How many did you already know? (Picture: Getty/ Rex)
We’re constantly reminded of the importance of family whenever we sit down to watch the lives of people living in the likes of Weatherfield or Walford.
But did you know many cast members are either working alongside their actual relatives or have family connections to the shows?
Let’s take a look at a whole bunch of soap stars you may not have known are related in real life…
Will and Peter Ash
Peter revealed the connection in a tweet back in 2022 that praised Will for his work.
Peter has appeared in Coronation Street since 2019 as Paul Foreman and cites Will, who also starred in BBC drama Waterloo Road, as his inspiration to start acting.
Most recently, following his MND diagnosis last year, Paul revealed his plan to Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) to end his life when the time comes. The scenes were heartbreaking but concluded with Billy telling his partner that he will help him, and not let him suffer against his will.
Will’s character Caleb is currently in the middle of a troublesome storyline after starting an affair with Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh). It is set to take an interesting turn soon, as Caleb’s wife Ruby will arrive in the Dales.
Jill and Chelsea Halfpenny
It’s another unexpected connection! (Pictures: BBC/ITV)
Jill Halfpenny is a British television icon, who has appeared in not one but two soaps: Coronation Street and EastEnders.
However, niece Chelsea completes the hattrick, after a stint in Emmerdale.
Jill played the role of Rebecca Hopkins, a nurse who had an affair with Martin Platt, in Coronation Street between 1999 and 2000.
In 2002, she arrived on EastEnders as undercover policewoman Kate Morton, sent to honey trap Phil Mitchel. Of course, things went awry and she soon became Kate Mitchell, after marrying the Walford bad boy. Jill left EastEnders and Kate’s iconic nail salon behind in 2005.
In 2010, Chelsea Halfpenny made her soap debut in the role of Amy Wyatt in Emmerdale. There was a huge reaction to the storyline that saw Amy give birth to Cain Dingle’s (Jeff Hordley) son, Kyle, before leaving him in a phone box.
She left the show in 2013, and chose not to reprise the role when Amy was brought back in 2019, now played by actress Natalie Ann Jamieson.
The soaps aren’t the only shows the Halfpenny’s have in common, with both Jill and Chelsea having begun their careers in the classic children’s show Byker Grove.
Isabella and William work together in Coronation Street, while Amelia stars in Emmerdale (Picture: Instagram/Rachel Flanagan)
The parents of the Flanagans must be a proud pair, with not one but three of their children appearing in the soaps.
Eldest sister Amelia was the first to grace our screens, making her Emmerdale debut as April Windsor in 2014. Over the past few years, April has dealt with being bullied online and caring for her father Marlon (Mark Charnock) who suffered a life-changing stroke.
Next was the turn of twins Isabella and William, who both joined Coronation Street in 2017.
Isabella took on the role of Hope Stape, while William plays Joseph Brown. Hope and sister Ruby (Billie Naylor) recently welcomed the arrival of their grandma Cassie (Claire Sweeney), who has caused trouble a few times with her attempts at looking after them.
In upcoming episodes of the ITV soap, Joseph Brown will be diagnosed with Lyme Disease after spending months complaining of stomach aches and fatigue.
Sebastian and Gabrielle Dowling
Sebastian recently left the show (Picture: ITV)
Another set of soap twins are Sebastian and Gabrielle Dowling, who play on-screen twins Cathy and Heath Hope in Emmerdale.
They’re old hands at acting by now, having taken over their roles in 2007.
The siblings were at the centre of a dramatic storyline when 2024 began, which saw Cathy, Heath and friend Angelica King (Rebecca Bakes) joyride into town.
Sadly, it ended in disaster when their car crashed and Heath died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Adam and Ryan (And Scott) Thomas
Very famous siblings! (Picture: Stephen Farrell/Reuters)
The Thomas brothers are TV legends by now, following their documentary series Absolutely India: Mancs in Mumbai.
