Helen Flanagan as Rosie Webster (2012)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Emma Collinge (1990–99)
Helen Flanagan (2000–12)
|First appearance||25 December 1990|
|Last appearance||10 February 2012|
|Introduced by||Mervyn Watson|
|Book appearances||Coronation Street:
The Complete Saga
Knights Tale (2010)
Just Rosie (2011)
Personal assistant (2007–2008)
Reality TV Star (2012)
Rosie Webster is a fictional character from the British television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. The character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 25 December 1990. Originally portrayed by actress Emma Collinge from her birth until December 1999, the character has since been portrayed by actress Helen Flanagan in episodes airing from 23 January 2000 onwards. Flanagan took a three-month break in Summer 2011, and returned on 26 September 2011. The character departed the show on 10 February 2012, leaving to make a reality television show.
A character that viewers saw born in the soap, Rosie's birth was part of the Coronation Street Christmas storyline in 1990. She was the first baby born to long-running couple Kevin and Sally Webster (Michael Le Vell and Sally Dynevor). Rosie was the first of two Christmas births featured that year, as Gail McIntyre (then Platt) gave birth to her son David Platt the next day. The character's name is taken from the fictional street she was born on, Rosamund Street.
Since Rosie was 10 days old, for most of her pre-teen years, the character was played by child actress Emma Collinge. She played Rosie in various minor storylines, most notably portraying the effect that parental separation has upon a child, leading to a spell as a school bully. In January 2000, the press announced that Collinge would be departing the serial "to devote more time to gymnastics". "Budding actress" Helen Flanagan was recast in the role. Nine-year-old Flanagan, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, joined the soap on 23 January 2000. At the time, Flanagan told the media that she was "thrilled" with her casting. Flanagan discovered she had been chosen just a few days before Christmas Eve 1999, but she was not permitted to reveal this to anyone for two weeks. In 2000, her mother Julia Flanagan commented, "She was really thrilled to get the part and she was bursting to tell people but she just couldn't. The Coronation Street people had asked us not to tell anyone, so we had to keep quiet. The hardest bit for Helen was not telling her grandad because he's such a fan of the programme. When he did find out, he was absolutely thrilled. She is loving every minute. She's met most of the cast and is still very excited about it all."
Personality and identity
When portrayed by actress Emma Collinge Rosie's appearance was that of a normal young child with unstyled, tied up hair. In 2005, the character tried carving herself an identity by going through a goth phase, dressing in black, wearing black make-up and dying her hair jet black. The storyline was part of Rosie's romance with Craig Harris (Richard Fleeshman), with both characters spending afternoons in Rosie's bedroom listening to a Dutch metal band called 'Stench of Death' and counting down the days to the apocalypse". Flanagan commented on about her character's favourite band sums her character up, at the time of 'the goth stage' stating: "I hate all that Goth music such as Marilyn Manson and HIM that Rosie seems to like. Her favourite rock band are called Stench Of Death -that says it all.
In 2008, Flanagan revealed to The Mirror that she disliked her character's goth attire: "I’m used to being a goth, seeing as I had to dress as one as Rosie for so long. It was all so unflattering - really unfeminine, long black skirts down to the floor and horrible jackets." She also said in another interview that she hated black mini skirts she used to wear. The character's style also caused controversy in real life when headteachers in the Lancashire region warned any plans of copying the character's style would result in youngsters being sent home, it was said that: "Our advice to pupils considering following suit would be to experiment during the summer holidays. "The reason we have a school uniform is because it removes any danger of peer pressure to follow a trend or fashion, and although they may gripe about it the pupils do appreciate that. Going onto say: "We are not saying don't experiment, and I know pupils who have tried being gothic, but it isn't appropriate at school.
The character went through some personality changes in 2007, with her appearance becoming more glamorous and her behaviour became more manipulative and troublesome. Flanagan commented, "She’s gone from being a real innocent, experimenting with being a goth and having a sweet relationship with Craig, to being a real minx." Speaking about her character's new appearance she said: "I like to look sexy, but not tarty. Luckily, I do pretty well as Rosie - she's a glamorous girl, kind of a sassy secretary, so it's all pencil skirts, which I love, and a lot of low-cut tops. I don't want people looking at my boobs or want to be known for my boobs, but Corrie is a family show so thankfully they never go too far with it."
