EastEnders spoilers – Corrie and EastEnders stars appear on Children In Need TONIGHT for a First Dates crossover

EASTENDERS’ Janine Butcher and Coronation Street’s Steve McDonald will appear on First Dates later this month in a truly hilarious soap crossover.

As part of this year’s Children in Need, iconic soap characters Janine – played by Charlie Brooks – and Steve – portrayed by Simon Gregson – have filmed a sketch of the pair dating in the First Dates restaurant.

Desperate to find love after rotten luck in Walford, Janine turns to Channel 4’s hit dating show to help with her search.

However, in an unexpected twist, she comes face-to-face with Corrie’s Steve – married a staggering seven times – who unwittingly finds himself on a date with the fiery personality. 

Read our live blog below for all the latest soap news, gossip and spoilers…

  • Louis Allwood

    EastEnders’ Gwen Taylor starred in THREE soaps before Albert Square role

    Gwen, 82, had a whole host of soap gigs before landing her spot as Stuart and Callum Highway's savage nan Violet on EastEnders.

    Gwen starred as Peggy Armstrong in the drama series Heartbeat.

    She played Peggy from 2005 to 2009, appearing in 98 episodes in total.

    Peggy was the aunt of David Stockwell and arrived in Aidensfield out of the blue and promptly proceeded to impose herself on her nephew by moving in with him and ordering him about.

    She was often found poaching from Lord Ashfordly's estate, but somehow always managed to avoid prosecution.

    Following her Heartbeat gig, she starred as Anne Foster in the long-running ITV soap Coronation Street.

    From 2011 to 2012 she appeared on our screens she played the mother of Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel) and wife of Sam Foster (Paul Clayton).

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    Anorexia signs

    • if you’re under 18, your weight and height being lower than expected for your age
    • if you’re an adult, having an unusually low body mass index
    • missing meals, eating very little or avoiding eating any foods you see as fattening
    • believing you are fat when you are a healthy weight or underweight
    • taking medication to reduce your hunger (appetite suppressants)
    • your periods stopping (in women who have not reached menopause) or not starting (in younger women and girls)
    • physical problems, such as feeling dizzy, dry skin and hair loss

    Corrie star Gemma Oaten works with charity

    Gemma Oaten now works with eating disorder charity Seed, which organises support groups for sufferers.

    You can find more information on their website: seed.charity.

    The 37-year-old she relapsed after being sent home because she hadn’t addressed the reasons behind her disorder.

    She explained: “In one unit I was so weak I wasn’t allowed to wash my own hair or go for a walk.

    “The only time I could exercise was when I went to the toilet. So I’d do 50 sit-ups on the floor while a member of staff stood outside waiting for me.”

    She eventually turned a corner when she suffered a heart attack at the age of 18 – she finally started seeing a therapist and by 23 had managed to graduate from drama school and landed a part on daytime soap Doctors.

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      Kelvin Fletcher shows off his jaw-dropping physique

      Former Emmerdale star has stripped off to show off his rippling physique as he visited a health farm in Cheshire.

      Kevin Fletcher, 37, shared a picture of himself standing in a shower room having just drenched himself with a bucket.

      Wearing just a pair of black swimming trunks, the former Andy Sugden actor threw his head back.

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      Lacey turner's sister's birthday

      Eastenders’ Lacey Turner paid tribute to her rarely-seen soap star sister on her birthday with stunning bikini snap.

      The Stacey Slater actress revealed her little sister Lily Ruby.

      Lacey, 33, posted a glam shot of her younger sister in a strapless bikini.

      She showed off her washboard stomach in the grey two-piece with tassels as she stretched out on a sun lounger.

      Mum-of-two Lacey wrote: “Happy birthday, Love you to the moon.”

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      Danger in Emmerdale (Continued…)

      Meena is clearly not happy when she finally get a pub ‘date’ with Billy – only for Dawn to turn up.

      Up until her entrance, Meena and Billy were freely flirting, with Meena mentally plotting their future.

      When Dawn interrupts the vibes, viewers will be left worrying for the mum-of-one’s safety.

      Will Meena play nicely, or will she continue with her deadly deeds to eliminate her competition?

      ITV boss Kevin Lygo has already teased new winter storylines leading up to Christmas, hinting that Dawn will have to watch her back with Meena still on the prowl.

    • Louis Allwood

      Danger in Emmerdale

      Emmerdale’s Dawn Taylor is set to put herself in danger as she disrupts Meena Jutla’s latest attempt at finding love.

      Now that the serial killer’s romance with David Metcalfe has ended she’s got her eyes firmly set on fellow singleton Billy Fletcher.

      Billy recently appeared as her knight in shining armour, defending Meena against Amy Wyatt, who reported her to police after the love sick psycho trashed Victoria Sudgen’s home.

      Since then Meena has been warming to the thought of a romance with Billy – even if only to make David jealous.

      The problem is that Billy is Dawn’s ex and it’s been hinted that the former couple still have feelings for one another.

