||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (May 2011)|
Tina O'Brien as Sarah-Louise Platt (2007)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Leah King (1987)
Lynsay King (1987–99)
Tina O'Brien (1999–2007)
|First appearance||2 February 1987|
|Last appearance||30 December 2007|
|Introduced by||John G. Temple|
Sarah-Louise Grimshaw (née Tilsley, previously Platt) 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 till 1999. Tina O'Brien took over the role in 1999 she opted to leave in 2007 but has since revealed that she would like to return to the role at some point in the future but also revealed that leaving Coronation Street was the right decision. Sarah has been described as a feminine, gossiping and bratty character and very close to her family but has a nasty streak. She has also often being described to the street as a whiney and crybaby.
Sarah is the daughter of Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth). Sarah's storylines have included a controversial and ground-breaking underage pregnancy, which saw her giving birth to her daughter Bethany and saw Sarah deal with motherhood in her teens, her relationships with Todd (Bruno Langley) and Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) and her sibling rivalry between her and her half-brother David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd).
Sarah was born prematurely, the daughter of Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth). Questions are raised about whether Brian is Sarah's father, due to Gail's affair with Brian's cousin, Ian Latimer (Michael Loney). Brian rejects Sarah, thinking she is not his daughter until a blood-test reveals otherwise, but it still takes time for him to bond with Sarah. Brian is murdered just two weeks after her second birthday, and Sarah is subsequently adopted by Gail's second husband Martin Platt (Sean Wilson) who raises Sarah.
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 with her boyfriend Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) and moving on to a mischievous romance with troublemaker, Aiden Critchley, who introduces 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 again, aged 16. She is unsure about having the baby but Todd convinces her to go ahead with the pregnancy and they get engaged, despite their families' disapproval. However, Sarah is unaware that Todd is struggling with his emerging homosexual feelings and begins a secret fling 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.
Creation and development
She 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.
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 late 2005, Sarah began dating Jason Grimshaw. 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 in December 2007. 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 2000 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.
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.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (31 January 2011). "O'Brien: 'Corrie return would be nice'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "Soap's producers defend teenage pregnancy plot". The Guardian. (Guardian Media Group). 1 February 2000. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Laurance, Jeremy (5 May 2000). "Third of teenagers regret 'first time'". The Independent. (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (11 April 2009). "O'Brien was 'naive' over Corrie plot". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Davin, Solange (2008). Television and criticism. Intellect Books. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-1-84150-147-5.
- Eames, Tom (2 January 2013). "'Coronation Street' Tina O'Brien denies talks to return as Sarah Platt". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Berrett, Caroline (8 May 2005). "Soap baubles; Corrie beauty Nikki sparkles in pounds 100k gems". The People. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 August 2011.