Created 16th October 2004
Updated 19th July 2007
(Previously played by
Born: 28 January 1987
Natural daughter of Brian Tilsley and Gail Potter
Granddaughter of Ivy Tilsley & Audrey Roberts
adopted by Martin Platt (whom she considers to be a real father - although she calls him "Martin")
Children: Bethany Britney Platt (born June 2000) - father Neil Fearns
©2004, 2007 emmerdale.org
The Tilsley marriage was rarely a happy one. However a son Nicky was born on the 31st December 1980 and a daughter Sarah-Lou followed on the 28th January 1987. Trouble is when Sarah was born her father Brian didn't want to know her believing she was a result of an affair Gail had had with Brian's cousin Ian Latimer from Perth, Australia. When Brian did finally realise that "Sarah-Lou" was his daughter it was almost too late. "Sarah-Lou" was barely two when her father died in a tragic stabbing outside a club. She was eventually adopted by her stepfather Martin Platt who even now loves her as if she was his very own daughter despite all the problems in recent years this girl brings to his doorstep.
Other than an appendix removal operation, Sarah's first 12 years were pretty much un-eventful despite the continued ups and downs in Martin and Gail's marriage. However in 1999 equipped with a new head and ditching her childhood name of "Sarah-Lou" and becoming known as plain "Sarah" things started to go very wrong.
February 2000 - Sarah's life was turned upside down and all of her family's lives were put on hold as she plunged them into the first of many crises. Five months before Sarah had been playing around with Neil Fearns in the school playground. The two 12 year olds didn't really realise the seriousness of what they were doing. Sex was just a game to them, something they had decided to try without thinking of any of the consequences. Five months on Gail (who had recently contemplated having another child herself) just couldn't believe what the doctor was telling her.
Gail's little girl was pregnant. She can't be exclaimed Gail "she's only 13!" It was too late for an abortion, Sarah very much a child herself still, would have to see this pregnancy through. Brother David found himself getting into fights at school when the scandal broke out. Best friend Candice risked peer pressure to stick by Sarah to the bitter end. Martin was beside himself. He had been in the process of about to tell Gail he was leaving her for a new love Rebecca. However how could he do that now? After much soul searching Martin decided to put the well being of Sarah before his own happiness and help his family out in their time of need. As a result he lost the woman he loved who moved abroad.
Many decisions later (including plans for Gail and Sarah to go to Canada and when they came back they'd pretend the baby was Martin and Gail's). Bethany Britney Platt was born on the 4th June 2000. Sarah decided she would keep the baby and the Platts chose to support her.
Despite being saddled with a child at just 13 years old, this didn't stop Sarah from having a social life. Occasionally Gail would remind Sarah that she now had responsibilities such as when she failed to turn up to Bethany's 2nd birthday party choosing to stay with her teenage mates instead. However on the whole Sarah does love Bethany and has her interests at heart - even if this doesn't always seem to be the case. In fairness she was just a child thrown in at the deep end so it is only natural that she would sometimes find caring for her small child too much or resent her social activities being curtailed.
Almost from the first time they met, there was a special chemistry between Sarah and Todd Grimshaw. While Todd had to adore her from a far, Sarah made it quite plain she was only interested in him as a friend. Then in 2001 while Todd had settled for second best in Candice, Sarah went looking for love on the internet. She was just 14, yet despite all the dangers Sarah went lurking in the chat rooms looking for anyone who would befriend her while she was trapped at home with Bethany. Her first internet friend turned out to be Todd when she agreed to meet the supposed stranger. It was a shock to both and upset Candice. However Sarah didn't learn from the lesson, she went looking again pretending she was a girl called "Louise" aged 16. This time she did find a stranger who she agreed to meet. He turned out to be a dangerous, deranged man at least twice Sarah's age. He held her prisoner in his house until she could call Candice and Todd to come and rescue her. Todd and Candice called the police but in their attempts to rescue Sarah, Todd got injured and could have been killed had the police not arrived in time. This was probably the first signs of Eileen Grimshaw resenting her son's involvement with Sarah.
A year after the internet stalking incident Sarah and Todd had finally got around to romance. Todd would have been any mother's dream for their daughter at this time. He was prepared to put up with anything Sarah threw at him and was accepting of her past. However that wasn't enough for Sarah. She had to go and break Todd's heart and play around with school bully and general bad boy Aiden ("Ade") Critchley. Ade was bad news in every sense of the word and although it wasn't ever shown on screen it is probable Sarah was having sex with him - as he was the type of boy who was into everything and from the start the scripts made it quite clear Sarah lusted after him and just couldn't help herself. However it should be pointed out Ade and Sarah didn't have a romance in the conventional sense, it was more of a fatal attraction.
