Birds of a Feather actresses Linda Robson, 62, and Pauline Quirke, 61, are said to have fallen out after 50 years of friendship. The reported rift between the pair appears to mark the end of Pauline’s beloved character of Sharon.
A source has now claimed that “real and tense issues” were behind Pauline deciding against taking part in the sitcom’s 30th anniversary show in 2019.
Pauline’s absence from the Christmas special meant her character, Sharon, was written out of the story as “stuck on a COVID cruise”.
Loose Women star Linda and actress Pauline rose to fame in the show, as they starred as Essex Girls Tracey and Sharon, whose husbands were both in prison for robbery.
Lesley Joseph, 75, also joined the duo on the popular show and played their snooty neighbour Dorien.
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He appeared in the Christmas special while ITV released a statement to explain Pauline’s absence.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Pauline Quirke will not be taking part as she’s stepping back from acting to focus on her 200 nationwide performing arts academies.”
The Christmas special of Birds of a Feather was watched by 7.9 million viewers, and it is believed that Robson and Joseph are hoping to continue with the Essex-based show.
Linda previously opened up about her long lasting friendship with Pauline in an interview last year.