Stars in the soaps
As the wonderful Maureen Lipman joins the cast of Coronation Street, we look back at the other famous faces who’ve trod the cobbles over the decades…
Coronation Street has a new battleaxe on its hands! And this time she looks remarkably familiar. After four decades in show businesses, actress Maureen Lipman has this autumn joined the soap playing Evelyn Plummer, who has come to the street to help grandson Tyrone (below) after the death of his mum, Jackie. As a real ‘character’, she follows in the footsteps of many feisty women to have bossed around the residents of Coronation Street over the years, from Ena Sharples to Blanche Hunt. But as well as that, Maureen also becomes the latest in a long line of celebrities to have acted on the cobbles since the show began in 1960. See how many of these famous faces you remember spotting in The Rovers Return… ■ A touch of Dynasty came to the cobbles in 2009 when actress Stephanie Beacham (right and above) joined the cast as Martha Fraser. She joined a long line of actresses who’ve played a love interest of Ken Barlow, although it all ended in tears when Ken realised he still loved his wife Deirdre and left Martha jilted. Stephanie said “the show is watched by so many people that I felt privileged to be part of it” and hasn’t ruled out returning one day.
■ Who’d have thought Norris Cole’s brother would turn out to be Manuel from Fawlty Towers? But that’s exactly what happened when Andrew Sachs (right and above with Eileen Derbyshire) joined the soap in 2009. He played the brother Norris blamed for his mother’s death who came to make amends after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. ■ It seems Mr Smooth himself, Nigel Havers (left), just can’t get enough of Corrie having just returned to the soap this summer for the third time as troubled schmoozer Lewis Archer. He’s schemed half of the street out of their money, broken a fair few hearts and having been an on-off love interest for Audrey Roberts since the start, it looks like his latest return will see him once again do all he can to get Audrey back. ■ In her two years on the street as the outspoken Sylvia Goodwin, actress Stephanie Cole (above) managed to alienate most of the customers of Roy’s Rolls with her money-scrimping schemes, make her son Roy’s life miserable and stick her nose in most situations that weren’t her business, but we absolutely loved watching her nononsense character who sadly departed the cobbles in 2013.