Coronation Street star Gabrielle Glaister already eyeing up role in rival soap


Coronation Street star Gabrielle Glaister is back in Weatherfield playing Bernie lookalike Fern Lindon.

But it’s not the first time Gabrielle’s been seen on the Coronation Street. Back in 2000, she played troublemaking hairdresser Debs Brownlow.

So who was Debs? And who is Fern?

Gabrielle Glaister as Debs Browlow
Gabrielle played Debs Brownlow (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Who was Debs Brownlow in Coronation Street?

When Gabrielle Glaister won the role of Debs, fans were delighted. She was already something of a national treasure having played Patricia Farnham in Brookside, and the iconic Bob in Blackadder.

Debs was the sister of Street legend Natalie Barnes (also known as Natalie Horrocks). And, to Corrie fans’ astonishment, she turned out to be even more trouble than her sister!

Debs was a hairdresser and beautician, who arrived in Coronation Street after a stint working on cruise ships. She landed on the cobbles with a bang, surprising her sister who wasn’t expecting to see her!


Gabrielle was known to soap fans as she had played Patricia Farnham in C4 soap Brookside (Credit: Daily Mail/Shutterstock)

Debs got a job at Audrey’s salon and started a romance with Duggie Ferguson – Natalie’s boss at the Rovers. But Duggie was still grieving the death of his wife and Debs had a fling with Dev Alahan.

She and Duggie eventually reunited, and Debs settled in Coronation Street.

She supported Natalie when the body of her son, Tony Horrocks, was found. And later helped Debs cope when Tony’s murderer, Jez Quigley, was in court for the crime.

Debs and Vinny

Debs and Duggie moved in together but he was a workaholic and Debs wasn’t impressed by him always choosing work over her.

She threw him out and instead she drowned her sorrows with Vinny Sorrell – boyfriend of Debs’s sister, Natalie.

Duggie found Vinny and Debs together and spilled the beans to a shocked Natalie.

Debs and Vinny ran off together, leaving Duggie and Natalie behind in Weatherfield.

Vinny didn’t know that Natalie was pregnant at the time.

What has Gabrielle Glaister been in?

After leaving Coronation Street, Gabrielle joined c5 soap Family Affairs as Trish Wallace.

She appeared in Emmerdale in 2019, playing Hilary Benshaw who was a rival to Nicola King, when she ran for election to the local council.

Gabrielle has also had roles in Casualty, Sherlock, Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Cleaning Up, Silent Witness and Grantchester.

Bernie poses with doppelganger Fern
The story in Coronation Street was actually the idea of Jane Hazlegrove, who plays Bernie Winter (Credit: ITV)

Who is Gabrielle playing in Coronation Street this year?

Gabrielle returned to Coronation Street this year playing Fern Lindon.

She’s the spitting image of Bernie Winter and the pair have been muddled up with Bernie taking the opportunity to take Fern’s posh blazer from a shop.

The storyline was actually the idea of Jane Hazlegrove, who plays Bernie.

She said she and Gabrielle were always being mistaken for one another and when she mentioned it to Jonathan Harvey – who is one of the Coronation Street writers – he loved the idea!

What did Fern do to Bernie?

Bernie and Fern took advantage of the fact they look like each other with Bernie doing jobs for Fern.

When Bernie told Fern she was going to interview for a cleaning job, Bernie warned her that the company wasn’t good to work for.

However Fern had a plan.

She secretly went to Bernie’s interview pretending to be her and got the job cleaning a jewellery store,

Fern told Bernie that she needed to speak to her and she would come to her house.

Bernie waited in all day but Fern didn’t turn up.

What she didn’t realise is that Fern was robbing the jewellery store while the owner was out.

Later the jewellery store owner reported that stock had been stolen by their new cleaner – Bernie Winter.

When Bernie was taken in by police, she was horrified that she was accused of the theft.

She tried to tell them it was Fern but realised she had no proof as she could no longer contact her.

As Bernie is due in court, she has become determined to prove that Fern was the one who robbed the store and framed her.

Last week she ended up meeting Fern’s ex-husband Howard and he agreed to help her catch her.

They devise a plan to wheel Fern back in, but will it work?


 Fern set Bernie up (Credit: ITV)

Will Bernie be caught out? Gabrielle Glaister sets her sights on EastEnders

It has not yet been revealed how this storyline will end or if Bernie will be able to prove her innocence.

However Gabrielle has admitted she would definitely consider a role in BBC soap EastEnders.

In a recent interview with TV Times magazine, Gabrielle admitted she’s struggling with empty nest syndrome as her son has gone off to university and said ‘somebody needs to give her a job.’

She said: “I love doing telly and I love soaps. I’ve done family affairs and Emmerdale, as well as Corrie and Brookside, but I haven’t done EastEnders yet.

“I’d definitely consider it.”

Read more: Who is in the cast of Coronation Street 2022: Meet the full line-up

Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.

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