Saturday, 22 October 2011

Coverage of Betty Driver's funeral

Betty Driver's funeral took place in St. Ann's Church in Manchester this morning. There was a marching band through the streets and in St. Ann's Square, a large video screen was in place so the general public could hear the service. Cast and crew members past and present attended the funeral as did Coronation Street creator, Tony Warren.

Speakers at the service were long time friend and personal assistant, Charles Orr, and cast member Helen Worth and former cast member Bill Kenwright who played Betty's son, Gordon Clegg. Helen said "She was the ultimate professional and knew everything there was to showbusiness, including stealing your scene without any words, A perfect look timed to perfection which lit up the screen."  and she is right. Betty really did steal every scene! (edited to add: BBC has the video footage of Helen's full speech here and yes, it's viewable for watchers outside the U.K. It nearly had me in floods, I'll not lie but it was wonderful!)

Bill Kenwright said "She was never ever in the most volatile of story lines. She was the bedrock of it. A juggernaut of love." and spoke of his mother-son relationship with Betty. Even near the end, when she was semi-conscious, she knew he was by her side during one of his visits.

Charles Orr recalled a recent incident where Betty brought out the inner fan of a group of young lads they encountered in a car park. "All the black hooded crows had gone and we left with this glorious sight of young men, jumping about doing high-fives. You could hear them on the phone, 'I've just met Betty Driver! I've just met Betty!' What can you say about that magic?" And magic she was, indeed.

Betty herself had planned the service and music including Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and with Lord of the Dance and Jerusalem closing off the service. There is more detail about the service and a slide show at the Manchester Evening News site and more photos at the Daily Mail.

Farewell, Betty, you will be missed.

Photo copyright and the Daily Mail.


corrierules said...

Thank you for this Tvor. It is is indeed a tribute to Betty Driver that so many actors from the past came to pay their respects. I recognized the actors who played Sally, Geena, Vikram, Reg among others. I even saw an extra .. remember the "Yorkshire Ripper" from updates past? Poor Bill Tarmey looked gutted. The BBC news item features the video of the entire version of Helen Worth's tribute

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post, and also corrierules for the link with Helen Worth's tribute.
What a wonderful tribute; well thought out, well delivered, beautifully done.

Tvor said...

Thank you corrie rules, very much and i'll add the link to the post.

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