Coronation Street changed forever as family rocked by secret on Christmas Day?

Corrie: Sally Ann Matthews says she ‘loves playing Jenny’

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Jenny Connor (played by Sally Ann Matthews) hasn’t had the easiest time on Coronation Street over the last couple of months, having lost her ex-husband Johnny Connor (Richard Hawley) in the ITV soap’s deadly storm week episodes. As the festive season dawns on the cobbles, it seems she will be doing everything she can to keep a smile on her face and enjoy some downtime with her stepdaughter, Daisy Midgeley (Charlotte Jordon). However, as the two women spend Christmas Day together and with the alcohol flowing, the landlady of the Rovers Return could reveal one of her longest-kept secrets in what will be a more sombre festive special for the show.

Executive producer Iain MacLeod has promised this year’s hour-long Christmas special will see the residents of the cobbles trying to enjoy a peaceful day after the drama of the past year.

It will be more reminiscent of a community-based story, rather than a terrifying villain stalking Weatherfield ready to murder someone.

Speaking with Express.co.uk and other publications, the soap boss explained: “It’s quite jolly, actually. Obviously, there’s a tradition on some soaps of going really big and dark and kind of gothic at Christmas.

“And we’ve occasionally dipped our toe in that water but I think it’s fair to say this year is maybe more akin to a traditional Coronation Street Christmas.

It’s very funny in places. It’s very silly and it’s really heartwarming and joyous.

“There’s a really strong community vibe this year, where actually we were able to film it at a time where there was a window of opportunity to do some stuff with actors didn’t have to be two metres apart all the time.

“So it’s got more of that Coronation Street community on the cobbles type feeling than some of the previous Christmases had certainly last Christmas, Iain continued.

“We were shooting it in the midst of the strictest of restrictions. So we couldn’t really do that. But this year it’s very jolly and very community-focused, very family-focused.”

Although it might be full of high spirits, the special episode could contain a moment where Jenny decides to talk to Daisy about her past.

The two women have had a strained relationship since Johnny died but with the “family-focused” ethos weaving throughout the festive instalment, the landlady could explain to her stepdaughter why she has been so cold towards her.

This is because the iconic character might be still married, not to Johnny, but to her former lover and Daisy’s father, Mr Midgeley.

It’s quite jolly

Iain MacLeod

The mysterious character has never made an appearance on the cobbles, with Jenny only mentioning him in reference to her late son, Tom, and the times she can remember living with Daisy and her father.

This will have meant it was illegal for her to have married Johnny and she would be held on the charge of bigamy if the courts were ever to have found out.

As she explains her secret to her stepdaughter, she could say she felt she was never going to find someone who loved her again.

So instead of submitting the divorce papers years ago, she kept them to herself for leverage if she ever needed anything from Mr Midgeley.

Instead of flying off the handle and exposing her stepmother, Daisy could understand why the Rovers landlady took such drastic action.

However, with the family-focused theme continuing, Daisy could support Jenny by encouraging her to finally submit the divorce papers so she can move on with her life.

This would be a big step for the landlady as she has harboured the secret for so long but with Johnny gone, will she believe it’s time to free herself from her heartache?

Furthermore, will Mr Midgeley turn up on the cobbles in the New Year as he looks for answers as to why he has been informed his divorce has finally been processed?

At the core of this festive episode will also be a lot of fun as executive producer Iain promised a lot of laughs to come.

The soap boss added: “It has one of the silliest fights I’ve ever seen in anything ever which involves the immortal line, ‘Smell my Marigolds’, which I’ll leave for you to work out what that might refer to.”

“But it’s a fantastically good hour of television I have to say and I watched it when I wasn’t feeling very festive because, in television, everything’s so far in advance,” he continued.

“And I sort of watched it in mid-November not feeling terribly festive, and by the end, I had a kind of mince pie-shaped lump in my throat really.

“It was just really heartwarming and there will be tears of joy, I should say rather than misery.

“It was just a glorious thing. So I’m really hoping the audience will like it as much as I did,” Iain said. So will Daisy supporting Jenny with her secret be one of the highlights of the episode?

It has been revealed Jenny will be central to the festive episodes as she will also make an appearance in the episode on Monday, December 27.

Jenny will come face to face with Leo Thompkins (Joe Frost) for the first time since the sinkhole disaster happened.

The younger man explains to her how interested he is in pursuing a romantic future with her and he invites her out for a drink.

The landlady refuses to go at first but when she speaks to Daisy about it, her stepdaughter encourages her to go and have some fun.

If she has been harbouring a secret for so long about her previous marriages, will this be the beginning of a fresh start for her?

Or will she be frightened to commit, fearing she will make the same mistakes again?

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm and 8:30pm on ITV.

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