Corrie actress sacked over fake age
Coronation Street is recasting the role of Bethany Platt after dropping the actress who had been hired to play her when it was discovered she hid her real age at the audition.
Katie Redford said she was a 19-year-old when she landed a part on the cobbles, but it has emerged she was 25 - and would have turned 26 by the time she made her screen debut as the 14-year-old character.
Corrie fans found out her real age when they looked her up online after she landed the part as Gail McIntyre's granddaughter Bethany.
A spokeswoman for the soap confirmed: "Coronation Street have taken the decision to recast the part of Bethany Platt."
It is thought programme bosses already have another actress in mind for the role.
Bethany is the granddaughter of Gail (Helen Worth) and the daughter of Sarah-Louise Platt (Tina O'Brien), who was pregnant in the ITV show while still at school. O'Brien is 31 and she is only five years and eight months older than the woman who was to play her daughter.
Fans spotted photos from her 25th birthday party on Twitter after her casting was announced last week.
The character Bethany has been living in Italy for a number of years with mother Sarah-Louise, and the casting announcement read: "Nottingham-born Katie, 19, will debut as tearaway teenager Bethany this spring when she arrives unannounced in Weatherfield from her home in Milan."
A spokeswoman for the actress confirmed she auditioned "as a 19-year-old".
Redford's agent Joanne McLintock explained that it had not been the actress's idea to pretend to be 19.
She told Radio 1's Newsbeat: "People in the industry do it regularly and she sort of went along with what we said.
"I'm feeling really stressed and so sorry for Katie. It's her first real job and she's a star in the making - she's a very talented young actress.
"I had to have a conversation with casting who said they were very disappointed. Katie is upset, but she understands."