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We met in a sauna .. and it's been hot ever since; CORRIE STAR HELEN FLANAGAN & HER NEW MAN EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: By JON WISE

AS saucy temptress Rosie Webster she's riding higher than one of her micro mini-skirts and has millions of fellas lusting after her.

But actress Helen Flanagan, who plays the Weatherfield minx, only has eyes for one man.

For the 17-year-old beauty, who has starred on the Street since she was nine, has fallen for builder Daniel Scott, 21 - after a chance meeting in a gym sauna.

Talking to The People about her new love just weeks before her 18th birthday, Helen said: "He is just the best thing in the world but it is early days. He makes me feel so happy when I am with him.

"It's hard to explain, but since he has been in my life, it's been the best times for me. And of course, he's really really hot as well."

And Helen is stunned by claims last week that she has been dating Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards.

She said: "I've never even met him. I just don't know how this rumour has started.

"It's really upsetting when things are made up like that. It's not fair on me and it's definitely not fair on Dan who might read it."

Helen and Daniel met at their gym near their home town of Bolton, Lancs.

She said: "We've been together for about two months. For a while I was at the gym ALL the time just so I could see him. My mum said 'Wow you really love working out, don't you?'.

"We actually saw each other first in the sauna and I remember just looking at him and thinking 'He's well hot.' He's quite shy and then as we walked out the sauna he went 'Oh it was hot in there'. How cute? Of course it was." Stunning Helen, who still lives at home with mum Julia, a nursery nurse and dad Paul, an electrical contractor, has never been short of admirers.

But the brunette admits that it's not always been easy knowing if men were interested in her just for her fame.

"There have been guys that I have been on dates with that have just liked the fact that I am on Coronation Street," she sighs.

She is convinced she is on to a winner with Dan. She said: "I know 100 per cent that Daniel likes me for me and that's just the best thing in the world. He knew who I was for sure, but I thought he wasn't interested in me. I definitely did some of the chasing.

"We spend a lot of time together now. We like going out for nice meals but the best thing is getting a DVD and cuddling up together on the sofa. I don't really like going out too much because you get so much hassle."

It's hard to believe that Helen is only 17. She arrived in Weatherfield as a nine-year-old in 2000. Her character has evolved from teenage Goth to saucy minx and superbitch.

On screen Rosie is working in the Underworld factory, hiding the knowledge of Carla's (Alison King, 35) affair with Liam (Rob James Collier, 31). Meanwhile former teacher John Stape (Graeme Hawley, 33), who Rosie slept with, has just returned.

Helen says: "I love my character Rosie being a bitch and tarty and promiscuous. I get some backlash on the streets but who cares. I don't let it bother me, although Daniel finds it hard when people call me 'bitch' or 'slag'. But those people just need to stop being silly."

Helen began acting at the age of four when her parents enrolled her in the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop in nearby Bury.

Two years later she appeared in TV ads and when she was nine she landed the Corrie role.

She continued her education until last year when she quit sixth-form college to concentrate on playing Rosie.

She says: "All the people in my sixth-form class wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge and I knew I didn't at all. I wanted to be at Corrie full time." But growing up on screen has not always been easy for her.

Helen, who has mesmerising blue eyes, perfect skin and a flirtatious smile, said: "I've always had really, really clear skin, not a spot on me, and then suddenly when I hit 16 I got acne and it was horrible.

I had it for a year and I was so upset. Not because of vanity but it just knocked my confidence completely. Most people can just hide away but I had to be on telly. Luckily I saw a doctor and now I am completely clear.

"It can be hard being on telly because people are always talking about the way you look. I am a strong and confident person so can laugh it off but on a down day it can be hard.

"My weight has fluctuated a lot.

I have been a size 10 and a size four, but I've learned that being skinny doesn't make you happier or make you look any sexier. You have to be comfortable with yourself."

As Rosie's storylines have got bigger, her skirts have got shorter.

"To be honest I feel sexier in a pencil skirt and heels rather than a mini, mini skirt," says Helen. "I just think it looks tarty. But it's great for the character and you just take it with a pinch of salt."

With so much happening for her so young, it's amazing that Helen has stayed so grounded.

Asked if it's her family that keep her in her place, her smile broadens: "Of course, but Daniel does as well. He's just so gorgeous."

'Daniel makes me so happy being with him'

jon.wise@people.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Picture: MATT POVER; Micah Richards? I've never even met him.. Helen is baffled by claims she has dated soccer ace Micah; TARTY: Rosie with Stape and Fiz; LOVERS: Helen kisses Dan on her doorstep; STUNNING: Helen has lots of admirers Picture: STAY STILL/PHOTOSHOT
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2008
Words:1003
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