ITV Coronation Street: Real life of Abi Franklin star Sally Carman – co-star fiancé, adult baptism and breakthrough role

Since her arrival on the cobbles five years ago, it hasn’t been a quiet time for Abi Franklin or the actress who plays her. Sally Carman made her Coronation Street debut in the role of the former drug addict in 2017 a year after her on-screen of her son Seb Franklin, played by Harry Visinoni made his first appearance of her.

During her first year appearing in the ITV soap, Abi relied entirely on Seb’s support in paying the bills and looking after her younger children Charlie and Lexi. In 2017, she suffered an overdose and the twins were placed in foster care. After a voluntary stint in rehab, Abi put the twins up for adoption and started to turn her life around, working as a mechanic at Webster’s Autocentre.

A couple of years on and things were looking up for Abi. She moved in with Sally Metcalfe at No.4 upon being released from prison and later found love with Sally’s ex-husband Kevin Webster. However, more tragedy struck when on Abi’s hen night in 2021, Seb was badly hurt in a brutal, unprovoked gang assault and later died from her injuries.

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After finally seeing Corey Brent sent down for her son’s cruel murder, Abi is now locked in a custody battle after a one-night stand with Imran Habeeb lead to the surprise arrival of baby Alfie. And next week, things are set to take a dramatic turn when lawyer Imran and wife Toyah crash their car and Abi and husband Kevin are questioned by police.

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But luckily for Sally, life is a lot less dramatic. As well as her ella Corrie role, fans may recognize the soap star for her former racy role de ella. Her breakthrough role for her was as prostitute Kelly Maguire in Shameless. The character made her first appearance in 2005 and remained on the Channel 4 show until its final season in 2013.

Sally’s TV debut, however, actually came much earlier in police procedural drama City Central in 1998. She then went on to land roles in long-running shows including Doctors, Heartbeat and Holby City.

Sally as Kelly in Shameless

And joining Corrie has brought more than just on-screen success as it was on the cobbles that Sally met her now-fiancé. Love blossomed for the 41-year-old and Joe Duttine, who plays Tim Metcalfe in the ITV soap. The loved-up couple are thought to have started their relationship in the summer of 2018.

In June 2021, they posted a selfie together in a hot tub which was captioned “Three years” and they then moved into a new home together at the end of 2019. The pair share a beautiful home together in a small village outside Stockport, which they also share with their adorable dog, Fig.

Joe and Sally announced the happy news that they were engaged in March 2020. Taking to Instagram at the time, Sally shared a picture of her emerald green and gold ring while the pair celebrated with champagne. Speaking about the proposal, Sally previously told TV star Kate Thornton on her podcast White Wine Question Time: “It was while we were in lockdown and we were staying in the Dales with his sister de ella, who has a lot of space, with de her, his kids of her.

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Sally and Corrie co-star Joe Duttine found love off-screen

“And he had just read a Benjamin Meyers book called The Gallows Pole, which Shane Meadows is making into a film right now. It’s all about these coin forgers and he was banging on about this bloody book for weeks and weeks and weeks and I’ m like: ‘I’m glad you’re enjoying that book, I won’t need to read it because you’ve literally told me everything that happens in it!’

“And we were walking around this big field on this walk and he went: ‘Kids, have a look in between the dry stone walling because you know, they used to put coins and precious things to hide them in the walls. ‘You look at that bit Jeanie, and Joseph you look at that thing, Sal why don’t you get involved?’ I’d had a few beers because you know, that’s what we did in lockdown.

“So I’m having a look and there’s this box. And I opened it. I’m like: ‘No way.’ And then there was another box inside. And I turned around and he was on one knee.” Sally even made him repeat his proposal from her, with her explaining: “And he said: ‘Will you marry me?’ But I made him do it again, because he went too quickly.

Sally is also a devoted stepmum to Joe’s three children, aged 25, 14 and 12. “They’re gorgeous kids, it’s so easy and I feel really lucky to have that extension of a family,” she previously told the Mirror. “Not to be a mother figure, because they’ve got a mum and they don’t need another, but just to have a relationship and some part in their journey into adulthood is amazing.”

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Back in December, Sally opened up on the couples wedding plans and shared the reason behind their Christmas 2022 wedding. “I’m obsessed with Christmas, so when Joe said: ‘What’s your favorite time, when would you most like to do it?’ it had to be Christmas,” Sally told the Mirror. “We’re going to have the wedding late afternoon so it will be dark and it will be lit by rows of Christmas trees and twinkly lights; I can’t wait.”

Sally has a different look to her on-screen character

Also off-screen, Sally rocks a completely different look. During an appearance on This Morning on Friday (May 27), the soap star floored fans as she donned a floral dress that showed off her arm tattoo of her. She also wore a large pair of glasses and had her short blonde locks curled to perfection.

And Sally has also previously revealed that she had found her faith later in life, with her being baptized at St Philip’s Church in Salford in 2019, the same place she plans to get married. She told the Mirror he became a Christian around seven years ago after a friend had “shared something” with her – with religion then suddenly making “sense on another level.”

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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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