She’s played Eileen Grimshaw on Coronation Street for 22 years and now actress Sue Cleaver has temporarily stepped away from the cobbles and is trying her hand at jungle life.
The star’s close pal, Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Arnold exclusively told us Sue grabbed the opportunity of doing I’m a Celeb because she has nothing to lose and wants people to see the real Sue.
Richard told us, “When you reach a time when you have been on the box for so long you seize every opportunity and when a door opens you think, ‘Why not?’ You’ve got nothing to lose. And it’s a great chance for people to see the real Sue.”
Since joining Corrie in 2000, Sue’s character has been involved in some iconic storylines. Soap fans have been kept entertained by her ongoing love/hate relationship with neighbour Gail Platt, with one of the pair’s standout moments being when Eileen slapped Gail, played by Helen Worth, across the face in the middle of the street.
Eileen – who is mum to Todd and Jason Grimshaw – has also endured turbulent romances with characters such as Dennis Stringer, Michael Rodwell and notorious killer, Pat Phelan.
Now, Sue – who is married to electrician Brian Owen and has a son Elliot from her previous marriage to actor James Quinn – is following in the footsteps of Corrie co-stars such as Simon Gregson and Jennie McAlpine as she takes on the jungle.
Richard explained Sue, 59, is much gentler than her feisty on-screen character, but added there are a couple of shared personality traits.
He tells new, “Well, I’ve never seen Sue raise a hand to Helen Worth in real lie! Eileen is one of those great Corrie matriarchs of old that chews nails and spits rust. Sue is a far gentler soul – but like Eileen she is all heart and fiercely loyal.”
Before heading to the jungle, Sue revealed she’s looking forward to showing viewers what she’s really like.
She said, “Viewers are going to see a different person to the person they think I am! I am very different. That can be worrying. They might decide they don’t like me as much as Eileen!”
She also explained that as she recently entered the last year of her fifties, she felt like she needed a new challenge.
She revealed, “Doing I’m A Celeb is never really something I considered doing before. But the pandemic happened and then this year, I have just turned 59 and so I decided for my 59th, I was going to shake things up a bit.
She added, “I realised I needed something that would challenge me and I thought this show would be good – and so that’s why I am doing it.”
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