Sally Dynevor has spent almost 36 years as Coronation Street’s much-loved character Sally Webster, but now the actor is taking on a new challenge by getting her skates on for Dancing On Ice 2022. which begins on ITV on Sunday Jan. 16 at 6.30pm. She’s partnered with pro skater Matt Evers.
The 58-year-old has starred in Coronation Street since 1986, with her character having storylines ranging from her on-off relationship with first husband Kevin to surviving a minibus crash and being flung in jail for fraud.
In 2015 she won a British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance and a second gong the following year for Best On-Screen Partnership with Joe Duttine.
Away from the cobbles, however, Sally has been married to scriptwriter Tim Dynevor since 1995 and their daughter Phoebe is following in her mum’s acting footsteps thanks to her role in the smash hit Netflix series Bridgerton in which she plays the main role of Daphne Bridgerton.
Here, Sally reveals how she hopes her stint on Dancing On Ice will inspire older women to take on new challenges...
Sally Dynevor on wanting to be a contestant on 'Dancing on Ice'?
Sally Dynevor says: "I’ve watched the show over the years and always fancied having a go, but I thought it was something I probably wouldn’t be able to do. This is a massive challenge for me. I’m getting older and I think if I don’t do it now I never will. To get an opportunity to do something like this and learn a skill at my age is just incredible. I’m doing it purely as a challenge for myself. As I get older I just want to try new things. I’ve been in Corrie for 35 years and I’ve loved every minute of it, but to be given an opportunity to do something different is wonderful and I’m really looking forward to it!"
So why do 'Dancing On Ice' this year?
Sally says: "That’s a really good question because I’d been thinking about doing it a few years ago, but I was climbing Everest Base Camp for Prevent Breast Cancer and I couldn’t do it then due to conflicting dates. I thought if I don’t do it this year I’m never going to do it. I've just got to bite the bullet! It's a challenge, but it will just be really good to take me out of my comfort zone. It’s something completely different for me. I’m not at all competitive, it’s just not in my nature."
Are you taking some time out from 'Coronation Street' to take part in 'Dancing On Ice'?
Sally says: "No, I’ll have to do both, which I know from the other cast members who have done Dancing On Ice before is quite tough! Both Brooke [Vincent] and Samia [Longchambon] said that I’d absolutely love it but to be prepared to work really hard. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to document everything and write it all down and just really enjoy it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience."
Have you ever skated before?
Sally says: "Never. No, it’s me on a penguin normally! I did take my daughter when she was little, but it was a waste of time as I was holding onto the side as much as she was! I’m pretty terrified of falling on the ice actually. But I spoke to my friend Denise [Welch] and she said, ‘oh you’ll be fine, they just carry you around the ice!'"
What are you most looking forward to about learning to skate with a professional partner?
Sally says: "I know this is going to sound really silly, but when I did a practice skate with the coach, he picked me up and spun me around and when he put me down on the ice I burst into tears! I just thought, ‘how wonderful, when do you get to be picked up and spun around?’ You just don’t, especially when you’re my age. So I’m really looking forward to the lifts and spins and all of those things."
How do you feel about viewers getting to see the real you after so long on 'Coronation Street'?
Sally says: "I like the idea of people to see me for who I am after all these years. I’m quite private and I’m not very good at putting my head above the parapet, so this is massive for me. It scares me a little bit because I’m very used to hiding behind a character and just being part of Coronation Street, but it will be nice for people to see me as me and not as my character. I also think it will be really nice for the public to see me dressed differently, so the glitz and the glamour will be really exciting. I’m looking forward to that!"
Do you think you might inspire older women to take up ice skating?
Sally says: "I hope so. I still feel like I’m 21 not 58, so I just think you’ve got to take every opportunity. Now my children have grown up it's much easier. I am a hands-on mum, but I just feel like this is my time."
Are you feeling nervous about the show at all?
Sally says: "Oh my gosh yes! This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done! I walked to Everest base camp but that was with a team and I was on two feet. I’m on two feet with this, too, but the ice is so slippery and that’s really scary. I think this will be really good for my confidence, though. I don't have much confidence in myself and I just think if I can do this, if I can skate on a live show, then I’ll feel like I can do anything. It's really important to me, at this age, to face my fears. A couple of years ago I probably wouldn’t do anything that was scary, but as I get older I think I’ve just got to face my fears and do it."
How about the lifts?
Sally says: "Actually I’m looking forward to those. It’s the little things that are really difficult, like skating backwards and crossovers. But when you get lifted up somebody else is doing the work, you just have to make sure you’re in the correct position. I hope I’ll be lifted up a lot!"
How do you think you’ll react to potential criticism from the panel of Torvill and Dean, Ashley Banjo and new joiner, 'Strictly' dancer Oti Mabuse?
Sally says: "That’s really interesting because I think I won’t mind at all. I’ll just be so proud of myself that I actually did it that I won’t care if anyone says, ‘You’re rubbish’ – unless I do a Todd Carty and skate straight off again! If I get through the routine and it’s roughly okay, they can criticise me all they want because inside I’ll be bursting with pride that I got through a live show!"
If you had to describe your strengths and weaknesses to your professional partner Matt Evers, what would they be?
Sally says: "A strength is that I’m willing to learn and I’m very good at taking direction. My weaknesses are that I’m not very strong, so if I get criticism from someone I’m working with really closely with, that would probably really upset me. I feel I need to be nurtured. If someone tells me that I have potential and that I’m doing really well, then I want to work hard. Negative criticisms just don’t go down well with me, they just makes me upset. But not from the judges because if I get through that first skate I won’t care!"
What do your family think about you taking part in 'Dancing On Ice'?
Sally says: "Everyone’s really excited. My husband was really nervous for me at first, he didn’t want me to hurt myself or break any bones. We’re also together all the time, so we were worried that I’d be homesick being away every weekend. But when I talked to Brooke, she said that you’re so busy that you don’t even think about that. It’s only until March and then it will all be over and what an achievement!"
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.
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