Coronation Street’s Hayley Cropper reveals she was cast as a joke

But she went on to be one of the best-loved characters

Hayley Cropper

by Ruby Norris |
Published on

The actress responsible for one of Corrie's best-loved characters, Hayley Cropper, has opened up about first being cast in the role.

Julie Hesmondhalgh has spoken out about originally being cast by show bosses as the soap's first transgender character, but reveals that at first she was only cast as a joke character.

Speaking in The Telegraph's Stella magazine, Julie explained: "I wasn’t meant to be in Coronation Street for any longer than two weeks.

Hayley Cropper

"The character of Hayley was originally written as a joke. It wasn’t a politically correct one, but this was back in 1998."

Times have certainly changed, but back then bosses didn't think Hayley's character would stay on the soap for long. However, Julie went on to play Hayley for sixteen years, before her character took an overdose after struggling to cope with incurable cancer.

Julie continued: "The joke was that Roy Cropper [David Neilson] was going to go on a series of disastrous blind dates, one of them being with a man who had transgendered to a woman."

Speaking in the magazine Julie opened up about her determination to make the character more than just a joke and we definitely think she achieved that. Hayley went on to be one of the soaps most loved characters.

Julie also hinted at the positive social and political effect Corrie's first transgender character had.

"To me, that was it. You make people like this woman – understand her – and you say more than any political speech or lobbying," she explained.

We couldn't agree more.

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