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Monday 6 July 2015

Saying Goodbye to Deirdre

This will be a big week for Coronation Street. It sees the passing of a character we all know, and I mean all of us. Even those people who claim never to have seen an episode of Coronation Street know Deirdre Barlow.

I feel nervous even writing about the upcoming episodes, let alone actually watching them. Nobody can tell us not to take it so seriously or to get over it this time as like the actress who so memorably played Deirdre's mother, the inimitable Maggie Jones, there is real life loss at the centre of this fictitious character's passing. Anne Kirkbride was loved for many reasons but probably one of the main ones was how unstarry she remained despite spending her entire adult life not just in the spotlight, but in the glare of full publicity playing the same television character.

Until last October, I had not known Coronation Street without Anne Kirkbride's Deirdre. Her appearances were certainly less frequent than in her peak period during the 1970s and 1980s but she was always there. My own favourite period for Deirdre came when she discovered Ken's philandering with Wendy flamin' Crozier in 1989. Anne Kirkbride was magnificent throughout that storyline, really giving it her all. She was a star alright, but one you could quite happily have a chat with at the checkout in the local supermarket. Not many around like that anymore.

I really hope that Coronation Street gets Deirdre's send off right. They owe it to so many people to do it justice. The television landscape has changed so much since Corrie first debuted in 1960 but I think the nation still cares about events like this. So many of us feel we knew Deirdre and that's down to the wonderful writing over the years, the terrific storylines, but most of all the warmth, truthfulness and sheer skill of the mega-talented Anne Kirkbride. 

At the root of all my nervousness is the basic fact that I still don't want it to be true. We've had months to come to terms with Anne's sad death and now it's time for Deirdre to go too. I'm torn because I really want to watch these scenes because Corrie do poignant emotion so well on occasions like these. There will be wonderful drama to come from this story but at the same time, I really do want it to be over with. 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people feel the same sentiment but I logged off Corrie when the show turned for the worst and Anne was off the show. Watching the reaction to Bev Unwin I was dreading that and Tracey making it all about her as per usual. For the first time since the mid seventies when I started watching actually felt some real emotion there behind Ken at the end of the episode. I have never liked Ken and his treatment of poor Deirdre all these years it will be interesting to see how others take the news. Poor Emily took it badly and very real and some not so real emotion from those new on the cast who never knew Anne or met her. Anne didn't like the way the show was going when she took sick leave again around the time of Tina McIntyre's murder and I agreed with her. I will miss Deirdre as I grew up always wishing she were my Mum as most girls probably did as Tracey never apreciated her. Anne herself was an enormously talented artist but very humble lady I think it will take everyone a bit to let her go but hope they don't do the same as they did with the Duckworths though and not like they are doing with Roy pairing Ken off with Wendy Crozier or Aundrey Rober's a year later. Blackburn has a lot to answer for his obsession with death and suffering on this show is why I can't watch it anymore but will see Deirdre off and hope it will be tastefully done and not his susal silliness but knowing him the prelude will be quieter than the actual event.


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