Coronation Street star says she’d ‘have been fired’ from soap for coming out as bisexual

Corrie's Amanda Barrie said she would have been sacked if she had come out as a lesbian in the '80s

Coronation Street star Amanda Barrie thinks she would have been fired from the soap if she had come out during the 1980s.

The 86-year-old actress played Alma Halliwell on the soap for 20 years, leaving the role in 2001. She came out as bisexual at the age of 67 in her autobiography It’s Not a Rehearsal, in 2003

Speaking on the Conversation Street podcast, Amanda Barrie said she hid her sexuality on the show for fear that her colleagues would refuse to work with her.

She said: “I spent a fortune on solicitors because believe me if that had happened to me at that time they would not have kept me in Coronation Street and I will stand by that.

“Not because of them (the producers) but because of people, who shall be nameless, who would’ve said, ‘I’m not working with her’.”

The actress said she was stunned to find that Coronation Street has since featured queer storylines, and that the soap now features a gay club.

She said: “Now, I fall about, I said, ‘Bloody hell, are they opening a gay club in Coronation Street now?’

“What’s going on? How many are they? They’re all coming out. Why didn’t they come out when I was there? I good have had so many hooks if they’d come out.

“I was ahead of the game.”

Amanda Barrie came out as bisexual at the age of 67 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Amanda Barrie added on the podcast that she has kept a cobble from the famous street as a piece of memorabilia from her time on the show, which she still watches “religiously”.

She said: I was always wanting a bit of Coronation Street memorabilia.

“When Bill Roache had his trial that was in London I went to get a car late at night after we’d been filming, they’d taken me down in a car, and Vinnie the prop man said, ‘There’s a present for you. It’s under a tea cloth in the car.’

“And I got into the car and it was a cobble. It was because they’d been putting a ramp in for disabled people and went they put them back they couldn’t fit it in, so there was one spare cobble and I’ve got it.

“I don’t know how many people have got cobbles from Coronation Street, but I’ve got one.”

Barrie married her partner, crime novelist Hilary Bonner, in 2014, just months after same-sex marriage was legalised in the UK.

PinkNews contacted ITV for comment.