If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…

Coronation Street star Sally Carman has revealed that she spent years trying to break into the soap, before finally landing the part of Abi Franklin.

The actress, who previously appeared in the likes of Prisoner’s Wives and Shameless, joined the show last year and was cherry-picked to play the troubled mum.

Abi collapses in Coronation Street

Sally Carman enjoys some dramatic scenes in Coronation Street next week when Abi collapses

Reveals Sally: “I got a phone call offering me six episodes. I didn’t have to audition and I, of course, said yes. But there has been legwork put in before then. I had something like ten screen tests over the years for different parts.

“Shona was one of the roles I auditioned for, as was Faye Brookes’ character Kate Connor. And Hayley Tamaddon’s character (Andrea Beckett); I was up for that as well. But Abi was worth waiting for.

“Gennie Radcliffe (Coronation Street’s Casting Director) has been my biggest supporter. She’s worked so hard to try and get me on the show over the years. She finally managed it, and this character is by far the best fit for me.”

The actress was speaking ahead of huge drama for Abi, who was recently fired from her job at Kevin Webster’s garage after being wrongly accused of sabotaging Michelle Connor’s car. Next week, the former drug addict spirals out of control and has a relapse, and then finds out that the real saboteur was her so-called best friend Tracy Barlow.

Things go from bad to worse when she’s told that due to her relapse, her contact with young twins Charlie and Lexi – who are currently in care – has been suspended, and she makes the sad decision to put the pair up for adoption.

To add to her woes, eldest son Seb then trashes the florists. Wanting to protect the teen, Abi steals money from the cash till so that the police will think she’s the criminal, and subsequently gets sent to prison for 16 weeks.

Adds Sally: “I’ve always said that Corrie is a show for women; they write so brilliantly for women. As distressing as it is for Abi, it’s fabulous for me. She’s trying so hard to sort herself out, but things keep cropping up.

“She’s an actor’s dream and I genuinely pinch myself coming into work. I cannot believe that I get to be on the best show on television and also get to play such a fantastic character.

“To be laughing one minute with characters like Steve and Tyrone, then be sobbing my heart out the next with Tracy; it’s brilliant. I’m just so lucky!”