Monday, 30 June 2014

The faces of Corrie 2013

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.


With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 2013, 252 episodes were broadcast.

1. Tina McIntyre (164 episodes)
2. Anna Windass (161 episodes)
3. Roy Cropper (153 episodes)
4. Stella Price/Munro/Price (150 episodes)
5. Gail McIntyre (146 episodes)
6. Leanne Barlow/Tilsley (144 episodes)
7. Nick Tilsley (144 episodes)
8. David Platt (137 episodes)
9. Kylie Platt (137 episodes)
10. Hayley Cropper (135 episodes)
11. Fiz Stape (132 episodes)
12. Owen Armstrong (127 episodes)

Average age: 40



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Corrie Canada weekly awards June 23 - 27


Grovel award: Steve. It worked. More fool him.

If looks could kill award: Owen can barely look at Gary and when he does, it's a wonder Gary isn't bleeding from it!

Covering all bases award: Sally wants Tim to surprise her with a ring rather than pick one out herself, but he should also keep the receipt.

Rabbit in the headlights award: Todd wasn't too happy when Marcus let the L-word slip

Perception award: Roy can see through every one of Carla's defences.

Rubbing their face in it: Phelan sent a postcard.


Musical ambience award: Gold Star: The Birdy Song playing to Sally and Tim's un-proposal (Brilliant choice of music!)
 Silver star: "Love you more than I can say" in the factory when the girls were discussing Sally and Tim's engagment "party" in the Rovers.

P.A. Award: Sally wants to be the PA.. she is... Passive Aggressive!

Apologetic award: Apology, Rob? Sorry for your loss? Not really the same kind of "sorry" as an apology. We know what you're really sorry for.

Brutal honesty award: Carla told the police in no uncertain terms. Someone else got there first.

Deluded award: Owen was absolutely horrible to Anna but thought now that it was all out in the open, she could forget what she's done and forget what he said to her? That he could forget that picture in his head? Doubt it.

Lines of the week:
Steve about Amy "What am I supposed to tell her? Michelle left because daddy's a moron?" (erm....)
Owen to Liz "I thought your job was to pour 'em not count 'em"
Tim to Tracy, haggling over the rings "I'm skint, not tight" (6 of one, half dozen of the other)
Steve "As from today, I am a secret-free zone. I am drawing a circle of ignorance around me"
Carla "I'm used to pulling the wool over everyone's eyes"
Sophie "You know about as much about opera as I do about brain surgery"
Sally "I'm not passive aggressive. I'm a go getter"
Tim re Sally's ring "She didn't want owt flash" Julie "She certainly didn't get it"
Carla "Peter didn't need to have an affair. He did it because he could" (And because he's a Barlow)
Carla "I didn't kill the bitch"
Owen about Anna "She stepped up. Laid back and thought of England"
Sally to Tim "If it ain't broke, why fix it?"
Carla "Now here we are. Standing in the ashes"



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Corrie Canada weekly awards for June 23 - 27

If looks could kill award: Owen can barely look at Gary and when he does, it's a wonder Gary isn't bleeding from it!

Covering all bases award: Sally wants Tim to surprise her with a ring rather than pick one out herself, but he should also keep the receipt.

Rabbit in the headlights award: Todd wasn't too happy when Marcus let the L-word slip

Perception award: Roy can see through every one of Carla's defences.

Grovel award: Steve. It worked. More fool him.

Rubbing their face in it: Phelan sent a postcard.

Musical ambience award: Gold Star: The Birdy Song playing to Sally and Tim's un-proposal (Brilliant choice of music!) Silver star: "Love you more than I can say" in the factory when the girls were discussing Sally and Tim's engagment "party" in the Rovers.

P.A. Award: Sally wants to be the PA.. she is... Passive Aggressive!

Apologetic award: Apology, Roy? Sorry for your loss? Not really the same kind of "sorry" as an apology. We know what you're really sorry for.

Brutal honesty award: Carla told the police in no uncertain terms. Someone else got there first.

Deluded award: Owen was absolutely horrible to Anna but thought now that it was all out in the open, she could forget what she's done and forget what he said to her? That he could forget that picture in his head? Doubt it.

Lines of the week:
Steve about Amy "What am I supposed to tell her? Michelle left because daddy's a moron?" (erm....)
Owen to Liz "I thought your job was to pour 'em not count 'em"
Tim to Tracy, haggling over the rings "I'm skint, not tight" (6 of one, half dozen of the other)
Steve "As from today, I am a secret-free zone. I am drawing a circle of ignorance around me"
Carla "I'm used to pulling the wool over everyone's eyes"
Sophie "You know about as much about opera as I do about brain surgery"
Sally "I'm not passive aggressive. I'm a go getter"
Tim re Sally's ring "She didn't want owt flash" Julie "She certainly didn't get it"
Carla "Peter didn't need to have an affair. He did it because he could" (And because he's a Barlow)
Carla "I didn't kill the bitch"
Owen about Anna "She stepped up. Laid back and thought of England"
Sally to Tim "If it ain't broke, why fix it?"
Carla "Now here we are. Standing in the ashes"


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Who's your all time favourite Corrie female?

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)


Since I joined the Coronation Street Blog team back in 2012, what I have mostly done is conducting polls - be it for favourite characters, couples or certain archetypes and moments in Corrie history. As you may have probably noticed, I've been in a lull these past couple of weeks about what to write about on the blog. Inspiration has been lacking it must be said.

