News from Weatherfield today includes Michelle Collins having a grilling and the real life problems of Johnny Briggs’ family, while it’s a bit fishy for one Walford resident, and a former Emmerdale favourite could be finding herself with new neighbours.

Johnny Briggs’ daughter stole from church

Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin for three decades in the ITV Granada saga Coronation Street, has been facing real-life dramas with his daughter and granddaughter landing in court.

His 46-year-old daughter Karen Briggs has been jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to burglary and theft charges. The incidents took place in two churches across Cobham, Surrey. In the first £60 in cash and bank cards were taken from a female worshippers handbag, while £600 was taken from another church’s safe.

It isn’t the first time Briggs junior has been behind bars, in 1999 she was locked up for five months after stealing some of her mother’s jewellery to the value of £5,000. A year later she was sent to prison for twelve months following her involvement in a robbery at Staines Railway Station. In 2001 she was jailed for two and a half years after taking part in a burglary in New Denham, Bucks. In 2007 there was outrage in the press when Briggs and her daughter were caught stealing Poppy Appeal collection boxes.

Karen’s daughter, 23-year-old Emma Beach, who pleaded guilty to assisting her mother has been ordered to carry out an 18-month community order which comes with a curfew and a six-month drug treatment order. Beach has also been ordered to pay £300 in compensation.

The cause of the their thieving is believed to be down to both having a serious drug addiction problem, with the proceeds of the robberies funding their habit.

76-year old Johnny Briggs joined Coronation Street in 1976 having spent the previous three years in other top rating soap Crossroads. Which proves he has something in common with our next lady…

Give Stella a Grilling

In other Corrie news, former EastEnders actress Michelle Collins – currently playing Yorkshire-sounding bar manager Stella in Weatherfield – is a guest of honour tonight at the opening of the Southgate Chickenshed theatre’s new Brooklyn’s Grill restaurant.

The Coronation Street regular, who will open the restaurant as part of a gala evening, told the Enfield Independent: “I can’t wait to open the new Chickenshed bar and treat the guests to some tasty lavish Mediterranean cuisine”.

Hopefully without Collins attempting an Italian accent. We love her really, and actually the accent is pretty convincing. I’m being serious.

A Fishy smell in Walford

Who’d have thought it but it appears that EastEnders’ Scott Maslen – Jack Branning in the serial – would be a keen angler.

The former The Bill actor attended The Big Fish family fun day at Great Linford Lakes last week. The Milton Keynes Citizen reports that the Walford regular cast off to raise money in memory of 12-year-old Jodie Morgan who died in 2010.

“After spending a couple of hours on the lake side fishing, Scott presented the prizes to the anglers who won the 48 hour fishing competition which was celebrated with the massive family fun day.” The newspaper said.

Money raised from the event is to be donated to the Sick Children’s Trust and Addenbrooks Hospital.

Could Sheree need new Neighbours

Sheree Murphy, best known for her role as the late Trisha Dingle of Emmerdale, could be about to land a role in Grundy daily saga Neighbours. The 36-year-old actress is planning to relocate to Australia – to live with her sports star husband Harry Kewell whose work has taken him down under – and it now appears she too could be hitting the small screen once more.

Bosses at long running saga Neighbours have suggested they’d be keen to taken on Murphy who also had a stint in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks and appeared as a regular pannelist on ITV’s Loose Women.

“If we could find a role for her that would be appropriate, we would, of course, consider her for the role” a show spokesman told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper.

Neighbours at the start of this year moved from Network Ten to a new digital channel ‘11’ as ratings for the show in its native country have over the past decade dwindled. In the UK the saga, devised by Crossroads producer Reg Watson, have remained acceptable for Channel 5 but are half of what they were when the show was on BBC One.

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