Monday, 31 March 2014

Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 31 March

Phelan is really showing his true colours. After telling Katy to ring round for any work that is going, Owen shows that he’s ready to work every hour available to make some money.  Owen discovers that after Katy’s best efforts, Owen’s name has been removed from the council approved contact list – a bitter blow to his chances of gaining work. Off he storms to confront Phelan who, like a true villain, seems to be relishing watching Owen suffer and squirm. Quite reasonably, Owen asks Phelan, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Phelan gives an interesting reply. ‘Why does anyone do anything?’ He then answers his own question, speculating on people’s reasons. He concludes, ‘Fun, spite, power-trip – all of the above?’

It would not be fair to say that Gary and Owen are blameless, certainly not Gary. After breaking into Phelan’s house and a small matter of whacking him on the head, Gary is clearly guilty. Phelan though, is not a man to be messed with. He is surely doing what he’s doing for fun, spite and a power trip – all three of his own suggestions.

Rob was helpful to his sister when he could see clearly how stressed she was. But still Eva and Kirk got it in the neck from Carla who strongly suggests a monkey might be as good an employee as Kirk. Not nice Carla – yes, you are stressed but Kirk is off limits.  Besides how many people have not lost their keys at some point. Perhaps Carla who is super-efficient, will regret telling her staff that she ‘is surrounded by incompetents.’ Rob didn’t accept the money that Carla was offering him and simply said, ‘I’m your brother.’

Criticising Peter for his absence, Rob might have done better to keep quiet. Up goes their rent. Tracy and Rob will have to pay an extra £300 for their rent of Barlow’s Bargains. 

Eva asks Carla if she’d like a cup of herbal tea and Carla’s reply is, ‘Do you want me to tell you what you can do with your herbal tea, Eva?’Poor Eva, it’s not going well for her. On discovering that her mother is moving away, she gets upset. Stella says that she has to get away and that there is nothing for her in Weatherfield. Eva takes this comment badly, ‘Oh cheers mum, you always know how to make me feel dead  special.’ A little later Eva mentions that Leanne won’t be pleased and Eva discovers that Leanne already knows, which again upsets Eva. Then when Stella announces that it’s not Darlington, or London and that it is in fact New York, Eva takes it very badly. In a doomed attempt to make Eva feel better, Stella says that Eva could live in the flat above the kebab shop now that Kevin wants his house back. ‘Living in a flat above a kebab shop? Not sure I can stand the glamour,’ responds Eva.

It’s finally out that it was not a giant of a man who attacked Tim, but it was in fact, Maddie. Tim, Sophie reveals, wanted people to believe he was ‘big and ‘ard.’ Sally is angry that Tim didn’t tell her that Maddie and Sophie were in a relationship. She also wants to know what they are doing with the £30 that Kevin gave Sophie. They’re not doing booze or drugs, and so Sally asks them what are they doing and rather bluntly,Maddie says, ‘Each other.’ The whole scene ends with Maddie flying out and Sophie, in time-honoured tradition, telling her mum that she hates her.

Gail, still much disturbed by the intruder, has to identify him from a series of photos. Kylie tells Gail that she’s no winp and lists in front of the WPC, all the horrors that Gail has suffered and only stops when Gail tells her ‘That’s quite enough!’ Gail fears the intruder will return but Kylie points out that  all that they have is ‘a telly and a box of lego.’
  
It seems Carla needs a net, a huge net to catch Peter and sit him down and tell him that she is expecting his baby. But he’s all over the place and is also having to deal with Tina’s demands to see him, Simon’s dental appointment and sealing a deal for the factory.

Carla is very on edge, understandably, as she has to break the news to him. She has told him she’s been to Bristol, but we know differently. So far Carla has no idea about her husband’s affair, but she surely will know, and if she is very tense now, how will she be when she discovers that her husband is having a long standing affair with Tina, a girl to whom she has been more than kind. 

Peter was born on April 5April 1965, a twin, along with his sister Susan.  If my arithmetic is correct, that means that in a few days, Peter will  be 49 years old, which does not make him a young dad. He will be almost 50 when the baby is born and he doesn't have dad of the century's - Simon Cowell's, money. 

