Tina O'Brien as Sarah-Louise Platt (2007)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Leah King (1987)
Lynsay King (1987–99)
Tina O'Brien (1999–)
|First appearance||2 February 1987|
|Introduced by||John G. Temple (1987)
Stuart Blackburn (2015)
|Coronation Street: Pantomime (2005)|
|Aliases||Sarah-Louise Tilsley (birth name)
Sarah-Louise Grimshaw (married name)
|Home||8 Coronation Street|
Sarah-Louise Platt (née Tilsley; previously Grimshaw) is a fictional character from the British soap opera Coronation Street. She was born on screen during an episode broadcast on 2 February 1987. She was played by Leah King in 1987 and by Lynsay King from 1987 until 8 October 1999 when King opted to leave to focus on her education. Tina O'Brien took over the role on 31 October 1999; she opted to leave in 2007 and made her final on-screen appearance on 30 December 2007. A number of false rumours about O'Brien returning to the role surfaced during her absence from the serial." In October 2014, it was announced that O'Brien had reprised the role, she returned to filming in February 2015 and returned on screen on 30 March 2015.
Sarah is the daughter of Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth), sister to Nick Tilsley (Warren Jackson, Adam Rickitt, Ben Price) and half-sister to David Platt (Thomas Ormson, Jack P. Shepherd), granddaughter to Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) and mother to Bethany (Mia Cookson, Amy & Emily Walton, Lucy Fallon). Sarah's storylines have included a controversial and ground-breaking underage pregnancy which saw her giving birth to Bethany Platt and saw Sarah deal with motherhood in her teens, internet bullying, her friendship with Candice Stowe (Nikki Sanderson), her relationships with Todd (Bruno Langley) and Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) as well as her sibling rivalry between her and her half-brother David. Her exit storyline saw her leave Weatherfield to start a new life with Bethany in Milan. Her return storyline saw her track down Bethany who had run away from home and returned to Weatherfield.
- 1 Storylines
- 2 Casting
- 3 Development
- 4 Reception
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Sarah was born prematurely, the daughter of Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth). Questions were raised about her paternity, due to Gail's affair with Brian's cousin, Ian Latimer (Michael Loney) and Brian rejected Sarah, believing she was not his daughter; until a blood test reveals otherwise. However, it takes time for him to bond with her. Following Brian's murder just two weeks after Sarah's second birthday, she is adopted by Gail's second husband Martin Platt (Sean Wilson).
During 1999, Sarah befriends Candice Stowe (Nikki Sanderson). In February 2000, just after her 13th birthday, Sarah discovers she is five months pregnant. Her baby daughter Bethany is born four months later. The father, Neil Fearns (Paul Holowaty), has no interest in Bethany but when Neil dies in a car crash in September 2003, Sarah takes Bethany to his funeral and makes friends with his mother, Brenda Fearns (Julia Deakin). This nearly leads to Bethany's death, when Brenda tries to commit suicide with Bethany, fearing that Bethany is being raised in a house of sin; Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), however, finds them and stops Brenda before harm is done.
During autumn 2002, Sarah becomes rebellious, splitting from her boyfriend Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) and moving on to local troublemaker, Aiden Critchley, who takes her joyriding and crashes the car, leaving Sarah with severe head injuries. She survives and dumps Aiden, disgusted that he had left her for dead in the wreckage. Sarah reconciles with Todd in early 2003 and they move into the flat over the bookies, causing problems between Gail and Sarah, particularly when Sarah tells her that she is pregnant, aged 16. She is unsure about having the baby but Todd convinces her to go ahead and they get engaged, despite their families' disapproval. However, Sarah is unaware that Todd is struggling with his emerging homosexual feelings and begins an affair with nurse Karl Foster (Chris Finch). When Sarah finds out, she dumps him and suffers a placental abruption shortly afterwards. She has to have an emergency caesarean and her baby son, Billy, dies soon after birth. Sarah blames Todd and refuses to allow him to attend their son's funeral but Todd ignores her and goes regardless.