With those polls, I was in control. I was the one who chose the characters, couples etc and their groupings. And yes I did face criticism about not making the polls democratic. Not making you, the readers, choose who you like. And yes that is a fair argument and I have taken it on board. And here is the result. 

I would like to know who's your all-time favourite Corrie female. No poll, just leave your comments on here or on Facebook or Twitter - completely open to you. I'm curious what the response will be. And yes, in due course, I will ask you for your favourite Corrie male.

Now, I'm sure you can guess who my favourite Corrie female is. You're right: the radiant redhead that is Rita. From her quick wit and humour to her dramas and from her various hairstyles to her love of singing, Rita for me resembles what's great about Corrie. She's one of those characters that has managed to survive the ages without being past her sell-by date. I read somewhere that when Len Fairclough died, Rita was born. Despite her original on-screen partner's exit, Rita as a character wasn't affected. She became an independent businesswoman running the Kabin. She became involved with Alan Bradley and she reached the pinnacle with that storyline. She has maintained strong friendships over the years with the likes of Mavis, Alf, Bet, Norris, Emily, Ken and Audrey and has become a mother figure to many. And that's why she's my favourite character.

And Annie Walker is a very close second!

So who's your all time favourite Corrie female? Leave your comments!



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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Why do I love Elsie Tanner? Ah, now there's a question!


(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

I watch a lot of classic Coronation Street episodes on Youtube, mainly because I think the overall standard and quality is often superior to the Corrie output in 2014. It might be more old-fashioned, move at a slower pace and feature fewer characters but it has a gritty honesty and a terrific warmth that is frequently missing today.

For me, nobody else sums up those two qualities better than the late, great Patricia Phoenix as street siren Elsie Tanner. Of course Elsie is a legendary Corrie character, featuring in the very first episode and being at the centre of the programme for many years until she finally departed for good at the beginning of 1984. 

Pat Phoenix was one of the biggest stars Corrie had in those days, her life off screen was often as dramatic and eventful as what happened under the roof of number 11 Coronation Street.

I've recently been watching the episodes leading up to Elsie's final exit over the Christmas period in late 1983/early 1984. I was a baby at the time so have no recollection of Elsie at all. What strikes me is that it is a relatively low key exit compared to the dramatic, explosive departures we see today. It was beautifully played though, Elsie's love from twenty years before, Bill Gregory, returned to pay his respects to Rita over Len's death and managed to sweep Elsie off her feet all over again. As 1984 began, Elsie traded the back streets of Weatherfield for the sandy beaches of Portugal. 


Pat Phoenix was legendary for wearing clothes on screen that her character could never have afforded but the back street glamour she made famous just worked and nobody questioned it. When I think of Elsie I picture her, fag in one hand, gin and tonic in the other, bemoaning her latest fella, battling in the street with Hilda Ogden or showing Gail and Suzie who was boss. There was always such a raw, honest quality to Pat Phoenix's performances. You almost felt like she'd just turned up and gone straight into it, it felt so real.

So here's why I will always love Elsie Tanner, in no particular order:

1. When Elsie returned to Weatherfield in 1976 the writers created a wonderful new home life for the newly separated Mrs Howard. Moving in Gail Potter and Suzie Birchall gave Elsie a new lease of life. She was a mother figure to both girls but also a big sister. The chemistry between all three women was terrific, with Elsie seeing a lot of herself in the balshy, flighty Suzie. They embarked on many comic storylines together while Elsie was also there to pass on her experience with the fellas. I loved it.

2. Elsie's fellas. Elsie was rarely without a love interest. While she married Alan Howard and eventually fled to Portugal with Bill Gregory, there were many others in between. So popular was her character that when she married on screen in 1967, the man she married had to have the surname Tanner so Elsie's name wouldn't change! There was also Ron Mather, the Irish taxi driver, Ted Brownlow, Wally Randle (played by future Alan Bradley actor Mark Eden) and Wilf Stockwell. A low point for Elsie came in 1978 when a businessman called Bernard Lane chatted her up in a bar, presuming she was a prostitute. This shocking event led to a great deal of soul searching and the licking of wounds however before long Elsie was back at her strong, glamorous best. 

3. Elsie and Ena Sharples were often at loggerheads. They were towering personalities and complete extremes and as they lived in the same small street, they often clashed. Most famously, Elsie and Ena fought in the street after Ena became Elsie's landlord and tried to evict her. During the very public argument Ena smashed Elsie's window with her handbag, with Elsie having the last word informing Ena that as her landlord, she could pay for the broken window! As in real life, both women mellowed slightly in later years and it was a joy to see them share scenes in the late 1970s that were touched with warmth and affection, reflecting on their spats in the past with humour at what had been.

4. Elsie and Len Fairclough were always friends and while there were hints at romance at various points the writers never quite took them there. I loved their enduring friendship and it was typical of Elsie that her closest friend and confidant was not a female character but one of the men. They understood each other and shared some touching, heartfelt scenes. An extra dimension was added to this relationship when Len married Rita. Elsie and RIta's spiky relationship was a joy with both women tinged with jealousy and suspicion. 

5. Elsie's exit in 1984 is a lesson in underplayed departures. It was beautifully written and stylishly played out with Elsie's final scene seeing her reminisce on a dark street, taxi waiting to take her to her new life. It also felt so right with a link back to one of her earliest romantic storylines. A fitting tribute to a great lady.

