Corrie’s Tracy Shaw unrecognisable almost 20 years after murder of her character Maxine

Former Coronation Street star Tracy Shaw looks a far cry from the tragic Maxine Peacock nearly two decades after the famous character was murdered on the cobbles

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Tracy Shaw reunited with Coronation Street co-star in 2019

Coronation Street ’s Tracy Shaw is barely recognisable 18 years after starring on the ITV soap.

The actress had been famous for her curly blonde locks and understated image as hairdresser Maxine Peacock whom she played on Corrie from 1995 to 2003.

But, nearly two decades later and it is clear that the actress, now 48, has firmly left the cobbles behind.

With a lashing of red lipstick, Tracy shared snaps of herself on Instagram looking sophisticated and like a 1930’s vixen in a blue, velvet fascinator with a jewelled clip on her blonde hair, which was swept up in a glamorous, curled bouffant.

The former soap star took the selfie behind the scenes at her theatre adaptation of 1939 comedy mystery film show, The Cat and the Canary, in which she played lead role of Annabelle.

Tracy Shaw is almost unrecognisable from her days as Maxine Peacock

She captioned the image: “Last 2 shows playing Annabelle West at the grand theatre Leeds. We started this play before we’d even heard of Covid, on our second leg of tour.

“Three lateral tests a week for Covid we’ve been able to open many theatres, and hopefully entertained our audiences with an amazing cast!

Tracy Shaw, pictured in her role as Maxine Heavey alongside co-star Phil Middlemiss who played Des Barnes rocked her famous curls for most of her time on the cobbles


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Ex Coronation Street actress Tracy Shaw is a far cry from her image as Maxine Peacock in the ITV soap 18 years ago


“I feel very emotional to say good bye today to a wonderful part…”

Since leaving Corrie, Tracy, has remained in the industry, doing various theatre gigs, but not managing to replicate the success she had playing Maxine in the long-running soap.

She has had minor roles in other ITV dramas, worked in theatre and in 2003, notably appeared as Sally in the stage play The Blue Room, starring alongside Jason Connery.

Her most famous role to date remains Maxine, who was involved in some huge and iconic storylines, including romances with the likes of Curly Watts, Des Barnes, Andy McDonald and Tony Horrocks.

Ashley, played by Steven Arnold, cradles murdered wife Maxine, played by Tracy Shaw in Coronation Street in January 2003


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Tracy Shaw, pictured in her dressing room at recent theatre show The Cat and The Canary, revealed she had taken a long break from the spotlight to raise her two sons following her long stint on Corrie


She was murdered by serial killer Richard Hillman in 2003. The TV villain had planned to kill Emily Bishop, so broke into Ashley and Maxine’s house on a night when Emily was babysitting Joshua.

Richard had hoped to make it appear as if the elderly woman had been killed during a burglary but Maxine returned home alone early to see Richard hit Emily over the head with a crowbar.

She tried to run upstairs, but Richard Richard killed her by hitting her several times with the crowbar.

Tracy told Loose Women in 2019, that over the years since leaving the high-profile role she’s taken many breaks away from the spotlight to be with her kids.

Coronation Street’s Richard Hillman, played by Brian Capron, after he killed Emily played by Eileen Derbyshire (right) and Maxine, Tracy Shaw in the ITV1 soap, in 2003


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Tracy Shaw, pictured promoting Kwik Save Supermarket, has remained in the industry but not bagged a role as big as her Corrie character Maxine Peacock

The star, who divorced Robert Ashworth in June 2001 and is now with Cisco sales manager, Ashley Poundall, with whom she shares a home with in Berkshire, and raises sons Louis, 16, and Luca, 15 with, said: “It was a huge pressure just because of the viewing figures [of Coronation street].

“When I had Louie, I used to take him out for a walk with Angela [Griffin] with the push chairs and it just didn’t feel right to have photographers take pictures of the boys and they haven’t got a choice in this.

During her time in Corrie, Tracy became a pin-up and won Rear of the Year in 1996

“I took some time out just because it all got a little bit too much for me and I needed to respect that my kids were going to be brought up in the world I was living in and I felt really uncomfortable about that.”

During her time in Corrie, the star was also a “lad’s-mag” favourite and won Rear of the Year in 1996 and launched an ill-fated pop career in 1998 that saw her releasing two singles Ridin’ High and a cover of Lonnie Gordon’s Happenin’ All Over Again.

With her current role as Annabelle now ended, Tracy’s next gig is yet to be announced.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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