Saturday, 15 October 2011

Why I'll miss Coronation Street's Betty

Sad news in today that actress Betty Driver has died, age 91. We've known for some time that she hasn't been well but the news of her death has come as a terrible shock for us fans today.  Betty Driver lived a long and full life, a real talent, a star. But how will Coronation Street cope without her character Betty Williams behind the bar at the Rovers Return?  Will she be sent to live with son Gordon down in that London?  Whatever the writers decide to do with the character, she'll be deeply missed by fans.

I've watched Coronation Street for almost all of the 42 years that Betty has been on the show. She's always been there, behind the bar or busy-bodying elsewhere.  Never sexy, always solid. Always reliable, honest, and able to convey more with a raised eyebrow and a gathered bosom than most actors can do with three pages of script. Betty was the one that the young barmaids, especially Bet, went to for advice, usually in the back room of the Rovers. And when Betty gave advice, she never held back and she always gave it straight.

After Betty's husband Cyril Turpin died, she had the good sense to turn down barman Fred Gee's proposal before marrying again, very late in life to Billy Williams, but it was a reluctant match. Betty was an independent woman, one of the true, strong, Corrie matriachs on which the show is built. There will never be another Betty Turpin, we've seen the last of her type.

I'll miss her. And you, reading this, will most likely miss her too. I grew up with Betty in Corrie on TV. She was the immovable force behind the bar of the Rovers, never demanding but always getting respect from whichever jumped-up manager was in charge. They messed with her shifts at their peril.  She will be missed a great deal and I'm sure that ITV will give both the character and the actress a fitting send off on TV. 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would quite like the producers on Coronation Street, let the Character of Betty die, it would be a fitting end and a tribute to a wonderful and legendary character, and please to make it more realistic, on this occasion I really do think characters from the past should be bought back, if it is the case that Betty will die, - Gordon Clegg, her sister Maggie, Bet Lynch and Archie Shuttleworth to see to the proceedings, a real treat would be a small cameo from Betty's dear friend and old work mate Hilda !

corrierules said...

Wonderful post, Flaming Nora. It was always a joy to see Betty on screen. Her "harrumphs" were the best in the business. :) She will be missed terribly.
I also agree with Anonymous' views on a proper sendoff for Betty Williams. She deserves the best.

Anonymous said...

She does indeed deserve "the best".
I feel quite confident that "Betty" will have a very touching and fitting send-off, as befits the beloved character, and actor, that she was.

Lateboomer said...

Oh no!! This is so sad! Definitely one of the Street's best.

I think too that it would be appropriate and fitting to eulogize the character of 'Betty', rather than pack her off to live elsewhere off screen.

RIP, Betty Driver.

Anonymous said...

Be nice if Julie Goodyear and Irene Sutcliffe would return for any funeral scenes.

Anonymous said...

Betty as a character and as an actress deserves the very best send off possible. I imagine the writers will do her justice and let the character pass with dignity off screen. I doubt that Irene Sutcliffe would come back as she is 81 herself now but you never know. In reality Bet would definately return for the funeral episode, as would Gordon, but please let Gordon be the original and not the imposter who turned up at her retirement do all those years ago. A sad day for al street fans- Micky

Tvor said...

I think as many former characters as possible should come for the funeral should that be how they handle her departure, and i think it's only fitting that they do.

My favourite recent Betty scenes where of her comforting Claire after Ashley died.

As grumpy as Betty could be, she still always had a smile and a laugh.

Anonymous said...

This is sad news of the end of a memorable career, character and actress. With her lengthy illness, I hope she is at peace and we can all take comfort in her many quotes during interviews where she expressed how blessed and satisfying her life was. I too, hope there is a fine funeral for Betty with many past characters appear for a final farewell.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Writers and Producers are reading this !! abd are taking in our ideas, ...do Betty proud !!

Anonymous said...

She deserves the most lavish funeral of all...to send her off to live with her TV son would be an insult to her family and career IMO. They better do right by her.

Anonymous said...

Truly sad news indeed. One of my all-time favourite characters on the Street.

I wholeheartedly agree with all those who say Betty should have an amazing funeral with as many past characters as possible in attendance. She deserves it ... and so do we!
~JB in Canada

barriet said...

i doubt she will have a big on-screen send off....storylines are plotted 12 months in advance...scripts are written 3 months in advance..so to try to arrange for people like julie goodyear to appear would need months of planning...then it would seem unbelievable for betty to be not at work for 12 months. I just think they will shoehorn something in where she doesn't turn up for work and steve gets a phone call to say she has passed..steve, ken, rita, noris and emaily will attend her funeral and raise a glass to her back at the rovers.

maggie muggins said...

RIP, Betty. She's a tribute to the human spirit. Her character on Corrie seemed not far from the real person - warm, cheerful and strong. A great role model in many ways. May she continue to be happy on the cobbles up above.

Anonymous said...

It would be great if they give her a great send-off, if they wanted to go over-the-top, as Collinson loves to do, they could add a few 'ghosts' to the party - Jack and Vera, Mike Baldwin, Ray Langton,Fred Elliot and Len Fairclough

Anonymous said...

Len Fairclough really would be a ghost as Peter Adamson is dead.

Trevor said...

I agree with many comments made above, and I think it would be much more appealling (than watching the tram crash) to watch Coronation Street, if as many old faces returned for Betty's send off. I just hope the camera action doesn't swing this way and that way as they always do, and spoil watching this sad moment for all viewers.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I wonder whether Betty Driver gave any indication of her preferred exit story line in the event of etc etc .... With very elderly actors, it must be a bit like long-standing plans for the late Queen Mother's funeral.

Sharon said...

I was afraid that she wasn't well when I hadn't see her on for awhile. Always happy when she was working in the pub. You knew there would be some humor coming up. Will miss her so much.
Cheers to Betty Driver/Betty Turpin!!

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