The course of true love has been surprisingly smooth for Chesney Brown and Gemma Winter in Coronation Street – but a devastating secret threatens to mar their big day.
The pair, who were friends first and hit it off in the kebab shop, welcomed quads in 2019 and are now finally tying the knot. But unknown to Gemma, her twin brother, Paul, is hiding his motor neurone disease diagnosis. Dolly-Rose Campbell, 36, who plays the bride, has now revealed her character will be distraught when the truth finally comes out.
“Obviously Gemma’s going to be completely devastated because Paul’s been there her whole life,” she says. “They’re not just brother and sister, they’re twins.
"I think her approach would be to stay strong. They are a bit of an out there family, but at their heart, they do love each other and stick together. So I’m sure they will look after him in their way.”
Gemma was never going to be the traditional bride in white, but her custom-made tangerine, light-up wedding dress truly steals the show.
“I was just blown away by the dress, it’s an absolute work of art,” reveals Dolly. “The detail that’s gone into it, is beyond anything I ever imagined.
"The dress is two metres wide, and the veil is seven metres and because the dress is so wide, there’s also a smaller one, like a mini skirt dress that we used for close-ups.”
The story in Coronation Street is that seamstress Izzy customises a dress that they found in a charity shop. But in real-life, Drag Queen Liquorice Black designed the gown.
"I had a meeting with Dolly and the head of costume and the two of them completely convinced me that it would be a really fun project to do,” says Liquorice. “And they had faith that I could make their vision come to reality. So I accepted.
“Dolly wanted a really long train, and lights and flowers. Lots of collaborative ideas were thrown together. It wasn't a case of ‘could you make something?’ and then I just went away and did it, it was very much a team effort."
Joining Gemma and Chesney on their wedding day is Joseph and their four other children. And dad of two, Sam Aston, 29, says he enjoys having such a big on and off-screen family. “I grew up in a big family, so I’ve always been used to the chaos,” he laughs.
“I have five sisters, three brothers, so I’m used to a lot of people being around the house. When you initially think about four babies on set, you think that is a bit stupid, but it actually works – I love kids and we have a good laugh.”
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