'Coronation Street' star Lorna Laidlaw reveals the REAL reason we didn't see her character on screen for months

Coronation Street - Aggie won't let Grace leave!
Aggie was missing from screen for months. (Image credit: ITV)

Coronation Street star Lorna Laidlaw, who plays the Bailey family matriarch, Aggie, has revealed why her character wasn't seen on screen for months at a time over the last year. 

Fans of the soap were confused to see Aggie vanish from the cobbles just as the Bailey family were thrown into the centre of Weatherfield drama when Ed's brother, Ronnie arrived on the street. 

It soon transpired that Aggie and Ronnie had history, leaving Michael to wonder if Ronnie could in fact be his father and not Ed. 

But as her family was falling apart at the seams, fans were surprised that Aggie appeared in scenes via video call, rather than in person. 

The soap managed to explain that Aggie was having to isolate in a hotel after coming into contact with patients at work who had tested positive for coronavirus, and it turns out that actress Lorna was also isolating. 

Lorna Laidlaw as Coronation Street's Aggie Bailey

Aggie is back on our screens after months of absence.  (Image credit: ITV)

Since the start of the pandemic, it hasn't been unusual for some of the cast members to be absent from screen because they were vulnerable or shielding, but for Lorna, her absence was all about keeping her mum safe.

She told Inside Soap how pleased she was to be back filming again: "It feels great [to be back] though I was pleased to dial into the Street via Aggie's video calls.

"I was supposed to be in these scenes, but I was shielding and protecting my mum, so I said to Corrie, 'Why don't we just do them over Whatsapp?'

"I did my own make-up and dressed my home to look like a hotel, as Aggie was meant to be isolating following her shifts at the hospital. Some days it was really hot, so I was wearing my nurse uniform on top of a pair of shorts and flip-flops, as no one was going to see them."

Grace gets excited... but things aren't all they seem.

Grace is set to blackmail Ed and Aggie in coming scenes.  (Image credit: ITV)

Thankfully Lorna is back on our screens once again, and just in time for another big Bailey drama.

This week will see Michael finally admit to Grace that he doesn't love her, and of course, the news doesn't go down well. Soon Aggie and Ed catch Grace packing her bags, determined to leave.

But when Aggie tries to stop Grace from fleeing, things take a nasty turn when a hurt Grace tries to blackmail Michael's parents into giving her a house that they have just bought to rent out.

Will she succeed in getting her own way?

Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour-long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV - see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also stream this week’s episodes on ITV Hub now. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.