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Charlie Catchpole TV Column: SUSAN IS NO DEAD RINGER.

Byline: Charlie Catchpole

SO farewell then, Susan Barlow, Ken's long-lost daughter and Mike Baldwin's equally long-lost wife.

The hapless Susan was brought back to Coronation Street barely a month ago for one reason only - to announce that she'd never had an abortion after all, and Mike was the father and Ken the grandfather of young Adam. I don't know why either of them believed a word she said, since Susan had been blonde and blue-eyed, and this impostor had black hair and brown eyes.

On Sunday night, she made what must be the soap world's cruellest exit - dying off-camera.

At the very moment when Ken was squaring up to Mike and warning him to stay away from Susan and Adam, Ken's almost-as-long-lost son Peter burst into The Rovers, sobbing and snivelling (unnecessarily loudly, I thought) and announced that there'd been a car crash on the motorway and Susan was dead.

Ken took the news stoically. He stood absolutely still, his back ramrod straight, his hands clasped in front of him carrying his raincoat, and said not a word. When we returned to The Rovers last night, he was maintaining the same pose, still standing resolute and unflinching in the face of Peter's hysterical sobbing. He's a tough one, is our Ken.

Unfortunately, the tape Granada Television sent me kept going blank every few minutes, and the sound faded out, so I must have missed Ken's eventual collapse into agonised, howling, tear-stained grief. Mike's too, for that matter. But I'm sure that they were deeply moving moments.

At the hospital, a morgue attendant pulled back a sheet and asked Ken: "Is this the body of Susan Barlow?"

Ken nodded. Hah! But was it?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2001
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