Sue Cleaver tells of ‘lucky’ reconciliation with birth mother after adoption

Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver told campmates on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! how a chance encounter at a theatre led to a reconciliation with her birth mother.

Cleaver, who has played Eileen Grimshaw in the ITV soap since 2000, opened up to her fellow reality show contestants about being adopted and how acting “saved” her.

The 59-year-old explained that when she was in her early twenties she was at drama school and the Royal Exchange in Manchester were looking for “tiny parts” for the theatre production of Oedipus.

She explained that after walking in on the first day, an actor said: “Oh my god, she’s the absolute double of my wife when I met her,” before asking Cleaver for her date of birth.

Cleaver said he then asked where she was born: “And I went, ‘Barnet.’ He rung his wife and he said, ‘I’ve found her’.”

TV presenter Scarlette Douglas gasped at hearing the story: “What!”

Meanwhile, former England footballer Jill Scott said: “Nah, that has just given me goosebumps. That is the most incredible story I think I’ve ever heard.”

Comedian Babatunde Aleshe added: “That’s spooky. That’s mad.”

Cast of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 2022 contestants (ITV/PA)

Cleaver continued: “She was 16 or 17 when she had me. I think she did what she had to do. I grew up in a very loving family. It’s uncanny and I’ve got two half sisters who are all in the business.

“It’s lovely because my mum and my birth mother, we’ve all met, been out for dinner, we’ve all kept in touch, so we’ve all had a lovely relationship ever since, so it’s a nice ending. I’m very lucky.”

Later in the Bush Telegraph, Cleaver said: “I’m usually a very private person, I just feel really really safe and supported. It just naturally these things come out, it felt good to share.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on ITV on Saturday at 9pm.