I always find it hard to decide on my favourite female character in Corrie, I keep changing my mind. I'll always love Annie Walker for her presence behind the Rovers bar and her pithy one liners. Betty was a natural and brought so much warmth every time she appeared. Hilda Ogden was iconic - Jean Alexander managed to craft a character blending comedy and pathos in every appearance. Ena Sharples was the original battle axe with a heart of gold. Elsie Tanner though is always right up there, towering above the rest.



So what are your favourite memories of the wonderful Elsie Tanner?


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Sunday Comments June 29

Steve is very glum without Michelle. Liz advises him to talk to Michelle and Lloyd advises him to grovel, grow a pair and fight for her. He does try, though, with an armful of Dev's flowers. Michelle rains derision and more verbal abuse on him for it. Later, though, he goes to the factory to plead for her to talk to him.

Carla is determined to go back to work, much to Michelle's horror. Carla needs rest but Carla has had enough of the four walls and wants to go back to work. She's also still worried that she'll be banged up for murder because at the moment, she can't prove she didn't do it. Peter keeps trying to contact Carla and his calls are ignored.

Everyone is surprised to see Carla at the factory. Poor Julie is beside herself with empathy for Carla but doesn't know where to put herself. It's clear Carla isn't amenable to sympathy. Carla tries to reason with Michelle who doesn't want to talk to Steve. Who's to say none of this would have happened had Steve told about the affair? She reminds Michelle that Steve is a good bloke and none of it is his fault. (implying it's Peter's fault, naturally).



Steve lays it out for Michelle at the factory later. He's sorry and he only did it for the best and to stop others from getting hurt. He wants her to believe him. He's sincere but she still isn't looking too receptive. Will she or won't she? Carla makes Michelle to talk to him and she strops out and continues to treat Steve horribly while he's trying to apologize and poor Steve, he's not very good at these conversations and keeps putting his foot in it. She makes him squirm, she makes him sweat but in the end she comes back. He was stupid but let's be fair, he was given a confidence and he didn't want to break it even though he knew he should have and was too scared to tell her. That's what brought her round in the end. He's on his last chance.

Roy is really concerned about Carla, even to the point of asking Sally how Carla is, really. She's not well. She's short tempered with everyone. And after avoiding Peter's calls all day, she ends up having to see him when he uses his key to the factory after closing time. The atmosphere in that office was so cold it's a wonder Peter didn't get frostbite. Roy's arrival was the excuse she needed to get him out from underfoot. Roy as usual, was bloody brilliant. He is so honest and straightforward and it unnerves Carla how he can see through her defences.

By the end of the week, the police are back at Carla's feet with Rob flailing his arms in defence. He's going to start making himself look guilty if he's not careful. The police made it seem like Carla might have known about the affair but she put them straight. He did it because he could. If I was Carla, I'd tell them about his bigamy history. It's in his genes. It's taking its toll, though. Questions, delays, it tossed Carla over the edge and she flamed her client to a crisp and lost an order over it.  Now she's back on the bottle and going to hell because she believes the police will make her take the blame for Tina's death.

Tina's mother has shown up. About flaming time. Don't get me started!!! They might not have been close but surely the police and hospital would have called her as Tina's legal next of kin after the attack. Because there hasn't been any sort of explanation as to why her mother hasn't shown up until days after her daughter died, never mind being attacked, her grief feels a bit like crocodile tears to me. And she didn't know her daughter at all. Loved the scene between Carla and Ann, Carla drunk and wondering why Tina would have been a friend to her face and cutting her down behind her back. That's your beloved daughter, lady.

Rob is really on edge, too. Unreasonably so, at times. People are going to start asking questions. His guilt must really be eating away at him. He even offered blood money to Tina's mother to pay for the funeral!

Tim and Sally are still awkwardly circling around each other and their engagement. Sally still wants to keep it secret until she gets a ring. Tim suggests they look for one together. She puts him off, it would be nicer and more romantic to have him pick up one. She also advises him to keep the receipt! Hah! Where does he go to buy her a romantic engagement ring? Why, Barlow's Buys, of course. He tries to pick out the cheapest, smallest one in the tray, because he's skint, not tight and Tracy shames him into spending a bit more but the ring is still pretty small, so small she doesn't know what it's meant to be at first. When he explains, she widens her eyes. Is that a good sign or a bad one?

Good apparently. She says she likes it but I think she's just trying not to hurt his feelings. Sophie finds out and she pretends to like the ring too and she knows very well that Sally doesn't really want to get married even if Sally won't admit it. And wonderful Sally scenes this week with her pretending to like opera hoping to put Tim off and Sophie calling her on her bluff.

Loved Sally trying to avoid Julie so she wouldn't have to tell her all the proposal details but Julie was the one that ended up driving the unproposal by pushing for a more romantic one! Julie's organizing a party and Sally's horrified, but pasting a smile on anyway. And Tim? He's using Faye's minor glitch with drinking as an excuse to perhaps call off the wedding. We knew all along neither of them had their hearts in it, they finally admitted it to each other and in the end, he unproposed and she said I don't. Happy as Larry, the pair of them!

Kirk gives Todd and Marcus an ear bashing for hurting Maria. Well done, Kirk! You told him! Todd is still smarming over Marcus and manages yet again to get Marcus to treat them to a meal in the Bistro. Marcus seems to know he's being used but accepts it. Eva and Jason are invited out with them. Marcus looks very much like he's giddy in love over Todd and though Todd doesn't let him show it, it's clear he doesn't feel the same way. He never bothered to even pretend to feel the same way by lying and saying it back no matter how many times Marcus says it or refers to that moment.

