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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Coronation Street T-Shirt of the Week

Every week I find another brilliant Coronation Street t-shirt that I love. This week it's a Prima Doner kebab shop top.
If you want it too, it's here.

(PS: I'm not on commission for promoting these t-shirts to fans, I just love sharing them).

See also:

#SaveRita campaign t-shirt
Weatherfield County t-shirt
Classic Corrie names t-shirt
Annie Walker pop-art t-shirt
Florizel Street t-shirt
No. 1 Corrie fan t-shirt
Uncle Albert t-shirt
Annie Walker t-shirt
Albert Tatlock t-shirt
Bet Lynch t-shirt
Elsie Tanner t-shirt
Mavis and Rita t-shirt

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Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Weds 20 Sep

7.30 Coronation Street.
Will Jenny or Eva succeed in becoming Mrs Connor? Rita faces an uncertain future. Michelle enters the lion's den.

8.30 Coronation Street.
The pieces fall into place for a horrified Michelle. Adam's plan for Underworld comes to fruition. Colin makes Norris an offer for the Kabin.

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Coronation Street Blog Interview: Samia Longchambon

There's nothing quite like an eleventh hour wedding interruption, and when it comes to Coronation Street, we've been treated to more than a few. On Monday's Corrie we had the pleasure of experiencing yet another when Maria burst in in the middle of Aidan and Eva's lavish ceremony. A rather smug Eva tells her she's too late, Aidan has already confessed to their affair, and they're going ahead with the wedding. But what the bride isn't prepared for is Maria's rather unique favour for each guest; a copy of the baby scan Eva has been passing off as her own. Yes, Maria stuns the room by revealing that Eva is not pregnant, and it's a showstopper.

I travelled to Manchester to meet Samia Longchambon who plays Maria at Coronation Street studios to hear all about it. Those not wishing to read any spoilers should look away now.

We also now know that, in scenes to be shown tonight (Wednesday, 20 September), the girls take it outside to thrash it out in the fountain.

First up, how did Samia find these scenes? "It was so much fun actually. I was dreading it before because you feel so much pressure to get it right and I just wasn’t sure, I couldn’t envisage how it was going to work. But on the day John the Director just gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted to each other basically and we just went for it".

Asked what was the worst thing Cath did to her, and what she did to Cath, Samia laughs, "she grabbed my hair and shoved my head under the water, dunking my head up and down" adding, "it wasn’t the nicest thing that Cath’s ever done to me. And the worst thing I did to her was rip her hair extensions out and throw her tiara across the garden. I think I might have tried dunking her in but it was bloody hard in that wedding dress because it was massive, so even getting close to her in my shorts and t-shirt was quite difficult. It was much easier for her to dunk my head under."

Speaking of Maria's motives for exposing the lie, Samia says, "even though her and Aidan aren’t together now and she’s kind of closed the book on their affair, she still cares for him and she still wants him to know the truth that the woman he’s marrying isn’t the person that he thinks she is and she still thinks that he needs to know."

Samia loved bursting through the doors at the wedding, telling us "it was everything that I imagined it should be because it’s been like a really slow burner this affair, it hasn’t just been a flash in the pan and it’s meant a lot to Maria." She adds, "she did actually love Aidan, so yes, to culminate in the way it did was brilliant, it was such a treat to get those storylines and to film it."

Samia admits to feeling sorry for her character, and describes it as "devastating" for Aidan that there was never a baby, adding, "I think that’s what Corrie do really well in the writing in that you actually feel sorry for all of these characters in some way at some point and you’re also frustrated with them all because all of them have done something wrong but all of them have also been wronged as well, so it’s kind of up to you guys as the audience to decide which team you're on. I’m Team Maria! Obviously!" she laughs.

We're told that Maria does feel remorse for her actions and Samia explains, "the fact that even Kirk, who’s like her most loyal supporter, her brother, he’s saying to her ‘Why have you done this? How could you do all this?’ she does feel bad. But she did love him, that’s her kind of thing, you know, it wasn’t out of spite or revenge...she’s just been really unlucky."

With regard to Maria's previous relationships, Samia says, "It’s interesting for me that Maria’s always unlucky in love. I think since Liam, even though she was really unlucky with Liam her husband, he was like the love of her life and she’s always trying to get that back and she’s never had that with anybody since and I think with Aidan she thought she might get that."

Now that Maria has had her big reveal, it will be interesting to see where Aidan and Eva go from here.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes

You can also read my interviews with Shayne Ward,  Cath Tyldesley and Sally Ann Matthews, view the Coronation Street Promo Video for the double wedding, and read about the announcement of a sixth weekly episode of Corrie from 20 September.

