Soap star sister steps in to help open new Cheltenham deli
GETTING in a famous name to open your new store can be a tough job.
But when the celebrity you have lined up has to back out at the last minute, finding a replacement can be a tall order.
Fortunately, Leigh Wicks had an ace up her sleeve – little sister Corrinne.
And the former Emmerdale and Doctors actress has agreed to head back to her home town to lend a hand in officially opening new store, the Great Norwood Street Delicatessen, later this month.
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Leigh, who will manage the new venture, said the owner, Ian Morgan, had originally lined up Olympic gold medalist Alex Gregory to open the shop.
But the rower from Wormington, near Winchcombe, was forced to pull out when training commitments proved too much.
Leigh, 48, said everyone had understood why the sportsman had stepped out of the frame.
She said: "After the popularity of the Olympics, we knew Alex Gregory was a local lad.
"One of my colleagues suggested seeing if he could make it down here for the opening.
"We spoke to his agent and found out Alex would be happy to help promote a new business in Cheltenham.
"Unfortunately, he had to pull out as he had training commitments, which we completely understand.
"It left us wondering who we could get as an alternative.
"The owner asked me if I could sweet talk my little sister into doing it."
Corrinne, who now lives in Birmingham, was best known for playing Ella Hart in ITV's Emmerdale and Dr Helen Thompson in the BBC daytime soap opera, Doctors, from 2000 to 2005.
Leigh said she did not have to use too many big sister threats to get her sibling to agree to come back to Cheltenham.
But she admitted that Corrinne did have to do some juggling of her diary to fit the opening in.
"It did take a little bit of persuading as she is away filming with her husband at the moment," said Leigh "But she did some rearranging of her schedule so she could come at the last minute to help us out. Corrinne likes to come home as often as possible and it is always lovely to see her when she does come back."
The new delicatessen in Great Norwood Street will officially open on September 24.
Leigh said: "I'm a little apprehensive as it is a new business but the response from residents already has been phenomenal."