    • Louis Allwood

      Soap star collects MBE

      Eastenders star Mica Paris has credited her grandmother as her “first agent” as she collected an MBE at Windsor Castle.

      The London-born artist and actress also hinted that she could make a return to the soap, and teased that her latest album, Motown, includes a “duet with Jimmy Ruffin – even though he’s dead”.

      Paris became a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music, entertainment and charity at a ceremony hosted by the Princess Royal on Wednesday.

      The 80s singer, whose real name is Michelle Wallen, said her grandmother Gwendoline Armstrong (nee Birch) was like her “first agent” and loved the monarchy because she felt it gave her family the opportunity to build a life after emigrating from Jamaica.

    • Louis Allwood

      Fans convinced they know who Meena will kill next 

      Emmerdale fans are speculating that Meena Jutla's next fatal victim is Amy Wyatt after an intense showdown.

      Viewers are speculating Emmerdale's next big murder victim to be Amy after she poked fun at serial killer Meena.

      Amy brutally took a swipe at Meena's recent break-up from boyfriend David Metcalfe.

      The pair entered into an argument after it was revealed David had chosen to move on with Victoria Sugden.

      Sticking up for her friend Victoria, Amy began rubbing Meena's nose in her misfortune not knowing how deadly that could be.

      Viewers of the ITV soap think Amy took the digs a little too far and could now be in a spot of danger.

      During Thursday's episode viewers shared their opinions and thoughts on Twitter.

      One viewer tweeted: "Amy's going to die!!!!!"

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      Which Emmerdale star was in Harry Potter?

      Emmerdale fans may get a shock when they realise this show regular had a Hollywood film role in Harry Potter.

      And he looked dramatically different as he played the character of Magorian, a centaur living in the Forbidden Forest in the fifth movie, Order of the Phoenix.

      Now he is hanging out at the Woolpack, he looks very different.

      Can you guess who it is?

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      Pucker up

      Former Corrie actress Michelle Keegan stunned fans with a huge pout as she returned to London after filming Brassic up North.

      The TV star, 34, marked her arrival in the capital with a sexy video on Instagram.

      Michelle puckered up as she blew a kiss in the back of a black cab.

      She looked incredible, wearing a heritage check winter coat, and with her long brown hair falling in waves around her face.

      She wrote over her video, which she tagged in London: "She's back!"

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      Explainer: Who is the real Dotty Cotton?

      Eastenders fans are used to seeing star Milly Zero in the role of the scheming Dotty Cotton.

      The young actress’ life is a world away from life on Albert Square, with glam nights out and a famous rapper boyfriend – not to mention her lookalike mum.

      Milly joined the cast as Dot Branning’s granddaughter in 2019 replacing Molly Conlin who had previously played the role as a child.

      The 22-year-old was a child star herself with a role as the title character’s bratty older sister in CBBC’s All About Charlie.

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      Corrie cancer check (continued)

      While Bea had scans she developed jaundice, when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow due to a problem with the liver. 

      This, with the burping, turned out to be because Bea had pancreatic cancer.

      The symptoms of the disease include jaundice, feeling or being sick, changes in stools, pain in the stomach and back, and symptoms of indigestion – like burping and bloating.

      It also causes common cancer symptoms of weight loss, fatigue and high temperature.

      Bea “carried on fighting till the end”, Nicola said, sadly dying in November 2016, aged 62.

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      Corrie cancer check

      A woman lost her mum to a cancer that she self-diagnosed by watching Coronation Street.

      Bea Walton, of Crewe, Cheshire, had been burping more than usual and noticed that the character Hayley Cropper had mentioned the same symptom.

      The TV soap star’s storyline saw her diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and ending her own life in final scenes aired in January 2014.

      Bea, a then 60-year-old grandmother, first thought something was wrong in early 2015, her daughter, Nicola Smith, said. 

      Nicola, 46, told Cheshire Live: "She [Bea] started burping a lot, which obviously is unusual I suppose for a lot of people.

      "My mum actually watched an episode of Coronation Street, and I think it was Hayley on Coronation Street had had the same symptoms, so she sort of mentioned to the doctor…”

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      Star-crossed lovers (continued)

      Charity dragged Noah home while Kerry vowed to take Chloe back to her privileged life in a cage.

      In the car Chloe told her: “I don’t understand how you can do this to me. 

      “Don’t say you care because if you did you wouldn’t be taking me back there.”

      And Kerry realised she was right, telling her: “Maybe you’re right. 

      “If I cared I wouldn’t so maybe I shouldn’t. I need to think of a plan.”

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      Star-crossed lovers

      Emmerdale fans have been left stunned by a shock twist after Chloe Harris and Noah Dingle tried to run away together.

      The teen couple are desperate to flee so Chloe can be free of her overbearing gangster father’s control.

      n tonight’s episode they hatched a plan to run away from the village without being tracked.

      However after trying to walk to Hotton, they were caught by Kerry and Charity who demanded they come clean.

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      Danny Miller slammed for leaving newborn son

      Danny Miller has hit back at critics who slammed him for doing the show weeks after his son was born – and says “he won’t remember”.

