Sunderland actress returns to Coronation Street

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WEARSIDE actress Debbie Arnold has returned to Corrie’s famous cobbles.

The 55-year-old actress is back on Coronation Street as Weatherfield Arms landlady Carole Evans, sparring partner of Rover’s Return landlady Stella Price.

Debbie previously starred in the soap from 1981 to 1982 in nine episodes when she played Sylvia Hicks, the girlfriend of Mike Baldwin’s father.

She said: “It was lovely to be back, working on a great show, with lovely people.

“Last time I was on I was a lot younger.”

Debbie, who grew up in Thornhill and went to Thornhill School, added: “I get to play Carole in about five episodes of the ITV1 soap.

“It’s nice to play someone a bit naughty – and she is very naughty – and with a bit of sass.

“She gets nastier and nastier as the episodes go on.”

Debbie made her TV bow as the landlady on Monday, alongside real-life friend and former co-star Michelle Collins.

Debbie said: “I worked with Michelle in EastEnders, and in a series in the 90s called Real Women, and in that I played her sister.”

Debbie starred in 38 episodes of EastEnders from 1995 to 1996 and has appeared in Hollyoaks.

But she said Coronation Street was her favourite soap because of her northern roots.

She said: “They are all different, but coming from Sunderland, and being a northerner, Corrie has always been my favourite soap”

Debbie, who now lives in Surrey, left Wearside more than 40 years ago when she was 12, but still makes regular visit to see family.

“I only have my Aunty Sylvia still living in Sunderland,” she said. “But I do come back to see her now and again.

“I miss the Cat and Dog steps though, and the sea air.”

The actress and business woman has branched out into other areas, including penning a self-help book called The Power of Reinvention, TV presenting, and doing voice-over work.

Debbie’s daughters have followed in her successful footsteps.

Ciara Janson, 25, was a regular on Hollyoaks playing Nicole Owen, while Talia is a singer who has supported JLS on tour.

Debbie said: “It’s a family business.”

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull