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Sally Webster (née Seddon) is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Streetmarker. Portrayed by actress Sally Whittaker, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 22 January 1986.

Creation

Casting

Auditions were held for the part of Sally with eventually actress Sally Whittaker securing the role. Sally had previously auditioned twice for roles on the show, first auditioning for the role of the milkman's eldest daughter and for a girlfriend of the character of Kevin Webster, both of which she did not receive the latter being down to the fact his girlfriend needed to be posh. Even though onscreen, the characters eventually married. During the same interview with The People's Soap Special, she also spoke about how terrifying her first episode was to film because she had not done any TV work prior to the role and the scene involved one of the show's widely-known characters Hilda Ogden.

Development

Sally is ambitious, sometimes even arrogant, and is considered by various Street residents (Janice Battersby in particular) to be quite snobby. Such behaviour is apparent in her attempts to live above her station. In the past, she has pressured her family to do what she tells them. She tried to force her daughter Rosie to attend a prestigious school but she did not want to go. Another event saw her become envious of a friend's large house. Once, in fear of being constantly regarded by her daughters as the "bad guy", Sally would intentionally act passive and forgiving when the girls acted up, making Kevin out to be the mean, unfair parent when he scolded them for their behaviour. Kevin eventually got his revenge when he and the girls trashed the house while Sally was out. When she returned and saw the mess, she couldn't keep up her act and became angry, feeling as though her role in the family was unimportant. Kevin told her otherwise, declaring that she always keeps the family in order and on their toes, and that she is genuinely appreciated by all.'
Sally as she appeared in 1987.
In a 2008 interview with newspaper The People, Sally Whittaker expressed her delight with Sally's ever evolving personality: "After more than 20 years, I still get the same pang of excitement over a good script as I did when I first joined the show. Sally meddles in everyone else's business and thinks she is so much better than the rest of them but really she is just the same. There aren't many dull moments. Sally is a fabulous character and I know I am so lucky to play her. All those years ago when I started she wasn't like this so I am so pleased that the producers have made her change. It has only been over the last five years that she has turned into a right cow. That is brilliant because it means I can show what I can do as an actress. I know some viewers hate her, others love her, but I am pleased she is talked about. I hope she carries on being like this for a very long time to come."

In September 2009, it was revealed that Sally would fall victim to breast cancer. Speaking of the plot, Sally Whittaker said: "I do know women who have suffered or are suffering from breast cancer. For the last year, I have been fundraising for breast cancer charities and am a long-standing patron for The Genesis Appeal. So, when I was told about this storyline I was determined to do it justice for all the women out there who are going through what Sally is. A few years ago, I found a lump and was sent to get it checked out straight away. I was lucky that it proved to be nothing but the time spent waiting to find out the results was agonising." A Coronation Street spokesperson added: "Breast cancer is a disease which affects so many women and their families. We are keen to ensure that the storyline accurately reflects the many problems and issues faced by breast cancer sufferers."

Storylines

Meeting Kevin Webster

Sally first appeared as a teenager in 1986 when she met Kevin Webster. He accidentally drenched her when driving through a puddle. He offered her a lift home so she could change and they began dating. Kevin proposed to Sally after learning that his family were moving to Germany. She later married him, despite their vastly different personalities. The couple had a cheap register office wedding.

Sally's family, the Seddons, were dominated by a violent father, and Sally had a chequered past. The couple lodged with Hilda Ogden, and Sally gradually settled down. Sally was always full of spirit, tended to the bossy side and always wanted Kevin to better himself.

In 1987, Sally took a job at the Corner Shop and she and Kevin moved into the flat overhead. Later that year, Hilda left the Street, selling No.13 to the couple at a knock-down price. Several times, Sally tried to get Kevin to buy the garage, urging him to become his own boss. Kevin was never that keen on running the place which frustrated Sally no end.

Starting a family and marital strife

Sally has two daughters by Kevin, Rosie and Sophie. When Sally gave birth to her first child in 1990, she was in a taxi on Rosamund Street, so she named her baby Rosie. In 1994, she named her second child Lauren, but Rosie kept calling her 'Sophie', so Sally legally changed her name. Sally worked as a childminder for a time, and also worked in Mike Baldwin's factory as a clerical assistant. After Kevin had an affair with an older woman, Natalie Horrocks, Sally found being a single mum was very difficult. She took Kevin back temporarily, for the sake of the girls and for security which had always been lacking in her own childhood but that didn't last long when she was drawn to the devilish and violent Greg Kelly. Greg involved Sally in his bid to force Mike Baldwin out of business, and used her inheritance money as part of his scheme. Greg hit Sally after an argument and she allowed the girls to move back into No.13 with Kevin, whilst she went to stay with Rita Sullivan. It took Sally a while, and several men, including local mechanic Chris Collins with whom she enjoyed a passionate affair, to find her way inevitably back to Kevin.

Other relationships and remarrying Kevin

Sally divorced Kevin, and was about to marry Danny, whom she had met while running a stall at the open market in 1999, but he backed out of the wedding when he learned she had been unfaithful with Kevin. After a brief relationship with Martin Platt, she remarried Kevin for monetary reasons and to give the children stability. During wedding preparations, Sally developed a crush on Alex the decorator, who was doing some work for them. She nearly left Kevin for him. Kevin found out just before the wedding and assured Sally that he would still marry her. Sally did the right thing for her family and said goodbye to Alex and married Kevin. There are some indications that she does actually love him once again, although she cheated on him in 2005.

