Hollyoaks’ Sally St Claire inspired Corrie’s trailblazing trans character Hayley Cropper
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Hollyoaks actress Annie Wallace has candidly reflected on her experience inspiring soap's first-ever transgender character – Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper.
The character, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, was initially created by Corrie writers, with Annie being brought in later to advise them on storylines based on incidents that happened in her own life.
Speaking on Wednesday's episode of Loose Women, the 56 year old explained: "After the first couple of months, she [Hayley] went away to Amsterdam, that's when they called me in to give advice on how the storylines could be fleshed out in terms of proper legal representation – the facts about it.
"At the time, trans people didn't have any rights at all really, legally. I was there to steer them that in that direction, Annie, who plays Sally St. Claire in Hollyoaks, said.
Annie added: "I also gave them a whole lot of incidents that had happened to me in my personal life over the years, and they kind of fed it all into the character.'
Hayley was introduced to the Cobbles in 1998 and went on to marry Roy Cropper, played by David Neilson in 2010.
Three years later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and decided to end life on her own terms in 2014 after treatment to save her failed.
"What they created, Coronation Street, was magical," Annie said of Hayley's trailblazing storyline.
"One of the best love stories of all time in soap, I believe."
Julie became a household name taking on the role of Hayley, however, she explained that if she were offered that same role today, she would turn it down.
"I would hope that it wouldn't be offered to me as a cis woman, I definitely wouldn't take it," she told The Guardian.
"I left Corrie because it was time for me to go personally, but it was also time for Hayley – a trans woman played by a cis woman – to go, too."
"There was a really great trans rights group, Press for Change, who were really, really p****d off – and I totally understood why," added Julie, who is now a patron of numerous charities, including Trans Media Watch.
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