Amanda Barrie believes she'd have been fired from Coronation Street if she came out
Amanda Barrie believes she'd have been sacked from 'Coronation Street' if she'd spoken publicly about her sexuality.
The 86-year-old actress - who portrayed Alma Baldwin from 1981 to 1982 before returning in 1988 until she was killed off in 2001 - "spend a fortune" trying to keep stories about her relationships with women under wraps because she believed some of her co-stars would have refused to work with her if she'd directly addressed speculation about her personal life.
Speaking on the 'Conversation Street' podcast, she said: “Every week I would come up to the office. They’d go, ‘You’re coming out.’ ‘Am I?’
‘Yeah, they’ve got this thing on you.’
“I spent a fortune on solicitors because believe me if that had happened to me at that time they would not have kept me in 'Coronation Street' and I will stand by that.
“Not because of them [the producers] but because of people, who shall be nameless, who would’ve said, ‘I’m not working with her.’ "
And Amanda thinks she was "ahead of the game" because of the range of gay characters and storylines on the show now.
She added: “Now, I fall about, I said, ‘Bloody hell, are they opening a gay club in Coronation Street now?’
“What’s going on? How many are they? They’re all coming out. Why didn’t they come out when I was there? I good have had so many hooks if they’d come out.
“I was ahead of the game.”
The veteran actress may have left the soap more than 20 years ago, but she's still a big fan.
She said: “I watch it religiously. I’ll just catch up with the family.”
And Amanda treasures a very rare souvenir she has from the show - one of the famous cobbles.
She explained: “I was always wanting a bit of Coronation Street memorabilia.
"When Bill Roache had his trial that was in London I went to get a car late at night after we’d been filming, they’d taken me down in a car, and Vinnie the prop man said, ‘There’s a present for you. It’s under a tea cloth in the car.’
"And I got into the car and it was a cobble. It was because they’d been putting a ramp in for disabled people and went they put them back they couldn’t fit it in so there was one spare cobble and I’ve got it. I don’t know how many people have got cobbles from 'Coronation Street' but I’ve got one and I can actually tell you exactly where it came from, from outside the corner shop.”