Skip to content

ITV show reveals connection between Corrie star and Cheltenham town

University history lecturer, Dr Christian O’Connell, will be appearing on ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’s DNA Secrets’ this week, as he divulges what life was like for one actor’s ancestors.

The programme looks into the heritage for some of Coronation Street’s best known stars, including one whose ancestor lived in Cheltenham’s Lower High Street. Dr O’Connell was asked to provide information about life in the area during the mid- 19th century, which would help explain the struggles faced by the actor’s relatives.

Dr O’Connell previously worked on ‘Cheltenham’s Lower High Street: Past, Present and Future’ project in collaboration with the Cheltenham Civic Society to uncover the rich hidden history for one of the town’s oldest neighbourhoods.

The show sees Nicky Campbell investigate the ancestry of Corrie’s best loved actors, including Sally Ann Matthews, who discovers she has a famous Weatherfield cousin, Kym Marsh who finds a mysterious link to the Iberian Peninsula and Bill Roache who is reunited with a long-lost cousin. Other familiar faces taking part include Simon Gregson, Cherylee Houston, Nicola Thorp, Katie McGlynn, Connie Hyde, Melanie Hill and Peter Gunn.

Dr Christian O’Connell, Academic Course Leader in History at the university, said:

“I was very happy to contribute to this documentary. Not only does it highlight the popular appetite that exists for discovering personal and family histories, it highlights how the history of the Lower High Street has been neglected. In addition it shows what can be uncovered by looking closer and deeper at places we take for granted. It makes the work the History team conducted on the Lower High Street project all the more worthwhile, and encourages us to continue our research to see what other fascinating stories we can discover.”

‘Coronation Street’s DNA Secrets’ will air at 9pm on Wednesday 5 September on ITV.