Sue Nicholls refused to let bosses give Audrey an elder loneliness plot in Coronation Street.
The Audrey Roberts actress revealed last year at a press day how she had clashed with bosses who wanted Audrey to become lonely and sit at home drinking to cope.
Sue said: “There was something pitched to me that maybe Audrey could have a storyline where she was seen at home on her own drinking a lot, and Gail and the family would worry and ask if she was lonely.
“I said I didn’t agree, and asked: ‘Why do you think someone of a certain age who gets home after work is lonely and needs to drink? Not necessarily.’
“To be honest, I can’t wait to get home and plonk on the sofa and pour the rosé, but not because I’m depressed – because I think ‘How wonderful, everyone else has gone!’
“So I tried to pitch it back to them that I didn’t want to play a drunk, forlorn little thing.”
Soap fans have been reminded of the storyline after it was revealed Rita Sullivan will be left for dead after suffering an accident alone.
The former newsagent has become socially isolated of late and will soon be left trapped under her own Christmas tree for days, with no-one to help her.
However the storyline has come under fire from fans who have pointed out Rita is unlikely to ever have been left alone or friendless.
One wrote on Digital Spy Forums: “It’s a good idea and very relevant but Rita has family and loads of friends very close by. In reality she’s always welcome at Jenny’s or Gemma’s. And plenty of friends would not see her sitting alone on Christmas Day either.”
A second added: “This storyline has had about as big a build-up as Sean’s homelessness.
“Let’s turn Rita, with her surrogate daughters on the same street, and her friends nearby, into a poor lonely old woman.
“It happened so suddenly. It’s issue-based, like Sean’s story, and seems very jarring and not very believable: the issue came first, then the character.”
A third said: “Exactly that, Rita is never short of people to talk with, she is never out of Rovers, works in the shop, has plenty of young people around her. Just Corrie ticking another box for raising an issue.”
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