The pair have been best friends for more than 50 years but are said to have undergone an 'irreconcilable rift'
The reports come as a shock given the pair have been best friends for more than 50 years after knowing each other since childhood.Their closeness made them a natural fit to play sisters Sharon Theodopolopodous and Tracey Stubbs in the hit 90s comedy which has been rebooted in recent years.
However, insiders have revealed that a secret rift between the pair was the real reason behind Quirke opting not to take part in the 30th anniversary of the show, which aired in 2019.She was then allegedly 'not asked' to join the 2020 Christmas special after Loose Women panelist Robson is said to have become more friendly with Lesley Joseph, who played the sisters' man-eating neighbour Dorien Green in the sitcom.
Quirke's abscence was explained to viewers at the time as her character Sharon heading off on a cruise.A friend told the Mail on Sunday : "Both Linda and Lesley were saddened that Pauline didn't want to return to make a 30th anniversary episode. Linda and Pauline used to be very close, less so Pauline and Lesley. headtopics.com
"I think Pauline resented the attention that Lesley got and it was very tense and difficult to navigate at times."Pauline wasn't approached about the Christmas special. The atmosphere on the set had previously become difficult, there were real and tense issues."
Former double act Quirke and Robson had shot to fame in Birds of a Feather which began on the BBC in 1989.The pair played two sisters who moved in together after their husbands were jailed for armed robbery.It ran for nine years before being picked up by ITV in 2014.
The 2020 Christmas special proved a hit with viewers with 7.9million tuning in to catch up with the characters, despite Quirke's absence.While Pauline was a no-show, her real life son Charlie, who plays Tracey's son Travis Stubbs, continued to appear.
An ITV spokesperson said at the time: "Unfortunately, Pauline Quirke will not be taking part as she's stepping back from acting to focus on her 200 nationwide performing arts academies." Read more: Mirror Celeb »
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