Corrie stars amazing Ashton family links revealed
Thursday 6th September 2018 @ 16:26 by Nigel Skinner
Ashton News Tameside

Coronation Street stars Sally Ann Matthews and Amanda Barrie were sensationally revealed to be distant cousins on last night’s ITV documentary Coronation Street’s DNA Secrets.

The amazing family connection was revealed at Ashton Old Baths as Sally, who plays new Rovers landlady Jenny Bradley, was told about her ancestry in a scene filmed inside the historic building.

Nicky Campbell hosted the show, meeting past and present cast members of Coronation Street, who were DNA tested in the hope of uncovering their amazing ancestral stories, brought to life in association with Ancestry.com

Sally said she believed her ancestry would hail locally from Oldham – and she was close with some of her ancestors traced to just down the road from Ashton.

Local historian Gay Oliver was filmed with Sally inside the baths having researched Sally’s ancestry.

Remarkably Sally’s DNA showed she had a genetic cousin with a member from the ranks of the Corrie cast – Gay revealing that it was none other than Ashton actress Amanda Barrie.

Amanda, who used to play Alma in the soap from 1981 to 2001, stepped forward as the duo’s amazing family connection was revealed.

Gay had traced Sally’s great great grandfather, Nathaniel Ashworth, who was born in Ashton.

Gay explained that Nathaniel’s mother, Sarah Ashworth and her cousin, also called Sarah Ashworth, were revealed to have descendants who had the same DNA – namely Sally and Amanda.

Both were delighted. “We share the same cheeky sense of humour… dancing,” said an amazed Sally. While Amanda quipped: “Have you found any money in the family yet?”

The two actresses had shared the cobbles of Coronation Street for four years – but never had any idea they were in any way related.

Gay is pictured below on this week’s front page of the Tameside Reporter, having played a key part in researching the ‘extraordinary women’ of Tameside for this month’s Tameside History Festival.

MAKING HISTORY: Local historian Gay Oliver, second left, at the launch of the Tameside History Festival this week with the Civic Mayor of Tameside Cllr Denise Ward, Kate Booth and Jill Morris.