Gemma grew up with Kylie Turner at the rough Eccleston Estate where she fell in with drug dealer Callum Logan. Following the deaths of her two friends, Gemma attempted to change her public image by taking part in a 'Good Neighbour' scheme and befriended Rita Tanner, eventually moving into Rita's flat.
Since 2016, Gemma has worked at Prima Doner with Chesney Brown, guiding each other as they lurched from one disastrous love affair to the next. They finally ended up together in 2018 and the following year were rocked by the news that they were expecting quadruplets. Once the quads - Aled, Bryn, Llio and Carys - were born, Gemma suffered from post-natal depression as she was so worn out looking after them as well as Chesney's son Joseph, despite help from her brother Paul and mother Bernie, with whom she had recently re-connected.
2014-2015: Life of crime
Gemma and Kylie met up again with each other in October 2014 when Kylie returned to the Eccleston Estate where they grew up and witnessed Gemma being harassed by Fridgehead. He soon left the scene however when he learned that Kylie was Callum's ex-girlfriend. Later that month, Gemma, Kylie and Callum went to The Dog & Gun where Gemma proceeded to get high on drugs and collapsed after convulsing. Callum talked Kylie out of calling an ambulance and the pair took her to Weatherfield General in Callum's car. Gemma was discharged shortly afterwards.
Gemma was caught shoplifting in a Rochdale supermarket in January 2015, but posed as Kylie in attempt to beat the charge. Discovering Kylie's effects when the store manager went through her bag, he contacted Audrey's salon. David Platt and Eva Price went to the supermarket in an attempt to bring Kylie back home, but were surprised to find Gemma there with Kylie's bag and left her to the police. Later at The Dog & Gun, David and Eva found that neither Callum or Gemma knew where Kylie had gone after spending Christmas with her ex.
In April, David turned to Andy Carver in his scheme to get one over on Callum - believing that if he was enough trouble with the police, David would be awarded custody of Kylie and Callum's son, Max Turner. Forced to comply with David's demands, he was ordered to plant a small bag of drugs in the glove box of Callum's unlocked car which was parked outside The Dog & Gun. However he was spotted by Callum, Macca and Gemma as they left the pub. After spotting the drugs, Callum took Andy back inside and demanded answers. After David entered and confessed that he made Andy plant the drugs with the intention of then calling the police, Callum sent Andy on his way. Callum then led David out to his car to take him somewhere to teach him a lesson, David managed to push him away and did a runner. The trio gave chase on foot and in the car and when Callum managed to catch up with David again, he ordered him to climb into the boot of the car. He was driven to a lock-up where, once Macca and Gemma had left, he was beaten up with a baseball bat.
Kylie returned to Weatherfield at the end of May without a place to stay, so she went to live with Gemma. On 3rd June, David turned up at Gemma's flat asking if Kylie was there. Gemma lied and said that Kylie wasn't in order to get rid of him. A week later Gemma accompanied Kylie to Coronation Street and convinced her to return to David and the kids although later events showed that she was still under Callum's control when he used Gemma to lure Kylie to his flat to show her how he had kitted out a bedroom for Max and tried to persuade her to live with him again. Callum wasn't so pleased with her though when Bethany Platt saw her making a delivery of drugs to him and, a few days later when she got Bethany drunk in the Dog & Gun after the girl played truant from school.
2015: The Platts vs. Callum
A couple of weeks later, Gemma joined Callum in setting up Bethany to pose for a photo holding a joint which he took for future "insurance" purposes and, just a few days later, Gemma was busted with a packet of drugs found on her person when the police raided the Dog & Gun. She was given a caution and released.
Bethany's mother, Sarah, who had enjoyed a brief fling with Callum, realised the true nature of her boyfriend when she was in his flat with Max while Callum attended to some "business". Gemma turned up with a bloodied nose from helping out with his drug dealing and sought refuge with Sarah and the boy. Max searched through his bedroom and found the loaded revolver that Callum kept hidden in there and, thinking he was playing a game, pointed it at Callum, Sarah and Gemma. Callum persuaded him to hand it over and told Gemma to get rid of it. When the Platts heard about this incident, they informed the police and Gemma was present with Callum in the Rovers when he was arrested and taken away.
Callum's next victim was Jason Grimshaw when he stood up for a terrified Sarah and his reward was to be hospitalised by Callum and two thugs. Gemma was ordered to provide him with an alibi for the time of the incident however Max had witnessed the beating and the police interviewed him. Callum used Gemma to blackmail Bethany into giving him an alibi: she drove the young girl to a secluded spot and rang Callum who showed her that he was in 8 Coronation Street with her drugged mother and could do anything he liked to her. With more threats from Gemma ringing in her ears, Bethany was dropped off at Weatherfield Police Station to give her false report. Callum thought his life was again safe but after only a few weeks Gemma broke the bad news to him that a dangerous thug called Denton wanted the £20,000 owed to him for drugs and these were tidings that caused even the cocky Callum to go pale. He demanded the sum from the Platts in return for which he would relinquish all rights to Max but he also threatened violence to them and their loved ones to achieve his aims.
