Sherrie Hewson admits she once injured a rival to steal role as she reflects on careerby Laura Connor, https://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/laura-connor/
Sherrie Hewson has enjoyed over five decades working in TV and film.
And now, as the star turns 70 and looks forward to another decade in showbiz, she reminisces on all her best – and worst – moments.
The TV legend was born into the business, coming from an all-singing, all-dancing family in Nottinghamshire. Her dad Ron was a singer and mum Joy was a model.
She has been on stage since the age of four, touring theatres across the UK before landing a prestigious scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
She says of her time touring as a youngster: “All I ever knew was tulle, sequins and make-up. I had a tap routine and a song, You’ve Got To Have Heart.
“One of my naughtiest moments was when there was a girl who had a ballet number I wanted. She was standing by the side of the stage so I edged her out and she fell off.
“She couldn’t walk so that night I performed that ballet and wore her tutu. But I was found out and punished severely.”
After graduating from RADA, Sherrie won roles in films including The Slipper and the Rose with Richard Chamberlain and Carry On Behind. Then she went on to bag parts in TV shows including Z Cars and The Moonstone before becoming a regular fixture on the nation’s screens with Love For Lydia.
She went on to appear in a host of sitcoms in the 1980s, before landing her breakthrough role as Maureen Holdsworth in Coronation Street in 1993.
Sherrie still has bittersweet memories of the show.
Looking back on the early years, Sherrie says she never realised quite how popular it was: “I remember Sarah Lancashire one day, we were in a dressing room and she suddenly dropped to the floor and said, ‘Get on your knees!’
“I had no idea what she was talking about, then I noticed a guy up a tree with a camera taking pictures. Sarah was saving us from being spied on. I’d never known the sort of fame Corrie brought.”
Sherrie and Ken Morley, who played her on-screen husband Reg, shared one of Corrie’s most famous moments - the waterbed seduction scene.
“It was amazing,” she remembers.
“We had to do it in one take because there was 400 gallons of water in the studio and it was a protected area. Ken was only wearing a towel and we started the take and the water started pouring out, flooding the protected area. As he moved across the camera, he dropped his towel. The camera was rolling and was looking straight at me, and I had just had a look of horror! It was hysterical. Everyone behind the camera was shaking with laughter.”
Despite her legendary scenes, Sherrie lost the role after five years when a new producer came in and axed several characters, including Maureen.
While she went on to appear in Emmerdale and Crossroads, the star was devastated.
She still remembers leaving Corrie as one of her lowest career points – but holds out hope for a comeback.
“Maureen went to Germany, so she could return,” Sherrie says. “She was married to Bill Webster – who owned the garage – so she could go back and take over. She must have a stake in that garage!
“I love Coronation Street and always will. When I left, I hated it because I had loved it so much. I was so upset, it was just awful. I remember walking out just feeling sick.”
Following Coronation Street, Sherrie returned to theatre before becoming a regular panellist on Loose Women.
It’s on the show that she's gone through some of her lowest moments, revealing the breakdown of her marriage to Ken Boyd on air in 2011, after he admitted to being unfaithful.
And she broke down in tears as she revealed her cancer scare in 2015, just days before entering the CelebrityBig Brother house, where she finished sixth.
“My marriage failed and the girls looked after me, and the show will always be up there because of all the bad times I went through with them and how we all cared for each other,” she says.
“Every single one was there for me, as I was for them.”
But there have also been plenty of laughs since the show first aired in 2003.
Sherrie remembers: “There were so many highlights. I dressed up as a fairy for Christmas once. They brought in this Christmas tree which was about six foot tall and said they were going to hoist me up on top of it. They hung me over the Christmas tree and plonked me on it – so I had a spike right up my a**e!
"And one of the funniest moments was when John Barrowman came on and sat down on a stool in front of a plinth. He propped his legs up on the counter, and he went right over the stool and the plinth. When we knew he was alright we couldn't stop laughing."
She filmed her last episode as a panellist four years ago.
But the biggest highlight for Sherrie was her role as no-nonsense hotel manager Joyce Temple-Savage in cult ITV show Benidorm.
“The best moment was a scene with Tony Maudsley, who played Kenneth Du Beke, which was brilliantly done,” she says.
“It started with us having a row and I fell on top of him and we started fighting. Next thing you know, he’s running around the pool and I hit him – and knocked two of his teeth out!
“He actually had two false teeth in and he was planning to get them fixed in Spain – but it looked so painful! I watch it now and I still can’t stop laughing.”
The expat sitcom ended in 2018, but Sherrie says she would love to see it make a comeback.
"Never say never," she says. "We had the best time."
And the star, who turns 70 on Thursday, has high hopes for new ventures as she enters her eighth decade.
She loved her time on Channel 5's Celebrity Five Go Caravanning in 2018, alongside Colin Baker, Todd Carty, Tony Blackburn and Sonia, and says she would now like to do more travel programmes.
"Wouldn't it be lovely to have somebody of my age doing a travel programme where I do crazy, mad, wonderful things?" she says.
"Everything that's possible I want to do now. With the years I've got, I want to go out and do fantastic things."
She adds: “Men and women of my age want to go out and do everything.”
She may be turning 70, but it seems Sherrie's career has just begun.