ITV Coronation Street: The real life of Tracy Barlow actress Kate Ford with illness battle and ‘painful’ divorce

Tracy Barlow is everyone’s favorite antagonist on Coronation Street.

The character, who is married to Steve McDonald, has been played by Salford star Kate Ford since 2002.

But while she skillfully portrays Tracy with ease – which scored her the ‘Best B*tch’ British Soap Award in 2004 and 2005 for her work on Corrie – the actress has been battling with an illness behind the scenes.

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Kate suffers from endometriosis – an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus.

The 45-year-old opened up to her Instagram followers last week, sharing a struggling selfie in her ITV filming jacket.

Writing to her thousands of followers, Kate said: “Filming #itvcorrie this was a few weeks ago at a time that I was struggling with my #endrometriosis.

She added: “Luckily got lots of support x just sending a hug out to all those struggling with similar,” followed by a red love heart.

The soap star previously mentioned her endometriosis during the first lockdown in 2020 when she tweeted: “As someone with grade four endometriosis, I realize how much I rely on my massage therapy to help with this.”

“Due to COVID I’ve not been able to visit my therapist for three months. My body is sore I’ll never take this therapy for granted again xx.”

Another painful experience Kate has had to endure was when her marriage to TV producer Jon Connerty broke down.

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The couple, who share one son together, Otis, married in 2007 before divorcing in 2015.

Tracy – Kate Ford – on the cobbles

In an interview with The Sun, the mum-of-one said that the separation was “incredibly painful”, but acting helped her to move on.

“When Jon and I first parted it was quite hard to put my personal life aside,” she explained.

“We really tried hard to make it work. But it came to the point when we knew we had to get a divorce.

“Things had changed and it wasn’t what it was. But it was incredibly painful.

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“For a while after we split, I found it hard to get out of bed. I wasn’t at work at the time, and I’d drop Otis off at school and go back to bed until I picked him up.

“But then it became therapeutic to concentrate on my job. People call it ‘Doctor Theatre’ – when you’re acting, you can’t worry about things.”

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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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