Sally Webster

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Sally Webster
Sally Webster.jpg
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Sally Dynevor
Duration 1986–
First appearance 27 January 1986
Introduced by John G. Temple
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Shop Worker (1987–90)
Child minder (1991–92)
Machinist
(1996–99, 2005–)
Businesswoman
(1999, 2000–01)
Bookies assistant (2002)
Personal assistant (2005)
Garage manager (2005)
Factory supervisor (2011)
Factory manager (2011–12)
Home 4 Coronation Street

Sally Webster (née Seddon) is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. Portrayed by actress Sally Dynevor, previously known as Sally Whittaker, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 27 January 1986.[1] Sally's storylines have included her relationship with her husband Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) and a number of affairs and discovering she has breast cancer.

Creation and development[edit]

Casting[edit]

Sally as she appeared in 1987.

Auditions were held for the part of Sally with actress Sally Dynevor (then going by her maiden name of Sally Whittaker) securing the role. Dynevor had previously auditioned twice for two different Coronation Street characters. The first was the milkman's eldest daughter, and the second a girlfriend of Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell). She got neither role, the latter because the girlfriend was meant to be posh.[2] Interviewed for The People's Soap Special, Dynevor spoke about how terrifying her first episode was to film because she had not done any TV work prior to the role and the scene involved one of the show's best known characters, Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander).[2]

Storyline development[edit]

In a 2008 interview with newspaper The People, Sally Dynevor expressed her delight with Sally's ever evolving personality: "After more than 20 years, I still get the same pang of excitement over a good script as I did when I first joined the show. Sally meddles in everyone else's business and thinks she is so much better than the rest of them but really she is just the same. There aren't many dull moments. Sally is a fabulous character and I know I am so lucky to play her. All those years ago when I started she wasn't like this so I am so pleased that the producers have made her change. It has only been over the last five years that she has turned into a right cow. That is brilliant because it means I can show what I can do as an actress. I know some viewers hate her, others love her, but I am pleased she is talked about. I hope she carries on being like this for a very long time to come."[3]

In September 2009, it was revealed that Sally would fall victim to breast cancer. Speaking of the plot, Dynevor said, "I do know women who have suffered or are suffering from breast cancer. For the last year, I have been fund-raising for breast cancer charities and am a long-standing patron for The Genesis Appeal. So, when I was told about this storyline I was determined to do it justice for all the women out there who are going through what Sally is. A few years ago, I found a lump and was sent to get it checked out straight away. I was lucky that it proved to be nothing but the time spent waiting to find out the results was agonising." A Coronation Street spokesman added, "Breast cancer is a disease which affects so many women and their families. We are keen to ensure that the storyline accurately reflects the many problems and issues faced by breast cancer sufferers."[4]

In May 2010 it was revealed that at the same time as her character found out that she had cancer, Dynevor herself discovered that hours after filming Sally's cancer revealing scenes, she was also suffering from the disease.[5]

Storylines[edit]

1986–2006[edit]

Sally meets Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) in 1986 and he proposes after learning that his family are moving to Germany. Sally accepts and they get married at the local register office. When Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander) leaves the Street, she sells Number 13 to them. Several times, Sally tries to get Kevin to buy the garage, urging him to become his own boss but Kevin is happy as he is, frustrating Sally no end.

In 1990, Sally gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl in the back of Don Brennan's (Geoffrey Hinsliff) taxi on Christmas Eve. She names the baby Rosie because the taxi is parked on Rosamund Street. Sally falls pregnant again in 1994 and "Lauren" (Emma Woodward) is born in early November. The name "Lauren" doesn’t last as Rosie always calls her younger sister Sophie (Brooke Vincent), so she and Kevin change her name to Sophie. Sally also decides to go back to work, getting a job at Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs)'s factory in 1996.

Sally’s mother has a stroke in 1997 and Sally goes to Scarborough to look after her. This makes Kevin feel neglected and begins an affair with his business partner, Natalie Horrocks (Denise Welch). When Sally returns to Weatherfield, she knows that something is wrong, and eventually catches Kevin and Natalie in bed together. Sally throws Kevin out and he moves in with Natalie. Angry, Sally gets mechanic Chris Collins (Matthew Marsden) to let her into Natalie’s house and promptly floods it. Natalie threatens Sally with legal action, causing them to fight in the Street.

Sally has a brief fling with Chris Collins but eventually forgives Kevin and by Christmas 1997, the Websters are reunited. In 1999, she has an affair with Greg Kelly (Stephen Billington). Kevin finds out and he throws Sally out so she moves in with Greg and they agree on a divorce, but not custody of the girls. Greg hits Sally after an argument and she leaves him, asking Kevin to take the girls as Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox) doesn't have room for all of them but when she rents number 6, Kevin refuses to let the girls move in with her. So she takes him to court for custody and wins. Kevin, however, takes this badly and disappears, returning six weeks later, having had a breakdown.

