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Tuesday 20 January 2015

Sadness on the Street and beyond

It's really hard to know what to say that hasn't been said already. The tributes have been effusive. The shock has been palpable. The news of Anne Kirkbride's death seemed unreal last night. There it was, being discussed on Facebook and for a few moments, I couldn't work out why people were discussing Deirdre (rather than Anne) in the past tense. Had the actress quit following a weekend of rumours in the press. Then the realisation that one of the Street's most joyous performers had indeed left. You probably felt just as I did. What on earth was I reading and why did I feel so upset by the news?

I never met Anne Kirkbride. I never even wrote to her, being one of those fans who would rather hide behind a bin than impose myself on household names. Thinking about it, I didn't even know a great deal about Anne and pondering on that today, realised that was as it should be. From all accounts, Anne seemed to be able to take off the specs and the belt at the end of a working day and return to her private life. How wonderful is that? In an age of Twitter, Facebook, magazine spreads and the cult of celebrity, Anne must have rejoiced in being able to turn her back on the lot of it. Today's tributes from cast and crew alike were full of love. These were the people who knew Anne best and we can all take heart in the knowledge that she was truly loved by those who got to spend time with her.

Although we didn't know Anne, we did know Deirdre. She could be a bit of a fearsome ratbag at times but she was OUR fearsome ratbag. For four decades we've settle down to peer upon her life and loves - the specs, the belts, the perm, the pinnies, the stuffed marrows. We loved Typist Deirdre, Shopgirl Deirdre, Councillor Deirdre and little old wine-drinking Deirdre. We listened to endless "Tracy luvs", "I didn't do it's" and "Wendy flaming Crozier". We laughed and cried with this wonderful creation and in time, we will shed a tear for her again.

Deirdre we knew and Anne we did not. Somehow it feels like that is how it should be.

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Humpty Dumpty said...

I have to admit that if Anne Kirkbride had decided to quit Corrie due to poor health or because she wanted to spend more time on her painting, I would have missed Deirdre for a while. Eventually, though, the Street is big enough to cope with such choices. We don't grieve for Vera's character in the same way as we'll grieve for Deirdre's. It's the manner of Anne's passing rather than the loss of a well-loved character that is so distressing.

What fans do know about Anne Kirkbride is that she had a great sense of fun. If she indicated what exit story she'd like in the event, then that would definitely be the best way for Deirdre to be written out. Otherwise, although some fans would love her to die and have a special send-off, I'd prefer the new feisty Deirdre to leave a text message that she'd seen the light and Ken could stick a stuffed marrow in the customary orifice.

Anonymous said...

It's the blurring of the lines between reality and the program that makes an event such as this so difficult for fans. When a character on the show "dies" we may find it distressing, but we know it's not real. With Deirdre "away", having been written out to enable Anne to have some personal time, we were expecting her eventual return. The shock of Anne's real-life death is not only painful but confusing. It's as though we have to shift mental and emotional gears. This is not a sudden change in a storyline, this is real! And it hurts!
For all the people in Anne's life, personal and professional, our sincere sympathies. We knew a wonderful character, you knew a wonderful woman.

Rebecca said...

Sometimes I wish there was a "Like" button on this site for times when a blogger has said it all perfectly.

Frosty the Snowman said...

We will always remember Diedre with her curly perm and oversized glasses - the fashion of the day - her husbands, Ray Langton, Samir and of course Ken - twice - some of us grew up and grew older with her. Who could forget the Weatherfield One and her friendship with Emily, when they ran the Secretarial Bureau,that seemed to be forgotton in later episodes and also Liz. The end of an era!

BarrieT said...

I agree, it was the shock of someones unexpected death that is so emotional. For Annie or anyone. 60 is far too young to die, especially by cancer or however she died. I didnt know her but it hurts me that someone who was loyal to her job and loved by her colleagues had to die so young. I looked forward to seeing her character grow old and morph into blanche. Deirdre may fade in my memory like jack and vera has but right now i feel incredibly sad and shocked at the sudden death. We didnt even know she was ill til after she died. It may have been easier if we had known 5 months ago. She probably left in august. I just hope she didn't suffer in her last few weeks.

Rosie said...

I so agree Barrie, I was looking forward to her morphing into Blanche, she would have done it so well. Deirdre and Blanche were so well matched you could believe they were really mother and daughter.

ChiaGwen said...

I'm assuming Deirdre will die somehow at Bev's but it will be so hard for the cast to have to go through really a second funeral for Anne...might be too sad to watch. To all the other commenters on this post, thanks for your eloquence and special way with words concerning Anne...and for your humor Humpty regarding the marrow and orifice lol.


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