Entertainment

Jane Danson reveals how she struggled with Corrie fame and barely left house

The actress is one of the soap's best-known faces, but dreaded being recognised.

Coronation Street star Jane Danson has said she struggled with fame so much after joining the soap that she barely left her house for a year.

The actress is marking 20 years playing cobbles favourite Leanne Battersby, but said that when she joined the well-loved ITV series as an 18-year-old, she found it hard to adjust to life in the spotlight.

Jane told the Daily Mirror: “It’s really weird thinking it’s been 20 years, my contract was initially for three months – I never expected the Battersbys to be so big.

Battersbys Coronation Street
The Battersbys when they joined Corrie in 1997 with Jane far right (PA)

“In fact, a Teletext poll when we joined said 97% of viewers wanted Corrie to get rid of us.”

She said of becoming famous: “I couldn’t cope with it – I had this amazing job, and by 19 had my own little house, but I just sat inside.

“I’d be scared of someone throwing a drink in my face. Coping with the attention was terrifying. So I just sort of stayed at home, ate biscuits and put on a stone.

Jane Danson
Jane doesn’t like the fame side of her job (Ian West/PA)

“It was good in one sense – you are young and earning money, there are parties, drink and other things, so my relationship with my barrel of biscuits was pretty okay.”

Jane added: “If I am brutally honest, I still don’t like being centre of attention, I just see myself as a normal person.

“I only joined Twitter as someone else was pretending to be me.”

Coronation Street Steve, Leanne and Nick
Corrie’s Leanne is married to Nick, but has a baby with Steve (ITV)

Leanne’s recent storyline has seen her give birth to a baby fathered by Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson), whose wife Michelle (Kym Marsh) had a late miscarriage around the same time.

In real life, Kym had a stillborn son, Archie, seven years ago, Simon and his wife have had 11 miscarriages and Jane miscarried two years ago, making it a tough storyline to film.

Jane said: “When we first started, it was still really raw for me.”

Coronation Street Steve and Michelle
Steve and Michelle have struggled to cope with the crisis (ITV)

Saying she now feels “at peace with it” she added: “I get to hug these most beautiful babies. I love babies. They make me broody.

“I’ll be 39 in November. You do think ‘Oh, am I getting a bit old for that now?’”

:: Coronation Street continues on Monday on ITV at 7.30pm.

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