Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh has said that she thinks her screen alter ego Hayley Cropper and husband Roy get some of the soap’s best stories.

The 41-year-old, who plays transsexual Hayley, thinks the eccentric but much loved characters keep the soap on its toes.

“Because nobody else would have them, the scriptwriters have got to be a bit imaginative with us,” Julie said.

“They can’t just keep splitting us up and sending us off and having affairs and having children and things.

“They’ve got to be a bit more imaginative, so it’s great – it works out good for us.”

The pair’s marriage is set to be put to the test with the arrival on the street of Roy’s mother – played by veteran actress Stephanie Cole – but Julie said she is positive the couple will stay strong despite the challenges they may face.

“I really, really, really hope Roy and Hayley stay together,” Julie admitted.

“I’ve said this before, but they are, despite how unusual they are as people, they are the most conservative couple on the Street really. And you need that. You need a couple of people who just love each other and stay together through thick and thin.”