Flanagan later revealed to Digital Spy what drives her character. When asked about if her character is driven by money, she said: "I think she's attracted to the power and money. Rosie knows that she can use her womanly wiles to get what she wants. In the long run, she wants a life away from Weatherfield. She wants to be rich when she's older and aspires to be like Carla - gorgeous, sexy and wearing designer clothes." adding "It's not wholly about the money. She's more driven by glamour and power." She also spoke how the character can be 'a bit of a bitch' but she does have a heart. During the time of the character's compensation storyline, the plot saw her buy shares in the factory and go on to design her own range. Of this, an official of the show commented about the character: "Helen's had some harrowing storylines so it's nice for her to do something a little lighter. Rosie went through hell when she was kidnapped. But she has bounced back and, as long as she's got some money in her pocket, she feels able to start again. She's determined to make it big - and men's underpants are something she knows a lot about!"
In October 2011, it was announced that Flanagan had decided to leave Coronation Street. Flanagan had previously been suffering from panic attacks on set. This led to speculation that she would quit the serial. However, Flanagan said it was purely her own decision to leave because she had played Rosie for more than half of her life and decided to pursue other projects.
Flanagan said she "disliked" playing Rosie. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Flanagan commented: "When I'm acting, I like things to feel real, and I didn't like Rosie's bitchiness. I didn't enjoy playing that kind of character. She went through a phase of being such a catty girl. As an actress you do the best job you can, but I didn't enjoy it because it didn't feel real. I always said to myself that I was going to leave when I turned 21. For me, the show represents my childhood, and I just couldn't have properly become an adult if I hadn't left. I'm so grateful for the opportunities Corrie has given me, but I was in a bubble and the time is right for me to go. It finally feels as though I've left my childhood behind. People keep asking me what I'm going to do next, but I just want to enjoy being me and live for the moment for a while. I've been on Corrie since I was 10. It hasn't just been my job, it's been my whole life." Flanagan added that she wanted to play a "completely different character, such as a role in Downton Abbey or Juliet in Romeo and Juliet".
Rosie is born on Christmas Eve 1990 to Kevin and Sally Webster. Sally doesn't realise she is in labour and gives birth in the back of Don Brennan (Geoffrey Hinsliff)'s taxi on Rosamund Street. Rosie is a happy child, not giving her parents any trouble until the breakdown of her parents' marriage when Kevin has an affair with Natalie Horrocks (Denise Welch). After that, she becomes more troubled and goes through a bullying phase at school. She seems to grow out of it, quite quickly but is never really happy, due to Kevin and Sally's turbulent romantic lives.
Wanting better for her daughter, Sally encourages Rosie's ambitions to go to stage school but just as Kevin and Sally take her to the school for her audition, she gets cold feet and changes her mind. Sally later discovers at a school parents' evening that Rosie is disruptive at school because she finds the work too easy so Sally enrols her at Oakhill Grammar School. Sally pushing Rosie as hard as she does backfires when, to afford Oakhill's fees, Sally gets a job as PA for Ian Davenport (Philip Bretherton), the father of one of Rosie's friends. The Davenports and the Websters become friendly when Rosie makes friends with their daughter and starts socialising, leading Ian to offer Sally a job. Before long, Ian and Sally begin an affair, which Rosie discovers and Sally blackmails her not to tell her father. Disgusted with her mother, Rosie distances herself from her.
Rosie goes through a goth phase and becomes romantically linked to Craig Harris (Richard Fleeshman). Sally is disgusted to discover Rosie lost her virginity to Craig and bans the pair from contacting each other. Worried Rosie could be pregnant, she forces her to take the morning after pill. Rosie goes on the contraceptive pill, but when Sally finds out, she phones the police but they refuse to take any action against Craig. Sally drives Rosie at high speed to the moors to teach her a lesson but loses control of herself and the car and later on, Rosie has a second near-death experience when she is hit by a car. Craig's caring attitude towards her persuades her parents to approve of their relationship. However, Craig dumps Rosie in October 2006 when Rosie doesn't want to elope to Berlin and instead, leaves for Berlin alone.
