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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Where are Weatherfield's Golden Girls?

Has anyone else noticed the strange disappearance of two of our Corrie faves? Whatever happened to Liz McDonald and Deirdre Barlow? Liz managed to be part of the Owen/Jim storyline without actually appearing in a single scene. Possibly the last sighting of Deirdre was during Ken's meeting with his long lost family. There are probably good, valid and maybe even personal reasons why Anne Kirkbride and Beverley Callard (who recently got married) are away. Here's hoping for a return soon!

Coronation Street Weekly Update, November 29 2010

Hello, it’s me! I’m back off me jollies and sending a Tunnocks caramel wafer sized hunk of thanks to both Richard Whitbread and Karen Jankel for writing the weekly updates while I’ve been away.   I’d also like to thank all of you who donated funds to Cancer Research UK for the sponsored walk I took part in last weekend.  You can see a couple of pictures from the walk on my personal blog and find out how much we raised, http://flamingnora.blogspot.com/  And now, with business completed and without any further ado, here we go with this week's Coronation Street update.

To find out why the Corrie updates have been written for the internet since 1995, have a look here: http://www.corrieweeklyupdates.btinternet.co.uk

Gary-love is back from Afghanistan but he’s not the same lad as he was when he went, no. Shocked by what he’s seen and stunned by the death of his mate Quinny, he chickens out of meeting Quinny’s mam and dad and reneges on his promise to his dead mate that he’d tell his parents the truth about what had really happened to their son.  He can’t. Not yet, perhaps not ever. He drowns his sorrows in the Rovers and belts seven bells out of the fruit machine, thumping it hard enough to bring down some loose plaster from the walls of the pub. Anna and Eddie do their best, tiptoe round their son, hoping he’ll want to open up, soon.. “Gary-love, do you want to talk?” “No,mam,” etc.

David’s sent home after having his charge dropped  for attempted murder of the local butcher. He’s been diagnosed as an idiopathic epileptic, as well as being an evil scum bucket too. Gail loves having her two sons at home, Nick and David, David and Nick, ooh, those lovely boys, so clean, so squeaky, so tied to her apron strings. She still doesn’t know that Nick’s boffing his ex-wife Leanne upstairs in his room while he’s mum out at the shops. Speaking of Leanne, she begs Nick to stop their sordid affair but as he’s billy-no-mates he says he can’t live without her.  Leanne’s heart tells her she loves Peter and her head tells her she loves Peter too but it’s those wobbly warm and squishy bits that are drawing her to Nick.

Meanwhile, Ciaran and Michelle get suspicious of Carla when they find out she’s been ringing Peter. When Michelle drops Carla off at her flat and spies Peter walking in, she confronts Carla who confesses all. Well, almost all. She confesses the drinking, the driving, the court case, the lost license but she keeps the bit quiet about how she’s tried to seduce Peter wearing nothing but her bath towel and a welcoming smile.

The Fishwick farce carries on with John discovering that Charlotte was the one who nicked their house keys, the one who made the DVD that scared Fiz witless, the one who’s been sending scary notes to Fiz made from letters cut out from newspapers.  But what does he do when he discovers all of this? He sits down to enjoy a steak dinner with the loopy woman after she threatens to blackmail him over what he knows about Colin’s death. So John’s stuck between a rock and a hard face who tells him she wants him (that’s how loopy she is) even if she has to share him with Fiz.

Over at the butchers, Graeme’s turned down by the bank when he asks for a loan so he can buy the butchering business. 

And Katie moves in with Chesney, Fiz and John.  Where’s Schmeichel these days, then?

And that’s just about that for this week.
Coronation Street writers this week were David Lane, Peter Whalley and Damon Rochefort.

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

Win a signed Coronation Street live script

The official ITV Corrie site is offering fans a chance to win a signed script of the live episode of Coronation Street, shown during the 50th anniversary week.

Enter the draw here.

Winners announced for Corrie Golden Greats DVD conpetition

Well done to ten lucky blog readers who have been drawn at random to win one of these Golden Greats Coronation Street DVDs. 

In the latest competition here on the blog, we asked the following question:

Q: On Coronation Street, who did Gail Platt compare Richard Hillman to in this classic quote: "You're _______   ______ with a briefcase!"
A: Norman Bates

DVDs will be winging their way through the post to the following ten winners: Callum Taylor, Martin Rosen, Linsey Cruickshank, Nick Lotay, Paul Hughes, Roz Barnwell, Rachel Stevenson, Stephanie Thomson, Theo Morgan and Steve James.

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Women of Weatherfield Radio Times' covers

All 12 of the Coronation Street women of Weatherfield covers can now be seen online here. The version I picked up at the weekend had Bet Lynch on the front cover.

There's some wonderful Corrie stuff in this week's Radio Times, have a look at some of it here.

State of the Street - November 2010

What a month we've had! What a month we're going to have and as we lead up to the 50th anniversary, storylines are careening towards a climax like the tram itself! Nick is running after Leanne, Carla is running after Peter, Charlotte is running after Colin John and Molly is  running after Kevin. I am sensing a theme! This month's State of the Street includes some speculation about the impending disaster, much as we are all doing amongst ourselves! We don't have long to wait, now. In the meantime, stick t'kettle on, have a biscuit and a read.

Corrie's Ted Page in new Harry Potter film

Michael Byrne, the actor who plays Gail's dad Ted Page in Coronation Street, has a role in the new Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Michael plays Gellert Grindelwald and it's a real 'blink and you'll miss him' kind of a role but if you're off to see the film, keep a look out for him.

