See our blogger Ruth's write-up of the VIP tour.
For the first time ever visitors will be able to go inside sound stage one, here they will be able to walk down the “Corridor of Stars” and take a peek inside a star’s dressing room, step into wardrobe and see some iconic outfits from the show’s history, look inside the character’s homes as selected interior sets are revealed and have a photo taken behind the bar of the Rovers Return.
During a 45 minute guided tour inside the studio, tour guides will reveal filming secrets and backstage gossip and will show memorable artefacts such as Deidre’s glasses, murder weapons and the tram crash ‘witness appeal’ road sign.
Visitors will then be able to walk on the famous cobbles, pose for a picture outside the Rovers Return, Roy’s Rolls and the Kabin and pick up a souvenir from the gift shop located in the Rosamund Street Medical Centre.
Coronation Street The Tour will open April 5th 2014 and will run until 4th October 2014. Tickets can booked online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/coronationstreet. More information can be found at www.coronationstreettour.co.uk.
1. What are you hoping visitors will take away from Coronation Street The Tour?
A real sense of the magic of Coronation Street and of its amazing, rich history at Quay Street. Along with a reminder of so many unforgettable on-screen stories, I hope the tour will also leave visitors with a fascinating insight into how Britain’s best-loved soap has been brought to the screen over so many years.
2. How do you feel about the Coronation Street Quay Street set being opened to the public?
I am very excited that the Quay Street set is being opened to the public. Our old production base holds so many precious memories going back more than half a century and I’m thrilled that these memories can now be shared with the public.
3. How involved has ITV been in the development of Coronation Street The Tour?
The tour is being run by experts in this type of activity, Continuum, but ITV and Coronation Street have been closely involved in the development of the tour. I and my Coronation Street colleagues have worked closely with Continuum and designers Mather and Co to ensure that the tour truly reflects Coronation Street’s amazing, rich history at Quay Street.
4. In your opinion, why should people go on the Coronation Street tour?
I think fans of Coronation Street of all ages will find the tour fascinating and fun. It’s a chance to get close up to sets, props and costumes that have never been made accessible to the public before and to discover behind-the-scenes secrets about how the show is made. For those who aren’t already fans of the show but are curious to find out more the tour should explain why Corrie is The Nation’s Street!
5. What element of the tour do you think will get the biggest reaction?
There are many memorable parts of the tour but I am sure the two highlights will be visiting the set of the Rovers – surely the most famous pub in the world! – and then walking down the iconic cobbled street itself.
Embark on a journey through 53 years of Coronation Street’s history as we take you behind the scenes on an access all areas guided tour of the Quay Street Studios.
Upon arrival you will be presented with your souvenir crew pass as your induction to the “Coronation Street Production Crew” begins.
You will then be collected by your studio guide and for 45 minutes you will be taken behind the scenes and let into all the filming secrets.
The first stop on the tour is the Green Room, this was an area where crew members were not allowed to enter as it was exclusively set aside for the show’s cast to relax in, socialise and learn their lines between scenes.
You will then be led down the “Corridor of Stars” where some of the longest serving cast members had their dressing rooms. You’ll spot some very familiar names on the doors and we’ve left a couple of doors open so you can have a quick peek inside.
We will then step into wardrobe where some of the most iconic costumes are kept. Thousands of items of clothing were stored here and the amount of outfits per person depended on the character. Someone like Roy has a limited wardrobe whereas younger characters have more as they follow fashion trends.
For the next part of the tour we will take you in to Stage One, this iconic studio is the true home of Coronation Street and where all of the show’s interior scenes would have been filmed. Here you will be able to see inside selected sets and find out all of the filming secrets.
Before we take you to the sets, take a moment to enjoy some of the most iconic scenes from the show’s history in our viewing theatre with an expertly curated exclusive video.
A highlight of the tour is the chance to go inside the Rovers Returns where around 3.5 million pints have been pulled. Don’t forget to smile as you have your photo taken behind the bar of the Rovers Return.
As you walk around the studio you will have plenty of opportunities to reminisce about the history of Coronation Street as iconic artefacts are positioned about. Look out for Deidre’s glasses, familiar costumes, murder weapons and Roy’s train set.
As you finish of your tour we will open up the doors of Nick’s Bistro for our Grand Reveal onto the street itself. You will have the unique opportunity to walk along the hallowed cobbles of the nation’s favourite street. Pose for a picture in front of the Rovers Return, Roy’s Rolls or the Kabin, stop by the Rosamund Street Medical Centre to pick yourself up a souvenir in our gift shop and don’t forget to stop for a moment to take in your surroundings and remember all of the Coronation Street legends who have walked the street before you.
How much work has gone into dressing the sets on the tour?
We have a combination of a lot of original pieces on the set, but then we have also had to source identical matches, as easy as this may sound some of the items are not so easy to replicate, something as simple as a tea towel could take you a week to find a match. This is something that we do have to do when we are dressing the sets for filming Coronation Street, however this project has been more challenging.
All of the sets here are original as are many of the pieces, in the Rovers we have the original food warmer where Betty’s Hot Pots would have been, the stained glass bunkettes, the Juke Box and so many little things like the pictures.
What has presented itself as the biggest challenge?
The most challenging has been the Dobbs/Duckworths as it is a combination of how Tyrone and Fiz have it now, and of how it was when Jack and Vera lived there. It has been tricky as we have wanted to find a fine balance between the two as we don’t want to overdo one and underdo the other. We have Jack and Vera’s original wallpaper on the back wall, their water fall feature and their original glass lamp, then we flow over to how Tyrone has it now with the brighter colours and the big fridge with the alphabet letters on.
Another has been Martha’s Barge, there are so many trinkets on there because she was so bohemian, the way that she would collect and collate things from wherever she had been. It has been very interesting because it is a bit like a museum piece.
Are there any surprises for visitors?
There are plenty of surprises, the first of which is being in the actual Coronation Street studio, this has never been offered before. The artefacts on display will give people a bit of an insight, it’s exciting to see an original wedding dress, or a characters necklace, even to be able to see the weapon that was used to hit Frank Foster over the head. There are lots of surprises that reflect the history of Coronation Street.
What do you think is the most valuable or iconic prop we have on site?
That would be Deidre’s glasses. There are so many others like costumes, wedding dresses, urns and coffins, I am not sure on actual value but they all have a sentimental value to us. I think Deidre’s glasses will be the most talked about because they always were, if anyone does an impression of Deidre they always put on a rubbish pair of glasses.
What are you looking forward to people seeing?
I am looking forward to them coming in and seeing the sets because it is something that the public have never had access to. I am looking forward to their initial shock of how small the sets are in comparison to how many people would live in that house. Everything is so much smaller than it looks on the screen and that will fascinate them.
Which are your favourite props?
Some of the murder weapons we have in and the fake rubble from the tram crash, I also like the fact that we have Roy’s train set that he built beyond the death of Hayley and the station she sent to him that arrived after she passed away. There are so many that I cannot pin point a favourite, there are quite a few that I find interesting from my point of view that I know visitors will love.
Coronation Street - The Set Tour
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