Sparks sure to fly as Poulton’s Jacqueline hits the cobbles

Linda Armstorng, played by Jacquline Leonard from Blackpool, arrives on Coronation Street
Linda Armstorng, played by Jacquline Leonard from Blackpool, arrives on Coronation Street
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Blackpool-born actress Jacqueline Leonard makes her debut in Coronation Street tonight.

Jacqueline, 48, who lives in Poulton, will take her first steps on the hallowed cobbles as Linda Armstrong – with sparks set to fly on her arrival.

Linda is the ex-wife of Owen Armstrong and mother of Izzy and Katy, who she left with their father when they divorced.

Her arrival is expected to be linked to Owen’s departure, as actor Ian Puleston-Davies announced he would be leaving the Salford-based soap shortly before Jacqueline’s casting was announced.

Jacqueline became a household name when she was cast as Lorraine Wicks in Eastenders from 1991-97, after which she returned to her Lancashire roots, settling in Poulton to care for her mother.

Linda was Jacqueline’s second attempt at joining the Corrie cast, having previously auditioned for the role of Stella Price in 2011, but the part went to another ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins.

Speaking earlier this year about the arrival of Linda, at a Coronation Street press event, producer Stuart Blackburn said the Windass family would be rocked by the arrival of Linda – who arrives from Portugal after having no contact with her ex-husband or daughters for years.

Stuart said: “Linda’s return is going to be devastating for the Windasses.

“The two girls have been brought up for the last 20 years on the belief that their mother left them because she couldn’t cope with Izzy’s disability.

“What we are going to learn is that Owen has been rather disingenuous and has told less than half the story.”

Jacqueline has spoken of her joy at joining Coronation Street, hailing it as any Northern actress’s dream.

Speaking at the time of her casting, she said: “I am incredibly honoured and excited to be joining the amazing cast of Coronation Street.

“I love the northern wit and humour along with the drama and tension that the wonderful scripts of Coronation Street encapsulate.”

Jacqueline was born in Blackpool and attended Greenlands High School before moving to London to follow her acting dreams.

She studied at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, later going on to win the Michael Warre award for Best Actress in 1988.

As well as EastEnders and Coronation Street, she has also appeared in Holby City, Hollyoaks, The Bill and Doctors.

Jacqueline joined fellow Fylde actress Hayley Tammadon, who plays Andrea Beckett, on the Street, and will soon be followed by Lucy Fallon, 19, who started filming last month as trouble teen Bethany Platt, as she and mum Sarah-Lou return to Weatherfield from 
Milan.