In 2007, Rosie leaves school and begins working at "Underworld," as a personal assistant (PA). Initially, it is just meant to be a summer job. However, Rosie proves to be good at the job so Carla Connor (Alison King) suggests making it permanent and Rosie agrees, not wanting to return to school. Rosie fancies her boss, Liam Connor (Rob James-Collier), but he makes it clear that he is not interested so she moves on to John Stape (Graeme Hawley). They have sex, beginning a secret affair, and she goes to Weatherfield High to do her A-Levels, as John works there. He asks her not to, knowing he is risking his career if he has slept with a pupil, but she ignores him. Fiz Brown (Jennie McAlpine), John's girlfriend, knows that John is hiding something and assumes he is sleeping with Sally as she is obsessed with him but discovers on Christmas Day, that he is sleeping with Rosie, due to swapped Christmas presents. Rosie and Fiz fight and Kevin attacks John. Fiz dumps him but John calls the police and has Kevin arrested for assault. Realising the trouble she has caused, Rosie splits up with him.
John returns in July 2008, wanting Fiz back. They reconcile briefly but Fiz dumps him again. He kidnaps Rosie after seeing her kissing a boy, Saj. John blames Rosie for his problems. Attempting to scare her into leaving Weatherfield, he takes her hostage in his cab and condemns her for destroying his life. Rosie is terrified but unharmed. He eventually takes her home and once safe, she verbally abuses him and refuses to pay the fare. She is furious that Sally and Kevin believe John's version of events as Lloyd Mullaney (Craig Charles) saw her shouting at John.
After Rosie discovers that Carla and Liam Connor (former in-laws), are having an affair in May 2008, Carla bribes her to keep quiet. Attempting to seduce Carla's fiance, Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien), Rosie books a hotel room for them and when he turns her down, she shows him mobile phone footage of Carla and Liam kissing. Tony is furious and threatens Rosie to make sure she keeps quiet, going on to kill Liam in revenge. Rosie subsequently vanishes, and a police investigation is launched. After she has been missing several weeks, it emerges that John has kidnapped Rosie, keeping her in his late grandmother's attic. He promises to free her but doesn't. Rosie escapes when Fiz goes to the house and accidentally finds her. John is arrested and Rosie comes home, to her family's relief. He pleads guilty to kidnap and is sentenced to two years in prison.
On 3 December 2008, Maria Connor (Samia Smith) learns about Liam and Carla's affair at Carla's wedding to Tony. Sally tells Maria after Carla insults her family. Rosie tries to stop her but Sally shows her the video clip from Rosie's mobile phone. The next day, Rosie tells Maria that Tony knew about the affair. When Carla and Tony return from honeymoon, Carla warns Rosie not to cross her again. Later that month, Rosie spots an opportunity to make some money from her kidnap ordeal and sells her story to the local papers, posing for some racy photographs, which she posts on her Myspace page. On Christmas Eve, Rosie's 18th birthday, Kevin and Sally are disgusted to learn this. When they come home, they are stunned to find Rosie has slept with neighbour Gary Windass (Mikey North). She thinks they are in a relationship but he moves on, flirting with Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan), leading to a fight between the girls when Tina mocks Rosie's kidnap.
In June 2009, Rosie is shocked to get a visiting order from John Stape and, calling in sick to work, goes to the prison to see what he wants. She is overjoyed when John tells her that he is giving her £150,000 as compensation for what he put her through. With that money, she buys a PGO Cevennes, a French sports car, and invests in shares at Underworld. In September, Rosie's boyfriend Luke Strong (Craig Kelly) ends their relationship, while her parents are on holiday in Lanzarote. After their reunion, Luke gets his revenge for Rosie setting him up to be dumped by Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh), by conning her out of her fortune. He offers to sell her his 60% share of Underworld, making her the boss. However, on 19 October 2009, Luke leaves town with her money. Rosie discovers what Luke has done when the solicitor phones and tells her that Luke didn't own any shares in the factory. She phones her bank to stop the transaction but is too late, making her realise that she has lost £90,000. Fiz tells John about this as she visits him regularly in prison.
