Bowdon resident Sally Dynevor on Corrie and her cancer scare
- Credit: ITV Coronation Street
This month the renowned celebrity makeup artist, Armand Beasley, talks books, beauty and Bridgerton with Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor.
Sally Dynevor has been at the centre of some of the most dramatic, as well as hilarious, Coronation Street storylines since she made her debut on the cobbles as Sally Seddon in 1986. Since then, she has become Sally Webster (wife of Kevin) and now Sally Metcalfe (wife of Tim). I first met Sally a staggering 21 years ago and since then we have regularly bumped into each other at events or in The Garden in Hale, and recently she has become my regular Zoom fitness-class buddy, as we have the same instructor. Last year, Bowdon resident Sally was awarded an MBE for services to drama, while her family were busy generating their own headlines. She begins 2022 as a contestant on the popular Dancing on Ice series, being partnered with Matt Evers.
Did you know from a young age you wanted to be an actress?
I knew from the age of 13, after I joined Oldham Theatre Workshop. Then I moved to London to go to drama school at 17, Coronation Street brought me back up north when I was 23 and I moved to South Manchester.
When you first auditioned for the part of Sally Seddon was there any indication this character would be a series regular?
Not really. I think I was brought in to play one of Kevin’s many girlfriends, for four episodes, then I was lucky enough to be offered a longer contract, and 35 years later I still haven’t left.
Have you ever been tempted to ask for some time off to do any other projects such as theatre or film?
Yes, in 1994 I left for a while to do A Taste of Honey at the Bolton Octagon, which I loved. Then, once our children started arriving, I never seemed to find any more time, but now they’re grown up I’d love to do some more theatre in the future.
Drama must be in the Dynevor genes with your screen-writer husband, Tim, having huge success with Emmerdale and most recently The Drowning, not to mention your eldest, Phoebe, finding huge success with Bridgerton. What advice have you and Tim given to your children about their careers?
Drama really is in the family genes. The children’s paternal grandparents were both actors with Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop. We’ve always just wanted the children to do something they love. We told Phoebe how challenging life can be as an actor but she was utterly determined, just like I’d been at that age.
Were you shocked at the success of Bridgerton?
I think Bridgerton came along at the perfect time. During the lockdown everyone needed a slice of big budget romantic escapism, and it was lovely to see that people really responded to it.
Have you been tempted, during lockdown, to record a two-hander with Phoebe? Do you think that there will be an opportunity for you to work together?
Phoebe’s fortunate to have been really busy for most of lockdown. I love the thought of working with her one day.
How did you occupy your time during the various restrictions?
It was quite a special time as we had all three children home for a lot of lockdown. We took a lot of walks, did loads of cooking, played games, did jigsaws and watched a lot of TV.
What are your three favourite books? And why?
I’m reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, which I’m loving. It’s deceptively heartbreaking. I also loved The Book of Joy – the Dalai Lama talking to Desmond Tutu, it’s full of wisdom and a guide to happiness in a changing world. I also recommend Annice Mukherjee’s The Complete Guide to the Menopause, a must-read for any woman who wants help through this challenging time.
In one of your many storylines, Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer, which led to you discovering a lump in your breast. You have publicly spoken about this many times, but what protocols did you put in place to help you fight the disease?
I put myself entirely in the hands of the brilliant NHS and my incredible surgeon Lester Barr. As parents, Tim and I tried to be as open and honest as we could about what was going on, and we got through a difficult time together. It will be 12 years ago in October.
You’re a patron for Prevent Breast Cancer. Tell us about the charity and why it’s special?
PBC is a very special charity; it’s the only UK-based charity funding ground-breaking research solely aimed at preventing the disease for future generations.
You look great. Have you always looked after yourself? Tell us about your fitness regime.
During lockdown I’ve really enjoyed Zoom exercise classes with our friend Bertrand Charles. I’ve also tried to run regularly, as well as some yoga and a lot of walking.
Growing up, what’s your earliest memory from your mum or grandma's beauty regime?
All I remember are powder puffs and bright lipstick!
Tell me about your beauty routine. What are your three favourite skincare products?
I don’t really have one. I just use whatever I have on the shelf. At the moment it’s Sunday Riley, SkinCeuticals and E45.
What three makeup products would you be lost without?
A Lancôme mascara, Bobbi Brown eye shadow and MAC lipstick.
I’m a great believer of active ageing rather than anti-ageing. How do you feel about ageing, as somebody in the public eye? Do you feel that there’s increased pressure?
There is an increased pressure, especially with HD cameras at work, but I’m trying hard to grow old gracefully.
Over the past 12 months, so many people have struggled with their mental health. What helps you through challenging times?
Family. And exercise has really helped. It changes your state of mind dramatically.
We live in a world where our devices and phones can easily take over. You seem to dip in and out without being consumed by it. How do you balance work obligations with your private life?
Having three children really focuses your energy. You become absorbed in their worlds so much of the time.
Congratulations on your MBE for services to drama. Your character had been at the heart of some Coronation Street’s most gripping storylines. As an actress, what has been your most challenging storyline so far?
Of course, the breast cancer story. You never think that life will imitate art. But in this case, I’m thankful it did, as I may not have checked my own breasts.
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Coronation Street airs on ITV on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Sally is also one of the contestants in the 2022 Dancing on Ice on ITV