Caroline Mary Aherne nous a quittés RIP

Caroline Mary Aherne


(24 December 1963 – 2 July 2016) was a Britishhref=””>BAFTA-winning writer and actress, best known for playing the acerbic chat show host Mrs Merton, roles in the The Fast Show, and as lead in the The Royle Family.


Aherne was born in Ealing, London, into the family of an Irish railway worker,[1] and from the age of two was raised in Wythenshawe, Manchester.[2] Like her brother, Patrick, Aherne suffered from retinoblastoma in childhood, which left her partially sighted in one eye.[3] She attended the Hollies Convent Grammar School in West Didsbury and then studied drama at Liverpool Polytechnic.[1]


Early career[edit]

Aherne began performing on the Manchester comedy circuit as characters such as Mitzi Goldberg, lead singer of the comedy country and western act the Mitzi Goldberg Experience, and Sister Mary Immaculate, an Irish nun.[4] She developed her Mrs Merton character with Frank Sidebottom for his show on Piccadilly Radio, where she worked as a receptionist. Aherne’s first TV appearances were as Mrs Merton in a semi-regular spot on the Granada TV discussion show “Upfront” in 1990. She made brief appearances in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer in 1993 and alongside Steve Coogan and John Thomson in a Granada TV pilot entitled The Dead Good Shows.

Between 1994 and 1997 she appeared in and wrote for the BBC comedy series The Fast Show. One of her most notable characters was the “Chanel 9 Neus” meteorologist Poula Fisch, who invariably reported a temperature for all locations of 45 °C (113 °F) while exclaiming “Scorchio!” with apparent surprise.

She rose to prominence in 1994 as her created character Mrs Merton on the mock talk show The Mrs Merton Show under her married name of Caroline Hook.[5] The guests were real-life celebrities, not actors, who found themselves the subject of outrageous faux naïve questions – in one memorable example the wife of magician Paul Daniels, Debbie McGee, was asked “So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”[6] Another episode featured comedian Bernard Manning and actor Richard Wilson. Manning clashed with Wilson and Aherne, although he acknowledged that One Foot in the Grave was funny. The series ran in various formats from 1994 to 1997, winning a BAFTA for best talk show in 1997.[7] The success of the show was partly attributed to the “round vowel sounds of the North West accent” which “naturally sound safe and unthreatening” and which allowed the character “to ask the most outrageous, below-the-belt questions of her guest stars”.[8] The Mrs Merton character was given a sitcom, Mrs Merton and Malcolm, which depicted her home life with her “mummy’s boy” son (played by co-writer Craig Cash). This aspect of Malcolm’s character was exaggerated to the point that many complained the series ridiculed those with learning difficulties.[9] Mrs Merton and Malcolm lasted one series, and was released on DVD in 2008.

The Royle Family[edit]

Her most popular creation is the situation comedy The Royle Family, which she co-created and wrote with Cash, and directed in its third season. Aherne starred alongside Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston, as their daughter Denise Royle. The show was a commercial and critical success, and ran for three series of six episodes as well as three one-offs. After a 2000 spoof documentary with Cash entitled Back Passage to India, Aherne said The Royle Family would end in December 2000 after a Christmas special, and that she would not appear on television again, although she would continue to write. Aherne received BAFTAs for best sitcom in 2000 and 2007[7], and she won the BAFTA for best comedy performance in 2000. She was nominated for directing in 2001. [7]

Later career[edit]

Following a disagreement with Cash, Aherne moved to Sydney, retreating from the press. She wrote Dossa and Joe which was screened on BBC 2 in 2002. Although critics applauded it, the show did not attract viewers and did not return for a second series. Returning to Britain, she began work on another sitcom with Cash but pulled out, leaving Cash to write with Phil Mealey. Early Doors was a hit in 2003. It was commissioned for a second series, screened in August 2004.

After Dossa and Joe, Aherne avoided media attention. When The Fast Show was featured on the BBC One show Comedy Connections, Aherne was the only cast member not interviewed. In April 2006, the BBC said Aherne and Cash were developing a script for a one-off special of The Royle Family. The Royle Family: The Queen of Sheba was broadcast on 29 October 2006, to an audience of 7.8 million. Aherne subsequently made few TV appearances. On 14 October 2008 she was in the BBC comedy drama written by Cash and Phil Mealey, Sunshine as a barmaid. She appeared in The Royle Family, The New Sofa on Christmas Day 2008. In 2009, she appeared in a Royle Family special for Comic Relief as well as another Christmas Day special of The Royle Family entitled The Golden Eggcup. She co-wrote the ITV comedy-drama The Fattest Man in Britain, which aired in December 2009.

In November 2010, Aherne appeared, in the special The Royle Family: Behind the Sofa shown on Gold, featuring clips of The Royle Family and interviews with Aherne, Cash and the cast, which was followed by another Christmas Day special, Joe’s Cracker. She narrated a BBC1 documentary Pound Shop Wars broadcast in November 2012.[10] She also appeared in The Fast Show internet specials, sponsored by the lager brand Fosters, which reunited most of the original principal cast. Only Mark Williams was unable to participate.[11]

Aherne wrote the 2013 one-off sitcom The Security Men along with Jeff Pope for ITV. The episode starred Paddy McGuinness, Brendan O’Carroll, Dean Andrews, Bobby Ball and Peter Wight.

