Birds of a Feather: Lesley Joseph says Quirke was 'missed'
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Birds of a Feather actresses Linda Robson, 62, and Pauline Quirke, 61, are said to have fallen out after 50 years of friendship. The reported rift between the pair appears to mark the end of Pauline’s beloved character of Sharon.
A source has now claimed that “real and tense issues” were behind Pauline deciding against taking part in the sitcom’s 30th anniversary show in 2019.
Pauline’s absence from the Christmas special meant her character, Sharon, was written out of the story as “stuck on a COVID cruise”.
Loose Women star Linda and actress Pauline rose to fame in the show, as they starred as Essex Girls Tracey and Sharon, whose husbands were both in prison for robbery.
Lesley Joseph, 75, also joined the duo on the popular show and played their snooty neighbour Dorien.
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A source has said Linda and Lesley were “saddened” by Pauline missing out on the 30th anniversary episode.
They claimed: “Both Linda and Lesley were saddened that Pauline didn’t want to return to make a 30th anniversary episode.
“Linda and Pauline used to be very close, less so Pauline and Lesley.
“I think Pauline resented the attention that Lesley got and it was very tense and difficult to navigate at times.
“Pauline wasn’t approached about the Christmas special.”
“The atmosphere on the set had previously become difficult, there were real and tense issues,” the insider added to The Daily Mail.
Express.co.uk has contacted representatives for Pauline and Linda for comment.
Pauline’s son Charlie also stars on the show as Travis Stubbs, Tracey’s youngest son.
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He appeared in the Christmas special while ITV released a statement to explain Pauline’s absence.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Pauline Quirke will not be taking part as she’s stepping back from acting to focus on her 200 nationwide performing arts academies.”
The Christmas special of Birds of a Feather was watched by 7.9 million viewers, and it is believed that Robson and Joseph are hoping to continue with the Essex-based show.
Linda previously opened up about her long lasting friendship with Pauline in an interview last year.
She said: “We were friends from ten years of age.
“We went to the same primary school and we started taking acting classes together.
“We were known as the real kids, or the cockney kids off the street.
“We’ve both been really good friends, and we’re still working 52 years later.”
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