Katy Cavanagh as Julie Carp (2011)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Katy Cavanagh|
|First appearance||25 April 2008|
|Introduced by||Kim Crowther|
|Home||14a Victoria Street|
Julie Carp (previously Jones) is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by actress Katy Cavanagh. The character debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 25 April 2008 and was originally introduced as a new girlfriend of established character Kirk Sutherland (Andrew Whyment) and in a later storyline she was revealed to be Eileen Grimshaw's (Sue Cleaver) half-sister.
Creation and development
During an interview with media website Digital Spy, Cavanagh spoke about the rise of her character into the main storylines during 2009, providing further insight into how her character's personality was panning out, stating: "It's taken me a year but I've been quite lucky because I crept in at the back and pottered around for a bit, finding my feet. I was definitely ready to get my teeth into something. I'm so chuffed with it. I've loved it. It's nice to show a different side to Julie and discover what's behind her slightly manic positivity." During the same interview she also commented on her character being a lonely woman because of all the events of the past year.
In mid-2009, Cavanagh spoke about her character in more depth, saying: "Three words to describe Julie - sparkly, romantic and sagacious", going on to say "I don't think anything irritates me about Julie, erm, I couldn't play her if anything irritated me, she does talk a lot so sometimes I'm completely knackered by the end of the day of playing Julie and I just want to go home and moan for an hour" and also that "My favourite quality about Julie is her sense of kind of fun and her irrepressible kind of joy, I love playing that".
The character of Julie Carp was initially introduced as love interest of established character Kirk Sutherland's (Andrew Whyment). Julie became a "permanent fixture" in the serial and was soon developed into the roles of a machinist and later a supervisor at the Underworld factory. In another storyline Julie has a pregnancy scare. In an "emotional" episode Kirk finds her pregnancy test with Julie under the impression that she was pregnant. A spokesperson for Coronation Street said that Kirk would have been one of the show's most unlikely fathers and would have doted on their child.
In 2009 producers decided to put Julie at the forefront of storylines. They separated her from Kirk and cast Sharon Duce to play her mother Paula Carp; who was introduced on a temporary basis to accommodate one particular storyline. Coronation Street's producer Kim Crowther had previously told Kris Green of Digital Spy of her intentions to implement a storyline which would connect the characters of Julie, Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver) and Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox).
In February 2009, Sara Nathan of The Sun revealed that Julie would have sex with Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) and then discover that they are related. The serial's spokesperson told Nathan that the pair are "horrified" when they discover the fact. The Daily Star later ran a story revealing that Jason's grandfather, Colin Grimshaw (Edward de Souza), is Julie's biological father. Julie and Jason get drunk together after both splitting from their partners and Julie accompanies Jason back to his home where the situation becomes passionate. A spokesperson said that they do not realise they are doing any harm because they are "both adults and both single". The revelation of Julie's paternity leaves the pair "horrified" and "rocked to the core". They also said that "Colin confesses to gob-smacked drinkers in the Rovers Return that he took advantage of daughter Eileen’s 14-year-old school pal Paula Carp and got her pregnant." The publication's columnist stated that they knew whether or not Julie and Jason had sex, but Coronation Street wanted to keep it a secret until transmission.
Crowther told Green that they planned to keep Julie involved in Eileen's storylines. She added that Julie wants to be part of the Grimshaw family and "she's not going to let Eileen forget it".
Commenting on the character's keen attitude towards not being single actress Katy Cavanagh said: "She's lonely and I'm sure she'd rip the head off of any man that comes within five miles of her." Going on to say that although her character was no longer with Kirk Sutherland she also commented on their closeness and the fact they still live together so it is like nothing has changed.
In January 2012, it was announced that Julie was to fall pregnant later in the year. The baby is suspected to be her partner Brian Packham's (Peter Gunn) but he is convinced that Julie cheated on him. Canavagh predicted that it will be "chaotic" when Julie becomes a mother. In an interview with Inside Soap, Cavanagh commented: "Julie will be ridiculous. She'll take everything people tell her literally. It will drive her sister Eileen absolutely mad. Julie will work hard at being a mum, but it'll be quite chaotic. She'll probably end up leaving the child in the supermarket! She'll adore her baby, though - it won't be left wanting in the love department." Brian initially wonders whether the baby is his as he had a vasectomy some time ago and failed to tell Julie. Cavanagh commented "She and Brian have been talking loads about having a child together, and he's seemed really into the idea. The viewers may have been aware that he's been looking a little bit shifty about the whole thing - but Julie hasn't noticed that anything's wrong."