On the eve of Kevin’s wedding to Alison Wakefield (Naomi Radcliffe), Sally sleeps with Kevin. In 2001, the couple plan to wed, but Kevin becomes more and more jealous. He vanishes, making Sally worry about his whereabouts. Kevin turns up at Sally’s hen night and says that he still loves her. Sally later confesses to her fiancé, Danny Hargreaves (Richard Standing), that she and Kevin slept together on the eve of his wedding to Alison, and Danny leaves her and the Street. In 2002, Sally suggests to Kevin that he move back into Number 13 and they remarry later that year.

Sally, looking for something challenging in the employment stakes, takes a job as personal assistant to prosperous garage owner, Ian Davenport (Philip Bretherton). They met at local private school, Oakhill, as Rosie is friends with Ian's daughter. Unfortunately she takes the fling more seriously than him as he sees her simply as one in a long succession of women. When he finishes with her, she is bitter and resentful as she risked her family for a fling and it stings even more because Kevin knows Sally was unfaithful but is willing to overlook it. Sally turns her ambitions to her daughter, Rosie. When Rosie shows an interest in being a pop star, Sally pushes her onto the stage where she is miserable. In a particularly humorous event, Sally is indignant when Ken Barlow (William Roache) misspells Rosie's name in a review of her school show. She is unhappy about Rosie dating Craig Harris (Richard Fleeshman), a local lad whose family has a past, (too much like her own). When she learns that they are sleeping together, she drags to Rosie to the doctor and is disappointed that he praises Rosie for being sensible enough to take precautions. Sally's emotions and nerves crumble as she takes Rosie on a wild drive across the M62 en route to a boarding school but loses control of the car, almost killing them both. Kevin catches up and cradles his wife, who admits she is disappointed with life in a back street, saying she just wanted more for her children than she had.

2007—[edit]

In 2007, Sally decides to take an A-Level in English literature and has private lessons with John Stape (Graeme Hawley). Sally becomes obsessed with John, making Fiz (Jennie McAlpine) (John's girlfriend) jealous. This leads to a misunderstanding when Sally gets something in her eye and John tries to remove it just as Fiz and Sean Tully (Antony Cotton) enter the factory. As they are standing so close together, Fiz thinks that they are kissing and slaps Sally. Fiz is right about Sally's feelings for John and Sally eventually tells John how she feels but he lets her down gently, as he is having an affair with Rosie instead. This is revealed on Christmas Day that year when John accidentally gives Fiz and Rosie the wrong presents.

In 2008 the Websters swap houses with the Peacocks who are having financial difficulties and move into Number 4. Following the move, Sally becomes extremely house-proud, frequently boasting about the house's conservatory and size compared to other houses on the street.

In 2009, Kevin develops feelings for Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns), wife of his employee/friend, Tyrone (Alan Halsall). Molly takes an interest in the business and shares the bookkeeping with Sally, spending more time with Kevin. Eventually he tells Molly how he feels. Molly is initially horrified but later tells him that she is flattered and they begin an affair, first sleeping together when Kevin sneaks away from Sally's birthday party. Afterwards, Kevin feels guilty and decides to end it before it gets out of hand by persuading Tyrone to take Molly on holiday. They resume the affair in August, agreeing to tell their respective spouses and leave them but Kevin ends things with Molly instead on learning that Sally has breast cancer. After breaking the difficult news to Rosie and Sophie, Sally has a lumpectomy to remove the growth, which proves successful. She visits her sister while recovering from her treatment, returning in July, celebrating her birthday with her family.

In December 2010, Molly admits her affair with Kevin and that he is the father of her son, Jack, named after Jack Duckworth (William Tarmey) by Tyrone. Just after shocking Sally with this revelation, she dies. Sally confronts Kevin and orders him to tell Tyrone and leave. Sally tells Rita and she suggests she move on. Later, Kevin tries to win her back but she's not interested and Rosie and Sophie agree, telling him to leave for good. Sally states seeing him with Jack makes her hate him even more and wants rid of them both. After a desperate plea from Sophie, Sally allows him to stay for Christmas Day but on New Year's Eve, Kevin accepts he's not wanted and baby Jack is Tyrone's son and leaves alone. However, Tyrone is equally devastated when he learns about Kevin and Molly's affair and unable to look at Jack now, he gives Jack to Kevin. Sally kisses Tyrone just after the New Year but nothing happens. Although she lies to Kevin, telling him that she wanted to hurt him as he hurt her when he had the affair. This leads to Kevin and Tyrone fighting and Kevin decides to sell the house & freezes all joint bank accounts. Sally tells Kevin that she lied to him about sleeping with Tyrone and they agree a truce but when Kevin suggests giving their marriage another go and starting a new family, Sally is adamant that she will not have him back.