During Sarah's involvement with Ade, her behaviour was out of control and she lied to her mother and dumped Bethany at every opportunity. Whatever the nature of Sarah and Ade's relationship (whether it was romance or just teenage rebellion) things came to a head in November 2002. Ade had stolen Ken Barlow's car and persuaded Sarah to go joyriding with him. The car crashed and Sarah was seriously injured to the point where there were concerns that she would die. It took her a long time to recover. This was a wake up call for Sarah.
2003 turned in to probably one of the most eventful and dramatic years of Sarah's life. In March she was nearly killed by her murderous stepfather Richard Hillman. The only people Richard "killman" Hillman truly cared about were Gail, Sarah, David and Bethany. He would do anything for them including trying to frame Ade for Maxine's murder out of revenge for what had happened to Sarah. However once Richard's true nature came to light he could not bear to be caught and go to prison. Neither could he bear to be parted from his family forevermore. Ever the murderer to the end, Richard decided he would kill himself and take his family with him by first trying to gas them in his car. However when they were intercepted he drove off at high speed and plunged the car into a river. Playing on the car stereo was the Wannadies "You and Me Song" ("It was always you and me Forever Always") song.
Sarah, Gail, Bethany and David were saved and got on with the rest of their lives. For Sarah that meant Todd Grimshaw. She had finally realised he was the man for her. He even walked out of his A-Levels and lost a place at Oxford just to stay with her. They set up home in a dingy, unsuitable flat over the bookies. Much to Gail's horror they moved in Bethany. Bethany got an electric shock from one of the sockets and Gail called in social services to stop her 16 year old daughter from having Bethany. However Social Services perhaps unwisely came down on Sarah's side. Sarah and Todd were undaunted and continued their relationship. They started to plan their future. However Todd then kissed Sarah's brother Nick. Suddenly with the personality transplant fairy that can be common in soaps, the writers had decided to turn Todd gay. However Todd wasn't ready to admit this to himself and persuaded Sarah that Nick was a one-off accident. To prove his dedication to Sarah, Todd suggested they think about having a family of their own. As much as he loved Bethany, he would like them to have a child of their own together to prove their commitment to one another. Sarah agreed.
So before her 17th birthday Sarah was pregnant with a second child. However the traumas and disasters of her life were far from over. Neil Fearns had died in a car crash and so Sarah had allowed his mother to be a part of Bethany's life. Brenda Fearns was not coping well with the loss of Neil and became a religious extremist. Convinced that Sarah would go to hell for living in sin and being pregnant again, Brenda felt the only way forward was for Bethany and herself to join Neil in heaven where the Fearns' could be a true family. After nearly throwing herself and Bethany off the church roof, Brenda was persuaded by Emily Bishop this was not the answer and to let Bethany go. Bethany was returned to her mother and this brought Sarah and Gail close again after months of not speaking following the social services incident. Brenda was taken away by police probably for some form of treatment.
Sarah celebrated her 17th birthday at the end of January 2004 but life was far from perfect. As the following months trundled on , Todd realised as much as he loved Bethany, Sarah and the unborn baby, it was not enough. He was attracted to men and began an affair with work colleague Karl Foster. Matters were further complicated when Sarah allowed Karl to stay at the flat with them for a couple of nights when his boyfriend threw Karl out for his cheating ways. Sarah still did not know that Karl and Todd were having an affair right under her nose. Including sleeping together in Sarah's bed when she was in hospital after complications with the baby.
When Sarah's friend and Martin's girlfriend Katy Harris found out about the true nature of Karl and Todd's relationship, there was no going back. Katy demanded Todd tell Sarah the truth and make his choice - Karl or Sarah. If not she would tell Sarah.
In May 2004 Todd confessed all to a shocked, heartbroken, hurt, very angry and betrayed Sarah. She immediately put an end to her relationship with Todd and cancelled their engagement and took Bethany and moved back in with Gail.
Todd was heartbroken he still wanted Sarah, the unborn baby and Bethany to be a part of his life but the Platt family came out in force to make it quite clear to Todd his name was mud on the Street and he had burnt all bridges with Sarah. Further tragedy hit a few days later when pregnant and stressed Sarah went into premature labour. Baby Billy was born but he was so weak and a few days later died without his father ever seeing him. Sarah wouldn't allow Todd near the baby while it lived and this was reinforced by the Platts. However Gail did in the end give Todd a picture of his son feeling it was the right thing to do.
After Billy's death, Gail persuaded Audrey against her better judgement to hire Sarah to work at the salon. This caused friction between Sarah and Candice as Sarah was convinced her friend would be fired and she'd take her place. Audrey, knowing how bad Sarah's work was, talked over sacking her with Rita in the pub but when it came to it, she couldn't do it. However, as Sarah became more lazy, thinking as the boss's granddaughter she wouldn't have to do anything, Audrey had had enough and during an argument between Sarah and Candice, told Sarah she was fired. Gail accused her mother of being selfish and not caring about Sarah but Sarah understood. She then got a job as waitress in Ciaran's restaurant but was sacked on her first day when she dropped some glasses.
