Amanda Barrie: I'd have been sacked for coming out while in Coronation Street

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Watch: Corrie's Amanda Barrie says she had to keep her sexuality secret to keep her soap role

Coronation Street star Amanda Barrie has said she believes bosses would have sacked her if she had come out while she was starring in the soap.

The 86-year-old actor starred as businesswoman Alma Baldwin in the ITV show from 1981 to 2001. She came out as bisexual in 2002 and married her long-term partner Hilary Bonner in 2014.

Barrie told the Conversation Street podcast: "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.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Amanda Barrie during the Celebrity Big Brother eviction at Elstree Studios on January 30, 2018 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Amanda Barrie believes soap bosses would hvae sacked her if she had come out. (Getty Images)

"Not because of them [the producers] but because of people, who shall be nameless, who would've said, 'I’m not working with her.'"

Read more: Amanda Barrie was 'asked to take Prince Charles' virginity'

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 could have had so many hooks if they’d come out.

Amanda Barrie married partner Hilary Bonner in 2014. (Getty Images)
Amanda Barrie married partner Hilary Bonner in 2014. (Getty Images)

"I was ahead of the game."

Barrie — who also appeared in the Carry On movies and took part in Celebrity Big Brother in 2018 — married theatre director and actor Robin Hunter in 1967, but they separated in the mid-1980s and never divorced before his death in 2004.

She came out as bisexual in her autobiography It's Not A Rehearsal, published in 2002.

Barrie's character Alma was famous in the cobbles for her fiery relationship with Mike Baldwin, played by the late Johnny Briggs. She died or cervical cancer in 2001.

Coronation Street - Christmas Photocall. Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin), Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin) and William Roache (Ken Barlow), 19th December 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Amanda Barrie as Corrie's Alma Baldwin with co-stars Johnny Briggs and Bill Roache. (Getty Images)

She confessed she still watched the soap 21 years after leaving.

Read more: Coronation Street to air hour-long episodes as ITV launches soap battle with EastEnders

Barrie said: "I watch it religiously. I’ll just catch up with the family."

Watch: Sally Caman reveals how Corrie co-star Joe Duttine proposed to her

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