Thursday, 31 March 2016

Rana ramps it up

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog March 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Enter Rana, the latest femme fatale to walk the cobbles. Rana has secured a job at the Medical Centre and is putting down roots in Weatherfield. This is excellent news as what a breath of fresh air  Rana is! It is Bhavna Limbachia who plays Rana and says of being in Coronation Street,  'Being a proud Northerner, it's a dream come true.'

Rana is much needed. She is cheerful, full of fun, smiles and laughs a lot and seems to know her own mind. She is single, though maybe not for long and understandably, has plenty of self-assurance.

Her appearances have been terrific, so far - exciting, engaging, vibrant - though not a little manipulative. Young, intelligent and beautiful - it is no wonder Robert had to tell Zeedan to put his tongue back in when she first came into the bistro with his sister, Alya.

Alya appears fond of her university friend, and the two girls are clearly very close as Alya tells Rana all about the Gary/Jason/drunk debacle. Alya is only too aware, though, of what Rana is like, particularly around young men. Alya shakes her head, rolls her eyes and has seen it all before, as Rana flirts with any male who has a pulse. Rana herself is more than aware of the effect she has on them. So far, so harmless. But. No one enters Weatherfield without a skeleton, clanking and clattering around somewhere. 

When Jason enters the Bistro (or the 'greasy spoon with delusions of grandeur' as Norris puts it) Jason and Rana have a brief chat and there seems to be appreciation from one to the other. On clocking this, Zeedan wards Jason off but as Jason points out, 'I'm a paying customer. I've as much right to be here as anyone else. So get out of my face.'

Zeedan apologises to Rana but she seems to have enjoyed the rumpus. 'Sorry about that, it's just that me and him - we've got history. It's complicated.' Zeedan rexplains. Alya fills her in on the details.

Rana takes it upon herself to steal into the Bistro kitchen to see Zeedan. 'What you doing- you shouldn't be back here.' Zeedan tells her. 'I won't say anything if you don't,' she replies. Zeedan points out it's about health and safety, but she takes no notice. She tells him that she wondered if one of the reasons he stepped in between her and Jason was because he was jealous. 'Jealous?' he says. 'You fancy yourself, don't you?' She replies, 'Not half as much as you do.' She kisses him and walks away.  Zeedan doesn't seem to be too concerned about health and safety now.

Ruth Owen - twitter @ruth1722

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Corrie Canada Sneak Previews April 4 - 8

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.

Sarah has a healthy baby but she's feeling overprotective and worried. An unexpected and univited guest comes to see the baby. Later in the week, Sarah comes home but baby isn't ready to leave hospital. Gail takes the wrong advice. Michael decides to leave town. Tyrone looks for extra work. Underworld's in a mess so Eva tries to finesse a former client. Dev and Erica take another step forward. Nick finalizes the sale but Carla fears Tracy now has nothing to lose. Tracy immediately attempts to interfere at the Bistro. Izzy has another set back. Michelle visits Steve.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Whatever happened to the women of Weatherfield?

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Admittedly, I haven't felt the need to blog anything Corrie-related for a while. The show seems to have hit a period of stasis where it feels as though plots are ticking over gently, awaiting the arrival of the new boss woman and her equally new broom.

Partly though, I was ever so slightly worn down by the constant appearance of The Bistro in nearly every scene. There it was, camera trained on its door or on the Product Placement advert for Visa. I'm surprised Nick hasn't picked the card machine up and, vinegary smile in place and turned towards us proffering the thing. I suppose the Bistro set has it uses. For example it keeps Leanne confined to a small space. There's no possibility of her launching into one of her legendary 'face like a war' marathon stomps, M & S mac blowing in the wind behind her.

When there's not much going on though, it's easy to let your mind wander and wander it did. I found myself looking at Carla Connor, or whatever she's called these days, anew. Who was this woman? This forty-something quivering wreck, all Cadbury's Milk Chocolate (other brands are available) brown hair with her wintry, pensioner-faced boyfriend and vase of red wine to hand. Was this really the Carla Connor that I remembered?

Clearly not. I dug out an old episode from 2007 as I assumed that by then, she would have been making a name for herself on t'Street. She was a completely different person. For a start, the hair colour was Guinness black (again, other varieties of stout can be purchased). In a scene at the Rovers, she let rip at an oddly mute and non arm-flapping Michelle, accusing her of never having liked her and how the mighty Connors  had never welcomed her. No sign of red wine, just lots of white to wash down that venom. Off Carla went, to th'ospickle where her errant husband was breathing his last, not that she was particularly bothered. The situation just provided her with a chance to shout her mouth off in the waiting room, slating Leanne in the process. This was a very different Carla - a mouthy, rather nasty piece of work, eyes flaming and sarcasm to the fore. This Carla would have annihilated Tracy Barlow.  We need her to return before she bows out forever. She needs to displace the whimpering, simpering lady with the chocolate tresses.

