TV Times talks to Sue Nicholls about why, unlike Coronation Street‘s Audrey, who turns 70 this week, she has no urge to retire just yet…
So you have just finished filming the end of the Audrey and Lewis storyline. How does it feel?
“It’s a bit of an anti-climax, but it has been lovely for me. I’ve worked with Nigel Havers and had some lovely scenes with Barbara Knox, who plays Rita, and Audrey’s family, which I haven’t done for ages.”
So you enjoyed the whole love angle?
“Yes. We’re not as pretty and as agile as the youngsters, but we’ve still got a bit to give. And, if we don’t drop dead, it can be quite interesting. I think it’s sweet that Audrey’s falling in love in the same way as you would at 20 and 30. There’s more lines on the face and body, but the mind’s still there, and older people can still have crushes. I wouldn’t like to do bed scenes any more though, thank you, and I think the kissing is best if it’s just nice, gentle kisses and hugs. I’ll leave the snogging to the youngsters.”
What have you really enjoyed about the relationship?
“It’s the story of finding someone that’s the interesting bit. Unless you got together with, say, a conman, once you settle down there’s not really anywhere to go. I have a lovely, happy marriage – when he takes the rubbish out. But God forbid if he ever left me for any reason, I don’t think at my age [Sue is 66] I would have the inclination or the energy to settle down again. But that’s what Audrey said, and along came Lewis.”
Have you ever thought about retiring?
“When I come through the gates of the studio, it’s like coming into a different world. And I think I’m a bit happier in my Weatherfield world, because I’ve only got to worry about Audrey. In the real world, when I have a free week, oh, I find it terribly exhausting and I can’t cope! Ringing the accountant, having a row with BT; you have to do all that. I would like to get in the car while I can still drive, and travel through France and Spain – places where I went to in my youth – but that can wait. I’m a bit of a romantic but, in reality, it’s trips to Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer for me.”
How has Audrey changed during her 21 years in Coronation Street?
“I think I’m nicer now, certainly since my time as Lady Mayoress, when she was a bit of a snob. I love Hyacinth Bouquet from Keeping up Appearances, but I don’t think Audrey is that type, and I think I played it wrong. But I think she’s got over that, although someone will probably read this and think she’s the biggest snob out there, and that will kill me!”
What do you think is in store for Audrey?
“It’s fantastic that the street is 50 years old, but I haven’t got a clue what’s in store for Audrey, and I don’t know whether that means it’s good or bad. So who knows, maybe you’ll find me in the salon, blown up behind a hairdryer?!”