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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Bet 'will not be lynched'
Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch
Bet was seen returning for Betty's retirement party
Coronation Street producers have denied that there are plans to kill off Bet Lynch after rumours that actress Julie Goodyear would not return to the show.

Goodyear re-joined the soap in May after seven years away - but was forced to take time off with exhaustion just weeks later.

She has now been absent from filming for three weeks of a month's recovery break.

Maureen Lipman
Maureen Lipman has been signed up for the show
A spokeswoman said there had been no discussions between the writers and producers about the character's future.

"Neither have there been any discussions with Julie. She has been too ill for any meetings to take place," she said.

Producers have enlisted comedian Maureen Lipman to fill in as temporary bar manager while the plot has been altered to make Lynch go back to Brighton.

"Viewers will hear that she has returned to Brighton and there is absolutely no reason why she couldn't come back to Weatherfield as soon as Julie feels well enough," the spokeswoman said.

"In the meantime, we do ask that she is given privacy and time to recover."

Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch
Bet Lynch was a mainstay between 1970-1995
Goodyear had played the barmaid with a taste for big earrings and loud clothes for 25 years until 1995.

Viewers saw Lynch return on Monday, 10 June, when she turned up for Betty Williams's retirement party.

Goodyear said she had gone back for a 12-month stint because the producer was "very persuasive".

"I can tell you for a fact it wasn't the bloody money," she said.

"When you compare it to Dallas, Dynasty or footballers' wages, it's not much.

"I never asked to come back, I would never, ever, have asked for the job back, but the producer is very, very persuasive."

See also:

30 May 02 | Entertainment
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30 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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