Another candidate for 'Would the real Eileen Grimshaw please stand up?' is Eileen Grimshaw.

Anyone fancy casting their minds back sixteen years? Are you finding it difficult to recapture the infectious joy of the nascent Eileen? Well, she was actually a bit of fun back then. Mark One Eileen was sharp, sassy and funny. She ruled the roost at the cab office and did so with genuine good humour. Fast forward to 2016 and behold the sad sack that is Eileen now. You can't miss her. She'll be the one in the corner, draining the life out of every scene. A little like Tracy B, Eileen never learns. For her, the grass is always greener on the other side, even when it turns out to be derelict land. One unsuitable man follows another and with each failed romance, stomach churning though the thought may be, Eileen adds another layer of armour. The wit evaporated and turned to spite. The humour faded into malicious sarcasm. In her wake, two sons, one of whom might have earned the ultimate Blanche Hunt epithet of 'daft' and the other who makes posies for a murderer. No wonder she seeks solace in kiddie's entertainers and firemen. Anything to lighten the load. Except that now she is in a joy-sapping relationship with the equally dour Michael, enlivened only by the presence of deranged Scouser, Pat "I'm mad, me' Phelan. There will be tears before bedtime. Eileen's tears but we are used to them by now. Miserable Eileen needs to book herself a taxi and do one. We need jolly, joyous, funny Eileen back.

Given her penchant for children's entertainers, maybe she'll make a move on Play School's Derek Griffiths. Except, children, look what he's seen through the arched window . . .

David - on twitter @bridglondon

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

5 reasons why Phelan is Corrie's best baddie in years

1. Comedy monster

Eileen might think he's cuddly and charming, but Anna knows the truth.  As do we... and having us fans and viewers knowing the truth about him, makes him irresistible to watch.  This picture in particular made me blog about Pat Phelan as the Nosferatu of Coronation Street. What a monster!

2. He's not ALL bad

He's not all bad. Remember when he chucked his chips in preparation for jumping in front of the car that Carla was hanging onto when the Bistro baddies drove off the Street?  It was only Kevin's intervention pushing Phelan out of the way of the speeding car that stopped him from getting knocked down and killed.

3. He's a Grafter
Saw what you like about his working practices but at least he works, and damn hard too.

4.  We all know the truth

Just like with Richard Hillman, the viewers and fans are "in the know". We all know what Phelan's up to. Kevin and Michael know he's not to be trusted but just as with Norris harking on about Hillman, no-one believes them. Not yet anyroad.

5. He's actually a bit cuddly

He's an alpha male with a cuddly side which makes him very watchable indeed.

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Guess which two Corrie fellas live together off-screen?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Admittedly, the picture rather takes away the guesswork for you, but I liked this little snippet I read in this week's TV Times magazine.

Connor McIntyre, who plays Pat Phean in Coronation Street, lodges with Richard Hawley, aka Johnny Connor, when he's filming in Manchester.

"He kindly lets me stay in his spare room," reveals Connor, who lives in Plymouth, a long way south of the studio's Salford base.

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Monday, 28 March 2016

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for March 21 - 25

Garden gnome win: Hells Angel garden gnomes at Freddie's place! Awesome!

Support of a good man award: I love how Tim is so supportive of Sally!

Musical Ambiance: These Boots Were Made For Walking when Rana was schmoozing the Nazir men.

Fashionista award: The J-Wave aka the ski jump.

Crusader award: The terrible trio (Aidan, Billy and Eva) went in with metaphorical guns blazing and ended up losing Marta to the enemy.
 Sarah went out with all guns blazing to tell Lauren and her mother a thing or two. But I doubt we've seen the end of it just yet.

Foot in mouth award: Rana suggesting that Alya share a flat in the building where her dad died. Ooops.

Witchy Woman award: I'm pretty sure Alya told Rana about Jason and likely pointed him out to her. So Rana using Jason to get under Zeedan's skin was a top class manipulative move in my books.

Frying pan into the fire: Audrey went from that dozy Josh as a trainee to Gemma whose name is really Gemini!!! How awesome is that? I love Gemma! She'll keep them on their toes!

Employee from Hell: Gemma! (but what a laugh!)

Husband points: Freddie said that it was his life's worth to make his wife happy.

