The locals are off to Blackpool for the milestone instalment
Coronation Street actress Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Connor, has given fans a flavour of what they can expect from the show’s 10,000th episode.
The soap will reach the record-breaking milestone on 7th February, with episode 10,000 being the first half of a special hour-long instalment, in which the locals head to Blackpool.
The trip is arranged by Jenny in a bid to support Rita, who has been sent ex-husband Dennis Tanner’s ashes with a request to scatter them in the coastal town.
Sally Ann tells us: “Over the last few months, Rita has been feeling slightly isolated from the community, so this is Jenny’s way of showing that the community can come together. They’re there for Rita, not for Dennis.
“There’s a large number of people going, so Jenny organises a coach. But because it’s the 11th hour, the only bus she can get is a disco bus. There are tunes, lasers, glitter balls…and prosecco!
‘They’re divided into two camps. The back end of the bus is very raucous, and the more sedate lot are sat at the front. Jenny is chief organiser and takes her job very seriously.
“Evelyn is very drunk, and Eileen, Gail, Sally, Carla and Audrey get a bit tiddly.”
The Weatherfield star adds that the journey will be a comedy of errors with one disaster after another, which leaves the residents wondering if they’ll ever make it to the seaside at all.
“Manchester to Blackpool is about an hour and 20 minutes up the motorway," adds Sally Ann, "so not far away at all. Let’s just say that five hours in, and they’re still not there.
“The coach driver (a guest appearance by Early Doors star John Henshaw) needs to keep stopping to relieve himself. He has a very sensitive bladder!”
Sally Ann joined the soap as a 15 year old in 1986, and bowed out five years later. She made a guest appearance in 1993, before making a permanent comeback in 2015.
Reflecting on her early days on the cobbles, she tells us: “I didn’t even know that I wanted to be an actress; I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I would never have predicted I’d be in the show for its 10,000th ep.
“I’m grateful that Coronation Street gave me the opportunity, because I probably wouldn’t have gone on to become an actress otherwise. I would’ve done it on an amateur level and had a proper job.”
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When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.