 Peter’s expression of horror as Carla reveals the news of her pregnancy is as we would expect. If it was possible to slice open people’s heads and see exactly what they are thinking, who wouldn’t take the opportunity to read the thoughts swirling around in Peter’s head?  To take a guess, it might read something like this – oh no, I don’t want another child. I can barely cope with Simon. And what will I tell Tina? I promised her I’d tell Carla about her and me, but I can’t do that now. Perhaps I’ve been thinking I could keep playing these two women off against each other and pay no consequences. Now Carla is pregnant I can’t tell her I’m leaving her and I will have to tell Tina that after all I will not be leaving Carla and hope that she will understand. Who am I kidding? Tina will be furious and who’s to say that Tina won’t tell Carla exactly what we’ve been up to. Why don’t I learn? I’m not a kid anymore. If ever there was a time I needed a drink, that time is now.

All that said, Peter is very protective of Carla and it is touching to see them lying together coming to terms with having a child. Carla freely admits that she’s no Mary Poppins, and that she prefers the scent of Chanel over baby sick. There’s a good mum there in Carla -  not the most conventional of mums, but judging from the love and care Carla gave to Hayley,  a very kind mum.

Peter confesses to having neglected Carla and says that all that will end. We are no doubt thinking that what he means is that he will stop seeing Tina. Peter’s phone keeps interrupting their discussion until, by threatening to ring the doorbell, Peter has to go and see Tina. And what a different Peter Tina sees. He is aggressive and impatient. And then, ‘I think I’m pregnant – I’m late and I recognise the signs.’

This sends Peter reeling and our last shot is of him, loosening his collar and seeming as if he’s on the verge of collapse.  

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Keeping up appearances on Coronation Street

No, it's not about the hilarious antics of Hyacinth Bucket and hubby Richard - although Patricia Routledge did appear on the Street for a few episodes in 1961!

Having looked at the appearances of characters over the last few months, what came to my mind was how important it is for every character to keep up their appearances and not become absent for long periods of time - unless of course illness or bereavement on the actor's part keeps them from appearing.

I think in a show like Coronation Street every character should have equal screen time. Or maybe not equal, but no character should be over-exposed. It is natural that the Rovers' boss and the bar staff appear more often than any other, but they shouldn't necessarily appear all the time.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Annie Walker, Betty Turpin and Bet Lynch would appear in 70-80 episodes a year, so you had about 20-25 episodes where they didn't appear. In many of the episodes, they weren't the stars of the episode, they were simply pulling a pint or having a few lines of dialogue. In recent years, the likes of Becky, Tina and Stella have been over-exposed in their Rovers roles and so we tire of them. If they're not having a crisis, they're always seen behind the bar. They seem never to have a day off.

Or maybe I'm looking through rose-tinted specs? You viewers of Corrie back in the 70s and 80s, did you feel that certain characters were over exposed? Maybe you grew tired of Elsie, Hilda, Bet or Len? Both Len and Elsie topped the appearance charts for 20 years or more. But was there a difference that they didn't dominate episodes like current top-appearing characters?

Maybe the fact that there are more episodes now so characters have to appear more on screen. Prior to 1989, if you grew tired of a character on a Wednesday, you had until the following Monday to have a break from them. 

I just feel that certain characters are being cruelly underused - like Kirk and Deirdre for instance. Whereas Deirdre was the soap's biggest asset at one time, she's now a background character. And yet Gail is still a vital part of the show and Helen Worth is older than Anne Kirkbride. 

What is your view? Do you think every character should have an equal footing? Or do you have a thrill of seeing Emily Bishop appear on a recurring basis? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Michelle Collins talks about Corrie disappointment

Michelle Collins' autobigraphy has been serialised in some of the tabloids.  In The Irish Mirror, they include the section of her book where she talks about leaving Coronation Street as Stella Price.

From The Irish Mirror:


Michelle Collins writes in her book about joining Coronation Street: “I didn’t even dare watch my first episode, which aired on 16 June 2011. Apart from the fact that I was nervous, I really don’t like watching myself on screen – I never have. The first clue I had that all might not be hunky-dory was when I received a text from a concerned friend the day after it aired. ‘Don’t take any notice of them, Michelle. Ignore them’.

“What? Ignore who? This was in the days before I was on Twitter, but plenty of other people were and pretty soon the jungle drums were beating. The lowdown was that my northern accent was absolutely laughable and many people were saying I shouldn’t have been cast at all. I should have known it was on the cards.

Some people wanted me to fail before I’d even started, and talk of my supposedly dodgy accent was just the ammunition they needed. I didn’t get it. I’d worked hard with a great dialect coach called Mark, and as critical of myself as I often am, I really didn’t think I sounded bad at all.