After discovering that Julie is pregnant, Brian accuses her of having an affair because he has had a vasectomy. While speaking on This Morning, Cavanagh revealed her character is unaware of why Brian is not as excited about the pregnancy as she is. The actress said "Obviously they've been trying extremely hard to make babies! It's going to completely knock her for six." The couple visit Matt Carter (Oliver Mellor) at the medical centre looking for an explanation. Doctor Carter reveals that a vasectomy is not always 100% effective. When asked if Julie would forgive Brian, Cavanagh quipped "It's all going to come alright in the end, but Brian's really hurt her." The actress added that Julie has "a lovely goldfish kind of memory".
It was later announced that Julie would have a problematic pregnancy. Cavanagh told Alison Slade from TVTimes that having a baby is "the only thing that really matters" to Julie as it is "the biggest thing in her life". The character's issues develop when she attends her twelve-week scan. A Coronation Street representative told Laura Jayne-Tyler from Inside Soap that Julie and Brian are "quite nervous" prior to the scan but "bubbling over with excitement" about seeing their baby. When the scan takes place, Julie's nurse calls in a consultant and they run some tests. Julie is later told some "terrible news" about her pregnancy that requires emergency treatment. The representative added that Julie is "crumbling inside" and she attempts to keep a "brave face" - but the prognosis that she has been given "is simply unimaginable to her". While Brian acts as Julie's "tower of strength" throughout her ordeal.
Julie's early storylines mainly revolved around her relationship with Kirk. Eileen strikes up a conversation with Julie when they both ran outside after Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) crashes her car into Underworld. Julie says that she is getting fed up of her partner Kirk, because he is unemployed and not doing anything about it. Julie's boss, Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien), puts her in an awkward position at work, as he tells her to sack one of the seamstresses, who are also her friends, though as supervisor, Tony feels it is necessary to step up to her role more effectively. Tony carries on bullying Julie into sacking one of her friends until she decides to stand up for herself. Tony then tells her she will be sacked unless she does the task in hand. She is later saved by newcomer Luke Strong (Craig Kelly) who tells her that her job was safe and undermines Tony.
Julie's relationship with Kirk begins to strain. She has a pregnancy scare, which is confirmed to be negative much to her delight. Julie confesses to Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh) that she needs a real man and that she has fallen out of love with Kirk so soon dumps him. Eileen pesters Julie by asking her about her mother Paula because Eileen and her were friends at school. Following her split from Kirk, Julie begins to show an interest in Eileen's son Jason. The pair get drunk in the Rovers and head back to Jason's for a night of passion, little knowing that they are blood-related. At Colin's 70th party at The Rovers a few days later, Paula comes in drunk, urging Julie to stop seeing Jason. She then reveals that Julie and Eileen are half-sisters. A few days later, Julie is horrified to discover that Colin has suffered a stroke. Determined to get to know her father, she goes to visit him in hospital. When he later dies of a heart attack, she is distraught, and devastated that she hadn't had a chance to know him.
Julie starts to work with Eileen's boyfriend Jesse Chadwick (John Thomson) in his child entertainment venues, however, when a paranoid Eileen finds out, she forbids him to see Julie, even though they briefly still work together secretly before calling it quits. After a strain in Eileen and Jesse's relationship, Jesse kisses Julie saying he has feelings for her. A guilty Julie later tells Eileen about this in The Rovers and both sisters chase him out of The Rovers and away from the Street. Julie and Eileen then bond and promise to make a fresh start on their new-found relationship. Julie meets Brian Packham (Peter Gunn) and they are both instantly smitten. Fiz Brown's (Jennie McAlpine) husband John Stape (Graeme Hawley) worries that Brian will uncover his identity fraud. They inform Brian's wife, who then interrupts Julie and Brian's date, telling Julie that she is still married to Brian. John and Fiz then tell Brian's wife that Julie is mentally unstable and harassing Brian. She decides to take Brian back, breaking Julie's heart. Julie helps Eileen break in Owen Armstrong's (Ian Puleston-Davies) builder's yard to obtain his fixed accounts and documents, to use as a counter blackmail against Owen's threats towards Eileen who cashed a £10,000.00 cheque for Owen into her own account. Julie then discovers that she is related to Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) as his mother Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) was the first cousin to her father Colin's father, Arnley Grimshaw. When John's secrets are revealed, Julie decides that she wants to see Brian again. While on a date, Julie gets drunk and accuses Brian of flirting with Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley). Despite their following encounters also being awkward, Dennis and Eileen force the pair to talk and they begin a relationship.
