Coronation Street actress loses battle with cancer – Daily TV round-up

Sophiya Haque played Rovers barmaid Poppy Morales

Former 'Coronation Street' actress Sophiya Haque, who played Rovers Return barmaid Poppy Morales, has died aged 41.

She was diagnosed with cancer just two weeks ago, according to her partner David White.

Haque... on set in Coronation Street (Copyright: Rex)

She played mouthy barmaid Poppy from December 2008 to June 2009, and had been appearing in West End production 'Privates on Parade' up until Christmas.

The show's director Michael Grandage said: “We are all devastated by Sophiya Haque's sudden passing. She was a true force of nature and her glorious performance as Sylvia in 'Privates on Parade' is one that will be remembered with great joy.

[Related story: Coronations Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh to leave show]

“A spirited lady, she lived life to the full, and her presence in the theatre will be sorely missed. The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory.”

Stuart Piper, managing director of Haque's talent agency Cole Kitchenn, added: “Sophiya was one of the most inspirational people I ever met.

“On stage, it was like you were watching her in close-up even if you were sat at the back of the stalls, such was her star presence and charisma. I am so desperately sad that she has been lost to the world at such a tragically young age, but feel blessed to have known her.”

She had also starred in the premiere production of 'Bombay Dreams' with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, a number of Bollywood movies, and in 'Wanted', opposite Angeline Jolie and James McAvoy. [Radio Times]

Also in today's press

'Coronation Street's Michelle Collins has told of her terror at the hands of an abusive group of drunk teenagers while on the tube. “Some of them looked as young as 15 but they were screaming abuse at me, calling me a f***ing whore, a slag and a bitch. My heart was pounding. I just kept thinking, ‘This is turning really nasty.’ They could have had knives - and they were hammered,” she said. “I got off the train as soon as I could but they followed me until I lost them in the crowd.” [The Sun]

'Call The Midwife' bosses are to turn the loss of their film set into a 'dramatic storyline'. The show is currently filmed in an old seminary in north London, but it is being turned into flats. A source told the Daily Mirror that 'we’ve written a potential demolition into the plot so that if we have to leave, the nuns and nurses will get a new home for the next run'. [Daily Mirror]

A 'new direction' is planned for series four of 'Downton Abbey', according to producer Gareth Neame, following the shock death of Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, in the Christmas Day episode. “This is a lesson in something that seems like a really big loss in the moment, but will actually turn into a great opportunity… which it will also be for the show, to take a turn in a whole different direction,” he said. [E!]