Based upon the comedic experiences of Rosie Webster as she attempted to pursue her career in modelling, the concept was more than just a series of online dramas as it was given its own website, complete with blog messages from the vain and vacuous fictional character.
Intended to capitalise on the popularity of the character of Helen Flanagan, ITV announced the project on 12th July 2011. Following the launch of a Facebook page on 2nd September the website itself was made available on 13th September and the three online dramas were available for download on 26th September. The website content was written by Coronation Street writers and storyliners Lee O'Donnell and Martin Sterling and included photographs and an "Ask Rosie" section.
Flanagan filmed the web episodes, partially in London, following a three month break from the “parent” programme, during which the Just Rosie storyline was supposed to have occurred, and they were launched on the same day that her character was seen again in Coronation Street proper after her break. However, any hopes that the concept could be expanded were dashed almost immediately as Flanagan started to experience panic attacks when filming and her mutually agreed exit from the programme was announced on 16th October.
The online drama was written by Jayne Hollinson and was produced and directed by Danny Whitfield who had also been the director of Gary’s Army Diaries. The main online drama was given an “omnibus” television airing on ITV2 on 17th October at 10.00pm.
In addition to the main episodes, the website featured four additional entries which made partial reuse of some of the material in the main episodes: How to make the most of your assets, How to train your boyfriend, I’m a Celeb audition and The dark side of modelling together with the separate excerpts of her disastrous advertising career and appearances on Lorraine and Loose Women
Rosie Webster is living an exciting but exhausting life as a successful model…or so she thinks. In reality, her agent Jeff Cullen is exasperated with her unprofessional attitude and her biggest rival, Stacey Bigsby, enjoys seeing her falling flat on her face and failing at each hurdle she encounters. Rosie lives in a delusional dream world, claiming that her boyfriend Jason Grimshaw works in the square mile dealing with stocks and shares. Rosie sees her big chance coming up when Jeff needs a model to appear in London on daytime show Lorraine. Exasperated with the bickering between Stacey and Rosie, he tells them that whoever succeeds in their standard assignments during the week will get the gig.
Rosie takes up the challenge but fails at every hurdle: an advert for nappies goes badly when the baby demonstrates himself what the product is intended for better than she does and she has difficulty with the three words “Larry loves Curry” in a television advert for a ready-meal. Her fortunes turn around though when she catches Jeff and Stacey kissing and photographs the scene, using it to blackmail Jeff. He gives her the gig and she and Jason travel down to the big city where her ambition grows and she decides to sign on with a big agency however each one rejects her on various pretexts. A disastrous attempt to work for Carlo Rossi fails when the photographer - not an Italian but a born-and-bred Mancunian - spends his time watching Manchester United on television with Jason, and Rosie, not knowing who he is, explodes at him for being a “perv”.
Rosie considers giving up on her career but Jason points out that she still has the slot on Lorraine. She dreams of her appearance on the morning show where the hostess will thank “someone of your stature” for agreeing to come on her “little show”. However she really is dreaming and she and Jason oversleep, just making to the London Studios in time, only to be told that her slot has been brought forward and Stacy should have passed the message on to her. In a rage, Rosie invades the studio and catfights with Stacy live on air seeing that she is in her place. Jeff fires her, his girlfriend not withstanding who has dumped him anyway.
Her appearance though gets her many YouTube hits and an appearance on Loose Women which causes Jeff to show an interest again due to her “raised profile”. He gets her a job which means that she will be the face of a national campaign with her face on hoardings all around the country: promoting fruit and veg in shopping malls. Rosie consoles herself by launching her own website for her fans entitled Just Rosie.
- Rosie Webster - Helen Flanagan
- Jason Grimshaw - Ryan Thomas
- Jeff Cullen - Steven Houghton (Credited as "Steve Houghton")
- Stacey Bigsby - Candy McCulloch
- Carlo Rossi - Simon Smithies
- Lorraine's P.A. - Jack Ivens
- Simone - Amy Finnimore
- The Dancing Bear - Meme La Foufou
- And as themselves: Lorraine Kelly , Mark Heyes, Andrea McLean, Lynda Bellingham, Jenny Éclair, Lisa Maxwell, Johnny Vaughan, Lisa Snowdon
- There were several cross-references in the main programme to the events portrayed in Just Rosie: Episode 7700 and 7701, both shown on 26th September 2011, showed Rosie's excitement and preparation in getting the job on Lorraine while Episode 7702 (29th September 2011) had Sean Tully telling the Underworld staff of the punch-up on Lorraine and the fact that it could be viewed on the internet, to Sally Webster's mortification.
Rosie Webster: "What was it Plato said? ‘If at first you don’t succeed, then just try and try again.’ I think she was talking about life really and not modelling."