Last week Coronation Street fans watched as Sarah Louise Tilsey Platt Grimshaw left Weatherfield for the rather more exotic local of Milan. Don’t let the hard “As” of the northern accent fool you. We are talking about Milan. Say it like you’re an Italian inspired Torontonian and you got the city we are talking about, the centre of design and style. Let’s all hope Sarah packed that faux rabbit fur jacket.
Now our Sarah has finally left the street with enough life experience to write a serialized novel in the Guardian. Born in 1987 to an ill-fated Coronation Street couple Sarah’s life started out hard. Indeed when Sarah told Jason that she had been through everything David had and was “normal” she was actually understating.
Sarah’s life started with controversy. She was born prematurely and Gail’s second child Her brother Nick is about 7 years older than her. Sarah’s paternity was in question from the start as Gail’s fidelity had been tested. Tested and failed, that is. Brian, Sarah’s father had reason to believe that she was not his daughter and refused to have anything to do with her. It took a paternity test and some mild abduction for Brian to acknowledge his daughter and the family was reunited.
I don’t think the reuniting felt so good as it was short lived. They did remarry but it lasted only a year. The marriage was all but over with Brian vowing to fight for custody of his kids – I mean Nick. He was fine with never seeing Sarah again. Do two-year-olds feel rejection? Then Brian, after a huge argy-bargy with Gail went out on the town. The year was 1989, but you’d never know it by the look of you clubbing gear. Ever the gentleman, Brian came to the aide of a damsel in distress and got stabbed for his efforts.
Thank God for Martin Platt. He really took one for the team and married Gail not that long after Brian’s death.
Gail was pregnant with the Son of Sam and Martin convinced her not to abort the child. They got married in 1991 and, by all accounts, was a great father to Sarah, who, despite their close relationship, called him Martin.
Puberty does funny things to young people. They go to bed looking one way and then wake up looking totally different. Sometimes you go from being a brunette to a blond, just like that. More often than not, you don’t really grasp the art and science of reproduction or the menstrual cycle and bing bam boom you’re five months pregnant. Well, one day she and Neil Ferns went a little too far under the playground slide and Sarah was pregnant with what would one day come out and be called “The Bethany” or “Dishwasher Bait” or “Carpet Peer.” Whatever you like.
When Carpet Peer was 3 – and Sarah was 16 – Neil died in a car crash. His mother was, understandably, barking and that is how Bethany partook in the Street’s favourite pass time: kidnapping. Yes, her paternal grandmother, fearing she was being raised in a house of sin and depravity, planned to jump off a church bell tower with her. She should have planned better as we all know, no one like a church bell tower like Emily Bishop and no matter how much we wanted to see her fling herself off the tower and land square on Emily, it was not meant to be.
Not surprisingly, Sarah often made some questionable choices in terms of men … well boys and man. Spending all of her time at home with her spawn, Sarah began to seek cyber comfort and got herself is a sticky situation with an older man. That turned out ok, thankfully. However, the big mistake she made was a dude named Aidan Critchley. He was reckless and she liked the rebellion. What she didn’t like was almost dying in a fiery fiery car crash.
The timing of that crash was fantastic, because a month later Richard Hillman went on that murder rampage which culminated in yet another car “accident” this time Sarah, David and Gail were all driven into the largest body of water near the bridge where Danny Baldwin threatened to kill himself. Sadly, all but Richard survived.
If there is one thing Sarah always liked, it was a Grimshaw – either one will do. First she dated Jason. But,
dumped him for the joy-rider. Then she dated, and moved in with Todd. She was just the 16 year-old mother of a weirdo then, and he wasn’t gay yet. It’s a story as old as time. They here happy despite their immaturity and sexual incompatibility. Although, I do believe that Todd loved her. At least he loved her enough to close his eyes and think of the Queen a couple times a week which eventually led to Sarah’s second pregnancy. No one talks about it anymore, but in May of 2004 Sarah gave birth to a baby boy named Billy who sadly, died not long after.
