Here is the astonishingly colourful, fascinating life of the world's most famous barmaid, read by the author.
For 25 years, Julie Goodyear became part of everyone's family when she played Bet Lynch, the loveable brassy barmaid of the Rovers Return in Coronation Street. Now, at 64 (the age her mother was when she died), Julie feels the time is right to tell her amazing life story.
Her father walked out on the family soon after Julie's birth, and Julie was brought up by her mother, Alice, and stepfather. Her upbringing in Manchester was impoverished, but Julie coped, largely through her love for her spiritualist grandmother, whom Julie would accompany when she was called upon by the local community to lay out the dead. At just 13, Julie had to deal with her beloved grandmother's death when her body was found in a canal.
Julie fell pregnant at 16, bringing shame and embarrassment, before marrying Ray Sutcliffe. The marriage only lasted three years. In 1966 Julie made a six-week appearance in Coronation Street as Bet Lynch from Elliston's Raincoat Factory, a role that made her Britain's best-loved barmaid and a cultural institution.
In 1979, during a routine check up, Julie discovered she had cervical cancer and had two operations. At the time, she was given a year to live. Various liaisons during the ensuing decade included Julie's first foray into a same sex relationship with her housekeeper.
In 1987 Julie left Coronation Street for a while to nurse her mother, who was dying of cancer. Julie finally quit the series on 2 October 1995 after walking away with a lifetime Achievement Award at the first National Television Awards. In 1996 she was awarded an OBE.
Julie's much anticipated autobiography reveals, for the first time and with incredible candour, the truth, sadness, and spirit behind this larger than life woman.
© Julie Goodyear; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd