Real life Coronation Street star Leanne Battersby, Jane Danson

Leanne Battersby is to be left behind next week when Jane Danson’s character from Coronation Street is swept away by ‘The Institute’. As viewers of the ITV soap know, Leanne has been listening to Rowan Cunliffe since he arrived in Weatherfield and has been pulling away from his partner Nick Tilsley and even his sister Toyah Battersby during her time of need.

In the upcoming scenes, Toyah finds a forum for former members of the Altovalent Institute. She tries to show her sister a post she saw, implying that the Institute is not trusted only to discover that it has been taken down for legal reasons. Leanne is disdainful but calls Rowan who points out that it was written by her bitter old friend and there is no truth in her words. When Rowan reveals that he has been promoted to head of the North West Department and offers her a tour of the Institute, Leanne is thrilled.

Later, Leanne explains to Simon Barlow that she met a guy called Jared at the Institute who would be happy to help him set up his food delivery app and Toyah listens in. But when Simon reveals that Jared is willing to meet him and will need to borrow money, Leanne is delighted, and Toyah thinks it’s another scam.

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Soon, Toyah studies Rowan’s page and copies a number into her phone. Toyah meets with Rowan’s ex, Una and explains how her sister entered the Institute and that she is concerned that she may be in danger.

Later, as Leanne leaves for the retreat, Toyah begs her to reconsider, but Leanne refuses. It’s heartbreaking for Simon to find out she’s gone without saying goodbye, especially after his father, Peter, did the same at the end of last year.

It is now 27 years since Leanne took to the cobbles in 1997 when it was announced that the ‘family from hell’ was to be brought in by the ITV soap to stir up some trouble on the famous street.

Leanne, who was attended by actor Danson, was joined by her father Les, step-mum Janice and step-sister Toyah. But Jane left the cobbles in 2000 not long after the shocking storyline that saw her character become a drug addict. She returned again in 2004, where she married Peter Barlow and then Nick Tilsley for a second time, before the couple split again.

Leanne is isolated when Rowan arrives -Credit:ITV

Leanne is isolated when Rowan arrives -Credit:ITV

But she has reunited with Nick twice more – in 2016 and 2018. Also in recent years, Leanne became pregnant with Steve McDonald’s child and gave birth to a son, Oliver Battersby, who died tragically in 2020 from mitochondrial disease.

After Oliver’s death, Leanne fell into depression and after she pushed Nick away, and he was living alone in their flat, it was Simon who confronted her, and he agreed to help with the bills. It was then that he started working as a delivery man at For Your Fries Only when Leanne started calling psychic hotlines, to try and get in touch with Oliver, driving herself into debt.

While at work, his colleague Jacob Hay pressured Simon into delivering drugs and later plunged into the murky depths of drug dealing before Leanne stepped in when drug lord Harvey Gaskell began threatening Simon. In the end she offered to take his place but acted as an informant for the police. When Harvey helped put him behind bars, Harvey escaped and planned to kill her, but ended up killing his stepson’s mother, Natasha Blakeman, instead.

And while there are many ups and downs, affairs and marriages for her soap alter-ego, Jane’s real life is very different from the screen. Apart from Leanne, Jane has taken on many roles, first breaking out in children’s television with the drama Children’s Ward and then the CBBC sitcom Out of Tune.

Jane during her earlier years as Leanne in Corrie -Credit:Granada TelevisionJane during her earlier years as Leanne in Corrie -Credit:Granada Television

Jane during her earlier years as Leanne in Corrie -Credit:Granada Television

She also appeared in the ITV period drama The Grant, starred as nurse Samantha Docherty in Always and Everyone and played the first lesbian police officer, Gemma Osbourne, in the police drama The Bill. And some of them might be surprised to know that his real last name is not Danson, but Dawson. Thus, she has her first credited role as Eileen Critchley in the Alan Bleasdale drama GBH in 1991 where she was credited as Jane Dawson at the time.

But when Jane’s character first arrived on the cobbles, the soap star was afraid to leave the house and feared she was being abused by the community as ‘neighbours from hell’. Revealing all to the Mirror as she celebrated 20 years of being with her, she said: “I’d be scared of someone throwing a drink in my face.” Jane said she chose to stay at home rather than go out partying, adding: “It was scary dealing with the minister.”

The 45-year-old, from Bury, has been with her husband, Robert Beck, for 23 years. He is also known for television, having starred in Brookside, Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, and even had a stint in Corrie in 2008. Later, Robert played Fergus Collins in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks and had a short dramatic stint in Emmerdale at the. the end of last year as a villain Damon ‘Harry’ Harris.

Jane is married to fellow actor Robert Beck -Credit:Jane Danson InstagramJane is married to fellow actor Robert Beck -Credit:Jane Danson Instagram

Jane is married to fellow actor Robert Beck -Credit:Jane Danson Instagram

But this is not the first time he has been in the Dales as mentioned as Robert was a character in the soap for more than 70 episodes back in the 90s and Emmerdale fans may remember him for a long time. Gavin Ferris, Bernice Blackstock’s love interest, starred in 1999 but in the midst of his involvement with Bernice, the character was caught kissing Jason Kirk.

And when her return to Emmerdale was announced – as a new character – Jane said she is very much in the soap as she remembers meeting Robert for the first time. The pair met in 1999 at the British Soap Awards – but Jane previously admitted she had a crush on Robert since she was 15.

After years of friendship, which turned into romance, the loved-up couple tied the knot in 2005 before welcoming their first child Harry a year later, and second son Sam in 2009. Previously speaking to OK ! Magazine, Jane said the secret of their long relationship and happy friendship. “My husband and I have been together for 22 years, and we are good friends as well as loving each other.”

Their relationship was not without heartbreak. The mother-of-two has opened up about her miscarriage and coping with remaining a family of four. Jane and Robert found out they had lost their third child at the three month scan.

“It was heartbreaking and it took us a long time to get over it – I don’t think you ever do,” she told OK! in 2018. “There’s always going to be that sadness and there’s always going to be that desire, but we’re getting older now and the boys are growing up. Sometimes you just have to appreciate what you’ve got.”

Jane also took to Instagram in October 2022 to mark Child Loss Awareness Week as she said: “The pain of ‘miscarriage’ will stay with me forever. My three month scan showed no heartbeat but my body continued to conceive. for a while it was disastrous.

“The worst thing I did was not talk about what I was going through and somehow it made the heartache even more. Over time I learned to speak and express how I felt broken. With the love of my husband @robertbeck529 and the support of my friends and family I began to heal.

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