From making waves in EastEnders to Coronation Street, Jaqueline Leonard has graced our screens for over three decades! Recently, the actress spoke about her various roles with a special mention of her EastEnders character. Moreover, the soap actress spilled the tea that fans still remember her as Lorraine Wicks from EastEnders and are now fans are curious if she’s reprising her role. Leonard is all set to return to Coronation Street as Linda Hancock. She shed light on handling the spotlight and keeping her A-game strong. Please continue reading to catch the latest tea!
EastEnders Alum Linda Returns To The Cobbles
Jaqueline first rose to prominence as Sarah Preston in Peak Practice, then became the notorious Lorraine Wicks on EastEnders. And now the actress is back with a bang as she reprises her role as Linda Hancock in Coronation Street. Leonard first stepped into the role of Linda in 2015 and is known as the chic “Granny” Linda by the Winter-Brown children. Linda returned to the town to reunite with his daughters Izzy and Katy Armstrong. However, the daughters rejected her.
Following Katy’s off-screen demise in 2017, Linda drew closer to her grandson, Joseph Winter-Brown. Joseph lives with his dad, Chesney, Gemma Winter-Brown, and their quadruplets. After being away in Portugal, Linda made a comeback to Weatherfield in 2022. In addition, Linda made a cameo last year to attend Gemma and Chesney’s wedding.
This time she’s back for her favourite, Joseph, hoping to take him overseas. Leonard spoke about the new storyline. “Linda isn’t intentionally trying to take Joseph away from Gemma, but she does feel quite maternal,” said the actress. Moreover, Jaqueline said that her character intends to want the best for Joseph but gets “misconstrued.” The Linda star also compared the current storyline to her perspective on motherhood. She said, “I would do anything for my child, and I presume Linda is doing the same in her eyes.”
Additionally, the actress also admitted to enjoying being loved by fans. They miss her on the show and call for her to return multiple times on social media. She loves to go back to her Northern roots through Linda’s character. “Linda had been on the periphery for quite a while.” And “Now she’s getting a bigger on-screen presence,” confessed Jaqueline.
Leonard finds fan mail from younger guys hilarious because of the things written in them, given she’s in her fifties. These include – “Oh, she’s a bit of a cougar. We love her” and wanting pictures of Leonard’s bottom! Furthermore, Jaqueline praised her character and said that Linda is one of those characters that viewers love to hate. She added, “She’s a glamorous woman in a sexy suit flashing her money around.” The actress also spoke about her catfight with Joseph’s other grandma, Bernie, on soap – “It’s going back to old-fashioned Corrie.” The actress revealed something about her experience on EastEnders and how it made her more composed.
Jacqueline Recalls Turbulent Times During EastEnders
Apart from her role in Coronation Street, fans still miss Jaqueline on EastEnders as Lorraine Wicks. She played the character from 1996 to 1997. While viewers loved her role in Corrie, Jacqueline hasn’t always received positive feedback for EastEnders. She said, “Lorraine had huge storylines, but she was also quite angsty and tearful.” However, her character later had an affair with Grant Mitchell, and Tiffany Mitchell was expecting it then. The turn in Lorraine’s storyline made the fans hate her.
Furthermore, Jaqueline recalled an incident where a big group of kids recognised her and started screaming. Horrified by their reaction, the actress entered a shop and pleaded with the owner to exit from the back. The actress didn’t want to reveal where she lived. The owner shut the shop for five minutes, allowing the actress to run home – “The attention was unbelievable.”
Jaqueline is also famous for her other roles and admitted that showbiz has taught her resilience. “Back then, people believed I was that bitch in EastEnders,” she said. She added, “What’s different now is there’s social media so that people can separate you from the character.” With Jaqueline returning to Corrie, the attention is back on her again. The actress shed light on handling the attention and staying relevant! Read on to know what the actress has to say on the matter.
The Actress’ Secrets On Staying on Top of Her Game
Despite being a familiar face on British TV for ages, Jaqueline admitted to needing a confidence boost occasionally. She uses hypnotherapy and calming tapes to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not a constant thing, and Jaqueline usually pops on a tape when she puts in long working hours. In addition, the actress isn’t all about glitz and glamour on screen. She genuinely tries to stay fit by hitting the gym or swimming to stay toned. To her luck, Leonard is blessed with a good metabolism and is naturally skinny. “But I’m naturally slim and one of those people who can eat whatever they like – not that I eat badly.”
Additionally, when the actress isn’t working, Jaqueline spends her leisure time at home in Lancashire. Her downtime includes painting, gym sessions, and chilling with her husband, Alex Mansfield, and their daughter, Aleisha. Leonard’s family is used to seeing her on the silver screen. However, her husband remains her top fan, who watches most of her shows. “He loves Lydia, and actually, he likes Linda too,” said Jaqueline. She added, “He loved the cake fight they had at Gemma’s wedding.”