Monday, 31 August 2015

Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 31 August 2015

Despite it being a bank holiday, and therefore a day off, Aidan is having none of it. He firmly insists that he and Carla go through the books. Tim is working too at his job - according to Sally he is a Window Enhancement Executive. Sally is keen to work too, to take the opportunity to look at some spreadsheets, but she is sent away. Even her offer of buying 2 milky coffees is turned down by Carla.

At the bistro Sophie is conducting Maddie’s Memorial Auction. Carla enters the bistro and orders drinks. Steph brings them over and Carla grabs the bottle of red, pours some wine into a large glass and glugs it like water. Clearly suffering from the devastating effects of guilt, not helped by too much alcohol, Carla behaves irrationally by bidding £200 for a photograph of Lorraine Kelly. Not something that Carla would put up on her mantelpiece but a good chunk of money for Sophie’s Memorial fund for Maddie.  Tracy is also in attendance and Carla’s presence affects Tracy. Everyone sees that Carla is drunk, crashing into things and spilling drinks. Then, absolutely in contrast to anything Tracy has ever done before, for her dearest friend, never mind her arch-enemy, she is actually kind to Carla, whose feelings at the auction must be torturing her, and suggests that Carla goes home. She tells Robert that the auction with the Nazirs there and a huge picture of Maddie must be hard for her. Is this really compassion? From Tracy?

Watching this is Robert, who knows Tracy well now and of old. He senses there is something strange going on if Tracy is watching out for Carla. Intrigued by Tracy’s apparent concern, he quizzes her back at home. He proves to be an exceptional interrogator and should perhaps join Scotland Yard rather than stay on at the Bistro.

Robert is determined to get the truth out of Tracy concerning the fire and succeeds in making her clearly uneasy. ‘What is it you’re not telling me? Did you have something to do with the fire?’ He continues. ‘This woman who you hate, you pitied her. It wasn’t just pity it was fear. This woman is being eaten up by guilt and you couldn’t take it.’

To add to Tracy’s guilt, Carla is shouting for Amy and begging for forgiveness. She adds, truthfully, that she never meant to hurt her. Viewers will remember that Liz had asked Carla to have Amy overnight in her flat on the night of the fire, unbeknown to Tracy. As Carla continues in self-destruct mode, Robert urges Tracy to tell the truth about that night. He tells her that if she cannot do that then their future is in jeopardy. Michelle and Nick take Carla back home. It’s not long though before she escapes and is wandering on the street, bottle of wine in hand. ‘I killed 2 people. A beautiful girl and a loving father.’

Tracy tells Carla that it was an accident. Nick and Michelle have arrived to claim Carla, and Michelle says that Carla wants forgiveness. She then wishes Robert good luck, telling him he’ll need it. Robert means what he says and packs his bag. ‘I want to help you but every time you open your mouth I have to work out if you are telling the truth.’

 There is something about Liz and Lloyd as a couple just doesn’t feel right, to me, at least. The combination of Liz’s yellow and Lloyd’s pink was a tad off-putting too.  Both Liz and Lloyd are on the rebound, which is a sticking point anyway. Steve, surprisingly, thanks Lloyd for putting a smile on his mother’s face.  The news is good though. Liz explains to a clearly distracted Lloyd that ‘ I’m battered and bruised. The last thing on my mind is a relationship.’ Andrea spots Lloyd and Liz in the street arranging to meet later. She is staying at Eileen’s, until Jason comes home.


Sally buys her wedding dress, unable to resist it in the sale. Sally is just going into her house with the balloons for Maddie’s Auction when Gail spots Sally and Sally confesses to the dress purchase and that it is in ivory.

Sally says, ‘You don’t think I’m too…’ and before she can finish her sentence Gail says ‘old?’ Sally tells her she was about to say pale. Just for the record, the dress was bought at Bridal Bounty.

Having tried on her dress, Sally cannot get herself out of it. Kevin is worried that Sally is missing he auction so heads off to find her. Sally is very embarrassed to be found like this. Kevin tries his best to help but finally rips the zip off. Sophie enters to see this state of affairs and then Tim finds the broken and discarded zip. Sally though is very upset and believes that this is a premonition, not boding well for their marriage. She mentions Carrie Bradshaw and Miss Havisham but Tim doesn’t get either reference. ‘This marriage is doomed,’ declares Sally.

