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Heartbreaking reason The Royle Family's Sue Johnston has not watched show for years

Heartbreaking reason The Royle Family's Sue Johnston has not watched show for years

Sue Johnston can't face watching the BBC comedy over Christmas like thousands of Brits do.

The Royle Family star Sue Johnston has revealed she has not watched the show for years.

The actress, 80, played the Manchester family's matriarch Barbara Royle in the hilarious BBC show.

Take a look at one of her sweet moments on-screen here:

Although gathering the family round the telly with a box of Quality Street to watch The Royle Family at Christmas is a rite of passage for most Brits, Johnston says she hasn't been able to watch the show for a long time.

She has been left heartbroken by the fact that four members of the close-knit cast have passed away, so she has since found it 'very hard' to see them on screen.

Her on-screen daughter Caroline Aherne, who created and starred in the comedic sitcom as Denise Best, died in July 2016 after a battle against cancer when she was just 52.

The actress who played Johnston's mother Norma 'Nana' Speakman, Liz Smith, then passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 95 the same year.

Sue Johnston hasn't been able to watch The Royle Family for a number of years.

Doreen Keogh portrayed Mary Carroll before she sadly died in 2017 when she was 93-years-old after suffering from Alzheimer's.

And her on-screen husband and the Royles' neighbour, Joe Carroll - aka Emmerdale actor Peter Martin - died in April this year.

Discussing her struggle with grief, Johnston said although she likes to fondly remember her fellow actors, she found it difficult to watch them having a laugh together in The Royle Family since they are no longer here.

But she is comforted by one episode from season four, where she has to wait on the bed-ridden Nana hand and foot while Jim sulks over the fact that she has taken over the living room, just before Denise gives birth to her daughter.

Johnston said she misses her late co-stars very much.
Peter Nicholls/Getty Images
The Brookside star told the Radio Times: "It was very hard, because there are so many people in it who are no longer with us, but The Queen of Sheba [the landmark 2006 episode] is my favourite, and I watch it with a lot of pride.

"The first series was rerun the other day, and do you know, little kids now ask for selfies with me because they love it as much as the older generations did. I think how proud Caroline would have been to know it’s still loved.

"It was one of the happiest jobs I have ever done. And yes, I miss her. All the time.

"She’s another one who would have loved to have got old and grown wrinkles… Although maybe she would have had Botox!"

Johnston and her co-star Craig Cash, who also wrote The Royle Family and played Dave Best, will both appear in a special BBC Two tribute to Aherne over Christmas.

Featured Image Credit: Jon Furniss/Getty Images/BBC

Topics: TV and Film, BBC, UK News