Sarah Lancashire: Leaving Coronation Street was like 'jumping off a bridge'

Sarah Lancashirehas confessed leaving Coronation Street felt like jumping off a bridge, because she didn't know where her career would take her.

The award-winning actress played barmaid Raquel Watts in the ITV soap for six years until 1996 and has gone on to star in Last Tango In Halifax, Where The Heart Is, Clocking Off and Rose And Maloney.

She compared leaving Coronation Street to jumping off a bridge at midnight: "And it was, because I didn't know how it was going to affect me."

But she feels like she lost the soap tag. "I've escaped it - it's everyone else who hasn't! It was fun and I loved the character, but I think that you have to literally move on from something if you intend to have a career beyond it."

The 49-year-old mother-of-three doesn't think of herself as ambitious, however.

"Well, I'm ambitious to provide for my family, and if that means I work, I work," she said. "Acting's only part of my life. I'm a mum and wife and daughter. But I'm very grateful that I'm still continuing to do a career I love."

The second series of Last Tango In Halifax begins on BBC One on Tuesday, November 19.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.