Corrie's Thelma Barlow blasts soap for having ‘too much tragedy’

SHE’S one of the legends of Coronation Street, so Thelma Barlow having a dig at the soap will be a bitter pill for show bosses to swallow.

The actress, who was Weatherfield’s Mavis Riley for 26 years, says it is too complicated because they have to juggle so many characters and storylines.

Thelma also said Corrie, which celebrates its 60th anniversary later this year, now lacked the essential ingredient that made it a national institution — the ability to make us laugh.

She told the Distinct Nostalgia podcast: “The Street, when I was in it, had this wonderful thing of comedy, the comedy characters. It was held in such high regard when I was in it. And the warmth of the public was so noticeable.

“I don’t watch it regularly now. I occasionally will have a look but I don’t see much to laugh at now. I think it is a shame.

“We used to get scripts where you’d talk about nothing important, but they could be so real and so funny.”

Mavis used to deliver simple but hilarious scenes in Corrie’s shop, The Kabin, alongside her pal Rita, played by Barbara Knox.

But Thelma said: “They have so many more episodes and more and more storylines and more and more characters and you just get confused.

“There were only about 25 in the cast when I joined but now there are like 50, 60 or 70. So people have to keep track of their lives and what is happening to them.

“I am sure people would watch without the huge dramas that go on.

“I would think, ‘Who wants to buy a house on a street with so many murders?’”

She makes a good point — I hope the producers are listening . . . 

Crouch that hurts!

Abbey Clancy looks effortlessly stylish as she enjoys the heatwave – but she should be in hot water with husband Peter Crouch.

He endured having his eyebrow pierced, by his model wife on last weekend’s Save Our Summer, leaving him with a bloody, swollen forehead on the BBC1 show, which returns tomorrow.

I wonder what she’s got in store next for Peter . . . 

Tuff's in a twirl

When it comes to keeping busy in lockdown, cricket star Phil Tufnell hasn’t been stumped for something to do.

The former England spinner and A Question of Sport captain says his life was transformed by online shopping and daytime drinking.

Though the I’m A Celebrity star admits it wasn’t the healthiest way to spend his time.

He said: “My day used to revolve around what turned up from Amazon.

Tufnell Towers turned into Las Vegas, really. I was losing money left, right and centre.

“I was drinking cocktails at 10am and I did not know what day of the week it was. It was a little bit of a crazy old time but I abided by the rules and kept myself locked down.”

Don’t worry, Tuffers, being stuck at home has had us all indulging a bit more than we should.

They're pup to no good

New Channel 4 show Celebrity Snoop Dogs should look like a mix of Through The Keyhole and Crufts – but is often more like a disaster film.

The series, which starts tomorrow at 8.30pm, involves strapping cameras to the dogs, which are then meant to wander around their homes while viewers try to guess their famous owners.

Instead one dog attacked its owner’s designer wardrobe, another ate from bags of groceries and some tried to crush the camera equipment.

Two of the worst, branded the Mitchell Brothers, ate the film crew’s lunch.

Series director Jamie Wightman said: “As soon as we put cameras on their backs all rules they usually lived by went out the window.

“If they’re not causing chaos then they simply can’t be a**ed to do anything and just lie down and go to sleep.”

And I bet they still didn’t end up in the doghouse.


Ruth Langsford was “brutally” asked by a fellow panelist on Loose Women whether she or her co-presenter husband Eamonn Holmes would leave This Morning if they ever split up.

She just replied: “I was there first.”

Made In Chelsea’s Miles Nazaire and his pals will cycle for 24 hours today to raise money for Mind and NHS charities.

He said: “We want to put ourselves through mental and physical stress to support those struggling now.”

Vic back on song

The BBC has confirmed that Vicky McClure’s Dementia Choir is returning.

As I revealed last year when the first documentary aired, Beeb bosses were so impressed by the show they started talks with the production company, Curve Media, to create a spin-off straight away.

The new two-parter will see the Line Of Duty star reunited with some of the choir members as well as meeting new recruits.

Vicky will also be looking at new methods of treating dementia.

must watch

WHAT? The Other One, BBC1, 9pm.

WHY? Sisters Cat (Lauren Socha) and Cathy (Ellie White) are coming to terms with their dad’s death and decide to buy a memorial bench, causing problems.

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