Former College Learner Stars in Coronation Street

A former Preston’s College learner has landed a role in Britain’s longest-running soap opera, Coronation Street.

New Corrie character, Isla Cuncliffe, has been years in the making for dedicated Anna Jobarteh from Blackpool.

The 22-year-old’s television debut began at the tender age of 13, starring in an episode of popular BBC thriller series, Paradox. This followed with three episodes of Combat Kids in 2010.

Anna’s acting abilities become well known when cast as whizz-kid Ruth Kirby in Waterloo Road, starring in 13 episodes of the drama series set in a challenging comprehensive school.

Studying at Preston’s College from 2012 – 2014 and gaining a Level 3 qualification in Performing Arts, Anna continued to pursue her acting career throughout her studies and took up a role in CBBC’s Stepping Up series, which followed children making the step from primary to secondary school.

On completion of her College study programme, Anna starred as a guest lead role in the BBC series Doctors in 2013 and 2017.

Fast forward to 2018 and Anna’s new Coronation Street character hit our screens on 5th September in a front-line story, as her mother, Paula Cuncliffe, also a former Doctors actress played by Stirling Gallacher, is brought onto the soap as Sally Metcalfe’s fraud case solicitor.

Talking about how Preston’s College has prepared her for a role on the Weatherfield cobbles, Anna said: “Studying at Preston’s College gave me the chance to work with tutors who have extensive knowledge and professional experience of the industry.

“Both the tutors and the opportunities they provided me with helped me greatly on my journey to becoming a successful actor.”

John-Mark Reid, performing arts tutor at Preston’s College, added: “I’m delighted for Anna and she is so deserving of her success.

“While studying at Preston’s College, her professional attitude to her work was evident, particularly in her approach to character. As a tutor, I could see how passionate she was and this shone through in her work and performances.

“Long may Anna’s success continue! She’s worked very hard for it.”

Preston’s College offers courses in Performing Arts, Dance and Theatrical Media Make-Up, ranging from entry to degree level. To find out more, please visit