Julie Goodyear and Bill Roache pay emotional tributes to former Coronation Street co-star Jean Alexander


Ex-Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear has paid tribute to her former co-star Jean Alexander who has died aged 90.

Julie, who starred as Rovers Return landlady Bet Lynch, said Jean was "an absolute joy to play scenes with".

Jean Alexander

She added that Jean, who played the much-loved Hilda Ogden between 1964 and 1987 "was the exact opposite of the character she played".

"This proves what an amazing actress she was.

"Jean was a very private person and meticulous in her work. She really was a perfectionist and always word-perfect.

"Rest in Peace, Jean. Hilda will be remembered forever as one of the best characters in Coronation Street."

Alexander and Helen Worth

Bill Roache, who has played Ken Barlow in the soap since its first episode in 1960, described working with Alexander as "wonderful", adding that she "created one of the most iconic Coronation Street characters".

"She could make you laugh, particularly with Hilda's comedy singing, but she could also deliver incredibly moving performances and make you cry."

Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, lodged with Hilda with his on-screen wife Sally (Sally Dynevor) after arriving in Weatherfield in 1986. He said starring alongside Jean was his "proudest and most exciting moment on the show".

He said she was always first to "make a new arrival feel welcome".

Jean Alexander

Michael added: "She was an all-round lovely lady and such a talent. I will never forget the scenes I had with her and what she taught me.

"She was also great fun. We used to watch snooker in the green room with her as she loved snooker."

Coronation Street
(Toby Melville/PA)

Sally said: "Michael and I loved her and any scenes we did with her we always wanted to do our very best.

"Hilda will always be my favourite Corrie character."

Liverpool-born Jean won the nation's heart with her turn as the pinny-wearing, sharp-tongued cleaning lady who was rarely seen without a set of tightly-wound hair curlers.

She died in hospital on Friday three days after her 90th birthday.