With thanks to blog reader Defrost Indoors for this Corrie snippet!

Anyway, I miss Ted Page, do you?

Explosive pictures of Coronation Street tram crash

There's a host of explosive pictures from Coronation Street's tram crash, happening next Monday night on Corrie. Have a look at all the pics on the Daily Mail website.

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 2002

Day 42 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
In 2002, Keiran Roberts took over as producer and came out with the usual comment that ‘Nobody on this show is bigger than Coronation Street’, which is traditional of a new producer, and was proved correct yet again with the return of Bet Lynch to our screens. Fred Elliott organised a retirement party for Betty Williams and invited some old faces, like her son Gordon (with a new face) and his wife and also former Rovers landlady, Bet Lynch. She’s not changed a bit, still all cheap cigarettes and leopard skin prints, and is back in Manchester for a couple of weeks to sort out some business. Things are still frosty between her and Rita, though they try to put the past behind them, and Rita soon guesses that the business involves a fella and some cash. She later confides in Ken that she’s a witness in a court case against a man who owes her money and if she loses then she’ll be penniless.

Unfortunately we were never to see the conclusion of this story as Julie Goodyear disappeared from the show after filming just 17 episodes. The official reason given was that the four episodes a week schedule was too hectic for her and she was exhausted. Others have said that she got the hump because she wasn’t allowed to smoke in her dressing room. As former Coronation Street writer said: ‘Nobody is bigger than the Street itself. That’s the mistake that a lot of them made. They thought if they went, that they could come back and name their own price. But they find the Street goes on without them.’ Bet returned briefly the following year attending a licensee’s do in Blackpool where she accepted a marriage proposal from Cecil Newton but the wedding didn’t take place as Cecil died of a heart attack before the ceremony.

Newlyweds Ashley and Maxine Peacock were having trouble conceiving and so Maxine did what any young woman would do in such a situation, she consulted her local GP, the too tall Dr Matt Ramsden. His prescription for the problem was unorthodox and unethical: a couple of bottles of red wine and some rumpeh pumpeh with Doctor Lurve. Matt’s heavy drinking wife Charlie found out about the fling and flung him out only for Ashley to invite him to stay with the Peacocks. When Charlie found out where Matt was staying she forced him to tell Ashley why he’d been thrown out and the stress of the ensuing argument sent Maxine into labour. She was rushed to hospital and gave birth to a son, Joshua. At first Ashley demanded a DNA test to determine who Joshua’s biological father was but he later relented after declaring his love for his wife and son. Several years later, Matt returned to the Street to fight for custody of Joshua. A blood test proved that he was the biological father but despite a battle, Joshua remained in the care of Ashley.

Also in 2002: Gail Platt marries Richard Hillman; Sally and Kevin Webster remarry; Dennis Stringer killed in car smash; Duggie Ferguson falls to his death; Patricia Hillman murdered by her ex-husband; Archie Shuttleworth makes his first appearance; the Nelson (Harris) family move in; Les Battersby and Kirk Sutherland pretend to be a couple; Deirdre gets jiggy with Dev.

Monday, 29 November 2010

FULL Corrie schedule for 50th anniversary week

With thanks to the fab Radio Times, here's the full schedule for Coronation Street's 50th anniversary week starting this coming weekend.
 
Saturday 4 December at 9.30pm, BBC4: The Road to Coronation Street (repeat)
Sunday 5 December at 5.15pm, ITV1: Stars on the Street (repeat)
 
Monday 6 December at 12.30pm, ITV1: Loose Women stars Nick Cochrane (Andy McDonald)
Monday 6 December at 7.30pm, ITV1: Coronation Street
Monday 6 December at 8.00pm, ITV1: Coronation Street's first ever episode
Monday 6 December at 8.30pm, ITV1: Coronation Street
Monday 6 December at 9pm, CH4: Come Dine With Me: Coronation Street Special
Monday 6 December at 10pm. ITV2: Coronation Street Uncovered: Live
 
Tuesday 7 December at 8.30am, ITV1: Lorraine Kelly direct from the Coronation Street set
Tuesday 7 December at 8.30pm. ITV1: Coronation Street
Tuesday 7 December at 9pm, ITV1: Coronation Street: 50 Years, 50 Moments, Part 1 of 2
 
Wednesday 8 December at 7pm, ITV1: Coronation Street
 
Thursday 9 December at 8pm, ITV1: Coronation Street LIVE episode, one hour long
Thursday 9 December at 9pm, ITV1: Coronation Street: 50 Years, 50 Moments, Part 2 of 2
Thursday 9 December at 10pm, ITV2: Celebrity Juice Coronation Street
 
Friday 10 December at 7.30pm, ITV1: Coronation Street
Friday 10 December at 8.30pm, ITV1: Coronation Street
Friday 10 December at 9pm, ITV1: Coronation Street: The Big 50. Quiz with Paul O'Grady, "includes surprises and treats for Corrie fans"

The tension mounts!

Well, with only a week to go, no doubt one or two of us are preparing for a festival of all things Corrie! With seemingly every member of the cast involved, we are in for an epic week of drama, shocks and maybe even a few tears. At this stage everything is rumour and speculation. Half the fun lies in the week ahead though, when we get the chance to see how the characters stories are placed before the tram causes devestation.

Which brings us to tonight's burning question! What don't you want to see happen next week? Are there any characters who must be saved, come what may? Is there a potential storyline in the offing that you are not looking forward to? Is there a character who you think has the potential to be changed forever by the events of next week? Over to you!

