Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn has said she needed counselling after filming Sinead Osbourne’s final scenes on the show.
Sinead, who had terminal cervical cancer, died at home in the company of her husband Daniel, played by Rob Mallard, and their baby son in a heartbreaking hour-long broadcast on Friday.
McGlynn, 26, said she could not stop crying and felt like she was grieving a friend, after joining the soap in 2013 aged 19.
She told the Sunday Mirror: “It was like the storyline got embedded in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and crying.
“I was sitting on my sofa watching the programme in which Sinead is told she has weeks to live and I started to cry.
“The next day I just kept crying. I couldn’t stop. I ended up going to see a counsellor who told me that I was mourning Sinead.
“A month later, I still feel like I’m really mourning her. It feels like waves of sadness coming over me.
“One minute I’ll be alright, then the next I’m in tears. It might sound weird, but to me Sinead has always been real.
She added: “Sometimes I hear her voice and I have mistakenly thought I have caught a glimpse of her face in a crowd of people.
“When I look in the mirror a piece of Sinead looks back at me.”
Her character was diagnosed with cervical cancer while pregnant with son Bertie last year and, after it seemed she was responding well to treatment, she discovered a lump on her wedding day last month and was devastated to be given a terminal diagnosis.
Friday’s episode saw Sinead tell Daniel that he must learn to move on after she was gone, telling him: “Don’t forget about me … but do forget about me.”
As Daniel was reading a story to Bertie, he looked up to see that Sinead had died.
Following the episode, McGlynn posted a message to her on-screen alter-ego on Instagram.
She wrote: “Sinead Osbourne, for nearly 7 years since you first walked the cobbles @coronationstreet, you have been such a massive part of my life … it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, highs, lows, a crash, broken back, proposals, weddings, pregnancy, abortion and now devastingly cancer…
“For Sinead to be leaving this way means EVERYTHING to me! Raising so much awareness for cervical cancer, cancer in young people and cancer in/around pregnancy … It’s been a pleasure, privilege and honour to work alongside such talented people; producers, writers, directors, cast, crew … absolutely every single person at Coronation Street, I will miss you so much!”
Coronation Street worked with charities Mummy’s Star and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, and medical advisers were on set as they filmed to ensure the scenes were realistic.