It’s Jessie Wallace as you’ve never seen her before…
This weekend, soap lovers are in for a rare surprise when ITV airs The Road to Coronation Street – a spin-off drama detailing the story of the UK’s longest-running serial series. Yet that’s not it, Jessie Wallace, a soap star best known to viewers as the EastEnders protagonist Kit Slater, trades Walford for Weatherfield as she takes center stage in the drama.
The Road to Coronation Street
Despite Coronation Street always airing on rival channel ITV, the drama was first aired back in 2010 on BBC Four and was made to mark Corrie’s 50th anniversary on our screens.
Yet this is not the first time ITV has broadcast The Journey to Coronation Street. The channel has repeated the drama several times on ITV3, and it was also broadcast on ITV when the producer of Coronation Street, Tony Warren, died in 2016. The drama follows Tony’s true story as a struggling scriptwriter who created a program for those living in a normal street of Salford terrace houses
Jessie’s role with a difference
Jessie Wallace plays legendary actress Pat Phoenix, who from the first episode in 1960 until 1984 played Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street. The EastEnders actress has been heaped with praise for her role as Pat, especially as it was such a shift from her usual role as the mouthy Kat of Walford.
The role of Tony Warren was portrayed by Actor David Dawson, while James Roache portrayed his real-life friend, Bill Roache, who still plays Ken Barlow’s iconic role to this day. Once The Road to Coronation Street first aired a decade ago, 852,000 viewers tuned in to watch it become the second most-watched show in the history of BBC Four after The Steptoe Curse in 2008.
Speaking of her role at the time, Jessie explained why playing Pat was such an honor… “Many strong women have been in soaps but she was the first. The visionary she was, “Jessie told Radio Times. “Elsie Tanner is indeed my all-time favorite soap character. I used to watch my nan over her. Her looks really reminded me of my nan. “Elise was beautiful, hot, and voluptuous. She just took it each time she was in a scene. You couldn’t cut off her hair.’