Gary's Army Diaries - Episode 1

Corrie online spin-off 'Gary's Army Diaries' is now up of the Corrie website. The spin off will follow the story of what exactly happened with Gary in Afghanistan.

The first episode is mainly Gary being excited about being in Afghanistan. It's very well filmed, and I can't figure out if it was actually filmed abroad, or green-screened

Cook a dish for the Rovers' menu

ITV's This Morning are holding a competition to find a new dish to be featured on the menu board in the Rovers Return. If you have a favourite family recipe that you think qualifies, you can enter the name of it here along with a photo. The title of the dish should have your name in it so you can see it on the board, just like Betty's Hotpot! You have to be over 18 to enter. The contest ends on January 4, 2011. hmm...Michelle's Toast Cake? No, I don't think that will pass muster, do you?

Jason Claus runs for charity

Over 1000 people dressed up as Santa and ran for a charity fun run in Platt Fields Park this weekend and they were led by Ryan Thomas, 'RJason Grimshaw in Corrie. They raised over £30,000 for learning disability charity Mencap. Ryan says "There was a fantastic atmosphere on the day and I was proud to be involved in such a fun-filled event that is raising money for a worthy cause such as Mencap." Sounds like it was a pretty chilly day, so, well done runners! (Photo courtesy of BBC)

Rehearsals for the live episode start tonight

With an explosion and fire that makes the fire in Barlow's bookies' look like a scout campfire, and with carnage and blood spilled onto the Street in the aftermath, you can bet the powers that be are leaving no cobble unturned. The live episode goes out on December 9 and rehearsals start tonight and will go on for a week and a half up to the day of filming. The final dress rehearsal is going to be on the day of the episode and that seems to be leaving a few peoples' nerves in jitters but I have no doubts it will be a huge success.

This article also mentions that a smackdown between Mother Nature and the Continuity Fairy could see Mother Nature come out on top as there has been snow falling in various areas of Britian, Manchester included and if it's snowing on the day of filming, it's not going to match the scenes of the actual tram crash that have already been done. It'll be bare during the crash and we could very well see snow on the ground in the aftermath.

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 2001

Day 41 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

Although she later turned out to be gobby and sassy, Karen Philips made quite a subdued entrance to Coronation Street when her mate Linda Sykes helped her land a job as a knicker-stitcher at Underworld. That wasn’t to last though, she had a fling with Vikram Desai and a one-night stand with Peter Barlow before starting on Steve McDonald. Janice Battersby teased her about her disastrous track record with men and bet her that she couldn’t get Steve to propose to her. She confided in Steve about the tease and lo and behold he got down on one knee in the Rovers in front of all her mates from the factory. Janice saw through them and so upped the stakes a bit and bet her two days’ pay that she’d never actually get him to the altar.

Neither Steve nor Karen would back down and so it was that they arrived at the register office on May 30th 2001, each expecting the other one to chicken out but neither of them did and they ended up married. Six weeks later they went on honeymoon to Florida and realised that actually they really liked each other and would try to make a go of it. However, after a couple of years Karen decided that she wanted to do things properly and so they got divorced and arranged a fairy-tale wedding. It was such a fairy-tale in fact that it featured a deranged, jealous, evil witch in the shape of Tracy Barlow who wanted to get her clutches on Steve, the father of her daughter, Amy. Despite her attempts to sabotage the wedding plans and disrupt the service, the happy couple were eventually married though it wasn’t long before Tracy managed to split them up and the pair were divorced again.

Later that year Alma Halliwell received that shock news that due to a missed smear test and a further misdiagnosis, she had developed untreatable cervical cancer. Although a spokeswoman for Macmillan Cancer Relief applauded the storyline as it reminded women of the need to have regular smear tests and could therefore help save lives, the story was somewhat implausible and condemned by Amanda Barrie who played Alma: ‘Cervical cancer takes years to develop. No consultant would make a pronouncement as quickly and bluntly as that. I felt straightaway that it gave completely the wrong message.’

Initially Alma only told her best friend, Audrey Roberts but she eventually passed the information on to Alma’s ex-husband, Mike Baldwin who still cared for her deeply and regretted their splitting up. Alma headed off to the Lake District to get away from it all, get her mind straight and come to terms with the her imminent death. Mike tracked her down and full of and apologies confessed his regrets. They reminisced about the happy times they had spent together but Alma insisted that he should go back to his wife Linda and try to make a go of it. Alma spent her final hours at Audrey’s with Mike, Ken and other friends and her ashes were scattered in Derwentwater in her beloved Lake District.

Also in 2001: Ben Watts is born; Susan Barlow dies in a car crash; Toyah Battersby raped by Phil Simmonds; Sarah-Louise groomed by an internet predator; Matt and Charlie Ramsden move in; Eileen Grimshaw rents no. 11 with Todd and Jason; Fred Elliott marries Evelyn Sykes bigamously; occasional fifth episode sneaked in; Shelley Unwin makes her first appearance; Edna Miller dies in Duggie Ferguson’s bed.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Who's your favourite Coronation Street man at the moment?


