The original Faith Dingle actress has swapped Emmerdale for Coronation Street, after landing an exciting new gig on the iconic cobbled soap.
Gillian Jephcott played the Dingle matriarch from 2000 until 2004 when she left the Yorkshire village after failing to build bridges with Cain’s daughter Debbie. Sally Dexter was then recast as Faith in 2017 before the character tragically passed away of cancer in 2022.
Gillian has once again returned to the soap world to play social worker Caitlin on Coronation Street, much to the delight of long-term viewers. The character made her first appearance last week after Gemma Winter was accused of deliberately poisoning her stepson Joseph, having accidentally given him lavender oil as a drink. She also tells the stunned mother that she is not permitted to live at home or see her children unsupervised while the investigation is underway. This is unsurprisingly gutting to Gemma, whose mother Bernie has just been sent to prison while her brother Paul is suffering from a terminal illness.
Caitlin checks in on the situation again to find that Gemma is alone with Joseph and giving him painkillers for a headache, leaving the child protection officer majorly unimpressed. “You both need to realise, if you do anything like this again while you’re under investigation, [the children] could be taken into care,” Caitlin warned Gemma and partner Chesney in the tense scene. Despite Chesney managing to calm Caitlin down by pretending that Gemma had only been left alone with Joseph for a few minutes, the social worker tells the couple that one more violation could have serious consequences.
As for Gillian Jephcott, she brings an impressive resumé to Coronation Street after already starring in Clocking Off, Cutting It, Heartbeat, Doctors and Brassic. She has also appeared in many commercials, including a Morrison’s Christmas advert in 2016. If that wasn’t enough to make you envious of her talents, Gillian is also a mezzo-soprano singer and a trained tap dancer. She went to drama school for two years in the early 80s and is fluent in Welsh.
Emmerdale’s Sally Dexter was left stunned in 2021 during a special soap quiz on ITV on Monday night, after coming face-to-face with Gillian. She was initially unrecognisable to the Emmerdale team, but after host Stephen Mulhern revealed she had originally played a character now played by one of them, the cogs started whirring.
“Gillian was playing you, Faith Dingle,” Stephen revealed, leading the original Faith to tell Sally, “Well you know if you’re ever poorly, I’m here. Understudy,” to which Sally said back: “I’ve always wanted to be blonde.”