'Coronation Street' star Harriet Bibby: 'Everyone asks me for ID!'

Coronation Street character Summer
Coronation Street star Harriet Bibby is much older that alter-ego Summer Spellman. (Image credit: ITV)

Coronation Street star Harriet Bibby, who plays Summer Spellman, has revealed that she always gets asked for ID when buying alcohol, as people assume she is the same age as her character.

The fictional Summer is just 16 years old, but in real life, Harriet is actually 23.

Harriet tells us: “I’ve just turned 23 and Summer is 16, nearly 17. 

“I have always been cast younger than my age, and always been mistaken for being younger in real life — I’ve always got ID in my pocket.

“With the face I’ve got, everyone asks me for ID!”

Harriet joined the ITV soap last year, taking over the role of Summer from Matilda Freeman, who had played the character since 2017.

She had previously starred in an episode of Doctors, playing a 17-year-old who had been assaulted by a driving instructor.

“It’s always a little bit difficult taking over a role from another actor, especially in a show like Corrie, because people grow so attached,” she adds. 

“But Summer was quite a young character when Matilda was playing her, whereas now, especially with the storylines we’ve been given over the past couple of months such as the hate crime, we’re seeing Summer as more of a young adult. I get to grow her up a bit!

“And Dan (Daniel Brocklebank, who plays Billy) and Gareth (Pierce, who plays Todd) are such lovely lads that we clicked from day one.

“Gareth was the new Todd as I was the new Summer, so we had to establish this rooted relationship without either of us experiencing it. 

“But I think we found our feet quite easily. The three of us get on so well off-screen, so it’s easy to find that loving, funny, banterish relationship.”

Summer Spellman is diagnosed with diabetes

Coronation Street teen Summer will soon be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. (Image credit: ITV)

On-screen, Summer has been seen struggling to focus on revision recently, and the normally diligent pupil was appalled to hear she had spoken French in a Spanish oral exam.

Next week, Todd and Billy fear their daughter has an eating disorder when she loses her appetite and faints several times. 

But when the schoolgirl is checked out at the hospital, she is diagnosed with having type 1 diabetes.

“It’s a massive shock,” says Harriet. 

“I think a lot of people have heard of diabetes, and go ‘Oh yeah, they’ve got diabetes,’ but I don’t think a lot of people know what it actually is and what actually happens to your body, because I know I didn’t when we started discussing this storyline. 

“When Summer is diagnosed, there’s this huge hit of, ‘Oh, right, I’ve got this lifelong condition that I’m going to have to deal with, but I don’t even know what it is or what I have to do to control it.’ So I think she’s a bit scared.

“She doesn’t really give herself any time to be ill, because she’s so concerned with doing well at school. 

“She struggles to begin with, and it’s about coming to terms with what happens.”

Coronation Street continues on ITV (see our TV Guide for full listings).

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

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.