PAULA Wilcox had a small part on Coronation Street 51 years ago – now the telly veteran is about to return to the soap to tackle a much juicier role.
The actor is best known for playing Chrissy Plummer in Seventies sitcom Man About the House with Richard O’Sullivan and Sally Thomsett.
Paula will be in Corrie this month as Elaine, the former partner of Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholemew) who’s spent months torturing wife Yasmeen (Shelley King).
Yasmeen is now in prison awaiting trial for attacking her husband, but Weatherfield’s new arrival might just be her saviour.
A TV insider said: “If Yasmeen pursues the defence that she snapped after endless cruelty at the hands of Geoff, then Elaine’s testimony could prove invaluable. But as this is Corrie it won’t be plain sailing, there’ll be quite a few twists and turns along the way.
“Paula is only making a guest appearance for a few weeks but it’s a role she’ll relish sinking her teeth into. After all she’ll play a pivotal part in a storyline that’s had the nation gripped.”
Paula couldn’t be joining the storyline at a more interesting time. As Yasmeen languishes behind bars, Geoff is still on the Street, but his true identity is slowly being revealed by daughter-in-law Sally Metcalfe (Sally Dyvenor).
As a survivor of domestic abuse herself, she’s shocked to discover she has an offender in her own family.
Paula is no stranger to the cobbles, having first appeared in 1969 as Janice, the younger sister of Ray Langton, played by Neville Buswell.
Paula went on to star in other big shows including The Lovers, opposite Richard Beckinsale, the father of movie star Kate Beckinsale.
She was also in sitcom The Liver Birds and from 2007 to 2008 was Hilary Potts in Emmerdale.
She sounds the perfect choice.
Jo’s caught red-handed
Joanna Page looks like she’s at Spain’s La Tomatina “food fight” festival where thousands bombard each other with tomatoes.
The Gavin & Stacey star didn’t say where she really was but posted the pic to Instagram to highlight the creative industries’ woes amid Covid-19.
She wrote: “To all professionals in the film, TV, theatre, entertainment and arts world, join the challenge to post a photo of you in your job. Just a picture, no description. The goal is to flood social media with our profession.”
Maybe it’s another Gavin & Stacey special . . . with a slasher-movie twist.