      The former Aaron Dingle actor is one of 10 celebs taking part in the 21st series of the show this year.

      The soap star and fiancee Steph Jones welcomed their son Albert into the world last month.

      But his choice to star in the popular ITV programme has caused backlash amongst fans as it’s possible he’ll be away from his newborn for a maximum of three weeks.

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      Wishing Walford a farewell?

      Adam Woodyatt is on an extended break from the soap where he has played Ian Beale since 1985 – but he may not return to Walford any time soon.

      The actor, 53, is hoping that his stint on the ITV show will launch a whole new chapter in his career.

      A TV insider said: “He’s excited by the prospect of showing the nation who the real Adam Woodyatt is.

      “He is optimistic it will open the minds of producers who might have previously only thought of him as Ian.

      “And there are plenty of stars who’ve gone on to new things as a result of I’m A Celebrity.”

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      Explainer: Who does Gemma Oaten play on Corrie?

      Corrie viewers have seen her as Isla, who met newly single Tyrone when her daughter Darcy went to the same party as his daughter Hope.

      Isla suggests a date, but the night will end in disaster next week when a man approaches them in the restaurant, announces he is Isla’s husband and punches Tyrone, sending him flying.

      Gemma, who has also appeared in Holby City, says: “Isla is very flirty and confident and she dresses up.

      “She’s at a kids’ party but she’s in a fake-fur gilet and leopard-print top. She embraces who she is as a woman and she goes after Tyrone."

      She is currently in the show as a guest character – but who knows? If all goes well she could become a regular fixture on the cobbles.

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      Explained: What are the signs of anoxeria?

      • if you’re under 18, your weight and height being lower than expected for your age
      • if you’re an adult, having an unusually low body mass index
      • missing meals, eating very little or avoiding eating any foods you see as fattening
      • believing you are fat when you are a healthy weight or underweight
      • taking medication to reduce your hunger (appetite suppressants)
      • your periods stopping (in women who have not reached menopause) or not starting (in younger women and girls)
      • physical problems, such as feeling dizzy, dry skin and hair loss

      Corrie star is an eating disorder campaigner

      Gemma Oaten now works with eating disorder charity Seed, which organises support groups for sufferers.

      You can find more information on their website: seed.charity.

      The 37-year-old she relapsed after being sent home because she hadn’t addressed the reasons behind her disorder.

      She explained: “In one unit I was so weak I wasn’t allowed to wash my own hair or go for a walk.

      “The only time I could exercise was when I went to the toilet. So I’d do 50 sit-ups on the floor while a member of staff stood outside waiting for me.”

      She eventually turned a corner when she suffered a heart attack at the age of 18 – she finally started seeing a therapist and by 23 had managed to graduate from drama school and landed a part on daytime soap Doctors.

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        How Corrie saved a life (continued)

        “It was very much reward and punishment, so if I’d put on weight I’d be allowed to watch television”, she continued. “I’d watch Coronation Street and escape into it and have that little bit of fire inside me thinking, ‘I can beat this eating disorder — I can get better and go for my dreams’.

        “Eating disorders make you lose sight of a lot of things, but I still dared to dream that I’d be on Corrie one day.”

        Gemma — best known for playing Rachel Breckle in Corrie’s rival soap Emmerdale from 2011-2015 — developed anorexia aged ten following an episode of being bullied at school.

        Just a year later she was so ill she ended up in hospital and was sent to a youngsters’ psychiatric unit. She says: “There were moments when I was on my deathbed and I didn’t even know what day it was.

        “I felt helpless and the easier option was not to be alive any more, rather than live the hell I was enduring.”

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        How Corrie save one star's life

        Gemma Oaten recently debuted on Coronation Street as flirty mum Isla – fulfilling a lifelong career ambition.

        The actress suffered from anoxeria nervosa as a teenager and will receiving treatment 30-minutes on the Cobbles was her lifeline.

        She describes how staff used the ITV soap as a reward, only allowing her to watch it if she had made sufficient effort to eat.

        She said: “I nearly didn’t make it because of the eating disorder. I almost died four times. I spent a lot of my life in hospitals, eating disorder units and psychiatric units. My favourite TV shows got me through.

        “Some of these places were backwards in their approach. The psychiatric unit I was in when I was 11 was brutal.”

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        Who is Ben Hardy? (continued)

        Ben Hardy made an appearance in Call The Midwife as a reporter.

        He also appeared in one episode of Drunk History as King Arthur.

        On the big screen, the actor has starred in X-Men: Apocalypse.

        Ben also played Roger Taylor in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

        His first role on the stage was when he starred in The Judas Kiss with Arthur Wellesley.

        In 2021 Ben returned to TV to star in the BBC's The Girl Before.

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        Explained: Who is Eastenders' Ben Jones?

        Ben Jones, 30, is an English actor who was born January 2, 1991, though he is known professionally as Ben Hardy.

        He was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, and grew up in Sherborne.

        Ben shot to fame playing Peter Beale in EastEnders from 2013-2015.

        He has had roles in television, film and on stage.

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