With just days to go before Coronation Street's double-wedding bulldozes it way onto our screens, brides-to-be Sally Ann Matthews (Jenny Bradley) and Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) tell Francesca Gosling about the destroyed dresses and scary stunts that went into filming

At least seven wedding gowns, a stunt coordination team, a fountain heating system and two Hells Angels. No, that isn't a backstage checklist for the latest Hollywood thriller, but just a few of the resources pulled in to create Coronation Street's hotly anticipated double-wedding extravaganza.

Already predicted to go down in TV history, the upcoming saga will see Weatherfield favourites Eva Price and Aidan Connor finally walk down the aisle in a meticulously planned ceremony, alongside Aidan's father Johnny and fiancee Jenny Bradley.

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Or will they? As is to be expected from ITV's flagship soap, even the best laid plans will inevitably go awry. And on this occasion, it will all go down in spectacularly action-packed style.

With the showdown just days away, launching both Corrie's brand new six-episode weekly bill and a fresh autumn season of dramatic new tales, the brides-to-be share the stories behind the camera.

For Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Eva, filming for the ambitious scenes at the gorgeous grounds of Prescot's Knowsley Hall, even brought her to the brink of a minor breakdown.

"I'm very high up at one point and I'm terrified of heights, so that was a real challenge for me," the 33-year-old remembers. "Especially when a wasp came. Everybody else thought it was hilarious, but I had a breakdown."

But there were funny moments to, as recalls: "They were rigging me up to keep me safe while I was high up, but the dress had such a big hoop in it that I was bent over with three SAS guys (behind me). I've got a picture. They were the most challenging scenes I have ever shot, but I loved every second of it. It was so fab and we had an amazing crew."

The process also proved to be an exercise in confronting lifelong fears for Jenny's Sally Ann Matthews, who makes a late entry to the venue after a hair-rising motorbike journey, riding pillion with Hells Angels members Tattitude and Toothless. Reliving the moment, she says: "It was terrifying. I had never been on a motorbike, I'm totally risk-averse, I do all talk and no action. I had massive bruises on my knees because the only thing I could equate it to was horse-riding, so I gripped on. I dug my nails in through the leather and into his love handles."

Yet Jenny and Johnny's delayed arrival, after a health scare for poor Rita sees them spend most of the day in hospital, is only one of the many disasters about to scupper the doomed nuptials.

Eva has been planning for the wedding to mark the climax of a coordinated revenge plot targeted at Aidan, after she learnt of his affair with her best friend Maria (Samia Langchambon). But when her fiance (former X Factor champ Shayne Ward) unexpectedly confesses his wrongdoing, it plunges her into a fresh emotional turmoil that culminates in Maria and Eva finally taking it outside. In a water fountain.

Forget Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy scrapping over Bridget in Kensington Gardens, this one is set to be the cat-fight of the year. And, Tyldesley confesses, it was almost entirely unscripted.

"We had a stunt-coordinator there, but because of the nature of the scene, they said, 'Just go for it guys'. So we did...within reason. It was pretty-full on, but we got giggles all the time."

While she assures fans that no humans were injured, filming the soggy scuffle apparently resulted in some serious skin pruning, a fake tan nightmare and six completely ruined wedding frocks - which the fashion guru picked out herself, of course.

For Matthews, wardrobe was a much simpler affair, requiring just one elegant gown by designer and friend Suzanne Neville. The momentous day will see a turnaround for the fiery character, who made her Cobbles comeback (for what Matthews first thought would be a six-month stint) more than two years ago.

While Jenny's younger self memorably ruffled feathers across Weatherfield in the 1980s and 1990s, she will put her own ceremony on hold to rush to her former foster mother's side when her ailing health takes a turn for the worse.

"It's a huge spanner in the works when she finds out Rita is unwell...it's a big wake-up call for Jenny, and it's quite interesting the direction that she goes in. She's not soft, but you might see her re-assessing and evaluating what's important," says Matthews, before adding slyly: "And then she'll probably forget about it.

While she still regularly exercises her homegrown death glares and "upper-downers" on screen, Matthews admits that a lot has changed for both the sap's notorious wayward teen and the woman behind her.

After a Corrie gap of more than 20 years, the 46-year-old mother reflects: "I spent a long time getting rid of the fact I was was in Corrie. I was getting offered rebellious 16-year-olds and I was nearly 30, so I denied its existence deliberately. Not because I was ashamed of it, it was just holding me back. When I was asked to the 50th celebrations, I thought, you know what, I'm never getting rid of it, so I might as well embrace it. I'm having a really good time and I am being served with nice stories, so why not?"

While viewers will have to wait and see what really happens on the wedding day and who, if anybody, finally gets hitched, most recent fan speculation has been aimed at Rita's future, with many predicting an impending exit for Barbara Knox. She cannot comment on the rumours, of course, but Matthews pays tribute to the tireless work that the 83-year-old has been contributing to her own upcoming episodes.

"They are going to be tugging at the heartstrings," she warns. "It's a storyline that Barbara is so deserving of, it has been so well thought out and she has been very involved in the way it's going to play out. As it was with Bill (Ken Barlow star William Roache)...to have two actors who have been in the show forever, who are in their mid-80s, to be carrying ITV's flagship show is exceptional, and they both do a sterling job."

Her words of advice to viewers: "Get ready with lots of Kleenex... and wine."

  • The storyline will air on ITV in a double episode on Wednesday September 20.