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Double Trouble for Maria and Eva in Corrie's Extra Wednesday Episode

Things are about to get very messy on Coronation Street when Eva Price takes the ultimate revenge on Maria Connor in tonight’s dramatic double bill of our favourite soap.

As these photographs show the furious bride sees red and pushes her love rival into the fountain at the lavish wedding venue - before jumping in after her and dunking the terrified hairdresser under the water.

In scenes reminiscent of the famous Dynasty lilypond catfight between Krystal and Alexis, the two women battle it out in the fountain as the stunned wedding guests look on. 

On Monday night over 7 million viewers saw Maria ruin Aidan and Eva’s wedding by gatecrashing the ceremony and revealing that Eva is faking her pregnancy.

Eva had spent months planning her revenge against Aidan and Maria after discovering they had been having an affair behind her back and planned to expose cheating fiance Aidan Connor during their vows. But when he confessed to the affair on the morning of the wedding she decided that she still loved him and wanted to marry him.

But she hadn’t bargained on Maria discovering that as part of her revenge Eva had faked a pregnancy to ensure Aidan married her.

Tune in at 7.30 and 8.30 tonight to find out if Aidan and Eva will finally tie the knot or if Maria’s revelation has finally called time on the relationship.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mikey North Interview: What's next for Gary Windass?

Gary has been off working in the Ukraine, when he returns this time do we see a different Gary? Is his job starting to take its toll?
I think it’s getting gradually worse, it was clear to see how bad it was from the bruises last time he came home, but you get the impression more things have happened this time. Fresh injuries are appearing from whatever he’s been up to and he’s clearly troubled.

Does Sarah spot this or has he managed to convince her that the job is low risk, it’s good money, and that everything is fine?
She’s probably a little bit wary of it because she knows what’s at stake and it’s a risky job he’s doing but I think he has managed to keep it on the whole away from her mainly, no one really knows what he’s doing and how dangerous it is.

But he can’t keep it away from his mum Anna can he?
He can’t no, he’s brought some presents back for Faye and as he bends over to go in the bag to get them his shirt rides up and his mum spots the injuries on his back. There’s a lot of bruising and so Anna flies of the handle and questions him. Gary sort of comes clean for the first time about what he’s doing, but on the premise that she keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t say anything to Sarah.

So it’s not putting him off carrying on with the work is it?
I think he’d lie to call it a day but it’s hard to go back now he’s done that first job and seen the money. I think his long term plan is to get enough money for a house and then he can move out of Izzy’s to live with Sarah and have all the family under one roof, then he’ll stop.

But as he keeps returning for one more job do you think the stakes will go up?
Yeah things get more dangerous and the inevitable is going to happen I think.

How is Gary’s relationship with Sarah because they want through a rocky patch initially when Sarah didn’t want him to go to the Ukraine?
Gary started drinking a lot when he last came home, probably to block out what he’d been through in the Ukraine. He went out when Sarah was working, which Gary wasn’t too happy about, he was kind of off with her and he was very snappy with her. He went out drinking one night to unwind and that’s when he met Nicola. He confided in her about what had happened in the Ukraine but then he worked out that she was Phelan’s daughter and pulled back, he felt bad that he’d told her a lot, things he hadn’t told Sarah. He felt bad on Sarah so he went and apologised which left things alright between them but he still feels bad that he had opened up to another women. He’s been trying to make it up to Sarah this time but he’s clearly got a lot on his mind and he’s not the same Gary.

So they’re getting back on track but tell us what happens in the Rovers when Gary loses his temper? 
He is on edge the whole time in the Rovers, he snaps at Craig that day as well for no reason, he just starts on him on the street, then he snaps at Tyrone and Kirk in the pub.  Sarah tells him to calm down but he flies off the handle and goes outside. Sarah comes out to see what is wrong with him, he takes offence and he just loses it. He’s really rude to her and storms off.

What do you think is making him feel this way?
For me it’s the PTSD rearing its head from when he was in Afghanistan and I think it’s definitely elements of that coming back, that’s how I have tried to play it, him being very volatile and wanting to start on every lad that walks by. I think the pressures from this work are getting to him and brining a lot of demons back to the fore that he’s worked hard to overcome.

After refusing to talk to Sarah, Gary again finds himself with Nicola and decides to go back to hers for a drink. Why has he found that he can confide in Nicola? 
I don’t think it’s anything in particular, I think it’s just that she happens to be there at the right time. She’s the only person that he’s told exactly what happened in the Ukraine and what he had to do, which is what has triggered all of this, so that is probably one of the reasons that he feels an attachment to her. When he’s in the ginnel after he storms out of the Rovers following his argument with Sarah, Nicola happens to be there, she finds him bleeding and says she will sort out his injury for him.