Tim though seems much less anxious and is keen to organize a surprise 50th birthday bash for Kevin

Heartbreaking at any age, but serious illness in a child is the worst. Tyrone and Fiz set off for the hospital and receive the news that they will be told in a couple of days what is wrong with Hope. As is quite often the case, couples going through such desperate times often close in on themselves, individually, and shut the other out. This seems to be what is happening here. Fiz offloads to Maria.

  
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When Coronation Street makes front page news

When I saw Corrie on the front page of the Daily Mirror yesterday morning in a newsagent shop, my heart skipped a beat with childish joy.

The headline in one of the UK's best loved and best selling tabloid newspapers was of a Coronation Street spoiler.  You'll see it up there, under the red top mast-head, "Corrie Ken in love triangle".  It's a possible spoiler saying that Ken is going to have two women on the cobbles after his company now he's a widower. 

The first one who wants to take up with Ken will be Cathy's sister Nessa. You can read about her here.  And now the Mirror says that Audrey will also want to get cosy with Ken, hence the love triangle. You can read the Mirror story here.

But what I absolutely loved about this Corrie spoiler being on the front page of a tabloid on a Bank Holiday weekend is not so much the subject matter but the characters involved.  Does this front page spoiler scream anything about Carla Connor? No.  Is it about Callum Logan, Aidan Connor, Shayne Ward, Sarah Harding, some young Corrie hunk or gorgeous young girl?

Is it 'eck as like.

It's about Ken and Audrey.

It's a story about pensioners on the cobbles. It's about Corrie classic characters that matter to the nation. Characters we have known and loved for years, for decades. Characters we care about. And for this fan, that's exactly the sort of Corrie story that should be on the front page of the papers. Long may it continue. 

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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Monday 31 August

Monday 31st August
CARLA GETS HER JUST DESSERTS AT THE BISTRO Aidan drags Carla into work despite it being a bank holiday and insists they go through the accounts together. As they later head to Maddie’s Memorial Auction in the bistro. Carla’s weighed down by guilt and getting drunk she bids £250 for a photo of Lorraine Kelly, as Aidan goes up against Robert for a signed County football shirt. Under sufferance, Tracy attends the auction. She’s unimpressed to see Carla there whose presence only adds to her guilt. As a drunken Carla crashes into a table sending the drinks flying, Tracy begs Carla to stop torturing herself and go home leaving Robert bemused. As Nick and Aidan carry Carla out of the bistro, Robert confronts Tracy, demanding to know why she was so upset by Carla.
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN FIZ AND TYRONE GROWS Tyrone and Fiz set off for the hospital with Hope and Ruby. After more tests, the nurse assures them that they’ll have Hope’s results within a couple of days. Fiz admits to Maria that she’s worried sick about Hope.
EILEEN SUSPECTS LLOYD’S HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS Andrea persuades Eileen to let her stay at No.11 for a few nights. Lloyd tells Liz that Andrea knows they spent the night together. Unsure where she stands, Liz suggests dinner. Will Lloyd agree or is his heart with Andrea?
ELSEWHERE Sally arrives back from town with a wedding dress, explaining to Gail how she didn’t intend to buy it but couldn’t resist. However when she tries the dress on at home the zip jams and Kevin goes in search of Sally, concerned that she’s missing the auction. Sally’s mortified as Kevin finds her stuck in her wedding dress.

