(On The Coronation Street Blog, a semi-regular feature is a Fan of the Week. Recently, they featured the people behind the great podcast, Conversation Street which we also feature here on the Bluenose Blog so we're bringing Gemma and Michael to you, too!
(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog July 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)
It's time to meet two special Corrie fans of the week.
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Who are you and where are you from?
We're Gemma and Michael, husband and wife from Southampton. We run the Corrie podcast, Conversation Street, which will be celebrating its 50th episode later this week!
How long have you been watching Corrie?
Michael: I've been watching since around 1994. I remember it always being on in the evenings, as my mum was a fan, and eventually the lure was too strong and I started watching it myself! I don't think I started watching it regularly until the following year, though. I think I may remember Deirdre marrying Samir in 1994, but I have vivid memories of him dying in 1995, and how the producers changed his exit at the last moment so not to put people off kidney transplants! I also watched many of the 80s episodes when they were broadcast on Granada Plus in the late 90s.
Gemma: I started watching Corrie after I met Michael at university, and there really wasn't much choice as he had a TV and I didn't! We lived in a house together in our second year and so everyone watched Corrie together - when he lived in France for a year I stopped watching it, but after he finished his degree and we moved in together, I think I've probably never missed an episode!
Who are your favourite female and male characters - and the reasons why?
Michael: When it comes to male characters, Fred Elliot and Jack Duckworth were always good for a laugh, and at the moment I'm really enjoying watching what David and Roy are getting up to. Of course, favourite female characters are always easy to reel off for Corrie. Hilda Ogden and Vera Duckworth were some of my faves from the old guard - both of which suffered from a string of knockbacks, but always managed to overcome them with a joke and a smile. Out of the current crop of characters, Sylvia's always brilliant to watch. Oh, I always used to have a bit of a thing for Racquel too - sorry Gemma!
Gemma: What?! Weird time to start the confessions! I love Becky, she'll always be my favourite, and I really hope she'll come back one day, although her ending was great and I like to imagine the character sunning herself in a tropical paradise for the rest of her days. Becky for me is the ultimate Corrie woman - bolshy, brassy and mouthy as heck, with a heart of gold. As for the male characters, I think David has actually become mine. I don't particularly like him all the time, but when he switches into 'evil David' mode, he's amazing to watch. He's like a machiavellian genius.
What's been some of your favourite Corrie storylines over the years?
Michael: I remember being totally gripped by the whole Jon Lindsay saga, and as most of the nation would agree, the Richard Hillman storyline was unmissable. The whole John Stape storyline was wonderfully silly, and I loved the domestic abuse stuff last year - it's very deserving of all the awards it's been getting.
Gemma: I think the stuff with Richard Hillman gripped me pretty well, "You should have stayed at the party, Maxine!" has become a pretty funny catchphrase around here. And of course, I can't ever look at black leather gloves the same any more now. I liked David's breakdown when he pushed Gail down the stairs, that was pretty intense to watch too! I have a fond memory of Becky's first wedding to Steve, which was hilarious - and I always like a good wedding on Corrie, if only to see the dresses!
And what would your fantasy Corrie storyline be?
We'd both agree that any storyline involving the grisly demise of Ryan and Katy would be right up our street at the moment. In fact, we'd put Chesney (or Ches Misérables, as we call him on the podcast) in it as well, apart from the fact that he's actually the star of the other storyline idea we've been tossing around, which would see him buying the old butcher's shop and starting up his own business. Making him into a little Alan Sugar would be very interesting to watch. Another thing we'd love to see is Sylvia coming into some money and buying the Rovers. Having her behind the bar would hark back to Annie Walker's glory days, but we think Sylvia has developed into enough of her own character to do something different with the role. Of course, it would be very interesting to see teetotaler Roy's reaction to his mother's new position, too.
Have you any snippets or news about meeting any of the Corrie cast, or trips to the set, etc., that you'd like to share?
We've met a couple of cast members over the years, but never really in a Corrie capacity. Michael met Craig Charles a few times at Red Dwarf book signings back in the 90s, and he also saw (but never spoke to) Julie Goodyear on holiday in the south of France back when he was younger. He also met Geoffrey Hughes (Eddie Yeats) back when he was in primary school, as Keeping Up Appearances (Hughes' other big show) was filmed in his village. Back then, though, Michael had no idea that he used to be in Corrie!
More recently. we both visited the toy shop run by Peter Baldwin (Derek Wilton) in Covent Garden, although, as we thought he'd probably put his Corrie days far behind him, we just bought a postcard and left! Also, Gemma met Adam Rickitt outside a theatre after a performance in a musical - although he was acting like a bit of pretentious wally at the time. Oh yes, and randomly, Rula Lenska (Claudia Colby), once accidentally landed a hot air balloon on the playing field near Gemma's house during the Southampton Balloon Festival! Her parents had to help them take off again, and Rula was in the basket shouting, "Push, darlings, push!"
Check out Conversation Street - the podcast
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