Lines of the week:
Andy to Michael "Who do you think you are, the fall guy?" (oh, clever)
Tim to Sally "If you pull out now it won't be Norris that you're letting win, it'll be Jenny!" (them's fighting words!)
Audrey "There's change and then there's anarchy"
Eileen "Name one thing less attractive than a clingy man. I'll tell you. A clingy man on crutches" (He wouldn't be clingy if you didn't give him good reason to be)
Eva "Your Tim's got two businesses, talk about world domination!" Sally "The harder you work, the luckier you get"
Phelan about politicians "Hands like silk. Hearts like swinging bricks"
Alya to Rana "I've told you this in confidence so don't go broadcasting it" (But the whole Street knows already, don't they? Or most of them)
Sally "Hello Norris. Still making friends and influencing people I see" Tim "We're here for a pint, not a punch up"
Gail "Excuse me! I am not moving in on him. Besides, If I wait a day or two, he might meet somebody else!" Audrey "Gail, you might need to brace yourself for this one. He really isn't that much of a catch" (heh)
Sally "A nomination is a favour. A vote is a choice!"
Gemma "I can't be doing with tops with slogans on them. People are so busy trying to read'em, they don't listen to what you're saying" David "Sometimes that's a blessing"
(Norris passing out chocolates) Sally "You can't do that!" Sean "Oh give over, as if I'm going to be swayed by a finger of fudge!"

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sunday Comments March 27

Michael is conscious and suffering but Phelan gives him no sympathy at all, until that is, Jason arrives and then it's all concern and call the ambulance! At least it broke up the post-debate argy bargy on the road! Michael is ok, though. Phelan has his act perfected but whenever Michael sees him, he gets so upset he gets pains in his chest. Oh, and the tools? He apparently took them to get cleaned which was a nice suck up job. Michael of course didn't believe him and Andy didn't really hear anything that could be construed otherwise. Michael had to apologize and Phelan is good at making him seem weak, jealous and useless.

Michael wasn't too bad off, just bruises and sprains. He's swallowing his pride for Eileen's sake but he isn't going to be Phelan's BFF either. Anna's not going to give him any ammunition and Gail's right there to offer a shoulder. She also reinforces his suspcions that Phelan is after Eileen but I'm not sure Michael is able to do much about it. Oh I wanted Michael to take one of his crutches to the back of Phelan! (Well, no, not really, violence is wrong but it's telly, right?)

Gail seems to be finding the opportunities to take Michael's side against Phelan and the ornery Eileen, but then she would, for more than one reason. Unfortunately, I don't think anything Michael does at this point is going to do him any favours. He's not going to convince Eileen that Phelan's a wrong'un and he's only going to make himself look foolish and unworthy in her eyes, especially when he tried to hide in the van to spy on her. That's the end of that relationship, right there. Anna's right, he's best out of it because Phelan always wins. And Eileen played right into Phelan's hands by asking him to return Michael's wallet. Given all the tension between the two men, that was a thoughtless thing to suggest but luckily, or unluckily, Michael walked in on Phelan hugging her.

Didn't I say? Didn't I mention Michael taking one of his crutches to Phelan? He did deserve the dressing down Eileen gave him but he is also being made a fool of by Phelan. He's right that Phelan is playing them off against each other and he did his work well. He divided, he conquered, she finished with him. Phelan was practically drooling when he went back into Number 11 to Eileen. Out pops the red wine and you know what happens when red wine is involved. He used it to confess his feelings, leaving Eileen stunned.

Phelan reasserts his growing feelings for Eileen and she eats it up, inviting him to lunch at the Bistro. She says she's taking it a step at a time. Anna's not too pleased to see Phelan having a quiet lunch with Eileen. She tells Izzy her suspicions about the pair and is dismayed that Eileen and Michael are split. Izzy urges Anna to tell Eileen the real story. If something happened, she'd never forgive herself. Later, Michael insists vehemently on being served a cup of tea as it's not quite closing time yet. Later, at Number 11, he's smooth and he's persuasive and Eileen admits she really likes him but wants to make sure she's not going to get hurt again. He's also a schemer and when he realizes Anna is trying to call Eileen, he figures out why and gets to Eileen first. He says he has to tell Eileen why Anna hates him. He did something he's ashamed of but she deserves to know the truth.

Sally sputters and denies the allegations but Norris is keen to know and points out that Sally has been running on family values. So the secret's out. Doesn't matter that it was years ago. Sounds like the debate is over! Sally did have that coming, though. Sally reckons that's the end of her political career. Isn't it nice to see Tim standing up for Sally and encouraging her, though. There was a third candidate. He never uttered so much as a squeak!

Now everyone reckons Norris is a shoo-in. As much as Sally would be unbearable to live with if she wins, I would much prefer it over Norris. I really want to see that smugness smacked off his face! Sally apologized in public and seemed to impress not just her friends, but the non speaking extras posing as voters. Sally spun the poll tax riot and likened Tim to Ghandi! She practically wrapped herself in a flag! Norris isn't going to walk this like he thought!

