Tributes have been flooding in after the shock news that Lynda Baron has passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
The BAFTA award-winning, Urmston-born actress, comedian, and singer was probably best known for playing the role of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the iconic BBC sitcom Open All Hours between 1976-1985 starring opposite Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker, and then again in the show’s sequel series Still Open All Hours from 2013-2016.
She also notably-played Auntie Mabel in the beloved CBeebies children’s TV show Come Outside from 1993-1997.
She had also appeared in the ITV sitcom Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt, BBC soap EastEnders as Linda Clarke, the mother of Jane Beale, and made appearances in Doctor Who, Last Of The Summer Wine, and much-loved Mancunian favourite sitcom Dinner Ladies.
Baron’s devastating death was announced in a statement shared by her agent of nearly 30 years, Donna French, yesterday: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved client Lynda Baron [who] was a wonderful actress and a great friend.
“We have lost a leading light of our world.
“We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family.”
Since the shocking news broke, previous co-stars and fans have been taking to social media to share their heartfelt tributes and memories of Baron’s successful and celebrated career, and everything she achieved.
Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley paid tribute to Baron – who played her mother in the drama series Fat Friends, saying: “Each and everyday, I learnt so much from you, but mostly, we always laughed together and your energy will live on forever.”
Stockport-born actress Sally Lindsay wrote in tribute on Twitter: “I loved Lynda Baron. She was funny and clever and a joy to work with, and she once gifted me a pair of beautiful red shoes. This has made me very sad – RIP Lynda darling.”
Actor Adil Ray OBE also paid a worthy tribute on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Lynda Baron. Such a lovely lady and a giving, caring person on set. We were so honoured when she played a guest role in Citizen Khan. She was so supportive.
“Thoughts with Lynda’s friends and family,” he added.
Radcliffe-born actor John Partridge, who played Baron’s EastEnders character’s son, said: “Absolutely heartbroken… The showgirls showgirl. She was so very gracious, giving and a RIOT to boot. Night night Mum.”
The official Twitter accounts of EastEnders, CBeebies, and more have also paid tribute.
Fans have too been sharing memories of Baron in their hundreds on Twitter.
One fan wrote: “Such sad news about Lynda Baron, an actress who was a comforting auntie to a generation of kids she never met.
“She had a quality when you watched her that made you feel like you knew her so well.”
Another said: “How sad to hear the passing of Lynda Baron, well known to us all as nurse Gladys Emmanuel in Open All Hours, and she was also Auntie Mabel with her lovely dog Pippin, in Come Outside – a lovely children’s program my daughter loved to bits when she was little.
“A beautiful figure and comfort from so many of our childhoods, rest in peace to Lynda Baron,” another fan said on Twitter.
In her earlier life, Baron trained at the Royal Academy of Dance, before pursuing a career in acting, comedy, and showbusiness.
Baron was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011 for her role in The Road To Coronation Street on BBC Four – a one-off drama about the early days of the soap, in which she played actress Violet Carson, who portrayed Ena Sharples in the long-running series.
Her film credits also included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime Scoop, and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick.
Also an accomplished West End star, Baron featured in the musical Follies, and in the stage version of In Celebration alongside Orlando Bloom, and also appeared in numerous other theatre productions including An Inspector Calls, Stepping Out, and The Full Monty.
Police arrest four men and shut down ‘incredibly dangerous’ cannabis farm in Salford
Police have shut down a suspected cannabis farm in Salford today, arresting four men.
Officers swooped on the property on Arthur Street in Swinton after finding evidence that the house was being used to grow cannabis plants.
The farm has been described as ‘incredibly dangerous’ to other occupants in the area.
Three rooms in the house were full of plants growing, with a huge amount of wiring surrounding them that posed a fire hazard.
The four men detained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Salford Neighbourhood Team were subsequently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production and supply of cannabis and remain in police custody for questioning.
Sergeant Peter MacFarlane said: “Locating a cannabis farm is a great result for the team who are gathering intelligence and working hard to crackdown on drug-related crime across Salford.
“Farms of this nature are also incredibly dangerous to other occupants in the area. The building itself is still being made safe due to the amount of wiring around the plants. Criminals running these types of enterprises have no regard for public safety and in these conditions, an electrical fault from bad wiring could easily start a fire and endanger lives.
“The arrests and seizures then go someway towards disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that comes with it, and will also make our communities safer.
“This operation was intelligence led and a huge part of our intelligence comes from members of the public sharing information with us. If you have suspicions about a crime taking place please report it so we can take positive action and bring those responsible to justice.”
You can make a report by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report via the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: GMP
‘Groundbreaking’ new app to help get homeless people into work launches in Manchester
Homeless families across Manchester are set to benefit from a “groundbreaking” new service that gives them access to employment support.
With the ultimate aim of helping homeless people move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes, Manchester City Council has announced a new pilot partnership with Beam – a social enterprise that fundraises on behalf of homeless people and connects them with a supportive online community.
Through Beam’s “innovative” app-based platform, homeless people can raise money for items that often end up being financial obstacles to them moving into a permanent home, whether than be funding equipment or training to help them secure stable and financially-viable employment, or towards a rental deposit, moving van, or other homeware essentials, and everything in between.
Donations come from people in the local community, and are shared out equally between participants, so that everyone reaches their fundraising target within an average of 17 days.
Having helped more than 1,300 homeless people “achieve their goals” since being founded in 2017, Beam isn’t just about funding, as it also has a team of caseworkers who provide one-to-one help with employment to those in need.
The caseworkers also lend a hand with searching for properties online, communicating with landlords, and booking house viewings, while Beam also works with a network of vetted landlords to help people find a home
The initiative also provides further support for at least six months after moving.
Over the next year, Manchester City Council says its pilot partnership with Beam will initially support 25 families who are living in temporary accommodation in the region, and move them into their own private rental homes.
Residents can be referred to the scheme by the Council’s housing teams, as well as other local services, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who then supports them on their journey into stable housing.
“No one chooses homelessness voluntarily,” admitted Councillor Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“And when it happens, it can be devastating, which is why we are looking at a range of solutions to help people secure affordable and decent homes in Manchester.
“Our new partnership with Beam is an innovative approach to improve people’s life chances, supporting them, where possible, into sustainable jobs allowing them to move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes.