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‘Whole generation’ of people never got to experience Sarah Lancashire as ‘iconic’ character

Katherine Sidnell

| Last updated 

‘Whole generation’ of people never got to experience Sarah Lancashire as ‘iconic’ character

Fans of Happy Valley actor Sarah Lancashire are just discovering one of her most iconic roles before she appeared in the taut BBC crime drama. Take a look at her as the beloved character below:


During the early nineties, Lancashire played Raquel in Coronation Street.

Though it launched the actor’s TV career, many fans are just discovering this fact thanks to a TikTok video which has gone viral over the weekend.


Surprised fans loved the clip which also showed off Lancashire's comedic skills.

With over 44,00 views, the clip shows highlights Lancashire’s time on the Cobbles with the caption: "There’s a whole generation that never experienced Sarah Lancashire as Raquel."

Lancashire has been a mainstay on our TV screens for the last 30 years. You can check out some of her best-loved roles below:

Coronation Street


Wearing huge earrings and poofy 90s hair, Lancashire looks unrecognisable and worlds apart from her Happy Valley character Sgt Cawood.

She played Raquel Watts – a ditzy but loveable barmaid at The Rovers Return.

Sarah Lancashire in Coronation Street. Credit:
Sarah Lancashire in Coronation Street. Credit:

One long-time fan of the actress even stated in the comments that she felt ‘sorry’ for people who had not seen Lancashire as the iconic 90s character.


With Happy Valley having come to a close, some fans are hoping the actress will make a brief return to the cobbles as part of a special appearance.

The actor did briefly return to Coronation Street in 2000 for a one-off episode, but has since ruled out reprising her role.

She even took a swipe at the long-running soap stating 'the show she was in doesn't exist anymore'.

Instead, fans are having to rediscover her role via online clips and old episodes.


However, this isn’t the actress’s only overlooked role.


Lancashire also had a cameo in raunchy E4 teen drama Skins alongside Joe Dempsie and Nicholas Hoult.

During a 2007 episode, Chris, played by Dempsie, discovers that he has been left by his mum, who gives him £1,000 to survive on. Chris uses the money to throw the party to end all parties.


Lancashire plays well-meaning Mary, who inadvertently asks Chris about his mother, not realising the 17-year-old has been abandoned.

Doctor Who

A year later, she appeared in beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who as the terrifying Miss Foster in the fourth series of the revived show.

Lancashire as Miss Foster in Doctor Who. Credit: BBC
Lancashire as Miss Foster in Doctor Who. Credit: BBC

Despite starring in a single episode, Lancashire made a whole generation of children hide behind the sofa as she faced David Tennant’s Doctor alongside Catherine Tate.

The episode featured aliens the Adipose, which were created by harvesting fat from unknowing victims.

Writer Russell T Davies described the role as a ‘warped Mary Poppins’, with Lancashire being one of several high-profile actors to cameo in the series.

Happy Valley

Since then, the now-58-year-old has gone on to appear in period drama such as Lark Rise to Candleford and Wuthering Heights.

Lancashire in Happy Valley. Credit: BBC
Lancashire in Happy Valley. Credit: BBC

She is perhaps best known though for her BAFTA award winning role as browbeaten Sgt Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley.

Set in West Yorkshire, the taut BBC crime drama follows the detective as she hunts down Tommy Lee Royce – the man she believes is responsible for her daughter’s suicide.

After three series, the intense drama came to an end on Sunday night with over 7.5 million people tuning in for the gripping conclusion.

Many have praised Lancashire’s performance, with one fan on Twitter writing: “#happyvalley is such astonishingly brilliant telly. Sarah Lancashire is phenomenal. This final episode is so searingly original in its head to head between Catherine and Tommy.”

Viewers will undoubtedly be eagerly awaiting Lancashire's next big role.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/ITV

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity

Katherine Sidnell
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