Corrie stalwart Sally Dynevor gets royal recognition for 36 years on the cobbles

The actress, who has played the ambitious Sally Webster in the soap since 1986, received her medal for services to drama from the Princess Royal.

02 February 2022

Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor revealed she “burst into tears” after discovering she had been made an MBE as she collected the award from Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

The actress, who has played the ambitious Sally Webster in the soap since 1986, received her medal for services to drama from the Princess Royal.

Ms Dynevor, who is currently competing in Dancing On Ice, also revealed the next song she is set to skate to will be pop-soul hit Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.

The actress, whose daughter is star of Netflix series Bridgerton Phoebe Dynevor, said it was “wonderful” having a daughter who shared her passion for acting and described herself as “very proud” mother.

Ms Dynevor, 58, said Anne had remarked on her long-lived role on Coronation Street and on how “very dangerous” her recent decision to brave the ice on ITV’s figure skating show seemed.

Ms Dynevor said she had been inspired to take part in Dancing on Ice “because of lockdown – it made me realise that we’re just not getting any younger”.

Speaking after the investiture ceremony, she told the PA news agency: “(The princess) was lovely.

“She said ‘how long have you been in Coronation Street?’

“And I said it was 36 years, she said ‘that’s a very long time’.

“I said ‘it is but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it’.”

The star revealed she had not had time yet to start training for Sunday’s Dancing On Ice routine, but would be heading to rehearsals in the afternoon.

Ms Dynevor added she was “very proud” of 26-year-old daughter Phoebe, who is the star of Netflix period drama Bridgerton.

Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor, from Altrincham, is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor, from Altrincham, is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Asked what it was like having a daughter who had followed in her acting footsteps, Ms Dynevor said: “It’s wonderful.”

“I’m so happy for her,” she added.

The actress, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and has campaigned to raise awareness of the disease, also spoke about the importance of “catch(ing) it in the early stages”.

She said Prevent Breast Cancer, a charity of which she is a patron, was “all about preventing, predicting and protecting” against advanced cases.

“I think that’s really important because if we predict breast cancer early, and you get a good diagnosis, then it’s really important… to catch it in the early stage,” Ms Dynevor said.

Asked if she had any hopes for where her Coronation Street role would take her next, Ms Dynevor said: “I hope (the storylines) are just as exciting as when she was in her 20s… I thought the breast cancer storyline was a very important story to raise awareness, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what the writers are going to do in the next 10 years.

“And I hope she just doesn’t grow old gracefully, I hope she grows old with fun.”

Ms Dynevor was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2020 and said she “burst into tears” after receiving the news, having initially thought the email was a “hoax”.

Professor Michael Wood after receiving his OBE (Steve Parsons/PA)
Professor Michael Wood after receiving his OBE (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Actually, when I got the email I thought it was a hoax, I thought someone was playing a joke,” she told PA.

“I rang my son and I said ‘Sam, I’ve had this email and I’m really worried about it because it says I’m up for an MBE but that can’t be right’.

“Sam said ‘I don’t think anyone would joke about that, mum’ – then after that I started to take it seriously.’”

She also praised her husband, Emmerdale scriptwriter Tim Dynevor, who attended the ceremony with her, adding: “The support of my husband has just been everything.

“He’s amazing.”

Other high-achievers honoured in Wednesday’s investitures included historian and broadcaster Professor Michael Wood, who received an OBE, and Christopher Thomas, former deputy director of HM Coastguard, who was appointed an MBE.

Prof Wood, who has presented numerous BBC history series including In Search of the Dark Ages and In Search of England, said the princess was “really jolly” and “good fun”.

The historian, who is 73, added that the BBC was a “great institution”, saying that it would a “tragic error” if its service were to be undermined.

Christopher Thomas (Steve Parsons/PA)
Christopher Thomas (Steve Parsons/PA)

He said: “There are issues about funding the BBC inevitably now but the BBC is a really great institution… And the best things the BBC does are the best things anywhere, so it would be it would be tragic error to not let that continue”.

Mr Thomas, who is 61 and retired earlier this year, said it was “fantastic” to meet the Princess Royal, who he said had praised him on his work seeing the service through a series of drastic changes in the past few years.

Asked what the greatest challenges during his deputy leadership had been, he said: “I think it’s probably dealing with all the migrant issues that are going on.

“It’s constant, looking after people making sure they’re safe, make sure they’re bought ashore safely from wherever they are.

“So I think that’s probably one of the biggest obstacles having to deal with.

“Dover itself, we’ve we certainly ramped up the number of staff that are working at Dover coastguard station and specifically to deal with the migrant issues.”

Mr Thomas praised the work of his colleagues in responding to emergencies on the coast, adding: “It’s a lot of people doing an amazing job.”

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