(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)
Was it just me or did Deirdre recently refer to Blanche's sister, the rarely mentioned but obviously still with us, Beryl Linfield?
I am sure I heard Deirdre telling Tracy in the shop the other week that she was off to visit Aunty Beryl. Does this mean Beryl lives in the vicinity? If so, why have we never met her? This vexes me. Poor Beryl rarely gets a look in and didn't even make an appearance at Blanche's funeral a few years back.
I seem to remember Stuart Blackburn mentioning in an interview, possibly after Stephanie Cole's departure was announced, that the production team would be looking to cast a new older character. So far nothing else has been said about that, but I do think the older cast could use a new addition to liven things up and create more stories. Who would be better than Beryl Linfield?
I'm not saying we should sully Blanche Hunt's memory by bringing in a carbon copy of the much missed battleaxe. It wouldn't be fair to the character or that wonderful actress, the late, great Maggie Jones. Instead, I think it would be interesting to present Beryl as the complete opposite of Blanche. It would still allow some on-screen memories of Blanche to be shared and it would give Deirdre a new focus, rather than just tutting at Tracy and Rob. I worry that Deirdre will go the way of Emily - only being mentioned when she is babysitting for Fiz or Tracy, and always off-screen.
As so little is known about Beryl (to my knowledge at least) it would give the casting department free reign. There are so many fantastic older actresses out there to choose from. My only ask would be that they don't go for someone too famous. Although it has the initial media buzz when the casting is announced, they seldom stay long and that irritates long term viewers who enjoy continuity.
So do you agree we should be introduced to Beryl? If so, who would you like to see in the part?
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