Corrie star Katie McGlynn on her character Sinead’s cancer secret and the challenge of playing her latest heavy storyline.
Soapland sure is a cruel place. Mere days after Sinead Tinker tied the knot with Daniel Osbourne in Corrie, her world came crashing down as doctors revealed that she had cervical cancer.
It was a devastating diagnosis that the pregnant knicker-stitcher kept from her husband, but when Sinead collapses in next Monday night’s episode of Corrie, Daniel finally learns the truth about his wife’s illness. He’s in turmoil, especially when he discovers that Sinead is refusing treatment for the sake of their unborn child.
We caught up with star Katie McGlynn, 25, to talk about Sinead’s difficult road ahead…
How does Sinead feel when Daniel finds out about her diagnosis?
“She’s heartbroken, because she knows that Daniel is going to be heartbroken over the fact she has hidden it from him. But also, a big part of her feels compromised because Daniel wants to get involved, which is his right, and she’s just thinking about what is best for her child. Her maternal instincts have taken over.”
Daniel talks Sinead into having a form of mild chemotherapy that won’t harm their baby – but she secretly stops the treatment after one session. Why?
“She feels she has been pushed into it. And when she’s going through it, it’s the thought of what it could be doing to her child. Even though the likelihood is that the baby will be okay, there’s still that tiny chance that he or she could be harmed. So she feels guilty for having it, and then guilty for stopping it.”
What was your first reaction when you were given this storyline?
“I was over the moon! It’s every actor’s dream to get their teeth into something juicy and be challenged like this. So I was upset for Sinead but happy for Katie!”
You’ve spoken to people who this has happened to in real life, through the charity Mummy’s Star. What was that experience like?
“ I almost felt not worthy when I spoke to them. I’m just a little actress playing a part, but for those people, it was real. So it was really eye-opening and really upsetting. The founder of Mummy’s Star, Pete Wallroth, lost his wife to cancer, and that’s how the charity came about. He’s such a strong-willed person who’s trying to make a difference and be there for women and their families who are in the same position as his wife was in. When he told me his own story, I was welling up.
“Before I did this storyline, I assumed cancer was something that happened to older people, not young people – and especially not young women who were pregnant. It never occurred to me that some women have had to go through the heart-breaking decision of choosing between themselves and their baby.”
Next week, there’s a special four-hander episode featuring Sinead, Daniel, Peter and Ken. What was that like to film?
“We all really enjoyed it; it was fun to be a part of a unique thing like that. I think Sinead works well with the Barlows, and I love working with them all. We did a full read through beforehand, which we don’t normally do, so it felt like doing a little project.”
The Barlows are arguably the biggest family in Coronation Street. Does it feel like a step up for you to now be a part of that family?
“I guess it does, because the Barlows are so iconic. It is really cool and I love working with Bill Roache (Ken); he’s a legend. His professionalism is amazing. I don’t know how he’s managing to still be a brilliant actor at his age; he’s an inspiration. I love being around people like him and Chris Gascoyne (Peter). I love talking to Bill about his life and how Corrie started, and what it was like back in the old days.”
We don’t know the outcome of this storyline. What would you personally like to happen?
“Sinead is such a nice person and so lovely, and all she wants is to have a happy family. So for her sake, I hope she’s going to be okay. But we do live in a world where tragedies happen, and sometimes you’ve got to see it. This happens, and life’s not fair. And I always find things like this happen to the nicest people.”
Don’t miss the double-bill of Coronation Street on Monday 29th October from 7:30pm on ITV.