Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh has said it will break her heart when she sees former on-screen husband Roy Cropper with someone new – and is vetoing her co-star David Neilson’s choice of love interest.

Julie exited the ITV soap in January when her character Hayley Cropper, diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, took her own life with husband Roy (David) beside her.

The actress, who played Hayley for 16 years, said of leaving Coronation Street: “I love it when she’s mentioned, it’s my favourite thing when I’m watching and someone has a collection in Hayley’s memory.

“I’m sure at some point Roy will have to try and see someone again and I’m sure he’ll have Hayley’s blessing and they’ll have much discussion about that, so I’ll be very happy to live on in conversations in the street.”

On how she’d deal with seeing a new woman in Roy’s life, Julie admitted: “As Julie, it will kill me, I’ll find it very, very difficult, but I think Hayley would give him her blessing. I think she’d want him to live on, as long as it was someone nice.”

Asked who it was likely to be, she revealed: “Well, he’s after ruddy Liz McDonald, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, you ask him. He’s got his eye on her, keeps pitching it to the writers, they’re having none of it.”

David said of his character’s love life: “He’ll get into a relationship… Whether that’s a relationship in the accepted sense I don’t know.

“I just want to do interesting stories. I don’t mind if he builds himself a kalashnikov out of Meccano and takes half the street out, I’ll enjoy it.”

Julie is now working on Cucumber, a new Channel 4 drama from Russell T Davies, where she plays the sister of a gay man who has a disastrous date night.

She said: “It’s great and a lovely bunch of people, but it’s scary doing something else after 16 years. When you’re doing a drama you’re all new, so that’s nice, it’s not coming into something that’s long-established like Corrie, so at least you’re all in the same boat, but it’s terrifying.”

Julie and David won six British Soap Awards between them at the weekend, including Best On-Screen Partnership.


Press Association