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Maureen Lipman, 71, who plays Evelyn Plummer in Coronation Street, spoke candidly about her most recent role in an online revival of Martin Sherman’s one-woman play, Rose. The digital production tells the story of one woman’s recollection from Nazi-ruled Europe and her battle for survival.
Maureen also discussed her time working on the BT adverts, which first aired around the time of her role in a 1982 stage production of Sherman’s Messiah.
The Coronation Street star admitted she had a “hissy fit” because she felt she had been “stereotyped” following the BT commercials.
Maureen starred as a doting Jewish grandmother Beattie Bellman, chatting to her grandson Anthony who has just failed all his exams, except pottery and sociology.
“You get an ology and you’re a scientist,” Beattie replies.
The advertisements became widely talked about during the early part of her career but Maureen was soon worried about being typecast.
“Me and [Martin Sherman] had just done this play together called Messiah and I was too young for [Rose] then,” Maureen explained.
“I was also going through a slightly hissy fit – as I do – about BT and the commercials.”
She added: “I felt as if I was being stereotyped for the first time in my career rightly or wrongly. I was having a hissy fit.”
Maureen went on to explain that because of this, she didn’t believe she would have been ready to play the character of Rose all those years ago.
“And so, in the pattern of destiny it was right that I didn’t do [Rose] then, because I would have been straining through it,” the actress remarked.
Maureen reprised her role as Beattie in a surprise comeback last year in a clip criticising the Labour Party.
The advert was produced by Mainstream, a campaign led by former MP Ian Austin.
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In the video, she claims to have been a lifelong Labour supporter but brands the party “extremists, not socialists” before urging viewers not to vote for the party.
A new generation that knows nothing of Beattie is now loving Maureen on Corrie.
She returned to Weatherfield in 2018, having appeared in the guest role of Lillian Spencer in 2002.
The small-screen star opened up about the soap’s 60th year anniversary, which is fast approaching.
“Coronation Street is bigger than any of the actors in it,” Maureen commented.
“Next year, it will be its 60th birthday and we’re doing a deserved 1000th episode.”
She added: “And Jack [Rosenthal] – my husband – wrote episode 13 before I ever knew him.”
Maureen’s late husband Jack – who died from cancer in 2004 – was a former writer for Coronation Street.
Coronation Street continues tonight at 7.30pm on ITV.
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