From 2013 she narrated the Channel 4 programme Gogglebox.[12] In 2014 Aherne narrated the four-part series Pound Shop Wars, which aired on BBC One and in 2015 she made a brief cameo in episode three of Sky 1’s After Hours, reuniting her with her old writing partner Craig Cash, who directed the series.

Personal life[edit]

Aherne was married to Peter Hook of the rock band New Order from 1994 until 1997. During their marriage, he appeared in her TV series as leader of Hooky & the Boys, the house-band of The Mrs Merton Show.[3]


During the 1990s Aherne suffered from depression. In 1998 she attempted suicide and was treated at the Priory.[13] She suffered from bladder cancer and from a rare cancer of the retina.[13] In 2014 she embarked on a programme of treatment for lung cancer.[14]

In June 2014 Aherne appeared in Manchester at the launch of the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership (MCIP), a £3.4m scheme to co-ordinate cancer care in the city. She spoke about how a sense of humour has helped her in her battle against the disease.[15] In 2016, Aherne became the voice behind the UK government’s “One You” health campaign, to persuade people to cut down on cigarettes and alcohol.[16]

On 2 July 2016, Aherne died at her home in Timperley at the age of 52.[17][18]

Fellow Royle Family actress Sue Johnston said: “I am devastated at her passing and I am numb with grief.” Ralf Little, who also starred in the show, said “Sorry for silence – I just… don’t know what to say. What a sad, sad day. We’ve lost another one of our best. A character. A legend. A boss. A sister, real and (for me) fake. A boss. A writer. An actor. A genius. A friend.”[7]


Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1997 BAFTA Awards Best Talk Show The Mrs Merton Show Won [7]
British Comedy Awards Best BBC1 Personality Won [19]
Best Female Comedy Performer Won [20]
TRIC Awards New TV Talent of the Year Won [21]
1999 BAFTA Awards Best Comedy Series The Royle Family Nominated [22]
Best Comedy Performance Nominated [23]
British Comedy Awards Best TV Comedy Actress The Royle Family and Mrs Merton and Malcolm Won [24]
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Writer’s Award The Royle Family Won [25]
2000 BAFTA Awards Best Comedy Performance Won [7]
Best Situation Comedy Won [7]
Royal Television Society Awards Best Sitcom Nominated [26]
Best Writer Won
2001 BAFTA Awards Best Comedy Performance Nominated [27]
Best Situation Comedy Nominated
2007 Best Situation Comedy The Royle Family: “Queen of Sheba” Won [7]
Royal Television Society Awards Best Comedy Writer Won [28]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “Manchester Television Broadcasters and Film Actors including Caroline Aherne…”. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  2. Jump up^ Rinaldi, Graham. “Aherne, Caroline (1963–)“. Retrieved on 25 August 2007.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “BFI Screenonline: Aherne, Caroline (1963–) Biography”. 1963-12-24. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  4. Jump up^ Belcher, David (18 December 1999). “Behind the laughter lines”.Herald Scotland (Herald & Times Group). Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Kelner, Martin; “A warm and gentle kicking”, The Independent, 8 February 1995. Retrieved 21 June 2014
  6. Jump up^ “Entertainment | Kay dishes up best TV one-liner”. BBC News. 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Batty, David; Johnston, Chris (2 July 2016). “Caroline Aherne, actor and comedian, dies aged 52”. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  8. Jump up^ “BBC Inside Out – North West comedy”. 17 January 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  9. Jump up^ “Obituary: Caroline Aherne”. BBC. 2016-07-02. Retrieved2016-07-02.
  10. Jump up^ “BBC One – Pound Shop Wars”. 2012-12-05. Retrieved2013-06-27.
  11. Jump up^ “Foster’s – The Fast Show”. Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  12. Jump up^ “Channel 4 – Gogglebox”. 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b Viner, Brian (18 December 1999). “Profile: Caroline Aherne, the queen of comedy”. The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  14. Jump up^ “Caroline Aherne, Royle Family star, has lung cancer”. BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  15. Jump up^ “BBC News – Caroline Aherne: Humour helps deal with cancer”. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  16. Jump up^ Qureshi, Yakub. “Caroline Aherne to voice new health campaign urging people to cut down on smoking and booze”. Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  17. Jump up^ “Comedian Caroline Aherne dies at 52”. BBC News. Retrieved2016-07-02.
  18. Jump up^ “Caroline Aherne, comedian, actress and creator of The Royle Family, dies after ‘brave’ battle with cancer”. The Daily Telegraph. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  19. Jump up^ “Past winners 1996”. British Comedy Awards. Retrieved July 2,2016.
  20. Jump up^ “Past Winners 1997”. british Comedy Awards. Retrieved July 2,2016.
  21. Jump up^ Hughes, Chris (13 March 1997). “I’ll never marry again but I hope Hooky and I can be friends one day; Mrs Merton exclusive”. Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  22. Jump up^ “Television Comedy – Programme or Series in 1999”. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  23. Jump up^ “Television Comedy Performance in 1999”. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  24. Jump up^ “Past Winners 1999”. British Comedy Awards. Retrieved July 2,2016.
  25. Jump up^ “1999 Presented at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane”. Broadcasting Press Guild. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  26. Jump up^ “Dame Thora’s awards double”. BBC News. 22 March 2000. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  27. Jump up^ “The Bafta TV nominations”. BBC News. 16 April 2001. Retrieved2 July 2016.
  28. Jump up^ “Royal Television Society Programme Award winners”. Metro. 14 March 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2016.

External links[edit]


Vous pourriez aussi aimer...

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Translate »