My opinion didn’t matter, though – it was the public that counted.

“I couldn’t seem to avoid it. I turned on the radio to hear someone chuckling about it on a phone-in. Then I heard it was trending on Twitter. I had no idea how to deal with it. I’d never really suffered any tough criticism about my performances and this couldn’t have been more public.

“I was deeply upset but I didn’t want to show it, so I began to disengage from everything and everyone.”

Michelle says she shut herself off from the other actors. “If you had asked anyone else in the Corrie cast what I was like in that first few weeks they’d probably have said something like, ‘Oh, she’s a bit uptight, that one’.

“It felt like a witch-hunt, with the world and its mother having their say about my appointment to the show.”

In April 2013, new producer Stuart Blackburn made changes, bringing back Bev Callard’s Liz McDonald and ousting Michelle’s character from the Rovers. It was a bit of a blow, to be honest,” Michelle writes. “In fact, I’m not sure I would have signed up for another year if I’d known it was going to happen.

I wasn’t sure how it was going to work if Stella wasn’t running the pub, and I can’t pretend I wasn’t disappointed.”

She adds: “Once Stella’s murdering husband Karl had been locked up and the Price family had moved out of the pub, my fears were realised.

“Stella just seemed to be hovering around without purpose, popping in here and there with the odd wise word for her daughters. That wasn’t enough for me, especially when it meant being away from my family.”

She says: “I’m walking away from Corrie with no malice or bad feeling.”

And she adds: “It’s funny, though – after all that time working on the show, I’d never plucked up the courage to hang out in the green room. I’m not really sure why but just the thought of it made me nervous. It’s not like there was anyone I dislike intensely or wanted to avoid, but it harked back to those first rough few weeks. Perhaps it was a bit like being traumatised by a bad childhood experience that never leaves you.”

© Michelle Collins 2014. Adapted by Dan Wight from This is Me published by Michael O’Mara books on April 3 at £20.

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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Monday 31 March

Coronation Street, MONDAY 31st MARCH 2014 at 7.30pm
CARLA HAS A BOMBSHELL FOR PETER Carla’s left feeling thwarted when her attempts to get Peter alone are unsuccessful. Desperate to tell Peter about her pregnancy, she’s on edge and snaps at Eva and Kirk in the factory. When he finds a glum Carla on Maxine’s bench, will she finally drop the bombshell on unsuspecting Peter?
PHELAN TWISTS THE KNIFE FURTHER Phelan remains suspicious when Owen and Gary deny all knowledge of the break-in at his house and Anna’s left worried when Katy is unable to drum up any business. Does Phelan have a part to play in the lack of work available?
SALLY STRUGGLES WITH MADDIE’S PRESENCE  Sally’s feeling increasingly concerned about Sophie and Maddie’s relationship and feels Maddie has outstayed her welcome. Kevin offers to have a word with Sophie.
ELSEWHERE Gail’s left feeling sick when the police call at No.8 hoping that Gail and Kylie can identify the intruder from some photos and Julie and Sally plan a ladies’ night at the Bistro.

Coronation Street, MONDAY 31st MARCH 2014 at 8.30pm
PETER’S ROCKED BY A CURVEBALL FROM TINA Peter’s consumed with guilt when he realises just how much he loves Carla and vows to stand by her whether she decides to have the baby or not. In the street Rob and Tracy wind Peter up and he bites back by increasing their rent on the shop. But Peter’s in for more of a shock when Tina decides to drop a bombshell on him. Is Tina pregnant too?
STELLA’S PLANS CAUSE HEARTBREAK FOR EVA Eva’s upset when she finds out Stella’s leaving for New York on Wednesday and is fuming when she realises Leanne already knew.
OWEN HITS ANOTHER BRICK WALL Owen’s furious to learn the council has blacklisted him and won’t give him any more work. Owen’s convinced Phelan’s behind it and he confronts him about his bad mouthing him to the council but Phelan laughs in his face.
ELSEWHERE Sophie and Maddie come clean about their relationship and Gail’s shaken when the face of her intruder is laid out in front of her.

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Les Dennis thanks Ricky Gervais


On the South Yorkshire Times website today, there's an interview with Les Dennis who we saw this week breaking into Platt Towers and scaring the dickens out of Gail.

And while much of what he says in the South Yorkshire Times interview is similar to the interview our blogger Ruth did when she met him a short while ago, it was interesting to read a bit more of his background, as I am unfamiliar with Les Dennis.