I started off by saying "male", as I think that's the term they use in the soap awards, but that sounds a bit 'orrible to me, so I'm saying "man".
I have a top three. They move around from one to three, two to one, and so forth, but basically it is a stable on-going three.
Not wishing to depress anyone in my top three by the way, but possibly best to bear in mind that I'm an "older woman", and thus I'm steering well clear of the Jason Grimshaws of this world except to advise them to wrap up warm, it's parky out.
Number one at the moment - and he is keeping me glued to the screen - is Peter Barlow. I especially like his scenes with Ken, and with Simon, and I thought he and Leanne made a lovely couple. (Leanne - what ARE you thinking?! Nick? puh-lease!) I'm also enjoying his scenes in the bookies with the frantic Stape at the moment. "I like your style, John." I love the glances he gives him! Last but not least, Peter can really work that casual "leaning against the bookies' smoking a fag then flicking it into the gutter" look. Wonderful.
Number two would be John Stape. Never mind that the Fishwick fiasco has dragged on for an eternity, I still find Graeme Hawley really entertaining to watch. John and Fiz are a terrific couple - or could be, if only there wasn't a dead Fishwick lurking under the factory floor. I keep hoping against hope that the Corrie powers that be will find a way to keep him in the show, instead of bumping him off.
Number three is Eddie Windass. Normally, he'd be either one or two, but as he's not in it much at the moment he's slipped in the ratings - only slightly mind. Eddie's one of the most entertaining Corrie characters ever, to my mind. I only wish he was in it more.
Bubbling under the top three are Owen (yes, I know he's got a horrible personality, but let's face it, he's got a brilliant gravelly voice), Ken Barlow (no, I've not got a "thing" for him, but I always enjoy watching him) and, to be honest, if he wasn't dead - Colin Fishwick. That 'tache!
Anyone else got any favourites just now, who keep them watching?

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 2000

Day 40 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

In 1999 Granada closed their visitor attraction, The Granada Studio Tours, which included the outdoor set for Coronation Street. This gave the producers the opportunity to expand the set and include the exteriors of some places that we’d only ever seen the inside of and to include some new locations as well. A medical centre and chip shop (sadly not Jackson’s Chippy) were placed on Rosamund Street on the site of the old Graffiti Club and on Victoria Street shops for Elliott & Son’s Butchers, Roy’s Rolls and D & S Hardware were built. Strangely a new viaduct which had never been seen or mentioned before also appeared crossing Rosamund Street behind the Rovers. Photographs of the new additions can be found here.

The year started with the Street’s first ever two-handed full episode, featuring Raquel and Curly Watts. At 2 in the morning, just as Curly is in the kitchen mixing up something to try and help him avoid too bad a hangover, there is a knock on his back door. He thinks it's just the lads and shouts at them to go away, but the knocking persists and he opens it to see Raquel, his estranged wife. Curly hopes that she has returned for him, but although she says she still cares for him, she says she doesn't love him the way he wants and she can't some back. Her first bombshell is that she and Curly have a daughter called Alice, although she didn't know she was pregnant when she left and she didn't tell him about it because she didn't want him chasing after her to Kuala Lumpur. Curly is over the moon that he's a father, but very annoyed that she hadn't told him about her, especially as she returned to England to have the baby and stayed with her sister. In his anger, he makes cruel insinuations, asking if she's really his, but Raquel assures him there was nobody else and that she's told Alice all about her father and she's looking forward to meeting him. On a visit to the bathroom, she takes a look round her old home and sees that very little has changed, her old dressing gown is even still hanging on the back of the bedroom door.

As they look at the star that Curly bought for her, he says he's prepared to forgive and forget and that they can start again, but she drops her second bombshell when she tells him there's someone else. When she was in hospital having Alice, she befriended a French couple, the wife of which was dying of cancer. She's been working as a nanny looking after their 2 children as well as Alice and now lives in a chateau, 'a real one, detached and everything', in the Loire valley (she even speaks fluent French and knows a bit about wine). The wife died 2 years ago and since then she's helped put Armand, the husband, back together again, got him loving his children again and the pity she felt for him when his wife first died has blossomed into love. Curly realises that the next thing she'll be asking for is a divorce, which she duly does and she knows he'll give her one, because he's a nice bloke who still loves her and wants her to be happy. She finally drops her third bombshell, announcing that she's pregnant and needs to be married in case the child is a boy, for inheritance purposes. Curly opines 'Why can't it be me, why can't it ever be me', but as Raquel predicted, Curly agrees to the divorce and seems to be finally accepting that it's over. She says she wants Alice to get to know her real father and that he can come over to France any time and that when she's older, she can come over and stay with him during the holidays and they set the first visit for Easter. As dawn is starting to break, she says goodbye and leaves by the back door with tears in her eyes.

Another landmark this year came in the form of the 40th Anniversary of the programme. Rather than celebrate another decade with a special TV Times supplement and a couple of TV specials it was decide to broadcast an hour long episode featuring the culmination of a campaign to save the Street’s cobbles which the council was threatening to tarmac over. But more than that, the real headline grabber was that this episode would be broadcast live for the first time since February 3rd 1961. The only members of the cast remaining who had ever known what it was like not to be able to redo a fluffed line were Bill Roach and Eileen Derbyshire. There were significant logistical problems with the shoot as well. All the action was taking place on a single day so most outdoor scene had to be crammed in to the first part of the programme before it started to get too dark. The final scene was a major problem too as it took place outside the Rovers after everyone had emptied out of the pub, so the final interior scenes for the Rovers had to be filmed in the shell on the outdoor set. Despite all the problems the programme was a great success and the cobbles were saved when Stan Potter (played by Noddy Holder), turned up with a fake preservation order for them.

