ITV Coronation Street's Tina O'Brien's real life from famous ex to actress daughter

Tina O'Brien attending the Inside Soap Awards 2023
-Credit: (Image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Tina O'Brien is once again at the centre of a major storyline on Coronation Street.

The 40-year-old , who is well-known for her role as Sarah Barlow (nee Platt) in the ITV soap, has been busy on the cobbles lately. The character of Sarah was initially played by Leah King and Lynsay King when she was born to Gail Platt and Brian Tilsley in 1987.

Sarah and her older brother Nick were later adopted by Martin Platt when he married Gail in 1991. Tina took over the role when Sarah turned 12 on-screen in 1999. Throughout the years, Sarah has been involved in numerous dramatic storylines, including giving birth to her first child, Bethany, at 13.

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Her character has also been being kidnapped by her psychotic stepfather Richard Hillman, suffering the loss of her son Billy shortly after his birth, and witnessing the murder of Callum Logan by her sister-in-law Kylie. More recently, viewers have seen Sarah having an affair behind her husband Adam Barlow's back and miscarrying Damon Hay's child.

Damon is now in prison and has ended his relationship with Sarah. After paying off her daughter's returned groomer Nathan Curtis, Sarah will soon be taking matters into her own hands and attempting to bring him to justice for the murder of Lauren Bolton, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Tina O'Brien, who plays Sarah Platt on Coronation Street, has opened up about her character's involvement in the gripping storyline that started back in February with the disappearance of teenager Lauren, portrayed by Cait Fitton.

Actors Tina O'Brien and Ryan Thomas
Actors Tina O'Brien and Ryan Thomas -Credit:Getty Images

Discussing her enjoyment of the plot, Tina said: "Absolutely, originally Sarah was quite separate to the Lauren storyline, it seemed to have nothing to do with her, but the second that Nathan resurfaced it brought her into the fold."

She added: "It's this want and need to find Lauren, to know if she's alive or dead and to know if it's Nathan who's done this to her. So I'm really enjoyed being part of it."

Having grown up on-screen, viewers have watched Tina evolve from a young actress into a seasoned professional. Before landing the role of Sarah Platt over two decades ago, Tina appeared as Claire in the CITV hit Children's Ward in 1997.

She then joined the cast of the Salford-based soap in 1999, where her character became embroiled in a controversial pregnancy storyline at just 12 years old, leading to the birth of her on-screen daughter Bethany. Now 40, Tina took a break from the cobbles in 2008, and reflecting on her decision to leave at that time.

She said: "This has been an extremely difficult decision to make. I love playing Sarah and have had an amazing seven-and-a-half years in Coronation Street, but I feel that the time has come to see what else is out there for me as an actress."

Tina O'Brien, has had a big career on the small screen, with memorable roles including Bex Fisher in BBC One's Waterloo Road. Her acting credits extend to appearances in Casualty, Doctors, Blue Murder, and Clocking Off.

Reflecting on her journey with Corrie, she told The Mirror in 2021: "I think I got a three month contract to begin with and I was just hoping to get through the first three months here and hopefully stay. I feel incredibly lucky to be where I am and be part of such an amazing family."

Beyond the drama of Weatherfield, Tina's personal life has also been intertwined with the show, having dated fellow Corrie star Ryan Thomas, who played her on-screen ex-husband Jason Grimshaw, from 2003 until 2009. This followed shortly after her relationship with Bruno Langley, known for his role as Todd Grimshaw, ended.

Tina O'Brien attends the British Soap Awards 2023 at The Lowry Theatre in Salford
Tina O'Brien attends the British Soap Awards 2023 at The Lowry Theatre in Salford

In a candid chat with The Mirror back in 2007, Tina opened up about the dynamics of dating within the Corrie cast: "It was five months later when I got together with Ryan and I was worried about it as he's a friend of Bruno. But we worked hard to make sure there wasn't any tension between the three of us."

Tina and Ryan's off-screen relationship lasted six years, during which they welcomed their daughter Scarlett, before parting ways in 2009. Scarlett has evidently followed her parents' acting footsteps.

Last year, it was announced that the now-14 year old Scarlett would be featuring in the new reboot of Waterloo Road alongside her real-life uncle Adam Thomas and cousin Teddy Thomas. In the show, while Adam reprised the role of Donte Charles, Scarlett and Teddy played his on-screen children, Izzy and Tommy.

Tina meanwhile found love again with Adam Crofts. The two tied the knot on New Year's Eve 2018 at the luxurious King Street Townhouse in Manchester four years after they welcomed their son Beau into the world.

In fact, Tina confirmed last year how smitten she is by sharing a loving tribute to Adam on social media. The mum-of-two posted both solo shots of Adam and snaps of them together including from their wedding day, vacations, and fun nights out.

The series of images also featured throwback photos of Scarlett and Beau, from their younger years till now, including during a trip to Disneyland. Tina said: "I love this incredible human so much, Mr Adam Crofts," she then added: "It’s not his birthday or our wedding anniversary. Just cos."

Tina O'Brien, a stalwart of the cobbles, has forged strong connections with both current and past cast members. She's the godmother to Emily Walton, who originally portrayed Bethany Platt, Sarah's on-screen daughter from 2000 to 2007, before Lucy Fallon took over the role in 2015.

Coronation Street enthusiasts were also reminded last March of Tina's previous collaboration with fellow actor Ciaran Griffiths on Waterloo Road in 2011. Tina played Rebecca "Bex" Fisher, while Ciaran was cast as Dylan, a character obsessed with pornography.

His coercive control over Bex lasted 18 months, during which he filmed her without consent and uploaded the content online, only stopping his pursuit when she returned home. However, unable to possess Bex, he then targeted her sister Jess Fisher.