Bernard Youens


Real name: Bernard Popley
Born: 28 December 1914, Hove, Sussex
Married: Edna Swallow (1933)
Died: 27 August 1984



  1. Ann
  2. Diana
  3. Brian
  4. Peter
  5. Michael

Played: Stan Ogden(1964 - 21 November 1984)

Bernard Youens got his start in the theatre early in life,working as an assistant stage manager aged 16, at the Player'sTheatre in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where he had moved with his parentstwo years previously. He subsequently worked in many other repertorytheatres before the war.

His thespian ambitions were put on hold while he saw servicein North Africa, Egypt and Anzio with the 1st Battalion, Loyal'sRegiment. After demob he returned to the theatre, and also tookturns as a publican, a bread salesman, and a building labourer.

In 1956 Bernard was offered a position as continuity announcerwith Granada Television, where he came to be known as the "velvetvoiced" presenter/announcer. Interestingly, in 1960 he wasoffered a chance to audition for the new serial CoronationStreet, but turned down the opportunity, opting instead tostay with a job that he felt offered more security - importantwith five children to feed! However, he did also take on actingroles in ITV series such as Shadow Squad and KnightErrant over this time.

In 1964, with The Street a firm hit, he answered an auditioncall for new cast members. He was matched with JeanAlexander as wife Hilda, and after uttering his first line(in where else, but The Rovers Return): "A pint of mild andtwenty fags, missus", Stan Ogden was born.

Stan became famous for his exploits, which included suing thelocal authorities for compensation after a trip over a pavingstone "injured" his great toe. His admirers banded togetherto form the "Stan Ogden Appreciation Society of Newton Abbot",and he was dubbed "the greatest living Englishman".

In the 1970's Bernard suffered a series of heart attacks, followedby two strokes. His speech was badly impaired, but he was adamantthat Stan not retire. Bernard hired a speech therapist, and anew character - EddieYeats - was brought onto the Street to lodgewith the Ogdens and take over Stan's window cleaning business,and take some of the strain off Bernard's role. Eddie, playedby Geoffrey Hughes, sharedthe main dialogue with Hilda, and Bernard was able to carry on,despite restricted movement, until late 1983.

Bernard Youens final appearance on Coronation Street, although he wouldn't have known at the time, was to be on 7th March 1984. He was admitted to Hospital with Arthritis in early April 1984, He had a second stroke in May (He had the first one around 1982) and had to have his leg amputated after gangrene was discovered in mid July 1984 and died on 27th August 1984 in his sleep, aged 69.




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