Yet he continues to let Todd pull his strings. Todd persuaded him to take a day off. Todd is talking him into buying a car. Todd is thoroughly enjoying running Marcus around like a puppet. He admitted to Tony he was using Marcus for everything he can get. I hope Tony blows him out of the water. 

Owen is due back today and Anna is very very nervous.  Gary does a quick job for Nick in the Bistro and is awarded a free meal for his family (less dessert, drinks and coffee) for his troubles on Gary's suggestion. Owen is back on time and finds out about the meal from Nick. Maybe he was put off by that or the prospect of facing Anna, more like but he doesn't let her know he's back.

Anna is later dismayed to hear Owen has been back awhile. Where was he? In the pub supping beer instead of facing Anna. He later finds out Katy's moving out and is shocked that Anna told Katy and Izzy about her "deal" with Phelan. Owen tells her he doesn't know what he's going to do and won't talk to his daughter about it.

Anna arrives home to a tense atmosphere. His hackles are up already because she told the girls. But they engage in small talk instead of real talk as he sups more ale, fuel for his temper, getting more and more spiteful. She can't answer when he wonders why she told his kids and not Gary. In the end, he goes upstairs for a shower and seems intent that they all go to dinner. Anna can't imagine how they can all sit at the same table (especially when they all know what she's done except Gary. Can you imagine the atmosphere?)

She's fearful, contrite and he's snippy and condescending so she gets on her high horse too, suggesting she wear the same outfit she wore for Phelan. That's pushing some big buttons. Will he rise to the bait? Yep, She pushes and he upends the kitchen table. But maybe that's what it takes to get them talking. He's definitely not in any shape to talk to her just yet. He hasn't been able to get it out of his head and 2 weeks in Aberdeen has indeed given it time to simmer to a boil and he's blaming Gary as the root of it all.


This isn't going to be solved easily. Owen can barely keep himself controlled. He's an explosion waiting to happen. That was one dinner party I would have avoided like the plague. Gary has a line on a good job and Owen is shooting killer looks at him. Gary just goes merrily along, oblivious, usuall but even he picked up on something. Izzy made a credible excuse..When's Gary going to be told or find out, though?

In the meantime, Phelan is sending postcards from Dubai. Rat! Owen is feeling even more down and out when now it is Anna working two jobs to support the family and he's not got any. All he can get is a few odd jobs for Roy. Even Faye is looking for a job as well but she's not 13 yet. She managed to get Gary to sub her for a social event. Well, he does have a point, he is her big brother but Faye's social event included booze. She's 12!!!! All it did was cause Owen to lash out at Gary. It wasn't his fault but everything else is, in Owen's eyes.

I'm with Gary, I wouldn't suck up to Owen, Owen needs to be the one that apologizes. And Katy, little madam, practially told Gary there's a big secret everyone is keeping from him.

Gary should have used the makeup Katy offered. He didn't get the job and Owen's intended apology went out the window. He told Gary about Anna and Phelan instead. Gary seemed to forgive his mother but Owen hasn't and he blames Anna as much as he blamed Gary. Owen was horrible to her. I think he wanted her to finish with him in spite of how he reacted so he could then play the big man and offer to forgive her yet continuing to make her feel cheap and dirty. Does he really think she could forget all those things he said and does he really think he could forget what she's done that seems to be haunting him?

Oh Izzy, don't take it out on Gary because he didn't think to video Jake's first steps!! Now, because Gary has a little mark on his face, he didn't get a job and he's all stroppy with Izzy for keeping secrets and not taking his side. He's getting dissatisfied with how she sees him, I think. I smell a crack in what was a lovely relationship.

Looks like Lloyd's heart attack wasn't just a flash in the pan. For now. Jenna is offering him skim milk and Andrea is making him salads. I guess we're back to Jenna and Andrea backbiting over Lloyd. Jenna doesn't think Lloyd's ready to go back to work, but he probably is, at least to work on the switch. Maybe not allowed to drive just yet. Jenna suggests a holiday instead. Lloyd thinks that's a great idea and wants Andrea to go. Andrea managed to turn it around and persuaded Lloyd to take Jenna instead.


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Conversation Street Podcast 100

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the episodes in Canada that aired up to last night can be heard here.

This week we celebrate Gemma and Michael's 100th Conversation Street podcast! There are a couple of special guests that join them for Street talk, and a couple more to join in a quiz.

This week's storylines include Sally and Tim's non-engagement, a visit by Tina's mother and the return of Owen to face the fallout of Anna's revelation.



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Saturday, 28 June 2014

The faces of Corrie in 2012

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.


With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 2012, 256 episodes were broadcast.

1. Stella Price (176 episodes)
2. Tyrone Dobbs (155 episodes)
3. Tina McIntyre (149 episodes)
4. Tommy Duckworth (144 episodes)
5. Eileen Grimshaw (132 episodes)
6. Steve McDonald (129 episodes)
7. Karl Munro (129 episodes)
8. Kirsty Soames (129 episodes)
9. Nick Tilsley (129 episodes)
10. Gail McIntyre (126 episodes)
11. Michelle Connor (125 episodes)
12. Beth Tinker (122 episodes)

Average age: 37



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Why Carla and Anna are currently Corrie's finest


(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2014.)

I have no doubt in my mind that two wonderful actresses are carrying Corrie at the moment. Yes, I love Roy Cropper and David Neilson is sublime, but Alison King (Carla) and Debbie Rush (Anna) have been front and centre for months and are yet to put a foot wrong.

