Lisa Maxwell has revealed she was almost cast as Rovers Return landlady Stella Price in Coronation Street.

The Loose Women presenter and former star of The Bill told The People she auditioned for the role in April and was very keen to work behind the bar in the ITV soap, but lost out to Ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins.

Lisa said: “I have turned down other things, but the chance of being on Corrie was too good an opportunity to miss. When I first started acting my grandparents said to me, ‘You know you’ve made it when you’re landlady of the Rovers’. So I couldn’t really not go for it! I had to do it for them.

“I had an audition and a screen test, I even filmed scenes behind the bar of the Rovers. The decision was made by several different people and I know some of them wanted me and some wanted Michelle Collins.

“It just wasn’t meant to be me. Michelle is great and I’m really pleased for her after she got it. I wanted it, but leaving my family would have been hard, I know.”

Michelle, who like Lisa is from London, joined Coronation Street in June as Stella and has come under tough scrutiny for her northern accent.

Meanwhile, Lisa insists she is now happy co-presenting daytime chat show Loose Women on ITV.

She said: “I’ve turned down a lot of other TV roles because I wouldn’t want to give it up. I went from working 14 hour days, six days a week on The Bill to this. It couldn’t be better.

“It’s live and we finish at 1.30pm so I can be home in time to pick up my daughter Beau from school without her noticing I’ve been gone. What other job could be that good?”