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Jessie learns Corrie accent on YouTube

Ex-EastEnder Jessie Wallace has confessed she was worried about mastering a Manchester accent for a drama about Coronation Street -- and "religiously" watched YouTube footage to get it right.

The actress, best known for playing Albert Square's Kat Moon, has been cast as legendary Corrie star Pat Phoenix in a one-off BBC Four special about the birth of the Weatherfield serial.

Talking about her experience of trying to master the voice, Wallace said she had been "worried my accent's going to slip and there'll be someone listening very closely.

"But then if I relax and just do it I can get it."

She continued: "Sometimes I drop a word and it sounds quite London. I stop myself and start again."

She said she had been trying to master "old-fashioned Mancunian". To perfect the voice of Phoenix and her Corrie alter ego Elsie Tanner, Wallace went to see a voice coach at Rada prior to filming, and studied interviews with the actress on the internet.

"I've watched everything on YouTube, everything. If I feel the accent slipping I listen and it comes back again."

She asked for pointers from her fellow actors in the drama, including David Dawson, who plays Corrie creator Tony Warren.

"I'm always asking David 'Is that all right?'," she said. "When you speak to other people from Manchester, you just want to know, 'is it sounding okay?'."

Yesterday, a report claimed Wallace struggled with the voice and that she had a voice coach on set to read her a few lines at time, which friends and colleagues of the actress have denied.

A close friend said: "These rumours are absolutely absurd and quite hurtful."