Sherrie Hewson’s agent, Melanie Blake, has spoken to Duncan Lindsay at the Metro paper about the actress’s axing from Coronation Street at the height of her popularity with the audience.
Sherrie, who after Corrie joined the Carlton produced Crossroads from 2001 to 2003 as snobby receptionist Virginia Raven was left ‘humiliated’ when she was told she was being fired by Executive Producer Brian Park on his first day in charge of Corrie in 1997.
Park dubbed himself the soaps ‘axeman’ and cleared out a host of long-established stars of the cobbles to make way for new faces in the hope of a ratings boost. Granada Television bosses were concerned at the time by a run of mundane plots and falling ratings since the departure of Julie Goodyear as Bet Gilroy in 1995.
Sherrie with Ken Morley as Maureen and Reg Holdsworth
Sherrie as catty receptionist Virginia Raven in Crossroads, 2003
Along with Sherrie’s character of Maureen Holdsworth in 1997 the programme bid farewell to Peter Baldwin as Derek Wilton, Phil Middlemiss as Des Barnes and Nicholas Cochrane as Andy McDonald. Feeling the changes Thelma Barlow departed as Mavis Wilton later in the year.
Sherrie had joined in 1994 and proved a hit with viewers for her ‘ditzy’ character who first married equally as cookie Reg Holdsworth (Ken Morely) and then three other characters during her time.
However, being popular seemed to make no difference to her time being ‘cut short’
Sherrie in ITV sitcom Benidorm
Sherrie takes a tumble falling down the steps on BBC One’s Pebble Mill, 1992
“You hear many producers bragging about firing people. Brian Park was always proud of it, he dubbed himself the axeman. In the repeats on ITV3 at the moment Sherrie Hewson is doing some amazing stuff as Maureen and she has connections all over the place, she came out of the marriage with Reg, got into this nightmare relationship with Fred.
“He fired her on his first day and has laughed about it. He ruined her run in the show, she was such a popular character it was clearly a personal decision and that was wrong for the audience.” – Sherrie Hewson’s agent, Melanie Blake speaking to The Metro
After her stint in Crossroads Hewson joined the cast of ITV Yorkshire’s Emmerdale and made a one-off return to Corrie in 2006. She has also appeared in sitcom Barbara, been a regular on Loose Women and became a cult figure in sunshine comedy Benidorm.
As for Brian Park, he had been mooted to take over the running of the Crossroads Motel in late 2002, however his vision for the programme didn’t match that of ITV’s and the job was ultimately given to Yvon Grace. Grace kept Hewson on, would it have been the same had Park taken over?
Spanning the years; Sherrie on Loose Women