Sarah still grieves over Billy, something she probably will do forever more. However despite the traumas of the previous 5 years (in particular the latter eighteen months), Sarah hadn't grown up any. She was still hobbling from one scrape to another usually blaming everyone else but herself. Only trouble is people were now starting to wake up to her innocent little girl act - including best friend Candice. Yes Sarah has had a few hard knocks that were not her fault and you wouldn't wish them on your worst enemy. However some of Sarah's scrapes have been at her own hands.
In September 2004 Sarah attended the eighteenth birthday party of Candice. While there Martin foolishly gave permission for 17 year old Sarah to go ahead and drink. Unable to mange her own life sober, things were sure to go wrong when she got drunk. Knowing full well that Candice was anxious to get back with Jason Grimshaw, under the influence of drink Sarah allowed Jason to take her home. Didn't tell him about Candice and quite willingly hopped into bed with Jason. A night of sex followed. Next morning Todd discovered them in bed together. It was now his turn to feel betrayed. Jason knew what Todd felt about Sarah and how Todd had only asked him days before to speak to Sarah on his behalf to see if they couldn't be at least good friends again. Betrayed by his brother and the woman he loved, Todd decided there was nothing left for him in Weatherfield and left on the 22nd September 2004.
The tale did not end with Todd's departure, Eileen was heartbroken that her son had left Weatherfield and she blamed Sarah for everything. From where Eileen was standing, Sarah had orchestrated the whole thing. Caused a rift between the brothers Jason and Todd, dared to set foot into the Grimshaw house and bedded Jason. Has ruining one Grimshaw lad's life not been enough for Sarah? Well that was Eileen's reasoning. Then Candice found out her best friend had betrayed her. Candice could deal with Sarah sleeping with Jason, what she couldn't deal with is the fact Sarah had lied to her about Jason's whereabouts knowing full well she was interested in Jason. It would take a long while for Candice to forgive Sarah this time.
In October 2004 Sarah was a shop assistant in Dev's shop. She'd had several jobs in the previous year and this was the third in the last two months. And of course she ended up leaving Dev's too. Following this she went to work for her grandmother Audrey as a trainee stylist. She has had more success at this and remains in the job today.
From 2005 Sarah slowly got her act together, something she continued on the whole to do for the next few years. However she still had her eye on the boys. Her next boyfriend was the oddball Scooter but this didn't last long in the grand scheme of things and she turned her attention back to Jason Grimshaw who was going out with Violet Wilson. That made her more determined to get him. He succumbed and when Violet found out she subsequently dumped him.
Jason and Sarah started dating but he was still holding a torch
for Violet and ended up proposing to her. Violet said no but still
Sarah found out. So in order to placate Sarah, Jason proposed and
got steam-rollered into a wedding he didn't really want. The wedding
day dawned in August 2006, however Charlie Stubbs gave Jason a man
to man talk resulting in Jason bolting through the toilet window
leaving Sarah standing at the Registry Office.
Eventually Sarah's heart began to melt after a baby was dumped on Jason's doorstep on Christmas Day. Furious at first that he was the father, as she saw how he was with baby Holly, she began to soften and they grew closer. They spent a lot of time together with Holly and Bethany and although even Gail didn't like her daughter having anything to do with a Grimshaw, she could see he was good with children and also became more welcoming. Jason couldn't cope with fatherhood and secretly arranged for Holly to be taken into care only for it then to be revealed that Charlie Stubbs was the actual father. By this point in early 2007, Jason and Sarah were very much back together.
In May Gail allowed Jason to temporarily move in with the Platts while the Peacocks moved into the Grimshaws following the fire at their house. Sarah was on cloud nine especially as it seemed at long last Gail had fully accepted Jason. So by June Sarah decided to ask her mother if it could become a more permanant arrangement. Gail said no and it looked like she wasn't for budging. Meanwhile, David Platt was continuing to cause untold problems in the Platt household. Sarah was at her wits end with him believing her brother to be quite mad and that her mother should take a firmer hand with him. Gail recognised that her son does have problems but felt it was her responsibility to do nothing much to Sarah's despair and disgust. Gail did offer Sarah a compromise, if Jason would take David under his wing, give him a job and counsel him, he and Sarah could continue to live together in the Platt household.
Celebrations in July as Sarah and Jason announced their engagement to Gail in the Rovers. Gail immediately asked Sarah if she was pregnant. Surprisingly Sarah was shocked that her mother should think such a thing and said no.
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