Also in 2000: Steve McDonald borrows money off Jez Quigley to start Streetcars; Bethany Platt born; Mike Baldwin marries Linda Sykes; Kevin Webster marries Alison Wakefield; Alison Wakefield commits suicide; Peter Barlow returns; Terry Duckworth sells a kidney for £25k and does a runner; Vera Duckworth donates a kidney to Paul Clayton; Eileen Grimshaw makes her first appearance; Jim McDonald kills Jez; Jim McDonald and Liz remarry; Curly Watts and Emma Taylor get married.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Corrie Weekly Awards, Nov. 22 - 26


All Loved Up award: Gold Star: Nick and Leanne. .. though it's come out of nowhere. Last week she didn't want to know him. And it's on again-off again... probably on again next week!
Silver Star: Ashley and Claire have finally made up!

Do One award: Shouty star: Owen doesn't realize... Fiz is Cilla's daughter, she's got a lying husband, *and* she's hormonal!

Who peed in your cornflakes award: Gold Star: Kevin is getting grumpier and grumpier by the day!

Friends again award: Gold Star: Graeme and David are friends again. Graeme is a very forgiving man but Tina ain't happy.

Totally delusional award: Gold Star: Molly thinks Kevin wants her.
Silver star: Charlotte wants John and will go to any lengths.

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them: Gold Star: Owen finally allowing Chesney and Katy to see each other above board.
Silver Star: John seems to have no choice but to bend to Charlotte's lengths! (see above)

Mind the eggshells award: Gold Star: Looks like that eggshell carpet has been transferred from the Platts' next door to the Windass's house.

Soap Opera Phrase of Doom: Tyrone "As far as I'm concerned, my life's perfect!" (and about to go KA-BOOOM!)

Lines of the week:

Hayley to Owen "That's a bit over the top!" Izzy "Over the top and around the flamin bend!"
Carla "There's none so sanctimonious as a dry drunk"
John (sweating) "Colin Fishwick? Living in this house? I don't think so!" ... Fiz "I take it you've tried phoning?" Joy "Nothing. Completely dead." (koff)
Graeme "My Bottom was the talk of the Young Offenders'! ...Midsummer Night's Dream, obviously!" (Whew! I'm glad he clarified that!)
Carla "I've had more come-backs than Tom Jones!"
Pam to Kevin "If only to tell her to stop wasting her time on a disgusting, selfish, waste of skin like you" (Oh I LOVE Pam!)
Molly "You haven't seen the way he looks at Jack, the way he looks at me" Pam "No, but i've seen the way he looks at Sally" (that's another one for Team Pam!)

Charlotte "Charlotte and John, against the world!" (John.... "Meh")

Expert Word Twister of the week goes to Charlotte who made out that John knew she was the stalker all along and got a kick out of it like she did! BAHAHAHA!! Isn't she marvellous! Totally Deee-ranged!

Ex-Assistant producer, Gavin Blyth passes away

1969-2010

Ex-Assistant producer (also story associate and producer of the 'Out of Africa' DVD special) Gavin Blyth passed away after a short illness, Gavin left Coronation Street in 2008 to take the helm of the Yorkshire based soap 'Emmerdale'. Gavin was behind storylines such as the introduction of the Connor family, David Platt's reign of terror and the Tracy Barlow murder plotline. He will be sadly missed by fans of both soaps.

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1999

Day 39 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

In August 1999 the country was gripped by all things celestial when the population of the UK were to get a chance to see a full solar eclipse. In Weatherfield, Spider Nugent and Toyah Battersby decided to spend a night under canvas on the Red Rec, hoping to catch a glimpse of the event themselves. Instead, something much more earthly happened. Back at Aunty Emily's, she asked them both how the evening had gone. "Er.. cosmic", said Toyah . But Spider wasn't so sure and spent most of the week afterwards trying to avoid her. Leanne told Spider if he didn't do the decent thing with Toyah she would threaten him with Les Battersby but Spider really did seem confused. Finally though, Toyah got her man after she stormed round to see him at Aunty Em's and demanded to know what was going on. After a couple of snogs the pair of them seemed a lot happier.

When Les found out who Toyah's new boyfriend was, he was less than pleased: "You mean that dozy crusty's sleeping wi' our Toyah?" he yelled before storming round to the café, intending to pull the legs off Spider before flushing him down the toilet, no doubt. Fortunately for Spider, all the shouting in the café brought Hayley downstairs and she sorted out the lot of them. Spider managed to sweet talk Aunty Em into letting Toyah stay there for a while after the fall-out with Les. Aunty Em agreed, on the understanding that no hanky panky went on under her roof. They both agreed, well, at least they tried to, but hormones being hormones and all, well Aunty Em was not best pleased when she found out what was going on and threw Toyah out. Curly let the young lovers use his spare room, while worried about incurring the wrath of Les next door.

In October 1999, Spider and Toyah set up home in a tent on the Red Rec but the sanitary arrangements left a lot to be desired, with no toilet or fresh water. When Audrey found out that "Mr Hippy, the armchair anarchist" had set up home in one of the parks she had control over in her role of councillor, she wasn't best pleased. Aunty Em went off on holiday with Maud Grimes and while she was away, Spider and Toyah moved back in to her house. While the two of them were upstairs playing battleships in the bath tub, a candle set fire to Aunty Em's curtains and the living room ended up with serious smoke damage. Spider enlisted Hayley to help out redecorating Aunty Em's front room after the fire, and while she got cracking making new curtains, Spider and Toyah did the wall-papering and the place looked ok again.

