Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Coronation Street's Blanche Hunt to get TV funeral

Maggie Jones
Maggie Jones died last month after a period of ill health

Much-loved Coronation Street character Blanche Hunt will be given an on-screen funeral later this year, the soap's producer has said.

Actress Maggie Jones, who played the Weatherfield battle-axe, died last month aged 75.

Producer Kim Crowther said Blanche would be given a "fitting send-off".

A funeral was held for Jones in London last month, and a memorial service is due to take place at Salford Cathedral on 25 February.

"We will pay tribute to Maggie personally then," Mrs Crowther told ITV1's This Morning.

The producer said the soap's cast and crew "miss Maggie greatly".

"She was a wonderful character and a real professional and fantastic to have on the show.

"Also, the character of Blanche was unforgettable and everybody loved her.

"She came out with the lines you couldn't give anybody else. She was brilliant at comic one-liners."

Blanche's funeral will also see the return of Maggie's granddaughter Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford), who is in prison for murder.

"We will be giving the character a fitting send-off," Ms Crowther revealed.

"Our characters say goodbye to the character and I think it will be touching and moving, and funny as well, and also have all the elements it should have."

Blanche's absence from screens has so far been explained by an extended break in Portugal with a friend.

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