The Coronation Street storyline so ‘outrageous’ it saw the Prime Minister ‘step in’ | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

It’s been 25-years since one of the most controversial TV soap plots of all time caused outrage on a national level. Now considered one of the greatest storylines ever, it sparked a national campaign and even saw Prime Minister Tony Blair step in.

For Corrie fans too young to remember, we’re referring to the 1998 plotline that saw soap favourite, Dierdre Barlow, jailed for a crime she did not commit. A stalwart of the cobbles, Deirdre had been played by Anne Kirkbride, who died in 2015, since 1972.

Originally Deirdre Hunt, the character first appeared as a one-off character in a 1972 episode of Corrie. But producers and writers were convinced that the then 17-year-old had some longevity and Deirdre was brought back as a regular in 1973.

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Deirdre became synonymous with her overly large, plastic frame specs, which became something of a trademark. She was a hopeless romantic who was always looking for love but never finding it in the right places.

Deirdre was a Coronation Street regular for more than 30 years, with Kirkbride bowing out of the soap in 2014, and in that time she was betrayed by a myriad of partners. Her first main storyline, in 1974, saw the young Deirdre engaged to Billy Walker – who called off the wedding and left to run a wine bar in Jersey.

She later married Ray Langton, a relationship which ended in divorce, before moving onto Ken Barlow. In 1981, more than 24m viewers watched Deirdre and Ken tie the knot, with the fictional nuptials generating higher ratings for ITV than the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

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