The actress Betty Driver, best known for her role as the Rovers Return's longest-serving barmaid, died peacefully in hospital yesterday. Driver, aged 91, played Betty Turpin in Coronation Street for 42 years, appearing in more than 2,800 episodes of the soap.
Before turning to acting, she was a leading vocalist with Henry Hall's dance band and entertained troops during the Second World War. She was born on 20 May 1920, and was made an MBE in 2000.
Simon Gregson, who plays Steve McDonald in the soap, said: "I have known Betty since I was 15. I was fortunate to be one of her friends and I am going to miss her." Her close friend Charles Orr said: "A true legend has left us with enough love and memories to last a lifetime."