Both actresses have been given challenging scripts since the beginning of the year. Both Carla and Anna were deeply involved in Hayley's death and its aftermath. They put in superb performances throughout this moving story which complemented both Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson beautifully.

However neither King nor Rush were allowed to rest on their laurels as both actors were almost immediately plunged into their own difficult, emotionally draining storylines. 

In recent weeks we've seen Carla come terms with a pregnancy she never thought she'd have, deal with her husband's descent into alcoholism once again, learn about his affair with TIna and then the shock of Tina's death and being one of the main suspects in her murder investigation. On top of this, Alison King turned in a superb, moving performance as Carla lost her baby. Alison King has put in powerhouse performances throughout and deserves all the awards going. She typifies the modern Coronation Street woman - strong, vulnerable, sassy and full of spirit.

Debbie Rush, meanwhile, has been at the centre of the Windass family struggles throughout their association with the vile Pat Phelan. While I'm struggling with how grim their story has become, Debbie has been marvellous as the matriarch - doing everything she can to cling to normality and keep her deeply flawed family together. While Gary thinks with his fists, Katy flounces off and mixes things with a very big stick and Owen can't handle the truth, our Anna continues to slave away in her pinny at Roy's and deals with Faye's underage drinking as stoically as she can manage.

Her grief and inner torment is almost palpable to us, the viewer. While I questioned Anna's actions with Phelan to begin with, Debbie Rush's performances have convinced me that Anna would go through with something so degrading and abhorrent for the greater good of the those she loves. 

I love Roy's interaction with both Anna and Carla. Both women have been brought closer into his own orbit than he would probably ever have thought possible. Having come together to help Roy and Hayley in their time of need, Roy is now there as a quietly reassuring presence for both these women as they battle their own demons. Hayley would be proud.

Coronation Street has always been about strong, capable women, digging deep and fighting hard in the face of adversity. There are surely no finer examples in recent years than the wonderful Anna and Carla. 

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Julie Walters: "I'd love a Corrie cameo"

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a great interview with Julie Walters in this week's TV Times.  She talks about receiving a Fellowship from the BAFTA TV Awards, which will be shown live on BBC1 on Sunday 18th May at 8pm.

In the interview, she says this about the persistent rumour that she might arrive on Coronation Street one day.

"I don't know.  I shouldn't talk about it because every time it's mentioned the producers get on the phone to my agent! I love Corrie.  I've watched it since it started and maybe at some point I would love a cameo on it... but I'm too busy at the moment."
 


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Friday, 27 June 2014

Fab Photo - Fancy dress

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2014.)

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo.  We've got a blast from the past this week as we travel back to 1977 and the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Here's the Coronation Street float for the Weatherfield Jubilee parade. I'm sure you can all work out which regulars are on the float but who are they dressed up as?




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Thursday, 26 June 2014

The faces of Corrie in 2011

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.


With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 2011, 263 episodes were broadcast.

1. Becky McDonald (151 episodes)
2. Steve McDonald (151 episodes)
3. Sean Tully (142 episodes)
4. Carla Connor (136 episodes)
5. Tina McIntyre (133 episodes)
6. Sally Webster (131 episodes)
7. Lloyd Mullaney (128 episodes)
8. Peter Barlow (120 episodes)
9. Tracy Barlow (120 episodes)
10. Fiz Stape (118 episodes)
11. Julie Carp (116 episodes)
12. Leanne Barlow (115 episodes)

Average age: 37

Note: This is the last time Sally, Tracy, Sean, Carla, Peter, Lloyd, Julie (to date) and Becky appear in the top 12


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Michelle Keegan launches Lipsy fashion line

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Michelle Keegan has filmed her final scenes at Coronation Street and has now launched her own fashion collection for Lipsy, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Michelle has collaborated with Lipsy to create a 30+ piece Autumn 2014 collection, which will launch online and across all UK Lipsy stores on July 3rd.

Lipsy say each piece was designed with “Michelle’s enviable lifestyle in mind, with key looks specifically for date nights, stylish lunches with the girls and glam Saturday nights out.”

Michelle has long had a passion for fashion, and her first job after filming her final scenes as Tina McIntyre on Corrie was as a fashion correspondent on ITV’s Lorraine show.



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Exclusive: Interview with Corrie Writer Susan Oudot

(This post was originally posted by Martin Leay on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)



A few years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a London Writers’ Workshop led by the successful Sci-Fi writer, David Wingrove, and his wife; the acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter, Susan Oudot. It was a fantastic day and I was delighted, about a year later, to see Susan’s name crop up on the credits of Coronation Street. She has been writing for Corrie since July 2012 (check out her writer profile here). Susan very kindly agreed to share her experiences with readers of the Coronation Street Blog:

Martin Leay (ML): Were you a Coronation Street fan before you started writing for it? How did it feel to see the set and watch your work on screen for the first time?

Susan Oudot (SO): I was brought up on Coronation Street – Ena, Elsie, Hilda. It was a huge part of my childhood and in fact one of my biggest regrets is that my Mum and Dad aren’t alive to see my writing credit – I think they’d have been dead chuffed. When I first saw the Street it was a bit weird actually; it’s so familiar that when you’re standing in front of the Rovers it seems strangely normal. When my first episode went out I had a load of mates and family round for a party. I’d already seen the ep so we just waited for my name to come up on screen. Everyone duly cheered then we got on with the drinking.

ML: Can you tell us a bit about how the Corrie scriptwriting process works?

