The rover returns .... Joanna back on the cobbles
JOANNA Lumley’s latest travels take her back to Coronation Street – 48 years after she told Ken Barlow she wouldn’t marry him.
Globe-trotting Joanna, 74, who was due to travel along the spice route to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Egypt, decided instead to follow her own journey due to the pandemic.
She starts at Tilbury Docks in Essex, which was her first glimpse of England when she arrived aboard the RMS Franconia from
Kashmir with her family in 1947.
She said: “I’d always longed to do something about home. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t born here, even though I’m British. We made it our home.
“I completely love this country. I just love these islands, and it was a perfect excuse to say shall we look around here?”
The former Bond girl also visits the Aston Martin factory in Buckinghamshire and climbs behind the wheel of the DB5 model which featured in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, her first big movie. Joanna said: “My biggest regret was never getting to drive an Aston Martin on screen. Now, my life is complete.”
And she makes a nostalgic return to Manchester to the set of Coronation Street, where she played Ken Barlow’s girlfriend Elaine Perkins for eight weeks in 1973. Joanna, who got to see her former co-star William Roache, 88, said: “It brought it all back, I’d go back in a heartbeat.
“I was never allowed in the Rovers Return before. I was only in Corrie for eight episodes and I had to say: ‘I’m not going to marry you, Ken,’ and leave.” Other trips include to the Lake District to see the former home of Beatrix Potter, whose books she adored as a child. A visit to Lumley Castle in Country Durham, reveals where Joanna’s family name comes from. She said: “I felt so proud.”
● Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home – Travels in My Own Land starts on Tuesday at 8pm on ITV.
‘I was only in Corrie for eight episodes and I had to say ‘I’m not going to marry you, Ken,’ and leave’