I wish I could find the clip of this on Youtube, because it is some classic Corrie stuff. If memory serves on the morning of Billy’s funeral Janice and Cilla (I think) were having a fight in the street. Sarah and Gail step out of the house and the funeral cars come around the corner. The whole street can see that the casket is for a baby. Just like with a wedding, except somber and quite the whole street watches as the cars roll by. I think Janice says “It’s a baby.” It was moving, and I think few soaps are capable of stirring that kind of emotion in an audience.
After that ordeal Sarah deserved a break and she got one in the form of Scooter. I loved this dude. He was
dumb and cute and used to find little presents for Sarah in the skips he used to pick up for work. Sarah seemed to really like him and he even moved into the Platt house. At one point Scooter got Sarah to help him rescue some fish that were in danger. It was pretty cute, really and ended in Sarah getting a warning from the police, while Scooter got a fine.
As cute as Scooter was, Sarah had hotter fish to fry. She set her bunny boiling eyes on Jason Grimshaw. It didn’t matter that he was dating Violet Wilson at the time. Sarah pulled on that faux rabbit fur coat, rouged those cheeks and set out to seduce. Since Jason is kind of thick he fell for it hook line and sinker. And that’s how their rocky relationship started.
Sarah and Jason’s relationship is kind of hilarious. They seem very happy together, but at the same time, she is incredibly annoying. She is one of those people that you see in a relationship and wonder, “how does anyone put up with that?” At the same time, Jason is not exactly the most reliable of boyfriends.
We can’t forget that he started with Sarah by cheating on someone else. Not the best of starts, but hey, sometimes love is messy. Then, the pair had to deal with the disapproval of their moms. That isn’t easy. The community came together to give them a wedding. But, it was all for naught when Jason did a runner at their first wedding. She got all dolled up and stood at the church, he went to the bathroom and escaped out the window. Then he TEXTED her, “Can’t do it babe, sorry.” Not only did he have the gall to text her. She actually had her cell phone on her during the ceremony. That one moment perfectly framed both characters.
Well, they got over it and the appearance of Holly, a baby everyone thought was a result of a one night stand Jason had with some random woman brought them closer together. It’s true that responsibility is very attractive in a man. This was the making of Jason and he eventually showed a lot of maturity, even when they had to give her back once Holly’s real paternity was discovered.
Things went so well between them that they went on vacation and came back engaged again. The happiness was short lived when David, through some shocking carelessness, caused Bethany to overdose on E. We though she was useless before. Anyway, Bethany survived despite David’s dawdling. Add that to the collection of things David has done to the family and this was more than a straw breaking a camel’s back. Sarah never forgave him, and to be honest, I don’t blame her. She had already lost one child and just because David felt bad, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Sarah and Jason planned another wedding, this time with the support of their feuding moms. David went out of his way to make Sarah and Jason’s lives difficult during the lead up to the wedding including, but not limited to, causing an accident at the lumber yard that could have killed someone, terrorizing the family and staging a suicide.
Sarah pushed through all of this, perhaps pushing a little too hard, but her frustration is understandable considering that she is the only one who really had David’s number. She was all iron fist, no velvet glove. Perhaps she should have backed off and played the long game but she was sick of it. Then she saw the way to solve her problems.
When her uncle Steven came to town from somewhere in Canada and had the hair brained idea to take David to Milan to work a job and live rent free, Sarah was livid, but hatched an excellent plan to keep David in Weatherfield while she and her small family head to Milan. Yes, she planted some drugs in David’s work station and suddenly, David’s ticket out of the dreary Manchester suburb came off the table. It only took some mild direction on her part for Steven to offer the job to her.
Sadly, her miscalculation was coming clean to Jason. It was for the best anyway as Jason never wanted to leave Weatherfield and really the argument they had at the train station was just the argument they would have had in three months time. Still, Sarah saw no future for herself in Weatherfield, and I – probably for one – think she did the right thing by grabbing the situation by the thorns. Good on you Sarah. Not all of us liked you. Not all of us will miss you. But we’d all have to agree that you were a hell of a character.