Inside Corrie’s Audrey icon Sue Nicholls’ marriage to ‘soulmate’ co-star

Coronation Street star Sue Nicholls, who plays hilarious hairdresser and mother to Gail Platt, Audrey Roberts lived a sweet fairytale life with her co-star Mark Eden.

Known as her "soulmate", Mark and Audrey worked alongside each other on the ITV soap and were married until Mark sadly passed last year.

Sue and Mark had met on the set of Corrie back in the 80s and instantly fell in love with each other. At the time, Mark was playing the widely despised and villainous Alan Bradley while Sue had started her role as Audrey.

READ MORE: Corrie fans do double-take as Sam Blakeman star appears alongside co-star dad

Audrey came on the scene in 1979, attending her daughter Gail's engagement party. Gail was due to marry Brian Tilsley.

During her time on the cobbles, Audrey has been saved from a house fire by Steve MacDonald, played by Simon Gregson, driven into the canal, almost drowning and, in 2001, became the Mayoress of Weatherfield.

Meanwhile, Alan was in a relationship with Rita Fairclough, musch to her friends and neighbours dismay. Alan had a volatile and psychopathic nature and practised some nasty acts, including fraud, attempted rape and attempted murder.

Mark's stint as Alan came to an end in 1989 after his character was fatally hit by a tram in Blackpool while on a rare day-out with Rita.

Actors who played villains Richard Hillman and Pat Phelan are said to have pulled inspiration for their roles from Mark's portrayal of Alan.

Outside of the Corrie set, sparks were flying between Mark and Audrey and Audrey admitted that their attraction was instant.

They'd been acquainted at a friend's barbecue, with Mark making the first move asking for Sue's number.

Looking back on the moment, Sue said: "We’d both been around the block a hundred times. Mark was older than me and had been married twice, so I don’t think he was particularly looking.

"I don’t think he was short of female company. But I knew when I met him he was different from my other beaus," she revealed.

Mark had previously been married to Joan Long and Diana W. Smith before tying the knot with Sue in 1993 when he was 55 and she was 40.

Due to their age, Sue revealed that "children were out of the question".

“I met Mark late in life – I was nearly 40 – so children just didn’t happen," she said in a 2019 interview.

Sue continued: "As much as I’d have liked it, I didn’t have family to bring up and worry about … maybe that’s helped keep me young."

Sue confessed that her love life with Mark was teemed with romance as Mark would serenade her on his piano.

"We’re not sweetness and light all the time – that would be horrendous, but Mark is very romantic. He plays the piano, so we have a sing – possibly after a couple of glasses of wine," she said in the interview.

While Sue continued her role on Coronation Street, she'd been caring for Mark as he suffered with Alzheimer's. He was moved to hospital in November 2020 and later died on New Year's day in 2021.

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