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Kerri Quinn on resuming her career, her stalker hell, and fears she contracted Covid-19

Northern Ireland actress expects her lockdown blues to ease as she'll be back on famous cobbles in weeks


Actress Kerri Quinn

Actress Kerri Quinn

Colm O'Reilly

Actress Kerri Quinn

Kerri Quinn's lockdown frustration is being eased by news she may be back on Coronation Street in four weeks.

The Belfast actress has been told she may be returning to the show's famed cobbles by June - when Corrie is due to become the first British soap to feature coronavirus storylines.

Being told by show bosses she had been written back into the ITV series topped off six months of drama for Kerri - during which she fears she contracted Covid-19 and was tormented by an English stalker.

Her popular character Vicky Jefferies left Corrie on Boxing Day after Vicky's scheming ex-fiancé Robert Preston (played by Tristan Gemmill) was murdered in a Christmas Day bloodbath.

With her newborn baby Sonny in tow, Vicky fled the cobbles after actress Kym Marsh's Michelle Connor blamed her for Robert's death.

Speaking by phone from her new flat in Belfast - where she lives with daughter Libby (8) - Kerri told us: "I finished Corrie just before Christmas and I'd kind of made peace with going.

"They were fairly quick getting back to me though. I think I was only home a week-and-a-half or so and they made contact to ask, 'Is coming back something you'd be interested in doing?', to which I said yes."


Sunday Life. Actress Kerri Quinn and daughter Libby Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 25-04-2018

Sunday Life. Actress Kerri Quinn and daughter Libby Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 25-04-2018

Sunday Life. Actress Kerri Quinn and daughter Libby Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 25-04-2018

Kerri's hope for a quick return to Corrie shattered with the eruption of the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdown.

But she said Corrie bosses are so intent on getting back to work they have completed storyboards for shows they aim to start filming in June.

"I still don't know exactly how Vicky is coming back, but I know there's a storyline in place," Kerri added.

"Storyboards have been done and they're up. I think the plan is they are hoping to start filming again in June, and to work the Covid-19 virus into the storyline.

"It will let them address social distancing and things like that."

Coronavirus has so far been kept out of shows including Emmerdale, EastEnders and Hollyoaks - and long-running BBC radio drama The Archers.

Unless another soap beats Corrie to it before June, its planned coronavirus plots will make it the first soap in the UK to address the pandemic.

Kerri - also recently praised for her role in BBC drama Come Home - defended the soap for not trying to shoehorn pandemic storylines by re-editing pre-recorded Corrie episodes now being shown by ITV.

"I think people can forgive that because nobody had time to prepare for an event such as this plague," she said.


Kerri Quinn as Vicky Jeffries in Coronation Street with Tristan Gemmill (who plays Robert Preston)

Kerri Quinn as Vicky Jeffries in Coronation Street with Tristan Gemmill (who plays Robert Preston)

Kerri Quinn as Vicky Jeffries in Coronation Street with Tristan Gemmill (who plays Robert Preston)

"But I think people will probably like to see it as part of a storyline and for it to be addressed in all soaps."

Kerri may be one of the first actors back on Corrie's post-lockdown sets as she is young with no underlying health issues.

It was revealed in March the soap's over-70s characters will be written out of the soap over fears there may be another wave of Covid-19 after lockdown ends.

It means plots featuring Corrie veterans Rita Sullivan (86, who plays Barbara Knox), Bill Roache (87, Ken Barlow) and Malcolm Hebden (80, Norris Cole) will be changed.

Maureen Lipman (73, Evelyn Plummer), Rula Lenska, (72, Claudia Colby) and Paul Copley (75, Arthur Medwin) are also on the list of temporarily unusable cast members.

"The fact the more mature actors will be the last ones back to work could bring my storyline forward," Kerry said.


Kerri Quinn with Libby

Kerri Quinn with Libby

Kerri Quinn with Libby

The actress was overjoyed when she landed her Corrie role in 2018.

But speaking for the first time about her stalker ordeal, she said she spent her time on the show hounded by an obsessive English fan. Her stalker is the reason she has now quit social media - leaving her yearning for communication with her pals during isolation.

"I'm not on social media anymore, for my own sanity," she said.

"I had a guy who was completely invasive. He would message me on Instagram every morning and leave voice notes, and if I didn't reply straight away he'd get very angry and aggressive.

"He was English. Turning up on the Coronation Street set would have been something he would have been capable of doing.

"He was just a very, very angry man. And it left me feeling really anxious every night.


Kerri Quinn in Educating Rita

Kerri Quinn in Educating Rita

Kerri Quinn in Educating Rita

"It got frightening so I reported him to Instagram and just shut down my account."

Kerri had another ordeal after leaving Corrie and fell seriously ill with flu symptoms she now suspects may have been coronavirus.

Her sickness came weeks before the illness was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation on January 30.

"I had a really bad illness really early in the year, so who knows?" she said.

"That could have been it - it was like a flu.

"But at the minute I'm fit and healthy and that's all I can hope for."

KERRI is battling to help vulnerable neighbours during lockdown.

Single mum Kerri - who amicably split with Paddy, father to her daughter Libby, more than five years ago - said: "Me and Libby have made a point of sticking to a routine and we have our own private ground.

"There's lots of people more vulnerable than us out there and we have elderly people here so I've slipped my number under their doors.

"I can't stop thinking about people who have no one to get them bread and milk and I'm trying to reach out as much as I can."

Kerri said her lockdown worries are put into perspective by her sister Roisin - a mum-of-two and intensive care unit nurse at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, who the actress says is putting a brave face on dealing with "very, very sick people".

Kerri spent years grafting in theatre before she landed roles on BBC One's Come Home, Channel 4's Derry Girls and Corrie.

She is in the running for an upcoming series of TV drama Vikings and is sending self-made audition tapes for roles she hopes will be available at Christmas.

Kerri is also a talented singer who regularly performed at the Cabaret Supper Club on Upper Arthur Street, Belfast. She is appealing for people to tune into the nightspot's Monday online streams of performances and donate to its chosen charities to raise cash for those impacted by coronavirus.

"The club is now streaming performances every Monday for different charities chosen by its creative director Ross Anderson-Doherty, which have included Women's Aid," she said.

"It's great that's there to encourage people to donate."

Belfast Telegraph

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