Affair with Ian Davenport

Sally, looking for something challenging in the employment stakes, took a job working as a personal assistant to prosperous garage owner, Ian Davenport, whose daughter Rosie was going to school with. Her fling with rich Ian Davenport was little more than prostitution to gain financial security for her family and help pay Rosie's private school fees. Ian used her as one in a long succession of women. When he finished with her, she was bitter and resentful as she came crashing back to earth, having risked her family for a fling and it stung even more because Kevin knew down deep his wife was unfaithful but was willing to overlook it.

Turbulent relationship with Rosie

Sally turned her ambitions to her oldest daughter, Rosie. When Rosie expressed a passing interest in being a pop star, Sally pushed her onto the stage where she was miserable. In a particularly humorous event Sally was indignant when Ken Barlow misspelled Rosie's name as 'Rosie Wobster' in a newspaper review of her school show. She then pushed Rosie into a posh private school and railed against Rosie dating Craig Harris, a neighbourhood lad from a family with a somewhat shady and violent past (too much like her own). The final straw was discovering that Rosie and Craig were having sex even though they were approaching it sensibly. Sally's emotions and nerves crumbled and she took Rosie on a wild drive across the M62 en route to a boarding school. Kevin caught up and cradled his broken wife, who confessed about her broken dreams and life in a back street, wanting more for her children than she had.

John Stape

In 2007, Sally decided to take an A-Level in English and had private lessons with John Stape, who she developed a crush on, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Fiz Brown.

On 5 November, Sally told John how she felt about him and was upset when he said that he didn't return her feelings. Rosie walked in and saw Sally was upset and wanted to know what was going on. Later, John told her, so Rosie knew that her mum is interested in her lover. John stopped giving Sally lessons.

On 19 November, John visited Sally at the factory to discuss Rosie and Lee. Sally got something in her eye, and John tried to help remove it but they looked like they were in a compromising position, just as Fiz and Sean entered the factory. Fiz thought they were kissing and slapped Sally. It was revealed on Christmas Day 2007 that Rosie and John were having an affair and after an explosive showdown between Stape and the Websters, Sally slapped Rosie after Rosie accused Sally of being jealous of her youth.

Further troubles with Rosie

In September 2008 Rosie disappeared leaving Sally and Kevin distraught. They initially thought that she had run off with Lottery winnings from the Underworld syndicate until Janice Battersby revealed that she had claimed the cash using Rosie's identity. Sally and Kevin received a postcard from Rosie which led them to believe that she was in Holyheadmarker and Sally subsequently went there searching for her to no avail. On 5 November 2008, Sally and Kevin were reunited with Rosie after discovering that she had been kidnapped by John Stape.

After Rosie had returned home safely, Sally's boss Tony Gordon immediately came around with flowers which aroused Sally's suspicions. When she questioned Rosie about this, Rosie told Sally that she had filmed Tony's fiancee Carla and Liam Connor kissing and that Tony knew about the footage. Rosie told Sally that she had secretly saved the video to a document on her computer at the factory. Sally went to the factory on the pretense of picking up some of Rosie's things and downloaded the video on to a memory stick. Sally used this information at Carla and Tony's wedding on 3 December 2008. After Carla insulted the Websters, a drunken Sally told Liam's widow Maria that he had been having an affair with Carla behind her back and showed her the video clip.

Kevin's affair and breast cancer

During mid 2009, Kevin became attracted to Molly Dobbs, wife of his partner and best friend Tyrone. Molly began to take an interest in the business and started sharing the book-keeping with Sally, meaning that she would be spending more time with Kevin. Eventually he broke down and confessed to Molly in June 2009 that he was infatuated with her and everytime he saw her he wanted to bed her. This caused mixed reactions within Molly who slapped him across the face initially but later told him that she was flattered by his statement. They began to plot an affair together and after a series of mishaps their chance finally came when Kevin's sneaked away from Sally's birthday party in July 2009 and had sex with a waiting Molly on her couch. Afterwards Kevin felt guilty and decided to end their fling before it got out of hand by persuading Tyrone to take Molly away on holiday. They resumed their affair, however, in August 2009.

Kevin Webster's clandestine affair with Molly Dobbs in Coronation Street is to take a tragic turn for the worse when Kevin's wife Sally is diagnosed with breast cancer.Producers at the Weatherfield soap are working hand-in-hand with a panel of breast cancer experts and charities to ensure that Sally's story is portrayed as realistic as possible.Over the coming months, Kevin and his mistress Molly continue meeting in secret for steamy sessions at a Hotel behind their respective partners' backs. However, the pair reach a crossroads in their affair when Molly asks Kevin to make a decision about their potential future together.Kevin's world comes crashing down around him, though, when Sally - played by 46-year-old Sally Whittaker - breaks the tragic news that she has found a lump on her breast and has been diagnosed with the disease.Unbeknown to her family, Sally has kept her shock discovery a secret until the doctors informed her of the biopsy results. On hearing the life-changing news, a guilt-ridden Kevin is forced to choose between supporting his wife and family through the turbulent time ahead or continue seeing Molly.

When Carla returned to take over the factory Sally was demoted back to just machinest having also been supervisor beforehand.

Sally will receive the devastating news in December 2009.

Critical response

In February 2006, the storyline involving Sally driving Rosie to a moor and scolding her for her unruly behaviour came under criticism from Winnie Johnson, the mother of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett due to the scenes being filmed at Saddleworth Moormarker where her son's body is thought to be buried. Winnie Johnson slammed the storyline by stating, "this is outrageous and plain disgusting. Are they going out of their way to be sick? I lost my son out on those moors but to film a child abduction up there after everything that has happened is a disgrace." A Coronation Street spokesperson defended the storyline by saying that no offence was intended.

References

External links







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