Hayley happened to mention that her old bedsit was free and so Spider and Toyah could have a home to call their own. Only one slight problem, they couldn't afford it, so Spider decided it was time he got himself a job. Off he went to the jobcentre and tried to get a job as park keeper but the job had already gone. However, Ernest in the jobcentre tried to find something suitable for him. He offered slaughterhouse work (no - he's vegetarian), pest control (no - he couldn't kill creepy crawlies), car park attendant (no - we all know the damage they do to the environment), baker (no - too many animal fats and GM foods) and canal dredger (no - he couldn't work with Toyah's dad). "Principles don't put bread on the table", Gail told him, so there was only one thing for it - he went for an interview with the establishment - the Benefits Agency itself. A bit nervous before the interview, he started talking to a guy who worked there, only to find it was fellow crusty, Ganja Tim. "There's something I should tell yer" said Spider, "I'm an anarchist". "So am I" replied Ganja Tim. It was a done deal, he got the job and planned to make the system work to help claimants with their benefits rather than becoming one of the establishment himself.
Spider uncovered evidence that showed Les Battersby was working while claiming benefits. He and Toyah decided to get rid of the incriminating evidence but he was caught by his boss, Miss Finch and had some explaining to do. Spider settled into a more responsible lifestyle, wearing a suit and tie for work each day, looked after Toyah and the pair of them entertained friends with vegetarian dinner parties in their bedsit. However, working at the Benefit Agency became too much for Spider when he had to refuse a single mother her benefits - and he walked out.

He headed home to sit around a candle and went 'um' in an unconvincing Buddhist way and told Toyah he'd booked them both on a spiritual journey. "Were not going to the Millennium Dome, are we?" she asked. “No, Toyah, you're going to India.” Well, Spider would have liked her to have gone to India with him, he'd bought two tickets after all, but it was too much for Toyah to take in, too sudden. She couldn't just up and leave, so in the end, finally, and tearfully she decided her own destiny, remaining in Weatherfield without him. And so he went, just like that. He said goodbye to Aunty Em, paid a month's rent in advance and left £100 in the bank for Toyah.

(With many thanks to Flaming Nora for her profile of Geoffrey ‘Spider’ Nugent. To read the whole profile click here.)

Also in 1999: Ashley Peacock finds out that Fred Elliott is not his uncle but his father; Ashley marries Maxine Heavey; Alf Roberts dies; Judy Mallett dies; the Desai family buy the corner shop; Rita Sullivan gives Sharon Gaskell the Kabin and then buys it back; Mike Baldwin is blackmailed by Julia Stone; Norris Cole returns and starts working at Kabin; Ken and Deirdre reconciled by Tracy; Nicky Tilsley bullies Leanne into having an abortion; Nicky leaves for Canada; Leanne gets involved with Jez Quigley and develops a cocaine habit.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Tommy Duckworth returns

Jack and Vera's grandson, Tommy Duckworth is set to make a return to the street next year, Tommy was last seen in 2000. He will be played by ex-Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain, who was popular with fans during his time in the teen soap. Tommy is set to take after his grandad Jack, rather than his dad, Terry, and will quickly become a part of the community

It'll be good to have a Duckworth back on the street, a nice Duckworth too!

Corrie stars raise money for charity

A charity auction was held recently at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester to raise money for the Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Appeal, which supports several charities picked by the cast. Actors Craig Gazey, Antony Cotton and Jimmi Harkishin were up for er... grabs, so to speak, as they auctioned themselves off for either dates or as a tour guide for a set visit. Jennie McAlpine helped as auctioneer and other Corrie stars were there in support, some even lending their talents to entertain the crowd including Debbie Rush, Andy Whyment and Katherine Kelly. The auction received lots of support and raised over £30,000 plus proceeds yet to be counted from a silent auction and raffle. Well done all!

Is John Stape becoming Richard Hillman Mark II?

Desperation makes a man go to extremes. We've already seen John bury the body of Colin Fishwick who dropped dead at his feet. He's been ducking and diving for weeks trying to keep that from Fiz but the reappearance of his partner in mischief, Charlotte, is making that increasingly difficult. According to the Sun, he's going to kill Charlotte (probably in the heat of another argument, I'm assuming) and make it look like she was caught in the upcoming and oh, so convenient for him tram crash. This is what happened with Richard Hillman and his ex-wife Patricia who threatened to expose him. He lashed out with a spade and killed her during the argument. It wasn't pre-planned.

Later, as you will recall, his money worries increased and he did plan to kill Emily Bishop, making it look like a break in and setting up young Aiden Critchley to take the blame. Maxine came home unexpectedly and he bashed the two of them. Emily survived, Maxine didn't. John is apparently set to allegedly kill Colin Fishwick's mother in the new year and make it look like she died of natural causes. It's already been established that she has a heart condition, after all. John is getting more and more desperate that his secret stay hidden, desperate to keep his new family from finding out. When Fiz does find out, and she will because that's Soap Law, will he try to kill her and the baby along with himself? The parallels are already creeping in, I think. What say you all? How will the Stape-gate storyline finish up? Maybe you all can give the writers some inspiration!

'Secret Diary of Gail' in The Radio Times

The next issue of Radio Times, on sale Saturday 27 November, celebrates 50 years of Coronation Street and its leading ladies with 12 different covers featuring the likes of Rita, Betty, Elsie, Bet and Hilda.


The broadcast of Coronation Street's first episode was 50 years ago, on 9 December 1960. To pay tribute to this watershed moment, Radio Times has secured the only major magazine interview with creator Tony Warren (conducted by Guardian journo Gareth Mclean), an exclusive “Secret Diary of Gail” that charts the history of the Street (written by Coronation Street scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey) and 12 different covers of Coronation Street’s iconic female characters, from Elsie Tanner and Ena Sharples to Becky McDonald and Tina McIntyre.