SO: Every three weeks writers are allocated an episode to write, and we have two weeks in which to complete it. In the meantime we attend a conference at Corrie to discuss the next phase in each of the current story strands. So, as well as writing scripts, it’s the writers’ job to come up with story pitches. So, basically, when we’re not at conference we’re busy writing an episode, re-writing other episodes, and creating new storylines.

ML: You’ve worked on some cracking storylines. What episodes are you most proud of? Is there a favourite scene or line that you’ve written?

SO: The Kirsty and Tyrone story was great and I really enjoyed writing the courtroom scene where Tyrone is on trial and Kirsty arrives unexpectedly. Roy’s search for his dad was another story with emotional depth, and, of course, the episode dealing with the aftermath of Hayley’s suicide. I was in tears! Poor Roy! In fact, thinking about whether I have a favourite line, I’m reminded that Roy had only one word to say in the whole of the first half of the episode and yet was its central character. Which only goes to show that sometimes the power is in the stage direction not the lines. Especially when you have an actor as good as David Neilson.

ML: Coronation Street strikes the perfect balance between comedy and drama. Which do you prefer writing?

SO: I think Corrie is brilliant at getting that balance right. It has many excellent actors who are great at doing comedy and so it’s a joy to write. But I guess if I had to choose, I’d always go for the strong dramatic storyline – it’s meat and drink to a writer.

ML: Are there any characters from Corrie’s past you would have particularly enjoyed writing for?

SO: I think Hilda Ogden would’ve been a dream to write for. And Ena Sharples too, of course. It’s great to write for characters who speak their mind and say things other characters wouldn’t.

ML: Does the dialogue on screen ever deviate from the script?

SO: Actors inhabit their characters so – provided we give the right stage direction – we know they’ll deliver a line in a certain way. So when you write a line you’re aware of what that actor does and how he/she plays that character. The looks and expressions they have in their armoury. It all feeds in. Sometimes dialogue will deviate slightly from the script but, to be honest, I’m really impressed by how well they learn lines given the pressure of producing five episodes a week.

ML: How much interaction is there between cast and crew? What’s the Corrie Christmas party like? Any interesting stories you can share?

SO: I’m a relative newbie on the show so don’t really know the cast as well as some other writers. Having said that, we don’t really interact a great deal as they’re busy filming and we’re busy either writing or trying to think up their next storyline. The Christmas Party was a hoot though!  Sorry, my lips are sealed.

ML: There have been many guest actors over the years. Who would be your dream cameo to write for and what storyline would you create for them?

SO: Ooh, that’s a hard one. I think it might have to be George Clooney, who turns up at Roy’s Rolls in search of one of them posh coffees he likes and looking for his long-lost cousin, Deirdre. Now that’s one encounter I’d like to write.

ML: How does it feel as a writer when Corrie wins awards – for example, this year’s National Television Award for best serial drama?

SO: It’s always nice to win awards, whether it’s one that’s been voted for by the public or by your peers. As a writer you want to tell good stories, produce good work, and I suppose awards are affirmation that we’re doing just that.

ML: You started your writing career as a novelist before adapting “Real Women” for the screen and building a successful career in TV. Was it a challenge to make the leap to screenwriting?

SO: It was definitely a challenge. Before I adapted Real Women I’d never even seen a script. But the advantage of having that as my first project was that the characters and story already existed, so half the job was done already. The skill I had to develop was finding the best way to tell that story for the screen. A very different medium. Although I’ve published four novels I am by far and away more comfortable writing scripts than prose.

ML: How does Coronation Street compare to your previous work for television?

SO: Writing on a soap is very different to my other experiences writing for TV. In the past most of my work has been original drama conceived, created and developed by me: I came up with the characters and plot; discussed the work in detail with the director and was on hand during filming with ‘helpful’ comments! On Corrie the characters already exist, you’re given the story beats for your particular episode, and because of the quick turnaround there is no time to go on set. Having only ever written by myself, the nice thing about working on Corrie is the collaborative process. Each writer is responsible for his or her individual episode, but the process of developing story is where we work as a team. I enjoy that.

ML: How is continuity achieved when different writers work on particular Corrie storylines?

SO: The Storyliners and Script Editors are there to ensure continuity of story, but in terms of continuity on the part of the writers, I suppose it’s all about getting ‘the voice’. Lines of dialogue shouldn’t be interchangeable, by which I mean that if I were to write the same line for Roy and for Dev, say, it would read differently because they have different speech patterns and personalities.

ML: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

SO: First and foremost I’d say, write about what interests you and don’t try to copy somebody else’s stuff. You can bet your life hundreds of other people are doing just that and by the time you’ve finished whatever it is you’re writing, that particular fad (werewolves, lottery stories, whatever) will have passed. Secondly, don’t be in a rush to start before you’ve really thought about what your book/script is about and before you’ve developed the story and structured it. At this moment in time I think it’s easier for prose writers than scriptwriters to find outlets for their work. With anybody able to ‘publish’ an e-book, and with social networking there to promote it, novels are a possibility for anyone with the stamina to finish one. With TV scripts ultimately you need someone to take it to a broadcaster, so the do-it-yourself possibilities are more limited. But I do know someone who shoved his script through a producer’s letterbox and ended up with a three-part serial on BBC1! So never say never!

ML: Are you working on anything outside of Corrie?

SO:  Yes, I have a couple of projects in development. But at the moment the one that’s taking up a bit of my time is a short documentary film I’m writing, directing and producing. It’s called The Square and is about the place in north London where I grew up and the community it spawned between the 1930s and 1972. A real departure but I’m enjoying the challenge.