Les says that his family home was also burgled, so that's a piece of irony. He moved his family to Cheshire shortly after that, which was within the last couple of years. It makes the commute to the ITV studios very convenient.

He's a lifelong fan of Coronation Street and made an impression by doing an impression of Mavis Riley back in the 1980s with his then-comedy partner Dustin Gee who "did" Vera Duckworth. He's also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother during which he appeared to have a bit of a breakdown. After that, he didn't get much work for a while but comedian Ricky Gervais offered him a job, having created a role in Extras. That relaunched his career.

“So every cloud... You’ve got to think of it that way,” adds Les, who attributes his career reinvention to the Office star. “If I hadn’t done Extras then I wouldn’t have been offered the roles I’ve been offered on stage, and I wouldn’t eventually have got here. Everyone needs a reboot now and again.”


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Corrie weekly awards, March 24 - 28

Enemy Mine award: Things are not going to be cosy back at Number 9 now!

My Most Embarassing Moment award: Eva calling Kal out on rejecting Stella in front of both Stella and Leanne (not knowing about his crush on Leanne)

Environmentally unaware award: Tina has no clue when it comes to fancy menus spouting about locally sourced food.

Subterfuge award: Gary and Owen are planning on ripping Phelan off which turned into the Worst Idea Ever award with the break-in.

Horseshoe award: Talk about luck! Stop someone from taking a handbag and get a £5,000 reward.

Turn of phrase award: Beth is a "merchandise production executive". aka machinist.

How did that happen award: Gary's face when Phelan found the tiles. And he gets the Pants on Fire award for lying to Phelan who didn't believe him anyway.


Lines of the week:
Anna to Gary and Owen "I'd say have a nice day but I'll settle for come back in one piece"
Gail "This worm is definitely on the turn"
Tina "How is it you always know the exact thing to say?" Peter "Practice makes perfect" (and she didn't think that was scary in the least)
Tina "Who needs to know where the grub's from, it's going to the same place"
Carla about Simon "He calls me Cruella behind me back" Rob "Everyone does!"
Peter "What are you doing? Planning a surprise?" (Is she ever!)
Beth "Don't be greedy. That's my motto"
Kirk "I always said Thursday was my lucky day!" Chesney "It's Wednesday" Kirk "It's not, is it?"
Simon "Freddie reckons Dad jokes are lame. He reckons they get them out of Christmas Crackers" Peter "Freddie sounds great!"
Michelle to Beth "It's like rubbing shoulders with Hello magazine every time I pull you a pint!"


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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Winners announced in our Michelle Collins autobiography competition

 
Congratulations go to Diane Larabie in Canada and James Taylor in the UK.  
 
They have both been drawn at random from all correct entries received to win a copy of Michelle Collins' autobiography, This is Me.

Thank you to everyone who entered.

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Coronation Street Weekly Update - lies, lust and lippy

GOT KINDLE? GET CORRIE!
Corrie weekly updates from 1995 - 2013
19 years in 19 e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle
Available in UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenda-Young/e/B0077OXHBQ/
and in Canada and USA at http://www.amazon.com/Glenda-Young/e/B0077OXHBQ
 


Also for Kindle! Corrie weekly update writer and Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda Young's novel TRIPLE WHAMMY and her poetry book CANDY FLOSS GIRL NEEDED - APPLY WITHIN


Find out more about the Coronation Street Weekly Updates and why they've been written for th'internet since 1995 at http://www.corrie.net/updates/weekly 



Peter Barlow’s turned into a one-man circus. He’s developed a juggling act while tightrope-walking between Tina and Carla. He’s the incredible, invisible man. Tina seeks him here, Carla seeks him there. He beds Tina here, he beds Carla there. While Carla’s at her stepdad’s funeral, he’s in a hotel room with Tina. And when he’s home with Carla, Tina’s moping round her flat waiting for him to call. And so it goes, the soap staple of lies, lust and lippy. But this circus tent will soon come crashing down on Peter’s head when he finds out that Carla’s pregnant.

Over at the garage, Kev loses his big top with Tyrone who hasn’t been keeping the books up to date. The garage is fined for not filing taxes on time and Kev blasts Tyrone, when it’s not really his fault. Anyway, they make up afterwards and are mates again, taking Steph’s brother Luke on trial as a mechanic. Kev tells Stella he wants her out of his house so he can move back in, and until then, he and little Jack are living with Tyrone and Fiz.