Monday 31st August
ROBERT HOUNDS TRACY FOR THE TRUTH Tracy squirms as Robert quizzes her as to why she’s so affected by Carla’s guilt over the fire. Robert puts Tracy on the spot and demands to know if she had anything to do with the fire. Will Tracy finally admit what happened that night? Meanwhile bent on self-destruction drunken Carla bangs on the door of No.1 shouting for Amy, begging for forgiveness and assuring her she never meant to hurt her. Robert urges Tracy to tell Carla the truth but Tracy screams at them all to leave her alone. As Michelle and Nick guide Carla home, united in their concern for her, Robert turns to Tracy, telling her that if she can’t be truthful with him then they have no future. Will Tracy confess her sins?
TYRONE FAILS TO GIVE FIZ WHAT SHE NEEDS Can Tyrone offer Fiz the support she needs as she awaits Hope’s test results?
LLOYD IS FINALLY HONEST WITH LIZ Over dinner in the bistro, Liz and Lloyd agree that neither of them is looking for commitment and that a casual relationship is the way forward.
ELSEWHERE Sophie’s shocked to find Sally in a wedding dress and Kevin trying to help her out of it. In a last ditch attempt to help Sally out of her dress, Kevin rips the zip off it. Sally’s devastated and when Tim later finds the zip, Sally’s gutted, citing it as bad luck. Can Tim reassure her? Meanwhile Tim suggests they throw a surprise party for Kevin’s 50th birthday.

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Corrie's Mithered Men

Coronation Street has a well established history of strong women whose talk, camaraderie and resilience springs from its very foundation. An organic offshoot of such female representation has proven to be the beleaguered male; never too far from a telling off, apparently unable to get anything right despite his best efforts, getting away with what he can when he can, and usually to comic effect.
Names such as Stan Ogden and Jack Duckworth immediately spring to mind, but what of the current men of Coronation Street?
Courtesy of a recent set of Friday episodes, we were presented with a window on how men are perceived by some contemporary Corrie women. The double episode of the 9th of August opened with Sally and Gail strolling along the street, the former complaining about Tim putting fun ahead of work, and the latter offering the following observation:

“The problem is that most men are on the laziness spectrum. Top end’s lying on the settee all day watching re-runs of Bullseye and eating last night’s kebab, and well, the bottom end is just leaving the lid off the coffee jar, that sort of thing. I think it’s just inherent in men, laziness.”

It wasn’t necessarily laziness that saw the men of that Friday’s Corrie fall foul of its women, but nevertheless, they were undoubtedly playing second fiddle.
Nick learned that Robert was the new chef at the Bistro by finding him behind the bar, already working. Hired by Leanne, Nick had no say in the matter, and tried to exert some belated authority by introducing a trial period which all three knew held no weight. Nor did Nick offer much in the way of advice or encouragement during Carla’s intervention. In a subsequent episode it took Erica to break up with him even though he’d slept with Carla.
We had Michael at the behest of Eileen and Gail, flitting between them like a pawed mouse as he attempted, failed and was caught breaking into Barlow’s Buys. As if his situation couldn’t have been any more dismal, his tool of choice was a spatula.
And while Tony has proven himself worthy of anyone's fear, there was little he could do as an undaunted Liz stamped his flowers into the concrete outside Roy’s with a determined stiletto. We also later saw Tracy move Robert into number one with no regard for Ken who was powerless to intervene.
Perhaps the most hen-pecked of all is Tyrone who appears to be getting it from all angles of late. If Fiz isn’t berating him or fighting his battles for him, he’s under pressure from Kevin at the garage despite having an equal share, and the recent camping holiday saw him completely emasculated by alpha-male Dougie. He wasn’t the only one, but appeared to be particularly singled out for ridicule as he attempted to assert his manhood, and failed miserably.
Poor Kirk is also well used to being on the receiving end of a scolding courtesy of Beth, and as he skipped behind her through the woods, attempting to keep up while she relentlessly berated him for getting them lost, he too secured his place in the ever burgeoning Corrie catalogue of mithered men, joining other existing characters such as Steve, Dev and Tim.
While persistently making little of men is no laughing matter, and is not an activity I engage in, I think what makes it work in Corrie is the manner in which the stories are portrayed and performed. While we can sympathise with the women some of the time, these men have often been victims of ladies who aren't always in the right, and we are encouraged to align ourselves with the men, and celebrate and share in their triumphs, enjoying their antics as much as they do. Indeed, you sometimes get the impression that they wouldn't have it any other way.
With the exception of the very serious and aptly portrayed domestic abuse storyline between Tyrone and Kirsty, for the most part, instances of mithering have generally consisted of light hearted additions to storylines, or subplots which have humour at their core. What is essential is that there are plenty more male characters who don't find themselves mithered, and enough women who don't engage in talking them down to redress the balance and counter the erroneous perception that 'all men are the same'. I did feel that Steve's past treatment at the hands of Michelle and Liz overstepped the mark, and was glad to see this remedied.
Another positive element is that the hen-pecked are given the opportunity to assert themselves, as last Friday's Corrie demonstrated in two ways. Firstly, the opening dialogue saw Steve roundly discredit Michelle's arrogant assertion that Aidan wasn't used to intelligent female conversation with the line "Yeah, I often have chats about renaissance art with Beth Tinker”.
Secondly, when Mary declared cut flowers to be "a time honoured pathetic male gesture," Tim taking the bunch home as an apology to Sally affirmed her assertion. But it also interestingly succeeded in diffusing it. Tim may have skipped out on cutting the grass in favour of a lark about at an art class, but he was thinking of Sally nevertheless, and seized an opportunity to soften her anticipated anger with something he knew she would like.
We didn't see the scene, but such is the quality of the characters that we can easily imagine it play out in our heads; an initially furious Sally mildly chides him with a twinkle in her eye at the sight of the bouquet before picking her best designer vase to proudly display her floral surprise while Tim reclines happily on the sofa cracking open a beer and wondering what's for tea.
As above, there are plenty of male characters who aren't actively harangued by women. Kevin, Jason, Sean, Billy, Callum, Lloyd, Gary, Roy and Zeedan, for example, are all well capable of asserting themselves when necessary.
While I enjoy the balanced comedy which arises from beleaguered males and scolding females, I also like to see men strongly represented. I enjoyed Tony avenging his son, I pitied Jason as he experienced the indignity of talking about being beaten up from his hospital bed, I like Kevin's new found entrepreneurship and Lloyd's decision to reject Andrea. Aidan is also shaping up to be a very positive addition to the male cast.
But whatever happens, there is no denying that the poor hen-pecked Corrie male, who is of such long standing and has provided many hours of entertainment, will continue to be found sneaking off to the Rovers for the apocryphal 'swift half' for many years to come.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Celebs in t'Street: Do Novelty Castings Work?

