A DITHERING DELIGHT TO WATCH; TRIBUTE TO MAVE.
There is a certain type of woman you see in post offices, dithering Simulating more colors and shades in a palette. In a monochrome system that displays or prints only black and white, shades of grays can be simulated by creating varying patterns of black dots. This is how halftones are created in a monochrome printer. over whether to buy a postal order or a Premium Bond.
A 1940s spinster SPINSTER. An addition given, in legal writings, to a woman who never was married. Lovel. on Wills, 269. with a 1940s head who's looked 50 since birth. A Woman's Realm made flesh. And you have a name for her. She's a Mavis.
For 26 years, actress Thelma Barlow Thelma Barlow (born 19 June 1929) is an English television actress and writer, most famous for her roles as Mavis Wilton in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street and as Dolly Bellfield in the sitcom dinnerladies. honed a comic gem until it cut into the national consciousness.
An achievement that elevates her from the world of soap into the company of Alf Garnett Alf Garnett was a fictional character on the BBC television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, the ITV sitcom Till Death... and later In Sickness and in Health. , Del Boy Trotter and Basil Fawlty.
Mavis Riley was a masterpiece of observation. It was a woman Thelma spotted working in Granada studios in 1971 who inspired her. But in reality it was triggered by dozens of northern women she had seen battered into submission by worry.
"She had a strong core, but didn't show it," said Thelma of the woman who inspired her. "She was desperate to be liked but she didn't want to appear pushy push·y
adj. push·i·er, push·i·est
Disagreeably aggressive or forward.
pushi·ly adv. ."
And she stayed true to her for 26 years, sustaining the most timid, world- weary of women with remarkable consistency. Try to recall her great lines and you are stumped. Every sentence she whimpered seemed to begin with "Ooh Derek" and end with: "Well, I don't really know."
But there is one that sticks in my memory for its utter ordinariness.
There she was in the Kabin, looking like a pigeon caught in the headlights of an on- coming newspaper delivery van, speaking her epitaph epitaph, strictly, an inscription on a tomb; by extension, a statement, usually in verse, commemorating the dead. The earliest such inscriptions are those found on Egyptian sarcophagi. : "Not many people have been disappointed in life as much as I have." It summed her up. She was a permanent mourner-in-waiting.
But she also graced some of The Street's finest scenes.
The courting of Jerry Booth, the fling with Pedro, the clash between Victor and Derek, the jilting of Derek, the death of her budgie budgerigar, budgie
see melopsittacus undulatus.
budgerigar fledgling disease
a polyomavirus infection of young psittacines that causes failure of feather growth, hepatic and renal necrosis, and sometimes death. Harriet.
Her finest moments belonged to her Laurel and Hardy Laurel and Hardy, American film comedy team. The duo consisted of Stan Laurel, 1890–1965, b. Ulverson, England, whose real name was Arthur Stanley Jefferson; and Oliver Hardy, 1892–1957, b. Atlanta, Ga. act with Rita in The Kabin. The chemistry, the timing, the acting was magnificent.
But towards the end, her and Derek's storylines became too ludicrous, and Derek had to go.
And when he did, so did she. Otherwise she would have gone the way of Emily Nugent and Betty Turpin: No lines, no life, no point.
And she is too precious a national institution to allow that to happen.
Comedian Jo Brand has a gag: "In the 80s I lived the life of Riley. Unfortunately it was Mavis Riley. And it was absolutely crap."
You know what she means. Mavis's life was crap.
But it was a life that enriched the lives of millions. And that is no mean feat.