Sunday, 12 July 2015

Coronation Street Weekly Update – the death of Deirdre Barlow

Corrie weekly updates from 1995 - 20 years in 20 e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle

Available from or

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - 2015 official ITV tie-in book
and Coronation Street unofficial companion books:
Norman Bates with a Briefcase, the Richard Hillman Story
A Perfect Duet, the diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper

Greetings and welcome to the Coronation Street Weekly Update. Find out more about the Coronation Street Weekly Updates and why they've been written for th'internet since 1995 at

In all the years of writing the Corrie weekly updates I have only once before struggled with trying to condense a major storyline into a paragraph or two.  It was when Hayley died. And now I’m having trouble trying to give Deirdre Barlow the send-off she deserves wrapped up in a few words of a weekly update.  Deep breath … and here we go …
At No.1 Ken and Tracy prepare for Deirdre’s return on her 60 birthday. There’s a party planned in the Rovers, streamers hung and a cake bought. Ken’s in a suit and tie and Tracy’s having her hair done. There’s a knock at the door and it’s Bev Unwin, Deirdre’s friend she’s been staying with for the last few months. Ken expected Bev to be bringing Deirdre home with her but it’s sad news that Bev brings, the saddest news possible. Deirdre has died on her 60th birthday while sitting in Bev’s garden. It was a brain aneurysm …sudden, shocking. Bev hands over Deirdre’s glasses to Ken: “I didn’t know what to do with these,” she tells him. Neither does Ken. He takes them into the kitchen and sobs.
It’s been very emotional watching the episodes this week as news of Deirdre’s death filters around the Street. The cast’s emotions are plan to see, their eyes filling with real tears as they plan Deirdre’s funeral and talk about what could have been. Ken breaks down in the ginnel and it’s Steve who hugs him and walks him around the block. Tracy’s in bits but never loses her nasty edge, cutting Liz short when she offers to help.  Amy cuddles her mum when she finds out grandma Deirdre has died while Simon retreats into himself, trying not to let the upset of the news affect him too much. How much more bad news and people dying on him can this little lad take?  Emily sheds tears in the Rovers as Rita comforts her and Liz rings the bell in the Rovers to announce the sad news. As the Rovers regulars drink a toast to Deirdre in the pub, a gust of wind blows the door open, right on cue.  And then it’s time to plan the funeral. Tracy finds an old tin containing a letter from Deirdre outlining the kind of funeral she wants.  It’s to include red wine and Frescho’s best ham, Nina Simone singing ‘I’m feeling good’ and a short service so that smokers aren’t left gagging for a fag.

Elsewhere this week, all else pales into insignificance and the other storylines have felt nothing more than an intrusion into what should have been, in my opinion, centered exclusively on Deirdre and the Barlows.

We therefore had to suffer the tedium of Callum as Kylie tries to wind him up so that Sarah will see Callum for the comedian he is. It’s a plan that doesn’t work and Callum is left to torment us all another day, sadly.

Even Roy, who I adore, seemed at odds this week with the sadness of the Barlow household.  He helps Cathy start to declutter her house and it soon becomes clear that it’s going to be a very long and slow process indeed. She can’t be rushed, Roy knows that, but even Roy’s patience is starting to wear thin. 

But Roy’s got more on his mind when he returns to the café to find gambling and drinking going on at Roy’s Rolls.  It’s Carla who’s set up a poker game with Erica, Nick and Lloyd. Roy’s not best pleased and tells Carla she could have cost him his license.  She stays out all night gambling in a casino in town and Roy gently admonishes her for coming home in the early hours. He knows what time it was, he tells her, because the shipping forecast was on the radio.  She replied with: “Shipping forecast… Shiraz… whatever gets you through the night, Roy.”  Carla’s retreat into gambling gets worse and she starts online gambling at work. She’s still blaming herself for setting fire to Victoria Court and has the deaths of two people, that she didn’t kill, much on her mind.

Leanne tells Dan she’s going to out him to Liz as the fella who beats up prostitutes.  This seemed like a good plan until Dan warned her that if she told Liz anything, he’d tell Simon that Leanne used to work as a call girl. Leanne decides to stay schtum, for now.

And that's just about that for this week. Remember, you can sign up to get these Corrie weekly updates by email at

This week’s writers were Simon Crowther (Monday double); Jonathan Harvey (Wednesday); Martin Allen (Thursday); Jan McVerry (Friday); Mark Wadlow and Joe Turner (credited jointly for Friday’s second episode). Find out all about the Coronation Street writing team at

Glenda Young
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