(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)
It was probably writ large by Corrie godfather Tony Warren that the Street should always retain a certain matriarchal flavour. This is arguably the cornerstone of the show's enduring success. We warm to the strong, dependable maternal figures who rule the hearts and minds of their kinfolk.
Not that Michelle has ever been that much better as a parent. For years now, she has failed to mention her real son. Not the pale little boy turned muscled druggie DJ - the other one. The one swapped at birth who she bonded with and then forgot. Forever. Is she not curious or does she not care? Maybe she is so busy folding her arms and trying to emulate Dame Karren Brady that she just doesn't have the time.
It comes as a bit of a surprise to see that, at the moment, possibly the best mum on the cobbles is
Kylie. There is something very natural in the way she moves around the kids and ferries them from place to place. It comes from the heart. Well, it does for now but as we all know, she will be gone in a few months and so her nourishing and nurturing skills will no doubt find themselves behind the bars of Cell Block Weatherfield. Yellow tabards and cheerless visiting room here we come.
Begrudgingly, you have to hand it to Eileen, M'lday of the Miseries, that she's coped well with life as a single mum. The woman can't hold down a relationship for toffee but she does work (let's not push it and say 'work hard') and she has provided for her two boys-to-men who obviously find the lure of her cooking difficult to break free from. Her fish fingers au poivre are to die for.
Rita, while not having any children of her own, also tends to do a sterling job in shepherding those who need it. She's provided motherly advice to many over the years and is currently providing a protective buffer between Jenny and the outside world. Rita's downfall has often been her self-righteous streak coupled with her tendency to reach for the cheque book in order to solve a problem. She can be your best friend but also your worst enemy.
As for Gail? Well, would you want her as your mother? She almost suffocated Nick to the point where he seems to have aged well beyond his thirty five years. True, she did support Sarah, especially following the shock of her first pregnancy but this seemed to be to the detriment of her relationship with David. You reap what you sow Gail and now you are at the mercy of an adult Rosemary's Baby. Be afraid until the end of your days.
Let's not dwell too long on Tracy-luv as a mother. She has a very odd relationship with Amy, part mum, part accomplice. At times it isn't nice and poor old Ken is often forced to put down his book and act the part of parent to our Ames. Tracy may well be creating a monster for tomorrow.
Maybe Liz needs to get her act together and hand out some tough love to the errant Steve. Enough of the vaping and vamping. Buy yourself a nice M & S mac, some sensible shoes and get yourself across to Spain. Although knowing Liz, within five minutes of landing she would be on the beach, drink in one hand and an eye firmly on the good time. Wither Michelle . . .
By Clinkers on twitter @bridglondon
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