Coronation Street has confirmed that former EastEnders star Janet Dibley - pictured here in comedy classic The Two of Us with Only Fools legend Nicholas Lyndhurst - has joined the soap and will be appearing at Christmas for a special storyline.
ITV has confirmed that much-loved actress Janet Dibley, who was a firm favourite on EastEnders when she was in the soap 20 years ago, will appear in Coronation Street for seven episodes over the festive period.
Janet, who starred with Nicholas Lyndhurst in The Two of Us early in her career, won the hearts of soap fans in 1997 with her role of Lorna Cartwright, an alcoholic who met Phil Mitchell at an AA meeting, before embarking on an affair that eventually ended Phil’s marriage to then-wife Kathy.
But that wasn’t the last time soap fans saw Janet on our screens. She returned to the role of Lorna back in March 2016 when Phil once again sought out his support group and the pair came face-to-face once again.
The actress is a huge scoop for Coronation Street, and with shows like Doctors, Broadchurch, Unforgotten and Fat Friends under her belt it’s easy to see why Janet was chosen for the new role on the Weatherfield soap.
The 59-year-old actress will be playing Melinda, a primary school head teacher who will appear as part of a nativity storyline featuring cobbles favourite Brian Packham (Peter Gunn).
A source told the Daily Star: “This is a big coup for producers. Janet was a big favourite on EastEnders, but she’ll now be spicing things up at Corrie.”
New Coronation Street producer, Iain MacLeod, has made no secret of the fact he plans to make this Christmas on the cobbles more of a traditional one.
At a recent press day he told us: “I wanted it to be a Christmassy Christmas. There’s a history in soap of trying to do the Angie and Den Christmas where it’s all acrimony and divorce papers.
“That’s not really my preference – when you’re trying to digest your stuffing balls and sprouts, you need things to be warm and lighthearted in places and to reek of Christmas.”
Coronation Street continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
Main picture ITV/REX/Shutterstock, Fat Friends: ITV/REX/Shutterstock, and Janet today pic: Piers Allardyce/REX/Shutterstock