Sally's next move is to nag Tim up a ladder for photos of him washing windows even though her prior feeling was that he should be a bit more than that, so she bought him a share of the taxi firm. Norris' next move is to try to put his political posters in the Bistro and Steph told him off roundly for it. Foiled again. But Sally's confident she's got more to appeal to the voters than Norris.

Norris isn't happy that Emily's postal vote is going to miss election day (he wasn't slow in sending it to her, was he? She had no idea he was running for office when she left at New Year's) Both he and Sally fight over Rita's vote. Norris comes into the factory to do a bit of campaigning under Sally's nose in retaliation for her pushing Rita for a vote. Sally is incensed that he's passing out chocolates until she finds out they're just out of date stock and proceeds to take the mickey.

Bethany has confided in Kylie who suggests that if she can't rise above it, to fight back but it isn't that simple. I suppose because she's outnumbered. Kylie's been there and fought back and advises the same. Be the poisonous puffer fish! She did try to stand up to them but it's hard when you're scared. It was Super Luke to the rescue, before things got out of hand! At least it seems that the bullying is now out in the open and her mother knows about it. Bethany is saying it was only in the past few weeks. I have a feeling it's been longer than that. Well, Sarah went to sort it all out but I doubt we've seen the last of it. Meanwhile, Sarah is getting stressed over more than just Bethany. She's big and awkward and isn't sleeping.

Audrey isn't having much luck getting a student to help out in the salon. One young fella has a near-Elvis coif. The "J-Wave", his own personal style. Heh. The new one is calling herself Gemini. Guess what the shortened version of that is? Gemma! Yay! I love Gemma, she was one of the best secondary characters! Audrey wasn't planning to keep Gemma on, David and Kylie were horrified. And she might bang on about wanting a new life but when she clocked Sarah, she was eager to let them know she was still in touch with Callum. You remember Callum, the body under the concrete, right? She's going to blackmail them into keeping her job but David called her bluff and guess what? The call went to voice mail though she said she spoke to him recently. I doubt that. David convinced Audrey to keep her on at least for a trial, against Audrey's better judgement. And David reckons that if Gemma is believed and people think Callum is alive, that looks better for them.

Gemma is proving to be a less than reliable employee. She rubs David and Kylie the wrong way constantly (but fills me with glee! What a banging secondary character!) Her bragging about talking to Callum in front of Rita serves the purpose and David subsequently sacks her (after she presumes he's going to make a move on her after he shuts the shop!) She threatens to tell Callum that Sarah's pregnant with his baby and of course, David isn't bothered and when she supposes Kylie won't be happy, reveals that sacking her was Kylie's idea. Gemma leaves in a temper, disappointed.

Anyway, in the dawning of a new storyline, Kylie has an appointment with a client she hasn't seen for awhile, Sadie Smith. She does do mobile appointments, you may recall. But it turns out her client "Sadie Sunshine" has died and he wants Kylie to do her nails. While she's in the coffin. It's a bit of a throwback to when Audrey used to do hair on deceased clients for Archie Shuttleworth, remember? After she got over the shock, Kylie did Sadie's nails.

Freddie tries to pay Kylie for her services to Sadie but she won't let him so he takes her for a drink instead. Freddie is struggling to cope with his loss and misses his Sadie enormously but give him credit where credit is due, he appreciated his wife and said he made it his life's work to make her happy. He's determined to persevere, because she would want him to live a good life. He isn't going to make plans, just go with the flow.

Sounds like Rana wasn't much of a cook and is flattering Zeedan for his efforts. Man she's really working on that poor lad! She managed to blag a bed for the night instead of taking 3 busses to get home. She's really quite something, isn't she? She's always in full-schmooze mode, isn't she? Zeedan's crush is pretty obvious, even Andy was teasing him about it. Rana is looking for a flat locally and suggested that Alya move in with her at victoria Court. At least she did show a sympathetic side when she realized that was where Alya's dad died. Ooops.

Since Zeedan was a bit cool to her, on Andy's advice not to pander to her too much, Rana turned the tables and flirted with Jason. That certainly put the wind up Zeedan considering Jason's history with Alya. She totally enjoyed the unexpected upset she caused. Or was it? Surely Alya told her about Jason and pointed him out so what are the chances she did it all on purpose? Apparently not, though, because she sat her down and told her. In the end, Zeedan gets what is probably his first kiss!

Rana starts her job at the medical centre. Zeedan asks her for a date. They end up snogging before their meal. She says she's worried about Alya finding out but he's not. It's none of anyone's business. They're dressed to the nines when they go to the Bistro but she sees someone come in and hides behind her menu to avoid eye contact.

