Betty Driver had so much love to give, says Bill Roache
Published Oct 17 2011, 12:02 BST | By Daniel Kilkelly Coronation Street
actor Bill Roache
has paid tribute to his late co-star Betty Driver, hailing her as a "real colossus" of the show.
Driver, who played Rovers Return barmaid Betty Williams for 42 years, passed away peacefully in hospital on Saturday
following a period of ill health. She was 91.
Roache, best known for portraying Weatherfield's Ken Barlow since episode one in 1960, has now spoken of his close friendship with the actress, who was godmother to his son James.
"Betty was a loving, generous, caring person, where humour was never far away," Roache told The Sun
. "She was an 'Earth mother', always happy and jolly.
"Though she never had any children of her own, it was as if we were all hers. She had so much love to give - and it was such a pure love, too. It made her perfect to be godmother to my son James, which she did brilliantly. She was the obvious - and only - choice."
He continued: "If she were here now, she'd probably be a bit embarrassed by everyone talking about her like we are. She'd be having none of it. She was a real colossus of Coronation Street
, and we will all miss her dearly."Coronation Street
bosses are expected to explain Betty's departure from the soap in scenes which air towards the New Year.> Coronation Street stars pay tribute to Betty Driver> Coronation Street's Betty Driver 1920-2011: Obituary> Coronation Street Betty Driver tribute to air tonight> Read all the latest Coronation Street news
Browse through a gallery of Betty Driver's life in pictures below:
Copyright: ITV/Rex Features
Betty Driver makes her stage debut at the Manchester Hippodrome