Thursday, 19 June 2014

Come back Rita Littlewood!


I love our Rita. Always have and always will. However, I've been watching a lot of cracking old 1970s episodes of late and it's made me wonder whether the Rita Tanner of 2014 needs to give it a bit more welly.

Yes I know she is no longer in the first flush of youth and one of the joys of Corrie is watching long term characters progress and mature over the years, but I do love the sassy, quick tempered, quick-witted Rita Littlewood as was.

Her scenes with Len Fairclough were often fiery, her interactions with Elsie Tanner often bitchy and camp and her Kabin scenes with wittering Mavis are stuff of Coronation Street legend. I vividly recall one scene where Mavis kept stuttering on some recent bit of news and Rita's reply was "Watch it love, your needle's stuck". Brilliant!

I love Rita's continuing presence in Corrie as it provides some much needed continuity with the past. What I don't like so much are some of the recent directions the character has been taken in.

I thought it was a wonderful decision to bring Dennis Tanner back after more than forty years. Philip Lowrie is a terrific actor, Dennis a super character and another cherished link to the Coronation Street of 1960. Doing nothing with the character other than ruining him and turning Rita shrewish was not only a bad move but almost unforgivable. I thought I would like Rita married again but I don't. It now just seems like a shallow attempt at a wallow in the past without actually exploring the rich history involved.

Also, Rita's closeness to Tina did her no favours. The writers would have done better by the character to focus on her relationships with not only Dennis but Norris too. They are a brilliant double act, not quite Rita and Mavis, but wonderful all the same. It's also been ages since Rita has interacted properly with other characters of her generation like Audrey, Deirdre or Gail. They are always a delight when sharing scenes.


I know people get older and mellow over time and Corrie should reflect this. I just yearn for the Rita of old - knocking out bolshy hecklers in t'Gatsby; battling with Len for a few home comforts; taking Elsie on, shoulder pad to shoulder pad; tearing across the Blackpool seafront, gold lame mac flying...that's the Rita I know and love.


Follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82


Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook


Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

6 comments:

Llifon said...

I totally agree Graeme! I hate the way Rita has turned into a shrew. Bring back Rita Littlewood indeed!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree, Graeme, something has gone wrong with Rita. But I wouldn't say she's mellowed; the actress and character have naturally slowed down and maybe there's a story there about Rita feeling her age. She's also a bit posh and acts la-de-dah with those around her. In fact, there could be some good comedy between Rita and Audrey falling out and bringing up the other's not so refined youth.

Anonymous said...

Rita has changed with old age, so I think it would be a bit unbelievable for her to start acting as she did in the 1970s. Len's death fundamentally changed her for good. But I do agree about missing the Rita of old...

I doubt if she will ever get a big storyline again after Dennis' departure. I think after this year she will just become as Betty was in her latter years - on the edge of everyone elses storylines and occasionally getting the odd comic scene here and there.

Anonymous said...

I do prefer the Rita of the 70s and 80s she use to be quite funny!! then she went upmarket about 1992 when Ted Sullivan entered her life and she has been the same since !

Anonymous said...

I also dislike the way Rita changed into a shrew. I think the way she and Dennis ended up was sad. There was so much potential there for good story lines.The almost obsessionally possessive relationship with Tina was creepy. If they want to bring in a young protege for Rita, how about a storyline where a secret child of Len's shows up with a grandchild. All the issues that go along with this not-uncommon situation would be a challenge for Rita and would also challenge the Dennis and Norris characters.

Anonymous said...

I think Rita was in her prime in the 1970s and 1980s when she was with Len and, later, Alan Bradley.

I now feel that the character has been seriously marginalised and even when she was featured in recent years with Tina Mc it was always in a supporting role.

I too don't like the changes that SB has made to the character.

May be it'd be best all round to say ta ta to the queen of the corner shop.

I feel the character's past glories cannot now be recovered.

You might also like...