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Sally Dynevor — things you didn't know about the TV star

Sally Dynevor at a Wicked press day
Sally Dynevor has been on our TV screens for more than three decades. (Image credit: Getty)

Sally Dynevor is best known for playing the role of Coronation Street's Sally Metcalfe (nee Seddon and Webster) for the last 36 years. Since arriving on the cobbles back in January 1986, social climber Sal has been at the center of the show's most explosive storylines and has become one of its best-loved characters. 

Over the decades she's gone from Rover's barmaid to the mayor of Weatherfield and is currently giving orders as a supervisor at Underworld. She's been imprisoned for fraud, the victim of domestic abuse, married three times and cheated death on more than one occasion.

Thankfully Sally's off-screen life is a lot more settled, and the star is happily married to her husband Tim, with whom she shares three children. And for many, she's now better known as the mum of actress Phoebe Dynevor, who's captured hearts playing Daphne Bridgerton in Netflix period drama, Bridgerton

Having challenged herself to step outside her comfort zone, 58-year old Sally is currently taking part in the 14th series of ITV's Dancing On Ice and is partnered with American pro skater Matt Evers. 

Here are a few facts you might not know about the soap legend...

Sally Dynevor always dreamt of becoming an actress

Born and raised in Middleton, Lancashire, Sally decided from an early age she wanted to become an actress. Her teachers didn't think the shy schoolgirl was cut out for a life in the spotlight, but Sally was determined to prove them wrong and joined the prestigious Oldham Theatre Workshop, where she first met Michael Le Vell, who would end up playing her on-screen husband Kevin Webster. 

But it was a chance meeting with Coronation Street legend Pat Phoenix (who played Elsie Tanner) which inspired a 13-year old Sally to succeed. Recalling the encounter, Sally told The Mirror: "I ran across the road and belted out, "Oh Pat, it's so wonderful to see you, I want to become an actor just like you." She told me, "You have to be very dedicated and work very hard". I walked away from that meeting determined to become an actress." 

After starring in TV show Juliet Bravo, Sally joined the world's most famous cobbles in January 1986, but unfortunately never got the chance to thank Pat for her invaluable advice as she'd just left the soap, and passed away later that year.

Her daughter is a world famous star

Sally's no longer the only famous face in her family since her eldest daughter Phoebe was propelled into superstardom playing the lead role in Bridgerton. After starting out in BBC's Waterloo Road, Phoebe landed parts in Younger and Snatch. But it was her portrayal of kind-hearted Daphne Bridgerton that gained Sally's lookalike daughter worldwide fame. 

Phoebe has also made her feature film debut as Clarice Cliff in the 2021 Sky Cinema drama, The Colour Room, and Sally couldn't be prouder of her girl. "She's carving out a career for herself and doing really well," she shared in a recent interview with Fabulous. "Phoebe's got great instincts. She's very bright and switched on, she knows what she's doing." Sally is also a mum to 24-year old son Sam, who works in financial PR, and daughter Harriet, who's 18 and currently studying for her A-levels.

Her husband also worked in the world of soap

Like his famous wife, Sally's husband of 25 years, Tim knows what it's like to work in Soapland, albeit on the other side of the camera. Tim has carved out a career as a successful scriptwriter, and up until 2016, he penned episodes for Corrie's rival soap, Emmerdale. 

Talent clearly runs in the family as Tim's father, Gerard Dynevor was a former director on Coronation Street. Tim and Sally got hitched in Trafford in 1996, and last year the couple celebrated their silver anniversary. Revealing the secret behind the success of their happy marriage, Sally told OK! Magazine: "Tim's my best friend, I tell him everything. Being open, honest, and forgiving is important, and not finding an argument in anything. He was also a really good friend for a few years before we got together."

She battled breast cancer the same time as her on-screen character

In 2009 life cruelly imitated art for Sally when she was diagnosed with breast cancer while filming scenes for her character's own battle with the disease. The harrowing storyline prompted Sally to go to the doctors about a small lump she'd discovered on her breast. After learning it was cancer, the actress successfully underwent surgery and chemotherapy and was able to return back to her beloved cobbles after a six-month break. 

Having always gone by her maiden name of Whittaker, Sally made the decision post-illness to change to her married surname of Dynevor so she could be the same as the rest of her family. Since 1999, Sally has been a passionate patron of Prevent Breast Cancer and campaigns tirelessly to help raise funds and awareness for the cause. As well as completing a  London to Paris cycle, Sally marked the ten-year anniversary of her diagnosis by climbing to the base camp of Mount Everest. In case you're wondering that's an impressive 130 kilometer round trip! 

