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Coronation Street fans are in for a nice surprise – stars from the long-running British soap have just filmed a special celebrity episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire for charity.

Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz Brown, and Samia Smith, who plays Maria Connor, joined Sally Whittaker (Sally Webster) and Michael Starke (Jerry Morton) for the first episode of the new series of the popular game show, each representing a charity close to their hearts.

“It’s much harder answering the questions in the studio than at home,” said McAlpine, whose father is the chairman of her chosen charity, Mood Swings Network. “You can be absolutely certain of an answer but still have doubts.”

Her partner in the quiz hot seat – Samia Smith – was hoping to hit the jackpot for Cancer Research UK in the first of three ITV1 celebrity charity specials, with Whittaker representing ActionAid and Starke playing for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in Liverpool.

“You only get one chance in the hot seat and it’s even more nerve-wracking when you’re playing for charity,” said McAlpine. “We’ve also had to keep quiet about how much we raised since filming it. There are so many people who need the unique support Mood Swings gives. That was the whole point of going on the program.”

Coronation Street is one of the longest running television shows in Britain, with its first broadcast almost 48 years ago. The Who Wants to be a Millionaire special will screen on ITV on August 16.

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