Have a look at the Radio Times online.

Spot the Corrie Prop - November 26th, 2010

The last prop poser was quite an easy one as it's been popping up regularly on our screens in the office at The Joinery. Congratulations if you spotted it.

For this week's prop puzzle, where on Coronation Street would you find this lopsided lampshade?


50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1998

Day 38 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

With two failed marriages and a third husband dead, Deirdre Rachid hadn’t had much luck in the love stakes over the years. So, when she was on a girl’s night out with Liz McDonald and she met a handsome, courteous and dashing pilot called Jon Lindsay who seemed interested in her, she thought her luck had changed. He lavished extravagant gifts on her, in a way that she’d never experienced before and she soon became besotted with this straightforward charmer. But all was not as it seemed as by chance Ken saw him working in a tie shop at Manchester Airport.

When Deirdre confronted him Jon told her that he’d only deceived her to try to impress her and she believed him as they continued to live the high life, which he paid for with for with forged credit cards. She gave him five thousand pounds to use as a deposit on a home for them and when he proposed she was over the moon. They bought a luxury house in Didsbury but joy soon turned to sadness as on Christmas Day she found out that rather than being away on business trips, Jon was still living with his wife and children.

After confronting Jon over the fact that he was married, she refused to believe he still loved her and set about trying to recover the money she’d given him. Using a credit card he’d given her she started to withdraw money from their joint account only to be arrested as the account was in the name of a Captain Jenkins. She told the police all about Jon but they refused to believe her as he had disappeared. When Jon eventually turned up he portrayed himself as an innocent accessory to the deception and told the police that Deirdre had been the mastermind behind it all. Unfortunately for Deirdre, the jury believed him and Deirdre was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Jon got away with a suspended sentence.

Back on the Street the residents were shocked by the verdict and despite their differences, Ken and Mike got together with Emily to prove Deirdre’s innocence and campaign for her release. In the meantime, Deirdre was stuck sharing a cell with gobby Jackie Dobbs who tried to show her the ropes of prison life but her constant assertions of innocence annoyed inmates and warders alike and she was sedated. Eventually Ken and Mike’s tireless investigations into Jon’s life bore fruit when another woman who had been tricked by him came forward and after spending three weeks in gaol, Deirdre was released.
The other big story of the year was the introduction of transsexual Hayley Patterson and her subsequent romance with Roy Cropper. Hayley started working at Firman’s Freezers and whilst slightly gauche she had a very sweet nature. Though initially portrayed as rather creepy and sinister, Roy had developed into a nice, quirky but harmless character who was a bit of an outsider. Roy and Hayley were attracted to each other though because of their shyness some matchmaking of the pair had to be undertaken by Alma Baldwin before they got together. The courtship ended suddenly when Hayley broke the news that she was a transsexual and confused, Roy refused to have anything to do with her anymore. Further intervention was required from Alma to make him understand that if he really cared for Hayley, then nothing else mattered. Hayley was delighted when Roy flew out to Amsterdam, where she’d gone for her final operation to become a woman, tracked her down and asked her to return to Weatherfield with him.

Also in 1998: Nicky Tilsley and Leanne Battersby elope to Gretna Green and get married; Anne Malone freezes to death; Des Barnes and Natalie Horrocks marry; Des Barnes is killed; Gary and Judy Mallett have twins; Emily Bishop protests up a tree with Spider Nugent; Jim McDonald ends up in a wheelchair; Sally Webster has an affair with Greg Kelly; Zoe Tattersall joins the Cult of Nirab.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Coronation Street Christmas Cards

What more could you want for a Corrie Christmas than Coronation Street Christmas cards?

Find them online at Simon Spicer (at the bottom of the page) and they're £2.25 each.

Funky Pigeon also have some Corrie Christmas cards too.

Corrie girls dress up as classic Corrie women

If you like the women of Coronation Street, past and present, as much as you like dressing up and make-up, then you'll like this YouTubage of some of the current Corrie cast being dressed up as some of the classic ones.  There's Michelle Keegan, Katherine Kelly, Jenni McAlpine and Helen Flanagan dressing up as.... well... you'll have to wait for The Sun Buzz magazine on Saturday to find out. Speaking of which, have you entered our competition yet to win a copy of the DVD being given away in The Sun Buzz this weekend?

Vicky Entwistle's husband charged with assault

Vicky Entwistle, who plays Coronation Street's Janice Battersby (but not for much longer) told a court she quit the soap due to the pressure of being a celebrity. Vicky was giving evidence in court this week as her husband was charged with assaulting a fan.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Vicky down during the hearing saying the pressures of celebrity and the ‘very frightening’ incident were behind her decision to leave Corrie. She said: “I decided to resign from my job. I feel I want some privacy and normality. The enormity of that programme, its got too big for me now. I feel swallowed by it. I don't want to do it anymore. I want to do small things that will not create that kind of attention.”

Vicky's husband was found guilty of common assault by a district judge and ordered he pay compensation.

Corrie pop-art exhibition now on in Manchester

A new Coronation Street art exhibition is on display next week from December 2 at the Richard Goodall Gallery in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. It will be open until January 15.

ITV licensing manager Denise Penn said: "Central Station first approached us with their idea in June 2009 - the appeal was immediate and ITV relished the chance to celebrate Coronation Street's heritage with the team's incredible contemporary art."

