(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in July 2015, reposted with permission.)
I feel nervous even writing about the upcoming episodes, let alone actually watching them. Nobody can tell us not to take it so seriously or to get over it this time as like the actress who so memorably played Deirdre's mother, the inimitable Maggie Jones, there is real life loss at the centre of this fictitious character's passing. Anne Kirkbride was loved for many reasons but probably one of the main ones was how unstarry she remained despite spending her entire adult life not just in the spotlight, but in the glare of full publicity playing the same television character.
Until last October, I had not known Coronation Street without Anne Kirkbride's Deirdre. Her appearances were certainly less frequent than in her peak period during the 1970s and 1980s but she was always there. My own favourite period for Deirdre came when she discovered Ken's philandering with Wendy flamin' Crozier in 1989. Anne Kirkbride was magnificent throughout that storyline, really giving it her all. She was a star alright, but one you could quite happily have a chat with at the checkout in the local supermarket. Not many around like that anymore.
I really hope that Coronation Street gets Deirdre's send off right. They owe it to so many people to do it justice. The television landscape has changed so much since Corrie first debuted in 1960 but I think the nation still cares about events like this. So many of us feel we knew Deirdre and that's down to the wonderful writing over the years, the terrific storylines, but most of all the warmth, truthfulness and sheer skill of the mega-talented Anne Kirkbride.
At the root of all my nervousness is the basic fact that I still don't want it to be true. We've had months to come to terms with Anne's sad death and now it's time for Deirdre to go too. I'm torn because I really want to watch these scenes because Corrie do poignant emotion so well on occasions like these. There will be wonderful drama to come from this story but at the same time, I really do want it to be over with.
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