Celebs in t'Street: Do novelty castings work?


Hello and welcome to what is not a Wednesday review and my first non-review article.

Recently, there has been a stream of castings within popular dramas, soaps and animated series in order to boost ratings. The value of star casting is extremely debatable. What started as an American trend in shows like The Simpsons and Glee, the idea of casting celebrities in order to entice viewers has seeped its way across the pond and flooded the Street, The main focus of this article is the issue of 'stunt casting'. Here is the general definition of that term:

"The practice of casting a famous actor or a celebrity in a role in order to publicise or promote a television programme, film or play"

Many famous faces have graced the cobbles over the years. For example, Sir Ian McKellen played conman Mel Hutchwright/ Lionel Hipkiss in 2005 and Sue Johnston played busybody Gloria Price between 2011 and 2014, albeit whilst wearing an odd grey wig. This is not to suggest that star names should not be cast if they are suited to the role. They have studied, worked hard and learned their craft to achieve their celebrity status.


However, in 2015 alone, there were three very highly publicised incidents of stunt casting. The audience was subjected to the acting styles of popstar Sarah Harding as Robert's vengeful wife, Joni, who tried and spectacularly failed to be a match for Tracy Barlow. Soon after that, comedian Paddy McGuinness turned up as a wildlife expert, in what was a highly publicised comedy storyline. Only a few episodes later, Michelle's relative Aidan Connor arrived, played by 2005 X Factor winner Shayne Ward. That means that two former reality TV popstars are now in the Connor clan.


Fans of Coronation Street are intelligent enough to realise when someone has been shoe-horned in in an ill-conceived idea to win ratings. The embarrassingly brief appearance of Sarah Harding caused a stir amongst viewers. Although she received a negative press, the programme was still discussed at length, which could be considered good publicity. However, had someone else been cast as Joni, the character may have gone a lot further. Given that Ms Harding did not even audition, it appeared to be an unfair, unnecessary and ultimately unsuccessful ploy for more viewers.


