Coronation Street star Dame Maureen Lipman will have a new man on her arm when she attends the National Television Awards.
The actress is nominated for best serial drama performance for playing Evelyn Plummer in the ITV soap. And on Tuesday, partner David will be joining her as TV’s top shows battle it out for the prestigious gongs.
The 77-year-old star has admitted she will be using her acting skills to put on a “brave face” in case she doesn’t win.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, Dame Maureen – who has been dubbed an “‘it’ girl for the elderly” by her granddaughter – admitted it is a “gift to have a relationship again”.
And the stage and screen legend said: “I’m going with my gentleman friend David – it’s a baptism of fire for him. The most important thing is that I find a dress.”
Dame Maureen was married to playwright Jack Rosenthal until his death in 2004. She then had a 13-year relationship with computer expert Guido Castro, who died in 2021.
The Ladies Of Letters star said of finding romance again: “It’s a gift for all concerned. It’s a gift and he’s been very nice. I’ve met some nice men in my life, some really interesting men, and we will see where it goes.”
Joking about competing for an NTA gong against her young Corrie co-star Charlotte Jordan, 28, who plays Daisy Midgeley, Dame Maureen said: “It’s time for a new face really, isn’t it? I’m a good enough actress to put on a brave face when someone else’s name is called.”
But granddaughter Ava, 11 – who calls her Momo – views her as a role model.
The star said: “She said to my daughter, ‘Momo is amazing, she is like an it girl for the elderly. I loved that.”
Dame Maureen is also staging a fundraising event for Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, featuring a line-up that includes many of her co-stars as part of her fight to keep the venue open.
“I’m very partial to the Hope Mill Theatre,” she said. “It is a perfect little gem – it needs to stay.”
She will present A Celebration of Music Hall at the theatre on October 1 to raise cash for the venue.
Dame Maureen said: “It’s going to be chaos because I’m organising it but it’s also going to be great. I thought it would be great to try out the good old days of musical and I got the Coronation Street cast in, they’re all good singers.”