Tributes paid to Coronation Street star Betty Driver

This Is Lancashire: TRIBUTES Betty Driver TRIBUTES Betty Driver

East Lancashire Coronation Street actors have paid tribute to co-star Betty Driver who died today at the age of 91.

An ITV spokesman said she "died peacefully in hospital" in the early hours of this morning.

She had played the role of Rovers Return barmaid Betty Williams (Turpin) in the soap for 42 years.

The actress had been in hospital for six weeks. She had also been unwell earlier in the year and was treated for a chest infection in 2010.

Driver had originally auditioned for the role of Hilda Ogden in 1964 after a 36-year-career in radio, television and the stage.

She was then persuaded to come out of retirement in 1969 to audition for the role of Betty instead.

Her character became known for her famous hotpot - but Driver herself never tasted the dish as she did not eat meat.

Driver appeared in more than 2,800 episodes of Coronation Street and was made an MBE in the Millennium New Year's Honours list.

Edenfield-born Antony Cotton, whose character Sean Tully also worked behind the bar at the Rovers, said: "Today is a very sad day.

"I am devastated. We've lost our Betty.

"She was one of the funniest people I've ever met and definitely the kindest.

"I will miss her so much. Her star shone bright and long. Sweet dreams, Duck."

Accrington-born Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays transsexual Hayley Cropper, said: "Farewell to our Betty.

"They don't make them like you any more. Feel so lucky to have known you."

Former Rossendale resident William Roache, who has portrayed Ken Barlow since the soap began, said: "I loved Betty dearly, she was not only a colleague, she was a friend and godmother to my son James.

"She will be missed in the Street but she will be missed more so as a warm and loving person."

Haslingden's Jennie McAlpine, aka Fiz Stape, referred to Betty's sister in her tribute.

She said: "She is sat drinking a cuppa with Freda and having a long-overdue catch up."

Former Coronation Street Vicky Entwistle, who lives in the Ribble Valley and played Janice Battersby in the soap, said: "I send you a tender kiss and huge cuddle Miss Driver!

"Amazing, talented lady with an enormous heart."

Last year, when the soap celebrated its 50th anniversary, Driver insisted she would never retire from the show.

She said at the time: "I love working. I can't retire, I won't retire - I never ever will."

An ITV spokesman said: "She will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her."

Comments (8)

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2:49pm Sat 15 Oct 11

QuarryGang78 says...

Good innings. Well done Betty and thankyou for all the entertainment you have graced us with. Big thanks
from the funnyfarm.
Good innings. Well done Betty and thankyou for all the entertainment you have graced us with. Big thanks from the funnyfarm. QuarryGang78
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Sat 15 Oct 11

district01 says...

I never watch Coronation Street . . .
. . . but never miss an episode! So many people say they never watch it yet they do. Thanks Betty, would have liked your telly hotpot!

A job well done - A big thanks!
I never watch Coronation Street . . . . . . but never miss an episode! So many people say they never watch it yet they do. Thanks Betty, would have liked your telly hotpot! A job well done - A big thanks! district01
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Sat 15 Oct 11

NUMBER5 says...

RIP Betty. Will miss seeing you on our screens. Can't believe you were 91, you looked fabulous! xxx Sleep well and keep them hotpots coming :-)
RIP Betty. Will miss seeing you on our screens. Can't believe you were 91, you looked fabulous! xxx Sleep well and keep them hotpots coming :-) NUMBER5
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Sat 15 Oct 11

madari says...

Madari the snake charmer says:

RIP betty, will defo miss seeing you on our screens.
Madari the snake charmer says: RIP betty, will defo miss seeing you on our screens. madari
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Sat 15 Oct 11

SolsburyHill says...

R.I.P. Betty, you was an example along with alot of your your generation, manners, respect, and a Proud Brit, something that we seem to be losing very fast.
God bless you
R.I.P. Betty, you was an example along with alot of your your generation, manners, respect, and a Proud Brit, something that we seem to be losing very fast. God bless you SolsburyHill
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Sat 15 Oct 11

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

What can I say, much loved and will be only remembered in a very fond way, thanks Betty you did it your way and we all loved it x
What can I say, much loved and will be only remembered in a very fond way, thanks Betty you did it your way and we all loved it x Michael@ClitheroeSince58
  • Score: 0

12:50am Sun 16 Oct 11

useyourhead says...

goodbye to someone who has spent more time in our home than most of the family :) R.I.P
goodbye to someone who has spent more time in our home than most of the family :) R.I.P useyourhead
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sun 16 Oct 11

gudari says...

district01 wrote:
I never watch Coronation Street . . .
. . . but never miss an episode! So many people say they never watch it yet they do. Thanks Betty, would have liked your telly hotpot!

A job well done - A big thanks!
I never watch Coronation St. Sorry to see this lady go though. I'm sure she will be missed by those who knew her and those who were entertained by her.
[quote][p][bold]district01[/bold] wrote: I never watch Coronation Street . . . . . . but never miss an episode! So many people say they never watch it yet they do. Thanks Betty, would have liked your telly hotpot! A job well done - A big thanks![/p][/quote]I never watch Coronation St. Sorry to see this lady go though. I'm sure she will be missed by those who knew her and those who were entertained by her. gudari
  • Score: 0

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