60 years of Coronation Street
2020 marks 60 Years of Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running soap, set in the fictional Manchester borough of Weatherfield.
Over the 60 years of the successful serial, many memorable characters have come and gone across the cobbles. Three of the most formidable women, and beloved performers, must be Jean Alexander as Hilda Ogden, Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch, and Anne Kirkbride as Dierdre.
For her work in Coronation Street, Jean Alexander won the 1985 Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance, and received a 1988 BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actress, the first actress to do so for a soap opera. To date, Jean is one of only two soap actresses to be nominated for a BAFTA, the other being June Brown.
As well as Coronation Street, Jean appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine”, the Profumo affair film “Scandal” with Britt Ekland, “Cluedo” with Joanna Lumley, and “The Way with Reggie” with Michael Caine.
Julie Goodyear first appeared in Coronation Street on Monday 23 May 1966, returning as a barmaid in the 1970s before becoming the landlady of the Rovers Return pub in 1985.
For her role on Coronation Street, she received the Special Recognition Award at the 1995 National Television Awards, and was bestowed an MBE in the 1996 New Year Honours.
The character of Deirdre Barlow, previously Deirdre Langton, became well-known for her oversized spectacles, her husky voice, and bubble perm.
Later becoming Deirdre Rachid, Anne purportedly had a photographic memory, ideal for memorising the fast turnaround of scripts required by soap opera episodes.
Anne Kirkbride was posthumously awarded the Outstanding Achievement award at the 2015 British Soap Awards.
Happy 60th birthday to Coronation Street!