Sarah dates Asian skip man, Scooter Makuna (Sushil Chudasama), briefly in 2005 before embarking on a more serious relationship with Todd's brother, Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas), destroying his relationship with Violet Wilson (Jenny Platt). Sarah and Jason get engaged in March 2006, but once again, their families oppose the marriage. Jason gets cold feet on their wedding day and jilts her at the altar; it takes Sarah time to forgive him but they eventually reconcile and the wedding is re-organized. Sarah's relationship with her brother David is strained in 2007, when Bethany takes an ecstasy pill that David had hidden in one of her dolls, and nearly dies. David and Sarah continue to bicker continuously up until Sarah's wedding day, when he attempts to kill himself. The police interrupt the ceremony to inform the Platts of the attempted suicide; Sarah marries Jason regardless. Shortly after, Sarah's uncle Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce) visits and offers David a job in Milan. Jealous, Sarah sabotages this by planting drugs on him so Stephen withdraws the offer and offers it to Sarah instead. She accepts, and on 30 December 2007, she, Jason and Bethany leave for the airport to fly to Milan. However, at Manchester Piccadilly, Sarah tells Jason that she planted the drugs on David. Disgusted, he walks away, leaving Sarah to fly to Milan alone with Bethany.
Bethany (now played by Lucy Fallon) returns to Weatherfield and a furious Sarah soon follows to take her back to Milan, Bethany pleads with her to not make her go back, Sarah agreed that they can stay a few more days. Sarah meets Callum Logan (Sean Ward) and he persuades her to go for a drink with him. When Sarah's uncle Stephen repeatedly chases her to send him a report, she lies that her internet is down, Bethany spots her chance and sends a casual email to Stephen, proving there is nothing wrong with their internet access. A furious Sarah tells Bethany she has finally got her way as Stephen has sacked her and they will now be moving back to Weatherfield.
Sarah was played by Lynsay King from 1987 to 1999. Lynsay's twin sister Leah, who died of cot death in 1987, alternated in the role of Sarah with Lynsay for a brief period until her death. Tina O'Brien was recast in the role in 1999. O'Brien was given the part when she was 16, playing the character who was still only 12 at the time. She left the role in 2007, but has said that she would consider returning to the role in the future. O'Brien confirmed her return to the serial in October 2014, with her returning to filming in February 2015 and appearing on screen from March 2015 onwards.
Sarah was born three weeks prematurely. Father Brian initially rejected Sarah because of Gail's affair with his cousin Ian Latimer. However, a blood test proved that Sarah was the daughter of Brian, although it still took time for him to bond with her. Brian was murdered by a group of thugs shortly after Sarah's second birthday. Gail's second husband Martin Platt (Sean Wilson) adopted Sarah and her brother Nick (Warren Jackson) and raised them as his own.
The characters' teenage-pregnancy storyline was created to highlight the risks of teenage pregnancy. However, the storyline has been a highly controversial and discussed storyline because of the possibility that it glamorised the idea. Despite this, it has been praised for its message. Actress Tina O'Brien has revealed that she was "naive" over the plot at the time of filming, oblivious that it would create much controversy. The storyline has been discussed in Television and criticism published by Intellect Books, which talked about the character and the storyline's impact.
In the storyline Sarah became a fussy eater because she believed she was fat. Gail became exasperated and made Sarah eat her meal in front of her, saying that they would do it that way every morning until she changed her behaviour. After hearing her being sick in the bathroom, Gail took her to the doctors where it was revealed that Sarah was five months pregnant therefore too late to have an abortion. Sarah didn't want to tell anyone who the baby's father was. When Sarah told best friend Candice Stowe (Nikki Sanderson) of her pregnancy, Candice worked out for herself that schoolboy Neil Fearns (Paul Holowaty) was the father. Some months later, Gail and Martin were shocked when they saw Neil in the schoolyard of Weatherfield Comprehensive as they both thought it was someone older who had taken advantage of Sarah. In June 2000, Sarah gave birth to a daughter Bethany.