Eva was ready to make Marta pay even if Billy advised "softly, softly". Aidan just whinges. But the problem is, they have to bring her back to the O'Driscolls so she can get her passport. Poor kid seemed to accept her fate even though she was scared stiff and now Eva isn't so sure her story wasn't true after all. Now they have Marta behind closed doors.

Aidan really doesn't think there's an issue with Marta. He isn't observant and is only concerned with the factory. Eva accused him of putting money first, and it does look like that. Billy was also right, Aidan does have a lot of responsibilities. Meanwhile, Eva's asked Sally to keep an ear out for job possibilities and asked her for a decent reference. I bet Aidan would give her a good one and Carla certainly would but it's a bit tricky to explain why you lost your last job.

Eva got Billy to go check on Eva if he could. The O'Driscolls told him that she's already gone but Eva saw her at a window. No surprised there for finding out the O'Driscolls lied. They're both nasty pieces of work, they are.

Eileen is trying to show Tim the ropes, with the financials but he doesn't seem to be catching on too quick. He's run his own business with the window cleaning but that's different than having to track everything by a software program. He's more concerned with his job title. Chief? Gail wasted no time honing in on a broken hearted Michael in the pub!

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

No Coronation Street return for Becky, says Katherine Kelly

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

With Paula Lane leaving Coronation Street later this year as Kylie, I've been wondering whether big sister Becky might return for Kylie's leaving story.  But, it appears not, as Katherine Kelly has ruled out a return to the soap.

In an interview with the Daily Mail today Katherine talks about her time on Coronation Street. When asked if she'd ever return to her role of Becky, who headed to Barbados three years ago, Katherine is adamant that she couldn't go back.

"I wouldn't want to spoil the amazing time I had there. Never say never, of course. But that would be my big worry. I haven't watched it for ages! The this is, 7:30pm is my daughter's bedtime...I don't even know half of the characters.

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Friday, 25 March 2016

Charlie Lawson returns to TV in new BBC drama

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Charlie Lawson, who played Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, will be starring in a new BBC drama.

Charlie has returned home to Northern Ireland to film the new BBC One series My Mother And Other Strangers. It's written by Barry Devlin who penned Ballykissangel and Darling Buds Of May.

I's a World War Two drama which follows the fortunes of the Coyne family and their neighbours as they struggle to maintain normal life following the arrival of 4,000 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) servicemen and women in their rural parish in 1943.

Lawson takes on the role of parish GP, Dr Black.

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Conversation Street Podcast 190

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

This week on Conversation Street, Michael and Gemma cover stories featuring: Phelan succeeds in breaking up Michael and Eileen. Billy and Eva are still trying to rescue Marta but she ends up back with the O'Driscolls. There's a surprise return from a character from last year, Gemma and David plans to use her as an alibi. Sally and Norris' campaigning continue in the days running up to next week's election. There is a very interesting first part where Michael and Gemma discuss Corrie characters and how they fit into Jungian personality types.

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Corrie Canada Sneak Previews, March 28 - April 1

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.

Anna tries to warn Eileen but Eileen believes Phelan's lies. Anna has to come clean to Kevin but is unable to stop the spread of untruths.  David sacks Gemma but she blags another job and defends more than one person in trouble. Zeedan gets a warning but takes no notice. Gail offers Michael a shoulder. Eva and Billy team up to rescue Marta. Can Aidan prevent them from getting caught? Sarah goes into early labour. Kylie assists Freddie. It's election day, but who's the victor?

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Sally Dynevor on Corrie role: "There's no better job"

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a long interview with Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe in today's Sunday People.

Sally says that after  30 years at Coronation Street she goes itchy feet to try something away from the cobbles. But she says: "... who knows what would happen if I left?

"I don’t want to risk leaving ­something that I’m enjoying. I went to see Julie Hesmondhalgh in a new play ­recently. It was ­absolutely brilliant and it did make me think, ‘Oh, should I do this? Should I leave?’ But then another part of me thought, ‘What if I left and it didn’t work out?’

"And I love it here. At the moment I think I’m enjoying it more than I’ve ever. There’s no better job, really.
There's a lot more to the interview and you can read it here.   

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Focus on Phelan

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2016, reposted with permission.)

Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre is an exceptionally effective villain, one of the best to walk the cobbles. He has just the right mix of menace and credibility. There was Jez Quigley too who had the same ability to appear like a good, misunderstood guy. Tony Gordon was similar in that skill too but Richard Hillman was perhaps the real king of the villains. Nevertheless, Phelan sends a shudder down the spine.

 Viewers will remember the entanglement with Owen, Gary and Anna and how Phelan cheated them even after Anna had gone through with the whole sleep with Phelan plan to help the family coffers. We might have guessed that he would not keep his promise. Just to annoy further the Armstrong/Windass clan, Phelan sent them a postcard from Dubai.

On his return to the cobbles, he seemed down on his luck. Valerie had seen the real Pat Phelan and divorced him. She had all his assets too, apparently, though a man as keen on the good things in life as he is, it seems odd that he would have allowed this state of affairs. For the sake of the storyline we will have to accept this.

Then. what was this? Heroic Phelan - the man who stepped out in front of  the getaway car after the bungled bistro burglary. It was Kevin, his new boss, who dragged him away from the car. Anna went over to see how Kevin was only to be stunned by the sight of Phelan. His presence caused many a problem between Anna and Kevin. As yet, Anna has not revealed to Kevin what happened between her and Phelan. But she will. This is soap world and all must out.

Phelan's skill is to appear as one of the nicest imaginable chaps you could ever meet. Good fun, easy-going, loyal and decent. He is able to disguise his real feelings when he needs to do so, as he proves in tonight's episodes.

Andy is instructed by Michael concerning Phelan,  not to be 'fooled by his affable charm.'  Michael tells him to keep an eye on Phelan. Andy overhears Phelan on the phone, clearly haggling over a price. Andy realises that it is the chisels Phelan had admired and called 'beauties'. He reports to his 'dad' and Michael confronts him in the builders yard. Suddenly, Michael grips his chest and tumbles down the stairs. Phelan's true colours are here exposed and he seems almost pleased, or at least amused by Michael's misfortune. He's sorry he didn't have his camera with him.  He does nothing to help him but the moment Jason arrives Phelan's voice and attitude change completely. He's all call the ambulance and concerned expressions.

At the hospital Michael tells Phelan that he's not wanted and Eileen cannot understand Michael's antagonism. After all, this is the man who fixed her kitchen cupboards. Michael is agitated and the doctor has to tell him that he 'must avoid any undue agitation'.  Phelan is on top of things though and when questioned, Phelan claims that he was talking to a mate who would polish and sharpen Charlie Stubbs' chisels. So, he was doing a favour for a mate. What a great bloke!

On leaving Michael at the hospital Eileen reveals that Phelan is giving her a lift home. 'Don't you worry Michael,' crows Phelan, 'I'll take good care of her.' Michael's heart cannot be helped by this.

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Corrie Canada weekly awards for March 14 - 18

Fashionista award: Mary looked fab! Liz's red patent leather boots were a nice touch.

Musical ambience: Erica, Liz and Mary quoting Barry White with Al Green's Let's Get Together on the jukebox in the background. Superb.

Cold Blooded award: Steph. Can't stand the cold. I know how she feels!

Hyacinth Bucket award: Karen, sorry, Kareen who owns a garden centre and was very snobby and condescending.

The Morning After Award: Dev wasn't exactly all loved up and fretted that Erica might expect more of him than he's ready to offer. Be honest, Eileen advises and she's right.

Double Whammy: Eva got sacked and dumped!

Prodigal Son: I'd forgotten that Todd hasn't moved back home after his latest bout of forgiveness, he's always at Number 11.

Debate Venue fail: Crowded into a cafe? Really? Isn't this sort of thing why they invented Community Centres? I.E. RIGHT NEXT DOOR, PEOPLE!

Lines of the Week:
Liz about Mary "When it comes to heartache, she is a novice"
Mary, after a group Barry White quote "Lying Beep-Beep" (aw, I do feel bad for her)
Tracy "I don't know whether to stand here and gloat or go home and gloat"
Mary Mother used to say one drink I'd be under the table and two drinks I'd be under the barman! Chance would be a fine thing" (hahaha)
Steph to Andy "You're worse than Luke. He makes out it's not cold when it's lit'rally Arctic" (I feel for you, luv)
Gail "Yoko Ono didn't have anything to do with The Beatles but it didn't stop her sticking her oar in"
Robert to Tracy "Go home and stay there!"
Gail about Suzie Birchall "She tried to nick me husband!" Kylie "Which one?"
Steph to Andy "You have got a great bum" Andy "You're objectifying me!" Steph "Yeah" Andy "Stop it!" (but he didn't mind, not really)
Sally "It's too bad Norris doesn't have any family. It must distance him from the voters" Rita "Oh it isn't that that distances him, it's his abrasive manner"
Tim "I had a sprained ankle, spent the night in a cell, and I didn't even get a kiss!"
Todd to Bethany about mothers "No matter how horrible we are, they always forgive us"
Sally "I know how I'm going to win this election" Tim "What? Bribery, and corruptions and free pies for everyone?"
Sally "What's the point of having an opinion on something that's probably not going to happen?"
Tim "If you sit on a fence, you get your head carved into a mountain?"
Norris "You're just getting hung up on the wording" Rita "Oh, that's where we're going wrong is it? We're getting hung up on the wording!" Jenny "And there was us thinking we were getting hung up on the facts"

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Comments March 20

Eva caught up with Marta with Billy's help. If a vicar can't keep you safe, who can? At least Marta is inclined to trust him. Her story comes out. The O'Driscolls brought her to the UK to work for them but they keep her locked up, witholding her passport and threatening her family's safety if she causes trouble. Turns out Eva and Aidan are going to the O'Driscoll's for a meal so Eva is going to try to get Marta's passport back for her. You all know it won't be as easy as all that, right?

