First class delivery guaranteed from an actor drawn to tough roles

Julie Hesmondhalgh – and the name, she advises, is pronounced ‘Hesmondhalsh’ – was stopped in her tracks recently. Somebody asked her about Coronation Street. The actress appeared in the ITV soap opera for 16 years, playing Hayley Cropper, the first transgender character in any British ‘soap’. So despite having bade farewell to the role a …