Helen Worth

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Helen Worth
Born Cathryn Helen Wigglesworth
(1951-01-07) 7 January 1951 (age 67)
Leeds, Yorkshire, U.K.
Residence Cheshire, U.K.
Chelsea, London, U.K.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1961-present
Television Doctor Who (1971)
Coronation Street (1974—)
Spouse(s) Michael Angelis (m. 1991; div. 2001)
Trevor Dawson (m. 2013)

Helen Worth (born Cathryn Helen Wigglesworth; 7 January 1951) is an English actress who is best known for playing Gail Platt in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street since 1974. For her 40 years on the show, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 British Soap Awards.

Early life[edit]

Cathryn Helen Wigglesworth was born to Alfred and Gladys Wigglesworth in Leeds and grew up in Ossett, Wakefield. She was brought up in a middle-class family and attended private school.[1] At the age of eight her parents fostered Ghanaian-born Wilson Kpikpitse, who was sent to England as an overseas student at the age of eleven and remained with the family for eight years, but moved on following the death of Worth's mother, who was killed in a hit-and-run road accident while she was on a visit to Brighton.[1]

Worth's grandmother lived in Bradford and ran a boarding house for music hall performers, which prompted her desire to perform. She took dancing lessons from the age of three, and took part in many school theatrical productions. At the age of ten, she read stories on Granada Television's Scene at 6.30, and appeared in an episode of BBC's Z-Cars. At the age of twelve she played one of the von Trapp children in a stage production of The Sound of Music, at the Palace Theatre in London, a role that kept her in London for nine months. Following this she returned to Morecambe to finish her education and later attended the Corona Theatre School in London.


After graduating from drama school, Worth worked in repertory theatre, which included a year with the BBC Radio repertory company. She has had roles in films such as Oliver! (1968) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969 – she is clearly visible in the assembly scene at about 1hr 49mins), and has appeared on television in the Doctor Who story Colony in Space (1971), The Doctors, Helen: A Woman of Today (1973), Within These Walls (1974) and The Carnforth Practice (1974). She joined Coronation Street in 1974 and has remained with the soap since then.

Recently, Worth has said she plans never to quit her role in the show, saying she's happy with Gail's never ending drama, and that it's a job she loves. In an interview with GMTV in January 2010, Worth said she loves Gail's storylines and praised the writers for giving her some great plots over the years, and which she hopes will continue[2] On 9 June 2014, a one-off special about Helen Worth, Gail & Me, aired on ITV. The 30-minute documentary celebrated Worth's 40 years as Gail.[3]


Worth has been honoured twice with the Outstanding Achievement Award" at awards ceremonies for her performance as Gail in Coronation Street. In September 2006, Worth won the "Outstanding Achievement Award" at the Inside Soap Awards. Then, on 25 May 2014, Worth won the "Outstanding Achievement Award" at The British Soap Awards 2014[4]

Personal life[edit]

Worth lives in Cheshire and also has a house in Chelsea, London. She married Thomas & Friends narrator Michael Angelis in 1991. Worth forgave Angelis when he admitted to an affair in 1995, but they split in 2001[5] after he strayed again with model Jennifer Khalastchi.[6] Following this, it was mistakenly reported by The Sun newspaper that Worth was dating London restaurant owner Simon Hopkinson.[7][8] Worth married London music teacher Trevor Dawson on 6 April 2013.[citation needed] On Coronation Street, Worth takes a great liking to her fellow cast mates but particularly her on-screen family. She stated that "It wouldn't have been the same without Tina O'Brien and Jack P. Shepherd" as her children. She says that she enjoys going to work just to see them and they always make her laugh. She has no children of her own.

Charity work[edit]

Worth is a patron of the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. She appears on television fronting campaigns and joined them at the House of Commons in 2006 to speak about the proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Bill and campaign for the retirement of Anne, the UK's last remaining circus elephant.[9]

She is a supporter of the charity ActionAid and has visited Sierra Leone in support of its work there.[10]


  1. ^ a b Rimmer, Alan. "Long-lost secret brother of Coronation Street star Helen". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2015. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Rimmer, Alan. "Rival soaps tie on awards night". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Gail & Me". ITV Press Centre (Press release). 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Profile, itv.com. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  5. ^ Crawford, Sue (7 March 2010). "Coronation Street's Gail in Jail: Helen Worth on soap's hottest story". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Coronation Street's Helen Worth talks for the first time about her marriage break-up sadness". Daily Mirror. 12 March 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Helen Worth and her mystery man". Coronation Street Blog. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Eva Wiseman. "Helen Worth on Simon Hopkinson". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Helen Worth". Born Free. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Helen Worth in Sierra Leone for ActionAid". Coronation Street Blog. 14 October 2009. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 

External links[edit]