Gail gets a fright when an intruder breaks into her house.  It fair unsettles her and she stuffs a cricket bat down the sofa incase the fella should try to break in again.  Well, he might want a game, who knows? Meanwhile, David and Kylie need some time on their own but plans for a night in a hotel go awry after Kylie takes pity on Gail and stays in with her when she realises how scared the intruder has made her.

Beth’s over the moon when a cheque for five thousand pounds arrives in the post. It’s a reward from the woman from the bingo, the one Beth saved from being mugged.  The Weatherfield Gazette give Beth’s story a double page spread: ‘Local Hero saves Maureen’s Bingo Win’ and the story goes online too.  Nasty Norris points out to Beth that people have been leaving horrid comments about Beth’s appearance on the Gazette website, and of course, Beth goes to have a look.  She’s upset, as you’d expect.  Craig leaves some comments of his own for his mum, pointing out how lovely she is while Kirk wonders aloud: “It’s new to me that badger’s bums are rough!”

There’s trouble at t’ Mill when Owen and Gary half-inch some of Phelan’s tiles to do a job on the side, and at Phelan’s expense. But he’s not daft, is Phelan, and figures out what’s going on.  He tells Owen that he’s keeping the eighty thousand pounds that Owen’s invested into the building project.  “You can’t do that,” says Owen. “I can,” says Phelan, and what Phelan says, it seems, goes. So Gary decides to break into Phelan’s house to get back the CCTV footage of him beating Phelan up. He doesn’t find it of course, and it’ll not take long for Phelan to figure out who’s been breaking and entering into his McMansion.

And that’s just about that for this week.

This week's writers were Mark Burt, Martin Allen, Susan Oudot, Jan McVerry. Find out more about the Coronation Street writing team at http://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.com/2008/11/exclusive-all-current-corrie-writers.html

Glenda Young
--
Blogging away merrily at http://flamingnora.blogspot.com


My new book coming soon. 
A Perfect Duet. A Diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper
With a foreword written by Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street for 16 years.

Order the book here.
Facebook page for the book.

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Mother's Day Poll: Will Carla Connor make a good mum - Yay or Nay?

It's Mother's Day on Sunday 30 March here in the UK, so here we go with a special Mother's Day poll.

Now that it looks like Carla will go through with her pregnancy, will she make a good mother - yay or nay?  What do you say?

See also: The future of Carla's child

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Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 28 March


It's always interesting to see how a soap will tackle issues in contemporary society, and tonight's representation of an "ordinary" person who appears in the public eye and is vilified for doing so was accurate, pertinent and brilliantly executed.

It's Beth's moment to shine as the Weatherfield Gazette report on her heroics and reward of £5,000. "Local Hero Saves Maureen's Bingo Win" reads the headline (not to mention her husband's ashes!) The "merchandise production executive" is very proud of her achievement, and tells Michelle how she decided to waive her anonymity to let the world see her in the hope that she can inspire others. She gives the bemused barmaid a copy of the article for the wall of the Rovers.

Contemporary celebrity culture has many guises with the dissolving gap between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" becoming increasingly complex. Beth's description of how her "mate's cousin's boyfriend's Dad" was in the original line up of Duran Duran, and how "She thought she were a right proper celebrity and all that lot, whereas I'm actually one of your punters" is demonstrative of the category of celebrity purportedly famous by association as opposed to those who become famous on merit. As is our daily experience, neither are immune to criticism, as Beth is about to find out. 

Things turn sour when Norris reveals that readers have posted mean comments about her on the Gazette website. We are all sadly only too familiar with this phenomenon, and analysing the potential reasons behind it would mean a whole other article. What is of relevance here is that we seldom get to see how their comments are received by the victim, and Beth's experience offers a welcome opportunity to reveal this.

Norris' comment, "If you stick your head above the parapet..." is representative of a dominant opinion among too many who feel if you put yourself out there, you somehow deserve to be torn apart. As Beth reads the nasty comments, you can't help but feel sorry for her. "I don't get it, I did summat good, summat nice" she observes, bewildered. Kirk talking of badger's bums in reference to one comment, and Chesney getting the evil eye from Sinead for pointing out another, are sources of humour, but they don't undermine the message which is, there is a human on the receiving end of thoughtless comments, and people should consider this before posting.

