Coronation Street’s Summer actress Harriet Bibby is much older than her character

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Coronation Street star Harriet Bibby may feature on the cobbles as 16-year-old Summer Spellman, but in real life she's 23 – and she says playing down by seven years comes naturally to her.

The actor is the second person to play Billy's daughter Summer and she took over the role from Matilda Freeman, who is actually a 16-year-old.

But Corrie bosses clearly had no problem casting an older actress as a convincing teen, and Harriet told Lorraine on Tuesday morning that she found pretending to be seven years younger surprisingly easy.

Lorraine asked her: "What age are you in real true life?"

Youthful-looking Harriet replied: "I am 23."


But Lorraine pointed out: "You look younger and that's great because she's 16. Because of the storylines you're going through you need that maturity because she's gone through ever such a lot in her young life."

Harriet agreed: "She has, yeah. She's actually quite a sensible girl and she is quite mature, the way that she's been raised by Billy, so I think she's probably more sensible than I am in real life, so I don't find it too much of a stretch to play down."

Before she was offered the role of Summer, Harriet was working as a singing teacher and said she found out she'd bagged her dream job on the show she grew up watching while teaching a class full of kids.

This isn't the first time the ITV soap has faced a situation where an older actor was cast as a much younger character, although in 2015 the casting caused a bit more controversy.


Lucy Fallon went on to win awards for her portrayal of Bethany Platt, but she was actually second choice for the role as it originally went to Katie Redford, who lied about her age.

Katie was 25 at the time when she was cast as 14-year-old Bethany, but had told soap bosses she was actually 19.

When it emerged that the actor was a good 10 years older than the character, they recast Lucy in the role who went on to become one of Corrie's biggest stars of recent years with an abuse and grooming storyline that was a hit with both viewers and critics.

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