Julie becomes pregnant but Brian had a vasectomy and suspects Julie of having an affair. Tests reveal that Julie is not pregnant and a growth led to a positive pregnancy test. Julie has to have her ovaries removed leaving her unable to have children. Julie later becomes good friends with Kirsty Soames (Natalie Gumede). But she is domestically abusing Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall). Julie defends Kirsty on a number of occasions even compromising her own friendship with Fiz. Julie becomes suspicious of Kirsty's behaviour, but upon confronting her, Julie is slapped across the face. Julie realises that Kirsty is the one abusing Tyrone and tries to save plead his innocence. Julie decides she would like to foster children to fill the void in her life. She talks a reluctant Brian into the idea. The pair meet with a foster care system official and Julie is delighted to be informed she is an ideal candidate. Brian tells Julie that the fostering application has been declined, unaware he withdrew the application. Her nephew, Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) tells Julie that Brian does not want to foster and secured a job in Wales. Julie ends her relationship with Brian and is upset. But he attempts to change her mind and join him in Wales. When she discovers that he withdrew the adoption application she orders him to leave her alone. Brian then leaves for Wales without Julie. Julie later misses Brian and is really upset he has left.
When Dennis returns to Weatherfield after some time away, Julie allows him to live with her. Dennis then comes up with a plan to get back together with his wife, Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox). The plan is that Dennis and Julie stage a public argument which ends in Julie throwing Dennis out onto the streets, as Dennis knows that Rita has a kind heart and that she will take him in. Julie is unsure of the plan, but goes along with it for Dennis' sake. A few weeks after their staged argument, Rita's friend and Dennis' enemy, Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden), is caught moaning about Dennis in The Rovers, so Julie accidentally lets slip about Dennis' plan. Norris informs Rita of this, who confronts Julie. When Rita ends her marriage to Dennis, he storms into The Kabin and confronts Norris, leading to an argument. The argument results in Dennis punching Norris in the face, causing him to fall over. Rita enters just as this is happening, and also witnesses Dennis taking money from the till. She physically throws Dennis out of The Kabin for punching Norris. Dennis then sadly bids farewell to Julie before leaving Weatherfield for the last time.
A columnist for the Daily Mirror opined that Julie "is not everyone’s cup of tea" because she has a habit of talking too much. She owns a "wacky wardrobe" complete with a "ditsy demeanour". They added that people would not normally think that this "chatterbox" is considered as a "sex symbol". Colin Robertson of The Sun branded Julie as a "batty knicker-stitcher" and a "fruit loop", while the Daily Star's Peter Dyke and Katie Begley said that Julie is just "wacky". Kate Woodward of Inside Soap said that Julie was an unsung character that made the year 2010 in soap opera, "a joy to watch".
Sara Nathan of The Sun said that Jason and Julie's "drunken romp" was the most bizarre love plot ever featured in Coronation Street. Kris Green of Digital Spy said that he was taken aback by the "standout performances" during the revelation that Colin was Julie's father. He added that Cavanagh and Duce's "outstanding performances" made "compelling viewing". A columnist for Holy Soap said Julie's most memorable moment was discovering that Colin was her father.
Inside Soap's Woodward later said that Julie had "been on the shelf for so long she was in danger of hitting her sell-by date". She hoped that Julie would stay with Brian because they had "the makings of a classic couple". A fellow columnist for the magazine said that after "months of mixed messages and ruined chances", they did not think Julie and her "Mr Darcy in a cardigan" would ever get together. Jaci Stephen of the Daily Mail said that she really liked Julie and that her partnership with Brian had the "makings of another great Street duo". On Julie's style, Stephen said that a headband which Julie sported appeared like a "comatose Labrador" was "stalking her head". Stephen's Mirror colleague, Georgina Littlejohn said that since her arrival in Coronation Street; Julie has not had any luck with her love life. She added that through Brian, "love has at last found" Julie and it was "boosted by an alien invasion". While Nadia Mendoza said that the couple's "extraterrestrial shenanigans led to some rather risqué activity". In August 2014 Coronations Street viewers are in for a treat as on the 1st September episode local shop owner Dev Alahan proposes to Julie in a complete plot twist to their encounter at the gym the previous week.
Julie appeared in a stage adaptation of the serial, entitled Coronation Street: Street of Dreams in May 2012. Julie filled the pivotal role of the "Angel of the North"; who guided Paul O'Grady through fifty years of storylines. Cavanagh said that the prospect of playing Julie on stage was "very exciting".
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- Character profile at itv.com
- Character profile at STV
- Character profile at TVNZ
- Character profile at What's on TV
- Character profile at Holy Soap
- Character profile at the Internet Movie Database