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Tuesday 14 March 2023

Maureen Limpan interview: Filming the death of her Corrie co-star

What was it like filming Cerberus’ death?

It’s really sad. I had to say goodbye to my real dog on Zoom so it wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine this. I really liked Cerberus, Boss is his name and he’s a lovely dog, seriously sweet natured and an incredibly beautiful hound. Gorgeous. It was as if he had an inkling that he was being written out! He was a bit subdued for a couple of days. He was valiant and that made it even sadder.

It is also sad as Roy blames himself, what happens?

Roy is basically the only person who gets Evelyn and she gets him. It is doubly hard because this situation could mean she loses his friendship as she is angry as he’s the one who’s allowed an Eccles cake to be on his floor and currents/grapes/raisins are poisonous to dogs. It all starts with Cerberus not wanting his dinner, Evelyn dismisses it as an upset stomach, then she goes to the vet and they find that his kidneys are failing. She still says she wants a 2nd opinion, this is ridiculous, she doesn’t want to believe it! He’s only 9. My dog was 16 and it was shocking, they are like a member of the family.
Does he get put to sleep there and then?

More or less, it is really sad. It was only a few weeks ago but I’ve blocked out filming it.  He was so brave to the last he just lay there, we were all on the floor with this beautiful soul. Obviously the dog is actually fine but I really miss him.
How significant is losing Cerberus for you and Evelyn, he’s been your companion for nearly 5 yrs?

Yes he has been there from the start. This is the dog that the Queen said when she came to the set ‘Is he a good actor?’ And I said ‘Well I keep a lot of liver in my vest, ma’am!’ Which is true, I would have liver all over the pockets and everything. It will be different but Evelyn has all these jobs, charity shop, caf√©, corner shop, so she wouldn’t be able to spend so much time with him. Then there is a bit of a twist on it because she’s either got to forgive Roy or that’s the end of that relationship in any sense and form. That is coming up. She has to mull that over in her beady little mind – she has lost one best friend does she really want to lose two?
We hear there is another dog entering Evelyn’s life soon?

A curious thing happens, someone dumps a dog on Roy. Now Evelyn doesn’t want to know about this, it is small so she calls this dog a guinea pig with identity issues! But between you and me it is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen, Roy and David are obsessed with this dog. He’s tremendously jealous if the dog comes to me first, he’s a man obsessed with this little ball of fluff! Evelyn is having nothing to do with it, on the surface. But then something happens with Roy which means she has to take the dog for a while but not permanently. She tries to teach Roy what you do with a dog, because he’s completely soft and clueless. She enrols Roy in her own dog class, which as you can imagine is very dogmatic!
What do you enjoy about the Evelyn/Roy relationship?

David Neilson is an actor after my own heart. He’s extremely detailed and full of subtext and I like working with him, so that’s Maureen’s point of view. Evelyn’s point of view is, for some reason, because he’s slightly more erudite than anyone else in the street and she fancies herself as someone who does sudoku, he doesn’t answer her back, is the same sort of age and helped her when Cerberus went missing then she enjoys his company.  

She values his friendship, can they move on from this?

Look, she goes and pays money for a cup of tea she could make at home in Roy’s, quite frequently so she does want to spend time with him. Roy understands about grieving. He gets where she’s coming from, doesn’t take much to bring her round because she knows where her bread’s best buttered. She feels sorry for him and sends him to Coventry for a while. Evelyn is a great believer in bottling up and not whinging , nobody gives her much sympathy. She gets on with it like she would. When you lose a dog it's like losing a husband or a partner, all the routines have to change and nobody wants a miserable bugger so she feels she has to learn to not think about it too much and get on with her life.
Is there a hint of romantic attraction from Evelyn to Roy?

I don’t think Evelyn has the hots for Roy, or him for her. It's lukewarm at best and I don’t think she’s going to get her vest off. But there are many forms of love, they’re lonely people. She had the chance for romance with Arthur and sort of blew it. I think the stable door is shut and the horse has bolted!

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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