Thank you very much to Susan Oudot for taking time out to do this interview. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

By Martin Leay
Twitter: @mpleay


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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Julie Hesmondhalgh to star in new Russell T Davies drama

Julie Hesmondhalgh
(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Julie Hesmondhalgh, who playdd Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, is to star in a new Channel 4 drama from writer Russell T Davies.
The Channel 4 drama about gay life in the 21st Century is Hesmondhalgh's first TV role since she left the part of Hayley Cropper behind in January.  The series was announced last year but casting has only just been revealed.

Julie will join Freddie Fox and Vincent Franklin - who starred in The Thick Of It - in Cucumber, which is currently filming in Manchester. The series will be aired in 2015.


Cucumber follows 46-year-old Henry (Franklin) and his long-suffering boyfriend Lance, whose lives are turned upside down after a disastrous date night. Hesmondhalgh will play Henry's sister.




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'Cute kid of the week on Coronation Street' award

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I don't know why but I've go ta bit of a soft spot for a small kid in specs. I suspect it harks back to when my younger brother had to have his eyes tested when he was a toddler and he got very excited about the fact he might have to wear glasses.  So excited in fact that he started wearing a pair of my dad's old glasses, with the glass lens taken out.  When my brother's eyes were tested at th'ospickle, all was well and he didn't need to wear glasses but he kept on wearing that pair of dad's empty frames, for weeks afterwards.  Anyway, I digress.

My "cute kid of the week award on Coronation Street" goes to the little lad in specs who was in Barlow's Buys last night asking Tracy Barlow for his X-box back.



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Michael Le Vell directs Coronation Street episode

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

The Mirror reports that Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, has made his debut as a director at our favourite soap.

They have pictures showing Michael on the set, directing scenes with Chris Gascoyne in them, who plays Peter Barlow.

Michael is reportedly not expected back on screen as mechanic Kevin Webster in Corrie until September.




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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bring back the dimpled beer glass to The Rovers Return

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

The BBC is today heralding the return of the dimpled beer glass.

In an article on their BBC News magazine, it says that the dimpled pint glass, the symbol of the British pub is back. I know I'd love to see it return, I'm a big fan of the dimple.

Surely it's time to get a dimple revival going in the Rovers Return on Coronation Street.  It used to be popular with Jack Duckworth:



And with Eddie Yeats:


And with Kevin, Curly and Terry Duckworth too.


But sadly the dimpled beer glass has been out of favour for some time on Corrie, and nationwide too. Below is just one of many pictures I found showing dimple-less glasses being used on Corrie right now.



It's time to bring back the dimpled beer glass!

Read the full article here.



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The faces of Corrie in 2010

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.


With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 2010, 263 episodes were broadcast.

1. Nick Tilsley (161 episodes)
2. Fiz Stape (154 episodes)
3. Steve McDonald (146 episodes)
4. David Platt (144 episodes)
5. Gail Platt/McIntyre (140 episodes)
6. Leanne Battersby/Barlow (139 episodes)
7. Audrey Roberts (134 episodes)
8. Becky McDonald (129 episodes)
9. Peter Barlow (124 episodes)
10. John Stape (124 episodes)
11. Tyrone Dobbs (123 episodes)
12. Sophie Webster (123 episodes)

Average age: 34

Note: This is the last time Audrey, Sophie (to date) and John appear in the top 12. 


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Monday, 23 June 2014

Corrie Canada weekly awards for June 16 - 20

Knight in gabardine armour: Roy defending Carla to Peter. He's got so much dignity, our Roy!

In the doghouse award: Tim didn't come home for tea which turned out to be a wasted romantic meal.

Pariah Award: Peter's now the object of scorn of the neighbourhood.

If I Only Had a Heart award: Tracy actually seemed concerned for Simon and hugged him back!

Deja Don't award: Sally doesn't want to marry anyone, even Tim!

Stylist fail award: The hair on the top of Faye's head most definitely doesn't suit her. Well, I think so at least.

Repentant award: Michael is very, very sorry. And full of excuses.

Lines of the week:
Sally to Tim "She only lives next door, you could have shouted it through the wall!"
Rob to Tracy "Just this once, maybe it's not about you, yeah?"
Rita "They all go..."
Carla "It won't be the first time people have been gossiping about me and it certainly won't be the last"
Carla to Deirdre "I'm just the tiniest bit hacked off" and "You've already got one murderer in the family. It's not much of a stretch to think you might have two"
Steve about Peter "He wanted to bin her off, not bump her off"
Norris to Dennis "Softly Softly Catchy Monkey" (i.e. he figures Dennis is taking advantage to get back in Rita's good books)
Sally "I've been married. Been there, done that, burned the tshirt and the rest of the clothes"
Peter "I need to do something" Rob "How about you pick some hymns for your dead girlfriend's funeral?" (ouch)
Audrey about burglar Michael "I imagine he'll be full of flannel or self pity. Or both." (that's it exactly)
Roy to Carla "I think you would have made an excellent mother"
Sophie "Honesty is the best policy" Maddie "Ignore Bible Jane"
Julie advising Sally "I'm brilliant at this. Oh the irony"
Leanne "You're stupid. You're weak and you're a liar"

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Carla Cornered

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2014.)

By the 'eck, Martha Longhurst, that was quite a week we've just had in Weatherfield. No sooner had Tina's tan stains been washed from t'cobbles, than the twitching finger of suspicion began pointing in certain directions.

