Coronation Street legend Gabrielle Glaister returning to soap after 22 years as new character

Viewers of Coronation Street will be seeing double this week as Bernie opens her front door and finds herself face to face with her ‘twin’, Fern.

Actress Jane Hazlegrove, 54 who stars as Bernie Winter, had the idea for the storyline herself after years of being mistaken for her friend and fellow actress, Gabrielle Glaister, 62.

Together with Corrie writer Jonathan Harvey ,she has worked to create the perfect plot and bring Gabrielle back to the cobbles.

Jane has revealed that the pair look so similar that some of their Coronation Street colleagues have even stopped Gabrielle in the corridor to chat thinking it was her.

She said: “I mentioned this idea to Jonathan a while ago. Gabby and I are constantly mistaken for each other with people saying they have seen one of us in something when it was the other one.

"We have often laughed about it together but then I started thinking it might be fun to have her in the show as Bernie’s secret twin or a doppelganger."

She added: “I was so chuffed when they told me that they had devised this storyline and that Gabby was on board.

“Shortly after I had heard that we were doing the story, I was at the Soap Awards and someone who used to work with Gabby started talking to me thinking I was her.

"The actor was mortified when I pointed out who I was but of course I don’t mind being mistaken for Gabby, it is a huge compliment and secretly I was thinking ‘that’s brilliant, this storyline is going to work so well’.”

And Gabrielle said: “Jane and I have been mistaken for each other for years and years. Me constantly denying that I was in Casualty, Jane insisting that she wasn’t in Brookside! Or people congratulating me on my performance in something I wasn’t in because it was Jane being brilliant."

She continued: "A very good friend of mine texted me last week to say he caught a bit of Corrie and thought I was very good. I pointed out that I wasn’t on screen yet!!

“When they approached me with the storyline It seemed like fate! What they’ve written is so clever and I’m having a ball working with Jane.”

The storyline starts on 26 August with a mix-up about a parcel collection.

Bernie is collecting Joseph’s new school uniform when she is given a parcel for Fern by a shop assistant who mistakes her for the other woman.

Fern arrives at the house demanding her parcel and accusing Bernie of theft. The women are struck by how alike they are and the following week, Fern offers Bernie a dodgy way of earning some money.

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