BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
ITV signs up Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire in the BBC's Bloomin' Marvellous
Sarah Lancashire: Returns to ITV to sign deal
Actress Sarah Lancashire has signed a two-year "golden handcuffs" deal with ITV, the network has announced.

The former Coronation Street star will receive a seven-figure sum for starring in a number of new drama series.

Sarah Lancashire and Kevin Kennedy in Coronation Street
Street days: Getting friendly with screen husband Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy)
Her first role under the new deal is alongside John Thaw in six-part drama The Glass.

She plays a saleswoman torn by her love for her boss - played by Thaw - and his nephew.

Lancashire, 36, said she was "thrilled" about the deal.

"I've really enjoyed the ITV projects I've worked on to date and am extremely excited about the ideas we are developing for the future," she said.

"I'm also delighted to be working with John Thaw on my next project."

Robson Green was the first actor to be signed up exclusively to ITV in 1997, and former EastEnders star Ross Kemp followed in 1999.

Sarah Lancashire in Chambers
Chambers: Lancashire's role will be recast
John Thaw and David Jason have also been offered such deals as the channel builds up a stable of popular actors.

She made her name as Rovers Return barmaid Raquel in the Street, playing the role for nearly six years before leaving in 1996 to pursue new roles.

However, her Street debut was actually in 1987, playing nurse Wendy Farmer, who was looking to rent out Jack and Vera Duckworth's spare room.

Her departure from the Street was a success, and she appeared in a variety of roles, starring in ITV dramas, BBC drama Clocking On and two comedies for the corporation: Bloomin' Marvellous and Chambers.

Ross Kemp filming Hero Of The Hour
Ross Kemp signed a deal with ITV last year
But she reprised her Street role for a one-off special broadcast at the beginning of 2000.

ITV controller of drama Nick Elliot said: "It has been my dream to get Sarah to join us on an exclusive basis.

"The work she did for us earlier this year on the Coronation Street special and Seeing Red convinced me of her huge range as an actress and of the strength of her relationship with our audience.

"After The Glass, the only problem will be deciding which of many terrific roles she should play next."

Sarah Lancashire in Clocking Off
Lancashire was not due to return to the second series of Clocking Off
Despite the deal with ITV, Lancashire will still appear as a feminist Edwardian housekeeper in a BBC film, Gentlemen's Relish, based on a novel by Miles Gibson.

Adapted by Reginald Perrin writer David Nobbs, the bawdy romp also stars Billy Connolly as a lord of the manor who is deceived into becoming an erotic photographer.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The film is due to start shooting any time now, so she will definitely be doing that."

But the deal does rule her out of a second series of Chambers, and the spokeswoman said her role would be recast.

Cold Feet stars Helen Baxendale and Fay Ripley are among those tipped for the part, as is Sarah Parish, who appeared in BBC One's Hearts And Bones.

See also:

03 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Morse finale leads ITV line-up
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories