Monday, 9 November 2015

Three Years and Counting

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2015, reposted with permission.)

Three years ago today I wrote and published my first blog on this wonderful site. Time flies when you’re having fun and it’s certainly been a blast so far. Coronation Street has always been a joy in my life, even when it’s been at its lowest ebb. It’s always been there in the background, cheering me up, making me laugh, cry and everything in between. So many of the characters and actors have been in the corner of my living room all my adult life. Precious memories.

I’ve been forging some new memories since I joined the Coronation Street Blog team. It’s a real privilege to write about Corrie, to share views and opinions with my fellow bloggers and readers all around the world. Not everyone agrees with my blogs, but I’ve come to appreciate all the comments and feedback I receive, on the blog and on Twitter. It’s a thrill still that anyone actually takes the time to read my electronic scribblings.

So to celebrate my little anniversary, here are my top three highlights from the past three marvellous years as part of the Coronation Street Blog story.

The Nasty Blogger

In 2013 I attended my first official ITV Coronation Street press day. I was incredibly nervous. I had visited Granada several times in the past when the original Corrie tour was running so that was nothing new. To meet and interview some of the stars, the executive producer and mingle with journalists was a different story! I must admit press junkets are not my favourite thing in the world. I’m not very good at playing the game and although I’m extremely grateful to be given the chance to attend these events, it sometimes takes rather a lot out of me!

I attended a press screening which saw ITV preview the episodes in which Stella Price reopened the Rovers after the fire and Tina went into labour. As part of this, we got to meet and interview Michelle Collins, John Michie, Chris Fountain, Michelle Keegan, Mikey North and Cherylee Houston.

Then it happened. While the journalists in my group were introducing themselves, Michelle Collins suddenly interjected and asked who I was. When I said I was a blogger, she looked me straight in the eye and asked if I was the Nasty Blogger. Thankfully John Michie came to my aid, adding that I couldn’t be given that I’m a fellow Scot!

Sadly Michelle, yes I probably was the Nasty One. I had written several blogs criticising her character, Stella Price. I couldn’t stand her, thought she was beige and insipid and I was glad when she left Weatherfield. I stand by all that. I must add that Michelle Collins was a perfectly nice woman and I’d never criticise the actor behind the character. It was definitely nothing personal. It was still quite a moment though, and gave me an early indication of just how many people read the blog.

My date with Hayley

Hayley Cropper was always one of my favourite characters. Julie Hesmondhalgh played her so brilliantly for sixteen years and it was terribly sad when she decided to leave. This, of course, meant that Hayley had to die. The cancer storyline was one of Corrie’s most beautifully told stories in recent years. It was painful, hard to watch but also funny and incredibly human. In the months leading up to Julie’s departure, I had the great pleasure of meeting her twice. The first time was a round table session with other journalists where we got to ask questions on how she felt about leaving Corrie. I struggled to get a word in when pitted against these experienced professionals but thankfully lingering on after the others had rushed off for their trains worked a treat as I got to talk to the lovely Julie herself as well as having a fab photo taken of the two of us (which is now in a frame in my living room!)

I met Julie again the following January when I went for an advance screening of her final episodes. It was bizarre to watch those powerful, deeply sad episodes with several cast members sitting behind us and Julie enjoying a cup of tea outside! Yet again she was an absolute joy and proved to be probably the nicest famous face I’ve ever met. Meeting Julie Hesmondhalgh was without a doubt one of my favourite Coronation Street Blog highlights.

The Team

It goes without saying that the friendships formed through the blog are the best bit of all. Over the past three years I’ve come to know some cracking fellow Corrie fans through the blog and Twitter. The Corrie Blog team are the best ever – everyone is so talented and passionate about The Street and I’m proud to be a part of it all. Earlier this year I met the team properly for the first time and it was fantastic. The first meet up of many I hope! We wouldn’t have a blog without our Glenda. She is endlessly encouraging and has become a very dear friend.

As well as the fantastic team of writers, contributing to the blog has also led to friendships with several other people with Corrie connections. Jonny, Kate and Joe – you know who you are! I must also thank all the regular Twitterers I interact with – it’s always great to hear from you.

So there you have it, three years and counting! 

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 

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