Corrie stars gather for Betty Driver's funeral

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Betty Driver

Betty Driver

Helen Worth, Bill Tarmey and Bill Roache were among the past and present stars of 'Coronation Street' who paid tribute to late actress Betty Driver at her funeral in Manchester yesterday (22.10.11).

Coronation Street's great and good gathered together for Betty Driver's funeral yesterday (22.10.11).

After the 91-year-old TV legend - who played hotpot-loving Betty Williams in the ITV1 soap - passed away peacefully last weekend, the likes of Bill Roache (Ken Barlow), Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) and Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch) packed into Manchester's St. Ann's Church to pay their respects to the star.

Helen Worth - who plays Gail McIntyre in 'Corrie' - led a series of emotional tributes to the late actress, paying reference to her alter-ego's infamous hotpot dish.

She said: "The world was a more comfortable place with Our Betty cooking a hotpot. 'Corrie' was her family. I know I speak for the whole cast, crew, production, everyone. The Rovers will not be the same without her.

"Her last words to me, when she was so ill and it was such an effort for her to speak, were, 'I want you to be happy'."

Julie Goodyear added: "We laughed together, we cried together, we never once had a cross word. She was a true icon and legend and a very dear friend.

"It was an honour and a privilege to work with Betty Driver for 25 years."

At Betty's request, a big screen was erected outside the church so fans of the ITV1 soap - which the actress starred in for 42 years - could watch the ceremony taking place.

Conducted by Rev Nigel Ashworth, of St. Ann's, and by one of the star's long-standing friends, the Rev Lister Tonge, Betty requested the funeral take place on a Saturday so everyone at 'Coronation Street' and Granada Studios could attend.

Also in attendance were Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre), Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts), Katherine Kelly (Becky McDonald), Samia Smith (Maria Connor) and Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster), who made his first public appearance since his recent arrest on suspicion of sex offences, which he denies.

Following the ceremony, Bill Tarmey said: "She was there. You could fell her presence."

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