Coronation Street veteran Betty Driver has spoken of the loveless childhood she had which led to her becoming a “meal ticket” for the rest of her family.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs the 90-year-old – who has played Betty Williams in the soap for more than four decades – said her early years were spent without presents, kisses or parental affection.
And she confessed in the emotional interview that her mother’s behaviour towards her led her to have a nervous breakdown in her mid-20s.
Betty told presenter Kirsty Young that she and her sister Freda had a “sad little life”.
“We never got a kiss. We never got a present, nothing. My mother was so strong that my dad just gave up. He was a sweet person but he just gave up,” she said.
“She was so domineering there was nothing you could do about it. It was a very, very sad little life, me and my sister, you know.”
Betty added that she had been pushed into a stage career by her mother, and was considering giving up her performing career when she won the part in Coronation Street.
And she also confessed that unlike her onscreen alter ego, she is unable to cook hotpot – which has become Betty’s signature dish on the show.
“No, I’m dreadful – I’m a terrible cook,” she said. “I’m rubbish in the kitchen.”