Hayley Cropper's death on Coronation Street fans may have caused viewers to shed tears, but it could end up being good for business for one Ealing woman.

Caroline Black conducts non-religious 'humanist' funerals like the one Hayley will be having, and she thinks the high profile spotlight the ITV1 show will provide will result in a rise in the popularity of alternative funerals.

Millions of viewers watched moving scenes, shown over two half-hour episodes on Monday, as Hayley took her own life rather than continue her struggle against pancreatic cancer.

Caroline said: "Lots of people who aren’t religious know they wouldn’t want a church funeral for themselves but aren’t really sure what else is available. Hayley’s funeral will do a great job in letting people know that there is an alternative. By giving Hayley a humanist funeral, Corrie is reflecting what many of us now want from funerals. People want an occasion that is about celebrating a life led and the relationships forged with family and friends, as well as being able to share sadness.”

 

Caroline has been conducting bespoke non-religious funerals in the Ealing area for 14 years and has taken around 400 ceremonies, many at Mortlake and Ruislip crematoriums and also at Greenford and Chiswick cemeteries. She will be running a funeral on the same day as the Coronation Street ceremony is broadcast.

She added: "People think this is a strange area of work to go into, but it’s really rewarding and I love it. Providing people with the perfect way to say goodbye to someone they love is a privilege."

Humanist funerals typically involve music, readings and contributions to celebrate the person's life. Caroline also conducts humanist baby naming and weddings.

Hayley Cropper’s life has been a colourful one, even for a soap character. The first transgender character in a UK soap, the final storyline has stirred up debate around ‘right to die’ issues as viewers saw Hayley take her own life after battling terminal illness.