(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2013.)
I'm not generally a fan of bringing back characters who are long gone from Coronation Street. Look at the current cast: Dennis Tanner is no fun at all, and Todd has returned as some kind of predatory gay sex spider, crawling all over the street and hissing bile. There's also the danger that you end up like EastEnders, where a roster of characters are constantly leaving forever before returning again two years later. Sharon Watts seems to be attached to Albert Square by an invisible bungee cord.
I'd much rather the scriptwriters came up with new, interesting characters than rely on the audience's affections for old faces.
However, I would make an exception for Tricia Armstrong. Played by Tracy Brabin, Tricia was in Corrie for only a few years in the mid-nineties, but I thought she was an interesting character and brilliantly played. She was a scraggy, loud-mouthed piece of work, but she had a surprising heart at times and loved the bones off her two sons - Jamie and Brad.
Brad, incidentally, was a Duckworth, the result of a one-night stand with Terry. Wouldn't it be nice to bring a Duckworth back to the Street, now that Tommy is, erm, "indisposed"? He's about sixteen or seventeen now, so the producers could get a teen hunk who can take his shirt off on Digital Spy. You could even bring back Terry for a bit, or at least that moon-sized humanoid who was pretending to be Terry last time he appeared.
Tricia was a good laugh, and Tracy played her with heart and humour. When she turned up as a shelf-stacker in the Sainsbury's ads a few years ago, I was deeply dismayed. (It also undermined the "oh she's just like you!" theme of the ads when we were all going "It's Tricia!"). She could make a return to Underworld, battling with Sally Webster, palling up with Beth for nights in the Rovers, rekindling her surprising but pleasing friendship with Deirdre. Since she has that surname, perhaps she's related to Owen? And since she wasn't an iconic character, a Bet Lynch or an Alec Gilroy, she won't be saddled with the baggage of expectation.
The fact that I'm able to recall her at all, when other characters of the period are happily forgotten (the Mallets? Chris Collins?) is surely an indication that she made an impression. Beth and Kirk's old flat is going begging now...
The fact that I'm able to recall her at all, when other characters of the period are happily forgotten (the Mallets? Chris Collins?) is surely an indication that she made an impression. The corner shop flat is also going begging now...
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