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Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts, Corrie)

By
Audrey Roberts from Coronation Street

© ITV

Coronation Street legend Sue Nicholls rightly returns to the fore of the ITV soap over the coming weeks and months as her screen daughter is imprisoned on suspicion of murder, before taking her character Audrey's relationship with Lewis to the next level. Concerned that Gail's withholding information about Joe's death, Audrey visits Gail in prison with David but rather than allay her fears of a long stretch behind bars, she inadvertently gives the impression that she believes she's guilty. Here, we chat to Sue about Audrey's involvement in Gail's story and her three decades on the show.

You've been with Corrie for nearly 30 years now - can you believe you're still there?
"No I can't! It's jolly nice, too - it's the best job to have, especially in this day and age when there are no jobs anyway. Everybody wants to be in it so it must have something going for it! I've been so lucky and if I think back over the years all the people have been lovely and the stories have been hot. Being with Amanda Barrie was lovely, and of course Brian Mosley who sadly died - and it's thanks to Brian or whoever - if they hadn't married Audrey off to Alf, who knows I might just have been another tart with a heart passing through."

And Audrey doesn't even live on the Street...
"I'm Grassmere Drive, love! A lovely big detached and there's plenty of room - there's always a bed for you there, Kris! I love having the salon and of course I have the family there but I do love my salon. I know I only have about two old age pensioners a week - how I pay the rates I don't know - but I love that because I love the girls that work there and Jack (David Platt) of course. And I have my family - or I had the family - down the road in the Street so it's lucky for me - I've got lots of storylines going."

Does Audrey believe that Gail's innocent in Joe's death?
"Yes she does. She doesn't believe in any way that she killed him but what she does feel is that the whole story hasn't come out. The death happened in some way that Gail knows about. There's a bit of the story that hasn't been told and she feels Gail knows but isn't saying. That's where the confrontation in the waiting room stems from. Never, even when I was doing the scene, did I think she was saying, 'Did you kill him?' I think she said, 'There's something wrong - there's a jigsaw piece missing'. I think what she was implying was, 'Did he hit you? Did he attack you and fall over and hit his head?' which is vaguely what happened, but of course Gail thinks she's saying, 'You killed him!' - she wasn't at all but it does come out like that. My big mouth again! [After that] I'm banished from the prison and off I go. Then other things overcome it in the story and I think it happens with Lewis and Nick. I'm sad because it wasn't what I meant at all and I can't go back. David is right off me and blames me for upsetting his mother."

How does David react to Audrey's suspicions? At the first sign of weakness he attacks...
"Yes, he does. To be honest I can't remember. I know that he blames me and I think Nick as well. There's a bit of a to-do there. It did upset Audrey and David, suddenly his mother's little helper here and almost grown up in many respects. He goes right against his gran which doesn't help matters because she does care from him. She was the only one to understand him in the past and has given him second chances. The only time I would have hit my daughter was when she always gave in to David and said he couldn't help it - of course he could help it! But that's a good story, isn't it?"

Are you surprised at his reaction, considering Audrey's almost always stood by him?
"Yes, that's certainly not the David we know. He came in and said, 'What have you done to mother?' In the story we don't know how much David was involved. We didn't know they'd both got this story going until it's all come out. That's why it's all a bit dubious in Audrey's head because up until when Gail blurted out to the police that she was on the boat, Audrey and Nick didn't know that. They'd been given the story that he's gone off to do work somewhere. That's why they now doubt it - the story, to begin with, was total fabrication so what's the real story? They're within their rights to try and get to the bottom of it. He banished me from the family but it all works out in the end!"

You and Jack work so well together...
"I do love him - he's a splendid actor and I do love having scenes with him. I hope he does with me. We do laugh a lot despite everything. I'm always saying, 'Oh, David!' a bit like Posh Spice! I like the relationship we have. I have met people who have a better relationship with grandparents, in a funny way. I know that sounds a bit strange but sometimes people who are difficult have more of a contact with another generation. David and Gail have never really connected until now."

What was your reaction when you found out David was going to start supporting his mother?
"Well, I'm still a bit stunned both as Audrey and as Sue Nicholls. It's a good swap-around. Nobody would have thought of it. I'm surprised both as a viewer and his grandma."

> Click here to read more from Sue Nicholls in Soap Scoop

Additional reporting by Philippa Warr. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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