Coronation Street star Kate Ford talks playing Tracy Barlow and how she’s helping Helen Flanagan

by Lynn Connolly

Coronation Street star Kate Ford has revealed that despite being nothing like her in real-life, she really likes he alter ego, Tracy Barlow.

Kate, who’s played Tracy Love Barlow since 2002, told the Daily Mirror, “I really like Tracy, as odd as it sounds…

“There’s a real sense of danger with her – she did kill someone after all and you wouldn’t want to p*** her off.

“You get to say the most ridiculous, vicious things which can be fun. But it can be horrible too.

“You’d be surprised at how difficult it is sometimes.”

And on the subject of how much damage Tracy’s done to Becky McDonald over the years – because of her jealousy about Becky’s marriage to Steve McDonald – Kate said, “She’s said some really hurtful things to Becky about her not being able to have babies, and when her little boy Max was taken into care.

“I’m a mum myself and I’ve found it hard to say some of those things.”

But for Tracy, like is going well right now. She’s pregnant with twins – and Steve’s the father – and she and Steve are once again an item, making them a real little family unit along with their daughter Amy…

But will her happiness last?

Kate said, “Well she’s finally got what she wants. The whole time I’ve played Tracy, she’s wanted Steve McDonald and now she’s got him.

“I think she genuinely loves him and it would be a shame for her to find out after all this time that he wasn’t worth the effort.”

However, rumour has it that Becky could put the biggest cat among the pigeons ever by causing Tracy to miscarry later this year.

As fans of the show will know, Katherine Kelly, who plays Becky, is leaving at the end of the year, and it’s been speculated that the fight that results in Tracy miscarrying will be Becky’s exit storyline.

Just to remind ourselves of the animosity between Tracy and Becky, here’s a clip of just one of their fights which came about when Becky mistakenly assumed Tracy had called in social services to take little Max away…

But returning to Kate’s interview, she went on to reveal that she’s been trying to help her co-star Helen Flanagan – who’s leaving the show and her role as Rosie Webster at Christmas – to learn to cope with her debilitating panic attacks.

As a sufferer of panic attacks herself, Kate said, “I’ve spoken to Helen about what’s been happening, but that’s not the reason she’s leaving.

“She’s interested in travelling and doing different work. I’ll miss her though.”

Kate added, “I have been able to talk to her about the panic attacks because I get them a lot.

“Nothing really causes them but panic itself makes the attacks worse.”

As to what advice she offers Helen, Kate said, “Just don’t fight it. It’s horrible, but it will never last for more than half an hour.

“You have to remind yourself it can’t actually harm you so you have to ride it out.”

You can find more information about panic attacks and anxiety disorders here.

Do you think it can work between Tracy Love and Steve?

Nah… nor do I 😉

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.