Coronation Street legend signs huge contract 'worth £250,000' to help soap through 'rocky patch'

Coronation Street bosses have given a legendary star a bumper pay rise to stay on the show credit:Bang Showbiz
Coronation Street bosses have given a legendary star a bumper pay rise to stay on the show credit:Bang Showbiz

Helen Worth has reportedly signed a £250,000 contract to stay on 'Coronation Street' for another year.

The 73-year-old actress has played Gail Platt on the ITV1 soap opera - which managed to pull in just over two million viewers on Christmas Day compared to its usual eight million - since 1974 an insider has claimed amid reports of her new deal that she is "determined" to get it through a "rocky patch" ahead of her 50th anniversary on the serial.

A source told The Sun on Sunday: "Helen is dedicated to the soap and is determined to help steer it through a rocky patch.

"She is bonded to her character and is excited about her upcoming storylines for the year ahead. She still enjoys her work and seeing her castmates and crew every day."

Before landing the role of Gail, Helen had appeared 'in episodes of 'Z-Cars' and 'Doctor Who' but the only other role she has played since starting on the soap is that of Molly Silknose in the 1981 animation film 'Peter-No-Tail'.

Helen is the show's second longest-serving continuous cast member behind Bill Roache - who has played Ken Barlow since the very first episode aired on 9 December 1960 - and her character holds the record for the most marriages on the show, having been married a total of six times.

In 1979, Gail Potter married Brian Tilsley (Christopher Quinten) and had Nick (Ben Price) and Sarah Louise (Tina O'Brien) with him; the pair divorced in 1987, and remarried the following year but he died in 1989 after being stabbed outside a nightclub and later went on to have son David (Jack P. Shepherd) Martin Platt (Sean Wilson).

That marriage ended in divorce in 2001 when she discovered Martin had been having an affair with nurse Rebecca Hopkins (Jill Halfpenny) and she went on to marry serial killer Richard Hillman (Brian Capron), who died when he drove the family into the canal after killing two residents on the Street in 2003.

Gail married Joe McIntyre (Reece Dinsdale) in 2010 but he died in a boating accident later that same year whilst trying to fake his own death in an attempt to claim insurance money, and she married Michael Rodwell (Les Dennis) in 2015, only for him to suffer a fatal heart attack a year later.

Gail's other notable storylines over the years include finding out that daughter Sarah was pregnant at the age of 13 in 1999 and dealing with letters that were supposedly being sent to her by her late husband Richard, when it turned out they were in fact being sent by her son David.

News of Helen's contract renewal comes just weeks after it was reported that 'Corrie' bosses had also given Sally Dynevor and Michael Le Vell a bumper pay rise to stay on the show.

The duo have appeared on screen as Kevin Webster and Sally Metcalfe since the 1980s, and they are thought to receive £170,000 a year each for their roles, but now, it is claimed ITV has given them another big-money deal to retain their talents for another year.

A source said: "Sally and Mike are two of Corrie’s most beloved stars. Bosses were desperate to keep them and they were happy to sign. They both love the show."