EastEnder Jessie Wallace to star in Corrie drama

Jessie Wallace Wallace is due to return to EastEnders in the autumn

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Actress Jessie Wallace, who played Kat in EastEnders, is to star in a drama about the birth of Coronation Street, the BBC has announced.

Wallace will play Pat Phoenix, who starred as feisty Elsie Tanner from the early days of the soap, which marks its 50th anniversary this year.

Lynda Baron will portray Violet Carson (Ena Sharples), and Celia Imrie is Doris Speed, who played Annie Walker.

The drama, being filmed in Manchester, will air on BBC Four later this year.

It will tell the story of how Coronation Street creator Tony Warren (played by David Dawson) brought his characters to the small screen in 1960.

Warren has acted as a consultant on the drama, which is written by Daran Little, a writer on the ITV soap opera for the past 20 years.

Actress Jane Horrocks will play Granada's casting director at the time, Margaret Morris, while former Cold Feet star John Thomson - who recently appeared in Coronation Street - is also among the cast.

The Street's longest-serving cast member, William Roache, will be played by his son James Roache.

Roache began his portrayal of Ken Barlow as a student, and 50 years later is a retired grandfather in the soap.

The drama, which is being made by ITV studios, will form one strand of the Great Northern season on BBC Four this autumn.

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