Coronation Street’s Sue Johnston has said it is a ‘privilege to grow old’ after losing some of her friends of her peers over the years.
She added that she has no plans to retire and while she does lament feeling ‘tired’, acting still ‘excites’ her ‘after all this time’.
During her 40-year acting career, the star has played two different roles in much-loved Coronation Street, once in 1982 when she appeared as Mrs Chadwick and then returning in 2012 as Gloria.
She’s also well known for her role in the 1980s soap, Channel 4’s Brookside, where she tackled gritty storylines as Sheila, for which she used her own personal experience of her near-death sex attack and for playing Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy The Royle Family.
Speaking on Chatabix podcast, she said: ‘I’m 80 this year – it’s so freaky, it’s so weird. It’s very strange.
‘It’s a privilege to grow old’: Coronation Street’s Sue Johnston, 79, has revealed she has no plans to retire after 40-year acting career but laments feeling tired (stock image)
Iconic: Sue is well-known for her role as Barbara Royle – right – in the BBC comedy series The Royle Family, appearing from 1998 until 2012 (pictured alongside the late Caroline Aherne in 2000)
‘You do get tired, but I think, ‘Why am I tired?’… I talk to my friends who are the same age [and] it’s because I’m old.
‘It’s a strange time and when I moan about it I have to think about the friends I’ve lost along the way who weren’t allowed to grow old. It’s a privilege.
‘I get more tired when I’m bored. When I’m away on a job I’m up and ready.
‘There’s something in my head that loves to do the job. It still excites me after all this time.’
Speaking on the podcast, she added that one of the ‘great things’ about growing older is the ability to speak her mind.
She added: ‘I do say what I think to people now.
‘I don’t hold back. I do feel at ease with life. I do worry about stuff, but everybody does, whatever age.’
Sue’s first major role was playing Sheila Grant in Channel 4 soap Brookside starting in 1982. Since the show became available to stream, she has watched it said the best thing is seeing herself with no wrinkles.
Back in the day: The TV actress – set to turn 80 this year – added that while she does get ‘tired’, she feels it is a ‘privilege’ to grow old (pictured as Mrs Chadwick in Corrie in 1982)
She said: ‘All I could do was keep zooming in on my face because I didn’t have any lines. I started at 38 and was described in the press as a middle-aged sex bomb.’
Last year, Sue detailed how a 1970 sexual assault she endured aged 27 continues to cause her stress in her daily life.
The actress confessed she has the ‘instinct’ to shudder and move aside when sensing a fast motion nearby – and fears she will never get over it.
She told The Mirror: ‘I can’t, even now 50 years later, have somebody run up behind me. I have to step aside. I think it’s just an instinct.
‘People do things and they walk away from it and have no idea of the impact and the horror of how they have affected people’s lives. And it does, it changes your life.’
In her 2011 autobiography, Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, the soap star revealed she was convinced she would be killed by her attacker.
Long-spanning: Over her 40 year acting career the star has played two different roles in much-loved Coronation Street, once in 1982 when she appeared as Mrs Chadwick and then returning in 2012 as Gloria (pictured starring in Time)
Recognisable: She’s also well known for her role in the 1980s soap, Channel 4’s Brookside, where she tackled gritty storylines as Sheila, for which she used her own personal experience of her near-death sex attack .
Fortunately, she fought him off before escaping, however the emotional toll has taken a dramatic effect on her mental health decades on.
Sue recently told how she feared ‘reality would cross with fantasy’ when a similar attack on her Corrie character was played out on the show in 1986.
During an appearance on Extraordinary Escapes last week, she told Sandi Toksvig: ‘I had been sexually attacked when I was 27. And I’d never talked about it.
‘When they called me and said they were going to do this storyline, I told them it happened exactly how I’d been attacked.
‘I was so scared that the reality would cross with the fantasy, that I wouldn’t be able to control myself. But actually it released something in me that I was able to talk about it. It was good therapy for me.’
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