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Roy Hudd: ‘I didn’t want that’ Corrie’s Archie Shuttleworth speaks out on off-screen death

Roy Hudd, 83, was a fan favourite as undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in Coronation Street. The veteran comedian first arrived on the ITV soap in 2002 and made several appearances until his final on-screen moment in 2010 before he died off-camera. Roy’s character was close friends with Audrey Roberts in the series, who received news of Archie’s unexpected death after she discovered he left her an £80,000 inheritance in his will. The comic opened up about his role on the programme in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, as he admitted he was “very sad” to leave.

When quizzed about whether he would have wanted a dramatic on-screen death for Archie, he explained: “I didn’t want that but the thing was that I was very sad because it was a great team to be part of.

“They were terrific people, everyone who produced the show were marvellous.

“I love Coronation Street. It had that perfect balance of real drama and laughs. 

“The characters were so beautifully drawn.”

Reflecting on his experience on the show, Roy revealed he believed he “had a job for life”. 

However, he also went on to admit he declined a permanent role on the cobbles because he was reluctant to “play one character for the rest of his career”.

The star said: “I really thought I had a job for life even though I came out of it and I said, ‘Look, don’t make me a permanent character because I have lots of things I want to do, not just play one character for the rest of my career,’ because that’s what they were planning to do and I said no because they wouldn’t let you do anything else at this particular time. 

“I said, ‘I’m a comic, I want to be in front of an audience again.’

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“I can’t be doing with it, standing on your mark and doing all that television. I came into it to hear the audience laugh.”

Roy explained he was then asked by producers to return intermittently as Archie.

He continued: “So they said, ‘We had all these ideas for you’, but I said, ‘No, I’m sorry I’ll have to go.’ And they said, ‘You will come back, won’t you? 

“So, I used to keep coming back whenever anyone died because I was the undertaker so I thought, I’ve got a job forever here. 

“In the end he went on a long holiday abroad and he died and left all his money to Audrey and I was never seen again.”

Roy is set to star in a touring production of A Woman of No Importance this year and will be playing the Archdeacon.

Speaking about the role, the actor divulged: “It’s a very interesting part for me. I’ve played a lot of vicars recently but this is an Archdeacon I’ll be playing so I’ve got a promotion at last. 

“It’s only a small part but I did get to sing three songs and they are three of my favourite songs.”

Roy appears in A Woman of No Importance which runs at the Everyman Cheltenham from 5th – 14 Sept and then tours the UK until November. 

Tickets are available here: http://www.classicspring.co.uk/show/uktour


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