Anne Kirkbride promised job for life on Coronation Street
Anne Kirkbride has been promised a job for life as Deirdre Barlow on 'Coronation Street' after producers saw how "upset" she was following co-star Bill Roache's arrest
Anne Kirkbride has been promised a job for life on 'Coronation Street'.
The 58-year-old actress - who plays Deirdre Barlow - has been re-assured by the soap's bosses after her co-star and on-screen husband Bill Roache's arrest for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl into sex in 1987 left her shaken and tearful.
Stuart Blackburn, the ITV show's new executive producer, is quoted by The Sun newspaper as telling her: "You are here for as long as you want to be."
A source added: "Anne is a sensitive person and she was incredibly upset when Bill was arrested.
"They are very close and have known each other for more than 40 years. Losing him as a friend and an ally on set really shook her up."
Stuart has big plans to make Anne a Weatherfield legend like her on-screen mother Blanche Hunt, played by the late Maggie Jones, who passed away in 2009.
The source added: "They are a caring bunch at 'Corrie' so Stuart and the rest of the senior guys decided to let her know just how highly they think of her. She has been told that she is crucial to the future of the show and to completely forget any doubts and worries she may have had.
"As far as they are concerned she has a job for life and will only leave when she feels it's the right time to move on. They have said she can grow old on set and eventually become a younger, funnier version of Blanche.
"Deirdre's been given great one-liners in recent weeks and the plan is to make her just like acid-tongued Blanche over the next decade. It's great news for all concerned."