Maureen Lipman becomes Coronation Street’s first dame

Actress Maureen Lipman has become the first dame of Coronation Street, after receiving the honour from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle. She is the first serving actor in the ITV soap’s 60-year history to receive a damehood or a knighthood.

She has played Evelyn Plummer since 2018, part of a career spanning more than 50 years. She said that she raided the programme’s wardrobe department to find a hat to wear to the investiture ceremony.

Speaking later, she said she “never expected” to receive such an honour.

“It’s been a long time coming because I heard about it in 2020 and then I couldn’t collect it,” she said. “And so the coat you bought becomes like something you don’t want to wear.

“Then it becomes, ‘What the heck do I wear on my head?’, and then in the end I went to Coronation Street and I said, ‘Have you got any fascinators in wardrobe?’, and they gave me seven.

“I travelled back from Manchester with seven hats and on Tuesday I had friends round and they said, ‘Wear that, no that, not that.’

The 75-year-old star has been made a dame commander for services to charity, entertainment and the arts.

She has also appeared in films including Educating Rita and The Pianist, and on stage at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Dame Maureen’s CV ranges from a memorable turn in a BT advert to TV comedies like Agony, About Face and Bull.

Speaking when the honour was awarded last year, the actress spoke about how her family were welcomed to the UK after fleeing persecution in Russia. “I am proud to be honoured by the Queen and country that I love, for doing the work that I love,” she said.

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