Corrie’s Sue Johnston quit soap after getting ‘frustrated’ at filming schedule
Royle Family icon Sue Johnston says she got “frustrated” on Coronation Street because of a lack of rehearsal time and quality control.
The 77-year-old actress played Gloria Price in the ITV soap from 2012–2014 but she says she left partly because she couldn’t work under the shooting conditions which allowed her no time to rehearse or even ask questions of the directors.
Sue felt like she was on a treadmill and so walked away from the part and a comfortable life for work she could be proud of.
She said: “I didn’t know what to expect because it had been so long since I’d done it, and also I’d been in a soap, which was Brookie, but it was totally different, it was a shock, I have to say.
“How fast it was and how little prep there was.
“If I started talking on set, ‘You know when I’d been,’ and you’d see them looking at their watches, ‘This is trouble, she’s trouble.’ No rehearsal, just run through the lines mostly.
“I think the other thing that freaked me out a little bit.
“They’d move on and you’d think, ‘I’d like another go at that.’ And they’d go, ‘It’s fine.’ There’s a bit of frustration in it.
“I did find it in the end a bit frustrating, I think because I was so used to single camera that I found multi-camera frustrating.
“I often sit and think back on why did I leave. I loved the people so much, the routine was nice, I could live at home.
“But I missed the change, I missed the challenge of another character and another situation.”
Sue played iconic soap character Sheila Grant in Channel 4 series Brookside from 1982 to 1990.
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And after walking away from that iconic part she had no hesitation in waving goodbye to the cobbles.
She said: “I think there comes a point where you decide.
“I think it hit me at Brookside, when I’d done six years.
“I loved it, we had some great writers who have gone on to do amazing things, and that was very new because everybody was learning on their feet.
“After six years I knew that was it for me but then they kept giving me great storylines.
“There came a thing in my head where I knew, and that’s when you have to make a decision as an actor, will I stay or will I go? Either you commit to that and have a very good life and make some very great work, or do you go for this dangerous life outside.”
Coronation Street was approached for comment.
- Coronation Street
- Channel 4
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