Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

T LEAST seven wed­ding gowns, a stunt co­or­di­na­tion team, a stately home and two Hells An­gels.

No, that isn’t a back­stage check­list for the lat­est Hollywood thriller, but just a few of the re­sources pulled in to cre­ate Corona­tion Street’s hotly an­tic­i­pated dou­ble-wed­ding ex­trav­a­ganza.

Al­ready pre­dicted to go down in TV his­tory, the up­com­ing saga will see Weather­field favourites Eva Price and Ai­dan Con­nor fi­nally walk down the aisle in a metic­u­lously planned cer­e­mony, along­side Ai­dan’s fa­ther Johnny and fi­ancee Jenny Bradley.

Or will it? As is to be ex­pected from ITV’s flag­ship soap, even the best laid plans will in­evitably go awry. And on this oc­ca­sion, it will all go down in spec­tac­u­larly ac­tion-packed style, launch­ing both Cor­rie’s brand new six-episode weekly bill and a fresh au­tumn sea­son of dra­matic new tales.

For Cather­ine Tyldes­ley, who plays Eva, film­ing the am­bi­tious scenes at the gor­geous grounds of Prescot’s Knowsley Hall, brought her to the brink of a mi­nor break­down.

“I’m very high up at one point and I’m ter­ri­fied of heights, so that was a real chal­lenge for me,” the 33-year-old re­mem­bers.

“Es­pe­cially when a wasp came. Ev­ery­body else thought it was hi­lar­i­ous, but I had a break­down.”

But there were funny mo­ments to, as she re­calls: “They were rig­ging me up to keep me safe while I was high up, but the dress had such a big hoop in it that I was bent over with three SAS guys (be­hind me). I’ve got a pic­ture.

“They were the most chal­leng­ing scenes I have ever shot, but I loved ev­ery sec­ond of it. It was so fab and we had an amaz­ing crew.”

The process also proved to be an ex­er­cise in con­fronting life­long fears for Jenny’s Sally Ann Matthews, who makes a late en­try to the venue after a hair-ris­ing motorbike jour­ney, rid­ing pil­lion with Hells An­gels mem­bers Tat­ti­tude and Tooth­less.

Says Sally Ann: “It was ter­ri­fy­ing. I had never been on a motorbike, I’m to­tally risk-averse, I do all talk and no ac­tion.

“I had mas­sive bruises on my knees be­cause the only thing I could equate it to was horserid­ing, so I gripped on. I dug my nails in through the leather (of the An­gel’s jacket) and into his love han­dles.” Yet Jenny and Johnny’s de­layed ar­rival, after a health scare for poor Rita sees them spend most of the day in hospi­tal, is only one of the many dis­as­ters about to scup­per the doomed nup­tials. Eva has been plan­ning for the wed­ding to mark the cli­max of a co-or­di­nated re­venge plot tar­geted at Ai­dan, after she learnt of his af­fair with her best friend Maria (Samia Langcham­bon). But when her fi­ance (for­mer X Fac­tor champ Shayne Ward) un­ex­pect­edly con­fesses his wrong­do­ing, it plunges her into fresh emo­tional tur­moil that cul­mi­nates in Maria and Eva fi­nally tak­ing it out­side and into a foun­tain. Cather­ine re­veals it was al­most en­tirely un­scripted. “We had a stunt-co­or­di­na­tor there, but be­cause of the na­ture of the scene, they said, “Just go for it guys”.

“So we did... within rea­son. It was pretty-full on, but we got gig­gles all the time.”

While she as­sures fans that no hu­mans were in­jured, film­ing the soggy scuf­fle ap­par­ently re­sulted in some se­ri­ous skin prun­ing, a fake tan night­mare and six com­pletely ru­ined wed­ding frocks – which the fash­ion guru picked out her­self, of course.

For Sally Ann, wardrobe was a much sim­pler af­fair, re­quir­ing just one el­e­gant gown by de­signer and friend, Suzanne Neville.

The mo­men­tous day will see a turn­around for the fiery char­ac­ter, who made her Cob­bles come­back (for what Sally Ann first thought would be a six-month stint) more than two years ago.

While Jenny’s younger self mem­o­rably ruf­fled feath­ers across Weather­field in the 1980s and 1990s, she will put her own cer­e­mony on hold to rush to her for­mer foster mother’s side when her ail­ing health takes a turn for the worse.

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