Saturday, 10 September 2016

Amanda Barrie on Alma, sexuality and dreaming of a Corrie return

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a wonderful interview with Amanda Barrie, who played the fab Alma Baldwin in Coronation Street, in the Daily Record.

In it, Amanda talks about coming out when she was in her 60s, and how she kept her sexuality a secret while she worked at Coronation Street for fear of her job.

She says: “I did my autobiography(*) when I came out of Corrie. I did it because I was being hounded by people asking about my sexuality, which had always been a confusion to me, never mind anyone else.

“I did the book because I thought, ‘I’m putting my side of how it is’. I wanted it off my chest. It had caused a tremendous amount of anxiety throughout all my life. I was so terrified about coming out because it’s more complicated than that.”

“If you did it now, nobody would even notice. But, at the time, nobody at Coronation Street – apart from my very close friends Helen Worth, Sue Nicholls and Barbara Knox – knew about me. I was terrified as there was an attitude then that certain people wouldn’t have worked with you. It was taboo. Now, it’s running thick with gay, camp people and gay women and gay men.”

Amanda joined Coronation Street as Alma Sedgewick in 1981. When she decided to leave after 20 years, Alma was killed off, quickly, with cervical cancer.

She went on to appear in ITV’s Bad Girls and BBC 1’s Holby City but says she still misses Weatherfield.

She said: “I’ve no regrets over leaving as I got offered a part in Bad Girls. But I have dream after dream where I’m back in it.”

Read the full interview here.

(*) Amanda Barrie's autobiography 'It's Not a Rehearsal' is a fantastic read, by far my favourite of all the Coronation Street actors' books I've ever read.

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