It was reported at the end of 2014 that Corrie’s viewing figures had reached an all - time low of 4.9m. Many have attributed this to the departure of Tina, who was likely to have brought in a lot of heterosexual male viewers. Michelle Keegan was a complete unknown when she was cast. She has, like Pat Phoenix and many others become famous because of the Street, and has launched a successful career since leaving as herself.

Back in 1987, 26m people tuned in on Christmas Day to watch the bittersweet departure of Street icon, Hilda Ogden. They were tuning in to say goodbye to a character which they, as a nation, had taken into their hearts, lovingly created by Jean Alexander. Of course, this was back in 1987, a long time ago in terms of television, when people had to watch a programme as it aired or simply miss it but given that Hilda Ogden was voted the greatest soap character ever in a Radio Times poll in 2004, the sentimentality still stands.


Neither Jean Alexander nor Michelle Keegan were stunt castings and they both benefited the show greatly.


All forms of entertainment work on a suspension of disbelief. To enjoy anything, we have to accept what is on screen as real and not a series of moving images. It is sometimes hard to admit that Corrie is in fact a work of fiction. It is a reflection of the world we currently live in, It often relies on popular culture references to help the audience relate to it, which is why it is frustrating when, for example, a reference to Girls Aloud is made and then an apparent double of one of the members turns up and nothing is mentioned. Girls Aloud exist in that universe - the factory girls memorably belted out a rendition of 'The Promise'. This makes the suspension of disbelief significantly harder.


It could be that the Street has had such a long life because of the characters. The viewers invest in them because they feel like they know them. In 1960, every street had an Ena, an Elsie or an Annie. The Street probably would not have worked had they cast a superstar such as Elizabeth Taylor as Elsie Tanner. Coronation Street made Pat Phoenix into an icon. She was Elsie and Elsie was Pat. People believed Elsie was real. Fast forward to today and any long-serving character is known largely in real life by their character name to the public. Barbara Knox is known and referred to as Rita, Helen Worth as Gail and Sally Dynevor as Sally (see what I did there?). This re-enforces the aforementioned point that it is the character the public become attached to, not the actor.

Now, reverse that and most Hollywood actors are often known by their real name to the public in any film they star in. Their character names are frequently forgotten. Brad Pitt is often referred to as Brad Pitt by viewers in any film he stars in, and the same usually applies to actors such as Meryl Streep or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Research for this article has shown that personal opinions are mixed. Some people enjoy seeing familiar faces in the very familiar street but most find it difficult to separate the celebrity from the character, since the celebrity is already well known to them as someone other than their character. Some think that it takes what is a potentially a very good career opportunity from unknown actors. There are thousands of trained actors out there who studied for years only to end up pulling pints in a real pub.

Overall, the general consensus between people of all ages is that celebrity casting is a negative thing.

A celebrity must convincingly separate themselves from their real-life counterparts. Corrie is about down-to-earth, relatable people. That was its original charm. In terms of viewers, Corrie is still the top-rated soap, but still significantly less than it was two decades ago. This, however, begs another question. Has modern technology of catch up and Sky+ got in the way, or have people just lost interest in Soapland?


So - do novelty castings work? I don't think so.  A celebrity may still be cast but only if they are right for the role, in which case it would not be a novelty casting.


Thank you for reading my non-review post. This is an interesting topic and I look forward to hearing opinions.


Jordan


Twitter- @JordanLloyd39


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The Corrie Roller-Coaster



The Coronation Street juggernaut powers on. This year we've had fires, destruction, deaths galore. The usual secrets and lies, extra episodes dropped in without so much as a warning, precious little Rita, far too much Platt and the campest villain known to man. 

Watching Corrie these days is a roller-coaster in quality control. Most of the time one scene featuring Eileen Derbyshire being majestic in The Kabin or the Community Centre is enough to wipe out the glaring holes created during the Jenny Bradley kidnap drama. I don't know why, but it's just very up and down these days. It's been a joy to see Beverley Callard take centre stage as Liz, the best Rovers Landlady we've had in eons. It's been much less pleasurable to see forty odd years of Helen Worth's hard work dribble away as Gail becomes a permanent twittery waste of space.

