Saturday 20 January 2018

Coronation Street says goodbye to Betty Driver

Rachel Ward

CORONATION Street is planning a tribute episode to the Rovers Return's longest-serving barmaid played by Betty Driver, who died in October last year.

Driver, who played the beloved character for 42 years and appeared in more than 2,800 episodes, died in hospital aged 91 last October. She was the soap’s longest-serving barmaid at the fictional Rovers Return and her trademark hotpot became a famed dish.

The scenes, to be shown in April, will recall touching and funny memories as the residents of Coronation Street gather on the cobbles to pay their respects to the character at her wake. But executive producer Phil Collinson has claimed that the send off won’t be “morbid or sad”, and that it will include a special guest.

Everton FC chairman Bill Kenwright, who played Betty’s son Gordon Clegg in 1968 and who spoke at Driver’s funeral in Manchester, will make a one-off return for the episode following the announcement of the character’s death.

Bosses also plan to reveal a secret that Betty had kept for years.

“We’re going to give her a good send off. We’ve come up with something I think is really delicious. She has taken a secret with her to the grave and it emerges in a beautiful way,” said Collinson.

"There's no love child or anything like that. The secret has something to do with the history of the Street."

Collinson added: “It will be a memorable finale and a lovely goodbye to a woman who was loved by just about everyone.”

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