Actress Maureen Lipman has criticised soap Coronation Street, calling the show's recent storylines "ludicrous".
Maureen Lipman criticised soaps and reality TV
The 58-year-old, who appeared on the programme in 2003, told the Radio Times: "You can't just have an everyday story of a street without murders."
Lipman's husband Jack Rosenthal, who died of cancer last year, was a scriptwriter for the soap in the 1960s.
The actress joined the show to play Lilian Spencer, the snooty stand-in manageress at the Rovers Return.
Lipman added that Coronation Street's arch-rival EastEnders has also fallen prey to far-fetched plotlines.
A recent story in the long-running Manchester soap involved the murder of mechanic Tommy Harris by his teenage daughter Katy.
Her mother Angela confessed to the killing in a bid to save Katy and her younger brother Craig.
Lipman, famed for playing the overbearing Beattie in the 1980s commercials for BT, criticised reality TV shows as "cruel".
Maureen Lipman pictured with late husband Jack Rosenthal
She turned down an offer to appear in a celebrity special of Channel 4 makeover series Ten Years Younger, saying people take pleasure in watching others being "pillioried".
"People are starting to believe life is like a Jerry Springer show," said the actress.
"If you've murdered someone, you can come out with a facelift and a tummy tuck, say 'sorry' and everything's all right," she added.
Lipman also spoke of her heartache since the death of husband Rosenthal, who penned television plays The Evacuees and Bar Mitzvah Boy, as well as creating London's Burning. He died from cancer in May 2004.
"I've always been on the verge of tears. Even when I had absolutely nothing to cry about, I was the same," she said.
The actress added she has been throwing herself into her work as a means of coping with her grief.