She met with Callum, a couple of hours before Kylie murdered him. Gemma demanded to know Callum's plan. Callum's plan was to get £20,000 from David and Kylie to pay off Denton and use his fake passport so that he could escape Britain forever. Gemma handed over the passport. Callum threw her out the car and drove back to Weatherfield, leaving Gemma stranded in the middle of nowhere. But Gemma kept a few suspicions about Callum's welfare and how he could avoid Denton for a little while.
In September, Callum was bludgeoned to death by Kylie, who was trying to protect Sarah from his attacks. The body was hidden instead of disclosed to the police. A few days later, Gemma called round to No.8, concerned for Callum's welfare. Convinced that the Platts were hiding something, she started asking awkward questions. Still in possession of Callum's mobile phone, Kylie made an excuse to leave the house and sent Gemma a text message from the device - making out that he was fine but just lying low for a while as Denton was on his case. David eventually managed to persuade Gemma to leave, but not before offering her £20 for her taxi fare.
2016: New start
In March 2016, Gemma started working at Audrey's, hoping to turn her life around. However, because of her poor performance and having mainly the Platt family as colleagues, her job lasted one day before she was sacked. She encountered a pregnant Sarah and bluffed to the family that she would tell Callum, as it was clear that he was the father.
Character creation and role
Gemma first appeared in Episode 8481 in October 2014. Dolly-Rose Campbell's casting was unannounced prior to her appearance as the character was originally only intended to be a minor character, to tie in with Kylie Platt (Paula Lane)'s temporary exit from the show. However, Gemma returned sporadically between January and September 2015 as the antagonistic associate of Kylie's ex-boyfriend - and father to her son Max Turner (Harry McDermott) - Callum Logan (Sean Ward).
The character was brought back a second time in March 2016, with David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) and Kylie seeking to keep Gemma around in order to help cover up Kylie's murder of Callum (which had aired live in Episode 8740 in September 2015). Ultimately, Gemma once again became a threat towards the Platts when she teamed up with Callum's mother Marion (Susan Cookson) in order to uncover the truth about his demise, after his body was revealed to have been buried at 8 Coronation Street, but her antagonistic role was short-lived when the deceased Tony Stewart (Terence Maynard) was blamed for the murder. Due to being well-received by fans the decision was made to upgrade Gemma to a regular member of the cast, and she was given a major role in Kylie's murder - at the hands of Clayton Hibbs (Callum Harrison) in July 2016 - and the subsequent trial where she gave evidence as the only eye-witness.
Campbell's only other know television credit was for an episode of Doctors in 2010, however she also appeared on radio Holding On To You. Prior to playing the role of Gemma, Campell was living in a tower block and working in a well-known pizza chain but has since been able to afford her own home. "I never really had any money ever, if I ran out I had to choose whether to put money on the gas or buy food. I'm not a millionaire now, but it's a new thing to be able to afford to do those things. I've moved into a nice house with a garden, and I've got a car. And occasionally I think, 'whose life am I living?'." In February 2019, Campbell supported Manchester Pride alongside her fellow cast members after being announced as an ambassador. It was at this time she decided to come out as bisexual "I have been coming to pride for over a decade now. The love and acceptance shown by the people of Manchester allowed me to accept my bisexuality, and be proud of who I am."
Friendship with Rita Tanner
Producer Kate Oates, who took over the show after Stuart Blackburn's decision to bring Gemma back as a regular character, decided to pair Gemma and Rita Tanner (Barbara Knox) together after Gemma lost her only connection to the street upon Kylie's murder. While the partnership seemed like an odd one at first, viewers soon took to the relationship and it was developed further when Rita invited Gemma to move into her flat in November 2016. On the pairing Campbell commented "Barbara is very experienced in the business so I learn a great deal from her and how she works, especially the technical side of filming. It’s really nice to learn from someone as gifted as Barbara."
First and last lines
"Get yer 'ands off me yer dirty, great perv!" (First line, to Fridgehead).
List of addreses
|10a Coronation Street||November 2016 to 7th March 2019|
|5 Coronation Street||7th March 2019 to present|
|Assistant||Prima Doner||16th March 2016 to present|
|Barmaid||Rovers Return Inn||10th August 2018 to present|