Alison King can do no wrong as Carla, but her recent storyline seeing Mrs Connor's descent into self pity and gambling addiction just hasn't worked. Neither has her newfound lust for Gail's oldest off-spring and the fruit of Brian's loins, the whimpering Nicholas T. These two briefly worked together when the Nick with this face joined five or so years ago. At the time people wondered if they'd stick them together and thankfully they didn't. So why now? Have the storyliners run out of options? As the only two residents of the posh flats, can they only mix with fellow characters with balcony and fancy window shutters? 


Also added to the mix is the arrival of yet another Connor nobody has ever mentioned before but everyone knows so well it's as if they only saw him last week. I was prepared to hate Aidan on sight. This was partly down to the casting, following as it did hot on the heels of Sarah Harding's brief stint. More importantly it just felt like the latest in a long line of flashy businessmen in nasty suits, driving shiny motors and ramming their male selves into the back office at Underworld. We've had Paul Connor, Liam Connor, Luke Strong, Tony Gordon...blah, blah, blah. Nobody has come close to equal the sublime Baldwin years as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, despite my worries, I've actually taken to Aidan Connor. I know it's early days but I rather like the character, I like his dynamic with Carla and I'm quite impressed with Shayne Ward's acting. It also helps that he's fairly easy on the eye. I guess time will tell but it's showing promise.

Sadly, I'm still struggling with another newcomer to the cobbles. I know our wonderful editor Flaming Nora is loving the Roy and Cathy story but it's just not clicking for me. I don't even think it's anything to do with Hayley or the memory of Roy and Hayley together. I just don't think the characters work. Melanie Hill is an excellent actress with a strong career but somehow Cathy Matthews is just leaving me cold. I don't care enough.

Unfortunately the Platt family are going to dominate the September live episode. Well, it makes sense given that they've dominated the entire year. I don't mind the individual members of the Platt family, it's just when they move as a pack I get concerned. We've had so many family meetings, threats from Callum and dewey moments when Gail has said the worst is over. You'd think the woman would learn by now. It's become so tedious I just wish Callum, Gemma and Max would be spirited away somewhere t'other side of the Pennines.


I loathe Callum. He's a laughable character, played in a bizarre fashion. All the stuff with Sarah was dire. I also loathe Gemma although I know she has her fans. I sincerely hope whatever happens to Callum happens to her too as I don't want her as a long-term Rovers regular. Weirdly, Bethany has grown on me. Putting the stroppy eye-rolling aside, the character has come on of late and is actually the best of the Platt bunch at the moment. I may live to eat my words...

I've also found myself sighing a lot whenever Fiz and Tyrone appear on screen together. Ok, they will never be as beige as Sinead and Chesney (a traditional old before their time Corrie couple), but since they settled into domestic bliss they've become irritating and smug. Tyrone I'll always love but Fiz has morphed into a character I love to hate. She's become domineering, self-righteous and over-bearing. Vera Duckworth could be all of these things but we always forgave her. I struggle with the forgiveness when it comes to Fiz. 


I live in hope that Audrey and Rita may emerge from the Corrie Cupboard soon, all Deansgate frocks and scarves, freshly coiffed and ready to camp. Whatever the writers do, please DO NOT put Aud with Kenneth Barlow. The return of the glorious Jenny Bradley must surely mean more screen time for Barbara Knox as Rita. She's been noticeably absent this year and there is so much they could do with these two wonderful Weatherfield women.

Apart from that I hope Lloyd leaves Andrea-free, Craig's lovely girlfriend pays him a visit, Anna takes Faye on a long trip...somewhere else, Kevin shaves off his scraggly beard, Gary finds someone better than that Alya (me), Steph and Luke get a proper storyline as siblings and Zeedan finds himself in an episode where all his shirts are in the wash (hint).


You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 


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Corrie Weekly Awards: Aug. 24 - 28

Xena award: Sally thinks shoulder pads make her feel like a warrior princess going into battle. She gets the fashion award, too. I liked her suit!

Musical ambiance: "Pick up the Pieces" on the juke in the pub when Erica is moaning about losing Nick.

Delusional award: Sally and Sean both for thinking Aidan was flirting with either of them. Actually, he was, but he didn't mean it!

Stag on a Mountaintop award: Robert and Aidan. Which made no sense. Tracy was the rude one, Robert was just trying to keep the peace not make moves on Carla. Contrived much?

