Coronation Street’s autumn season burst onto our screens on Monday night. And with a death, two weddings and a funeral set to cause problems on the infamous cobbles this month. Just a standard week in soap land.
And Corrie regular Sinead Tinker, played by Rochdale-born actress Katie McGlynn, is set to face her biggest storyline to date over the coming months which will see Sinead diagnosed with cervical cancer while three months pregnant with boyfriend Daniel’s baby.
Having joined the cobbles over 6 years ago, actress Katie is no stranger to difficult storylines and has already been involved in a car crash which nearly left Sinead paralysed, a wedding that ended in disaster when Chesney left her at the alter and, more recently, an abortion for fear that Daniel would throw away his opportunity of studying for a Masters at Oxford University if they kept the baby.
And this week marks the beginning of another turbulent storyline for the actress.
“This is my sixth year at Corrie and as an actress you need to have storylines like this,” says Katie. “This is why I started acting, it’s my dream to be working on these storylines and it’s really nice that the producers are trusting me with such a big story – I’ve been waiting for something like this for a while and I’m very humbled by it.”
In episodes that aired on Monday night, Sinead discovered that long-term boyfriend Daniel Osborne had decorated the urban garden for a surprise pagan wedding – with Daniel dropping down on one knee and proposing to Sinead when she arrives back from her biopsy and MRI scan – having previously discovered that she may have cervical cancer.
And Wednesday night’s episodes will see Sinead agree to go ahead with the nuptials while hiding her cancer scare from all her family and friends, telling them she’s been at the dentist.
Katie tells us that knicker stitcher Sinead keeps her cancer scare a secret for a long time because Sinead and Daniel are finally happy.
“She knows how difficult Daniel took the first abortion that him and Sinead had, she knows it will absolutely crush Daniel and she doesn’t want to put him through that again. She sees how happy he is and the last thing she wants is the love of her life having to go through that again.”
With Sinead in turmoil as she awaits the results of her recent doctor’s visit, an eager Daniel wants to share their pregnancy news with everyone – to which Sinead agrees, having only hours earlier had a conversation about the risks to the baby if she does have cervical cancer.
“As an actress you can only do so much to try and put yourself in that position. So, to actually meet someone who’s going through it really helped open my eyes to what it’s like.
“We’ve been working with a charity called Mummy’s Star that helps women who are pregnant and dealing with cancer. Before this storyline, it never even occurred to me that people go through being pregnant while battling against cancer simultaneously. It’s heart- breaking.
“People have to go through this decision of choosing themselves or their unborn baby. And especially with cervical cancer – if you have the cancer treatment, you can’t have kids again because of the radiotherapy.”
Opting to put her family before herself, Sinead is adamant that no matter what happens, she is having this baby – having already regretted aborting her first child to Daniel just last year.
“Sinead knows whatever the outcome, Daniel will want to put Sinead first – but Sinead is going through tunnel vision at the moment where all she’s thinking about is the baby. Her goal in life is to have a family, her maternal instincts are taking over and she just cares about this baby more than anything else.”
Over the months that follow, Sinead will battle between keeping her cancer a secret from her loved ones, while doing everything in her power to make sure her baby is safe.
“She keeps it to herself for a very long time because she doesn’t want to get anyone else involved. It’s going to be a long and rocky road with many bumps along the way – I’m just as excited as everybody else to find out what actually happens.”
But the actress isn’t taking the storyline lightly.
“I feel a huge sense of responsibility with this story,” says Katie. “People all around the world are going through similar situations, people are finding out that they have cancer every day. I want to handle the storyline delicately and really highlight the struggles that some women and families do face during pregnancy, outside of the norm.”
Is all this baby talk and the use of a prosthetic baby bump on set making the actress broody. “No. Definitely not,” says Katie. “I’ll keep the bump because it means I can get away with eating what I want, but that’s it.”
The harrowing storyline will be the actresses biggest on the soap – and is set to rock the cobbles with speculation that this could be an exit for Sinead Tinker. The question is, will Sinead and her baby survive her cervical cancer diagnosis? “It could be Sinead’s exit storyline,” says Katie. “But if it is – I don’t know yet.”