(Reposted from State of the Street, with permission)
Since the mid-nineties at least, there has been a growing tradition of bringing in new female characters (sometimes male, but mostly female), described as "gobby". They are rude, mouthy and somewhat aggressive, not very likeable and many have often stayed the course and become characters that most of us grew to love, or at least tolerate. There were a few prior to that time period but they weren't as frequent. They tended to be more blunt-speaking rather than someone you might call "gob-almighty" though Vera Duckworth came pretty close.
I know I'm going to miss some but the more memorable ones of the last 20-some years include:
Leanne Battersby. Leanne arrived with the rest of her obnoxious family, shortly after her step mother, Janice, was introduced as a machinist. As far as gobs go, all four of the Battersby family members didn't have a Halt button on their tongues. Toyah was probably the least aggressive but she could give as good as she got. Leanne is the character that has managed to stay the course, with a few gaps in service, to become a great character due to Jane Danson's excellent performances over the years. Leanne can still shout down an opponent in an argy-bargy but she's matured and softened a bit. I like that Leanne often still has that bolshy attitude and isn't afraid to stand up to anyone.
One of the characters with the loudest and rudest mouth ever was probably Cilla Brown, mother of Chesney and Fiz, who was not short of a measure of attitude herself and still can be quick to mouth off. Cilla was nasty, rude, obnoxious and greedy and married someone just like her, Les Battersby. Both of them would lose a battle of wits with an unarmed person and while Cilla was fun and outrageous to watch, she was probably better in small doses.
Carla Connor used to have attitude by the bucket with a gob to go along with it. Over the years, she's been tamed by all her troubles but if her strong sense of self preservation wasn't in place, she'd probably have been either sectioned or dead long ago. Fire, rape, violent fellas, accidents and Tracy Barlow on your back are more than any one person should have to endure.
Gobby mares are a long standing tradition, carried on by the return of the latest, Gemma Winter (Kylie's mate). Women with big gobs are, if nothing else, never boring!
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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