Art gone Viral award: An art class was scheduled in a little back street community centre. 24 hours later there were so many people that wanted to take it that they had to turn some away? Really?

More Art Win: Craig's flowers were awesome. So was Mary's Grim Reaper with Nettles in its own way. Very Mary.

Guiltier than Thou: The more Carla sinks into misery, the guiltier Tracy feels.

Gang wars award: Callum threatened Tony revenge. But I think Tony's heavies could probably trump Callum's and then some. Callum might have used the finger of doom on Tony but he was begging a minute before and gasping for breath on the way out.

Turning point award: Todd has some some awful things but I wonder if this is the crisis that's going to make him pull his own life together.
Lines of the Week:
Gail "I'm standing in me kitchen drinking "cambridge's"(?) talking about gangsters and guns"
Tony "I look after my own" Eileen "When it suits you" (Ow.)
Sally "I like a substantial shoulder. It makes me feel like Boudicca going into battle"
Carla to Nick "You like having a car crash girlfriend?" (yes, actually, I think he does)
Steve "It's like leaving the monkeys in charge of the bananas!" Lloyd "You getting a monkey??"
Liz (about the dog) "How does she cross all them roads?" Steve "Maybe she takes the bus"
Lloyd "I'm funnier than Nick Tilsley" (I agree. Nick is not one i would call a laugh-a-minute)
Gail about Bethany "How can she be so stupid?" Nick "The question is, how can Callum be so smart?"
Lloyd to Steve "If you ever turn up here in a pink dress or a string of pearls, you and me are finished!"
Tony "I don't need people poking their nose into my business" (then don't talk about your business in a pub)
Cathy "They would have spotted I was a fake faster than the Mona Lisa in a top hat"
Lloyd "I'm trapped!"
Mary "For me, cut flowers are synonymous with death. And betrayal"


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In Photos: Tracy is arrested

On Thursday, September 10, Residents watch in shock as Tracy Barlow is arrested for the murder of Kal Nazir and Maddie Heath! The dramatic arrest comes after Tracy confessed to Carla that she started the fire at Victoria Court flats. But who has called the police? Is it Carla or has someone else decided it is time toxic Tracy paid the price for her actions and for Carla's name to be cleared?

The photos below show Tracy being escorted out of the pub where many of the interested parties gather to watch though oddly none of the families of the ones that died in the fire. I wonder if that's significant? We'll know what happens by the end of next week. 








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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Doing a Talk on Corrie



Sheffield, my hometown, is having a bit of a festival moment. As a result, I’ve been asked to do a talk. The only trouble is I don’t know when, but have been told to be ‘ready to roll’ from about 19th September.

There are several things that I could talk about but only one that I would really like to talk about –Coronation Street, of course, and our wonderful blog in particular, with  much gratitude to Glenda for starting the whole thing off.

My plan for the talk is essentially this -:

·      Beginnings - Tony Warren - his vision
·      Facts and figures – audience viewings, number of hotpots sold etc.
·      Issues raised in Corrie
·      The women  - in general
·      Characters – Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Hilda Ogden, Emily Bishop, Bet Lynch, Rita Tanner, Deirdre, Carla Connor, Mary Taylor – detailed character analysis and their individual speech styles
·      The men – holding back the women – general theme.
·      Details of men and their secondary role – as envisaged by Tony Warren
·      How the show has changed or not, through the decades.
·      Snobbery surrounding soaps, lighthearted comparison to the great dramatists
·      And then finally, some clips – including-: death of Stan Ogden - Hilda and the glasses, Death of Martha Longhurst, rows between Ena and Elsie. And some modern stuff.  There is SO much, it is difficult to be sure that you have the best bits.


I would be very grateful for your assistance here, my fellow bloggers and our much valued and loyal readers. Is there anything that you think is CRUCIAL in a talk about Corrie that I have not touched on?

Btw did you know that in 1990 Hilda Ogden was the 4th most recognizable woman in Britain, after the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Di?

And this – Blanche Hunt – ‘Good looks are a curse Deirdre. You and Kenneth have been very lucky.’


Very much looking forward to your comments. Thank you.
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