Corrie Glenda stars life – Chris Eubank link, image overhaul and death tragedy

Coronation Street's latest arrival has had a life filled with many twists and turns on the road to Weatherfield.

Jodie Prenger has been a star of the stage and screen for the past 16 years since she first appeared on hit weight loss show The Biggest Loser bagging herself a £25,000 prize.

Prior to finding fame she worked the cabaret circuit using her vocal talents to bring in money, as well as even turning her hand to a stint as an agony aunt.

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With theatre credits including Shirley Valentine, Fat Friends: The Musical, Annie and One Man, Two Guvnors, Jodie is no stranger to putting her name to a big production.

But her biggest break yet has now been announced as she joins the cast of Corrie as undertaker George Shuttleworth’s sister Glenda.

Talking about the role Jodie, 43, said: “I know I sound like a soppy sod, but it’s been on my bucket list to be in Coronation Street since I was little. It’s an honour, it truly is a very special moment in my life.”

West End fame

Jodie found fame on stage in 2008 when she won theatrical talent show I'd Do Anything.

Hosted by Graham Norton the series saw Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh hunt for a new actress to play Nancy for a theatre production of Oliver!

During the process Andrew admitted that Cameron was hesitant to cast Jodie as the tragic Charles Dickens character due to her weight despite him being keen on her.

He said: “Cameron thinks she is a bit too big and has more or less said so. She has got a lovely voice and a super personality.”

However the final vote fell to the general public, and Jodie had won their hearts and their votes.

Weight battle

When Jodie appeared on I'd Do Anything she had already starred on reality TV – and lost half her bodyweight in the process.

In 2006 she took part in and won the second series of Living TV’s The Biggest Loser, shedding an incredible nine stone going from over 18st and a size 26 to 9st 9lbs and winning herself £25,000 in the process.

At the time she confessed her weight struggles were partly down to her eating too much and having a bad pattern due to working shifts.

She said: "Because I worked at night, I'd sit around in the day and make a sandwich for something to do.

"I couldn’t cook, so I’d eat in restaurants all the time and then after gigs I’d have a KFC or a cheese sandwich. I knew it was wrong, but it fed my hunger."

However, Jodie struggled to keep the weight she lost off her 5ft3 frame due to the gruelling three-hour exercise regimen she was having to commit to daily.

She said: "I found it hard to keep weight off, and it’s never helped that I am partial to a cheeseboard and a bottle of Prosecco. The main thing now is that I do enjoy myself and refuse to beat myself up about my weight.

“Size 10-12 just wasn’t sustainable. Besides, I’d gotten too skinny. I was happy to regain a couple of stone and get some curves back.”

Chris Eubank marriage

Jodie found herself in a surreal situation when she had to play the role of legendary boxer Chris Eubank's wife for BBC daytime game show The Other Half.

Hosted by Dale Winton the programme saw her take on one of many TV roles she has secured through the years including parts on Waterloo Road, Casualty and Loose Women.

Rocky romance

When Jodie won I'd do Anything she left her parents Madeleine and Marty's Blackpool based home and moved to London to take up her £120,000 contract to play Nancy.

She was hoping to start a new life there with fiancé Steve Greengrass after a whirlwind romance that saw them spend their third date at her audition for the show and him propose when they had been together for just three months.

However, he had already told a national newspaper at the time: “I’m going to propose. I’m already in talks with the BBC about when I’m going to do it.” The romance!

But the romance quickly fizzled out, and Steve sold his story about their relationship to a newspaper after their split.

At the time Jodie said: “I don’t think he asked me to marry him out of love, but to make money because he even sold a story about the fact he was going to propose.

“I always wonder, did that story pay for the ring?”

The heartbreak was even more raw for Jodie, because he was the second of her exes to betray her trust in such a way.

She previously said: “He saw the nights I spent crying, how much it upset my family and then he went and did it himself.”

Love and heartbreak

After a rocky road with love in 2010 Jodie met company director Simon Booth and fell for him in a big way.

Previously talking about the relationship she said: “In a way I'm glad I've been cheated on, walked over, had stories sold on me, because God knows it makes you appreciate 'the one' when he comes along.”

But things weren't going to run completely smoothly for her despite her new found happiness as a series of events saw her embark on an emotional rollercoaster.

In 2012 after two years of dating Simon proposed and she landed a big part in the West End show, One Man Two Guvnors.

But the excitement was marred when Jodie's dad Marty was diagnosed with kidney cancer and died after a brief battle with the disease.

She said: “It was the best of times and the worst of times rolled into one and my natural reaction was to keep busy and go out every night, so there was never time to confront my emotional turmoil.

“I was drinking too much and eating whatever rubbish we could find at daft o’clock in the morning, whether it was steak and chips in a posh cafe or a burger from a takeaway.”

The overwhelming emotions of the situation saw her weight once again spiral out of control as she gained 4 stone.

She said: “I was wearing a corset over a pair of Spanx over another corset, and even with all that the fat still managed to escape.

“I didn’t see it in the mirror, but blown up on a billboard, I looked larger than life.”

CoronationStreet airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday on ITV at 8pm

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