In September 2003, Sarah discovered that Neil Fearns had died in a car crash. Sarah took Bethany to Neil's funeral, where she made friends with Neil's mother, Brenda (Julia Deakin). Brenda became close to her granddaughter but due to her mental state caused by the loss of her son, she kidnapped Bethany, not believing that Sarah was looking after her properly. Brenda thought the only thing she could do was join Neil in heaven, so she decided to throw herself and Bethany off the tower of St. Saviour's Church. Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire) managed to talk Brenda down and Bethany was reunited with Sarah.
Relationship with Aidan Critchley
Sarah began a relationship with bad boy Aidan Critchley portrayed by Dean Ashton in 2002. Sarah bunked off school, lied to her parents and dumped her daughter on whoever would look after her. Whilst new stepfather Richard Hillman (Brian Capron) and Gail (Helen Worth) were away, Sarah and Candice Stowe (Nikki Sanderson) had a row over who was seeing Ade. He asked both Sarah and Candice to meet him at 11.00 pm and he turned up in Ken Barlow (William Roache)'s stolen car. Sarah backed out and the next day, she saw Candice and Ade kissing. Candice made Sarah jealous and she made out that she and Ade slept together. Sarah went joyriding with Aidan in Ken's car. Sarah became panicked when Aidan started going faster and she pleaded with him to slow down and take her home. However, the car clipped the kerb and the car turned onto its roof. Aidan escaped from the car and fled after being unable to tell if Sarah was dead or alive. Sarah was critically ill and left in a coma in hospital. They rushed there to be told that Sarah had to undergo emergency surgery to prevent a blood clot and that brain damage couldn't be ruled out.
Sarah had an ongoing rivalry with half brother David portrayed by Jack P. Shepherd. In September 2007, David offered to keep hold of Ecstasy tablets for his friend and neighbour Darryl Morton (Jonathan Dixon), as they belonged to a friend of his. David was also looking after his niece Bethany as she was sent home after a gas leak at Bessie Street School. He hid the tablets in one of her dolls, and when checking up on her to see how she was doing, he realised she had taken one. David panicked and got her to swallow salted water in order to bring the tablet back up, but she became very poorly. When Sarah arrived back, David insisted Bethany wasn't feeling well, and when she began fitting, an ambulance was called. It was only in hospital when Bethany was in critical condition, that David confessed to Jason (Ryan Thomas) which later resulted in Sarah and the rest of the Platt family disowning David.
Relationship with Todd Grimshaw
Sarah begins a relationship with Todd Grimshaw portrayed by Bruno Langley after he ends his relationship with Sarah's best friend Candice Stowe portrayed by Nikki Sanderson. Sarah later ends their relationship because she wants to date Ade Critchley (Dean Ashton). O'Brien and Langley were in a relationship and she told Frances Traynor from the Daily Record that acting out their break-up was not strange. Todd then resumes his previous relationship with Candice. But Sarah soon returns to Todd. She decides to sleep with Todd on her sixteenth birthday. The storyline was controversial and nine viewers contacted the Independent Television Commission. The organisation investigated the scenes and cleared Coronation Street of breaching guidelines. They praised them for building a relationship between the two characters and viewed it as a mature decision. O'Brien told Steve Hendry from the Sunday Mail that Sarah is "a bit dependent on Todd". In June 2003, Alex Tate from The People reported that Sarah-Louise would dump Todd. Sarah fears that she and Bethany are preventing Todd from succeeding at Oxford University. But Sarah and Todd move into a flat together. Sarah's daughter Bethany Platt (Amy and Emily Walton) electrocutes herself and Todd finds her unconscious. The accident prompts Gail Platt (Helen Worth) to involve the social services.
