Maureen Lipman - things you didn't know about the Coronation Street legend

Maureen Lipman
(Image credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

From painting on TV to famous former housemates, here are 7 things you might not know about Maureen Lipman...

Her character Evelyn Plummer might have the sharpest tongue on Coronation Street, but soap fans can't help but love Tyrone Dobbs' battle-axe grandmother, played by the legendary actress Maureen Lipman. Most fans of the actress will know that:

  • Maureen has been a film, theatre and TV actress for more than 50 years
  • She was married to Jack Rosenthal until his death in 2004
  • She's famous for appearing in countless BT adverts
  • She was made a CBE in 1999

But, there's more to Maureen Lipman than that. Here are several things you probably don't know about the soap star...

Maureen Lipman: little known facts about the Corrie legend

1. Her late husband was a writer on Coronation Street 

Maureen Lipman and Jack Rosenthal

Maureen with her late husband Jack Rosenthal (Picture: PA Images) (Image credit: PA Archive/PA Images)

Maureen's late husband Jack Rosenthal, who died in 2004, wrote 250 episodes of Coronation Street, and we have got him to thank for her taking the role as Evelyn Plummer.

When she got the call from Coronation Street to say she had the part, Maureen wasn't sure she'd have time to fit it into her busy schedule, but as she debated it, a light came on above a photo of Jack and she was convinced it was a sign she should take the job. She took on the role of Evelyn Plummer in 2018.

2. Maureen Lipman is an artist

As well as dancing, her grandchildren and her dogs, one of Maureen's greatest loves is art. She paints using an iPad and took part in Sky Art’s Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year.

"I thought it would be a piece of cake but I started badly, just like being in an exam," she told "My heart was banging; I could feel this pounding in my vagus nerve. I got myself into a right state. I'm not good at being bad at things."

3. She used to live with Lesley Joseph

Coronation Street spoilers: Tyrone Dobbs and Evelyn unmask Jade!

Maureen in Corrie (credit: ITV)

Maureen met fellow actress Lesley Joseph in 1965 on her first day at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and the pair went on to share a series of flats together in the city.

Maureen told "The first flat we shared belonged to an eye doctor with an alarming habit of taking out one of his eyes and putting it on his cheek. He made a bedroom by slicing off a piece of the kitchen, creating a wedge-shaped room so tiny that our twin beds met at the head. It was a dump!"

4. She does stand up comedy 

While Evelyn is famous for her quick one-liners in Coronation Street, it is clear to see a lot of the character's humour comes from Maureen herself. The Coronation Street star appeared in her own comedy show at Edinburgh Fringe in 2018, and proved to be a huge hit.

"I thought I should do something frightening and challenging but I'm bricking it!" she told The JC at the time.

5. Evelyn isn't the first Coronation Street character she's played 

Cast your mind back to 2002 and you might remember Maureen appeared in Coronation Street for a brief stint.

She told us: "I have been in Coronation Street before with a different head on. I came into it for six episodes in 2002 as Lillian Spencer, who ran the Rovers for a fortnight. The episodes were written by one of the old guys who used to work with Jack, and then I returned to the soap as Evelyn on episode 6790, which is a testament of the show itself."

6. Maureen Lipman was originally famous for being in BT adverts 

Maureen Lipman

Maureen is famous for starring in the BT adverts in the 80s (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo) (Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Even after all this time, Maureen's probably most famous for her role as Beatrice Bellman, a Jewish grandmother in the BT adverts who had various hilarious phone calls with her grandson, Anthony. Maureen took on the role in 1987 and filmed 32 adverts, taking the nation by storm and quickly became a national institution.

7. She'd never do Strictly Come Dancing 

Strictly Come Dancing logo

We won't be seeing Maureen covered in sequins any time soon... (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC)

Maureen is adamant that she won't be showing off her fancy footwork on Strictly any time soon because she's convinced she will be pigeonholed: "I would be in the old-bag role," she told

"Felicity Kendal, Ann Widdecombe, Edwina Currie, they all go on for about four weeks and then are kicked out because they don’t look like Peter Crouch’s wife. Debbie McGee did brilliantly, but she’s a dancer! Do me a favour."

Maureen Lipman's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Corrie actor....

How old is she?

Maureen Lipman's age is 73. Her date of birth is 10th of May 1946.

Is she in a relationship?

Maureen Lipman's partner is Guido Castro. Guido Castro is an Italian Business man, the pair began dating in 2008.

Does she have kids?

Maureen Lipman's children are now adults. She has two kids, Amy Rosenthal and Adam Rosenthal, with her late husband Jack Rosenthal.

Where was she born?

Maureen Lipman's place of birth is Hull, East Yorkshire.

How tall is she?

Maureen Lipman's height is 1.7 metres, or 5ft 5inches.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.