Coronation Street characters Gail Platt (Helen Worth), Ken Barlow (Bill Roache) and Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) were seen in funeral scenes in Manchester on Wednesday, sparking speculation that Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) has died.
Audrey is not only mother to Gail, but shares a close friendship with Ken and has had a long-term rivalry with ‘best frenemy’ Claudia, who recently returned after an 18 month break – could the death of an old friend have drawn her back to the cobbles?
Also shooting funeral scenes mid-week were Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank), Gavin Moss (Gareth Pierce), George Shuttleworth (Tony Maudsley) and Mary Taylor (Patti Clare). Priest Billy was wearing a clerical collar, while Gavin and George were dressed in smart black suits and sunglasses.
Speculation: Coronation Street stars Gail Platt, Ken Barlow and Claudia Colby were seen filming funeral scenes in Manchester on Wednesday, sparking speculation that Audrey Roberts has died
Smart: Ken was also dressed in smart funeral attire consisting of a crisp shirt, suit bottoms, a tie and sunglasses
Ken was also dressed in smart funeral attire consisting of a crisp shirt, suit bottoms, a tie and sunglasses, while Mary filmed scenes in both a floaty khaki dress and a long white frock.
Arriving for a day of filming in jeans and a plaid shirt, Helen was sporting a face mask and carrying a large shopping bag before getting into character.
Standing next to former flame Ken on a doorstep, Claudia appeared to be wearing pyjamas and beamed from ear to ear between scenes, suggesting Rula was delighted to be filming again after such a long break.
It was announced last month that Claudia would return to the soap, and viewers last saw her in action in April 2020 when the loud and cheerful redhead decided to stay at Stillwaters’ retirement village despite Ken returning back to Weatherfield.
Downcast: Gail appeared downcast with her arms folded across her chest
Arrival: Arriving for a day of filming in jeans and a plaid shirt, Helen was sporting a face mask and carrying a large shopping bag before getting into character
Beaming: Standing next to former flame Ken on a doorstep, Claudia appeared to be wearing pyjamas and beamed from ear to ear between scenes
Return: It was announced last month that Claudia would return to the soap, and viewers last saw her in action in April 2020
It comes after the cast and crew of Coronation Street and Emmerdale were warned to stick to precautions amid an ‘alarming number’ of Covid cases on both shows.
In July, Corrie returned to location filming for the first time in 14 months.
Masks were worn between takes and social distancing was observed, and cast members had to do their own make-up.
Dapper: Long-time Corrie favourite Ken looked dapper on set in the middle of the week
Change of outfit: When actor Bill Roache arrived on the Manchester set he was wearing casual trousers and trainers
Decisions: In April, Claudia decided to stay at Stillwaters’ retirement village despite Ken returning back to Weatherfield
Bosses halted filming on both shows for two weeks in January ‘as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic’.
They made the decision to stop shooting on Corrie so the cast and crew could have a short break due to the pressures of filming during the coronavirus crisis.
ITV bosses suspended filming on Emmerdale after a production team member contracted COVID-19.
Cast: Also shooting funeral scenes mid-week was Billy Mayhew who was wearing his priest’s collar
Head to toe: George Shuttleworth was also dressed smartly from head to toe
Smart: Gavin Moss looked smart as he strolled around set wearing a pinstripe suit
An ITV spokesperson told MailOnline at the time: ‘Coronation Street will pause filming from next Monday, 25 January for two weeks to undertake some rewriting of stories and scripts as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We will also be taking the opportunity to review all health and safety requirements to ensure we continue to provide a safe working environment for the cast, crew and production team.
‘This pause in filming won’t affect our ability to deliver six episodes of Coronation Street each week.’
Floaty: Mary Taylor was first seen on set wearing a floaty khaki dress
Quick change: The character then filmed scenes in a white, shin-skimming frock
Sandals: Mary teamed her dress with open-toe sandals and wore her hair up