(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)
I am unashamedly a massive fan of Audrey Roberts and the lady who brings her to life, the super Sue Nicholls. Audrey is for me the Queen of Coronation Street. Sue has been a part of Corrie since April 1979 and I hope she'll be on our screens for many more years to come.
I think one of the main reasons I love Audrey so much is that we've seen her character develop a great deal over the years. There is something satisfying about this progression that we rarely get in soap operas, as characters either always play to type or actors get fed up and leave. I've loved seeing Audrey develop from the flighty piece who neglected Gail and got up Ivy's nose, through her social climbing days as Alf's devoted wife to her current incarnation as doting gran, fierce defender of those she loves and wise counsellor to many.
Much of this is down to Sue Nicholls who plays Audrey so beautifully. Sue is undoubtedly a brilliant actress, equally at high drama (the Richard Hillman saga) tragedy (losing Alf and Alma) and comedy. Such diversity is becoming increasingly rare amongst today's crop of Corrie actresses.
I love the relationship between Audrey and daughter Gail. For an onscreen partnership to last so long is pretty rare and sometimes I wish they would exploit their rich history more often. I loved the now famous scenes of mother and daughter out power walking in the countryside and I hope the writers can come up with more in this vein.
Audrey also has lovely relationships with several younger members of the Corrie cast - as we saw on Monday night with Maria. These scenes always feel more believable and less forced than the relationship Rita is supposed to have with Tina McIntyre.
My one frustration with Audrey is that she always seems to feature in other characters stories these days rather than her own. There was a spell when she was quite prolific post-Hillman, mainly featuring in romantic storylines with the likes of Fred Elliott, Bill Webster, Archie Shuttleworth and of course Lewis Archer. An actress who can make even the awful Marc/Marcia story appear watchable is worth her weight in Corrie gold.
I think it would be nice to see Audrey appear in a storyline built around her for a change, and not necessarily involving a man.
So do you agree that Audrey Roberts is a Corrie legend? What are your favourite Audrey moments?
And what would you like to see her do next?
As Queen of the Street, I hope she reigns for a long time yet.
Follow the Bluenose CorrieBlog on Twitter and Facebook