by the arrival of Roy’s ‘fierce’ mother, played by Stephanie Cole, in Coronation Street.

Hayley will apparently struggle to stand up to Stephanie’s character.

Julie revealed: “There’s a cat amongst the pigeons once again – just when you get a bit of peace and quiet and normality back, Roy’s mum comes into the equation and she’s quite fierce.”

The soap star admitted shy, eager-to-please Hayley is no match for her mother-in-law.

She laughed: “Oh no! I don’t think so. She’s trying to build the bridges in her usual well-meaning way, between mother and son and I don’t think either of them particularly welcome it.

“I think it’s going to be really good fun. We’re always at our best when they throw a random third party into our relationship. We’ve had a few of those and it’s always great. It keeps it fresh for us as well.”

Julie and David Neilson, who plays Roy, have just started filming the scenes with 69-year-old Waiting For God star Stephanie, and fortunately she is not like her character.

Julie revealed: “She’s lovely, she’s really nice. She’s a legend isn’t she – I used to watch her in [TV drama] Tenko when I was a little girl and all sorts and she’s absolutely fantastic and just a really warm and lovely person – so that was a relief.”