Monday, 21 February 2011

Renee Bradshaw - Not What She Seemed...

Renee Bradshaw (Madge Hindle) breezed into Coronation Street in 1976.

Her arrival was foreshadowed by her brother Terry (Bob Mason), who warned Ray Langton (Neville Buswell) that Renee would eat him on a cream cracker!

Bit of a tyrant, our Reen. Terry was clearly in awe of her.

She was clearly an astute businesswoman, ousting tenants Gail Potter (Helen Worth) and Tricia Hopkins (Kathy Jones) when she took over the Corner Shop, and announcing plans for an off-licence - which brought her into conflict with Rovers landlady Annie Walker (Doris Speed).

Renee was successful in her application for an off-licence, and settled down to run the shop and look after Terry.

She wasn't as bad as she was painted. In fact, quite soon, viewers grew to like Renee, famous for standing behind the Corner Shop counter and saying: "Yer what?!!" on hearing the latest daft spoutings of Eddie Yeats (Geoffrey Hughes) or the latest piece of hot gossip.

Terry left at the end of 1976, rebuffed by Gail Potter, a girl he harboured romantic notions about, and unable to find work in the area having been laid off by Fairclough and Langton.

Renee retained her excellent business sense, refusing to let Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) move into the Corner Shop flat when she couldn't afford the rent Renee was asking, but changing her mind when Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) secretly offered to subsidise Bet.

Having been dropped by her sailor boyfriend, Renee began seeing Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley) and a romance developed which ended in marriage in 1978.

Coronation Street producer Bill Podmore later described the marriage as "rather humdrum" - which it undoubtedly was, and so, in the summer of 1980, Renee and Alf seemed set to go off and run a sub-post office at Grange-Over-Sands.

Unfortunately, Renee was killed by a lorry when she, by then a learner driver, took the wheel of the car whilst out with Alf and managed to stall it.

Alf inherited the Corner Shop, and decided to stay on.

Madge Hindle said of the production team's early vision of Renee:

"I think they wanted somebody to be strong and argumentative like Ena Sharples. But unfortunately you can't do that in a shop because people won't come in."

And so Renee lost her fiesty side.

However, Madge Hindle, an accomplished actress, managed to invest the character with a likeable warmth and many viewers (including me) were sorry to see her go in 1980.

But not sorry to see the end of the Alf/Renee humdrum marriage.

But still, for me personally, the character of Renee, particularly in her Bradshaw days, remains a favourite Street memory.

1 comment:

  1. Renee is one of my earliest street memories - I've been watching since I 5 in 1979 and remember clearly loving the lady in the shop