CORONATION Street legend Julie Hesmondhalgh has revealed she moved in with her husband within one week of dating and got pregnant within six.
Julie, 49, says her 18-year-old daughter Martha was conceived after she met Ian Kershaw on a boozy night out and told him she was going to marry him.
The actress, who played Hayley Cropper between 1998 and 2014, bagged her man following a few drinks with her soap colleagues, saying: “It was on my first week of Corrie, he was an actor then but now is a writer – in fact, he writes for Corrie.
“We became really good pals, then we went out one night for a mate’s birthday and we had been full-on flirting all night. At the end of it I said, ‘I’m going to marry you.’
“He laughed, and we kissed. He was going for an audition the next day and I texted him saying, ‘I hope you get this job today, because I will expect to be kept in the manner I’ve become accustomed to when we get married and have our two kids.’
“He texted back saying, ‘What do you want from me!?’ I said, ‘Not much, just a top wedding and kid by next Christmas!’
“He answered saying, ‘Martha or Arthur?’ Our Martha was born by the next Christmas.”
Julie’s forthright approach worked and the lovable actress says her life was transformed forever when she moved in with Ian a week later.
She told Notebook magazine: “We went out on the Thursday night, I moved in with him on the following Wednesday and I was pregnant
within six weeks.
“We went on a road trip across America and I did a pregnancy test on Santa Barbara pier, and there is a picture of us – we got a stranger to take it – pointing at the test saying, ‘We’ve just found out about you, Martha or Arthur!’ And it was Martha, who’s now 18.
“It’s just been like the greatest thing in my life.”
After 18 years together, Julie says their penchant for big romantic gestures is still going strong.
She said: “Because I got pregnant so quickly, we said we’ve got to carry on courting each other and we have done. Very early on we got into the habit of really looking after each other and going on dates. We’re romantic, we have many romantic moments.
The actress added: “But what was really romantic was that he wrote a one-woman play for me called The Greatest Play In The World and gave it to me as a Christmas present! I’ve already done it in Edinburgh and I’m doing it in London in December”
Julie previously revealed Corrie bosses cast her transgender character Hayley Cropper as a JOKE.
She was only meant to be a two-week punchline, but she went on to play Hayley for 16 years on the ITV soap before the much loved character took an overdose due to her struggle with incurable cancer.
Speaking to The Telegraph’s Stella magazine, Julie said: “The character of Hayley was originally written as a joke. It wasn’t a politically correct one, but this was back in 1998.
Julie was determined to make soap’s first transgender character more than a joke[/caption]
“The joke was that Roy Cropper (David Neilson) was going to go on a series of disastrous blind dates, one of them being with a man who had transgendered to a woman.”
But Julie was determined to make soap’s first transgender character more than a joke and aimed to make the audience fall in love with her.
She added: “To me, that was it. You make people like this woman – understand her – and you say more than any political speech or lobbying.”
Julie scooped six major awards during her time on Corrie, and her controversial assisted suicide scenes pulled in audience figures of over 9.5 million, despite thousands of fans boycotting the show as they were “too traumatised” to watch her die.