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|First appearance||27th April 1981|
|Number of appearances||1|
|Played by||Carol Berlyne|
Shirley Bennett was the barmaid at the Lord Nelson pub where Bet Lynch and Elsie Tanner went on a girls night out, suggested by Bet to cheer Elsie up after she had been rejected by Wally Randle as being too old for her. Bet was delighted to see Shirley who had been a school friend of hers. Shirley had moved back to the area from Portsmouth after the break-up of her marriage. The evening led to disastrous consequences though when a drunken and desperate Elsie picked up Bill Fielding and brought him back to No. 11 for the night. His furious wife Muriel found out and wrecked Elsie's house and possessions. Sacked soon afterwards by Jim Sedgewick, Elsie reached a low ebb. Helped by her old friend Len Fairclough, she persuaded her to get away from it all and go and stay with daughter Linda Cheveski in Birmingham for a while.