Gemma Oaten
Soaps

Who is Isla in Coronation Street and what other soap has actress Gemma Oaten been in?

She's a familiar face to Emmerdale fans

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Isla arrives in Coronation Street tonight, flirting up a storm with Tyrone Dobbs and generally arriving on the cobbles with a bang.

But who is she and who plays her?

Gemma Oaten plays Isla in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

Who is Isla in Coronation Street?

Isla Haywood meets Ty in tonight’s episode when her daughter Darcy goes to a party with Tyrone’s daughter Ruby.

The mum of the birthday child, Penny, is rude about little Hope and pretends she had accidentally forgotten to invite her to the party.

But Tyrone is angry with her for judging his daughter and impresses Isla when he stands up to Penny on Hope’s behalf.

Isla asked Tyrone out for a drink (Credit: ITV)

Later, Isla finds Ty and asks him if he and Hope would like to get a milkshake with her and Darcy.

But the glam mum has her eye on more than a sweet treat at Roy’s Rolls.

Read more: 5 best Coronation Street Christmas storylines

Isla tells Tyrone she’s single and she asks him out for a drink. Flattered, Tyrone accepts, much to the delight of Hope and Darcy.

Who plays Isla in Coronation Street?

Isla is played by actress Gemma Oaten.

Gemma has been starring on stage and television for several years. She’s also the manager and patron of eating disorder charity SEED. Gemma has been open about her own struggles with an eating disorder and works hard to help others.

Gemma was once linked with DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles, but she’s now single.

What else has Gemma Oaten been in?

Gemma is no stranger to the world of soaps, having played recurring character Sydney Somers in Holby City a handful of times since 2017.

gemma oaten in Holby city
Gemma played Sydney Somers in Holby City (Credit: BBC)

And Gemma is best known for being Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale for several years.

Who was Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale?

Rachel Breckle was the younger sister of Ali Spencer, which makes her auntie to sweet-natured teenager Amelia Spencer.

She was also the mum of Jai Sharma’s son, Archie.

Gemma Oaten in Emmerdale
Gemma played Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV)

Rachel and Jai had a one-night stand when Rachel was working as a cleaner at the Sharmas’ sweet factory and Jai was married to Charity Dingle.

Their ill-advised hook-up left Rachel expecting a baby. At first she planned to terminate her pregnancy, but Jai convinced her not to, and put her up in a flat in Leeds. Classy.

When their baby Archie was born prematurely, Jai was so desperate to keep his secret from his scary wife that his dad Rishi pretended to be the dad for a while.

Meanwhile Rachel and Sam Dingle were growing closer and they became an item, bringing up the little lad together.

Obviously Charity eventually found out the truth leading to the break-up of their marriage. Later, she and Declan Macey set fire to Home Farm and framed Sam. Rachel took the blame in order to free her fella from jail and went on the run with Archie.

ITV
Sam and Rachel were engaged (Credit: ITV)

When she returned and got involved in a nasty custody battle with Jai – which she won. And she and Archie left the village together.

Tragically, after such a fight to keep her son, Rachel died off-screen in 2019.  Archie came to live with his dad.

Following Rachel’s death, Gemma paid gushing tribute in an Instagram post to her character, in which she thanked all the cast and crew for the brilliant times she’d had.

What’s next for Isla in Coronation Street?

Tyrone tells ex-partner Fiz that he’s planning to go on a date with Isla, and Fiz is not impressed! She thinks Tyrone would be risking Hope’s chance at making friends with Darcy.

And it soon becomes clear that Isla’s not been entirely truthful about her single status. Uh-oh.

Find someone who looks at you the way Isla looks at Tyrone (Credit: ITV)

Gemma’s appearing in Coronation Street for four episodes initially, so it looks like Isla might be a complication for Tyrone, rather than a full-on romance.

But perhaps Isla will be back in Weatherfield again one day.

Certainly Gemma told The Mirror: “The directors and other cast members were saying Isla was such a brilliant character and needed to come back, so fingers crossed.

“I would obviously love to join Corrie full-time. The way I leave the cobbles is very open for a return.”

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