Billy's trying to help and letting Marta stay at the rectory. It's nice to see him get a proper storyline. Eva's walking a fine line, gambling the factory's revenue on a potential white slavery rescue. Eva talked her way into a house tour but when she sneaked into the O'Driscoll office to look for the passport, she got caught by Aidan first then the O'Driscolls who made out that they fired Marta for stealing. If they did, then why doesn't she have her own passport?

The O'Driscolls were understandably enraged and they're all on tenterhooks in case Richie pulls the contracts. I'm not sure he could legally but perhaps under the circumstances, a solicitor could make a good case for breaking the contracts. Eva's most definitely in the doghouse. The thing is, Marta stole money and a phone from Billy and that makes it seem like the O'D's accusations might be right, doesn't it? Richie is not pulling the contract but insists that Eva be sacked. Oh no! Aidan volunteered to be the one that breaks the news and he's not happy about the whole situation because Eva kept him in the dark about the whole thing. He sacked her and he dumped her and isn't about to take her back as an employee because he can't risk the factory's business. He can't take her back as a girlfriend because he doesn't trust her.

But Billy has an idea. Maybe they can find Marta by using a tracker app on his phone. Aidan thinks it's a bad idea but Eva feels like she's been made a mug. Eva and Billy end up corralling Aidan to go look for Marta, using the tracking app for Billy's phone. Eva wants answers and Billy just wants to help her. Aidan whinges. They do find her and talk her into going back to the O'Driscolls with them to fetch her passport. Billy is the one that takes her to the door as they don't know him but instead, Julie manages to get a scared Marta in the door and she's out of friendly hands.

Carla tells Johnny she took the money as a personal loan, seeing as it's her company mainly. Of course he's worried she's gambling again but she's not, at least not in that way. Johnny pretends to Aidan that it's an advance loan even though he doesn't really know what it was for.

Tracy has presented Robert with the cash and lied about it. Oh how I wish Carla would go to Robert and tell him what's going on. When they handed over the extra 10K, there wasn't a lot Nick could do. The 50/50 split would have been a good idea but Carla pushed it as a purely financial decision. Poor Leanne. She probably thought her future was going down the toilet but Robert assured her she would keep her job, much to Tracy's displeasure. But with Tracy sticking her oar in, the whole staff might mutiny.

It didn't take Tracy long to start acting like the owner, pondering menu changes and sacking Leanne like it's any of her business. Well Leanne can play that game. Robert didn't know that Tracy tried to sack Leanne and Leanne decided to let him sweat and then busted her in front of Robert who gave her a very satisfactory and very public dressing down in front of the staff. Yay! I don't always like Robert but I sure cheered him in that scene.

Bethany is very good at interception so Sarah had no idea that she was bunking off school and now Sarah is is worried sick. Bethany went walkabout, probably knew she'd been busted by her teacher. Giving her a lecture isn't really going to make much of a dent with her, same as any kid. She's going to take her to school every day! (and man, didn't Sarah all of a sudden pop out that bump? I suppose it's because she's so short that she would realistically show a lot) Bethany isn't too pleased with school but I do notice she's not plastering makeup on like she did when she first arrived from Italy.

Gail's throwing a baby shower for Sarah which is nice. She wouldn't have anything for the baby since it's been so long since Bethany was tiny. Sarah thinks Bethany is upset about the baby. She's had another scan and finds out it's a boy and her last baby boy, the one that died, is looming large in her thoughts. Kylie and David had to tell Max that the baby isn't just his cousin, it's his half-brother!

But Bethany has other things on her mind and we find out what they are. Bullies. Though why she's being bullied now, a whole year after she first arrived, I don't know but there you go. They harassed her at school and she went home stressed and upset and she blasted Sarah as a hypocrite and threw the cake against the wall. Nice to see that Todd steps up to help. I know he still feels fatherly towards her and she trusts him. She told him about being vile to Sarah but Jason came home before she admitted she was being bullied. Poor kid. I also wonder how they got her phone number. Surely she wouldn't have given it to them. I don't get the feeling she's got any friends but if she has, I suppose one of them might have been persuaded to give it out.

