Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh almost returned for cameo

Former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played one half of the iconic cobbles couple Hayley and Roy Cropper, has revealed that she almost returned to the soap for a brief cameo following her exit.

Hesmondhalgh left the soap in 2014 after 16 years, with her character Hayley taking her own life following a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Now, she has shared with Inside Soap how much she misses the character and why her cameo appearance didn't ultimately happen.

Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

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"I miss Hayley, the comfort of putting those clothes and wig on and becoming her. I went for a visit a couple of years ago, and Alan Halsall [who plays Tyrone Dobbs] was filming a scene in Roy's Rolls.

"We begged the director to let me be an extra in the scene, dressed as myself, and sweep across the cafe as the shot began, with the back of my head to the camera so my nose didn't give me away! We thought it'd be funny if Tyrone did a tiny double take. But the director daren't do it as it was too much of a risk. It would have been an iconic moment!"

Hesmondhalgh also shared that, despite her own legendary status on the soap, she and co-star David Neilson (who plays Roy Cropper) would still be in awe of some of the older cast members.

"David and I would have 'Corrie moments' – usually in the Rovers – where we'd look around at Ken, Rita, Norris and Emily and be like, 'Oh, this is really amazing!' It never became normal. I really should have been at the gate collecting autographs because I'm a total fangirl."

Photo credit: ITV/Shutterstock
Photo credit: ITV/Shutterstock

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Meanwhile, Roy's recent heartbreaking monologue referencing Hayley touched The Pact star, with her character never being forgotten. Hesmondhalgh notes sadness for him not having the support of his devoted wife during the hard-hitting hate crime storyline experienced by his niece Nina Lucas, and how she would have been a great strength for the youngster during the ordeal.

"Whenever anyone talks about Hayley, I glow! I think that's part of the heartbreak of the storyline, that Hayley's not there for Nina. I think they'd have been really, really close. Hayley would have seen the vulnerability behind Nina's fairly confident, chippy exterior.

Coronation Street airs on ITV, with episodes currently premiering early on ITV Hub due to Euro 2020.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 ( or Mind on 0300 123 3393 ( Readers in the US are encouraged to visit or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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