How Sarah Lancashire began her TV acting stardom as a Coronation Street legend

Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire picked up the Special Recognition gong at the 2023 National Television Awards yesterday.

While picking up the award, she name-checked her time on Britain’s longest-running soap, Coronation Street.

Speaking to the press, Sarah said: ‘When I was in Coronation Street, we had a phenomenal writing team in the ’90s and every soap evolves every decade, and my decade was blessed with Paul Abbott, Sally Wainwright [and] Frank Cottrell-Boyce’.

She described the soap as one of the ‘best training schools in the world’, saying the ‘calibre of people that you’re working with and in such immediate fashion is extraordinary.’

But just who did Sarah Lancashire play in Coronation Street?

Read on to find out.

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Who was Sarah Lancashire character in Coronation Street?

Sarah Lancashire played Raquel Wolstenhulme (later surname Watts), who regularly appeared on the show between 1991 and 1996.

Raquel first appeared in Coronation Street on January 23, 1991, and made her final appearance on January 2, 2000.

Spending a lot of time pulling pints behind the Rover’s Return Inn bar, Raquel’s ultimate ambition was to become a model, even managing the occasional job.

The barmaid would become the first wife of Curly Watts after ending her on/off-again relationship with the ever-cheating lover, Des Barnes.

However, Raquel and Curly’s relationship was never particularly stable, and Raquel would ultimately leave Weathfield to take up an aromatherapy job in Kuala Lumpur.

She would later give birth to their daughter, Alice Watts, while abroad.

It was eventually revealed that Raquel had settled in France, working as the housekeeper of Armand de Beaux.

Raquel would briefly return to Weatherfield in 2000 to ask Curly for a divorce, tell him of his daughter’s existence, and reveal she was now pregnant with Armand’s baby.

Sarah Lancashire concluded her remarks about Coronation Street at the NTAs by saying she was ‘very proud of my four years in Coronation Street.

‘I was terribly lucky to work with extraordinary people.’

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