(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog November 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)
We all know that the foundations of Coronation Street are the strong female characters who have dominated our screens for the past 52 years. Looking back, we've enjoyed classic characters such as Annie Walker, Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Hilda Ogden and Ivy Tilsley. Women continue to be the focus of the Street in the present day, with the men often still portrayed as hen-pecked and feckless. However, who do we think is the key matriarch in the present day Coronation Street? Here are a few contenders.
Rita has long been a shoulder to cry on for many of the Street's residents. From Mavis Riley through to Tina McIntyre she is always there for her friends and neighbours, offering advice, a friendly ear and a bottomless bank balance. She also acted as foster mother to characters such as Sharon Gaskell and the infamous Jenny Bradley.
Audrey may have started off as a flighty piece, however as she has matured on screen she has used her life experience to good effect. Audrey has a similar relationship with Maria as Rita does with TIna. Audrey also has a family of her own to advise and watch out for. She is often now the voice of reason in the exploits of daughter Gail and grandsons Nick and David. She can survive that lot, Richard Hillman and Wendy Craig's son from Butterflies in drag. What a woman!
While not providing the same shoulder to cry on as Rita and Audrey, Deirdre is still a loyal mother and grandmother to Tracy, Amy and Simon. We may not agree with the way she reacts to Tracy's schemes and scandals, however she does have the relevant life experience to be a Corrie matriarch. I would love for her to become a Blanche of the future. And if all else fails she'll dish you up a lovely stuffed marrow.
Although, like Rita, Emily has never had any children of her own, she has always provided a motherly influence to the likes of Deirdre, Tracy, Curly and Spider. More recently she has provided guidance for Sophie Webster. On the downside, we don't see as much of her these days as we once did. Perhaps she's back up that tree on the Red Rec?
Although a different generation to the other characters on this list, Hayley is just as wise and has plenty of experience on how to survive a good crisis or two! Her marriage to Roy is one of the most stable and durable partnerships in today's Street. She has also been a friendly face to many of the Street's younger residents, particularly Fiz and Becky. And she knows how to wear a red anorak like no other.
Of course, these are only five suggestions off the top of my head. There are many other possibilities: Gail Potter Tilsley Platt Hillman McIntyre could advise on marital issues. Eileen Grimshaw could always find room for you amongst the countless lodgers in her palatial two up two down. Sally Webster would be great on the subjects of other people's husbands and hanging baskets. And there's always St Ella of the Back Room. Agony Aunt to a cast of thousands and even capable of taking on armed robbers...Is there anything that woman can't put her mind to?? Answers on a postcard please!
Follow the Bluenose CorrieBlog on Twitter and Facebook