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Tuesday 20 November 2012

A Corrie Matriarch for the 21st Century?

We all know that the foundations of Coronation Street are the strong female characters who have dominated our screens for the past 52 years. Looking back, we've enjoyed classic characters such as Annie Walker, Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Hilda Ogden and Ivy Tilsley. Women continue to be the focus of the Street in the present day, with the men often still portrayed as hen-pecked and feckless. However, who do we think is the key matriarch in the present day Coronation Street? Here are a few contenders.

Rita Tanner

Rita has long been a shoulder to cry on for many of the Street's residents. From Mavis Riley through to Tina McIntyre she is always there for her friends and neighbours, offering advice, a friendly ear and a bottomless bank balance. She also acted as foster mother to characters such as Sharon Gaskell and the infamous Jenny Bradley. 


Audrey Roberts
Audrey may have started off as a flighty piece, however as she has matured on screen she has used her life experience to good effect. Audrey has a similar relationship with Maria as Rita does with TIna. Audrey also has a family of her own to advise and watch out for. She is often now the voice of reason in the exploits of daughter Gail and grandsons Nick and David. She can survive that lot, Richard Hillman and Wendy Craig's son from Butterflies in drag. What a woman!

Deirdre Barlow
While not providing the same shoulder to cry on as Rita and Audrey, Deirdre is still a loyal mother and grandmother to Tracy, Amy and Simon. We may not agree with the way she reacts to Tracy's schemes and scandals, however she does have the relevant life experience to be a Corrie matriarch. I would love for her to become a Blanche of the future. And if all else fails she'll dish you up a lovely stuffed marrow.

Emily Bishop
Although, like Rita, Emily has never had any children of her own, she has always provided a motherly influence to the likes of Deirdre, Tracy, Curly and Spider. More recently she has provided guidance for Sophie Webster. On the downside, we don't see as much of her these days as we once did. Perhaps she's back up that tree on the Red Rec?

Hayley Cropper

Although a different generation to the other characters on this list, Hayley is just as wise and has plenty of experience on how to survive a good crisis or two! Her marriage to Roy is one of the most stable and durable partnerships in today's Street. She has also been a friendly face to many of the Street's younger residents, particularly Fiz and Becky. And she knows how to wear a red anorak like no other. 

Of course, these are only five suggestions off the top of my head. There are many other possibilities: Gail Potter Tilsley Platt Hillman McIntyre could advise on marital issues. Eileen Grimshaw could always find room for you amongst the countless lodgers in her palatial two up two down. Sally Webster would be great on the subjects of other people's husbands and hanging baskets. And there's always St Ella of the Back Room. Agony Aunt to a cast of thousands and even capable of taking on armed robbers...Is there anything that woman can't put her mind to?? Answers on a postcard please! 

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Glenda Young said...

My god, you are good, Graeme.

Carry On Blogging! said...

Thanks! I'm amazed how quickly I can bash them out when I get an idea in my head!

Janice said...

Except for Diedre. Not a rounded character, rather predictable and isolated. The other women have proved a good influence on those whom they advise, but not Diedre. Tracy continues to be what she is.

Anonymous said...

I soooo love that picture of Deirdre.

Other than Graeme's top five, my vote would be for Eileen. She's got a permanent gaggle of gormless lads around her that constantly need sorting out by way of clip round th'earhole.

Joseph said...

There was a post about whether or not there was a matriarch on Coronation Street a couple months back on here. Glad to see someone else disagrees with me.

I think Rita, Audrey, and Eileen are the best contenders. I just feel that you need children which rules Hayley and Emily out (Tina's kinda like Rita's daughter she never had so I'm still including Rita here).

Deirdre just doesn't cut it as a matriarch. For one, her family is messed up. Her husband doesn't know the meaning of monogamy half the time, her stepson's a raging alcoholic who's currently touring the world with a witch, and her daughter is a flaming murderess! So she's out.

As for Gail, she still has a dominant mother so she doesn't count. Not sure about Sally either.

I think Audrey is the 'best' matriarch. She comes with her own dysfunctional family and yeah, it's like you said. She's got a family of her own to advise and watch out for.

Rita's also become kind of a mother to Tina, so she's a good choice.

Eileen is also shaping up to be a matriarch. She's probably a wee bit on the young side if we're talking stereotypes here (and the typical matriarch stereotype would be over 60 while Eileen's barely on 51) but she's always on hand to advise Jason, Sean, Marcus (although I suspect her advice is barred to him now!) etc.

Wow! Sorry, this turned into a monster of a comment. Really loving your blog posts, Graeme! They make me think.

Humpty Dumpty said...

A matriarch has a strong spirit, and is emotionally robust and often financially so, as well. She's not an angel (Emily, Haley) or an earth mother (Anna). The way Stella has been written, it's clear tptb hoped she would become a Peggy Mitchell-type matriarch but that plan failed dismally. Gail and Sally aren't eligible because both have a mother figure above them in the hierarchy, Sally belonging to the Rita clan. Eileen just doesn't do it for me. Only two women are up for the position -Audrey and Rita. They should share the honours.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Rita and Audrey should share the honours. I'm afraid that Hayley and Emily are far too kind, Anna's become too gormless herself and Dreary is essentially hen-pecked by her own psycho daughter.

Carry On Blogging! said...

Very interesting! I had a feeling people would want to exclude Deirdre from this list! I guess it just shows how unpopular her character has become, mainly due to Tracy I think. It is a shame as she was once a brilliant character.

Anonymous said...

And now, Deirdre and Hayley are dead. Hmm, is there any new contenders? Yasmeen? Liz McDonald?


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