In December 2009, Rosie demands £50,000 from John saying that if he doesn't pay up, she will claim he attacked her again. John refuses to give her any more money so Rosie carries out her threat and runs screaming, straight into her grandfather, Bill (Peter Armitage). John is arrested again that night but realized on bail and insists on questioning Rosie about her 'ordeal' in the Rovers in front of the entire Street. Rosie's story falls apart when she makes a mistake about the lock on the café door and Roy confirms that the lock is how John described. Rosie is forced to apologize and retract her statement to the police. Knowing that John could have Rosie arrested, they apologize and suggest a truce. John agrees but Fiz is furious, given everything Sally has put her through.
On Christmas Day 2009, Sally discovers she has breast cancer; however, she and Kevin keep it secret for a while as they did not want to upset the girls during Christmas.
In January 2010, Rosie becomes a topless model, much to her parents' anger, but Rosie still feels that her parents are overreacting. Sophie tells Rosie that she has noticed tension between them for a while and is worried they will split up. Rosie and Sophie confront their parents together and Sally tells them about her illness. Rosie intended to have a breast enhancement, to further her modelling career; but Kevin persuades her not to go through with it, feeling it is inappropriate due to Sally having breast cancer.
Rosie is supportive towards Sophie when it is revealed that she is in a lesbian relationship with Sian Powers (Sacha Parkinson). When Rosie discovers that Sophie intends to run away with Sian, she lends her money and tells her to keep in touch. The following month Rosie and Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) bring Sophie and Sian home, much to the relief of Kevin and Sally. After this, Rosie begins to see Jason in a new light when he comes to her rescue and redecorates the Websters' kitchen after she accidentally sets fire to it. When Rosie ropes Jason into a modelling shoot, an attraction is ignited between the pair and they have a steamy sex session together in October 2010. After confessing their attraction to one another, they begin dating.
In December 2010, Rosie is devastated following the revelation that Kevin is the father of Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns) baby son Jack, following a clandestine affair they had during the previous year. When Sally angrily orders Kevin to leave their home, Rosie stands by her mother and tells her father to leave forever. Rosie later leaves home as she cannot stand the fact that Kevin has baby Jack inside the house. She moves into 11 Coronation Street to permanently live with her boyfriend. However, as the new year begins, Rosie forgives her father and later asks to look after Jack in order to get to know him but secretly intends to use him for a modelling audition posing as a mother and baby. Rosie is unsuccessful and fails the audition but when she and Jason return home, they realise they have brought the wrong baby home. Kevin is furious when he finds out and orders Rosie to stay away from Jack. But he later forgives her and lets her look after him again on later occasions.
John Stape returns in October 2011 after committing a series of crimes, including three murders, months earlier, which Fiz, now his wife, is standing trial for after being accused of helping John. John pretends to be a potential buyer for a flat which Rosie and Jason are selling, and while Rosie is alone in the flat, John locks the door and overpowers her, tying her up and forcing her into agreeing to go to the Court as a witness in order to free Fiz. Rosie eventually escapes after persuading John to remove the gag from her mouth, and screams for help. Kevin hears her screams and breaks into the flat with Jason. John gets into his car and speeds away from the scene, and with Kevin following, crashes his car into the back of a lorry. John confesses to his crimes to the police in hospital before dying. Rosie is surprised when she sees the turnout for John's funeral.
In February 2012, Rosie receives an opportunity to take part in reality television series. She tells Jason that she needs to be single to take part in the series. He is upset that she would chose her career over their romance. Rosie manages to convince him to see her off in order for them to part on good terms. She then leaves in a taxi for the train station to go and start the next stage of her career in London.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2009)|
Jon Wise of The People commented on the character saying: "Her character has evolved from teenage Goth to saucy minx and superbitch." Flanagan was nominated in the category of "Villain of the Year" at the 2008 British Soap Awards, and "Sexiest Female" in 2011.
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