However, two of the brothers are perhaps best known for their roles in the ITV soaps.
We should also give a little shoutout to Adam’s twin brother and Love Island star Scott Thomas, who has also dabbled in the soap world. In 2018, as part of a goodbye video for Adam, Scott teamed up with Emmerdale in a short skit that saw him take over the role of Adam Barton.
You can see Adam in the BBC One drama Waterloo Road, and it is once again a family affair. Playing his children are niece Scarlett, who is the daughter of Ryan and Corrie co-star Tina O’Brien, and real life son Teddy.
Charley Webb and Jamie Lomas
They are best known for their roles in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale (Picture: Backgrid)
Charley Webb is best known for playing the role of Debbie Dingle in Emmerdale on and off between 2002 and 2021.
Meanwhile, Jamie shares a daughter with former Coronation Street icon Kym Marsh.
Brooke Vincent and Ellie Leach
Ellie won last year’s series of Strictly (Picture: Instagram/Brooke Vincent)
Brooke is best known for playing Sophie Webster in the show. She was last seen in 2019 and departed the soap ahead of her maternity leave.
Ellie, who won last year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, also said goodbye to Coronation Street in 2023, with her character Faye Windass leaving Weatherfield for a new life with her partner and their daughter.
Lacey Turner and Lily Harvey
Their paths never crossed (Pictures: BBC)
Lacey Turner is an EastEnders staple, having played the layered Stacey Slater on and off for 19 years.
Her younger sister, Lily (not to be confused with Stacey’s daughter, Lily Slater, or Lillia Turner, who plays her), has also had a role on the London-based soap, having starred as Shenice Quinn in 2011.
Unfortunately, the sisters never crossed paths on the Square, as Lily’s stint fell in the middle of Lacey’s break from the show.
Lacey is in the middle of a hugely dramatic storyline right now following the murder of Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters). Her character Stacey is part of The Six – a group of women who have been bound together after witnessing Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) kill Keanu, and Denise Fox (Diane Parish) attack Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) with a bottle.
Rebecca and Jack James Ryan
They didn’t play siblings in the show – but are siblings in real life! (Pictures: ITV)
Waterloo Road icon Rebecca Ryan made her Coronation Street debut in 2021, playing Underworld PA Lydia Chambers.
It was only a few months earlier that Rebecca’s brother, Jack James Ryan, reprised his role as Jacob Hay.
Viewers were heartbroken when, earlier last year, Jacob was driven away from the street by evil dad Damon (Ciaran Griffiths).
In a sweet Instagram post back in 2021, Jack expressed his pride for his sister as she joined Coronation Street, and explained how he’d always wanted to be ‘an actor on TV like my big sister’.
Sally Ann Matthews and Amanda Barrie
Who would’ve thought! (Pictures: ITV)
We can forgive you for not knowing that these two Corrie icons were related, seeing as they didn’t even know themselves until fairly recently!
The pair only discovered that they were cousins during an episode of Coronation Street’s DNA secrets, which saw stars like Sal trace back their ancestry to find out more about where they came from.
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Amanda played the role of Alma Baldwin for 13 years, occasionally sharing scenes with Sally Ann, who is still playing Jenny Connor today.
After the brief closure of the Rovers Return, Jenny was thrilled after some sly work from Daisy (Charlotte Jordan) saw her back behind the bar of the iconic boozer.
Sally Dynevor and Hattie Dynevor
Hattie is following in her Mum’s footsteps (Picture: Instagram/Sally Dynevor)
Finally on our list is Corrie legend Sally Dynevor and her daughter Hattie.
Sally is of course best known for her role as Sally Metcalfe in Coronation Street. Her daughter, Hattie, can now be seen in BBC One’s Waterloo Road.
Hattie plays Libby Guthrie and is also following in the footsteps of real-life older sister Phoebe, who began her career in the same show.
Phoebe played the role of Siobhan Mailey between 2009 and 2010, before later joining the cast of Bridgerton.
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