Belfast Telegraph

Corrie stars swap Street for Palace

Coronation Street stalwarts Barbara Knox and Eileen Derbyshire praised the enduring appeal of the popular soap as they were made MBEs by the Queen.

The actresses have notched up almost 100 years of combined service on the Street playing characters that have endeared themselves to millions of viewers since they first joined the cast in the 1960s.

Barbara, 77, is best known to viewers as flame-haired stalwart of The Kabin, Rita Sullivan, while co-star Eileen, 79, has played one of TV's most enduring figures, having first appeared as Emily Bishop nearly half a century ago.

Speaking after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, the Barbara said: "It's very overwhelming quite honestly because it's something I've done all my life and loved and suddenly I've got an honour.

"I suppose we do give a service, so many millions love the programme, so there you are - it's still very surprising."

Asked whether the Queen is a fan of the soap, Barbara replied: "I'm rather led to believe she does watch when she has time and she has visited the Street so she does know about it."

Both actresses praised fellow cast members and the work of those behind the scenes from the director and writers to make-up artists for making the long-running series a success.

Barbara said: "They are a great team of actors and they are portraying marvellous people with great humour. We have marvellous storylines, very strong ones, and we have hit a nerve with the nation for almost 50 years and that's pretty special for a programme to do that.

"Australia, New Zealand, Canada, all these places adore the Street so we must be doing something right."

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