Over the weekend, my inbox and Twit-box and private message box exploded over a UK tabloid story speculating that Coronation Street’s Sacha Parkinson is waving goodbye to Weatherfield. The People’s cover proclaimed: “The Big Corrie Kill Off!” And inside it said:
We can reveal Sacha is definitely exiting the show at the beginning of 2012.
Her lover Sophie falls for Amber, who left Weatherfield in 2009 to go to university in London and returns this year. Amber’s thoughts about her sexuality have been shifting as her attitudes change and Sophie seduces her. Their passion leaves Sian heartbroken.
My first reaction was to scoff, because you know I love the UK, but Britain’s newspapers boast more make-believe things on any given weekday than every Harry Potter book combined. They’ve reported before that Sian is leaving Corrie, and yes, she did leave — for a two-week vacation. Every tabloid also claimed to know who was going down in the Great Tram Crash of 2010, and no one got every death right. And just recently, The Daily Mail reported that David Cameron wanted to shunt all same-sex kissing scenes to late night TV. It took weeks for the prime minister to clear up the confusion by denying the story in a statement.
I was heartened in my conviction when Brooke Vincent took to Twitter to talk to fans.
And Sacha herself seemed to have a laugh over the story.
But then last night, in a bit of a Twitter frenzy, Sacha retweeted dozens of messages from fans telling her how much Sophie and Sian’s story has meant to them, how much they’ll miss her when she leaves the show, how they’ll support her career no matter where she goes, and how they hope Sian returns one day to claim the heart of her first love.
Then she seemed to confirm the rumors.
Brooke recently signed a contract to stay with Corrie for another year. Sacha’s under contract until early 2012, but as far as we know, she hasn’t renewed it yet. And, judging from her tweets, it seems like she may have opted not to.
It’s a funny thing writing about TV for a living. When you’ve been doing it as long as I have, it’s hard to give yourself over to any storyline. I’ve lived through lesbian doctors disappearing into parking lot ether and beloved lesbian witches dying unceremoniously at the hands of no-name villains and loads of female characters trotting out their bisexuality as ratings stunts and pregnant lesbians, pregnant lesbians, oh my God, the pregnant lesbians. It’s especially hard to lose yourself in a soap, where characters come and go as swiftly as the wind changes directions.
But man, this news about Sacha potentially leaving Corrie has hit me hard. I’ve been through so much with that girl: plaid shirts and feelings benches and fake tattoos and wanker boyfriends and Jesus smack-downs and Blueberry WKD and raining trams and whispered promises and the ubiquitous Southpaw Express and that infamous DIVA covershoot. Sophie and Sian’s story has been so layered and so lovely and so desperately important for queer visibility that I’ve fallen for them despite my crunchy professional writer exterior. I hope Sacha has a long, illustrious career, but if she’s really leaving Weatherfield, I will be bereft beyond the telling of it.
We’ll keep you updated with any official word from the Coronation Street production team. In the meantime, how do you feel about the news that Sacha might be saying goodbye?
Big thanks to Chantal from onemorelesbian.com for her help with this post.