The real life of Coronation Street’s Gail Platt actress Helen Worth

It will be the end of an era on Coronation Street later this year as Gail Platt leaves Weatherfield in what is described as an ’emotional’ departure for the much-loved character.

Actress Helen Worth recently announced the difficult decision to step down from her role in the ITV soap as she celebrates a major milestone. She will celebrate her golden anniversary on the show next month (July), but towards the end of 2024, viewers will see Helen and Gail say goodbye to Weatherfield in a major storyline for the Platt family.

It has been confirmed that the 73-year-old will begin filming her exit story next month and the emotional scenes will hit screens at the end of this year.

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Speaking about her upcoming departure, Helen said: “This year felt like the perfect time to leave the show after celebrating 50 years in the most beautiful job on the most beautiful street in the world. I made the decision at the beginning of the year. and spoke to the producers who were very kind and understanding.

“I have been truly blessed to have been given the most incredible scripts week in and week out and to have worked with fantastic actors, directors and a brilliant crew. The last fifty years have flown by and I don’t think the fact that I am leaving is still fully penetrated.”

The acting legend joined the ITV soap in 1979 at the age of 23, 14 years after viewers were first introduced to the people of Weatherfield. She was initially intended to be a very minor, a friend of the more established character Tricia Hopkins, who was introduced as part of a new family.

The Hopkins family had little impact on the show, and after they were written out, Gail became one of the most popular and high-profile characters in the series’ history. The Platt matriarch has endured a number of failed romances, prison sentences, near-death experiences, drama with her children over the years and recently found out her brother was a serial killer.

Helen during her early years in the ITV soap as Gail -Credit:ITV

Helen during her early years in the ITV soap as Gail -Credit:ITV

As for Helen’s career, she graduated from drama school and went on to work in repertory theatre, including a year with BBC Radio’s repertory company. She has had uncredited supporting roles in the films Oliver! and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and appeared on television in the Doctor Who story Colony in Space, The Doctors, Helen: A Woman of Today, Within These Walls and The Carnforth Practice.

But her actual first known role was in Z-Cars, a police series on BBC One, in which she played Maisie for one episode. However, she was then known to Helen Wiggleworth. And Helen Worth isn’t technically her real name – she was born Cathryn Helen Wigglesworth – but apparently never explained the reason for the change.

As for Corrie, Helen was a mainstay in the cast of the ITV soap and was honored by ITV in 2014 with a 30-minute documentary to celebrate her 40th anniversary in the ITV serial drama, with a one-off special entitled Gail & Me. At the time, the TV icon said she planned to never go out, that she was happy with Gail’s endless drama and that she loved her job.

And last year she beamed with joy when she was appointed MBE by the Prince of Wales. She swapped the famous cobblestones of Coronation Street for Windsor Castle in January and was full of praise for Prince William. Helen told the PA news agency: “He (William) was so nice, so easy. He asked the right questions. He was very complimentary.”

Helen collects her MBE -Credit: Getty ImagesHelen collects her MBE -Credit: Getty Images

Helen collects her MBE -Credit: Getty Images

She added: “It just feels amazing. Collecting an MBE is very special. But to receive it in this beautiful building and be able to walk through it and look at all these pictures and tapestries, I love castles and houses in history, and so for me to come here today is absolutely wonderful.”

And while her off-screen life hasn’t been as dramatic, it has had its ups and downs, from childhood loss to unfaithful marital breakdowns. In her life behind the cameras, Helen has opened up about her own two marriages: first to the late Michael Angelis and second to teacher Trevor Dawson.

The soap star married Liverpool-born narrator Michael, who will be recognized for portraying Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, in 1991, having met years earlier in the 1970s.

But just a few years after he tied the knot, the couple found themselves in a shaky situation after he had an affair in 1995 and revealed his infidelity to his wife after it was leaked to the press. Despite forgiving Michael, Helen later divorced him in 2001 when it was revealed the star was involved in another affair with model Jennifer Khalastchi – who he married the same year.

Speaking to the Mirror at the time of her heartbreaking divorce from Michael, who died aged 76 in May 2020, Helen said: “Nothing can ever prepare you for the day when your husband asks you to the table and you says he is having an affair. .

“My marriage was everything to me. It was the foundation on which everything else was built. I was with Michael for almost half my life. I never thought we wouldn’t grow old together.”

Helen with the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PAHelen with the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PA

Helen with the late Michael Angelis on their wedding day -Credit: PA

More than a decade after her divorce, Helen married Trevor in 2013 and admits it was ‘love at first sight’ with the ‘gorgeous’ music teacher from London. Speaking to her former co-star Nigel Havers in a segment on This Morning in 2021, she said: “I met Trevor about 10 years ago and I’m really thanking my lucky stars.

“He’s just beautiful.” And Trevor has previously opened up about how she managed to woo him. ‘Cooking is Helen’s department. I do the eating. She’s really good.’ But Trevor, who is seven years younger than Helen, was already a fan of the star and regularly watched her on-screen character.

“We watch the show together. I was a fan of it for years. I used to watch it with my mother. Of course Gail was my favorite,” he told The Mirror in 2016. The couple actually kept their relationship private. more than a year before she tied the knot in 2012 in front of many of her Corrie co-stars.

The newlyweds were greeted by nearly 200 well-wishers who cheered as they left the ceremony. Helen told their guests at the time: “It was the most fantastic day, it exceeded all expectations. We are thrilled that so many of our friends and family were able to be here to celebrate with us.”

Despite living in London for a long time, Helen grew up in Morecambe, Lancashire. At the age of eight, her parents adopted an 11-year-old Ghanaian-born foreign student, who remained with the family for eight years.

He left their home shortly after Helen’s mother tragically died in an accident. The actress was just 20 at the time and has spoken of her devastation that her mother never got to see her in the legendary role of Gail. The Daily Star reports that Helen said in a previous interview: “The only person I really wanted to tell when I got the part of Gail was my mother.

“She would have been so excited. Even more excited than me. She’d been there all the time – at the dance classes, holding my hand before the competitions, putting on her best suit to take me to London for auditions. But then I finally did it, she wasn’t there to share it with me. I never missed her again.”

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