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)
Reality TV Star
Rosie Webster is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. She was born on screen during the episode broadcast on 25 December 1990. She was played by Emma Collinge from 1990 until 1999. Helen Flanagan took over the role on 23 January 2000. 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.
Rosie is the first born daughter to Kevin (Michael Le Vell) and Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor) and older sister to Sophie Webster (Ashleigh Middleton, Emma Woodward, Brooke Vincent), and older half sister to Jack Webster and deceased Jake Webster. Rosie's storylines have included her rivalry with younger sister Sophie, being kidnapped by John Stape (Graeme Hawley) and her modeling ambitions.
The character of Rosie Webster was introduced in December 1990. Her mother, Sally Webster, went into labour while at home alone, and gave birth in a taxi before she could make it to the hospital. At first, the Websters hired Martin Platt, a neighbour, to mind Rosie during the day so that Sally could return to work. This caused conflict between Sally and Martin's mother-in-law, Ivy. However, Sally soon gave up work in order to look after Rosie full-time.
Rosie had few storylines until the breakdown of her parents' marriage following her father Kevin's affair with Natalie Horrocks (Denise Welch). She then went through a bullying phase at school. Because of this and other difficulties, Sally decided to enroll her daughter at the more prestigious and academically rigorous Oakhill Grammar School. However, in order to afford the private school's fees, Sally took a job as a PA for Ian Davenport (Philip Bretherton), the father of one of Rosie's friends. Before long, Ian and Sally began an affair. Rosie discovered it, and disgusted, both distanced herself from her mother and tried to blackmail her over the affair.
Rosie subsequently went through a Goth phase and began a relationship with Craig Harris (Richard Fleeshman). Sally disapproved of the relationship, particularly once she found out that Rosie and Craig were having sex. This led to conflict between mother and daughter, including a near-death experience as a result of a car crash. While the Websters eventually became reconciled to Craig and Rosie's relationship, it came to an end in October 2006 when Rosie refused to elope to Berlin with Craig.
In 2007, Rosie began summer work as a PA in Underworld, the neighbourhood underwear factory, before beginning studies for her A-Levels at Weatherfield High. She began a secret affair with teacher John Stape (Graeme Hawley). Fiz Brown (Jennie McAlpine), John's girlfriend and another resident of Coronation Street, suspected that John was having an affair, but mistakenly thought he was sleeping with Rosie's mother Sally. This led to a street brawl and, realising the trouble she had caused, Rosie split up with John. However, John blamed Rosie for the consequences of their affair.
In 2008, he returned to Coronation Street and kidnapped her on two separate occasions—the first time he held her only briefly, but the second time he kidnapped her for several weeks, keeping her in the attic of his late grandmother's house. Rosie escaped when Fiz Brown accidentally discovered her. Later, Rosie decided to make some money from her ordeal and sold her story to the local papers as well as posing for photographs. Her parents found out about this on Christmas Eve 2008, her 18th birthday, and strongly disapproved of it.
Although John Stape had been arrested for kidnapping, in June 2009 he contacted Rosie and asked her to visit him in prison. She did so, and she was overjoyed when he told her he was giving her £150,000 in compensation. Rosie used the money to buy a sports car and invest in shares of "Underworld." However, her ex-boyfriend Luke Strong (Craig Kelly) conned her out of most of the money. Desperate for money, Rosie tried to blackmail John. She demanded £50,000 from him, saying that if he didn't pay up, she would claim he'd attacked her again. When John refused to pay her, Rosie carried out her threat, but inconsistencies in her story soon came to light. Rosie was forced to apologise and retract her statement to the police.
In January 2010, Rosie embarked on a career as a topless model, again to the disapproval of her parents. However, shortly after she discovered that her mother Sally was ill with breast cancer which caused her to reassess her own plans for a breast enlargement. Rosie was also supportive of her younger sister, Sophie, when she found out that she was in a same-sex relationship with Sian Powers (Sacha Parkinson). Sophie and Sian run away together, but are found a month later by Coronation Street resident Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas). Rosie therefore began to see Jason in a new light, and began a relationship with him in October 2010.
Two months later, Rosie was devastated to learn that her father, Kevin, had had an affair and fathered a son called Jack with Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns). This caused Rosie to move out of the family home and into 11 Coronation Street to live with Jason. In early 2011, Rosie forgave her father and asked to get to know her baby brother. However, this was a ruse to allow Rosie to enter a modelling audition, posing as mother and baby. Not only was Rosie unsuccessful, but when she returned home she realised she had brought the wrong baby with her.
In October 2011, John Stape—now a triple murderer—returned to Coronation Street. He kidnapped Rosie for a third time, trying to force her to go to Court as a witness in order to absolve Fiz—by now Stape's wife—from murder charges. Kevin Webster and Jason Grimshaw overheard Rosie's cries for help and ran to her rescue. John fled by car, and with Kevin in pursuit, deliberately crashed his car into the back of a lorry. John confessed his crimes to the police in hospital before dying of his injuries. In February 2012, Rosie received an opportunity to take part in reality television series. She broke off her relationship with Jason Grimshaw and left Coronation Street for London.
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."
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.
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.
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 Steet. 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".
|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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- Kris Green (2 June 2009). "Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster, Corrie)". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
- Kris Green (2 June 2009). "Rosie on Kevin's affair and Tony's downfall". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
- Jen Blackburn (1 June 2009). "Street siren Rosie in men's knickers twist". The Sun. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (15 October 2011). "'Coronation Street' star Helen Flanagan confirms soap exit". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 15 October 2011.
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- Jon Wise (20 July 2008). "We met in a sauna.. and it's been hot ever since". The People. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
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