They then have a few drinks and one thing starts to lead to another, will he cheat on Sarah because we know he does really love Sarah?
It’s a tricky one, he does love Sarah, things are great between them and they are so good together but I suppose in the heat of the moment he isn’t thinking clearly. This isn’t the Gary that’s been around before he went to the Ukraine, this is someone else and I think it’s taken over his mind almost, he’s gone a bit crazy. His judgment is clouded by drink, he’s just had a row with Sarah and he’s not thinking straight.

How does Gary feel when he goes home?
He feels awful that he’s confided in Nicola again and not Sarah. He goes back to Sarah’s house and while he doesn’t come clean about Nicola, he does about what’s happened in the Ukraine, about how dangerous it is and the fact that he’s not been letting on how bad it really is.

Are you enjoying playing this different side to Gary?
I love it. This storyline ties back in with the old Gary for me, which is why I joined the show in the first place, to play that volatile guy. But I think now that you’ve seen a nicer side to him the audience are more sympathetic with him, he’s not just a violent thug that came in with the Windasses, he has a child, he has responsibilities, we’ve seen him be ther for both Sarah and Bethany. For me as an actor it’s great, I’m loving doing this whole story and it’s enjoyable doing something different.

What do you think of Gary’s relationship with Sarah, do you enjoy working with Tina and the Platts, do you think it could be for the long haul?
Yeah I do, they’ve been together for a year and a half now and it’s been probably my most enjoyable time on the show. I think Tina’s a great actress and I love working with her and Lucy together, I’m blessed to work with two of the best actresses on the show so I can’t complain at all. If it was down to me I’d have them stay together for as long as possible.

Do you think the public like seeing Gary and Sarah together?
It seems they do yes, just picking up on what people have been saying they seem to be really popular so hopefully it’s not the end for them and Gary doesn’t risk his relationship over Nicola.

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Sonia Ibrahim Interview: Mel's return to Coronation Street

How did you first feel when you heard that Mel was going to come back to the street?
I was obviously very happy but I knew that there would be some kind of intention behind it from Mel. But even though there is a reason why she is back, it is good that all of Mel’s story comes out and the Platts get to know everything about her.

What happens in that first moment Bethany sees that Mel’s back?
Mel has been homeless for a while so when she sees Bethany, she's desperate to speak to her. Bethany knows what Mel has done so obviously she doesn't like her and she wants to phone the police but Mel manages to persuade her to invite her into the Platts' to hear her side of the story.

What is Sarah’s reaction when Mel first comes back?
She probably wants to hit her and to go for her since she's put her daughter through all that. But Bethany persuades Sarah to at least let Mel talk.

Why does Bethany agree to talk to Mel after everything?
Bethany is trying to continuously open Mel’s eyes to how brainwashed she is. Bethany keeps asking her to come to court because she needs her help; Lara is not a reliable witness and Mel knows more so she can help to put Nathan away.

What’s Mel’s reaction to that?
Definitely deep down Mel knows that it’s right and that she should do it. There’s always the to-and-fro in her mind of whether she should go to court but that little voice in her head, which is Nathan, is just niggling away at her, saying, ‘No, do what I want, do what I want!’.

What is it about Mel’s backstory that makes us understand why she is the way she is?
At first Bethany doesn't know what Mel has been through and tells Mel not to play the victim so that’s when Mel says she’s had it worse. She says that she's taken beatings for Bethany and explains she was Nathan’s first with all this stuff and it just escalated. Mel still thinks that she's his one true love - she's been through a lot, a lot more than anyone realises.

How has it been playing such a complex character with the backstory looming over her?
At times it is challenging to get into that mindset but it’s been really good to play the different sides of Mel and have such a character arc in the story. You've seen a massive journey for her and I've really enjoyed playing that.

Have you found that viewers are understanding her a lot more?
Yeah, definitely. I have noticed that people are warming to her because they can see that there’s something with her. People can see that she's very manipulated.

Have you had anyone coming up to you in the streets?
The thing people always say is, ‘You really look like that girl in Coronation Street’, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s me’, but everyone’s been really nice.

What’s it been like working with the Platts?
Ever since I started working with Lucy we have formed a really lovely friendship and she's just such a nice girl. We have bonded and that’s good when you're working so close with somebody, especially on a storyline like this when it does get quite dark because it’s nice to be able to have those uplifting moments in-between. Working with the Platts like Tina, Helen and Sue has been so much fun on set. Sometimes I just stand there and watch because I am still new to it and it’s interesting to see how everyone does the different things and how their characters get to where they get to.

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