Freda Burgess Coronation Street

Freda Burgess returns to Coronation Street, stirring past and present drama

She's back on the cobbles but why has she returned and will she be causing trouble for the Weatherfield residents?

Freda Burgess is back in Coronation Street this week.

But who is she, what are her links to the cobbles and has she returned to cause trouble?

Freda Burgess in Coronation Street

Freda is Emily Bishop’s niece. She is played by actress Ali Briggs, who is deaf.

Ali’s portrayal of Freda, particularly the comic scenes she was part of alongside Norris Cole (played by Malcolm Hebden), won her and Coronation Street an award.

They scooped a RADAR (Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation) award for the best portrayal of the lives and viewpoints of disabled people on television.

Freda is Emily Bishop’s niece (Credit: ITV)

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Freda is also part of the deaf community and lip-reads, uses British sign language and wears hearing aids.

In fact, when she first came to Weatherfield back in 2005, it was her lip-reading skills that won over Norris Cole.

Norris was suspicious that Freda had come to visit Emily and thought she was after his landlady’s money. He even compared her to notorious Corrie serial killer Richard Hillman!

But when Norris discovered Freda could lip-read he saw all sorts of potential uses for the skill – mostly to do with spying on his neighbours. But Freda wasn’t impressed and she left Weatherfield.

Freda’s return

A few years after her first visit to the Street, Freda returned. She soon revealed she’d stolen a prosthetic leg belonging to her boss and needed to dispose of it!

She and Norris put their differences aside and bonded over their love of competitions, making Freda an enemy of Mary Taylor, who had got close to Norris in the same way. But Freda moved to Edinburgh, where she cared for Emily when she had a fall.

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In 2019, Mary was shocked to find the door to number 3 open, and even more surprised to find Freda inside.

She announced that Norris was on a silent retreat and had asked her to come to Weatherfield to sell her house.

Mary was not happy about it, but Freda and Norris left Weatherfield together and headed to Scotland intending to get married.

Freda and Norris at Stillwaters

Freda showed up again when Ken Barlow moved to Stillwaters retirement complex with Claudia Colby. She and Norris had moved down from Scotland.

norris cole corrie
Norris and Freda are engaged (Credit: ITV)

And when Norris came to the Street last year, for the VE Day celebrations, he revealed they’d postponed their wedding for now.

Why is Freda Burgess back in Coronation Street?

Freda’s most recent visit to Coronation Street is at the request of Chesney. He is keen to persuade Gemma that their son Aled should have a cochlear implant operation.

Freda returned in tonight’s episode (Credit: ITV)

Ches approaches Freda to talk to Gemma about the experience of being deaf. However his good intentions backfire when things don’t go as planned.

Will Mary spot Freda on the cobbles and what will she do about it?

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer