Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sadness on the Street and beyond

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2015.)

It's really hard to know what to say that hasn't been said already. The tributes have been effusive. The shock has been palpable. The news of Anne Kirkbride's death seemed unreal last night. There it was, being discussed on Facebook and for a few moments, I couldn't work out why people were discussing Deirdre (rather than Anne) in the past tense. Had the actress quit following a weekend of rumours in the press. Then the realisation that one of the Street's most joyous performers had indeed left. You probably felt just as I did. What on earth was I reading and why did I feel so upset by the news?

I never met Anne Kirkbride. I never even wrote to her, being one of those fans who would rather hide behind a bin than impose myself on household names. Thinking about it, I didn't even know a great deal about Anne and pondering on that today, realised that was as it should be. From all accounts, Anne seemed to be able to take off the specs and the belt at the end of a working day and return to her private life. How wonderful is that? In an age of Twitter, Facebook, magazine spreads and the cult of celebrity, Anne must have rejoiced in being able to turn her back on the lot of it. Today's tributes from cast and crew alike were full of love. These were the people who knew Anne best and we can all take heart in the knowledge that she was truly loved by those who got to spend time with her.

Although we didn't know Anne, we did know Deirdre. She could be a bit of a fearsome ratbag at times but she was OUR fearsome ratbag. For four decades we've settle down to peer upon her life and loves - the specs, the belts, the perm, the pinnies, the stuffed marrows. We loved Typist Deirdre, Shopgirl Deirdre, Councillor Deirdre and little old wine-drinking Deirdre. We listened to endless "Tracy luvs", "I didn't do it's" and "Wendy flaming Crozier". We laughed and cried with this wonderful creation and in time, we will shed a tear for her again.

Deirdre we knew and Anne we did not. Somehow it feels like that is how it should be.

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