Ian Kershaw is an award-winning writer who writes for the stage and TV. His impressive list of work includes episodes of Shameless, Holby City and Casualty for TV and a long list of plays for the stage, including the intriguingly named Get Ken Barlow, which he penned in 2005.
He's also written extensively for the radio and last, but by no means least, he's acted on Corrie in a few different roles and is the husband of Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper.
Ian's taken up our challenge for a celebrity to write about their love of Coronation Street. And in return we're donating £25 to Ian's charity of choice which is Reuben's Retreat. The charity are building a house in the memory of their son for families with children with life-threatening / shortening illnesses.
And now, it's over to Ian...
I Heart Corrie by Ian Kershaw
I grew up in Oldham, Lancashire in a traditional terrace house and before videos and ‘time shifting recording’ – you’d hear the Corrie (always Corrie never Corro) theme tune cornet-ing out of every house at 7.30 pm Mondays and Wednesdays – we’d sit with our mums and watch the cat stretch in the sun on someone’s outhouse or stalk Jack’s pigeons and all was well with the world. It was part of the fabric of life, the tune, the titles, the Granada logo – Deidre’s glasses, Hilda’s singing and Eddie Yeats' laugh and we all fancied Sally!
If anyone phoned our house between 7.30pm and 8pm it was ignored as ‘no-one we know will be calling when Corrie’s on’ – Corrie was (and is) important, we knew the characters and while we watched them have babies and saw them grow up, saw marriages begin and end, saw people come and people go – we grew up too.
Years later when the fantastic Granada Studios Tour (RIP) opened we queued to walk the cobbles ‘real cobbles!’ look astonished through letterboxes ‘There’s nothing in there!’ and tut at whoever nicked a piece of Jack and Vera’s stone-cladding ‘Vera will go mad!’
I became an actor and learned that in Oldham you weren’t an actor until you’d been on Corrie – eventually I did, a cough and a spit as a solicitor overseeing Nicky Tilsley’s name change so he could inherit his nan’s house (Nicky Tilsley looks different now but then, we all do).
Later I cropped up several times as a slimy reporter from the Weatherfield Gazette eventually ruining Roy and Hayley’s wedding (thanks to Les Battersby) and it was there I met Julie Hesmondhalgh – who would later wind up being duped into marrying me (in real life!).
Watch Ian and Julie on All Star Mr & Mrs.
Not only has Corrie given me my wife (and family) loads of great friends but also hours of joy and pain (especially now with the lovely Croppers and what they’re having to deal with!) that I now sit down to watch with my kids, watching the cat, listening to the cornet and all is well in the world.
And now I write words for a living and I’m friends with, and in awe of, the writing team at Corrie – they are all geniuses (without exception!) and along with story-liners, actors, directors, make-up, wardrobe and security folk are (to use the well worn phrase) ‘one big happy family’ who create magic five times a week! And it is magic, like sun hitting rain-soaked slate roofs in Oldham and turning the grey to silver - magic in the everyday, making the ordinary extraordinary just like every episode of Coronation Street.
Follow Ian on twitter @iankershaw and find out more about his work at The Agency website.
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