Monday, 16 April 2012

Celebrity Corrie Blogger - TV's Jon Connell

Jon Connell is a TV presenter, writer and life long Corrie fan.  He has worked alongside Russell Brand on Big Brother's Big Mouth and more recently presented for BBC1's The ONE Show.  He also spent two years as Sneak magazine's official reality TV columnist and is currently a blogger for The Huffington Post.  If you'd like some more info, you can see Jon's biography here: and a sample of Jon's TV work here on YouTube.

Jon's taken up our challenge for a celebrity to write about their love of Coronation Street. And in return we're donating £10 to Jon's charity of choice which is St Joseph's Hospice, Thornton.   If you'd like to write a celebrity Corrie Blog post for us, all the details are here.

And now, it's over to Jon.... 

Jon Connell: A love letter to Coronation Street

A north-west lad born and bred, it’s mandatory for Coronation Street to be embedded in my DNA.  Born 1989 – the year in which a record 27 million viewers watched the Alan Bradley saga unfold and a fresh-faced 15 year old Steve McDonald first landed on the cobbles – I can’t remember a time when a regular dose of Corrie wasn’t part of my weekly routine.

Some of my earliest Corrie memories are grisly ones – the canal-side attack on Samir Rachid (on my 6th birthday!), Anne Malone’s fatal final night inside one of Firman’s Freezers, and Derek Wilton’s tragic demise in the shadow of his paperclip-bedecked green Corsa.

But it’s the humour, the warmth and the heart within Coronation Street that has always resonated most strongly with me. I fondly remember purple-rinsed Phyllis Pearce haplessly pursuing Percy Sugden, the shop floor bromance between Curly and Reg, the Kabin counter coalition of Mavis and Rita, the endearingly dippy Raquel, and, of course, the Street’s answer to Fred and Ginger, Jack and Vera Duckworth.

When it comes to favourite characters, Steve and Norris are the names that immediately spring to mind.  I have great affection for the old guard – Ken, Deirdre, Gail, Audrey – and dearly miss Blanche and Betty, but am also a fan of some of the more recent additions. I love the eternally effervescent Julie and her beau Brian, the delightfully eccentric Mary never fails to crack me up, and I can’t deny my soft spot for Tina.  I also adore Sylvia who, thanks to the deadly combination of Stephanie Cole’s brilliant comic sensibility and the scriptwriters’ knack for crafting wonderfully withering one-liners, continues the tradition of the acid-tongued, sharp-witted, blunt Northern battleaxe that has existed since Corrie’s inception.

John Stape was, in my view, one of soap’s greatest creations.  At the heart of the murderous farce was an ultimately decent but tragically flawed man ruined by catastrophic misfortune – a character Shakespearean in its quality, Grecian in its epic tragedy.  “All I ever wanted to do was teach...”

Corrie hasn’t been short of classic storylines and memorable moments in 2012.  Becky’s exit stands out as one of the best hours of telly I’ve seen this year, I was gripped by Frank Foster’s villainous ways and their repercussions on Carla and Peter, and have been thoroughly absorbed by the complex dynamic between Paul and Eileen.  I can’t wait to see what the return of Terry Duckworth brings, as well as the introduction of the magnificent Sue Johnston later this year.

I loved Jonathan Harvey’s play Corrie! at the Liverpool Empire last year and am really looking forward to seeing new musical, Street Of Dreams, at Manchester Arena next month.  I’m relishing the prospect of Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Annie Walker, and Hilda and Stan Ogden being brought back to life on stage, as well as witnessing in person Bet in her trademark leopard print attire, Tricky Dicky Hillman unleashing his reign of terror, not forgetting sage of the Street, Ken Barlow himself.

At its best, Corrie is as dramatic as any drama, as comic as any sitcom and as real as any reality show.  It still provides as many laughs per episode as ever, without skimping on drama or shying away from tackling tough social issues.  It’s the ability to strike this delicate balance that has always set Weatherfield apart in the crowded landscape of soapland.

Governments will fall, taxes will rise, fads will come and go, but the cobbles will always have a place in my – and the nation’s – heart.  Here’s to the next 50 years of Coronation Street – I’ll raise a pint of Newton & Ridley to that!

Jon Connell
April 2012

St Joseph’s Hospice, Thornton:
Follow the Coronation Street Blog on Twitter and Facebook


Llifon said...

What a wonderful post! 'Kabin counter coalition'. Brilliant! And I agree with him, the mix of humour and drama is Corrie's main strength. And the mix of sadness/comedy as expressed in tonight's episode with the regulars reminiscing about Betty and Norris wondering who'll be going next. The other soaps can't compare!

Tvor said...

Wonderful! And i'm with you 100% on John Stape!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

adam barlow aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alexander bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards alma baldwin amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass antony cotton audrey roberts awards baby Oliver barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard bill roache billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brian packham brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans carla connor Cath Tyldesley catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street cherylee houston chesney brown chris gascoyne chris harper claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition connor mcintyre conversation street coronation street coronation street art coronation street babies Coronation Street Blog - the book coronation street cartoons coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street preview coronation street spoilers coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig tinker damon alexis-rochefort damon rochefort daniel brocklebank daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush debbie webster deirdre barlow deirdre hunt denise osbourne derek griffiths dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw Elle Mulvaney ellie leach ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples erica stewart exclusive interview exercise dvds famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda favourite females favourite males faye windass feckless fellas in coronation street filming locations filming mistakes fiz brown fiz stape florizel street flying ducks gail rodwell gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd Jack P. Shepherd jane danson jean alexander jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street joe duttine johnny connor jonathan harvey julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh kabin kate fitzgerald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn ken barlow kev webster kevin webster kieran roberts kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liam bairstow lily platt lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney Lucy Fallon luke britton maggie jones malcolm hebden manchester tart marc baylis maria connor mark llewellin martin sterling mary taylor matriachs maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell mothers on the cobbles music in the rovers nathan curtis new set new zealand newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum oliver battersby on location opening titles original cast our blog is the best blog in the world outside broadcast paper boys paper girls pat phelan pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family plot holes props qasim akhtar quay street returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan rita tanner road to coronation street rob donovan rob mallard romanian holiday rosamund street rosie webster rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roy's rolls roys rolls ryan thomas sair khan sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally dyvenor Sally Metcalfe sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia ghadie samia longchambon sarah platt Sarah-Louise Platt schmeichel sean tully shayne ward shelley king simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker six episodes per week sophie webster special effects speculation spin-off spoilers state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls susan barlow susan oudot sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the Nazirs the newspaper boy the road to coronation street through the years tim metcalfe tina o'bren tina o'brien Tina O’Brien tiricia hopkins todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street toyah battersby tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book unofficial merchandise unseen characters viaduct street victoria court fire vip bloggers walking tours watch coronation street online weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield high Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer websters' autos wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps Yasmeen nazir zeedan nazir