Claire Sweeney in Coronation Street: Soap past, Hollywood connection and weight loss secrets

Claire Sweeney makes her Coronation Street debut as Cassie Plummer tonight (Wednesday June 28). The thought-dead daughter of Evelyn, Cassie is sure to set the cat amongst the pigeon when she arrives in town.

Drug addict Cassie looks very different to actress Claire, who plays her. The former Brookside star underwent a major transformation to get into character. She even revealed it was “traumatic” having her nails and lashes taken off!

So who is glamorous Claire in real life? Here’s the lowdown on the Corrie newcomer.

Cassie will cause trouble for her mum (Credit: ITV)

Who plays Evelyn’s daughter Cassie in Coronation Street?

Claire Sweeney is joining the cast of Corrie as Cassie Plummer. Cassie is the daughter of Evelyn and mother of Tyrone.

The only problem stopping the happy family reunion? Evelyn has told Tyrone his mum is dead.

The lie goes that Cassie gave birth to Ty and Evelyn knew she couldn’t cope with him due to her drug addiction. Evelyn abandoned Tyrone at a police station where Jackie Dobbs found him and brought him up as her own.

Evelyn and Ty were reunited some years ago, with Evelyn telling Tyrone Cassie had died thanks to her addiction. But Cassie is alive and well – and in touch with her mum!

When Cassie turns up unannounced on the cobbles and is rushed to hospital, Evelyn feels her lies spiralling out of control. How will Ty feel when he finds out the truth?

Lindsey, Jimmy and Jackie Corkhill Brookside
Claire starred as Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside (Credit: Photo by Glenn Copus/Evening Standard/Shutterstock)

Who did Claire Sweeney play in Brookside?

Actress and singer Claire is from Liverpool. She is 52 years old. Her first major TV role was in Brookside as Lindsey Corkhill.

She joined the soap in 1991 as a recurring character and then had a full-time lead role from 1995 until the soap’s demise in 2003. She was part of the Corkhill family, daughter of show legends Jimmy and Jackie.

Lindsey’s storylines included being involved in an organised crime syndicate, drug smuggling and her relationship with Barry Grant.

After Brookside ended, Claire’s career went from strength to strength. She was in the first series of Celebrity Big Brother and also began a glittering West End career. She starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago.

Claire became a regular panellest on Loose Women from 2003 until 2005, and also appeared in the first ever series of Strictly Come Dancing. She made it to week five.

As well as other stage roles, she turned presenter and hosted shows including 60 Minute Makeover, I’m Famous and Frightened! and Chef v Britain alongside Gino D’Acampo.

Other acting roles include playing Hayley in BBC comedy Scarborough alongside former Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley, and Amanda in BBC sitcom Candy Cabs.

Claire Sweeney and Patrick Swayze pose together
West End star Claire appeared with Patrick Swayze in Guys and Dolls (Credit: Photo by Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Claire’s connection to Patrick Swayze

Claire’s theatre career saw her appear in not only Chicago, but also Educating Rita, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and various pantomime productions.

In 2006 she played Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in London before touring the country in the same role. She starred alongside Hollywood legend Patrick Swayze in the show!

In 2021, Claire told Metro, she had no idea the level of fame Patrick had: “I couldn’t believe the opening night — it was like Beatlemania outside the stage door. I realised he wasn’t just a movie star, he was a legend.”

She continued: “Listen, I got to snog Patrick Swayze and Barry Grant. What more could I want?”

Is Coronation Street newcomer Claire Sweeney married?

Claire Sweeney is not currently married. She had a relationship with businessman Tony Hibbard for six years from 2001 until 2007.

Claire has one son, Jaxon, eight, who she shares with her ex-partner, Daniel Reilly. Claire discovered she was pregnant just weeks after the couple split.

The actress was open about her fertility struggle, having tried for a baby for two years. She had fertility treatment, but suffered two miscarriages and the couple then separated.

However, Claire, who was 43 at the time, then discovered she was three weeks pregnant. She admitted to the Liverpool Echo: “I was thrilled, surprised and excited.”

She gave birth to Jaxon in September 2014 and she and Daniel reunited. However, they sadly split just nine months after Jaxon’s birth. Claire told MailOnline: “Whilst we have decided not to remain together we are committed to bringing up our wonderful son and making sure we are great parents and supporting each other to achieve that.”

Claire Sweeney in orange strapless floor-length dress smiles
The Corrie newcomer is embracing her figure in her 50s (Credit: David Fisher/Shutterstock)

Claire Sweeney’s weight loss secrets

Actress Claire often shares workout videos on social media. She was also an ambassador for SlimFast. In 2017 she lost two stone by following the programme.

“This has worked for me because it’s easy to stick to,” She told the Irish Mirror. “I love a routine. I’ve tried every diet going, but I have managed to sustain this one.”

In 2022, she was set to star in Cabaret All Stars and revealed to Closer: “I want to look my physical best. So the plan is to start going to the gym and hot yoga five days a week, because it’s amazing for weight loss and strengthening my core.”

Instagram warning

However, later in 2022, Claire warned her Instagram fans not to be fooled by scales. She revealed she had lost 6lbs in two days and told her followers: “Goes to show, don’t rely on the scales. It could be the time of day you weigh yourself, how you position the scales, time of the month, water retention. It all makes a difference.”

In January of this year, Claire was papped on the beach whilst on holiday. She had a brilliant response to the photos when they circulated, posting to her social media: “The last few days of my holiday I was unknowingly papped on the beach with my friends and family, playing with my son in the sea. In my head I am two stone lighter lol. I had the best time, ate everything I wanted. Let it all hang out on the beach thinking nobody was judging me.

“I’m not skinny… not perfect , but very REAL! 51 with an eight-year-old son. I’ve put these pics up to take control and own my body image. This is me having a bloody brilliant holiday! With a bit of flab and a few lumps and bumps. Thank you for all your lovely positive comments. I’m not having a go, or apologising. Just owning it.”

Read more: Coronation Street who’s leaving in 2023?

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Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.

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