Beth is insecure about her appearance, and even her friends, as a result of the negative attention, as she worries they are hiding behind aliases to insult her. Humanity is restored via Craig who uses the facility of the internet alias for good, posting as Duncan, Doreen and Terry to express his pride in his Mam's heroics. It must be said that some characters have been on the receiving end of Beth's unnecessarily nasty remarks in the past, and what I really hope for this storyline is that its value and worth is borne out by showing a permanent change in Beth's character for the better as a result of this negative experience.

Chesney tells Dev he wants to invest in Prima Doner, and wants Beth to be his "Dragon" with her £5,000, but Sinead feels she's too fragile at this time to be approached.
Carla attends an abortion clinic with Michelle and voices her inner turmoil over what to do. The fact that there'll be no picture of the scan which has confirmed she's pregnant appears to strike a chord with her. She tells Michelle that the pill she's about to take will change her life which is telling considering the reason she made the appointment was to ensure her life doesn't change. Michelle offers great counsel, encouraging her to talk about her doubts. These essentially see Carla deciding not to go though with it. In the car, they watch Stella and Leanne hug and imagine a having a little girl "who'd love you more than the world". While she tells Michelle she never thought she'd be a Mam, Carla's worry is now that Peter might leave her if she tells him where she's been.
Having lost their £80,000 investment for stealing, Anna is furious, Gary and Owen blame each other,and Izzy wishes she'd never met Gary. In an attempt to destroy the evidence of his assault, Gary breaks into Phelan's but finds nothing. Incensed Owen insists Gary answer to him on everything from now on. Anna can cope with shattered dreams, but reckons it would break her if Gary and Izzy were to split up.
Imperceptive of the effect of the recent robbery on vulnerable Gail, David and Kylie continue to fob the kids off on her and embark on a "Fantasy Night Out". They meet as supposed strangers in a hotel, but the evening proves as futile as trying to establish where Kylie's alter-ego "Saskia" is supposed to be from, as neither have brought money. With no choice but to go home, they find Gail alone with a cricket bat, and after confessing her fears, Kylie refuses to leave her.
Stella announces to Leanne that she's leaving for New York. She tells her daughter to follow her heart with Kal, that she's done all she can for Nick, and that she wants to see her move on and be happy. While she can't agree to abandon Nick, Leanne promises to look after Eva and stay in touch.
By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes


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Friday, 28 March 2014

Oldies v young 'uns - Coronation Street's changing character profile


Our blogger Llifon has done a fantastic job over the last few months in researching and presenting the 12 most used characters on Coronation Street, year by year, from 1960 to date.

You can read all about them here.

In each of the years profiled by Llifon, he worked out the average age of the top 12 most used characters each year. 

In the graph above, we've plotted those average ages, year by year, so you can see how this has changed over the years and decades.

The years are across the bottom of the graph and the ages are up the left hand side.

Yes, it's real Corrie anorak fan stuff - and I love it! I can't thank Llifon enough for all his work.

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Corrie newcomer Luke to date Katy Armstrong

There's a good interview with Dean Fagan, who plays newcomer Luke Britton on Coronation Street, in Digital Spy today.

Dean talks about the audition process for the part of Luke in Corrie.  He also reveals that Luke will be starting a new romance with Katy Armstrong.

Luke has appeared on a few TV dramas in the past, including one with the BBC called Worried About the Boy. "That was one of my first gigs. It was about Culture Club and I played Mikey Craig the bassist. I've done some other shows too, most recently a drama called Homefront for ITV, which was brilliant to work on."

And as for his other interests outside of work: "I DJ as well as acting. I've got a residency DJ job at The Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, and also at another place called The Terrace. Before I joined Corrie, that kept the bills paid and also gave me a lot of free time."

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Character appearances on Corriepedia.

For those of you who've been following my series of blog posts about the top 12 faces of Corrie, you'll be interested to know that over on Corriepedia they've been using the data that I've collected (and sent to them) to make a full list of character appearances for every year. And that's every main character from 1960 onwards. 

So if you want to know how episodes did Ena Sharples appear in 1976 or how many did Maria appear in 2002, well Corriepedia's the place to go.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Tomlinson, who's one of the editors of Corriepedia, for all his hard work in compiling these lists. Over the last few months we've been corresponding regularly if my posts needs editing!