After being fired by Underworld boss Carla Connor (Alison King) because of the company's financial difficulties, Sally complains to Carla's ex-business partner/former fiancé, Frank (Andrew Lancel), who employs her and promotes her to line supervisor. At the same time, her relationship with Rosie's agent, Jeff, ends after the Weatherfield Gazette publish a story detailing Sally's cancer, Kevin's infidelity, baby Jack and Sophie's sexuality - information provided by Jeff. Sally soon finds herself drawn to Frank and makes it clear that she doesn't believe Carla's claims that he raped her and the pair form a mutual attraction for one another. However, on 2 March 2012, Sally sees Frank's true colours when his mother tells Sally that Frank doesn't love her and is having an affair with Jenny Sumner (Niky Wardley). A shocked Sally confronted Frank and he admits the affair and that he did rape Carla, warning her not to cross him as the last woman who did 'lived to regret it'. Sally is devastated by this and Kevin offers her support, threatening to murder Frank and then on 5 March, Sally finds Frank dead in the factory. She is found standing over him with blood on her hands but did not kill him as he was bludgeoned to death with a whiskey bottle. However, due to recent events, Sally is a suspect but she attends his funeral and is puzzled when Anne (Gwen Taylor), Frank's mother, leaves the church, during the service and visits her. Sally finds Anne holding Frank's missing watch, which was missing from his personal possessions on the day he died and she admits having it all along and Sally realises that Anne killed Frank in a fit of rage as she heard him admitting to Carla that he did rape her. A horrified Sally then tries to leave but falls on the stairs, hitting her head on the wooden banister, knocking her unconscious. As Carla and Kevin arrived, an ambulance is called and Anne is arrested. Sally and Kevin begin to rekindle their romance and relationship as Sally realises that she still loves Kevin and he has stood by her regardless. Unfortunately though Sally cannot accept Jack.

With Kevin away in Germany, Sally begins a relationship with Tim Metcalfe. At first Tim is put offs by Sally planning to book a holiday to France and lies that he has to leave for work reasons. When Tim returns, he prepares to break up with Sally but later reconsiders when he realises he has feelings for her. However, Tim is later unimpressed when Sally leaves his daughter Faye by herself, although Faye and her friend Grace lied about the amount of time Sally left them on their own for.

Reception[edit]

Dynevor was nominated in the category of "Best Actress" at the 2011 British Soap Awards.[6]

In February 2006, the storyline involving Sally driving Rosie to a moor and scolding her for her unruly behaviour came under criticism from Winnie Johnson, the mother of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett due to the scenes being filmed at Saddleworth Moor where her son's body is thought to be buried. Winnie Johnson criticised the storyline stating, "This is outrageous and plain disgusting. Are they going out of their way to be sick? I lost my son out on those moors but to film a child abduction up there after everything that has happened is a disgrace." A Coronation Street spokesman defended the storyline.[7]

Low Culture columnist Ruth Deller praised Sally Dynevor's work on the show during 2010: "It’s all too easy to overlook long-term characters as being worthy of praise, but since Sally Dynevor returned to the Street this year, she has been on fire. Name checking Mary Queen of Scots, dishing out incredible one-liners, being the stand-out performer in the live episodes and handling the Sophie/Sian and Kevin/Molly situations perfectly, both actress and character have cemented their place in our collective hearts. People like Sally tend to miss out on soap awards and suchlike because they’re always there, but maybe, just maybe her recent work will be noticed and she’ll get some acknowledgement in the next lot of gongs."[8]

A columnist writing for TV Buzz said that Sally does not "give a damn" about what people think of her, because if she did she would have "fled Weatherfield a long time ago". They said that during her storyline with Frank, Sally took her "Miss Independent act a step too far" by romancing him.[9] A reporter for the Western Mail branded Sally "Ms Holier-than-Thou" and said "It's a tribute to Sally Dynevor's acting skills that she makes many of us want to reach through the TV, give her a good shake and yell: "Listen to Carla and Maria!"[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Webmaster (2007). "Cast & Characters - Sally Webster". ITV.com. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Soap Special. The People. 2009. p. 11. 
  3. ^ Katie Hind (21 December 2008). "Corrie star Sally Whittaker loves being a scheming cow on TV". The People. Retrieved December 2008. 
  4. ^ ? (22 September 2009). "Soap spoiler! Corrie veteran falls victim to breast cancer". Supanet. Retrieved September 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a217783/corrie-star-in-real-life-cancer-fight.html
  6. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (7 March 2011). "British Soap Awards 2011 voting opens". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  7. ^ "Corrie slammed for 'sick' Moors storyline". Inthenews.co.uk. 14 February 2006. Retrieved December 2008. 
  8. ^ Ruth Deller (30 December 2010). "Soapstar Superstars: July – December 2010". Lowculture. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Coronation Street". TV Buzz (News International): 12. 31 December 2011 - 6 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Coronation Street". Western Mail (Trinity Mirror). 25 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 

External links[edit]