Arguably, all eyes were on Carla Barlow . . . err "the name's Connor". Okay, so we know she's going through a grim period in her life but does she really want to revert to the name of a former husband who died whilst kidnapping a prostitute in the boot of his car? It's often been mentioned that Carla is the new Elsie Tanner. However with her constant emotional battles and her unfailing resilience, she's possibly more of a new Bet Lynch. For Bet, it was always a case of slapping on the make-up and stepping out behind the bar. Carla's line of defence is the factory. Whatever else life throws at her, the factory is a constant.

Where does Carla go from here? Many people have commented over the wasted 'baby' storyline. If ever there was an unlikely parent, then it was Carla. Possibly the writers feel they can do more with FaktryCarla than MummyCarla but it does appear to be an opportunity squandered. As the years go by though, the many layers of Carla are exposed. The viewer gets to see her in a new, more sympathetic light. She's more than a raven-haired backstreet bitch with a clunky handbag. Carla's new-found friendship with Roy also acts as a mechanism by which we gain access to her 'other' self and so as the years roll by, the once unpalatable Carla becomes someone we are rather fond of.

A brave move next would be for Carla to meet a new man, someone not connected with knickers or booze. A man who doesn't feel that he has to prove his love by becoming a serial killer, arsonist or alcoholic. Someone who is happy just to be with her. A quick, unexpected romance with a surprise pregnancy and maybe even roses around the door. However, this is Weatherfield. The likelihood is that before we open the first door on our Advent calendars, Carla will probably have bedded Kal and so a whole new war with Leanne will kick off. Round we go again and that would be much to the detriment of Carla.

Elsewhere, we ask that Michelle, she of the 'Endora from Bewitched' eye make-up, falls from a balcony very soon. You know that things are bad when Tracy suddenly begins to emerge as the more reasonable of the two. The latest episodes have seen Michelle at her most vitriolic, playing opposite a ridiculously feeble Liz. Unbearable scenes in the Rovers which felt like the writers had simply forgotten who the characters were. Get Michelle sorted out - or ship her out.


Sally and Tim are an absolute joy at the moment. Lovely acting from Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine make their scenes great fun. A classic Corrie couple in the making? Elsewhere it was good to see Maddie showing Luke how to deal with customers, Amy showing disdain for her low-placing in a talent show and Rita blethering on about why she always ends up on her own. It's taken eighty-odd years but perhaps the penny has finally dropped.

Let's raise a glass of -  non-alcoholic -  champagne though to Alison King and her outstanding performances this week. Amidst the gloom of a grim storyline, she shone.




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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Ian Puleston-Davis on Owen finding out about Anna and Phelan

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Coronation Street actor Ian Puleston-Davis, who plays Owen Armstrong, gave a good radio interview to Uckfield FM this morning.  He was in good form and clearly enjoyed the interview, taking questions from listeners and answering questions about what will happen between Anna and Owen.

He says that Anna and Owen's relationship is not going to be fine in the short time, but that there will be
a lot more fall-out between them, before it gets better.

Asked if he knows what the final outcome between Anna and Owen will be, he said: "We honestly don't know, we film about five weeks ahead of what the viewers see on screen. We have the scripts, we learn them, we film them but after that we're in the dark so we don't know the outcome between Anna and Owen.  It's not looking good, there's a rocky journey ahead.  But I have a strong inkling that they will stay together, Anna and Owen are a good match."

A viewer asked him how Owen reacts when Anna tells him what happened with Phelan.  Ian says the scenes are written very well and although a bit of Owen's old temper comes out, this time around we see a different reaction from a different Owen which will help mend the path to repair things for the future.

On the subject of whether there might be any humour coming soon for the Windasses,  he said that one of the things he and Mikey North (his best buddy on the cast) like about the Windass story is that it is very dark.  They like the current doom and gloom for the Windasses because it seems to fit, for the moment.


And finally, on the new set, he says it's like "going to big school" and the cast are having fun discovering nooks and crannies on the bigger set with fantastic facilities.

You can listen to the full interview here.



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Your Corrie ups and downs in 2014

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

Two simple questions to ask: first of all, what's keeping you watching Corrie at the moment? And what's driving you mad? All long running programmes have their ups and downs, but us loyal Coronation Street viewers keep watching, clinging on to those moments that still make it so special. 

What's good and what's bad in Corrie will always be hotly debated amongst Corrie fans, so I want to find out what's getting you excited and what's making your blood boil in 2014.

For me, the long, ongoing storyline involving the Windass-Armstrongs as well as the Peter/Tina fiasco are dragging Corrie down. Too many stories are allowed to roll on endlessly these days until all momentum has been lost. I miss the short, sweet comedy stories of yesteryear. They may not have been explosive or dramatic but they symbolise what is great about Corrie.

I think the Roy and Hayley storyline was beautifully written and performed and Hayley is most definitely missed. I also think the move to the new studios and set at Media City has been very well handled both on and off screen.

I also loved the short scene recently which saw Rita, Emily, Audrey and Deirdre having a drink together in the Rovers. It was a fairly brief, unimportant scene in the narrative of that episode but it highlighted two things for me. Firstly, that these four brilliant Corrie legends are still with the show after all these years and this should be celebrated. 

Secondly, the scene struck me particularly because it seems so rare these days to see so many legends together, sharing scenes like that. More please.

So anyway, over to you. Let's have your Corrie positives and negatives so far in 2014.


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