I hope John doesn't mind, but I'd like to quote what he told me in an e-mail in February about the special relationship (as Churchill once said) that Corriepedia has with us here at the Coronation Street Blog. And I have to say they're my sentiments exactly:

"Can I...take this opportunity to congratulate you on the Coronation Street Blog and thank you for your work there? Many, many times we've used you as a resource for information as you're comprehensive, accurate and a mine of information on the development of the show and its associated spin-offs. I just wish you'd been going and had an archive since 1960!! You're also just great fun to read which is also a blessing! I think we complement each other in an unintended way - you're on the case as regards the future of the programme as well as its present form (and some of the past, mainly through [Llifon's] postings) and we're solidly in the past, filling in those gaps because there hasn't been the web since 1960 and because the sheer volume of data precludes anything like us being available in book form. A huge interest for me is that it's also uncharted territory: we've uncovered some facts that even the production office don't hold, such as repeat information and the like. Finding such things out is time-consuming but great fun and I'm sure you get the same kick out of your endeavours. We're also a little dry and factual whereas you bring out the fun in being a Corrie watcher!"

I would also like to thank David McGowan, who is the creator of Corriepedia, for his hard work in creating a haven for Corrie fans! No other soap opera (I believe) has an encyclopedia of its history and I for one love to browse through various episode synopses or character profiles. And thank you also to all the contributors to the site - you're work is much appreciated! 

To see the character appearances lists, click here. The link takes you to 'Coronation Street in 1960' and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can pick and choose the particular year you want. There's also an arrow if you want to skip a decade. 

I hope you've enjoyed the series of posts as much as I have been compiling them. And in case you missed any of them, you can see the whole series here.

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Corrie's Barbara Knox arrested - say the tabloids

There's a story in today's tabloids which say that Coronation Street's Barbara Knox has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving

The Mirror reports that Barbara, who plays Rita Tanner, was being driven home by daughter Maxine Ashcroft when police pulled them over.

Maxine was breathalysed before being taken to a police station where further tests allegedly showed her nearly three times the legal limit.

Barbara - who has been on Coronation Street for more than 40 years - later went to Knutsford Police Station, in Cheshire, to demand Maxine's release, reportedly yelling:"Do you know who I am?"

Officers suspected Barbara had driven to the station under the influence of alcohol and arrested the veteran actress.

Mr Curry Sauce tells the Mirror: "Barbara wasn't happy her daughter had been arrested. She kept yelling, 'Do you know who I am?' She turned up at the police station knocking the door and demanding her daughter be released. But the officers suspected she had driven to the station herself so they arrested her as well."

A Cheshire Police spokesman last night said: "Police stopped a car in Hollow Lane in Knutsford. A 56-year-old woman from Gloucestershire was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. An 80-year-old woman from Knutsford later arrived at Knutsford Police Station and was also arrested on suspicion of drink-driving."

Barbara was released on bail pending further police enquiries while Maxine will appear at Macclesfield magistrates court on Wednesday.

A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: "This is a personal and private matter."

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Fab Photo Friday - March 28th 2014

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo.  Here's a picture that used to sit behind the bar at the Rovers. Fortunately for Steve it looks to have gone missing but if the prop department want another copy there are plenty available on the interweb.


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Spot the Corrie prop - March 28th 2014

Congratulations to regular entrant AmandaB who was the first to spot that last week's strange penguin can be found on the windowsill of Tina and Steph's flat.

For this week's prop puzzle all you have to do is tell us whereabouts on Coronation Street you think this pretty posy can be found.




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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Friday 28 March

Coronation Street, FRIDAY 28TH MARCH 2014 at 7.30pm
GARY TAKES MATTERS INTO HIS OWN HANDS Owen loses his temper and blames Gary for the mess they’re in with Phelan. In a rage, Gary leaps in the van and drives off. He tells Kal of their situation and tells him he intends to break into Phelan’s house and steal the DVD. But as Gary sets of trying to disconnect the burglar alarm at Phelan’s house, he sets it off. Will he be caught out?
CARLA NEEDS A BIG FAVOUR FROM MICHELLE Over breakfast, Peter jokes with Simon but Carla’s clearly preoccupied and she asks Michelle to accompany her to the abortion clinic.
BETH’S HIGH SPIRITS ARE CRUELLY DASHED Beth calls in the Kabin and is delighted to see her article in the Gazette but Norris takes delight in telling her about the derogatory comments he’s read about her online. Beth’s left depressed when she reads the comments which poke fun at her figure.
ELSEWHERE David and Kylie plan a romantic evening out.  Gail agrees to babysit although she dreads being alone in the house and Nick gazes fondly at Leanne, his feelings for her evident.

