Thursday, 30 September 2010

Doris Speed On Annie Walker

Here's Doris Speed as Annie Walker, photographed way back in the Street's early days in the 1960s. Note how the Corner Shop is next door to the Snug at The Rovers in the studio!

Doris Speed was not Annie really, she was possessed of a wonderful wit and often told stories against herself.

And she was clear sighted when it came to Annie.

Speaking about Mrs Walker in the late 1960s, Doris said:

"I don't think Annie is really horrid. She's a silly, pretentious woman, and her silliness is amusing. Her judgement is wrong on almost everything, but she is not an unkind person."

Annie is the Number One favourite Coronation Street character of all time for this blogger! Whenever she appeared, I always knew I was in for a treat - another crash course in bitchery, or comic complications as Madam was brought down a peg or two.

And occasionally the character could move me to tears.

I recall Mrs Walker being visited by her cousin Edwin Beaumont in 1977. A real, live Beaumont of Clitheroe in the Street! The residents, who had heard so much about Annie's wonderful family over the years, were agog.

As it turned out, Edwin lied to Annie about his financial circumstances and borrowed money from several of Annie's friends and customers, money he was unable to pay back.

Annie was devastated, but she hid the facts from the other residents, made sure that the money was repaid, then saw Edwin off from The Rovers, telling him that she had a name to keep up - a very good name.

And she didn't mean the Beaumont name, which she had so often bragged about.

She meant the Walker name.

The end credits rolled with Annie staring at photographs of her beloved husband Jack and son Billy on the mantelpiece in her living room.

And I wept.

Doris was a brilliant actress.

And, through Annie, she made us laugh, made us fume at the character's bitchery and snobbery, and made us care.

1 comment:

  1. Doris was a great actress and I had the pleasure of working with her on Coronation Street in the 60's. I was very young just starting out in the business and she was so kind to me will never forget her.