In May 2004, Sarah gave birth to Todd's son Billy. Sarah had recently split up with Todd after discovering he was gay and had kissed her brother Nick Tilsley (Adam Rickitt), but all the stress caused her to suffer a placental abruption which made her to go into labour prematurely. Billy was transferred immediately to an incubator, but died a few days later. Billy's funeral was held on 7 June, which the Platts and Grimshaws all attended, even after Sarah had banned Todd from attending Billy's funeral. Most of the other Street residents agreed that he was to blame for Billy's death, and thought it was best that Todd kept a low profile. Billy's death was still felt after many years. In 2013, Gail and Nick (now Ben Price) were still bitter towards Todd, blaming him for Billy's death.
Relationship with Jason Grimshaw
In late 2005, Sarah began dating Jason Grimshaw portrayed by Ryan Thomas, they had an on off relationship and were due to marry in 2006. Speaking of the storyline Ryan Thomas said: "Jason was thinking about getting married in four years rather than four months. It was just a gesture, and that’s all he wanted it to be. He thought they would just get engaged and they didn’t have to get married for ages yet. It was more of a stepping stone for him. It has come round quickly for Jason, and he is sort of being pushed into it. He doesn’t want to lose Sarah so he is going along with it because he does actually love her." Asked if Jason would settle down Thomas also said: "He's had a bit of a past and he's a bit of a Jack The Lad around Charlie but on this occasion, for once, he's actually showing some grown-up qualities and, when faced with the prospect of losing Sarah, he chose to bite the bullet. There's no grey area with Jason because there's not that much grey matter! Everything's in black and white. It's either marry Sarah and keep her or don't marry Sarah and lose her forever." Speaking about if Jason will also be able to handle Bethany, Thomas said: "He certainly will – he pulls her to one side during the ceremony and makes her a pledge. He realises he can't have Sarah without Beth – they come as a package." The storyline resulted in Jason leaving Sarah and also resulted in Sarah leaving the street for a new life abroad with Beth. leaving Jason alone and upset.
In April 2007, it was announced that Tina O'Brien had quit her role as Sarah :( . Speaking of her reason for her quitting O'Brien said: "This has been an extremely difficult decision to make. I love playing Sarah and have had an amazing seven-and-a-half years in Coronation Street. But I feel that the time has come to see what else is out there for me as an actress". She also thanked the producers and the writers for giving her fantastic storylines during her stint on the show. She also revealed that she will miss everyone. Producer Steve Frost commented on her departure: "Tina is a fabulous actress and we will be sorry to see her go. However, we fully understand her ambition and desire to play other roles". O'Brien's final scenes aired on 30 December 2007. Sarah's voice was heard on Jason's phone in January 2008. In February 2011, O'Brien revealed that leaving Coronation Street was the right decision, she went on to say: "Leaving Corrie was the hardest decision I ever made, but it was the right one," she said. "I'm really glad I've had the opportunity to do different things. I still watch the show occasionally and get sucked in instantly".
In November 2011, the Daily Star revealed that Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson was planning on bringing back O'Brien and Nikki Sanderson who played Candice Stowe between 1999 and 2005 in a bid to fill the gap left by the departures of Helen Flanagan who played Rosie Webster and Katherine Kelly who played Becky McDonald. A source told the paper: "He's aware that Sarah-Lou and Candice were hugely popular characters. He thinks it would be a ratings winner to bring them back. Losing Katherine and Helen is a big blow to the show so Phil wants to beef things up a bit with the return of a couple of big names." O'Brien revealed in January 2012 that bosses had not approached her about a return to the soap. O'Brien has since revealed that she is worried that another actress might take over the role of Sarah. In December 2012, a reporter from The Sunday Mirror reported that O'Brien would reprise her role in 2013, but the actress later denied the report.
On 23 October 2014, it was announced that O'Brien has reprised the role and that Sarah will return to the show in Spring 2015. Speaking about her return, O'Brien said "I am delighted to be returning. Sarah has a lot of history and unfinished business on the street and I'm looking forward to finding out what she's been up to and why she's returned home." O'Brien returned to filming on 2 February 2015. Helen Worth who plays Sarah's mum Gail Platt spoke of O'Brien's return on ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain saying: "I am absolutely delighted. I found out yesterday for sure and I can't wait to welcome her back."
