Coronation Street actress Eileen Derbyshire has been criticised for getting herself burned on set in a drearily plausible way. Derbyshire, who has played Emily Bishop since the 1960s, reportedly got too close to a candle, setting the shawl she was wearing on fire, while filming a scene for the Bonfire Night episode. Unfortunately, Street insiders said, the flames were extinguished all too easily.
'We're all for actors developing story lines for their own characters and it's quite likely a daft old bat like Emily Bishop would do something like that at some point,' said producer Jason Newell, 21. 'But just getting the fire put out straight away with a fire extinguisher, calling a doctor and getting on with your work again? Oh dear me, no.'
Newell, who was brought in to add some more dramatic storylines to the much criticised soap, added that spontaneous human combustion is regarded as a potential sub-plot once the annual quotas of three murders, a rape, a natural disaster and 28 punch-ups at the Rover's Return have all been met. However, this would be more likely to happen to other more volatile characters.
'A photographers' studio gets firebombed while Rosie Webster is doing some topless modelling and she has to run half naked and screaming into the street. That might work. Or Gail McIntyre and Deirdre Barlow attacking each other with flamethrowers outside the Kabin. Or a fire at Underworld, causing multiple deaths among the characters we want rid of. We haven't done that in a few years,' he said.
'But Emily Bishop? What has she done in the past 47 years other than jilt her boss at the altar, abandon her deep religious principles to have a brief sexual relationship with a Hungarian revolutionary, get married to another man who is then murdered in a botched robbery, remarry an insane bigamist, have a mental breakdown and disappear, nearly marry a vicar, have a serial killer attempt to kill her with a crowbar, prevent a grief-crazed woman killing a baby by jumping off a church tower, then befriend a man who turned out to be her husband's killer? Trust me, no-one's going to believe it.'