‘Won’t go abroad again’ Coronation Street’s Maureen Lipman vows to never leave England

Gogglebox: Maureen Lipman says the show cut her 'wit'

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Maureen Lipman, who plays Evelyn Plummer in Coronation Street, has confessed her recent experience at the airport had “taken years off” her life. The forms and tests prior to going abroad proved to be “stressful enough” for the 75-year-old actress.

It comes after Heathrow hit headlines with travellers complaining of staff shortages and no social distancing at the airport.

The actress wrote about her own experiences at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and has claimed it’s not worth travelling overseas.

The small-screen star enjoyed a five-day trip to Malta which she branded “glorious” but trouble began after Maureen’s holiday came to an end.

Writing about her experiences, the Coronation Street star admitted she has no intention of leaving England again.

“I’m here to tell you I will never go abroad again. Never. Neither will any sensible, sentient human being over 70,” Maureen began.

“Not if they have to fly into Heathrow, that is. It took years off my life.”

The soap star explained the problems began when the Malta pharmacy she visited had no PCR tests available.

She added she was eventually able to get a test done and the results would be available on her phone within 24 hours.

Maureen later explained she had issues liaising with airport staff in Malta before she finally managed to get her flight back into the UK.

She continued to MailOnline: “By the time I reached Arrivals, I was a bit short of breath and even more so when I saw the upward escalator was jammed, with at least 50 people stuck on it and the immigration hall at the top was looking like the third day of Glastonbury.

“I mean, Welcome to Terminal 5, Gateway to Babel. By Peter Bruegel.”

“Thousands of tired souls with prams and scooters and squalling babes and elderly, limping codgers – one of whom was me – shuffling and snaking around meaningless ropes to beg or barter their way into this sceptered isle,”(sic) Maureen added.

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The Corrie star explained that she left her Malta hotel, where they are one hour ahead of the UK at 3.30pm, and didn’t arrive home until midnight.

She finished: “It’s a no-brainer. I will never leave England again.”

Queues had worsened in recent weeks with Heathrow and the Home Office apologising to travellers for the “unacceptable queuing times” at the airport.

Earlier this month, holidaymakers were said to be “fainting” as they waited in overcrowded lines with “no ventilation”.

The Home Office criticised Border Force, its own immigration agency, saying that officers will be reviewing capacity and deploying more staff to reduce waiting times.

A spokesperson said: “The very long wait times we saw at Heathrow last night are unacceptable.

“This is the busiest weekend of the year for returning passengers, with particularly high numbers of families with children under the age of 12 who cannot use e-gates.”

Coronation Street airs tonight on ITV at 7.30pm.

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