A spokesman for Central Station said: "We are all massive Corrie fans, the long list of colourful characters that have lived on the street over the past 50 years, not only relate to us as people, but have come along at times that reflect the social and cultural dynamics of the world around us. It has been brilliant to put our stamp on the national treasure that is Corrie and be a part of celebrating what Tony Warren started 50 years ago."

Wear your own piece of Weatherfield

If you'd like to carry off Corrie style or just want to own a piece of Coronation Street history in this, its 50th year on our screens, then you'll have to be quick to snap up the one-off items that Coronation Street has donated from its famous wardrobe to Cancer Research UK’s online shop, http://www.shoptobeatcancer.org.uk/

From Thursday 25th November the online shop, which sells hundreds of brand new items as well as donated clothes, will be selling off a top of Sally Webster’s, a maternity dress worn by Molly Dobbs, one of Steve McDonald’s striped shirts and Becky McDonald’s favourite cropped pink velour jacket pictured above as worn on Coronation Street by actress Katherine Kelly, who plays Becky.

Sally Whittaker, who has fought breast cancer both in real life and as Sally Webster on Coronation Street, said:  ‘’I’m thrilled that someone else will get to wear Sally’s top and own their little bit of Coronation Street. Cancer Research UK carries out extraordinary work to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer so that more people like me can survive. It’s also one of the charities benefiting from Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary appeal so it would be fantastic to see our viewers join in wherever they can, whether they buy one of the Coronation Street items, something else from the online shop or even take a bag of donated clothes to their nearest Cancer Research UK shop.’

Sneak Preview of next week's Corrie, Nov 29 - Dec 3

Without any piffle, here's the storyline for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less.
Monday 29 November to Friday 3 DecemberNote schedule changes this week: Only 1 episode on Monday night, 2 episodes on Wednesday, 1 episode on Thursday and only 1 episode on Friday

Michelle finds out about Carla’s drink problem, Peter rejects Carla, David’s in court, Ken confronts Leanne, John gets close to Charlotte, Molly breaks Tyrone’s heart, Nick begs Leanne to marry him,

The full weekly preview, with loads of pictures, is right here on Corrie.net

Missed last week's Corrie?
Catch up with the Coronation Street weekly updates.

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1997

Day 37 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
‘The Street is currently being terrorised by a smiling axeman.’ So wrote Victor Lewis-Smith in The Daily Mirror about the arrival of new producer Brian Park. Over the years various producers had come in and set about rejuvenating the Street after it had become stale and complacent but none had carried out such a large scale restructuring of cast and storylines as Park was about to. Coronation Street was losing the ratings war with Eastenders and it had gone from a programme that your mother watched to one that your grandmother did. Park also thought that it was facing bias from the press which perceived the programme as being old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy.

On his first day he sacked Peter Baldwin (though credit for this decision has to go to his predecessor Sue Pritchard), who played dopey Derek Wilton, causing outcry across the globe but he’d only just started. Other casualties of Park’s cull were Don Brennan, Percy Sugden, Andy McDonald, Anne Malone, Bill Webster, Billy Williams, Maureen Holdsworth and Scamper the dog and new arrivals included Zoe Tattersall, neighbours from hell The Battersbys and a new look Nicky Tilsley, played by Adam Rickitt. As well as making changes to the cast he also tried to introduce bigger, bolder and longer storylines and move power away from the script writers and more towards the storylining team, feeling that they took a more long-term view towards the stories than script writers who just dealt with one episode at a time.

The Battersbys arrived on the Street with a bang, They were loud, brash, inconsiderate and the sort of people who think that the world revolves around them. They weren’t popular with the residents and Percy Sugden got up a petition to have them forcibly removed, while life became unbearable for next door neighbour Curly Watts who had to suffer loud music blaring out from no. 5 at all hours of the day and night. At the end of his tether he broke into their house and threw their CD player out of the window onto the cobbles below. In response, and much to the amusement of Leanne and Toyah, Les head butted Curly, smashing his glasses.

Toyah took a part-time job at the café and Leanne joined her mother at Underworld, only to get the sack for smoking and setting off the fire alarm. Nick Tilsley returned from Canada to study PE at the local technical college and much to his mother’s horror, started a relationship with Leanne who took his virginity. Meanwhile Toyah fell for Emily Nugent’s eco-warrior nephew, Geoffrey ‘Spider’ Nugent who had moved into his auntie’s spare room. Together they liberated Teresa the turkey that Les was planning to eat for Christmas dinner but the bird wandered out on to the cobbles and was run over by Les.

Also in 1997: Brad Armstrong is born in the back room at the Rovers, delivered by Betty; Fred Elliott marries Maureen Holdsworth but she runs off to Germany with Bill Webster, Don Brennan dies crashing Alma’s car into the viaduct; Mavis Wilton moves to Cartmel to open a B & B; Alec Gilroy bails out Jack and Vera over their VAT bill; Alec opens Golden Years dating agency; Kevin Webster leaves Sally and moves in with Natalie Horrocks; Deirdre starts seeing airline pilot Jon Lindsay; Fiona Middleton is jilted at the altar after she admits to Alan McKenna to having slept with Jim McDonald; Flaming Nora and Sunny Jim meet for the first time, on the set of Coronation Street.

Steve McDonald gurn of the week, November 25 2010

It's Thursday and that means only one thing... time for the Steve McDonald gurn of the week. Thanks go to our Coronation Street blogger Tvor for this week's fab Stevie McGurn. If you've captured a good Corrie Steve gurn and want to share it via the blog, do email it in.

To see more gurnage from Stevie McGurn, have a look here, there's loads. Some good, some bad and some really very funny.

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