Coronation Street, FRIDAY 28TH MARCH 2014 at 8.30pm
OWEN SAVES GARY FROM HIMSELF Gary silences the alarm and goes into Phelan’s house. Owen goes after Gary, hoping to stop him and tells Gary that Phelan could have made dozens of copies of the CCTV footage. After calling in at a builder merchant to give themselves an alibi, Owen decides it’s time to lay the law down to Gary. Will Gary want to hear what Owen has to say?
MICHELLE TRIES TO GET THROUGH TO CARLA Michelle goes with Carla to the abortion clinic. Realising the enormity of her situation, Carla realises she can’t go through with the termination. Is it time to tell Peter that she’s pregnant?
CRAIG TRIES TO PROTECT HIS MUM Craig can’t stand to see his mum hurt by the online comments about her looks and decides to writes a few comments of his own praising Beth for both her looks and her bravery. Beth is touched.
ELSEWHERE Leanne admits to Stella that she’s fallen for Kal. Stella tells Leanne she’s thinking of starting afresh and intends to leave Weatherfield. David arrives home to find Gail cowering on the sofa, clearly shaken by the recent break in. 

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Welcome to Weatherfield with Coronation Street tour guides

If you're off to the Coronation Street tour in the coming months, here's a picture of all of the tour guides who will be showing Corrie fans around the Street. 

We've photoshopped in to the picture Jonny Grimshaw (aka Jonny G Force) who is a Coronation Street extra and who will also be working as a tour guide.  Jonny was on a day off when the group photo was taken so we've added him in seamlessley, as you can tell.  You can find out more about Jonny Grimshaw here and if you meet him, be sure to say hello.


Thirty five guides have been recruited from in and around the Greater Manchester area and are now embarking on an intensive and interactive training programme, which focuses on providing visitors to the tour with a truly memorable experience, in preparation for the opening day on Saturday April 5th.

Two of our Coronation Street bloggers - Emma and Ruth - are beig allowed into the Coronation Street set tour in advance of the official opening to fans.  We'll  bring you all their pictures and news!

Prior to opening, several days of run-throughs will take place to ensure that the guides provide the same high level of excellence on the first tour as they will on the very last tour in October.

Coronation Street The Tour will open on April 5th and will run until October 4th 2014.

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The faces of Corrie in 2013

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960sthe 1970sthe 1980sthe 1990s and the 2000s. For the next few weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 2013, 252 episodes were broadcast.

1. Tina McIntyre (164 episodes)
2. Anna Windass (161 episodes)
3. Roy Cropper (153 episodes)
4. Stella Price/Munro/Price (150 episodes)
5. Gail McIntyre (146 episodes)
6. Leanne Barlow/Tilsley (144 episodes)
7. Nick Tilsley (144 episodes)
8. David Platt (137 episodes)
9. Kylie Platt (137 episodes)
10. Hayley Cropper (135 episodes)
11. Fiz Stape (132 episodes)
12. Owen Armstrong (127 episodes)

Average age: 40

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Poll: How often should Corrie be broadcast each week?


I've blogged before that I think Coronation Street has too many episodes broadcast each week and while I think the current pattern is here to stay, it does make me wonder how many of us still watch Corrie religiously and what our viewing patterns are these days.

It would be a brave producer who would cut back the number of episodes from five to three or even four.

Corrie is still an important part of ITV's output and the advertising revenue that comes with that means our favourite soap must continuously be churned out. I guess cutting back the number of episodes would also mean culling the show's large cast and that would be a shame for some of Corrie's hardworking actors.

So here is where you come in. I've put together a little poll which will hopefully gauge the mood of our loyal Coronation Street Blog followers. Select your preferred option below and let me know how many episodes Corrie should broadcast each week. Please also feel free to leave any comments below.

Get voting and I'll reveal the results next week!

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Michelle Collins joins Casualty

Stella Price leaves Coronation Street next week on Wednesday 2 April.  And in real life, actress Michelle Collins will be joining the cast of Casualty.


According to an interview with The Sun, Michelle says that she'll be back on TV in Casualty from  July.  She will play the love interest of one of the paramedics, Jeff, played by Matt Bardock.

She says: “I’m pleased to be out of a soap for now. I have more time to be a mum and I’m going into Casualty as a key character’s love interest. It is only for a few weeks, which is perfect.”
 
You can win a copy of Michelle Collins' autobiography - enter our competition here.

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