Sally had an on-screen scrap with 'Loose Women' star Denise Welch

Back in the mid-nineties, Sally and Kevin Webster were Coronation Street's most solid couple. But that all changed when Kev began bedding his business partner Natalie Horrocks (played by Denise Welch) while his wife was away caring for her sick mum in Scarborough. All hell broke loose when Sally discovered their torrid affair, leading her to attack Natalie in the middle of the street. 23 years on from that epic scene, the actresses were reunited when Sally appeared as a guest on ITV's Loose Women, where Denise is a regular panelist. Reminiscing about their showdown Sally revealed: "I've never slapped anyone as hard as I slapped Denise - I had to spend 15 minutes apologizing afterward because I felt so bad. But it worked so well because we were such good friends." 

She doesn't ever want to leave 'Corrie'

Sally Dynevor as Sally Metcalfe in Coronation Street

Sally has played Sally Metcalfe in Coronation Street for almost 40 years.  (Image credit: ITV)

When Sally joined the soap as Kevin Webster's girlfriend she thought it was only for a few episodes and could never have imagined what was to come. 36 years on, Sally's one of the most integral characters in the long-running soap, and the star still gets the same buzz as she did on day one. "It's such a privilege to work on Coronation Street because I’m getting great stories. Where else would that happen?" she confessed during a chat with Fabulous

Sally doesn't see herself ever wanting to quit the job she clearly adores. “I can’t imagine anything that I would rather be doing. If Coronation Street said to me: ‘Bye, you’re off,’ I’d never close the door because I love it. For some actors, Coronation Street isn’t the life they want to lead. But for me, it’s perfect. It’s quite beautiful to have made life-long friends. You don’t get that in many jobs anymore. It’s really worth holding on to.” We can't wait to see what the next 36 years bring for our Sal.

Her co-stars are her biggest cheerleaders

Dancing on Ice series 14 Sally Dynevor and Matt Evers

Sally with her skating partner, Matt Evers. (Image credit: ITV)

Having made a promise to herself that she'd be braver after the pandemic, Sally's kept to her word by signing up for this year's series of Dancing On Ice. After playing the same character for three decades, she's hoping the millions of viewers will get the chance to see the 'real Sally' as she takes to the ice each Sunday. 

With no previous skating experience, it's a very daunting experience for the star, but luckily her Corrie co-stars have her back. Supporting Sal are Samia Longchambon, Anthony Cotton, Andy Whyment, Lisa George, and Jane Danson - who are all previous show contestants, and have been able to share their insider tips via their Corrie Dancing on Ice WhatsApp group. Sally has also been receiving messages of encouragement from her on-screen daughters Brooke Vincent and Helen Flanagan, who are both taking time out of the soap to focus on motherhood. 

Sally is the proud recipient of an MBE

The Queen's New Year honors for 2021 saw Sally being awarded an MBE for her services to drama. Speaking to The Mirror a month after learning she was to receive the acclaimed accolade, Sally confessed she was still in shock and felt humbled, grateful, and very proud. "I didn't believe it was real when I first found out that I was to be given an MBE. Keeping it a secret has been so difficult" she admitted. As well as thanking her family for their endless love and support, Sally dedicated her achievement to the people she'd met and worked with on Coronation Street and Prevent Breast Cancer, saying: "This honor is as much for them as it is for me."

Sally Dynevor's fact file

How old is Sally Dynevor?

Sally Dynevor is 58, she was born on 30th May 1963.

Is Sally Dynevor married?

Yes. Sally has been married to screenwriter Tim Dynevor since 1995.

Does Sally Dynevor have any children?

Sally and her husband Tim have three children together - Phoebe, Sam and Harriet.

Where was Sally Dynevor born?

Sally Dynevor was born in Middleton, Greater Manchester.

How tall is Sally Dynevor?

Sally Dynevor is five foot one.

Twitter:@sallydynevor

Instagram: @sallydynevor

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Laura Morgan
Laura Morgan

Laura has been a journalist for over a decade, writing about soaps, TV entertainment, fashion, beauty, and food. After graduating from university, she started her career working at a national soap and TV magazine. During her seven-year stint there she joined the cast of Emmerdale for a tour around the famous village, partied with soap stars at awards bashes, interviewed her acting idol David Suchet, and sat in the front row of Strictly Come Dancing

Her heart lies with the soaps, and her all-time favourite character has to be EastEnders' Pat Butcher - no one rocked a big earring quite like her. She's also a huge fan of detective crime dramas, particularly old school Inspector Morse, Endeavour, and adaptations of Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot. When she's not writing, she loves a spot of second-hand shopping and going on adventures with her young son.