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Chelsea is one to watch; TV CRITIC.

Byline: Ian Robson

WHEN the soap awards are handed out, I expect to see Chelsea Halfpenny's name in lights.

Best newcomer? It's Chelsea by a mile for her portrayal of Emmerdale's troubled teen Amy.

Chelsea is the niece of Geordie star Jill Halfpenny and the family talent for acting has obviously been passed on.

You might not like the character she plays - Amy is a conniving little witch - but Chelsea has thrown herself into the part with relish.

Aunt Jill must be proud that another Halfpenny is on the road to success.

Chelsea has not so much provided a breath or fresh air, or even the wind of change, but a storm which is raging through the fictional village.

She has been in the soap for a while now but I have delayed any comment until I saw how she fitted in.

The answer is that she fits in very well and is now an essential part of the show.

Her character's abrasive attitude means she rubs people the wrong way, even when she is trying to do the right thing, so there is plenty of opportunity for drama.

She is the Gob from the Tyne causing havoc on t'farm and loving every minute of it.

Chelsea is just the latest in a long line of North East actors who have made it in the Yorkshire Dales. Emmerdale is a little pocket of Geordieland that has provided regular work for our local lads and lasses and, of course, we're happy to send our talent to help out.

Chelsea has a broad accent, so you couldn't miss where she comes from, and it is an accent that should be heard as often as possible.

She should dress up to the nines and knock 'em dead when the awards invitations start dropping through the letterbox.

* Jim McDonald was back in Corrie, so he was, and still up to his neck in bother. The character is played by Charles Lawson, so it is, with a distinctive Irish brogue. But it's fair to say the Weatherfield yoyo, who has been in and out of the soap more often than plots involving Betty's hotpots, may be gone for good.

He was carted off by police after a laughable bank heist.

Jim was the only armed robber I can remember who, as he took hostages, rang police to say who he was.

He's gone now, so he is, and his precious Elizabeth is set to follow as Beverley Callard leaves the show. The ageing slapper (Liz, not Beverley) will be missed.

But look on the bright side - the props department will save a fortune on short skirts, low tops, and high heels, so they will.

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TALENT Chelsea Halfpenny as troubled teenager Amy Wyatt in Emmerdale
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2011
Words:461
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