Adele Rose: 1933-2020

By WGGB Treasurer Gail Renard

Adele Rose was Coronation Street’s first female and longest serving writer, having written 457 episodes between 1961 and 1998.

Rose was born in Salford and started as a secretary at the Granada Studios. She realised the series had no women writers and suggested to the producers that the show needed some. Jack Rosenthal, then writing regularly for the series, suggested that Rose submit a script. Rosenthal mentored her and they co-wrote some episodes together. Rose was hired.

Susan Pleat joined Coronation Street in 1966 as a storyline writer and remembers Rose didn’t have an easy time amongst all the men, “Adele was the only woman writer in the writers’ room. She stood out in an immaculate white dress, carried herself with dignity and held her own.”

ITV’s John Whiston also acknowledged Rose’s contribution. “Not only was Adele a trailblazer, being the very first in what is now a long line of brilliant female Coronation Street writers, she was also particularly adept at giving voice to some of Corrie’s classic fearless female characters, from Ena to Elsie, from Bet to Liz.”

In 1989 Rose was asked to write a one-off drama about a youth club. She created Byker Grove which ran until 2006. It was where teenage Ant and Dec met and the rest is television history.

Rose’s writing credits include series as varied as Z-Cars, Angels and The Dustbinmen. She also created Girls About Town, a comedy about feminism, and Second Chance, a drama about divorce partly based on her own experiences. She wrote for Crossroads under a pseudonym.

In 1993 Rose received a BAFTA Award for her screenwriting on Coronation Street, as well as several Writers’ Guild Awards. When asked why she joined the WGGB, Rose replied, “Because I strongly believe we need our own trade union to protect our rights.”

Ena Sharples would have been proud.