Entertainment & Arts

Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden on 'marvellous' Betty Driver

Jean Alexander (left) and Betty Driver
Image caption Jean Alexander (left) and Betty Driver worked on Coronation Street together for 18 years

"She was such fun to work with," recalls Jean Alexander, who played Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden, of her former co-star Betty Driver, who has died at the age of 91.

Driver was one of the soap's best-loved and longest-serving stars. Here, Miss Alexander remembers the actress, with whom she worked for 18 years.

"Betty was great fun. She came a few years after I joined and we became great friends. She'd always got a giggle in her voice. A great sense of humour.

"She was marvellous to work with. Professional to the fingertips. Absolutely. She knew every word, she never fluffed a line, she never let anybody down, she was absolutely brilliant.

"She only had to look at me and say: 'Now then Hilda,' and I would be off in fits. She creased me when we had scenes together. I could hardly do the scene for laughing. She had the mobile facial expressions, which said everything. She didn't need to say anything sometimes. You could tell by her face what the character was thinking.

Image caption Driver made her last appearance in the soap earlier this year

"Every time I had scenes with Betty we had a load of fun and the giggles, and you don't get that all the time when you're working in this business.

"We didn't have any big storylines together - the only time I saw Betty was in the pub, as a rule. Hilda was a cleaner in the pub so I saw Betty quite a lot in there but I don't think we met anywhere else.

"We kept in touch by the phone. When I was in it, we went into Granada every day and did rehearsals. But they don't do that now. They might be somewhere else on location, or they may be in the studio doing half a dozen different scenes, so it's impossible to go and see people. So I didn't see Betty much once the format changed.

"She was a lovely person. I shall miss her very much. We worked well together for a long time. She'll be very much missed by quite a lot of people, not just for the work but for the friendships."

Jean Alexander was speaking to BBC News entertainment reporter Ian Youngs.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites