Cilla 'opened doors' for former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters
She might have been a "horrid nightmare" to play, but Wendi Peters is still fond of her onscreen alter ego.
The actress, currently on stage at Hull Truck Theatre, came to fame as the monstrous Cilla Battersby Brown in Coronation Street.
And while she has now moved on from the role in the soap, Wendi says she owes Cilla a debt.
"I loved playing her, although she was a horrid nightmare," she said. "I'm very grateful to have played her. If I hadn't, I'd probably be working as a jobbing actress now. It opened all sorts of doors for me."
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Wendi is part of a new tour of Rutherford & Son – Githa Sowerby's early 20th-century play about a struggling glass factory.
The tour has returned Wendi to Northern Broadsides, the Halifax company that has become something of a second home for the actress.
"I am a regular now," she said. "I love working for them. It is a really homely company."
Run by the Hull-born actor Barrie Rutter, the company specialises in classic plays performed in northern accents.
Rutherford & Son follows the upheavals at a northern factory, run by the imperious John Rutherford, which is under financial pressure.
Wendi takes the cameo role of Mrs Henderson, a widowed woman who dares to confront Rutherford.
"She's the mother of the young lady in the glass factory who is accused of stealing," she said.
"A little bit of Dutch courage is what she needs to knock on industrialist Rutherford's door.
"She's slightly tipsy, a little the worse for drink and has a go at Rutherford. It's really good one-to-one with Rutherford – a two-hander with Barrie Rutter."
Alongside regular work with Northern Broadsides, Wendi has also appeared in Hull Truck's touring production of April In Paris since leaving Coronation Street.
"Obviously, I turned down parts that came in that were similar to Cilla," said Wendi, who had no wish to become typecast.
"Northern Broadsides and Hull Truck offered something different. I had a little more baggage to deal with but I always think myself lucky to have had a theatre career before I was in Coronation Street because the automatic thing was to go back to the theatre."
With theatre comes long periods of "resting" – though the actress is unconcerned about what awaits when the tour finishes in June. She said: "When you leave a job it's always playing it a bit by ear. I have no idea what I'll be doing – although I have booked a holiday."