Corrie fans were in tears on Friday night (April 9) as Laura Neelan lost her battle with stomach cancer. Viewers were in bits as her teenage daughter Ella Kelly failed to make it to the hospital in time to see her before she died.
Kelly had refused to see her mum after she took the rap for murdering Kelly’s dad, her late husband Rick. Instead of turning his killer Gary Windass into the police, she made the sacrifice so that Gary could become Kelly’s guardian after her death.
There were heart wrenching scenes as Kelly held her mum in her hospital bed as she wept. And away from the cameras Millie Gibson, who plays Kelly, and Kel Allen, who plays Laura, were overcome with emotion.
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On Twitter, Kel shared a picture of on-screen mum and daughter smiling together and another of Kel in her final scenes as an ailing Laura clutching her photo of her baby girl. She wrote: “Thank you so much for all of the love and beautiful comments about tonight’s ep of @itvcorrie. I’m overwhelmed, it’s been emotional.”
And she added proudly: “Someone please give my baby girl @MillieGibson01 an award and invite me to it so I can cheer her on. Terrah cockers, from me and our Laura.”
Millie wrote lovingly to her soap mum: “Kel. Laura. I’ll love you both forever and always. Thank you so much for the comments on tonight’s ep.” And she added: “@KelAllenUK need one of your hugs x.” And a tearful Kel replied: “I’ll always be your mamma @MillieGibson01.” Love you so, so much. I’m still in pieces xxx”
Kel then set Millie off again by sharing side-by-side photos of the pair in January 2020 and a more recent picture of the soap stars in a similar pose on set in red ITV puffer coats.
“Over two years with you,” Kel wrote with a flurry of love hearts. And she added proudly: “Babba @MillieGibson01 is growing up.” And Millie told her: “Dohh making me well up again ffs, see you soon my mamma.”
Coronation Street fans loved the tweet and messaged with their admiration for the powerful scenes. @mishybabez_ said: “Beautiful ladies. An iconic mother daughter duo in Corrie you both were incredible as Laura and Kelly xx”
@Vitt2TsNoC wrote: “Incredible scenes from you two last night. Final scene was one of the best in soaps ever. Up there with Janine at Pat’s deathbed. X”
@denzylaney commented: “Superb acting ladies. You had the country sobbing X” and @xxsaralewisxx said: “Wow I can’t believe the change in Millie. Lovely photos. Wishing you all the best in your next adventure.X” And @ DaintyMare tweeted: “Lovely!”
Rising Coronation Street star Millie arrived in Weatherfield as Kelly in June 2019, followed by Kel as her neglectful and abusive mum Laura the following year. And she has gone on to win high praise for her portrayal of the troubled teenager.
She was at the center of one of the long-running soap’s most harrowing storylines when her character was sent to prison after being framed for the murder of Seb Franklin and later released before ending up homeless and turning to drugs.
Mikey North, who plays Gary, has tipped Millie for a bright future after realizing her potential from her screen test. The Corrie favourite, who has played Gary since 2004, said: “This girl is incredible. Whatever she chooses to do in her career will be amazing. I rate her better than any young actress that I’ve ever worked with on any job. She’s unbelievable.”
Millie, from Broadbottom, previously starred in the ITV drama Butterfly starring Anna Friel, which followed the story of a transgender child. She played Lily the sister of 11-year-old Max, who identified her as female and wished to live life as a girl.
Her character initially came into Coronation Street for four episodes. And she became central to a major hate crime storyline which saw Seb and his girlfriend Nina Lucas savagely set upon by a gang of teens because of goth Nina’s appearance of her.
Millie said previously about the storyline: “I’m over the moon because it’s been so nice to explore different layers of her because when she first came in it was kind of like she was a troubled girl looking for her dad. And then it kind of just started to unfold where she had all thee other problems going on and all these different encounters with other characters.”