Derek Jacobi says 'Corrie' only includes 'token oldies' as he laments move away from 'older generation'

Derek Jacobi thinks Coronation Street is 'lacking a texture' it once had. (zz/KGC-143/STAR MAX/IPx)

There aren't enough fleshed-out roles for older people on Coronation Street, according to Sir Derek Jacobi.

The acclaimed star of stage and screen, who has enjoyed a minor role in the programme, reckons the soap needs to go back to being "character driven".

He explained to The Times: “When it started, Corrie was all about the older generation – lovely Annie Walker behind the bar, Elsie Tanner, all of them.

Read more: Coronation Street’s Tilsley family reunites on Hollyoaks

“There are only token oldies in it now. And it lacks a texture that it had.

10th September 1970: Actress Doris Speed as Annie Walker and Betty Driver as Betty Turpin in the television series 'Coronation Street'. (Photo by John Madden/Keystone/Getty Images)

“It’s still good. I still watch it, but it’s not as rich as it was, not as layered as it was, and it’s very plot-driven whereas it used to be character-driven.”

He had a non-speaking role in the soap when he appeared as an extra back in 2012.

It had been a big career ambition for the veteran actor, having told the Daily Mail in 2007 that he "always wanted" to be in Coronation Street.

Coronation Street stars Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch; Doris Speed as Annie Walker; Jack Howarth as Albert Tatlock; Betty Driver as Betty Turpin (behind); Barbara Knox as Rita Littlewood; Anne Kirkbride as Deidre Hunt (behind), as Jean Alexander as Hilda Ogden; unidentified; Stephen Hancock as Ernest Bishop; as Geoffrey Hughes as Eddie Yeats; Violet Carson as Ena Sharples; Eileen Derbyshire as Emily Bishop; Margo Bryant as Minnie Caldwell; unidentified; Thelma Barlow as Mavis Riley; Bernard Youens as Stan Ogden; Neville Buswell as Ray Langdon; unidentified. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

His Vicious co-star Ian McKellan enjoyed a prominent role in the soap as Mel Hutchwright during May 2005 for a number of episodes.

He isn't the only actor who's been in the programme to critique the show for taking the limelight away from the older characters.

Back in 2017 Denise Welch claimed the show had become "obsessed with this youth thing". She had starred as Natalie Barnes on the long-running series between 1997 and 2000.

Coronation Street actress Denise Welch, who played Natalie Barnes (L) with actress Gabrielle Glaister, who played Debs Brownlow. (Photo by John Giles - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

She said: “When you watch Coronation Street, you talk to anybody - even the young people who do - and they don’t want to see everything about the young ones.

“They want the Helen Worths [Gail Platt] and the Sue Nicholls [Audrey Roberts] and Barbara Knox [Rita Sullivan].

“Those wonderful women bringing such humour and character it - it’s not just about [the young characters] and people do feel that.”

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