Coronation Street fans are set to get a blast from the past as actress Tracie Bennett reprises her role as Sharon Bentley after 22 years.
The actress, 59, will return to the cobbles to the role she made famous in the 80s and 90s as Rita Tanner’s errant foster daughter.
Sharon Bentley was last seen in Weatherfield in 1999, and no one is more surprised to see her than Rita (Barbara Knox), especially as the pair fell out over Sharon’s attempt to sell the Kabin after it was gifted to her.
Comeback: Coronation Street fans are set to get a blast from the past as actress Tracie Bennett reprises her role as Sharon Bentley after 22 years
Jenny Connor (Ann Matthews) is also less than impressed with the prodigal foster daughter’s return and Rita’s decision to give Sharon another chance.
On her return to Coronation Street 22 years after leaving, and 39 years since she first arrived as troubled teenager Sharon, Tracie said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to the cobbles.
‘It is a dream come true for me, I had such an amazing time there and I am looking forward to working with Barbara again and getting my teeth into the storylines they have planned for Sharon.
‘I was first approached about coming back about 18 months ago, I was keen and excited to see what was in store but my work schedule and then the pandemic has meant that it has taken till now for it all to come together.
Character: The actress, 59, will return to the cobbles to the role she made famous in the 80s and 90s as Rita Tanner’s errant foster daughter (pictured with Barbara Knox)
Tracie said: ‘I had such an amazing time there and I am looking forward to working with Barbara again and getting my teeth into the storylines they have planned for Sharon’
‘I am so pleased that I can finally tell everyone as it has been hard trying to keep the secret.’
Producer Iain MacLeod said of Tracie’s return: ‘It’s extremely exciting to see someone of Tracie’s calibre revisit a role so rich in history and with such a complicated psychology.
‘Sharon returns across some badly burned bridges to reconnect with Rita – but very quickly her presence becomes destabilising and extremely dangerous, in ways that I hope the viewers won’t see coming.
‘The big question is: what has her life become since she was last on the Street? The answer to that question will drive a massive story for us, which runs into the summer and beyond.’
She added: ‘I was first approached about coming back about 18 months ago, I was keen and excited to see what was in store but my work schedule and then the pandemic has meant that it has taken till now for it all to come together’
Tracie made 173 appearances as Sharon in 1982, 1983-84, and 1999 ruffling more than a few feathers along the way.
She made a play for Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten), and lied to Gail (Helen Worth) that they were having an affair, before leaving under a cloud.
Returning briefly in 1983 she caught the eye of Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy) but dumped him for his mate Terry Duckworth (Nigel Pivaro).
In 1999 she came back to invite Rita to her wedding to Ian Bentley, who she subsequently dumped at the alter – exposing his affair with Natalie Barnes (Denise Welch).
Story: Sharon Bentley was last seen in Weatherfield in 1999, and no one is more surprised to see her than Rita, especially as the pair fell out over Sharon’s attempt to sell the Kabin
Happy that Sharon decided to stay around after the wedding fiasco, Rita offered Sharon a job at The Kabin.
Sharon happily accepted, although she soon clashed with Rita’s assistant Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson).
Much to Leanne’s horror, and that of few of Rita’s other friends, Rita offered The Kabin to Sharon as a birthday gift. Rita admitted to Sharon that she offered her the business as she was lonely.
After an ill-fated romance with Danny Hargreaves (Richard Standing) and a suicide attempt, Sharon got back in touch with ex fiance Ian and much to Rita’s dismay she put the Kabin up for sale to purchase a house with Ian in Bolton. Rita bought the Kabin back off Sharon and sent her packing.
Since leaving Coronation Street Tracie has carved out a career in the theatre, winning two Olivier Awards for roles in West End productions and was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow on Broadway.
History: Tracie made 173 appearances as Sharon in 1982, 1983-84, and 1999 ruffling more than a few feathers along the way (pictured in 1999)
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