Discussing in an interview with Digital Spy about how she felt about being back on the show, O'Brien said: "It's lovely. I thought I was going to walk in and feel very much like the new girl, but actually I did a scene in the Platts' the other day and it was strangely normal, almost like someone was going to pinch me and say, 'You've been in a coma for seven years!' It was really odd, but nice." Asked how the return came about, she replied: "Well, I had been to see [Coronation Street producer] Stuart [Blackburn] and we had some chats, but then I was in the process of having a baby so it was slightly put on hold. After I had Beau, it was then brought up again and I said, 'Oh yes, I'd love to'. It was nice actually, as it meant that I could have this really precious time with my little boy but I also knew that I was going back to something as well. There are things Sarah hasn't finished with David, Jason, her mum - and obviously now this whole new dynamic of Bethany. It's so exciting to be part of the Platts, so I jumped at the chance." O'Brien revealed that she was nervous about returning after being away from the serial for several years: "I was really nervous as it has been so long, but the second the scripts came through, it was really quick. When I did the scenes with Jack [P Shepherd, who plays David] and Helen [Worth, who plays Gail] and everyone, it was really nice. Sarah has got a little bit older and wiser during her time away. She has mellowed, but she's still very outspoken. I think she thinks Weatherfield is a little bit beneath her. She struts back in, she's been working in fashion, she sees David and she is like, 'Oh my gosh, you are still living with your mum'. There is still a soft side of her and you see some really nice scenes with her daughter."
Relationship with Callum Logan
In February 2015, producer Stuart Blackburn revealed that Sarah would embark on a relationship with Callum Logan portrayed by Sean Ward who is the ex of David's wife Kylie Platt portrayed by Paula Lane and an enemy of David's. ""David's got massive problems, because over the weeks Callum's taken a real liking to Max and Max is actually his biological son," Blackburn told ITV. "And he's got almost as many rights to Max as David does. On the seemingly good news front is the return of Bethany and Sarah, but very quickly Callum takes a real liking to Sarah. It's a liking that is returned, so huge problems for David!" Speaking to Digital Spy at the TRIC Awards, Ward said of the storyline: "It's quite exciting. That's the Coronation Street I remember with Sarah-Lou in it. For her to be back in it now and me to be dating her is a bit crazy for me, but very enjoyable. Tina is so professional. She said she was nervous for the first scene, and then it's like she's never been away. And I think that's because of the family that we are on Coronation Street, that I've been accepted into. It is just so easy to slip back into it." Asked whether Callum's interest in Sarah-Lou is really genuine, he replied: "Half and half. I mean there's the element that it's David's sister and that's going to help Callum's way on the street, but she's very feisty and he needs someone to match him, and I think Sarah-Lou is the girl to do that." Speaking of the storyline in an interview O'Brien said: "I think it will be interesting to see a more daring side to Sarah. Because she had a baby quite young, she had to be more responsible back then. It's really nice to be working with Sean Ward. I'm sure people think it's funny that the second she walks in, she hooks up with the guy who will cause most problems with the family. "To begin with she isn't interested in Callum at all. It's only because David really gives her a hard time that it almost pushes her towards Callum. She even says, 'Don't tell me what to do or else I will do the opposite' because David is like 'You stay away'. She was going to stay away but David's attitude changes her mind!" Speaking of what Kylie's reaction to the Sarah and Callum relationship O'Brien said: "I don't know how Kylie is going to feel about the whole Callum situation. I think Sarah might be burning her bridges there. When Kylie comes back, they are an item. Can you imagine? 'Hi, happy maternity, I am with your ex!'"
For her portrayal of Sarah, O'Brien was nominated in the category of "Most Popular Newcomer" at the National Television Awards in 2000. She was nominated for"Best Actress" at the 2005 British Soap Awards.
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