Bethany continues to skip school and this time, Kylie caught her. She finally admitted to someone about the bullying but Kylie's advice was that if she couldn't rise above it or ignore it, to fight back. Bethany doesn't seem so inclined. She said if they would just hit her, they'd probably get tired of it but it's more psychological, isn't it? What will it take for her to shed the bullies?

Mary really looked fabulous, didn't she? All sparkly with curly hair tendrils. She nearly sunk into self pity but the other two pulled her out again. Lovely scene with the three of them quoting Barry White to a background of Al Green's Let's Get Together. In the end, the man Mary thought was checking her out was actually checking out Erica but Erica, according to Mary, fancies Dev and it could be mutual. Could it?

It was the hangover from hell for Mary but she did remember that she believes that Dev fancies Erica like mad. I'm not sure he does, not in the way Mary goes on about but there is admiration there and probably some attraction. Love? Perhaps not, but Erica seems to be taking Mary's words on board and even Liz thinks Dev likes her. Except, Dev has a date, someone very snobby that poshes up her own name, "Kareeeeeen". I wonder if her last name is Bu-ckay? Mind you, Dev does like to put on sophisticated airs, man about town and all that.

Erica decided to take matters into her own hands and Mary jumped in to give the snob a push out the door. She made out that Dev was a real womanizer, a revolving door on his bedroom, that sort of thing. No, actually, she described it as a turnstile! It worked. She was out the turnstile and a very glam Erica was in. I still don't think it's Love but there are definitely sparks. Dev is very cool and awkward to Erica the morning after those sparks were lit. Regrets? Perhaps. Seems maybe he thinks he'd be leading her on and he isn't really looking for a major relationship. Eileen's advice is to be honest and it's very good advice. In the end, they agree they'll just be friends but it seems like there will be benefits!

Gary came up with the goods for Izzy who was nearly breathless with pain. Gary promises to be around more, to help with Jake. It's Jenny's birthday and Rita made a very fancy cake.

Sally's looking forward to a public debate about the Frescho construction. I wonder if we'll get to see it? Tim's biscuit selection is leaving a bit to be desired. Good thing Eileen is well practiced in the art of guilt. And in the course of Tim buying chocolates, he mentions he was arrested during a protest for the Poll Tax many years ago. I bet that's going to come back and bit Sally's campaign in the backside. Sally decides she's going to run on family values and insists to Tim she doesn't have any skeletons that could come back to haunt her. Well I could think of a few! Sean takes a dim view of any politician that interrupts his quiet nights in on the sofa with a line of rubbish. He calls them human spam. I guess we'll see soon enough. Part of me would love to see Sally win but then I certainly wouldn't want Norris to. Perhaps it will be better if neither of them does. Time will tell.

The candidates' debate day arrives. Sally is stoked for it as is Norris though he does seem to exhibit a few butterflies in private. Also, he's got his name in the newspaper taking full credit for the restoration of Maddie's mural which Sally takes great umbrage with. He did out and out lie and exaggerate. The thing that really made me snicker is that the debate was in the cafe. It was really stupid. There was Sally, Norris and a non-speaking extra who was probably a third candidate who never said a word. Everyone else was crowded in the cafe. Isn't this the sort of thing they usually use community centres for? Why did they bother building one RIGHT NEXT DOOR??? Why didn't Yasmeen make a case for having it there. Instead, she was sitting at the debate like it was the most normal thing in the world. I don't get it.

Anyway, as you would expect, there were insults and embarassments and points scored by both Sally and Norris. But the big mistake Sally made was going after Jenny who then piped up and questioned her about Tim's night in the cells after the poll tax riot all those years ago. Uh oh....

Andy wants to take Steph on holiday but he's not got any money. So, Blackpool? Meanwhile, Michael sure doesn't seem to like Phelan sniffing around Eileen, does he? Andy's got a few hours work helping out the builders this week but he seemed to realize that Michael wouldn't take it well and he was right. Phelan's making breakfast for Eileen and co. If that isn't a major suck up, I don't know what is, and Michael isn't very happy about it, feeling his place in Eileen's life is being trod on. And it is. It makes for a grumpy Michael and a very smug Phelan. He's making Michael look petty in Eileen's eyes and himself a bit of a hero, all as intended.

Phelan finds an old set of chisels that Jason had inherited from Charlie Stubbs. Andy later overhears him apparently about to sell them to a mate and tells Michael but Michael, already thinking Phelan is the devil incarnate, ends up with chest pains and a header down the stairs in the builders' yard when he confronts Phelan who's very, very good at intimidation and making Michael look and feel like a jealous, despearate and weak man.

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Lisa George donates her nan's bag to Corrie's Beth

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Coronation Street actress Lisa George, who plays Beth Sutherland on the show, has joined twitter.  You can follow her at @LisaGeorgeActor.

Lisa tweeted this week a lovely picture of herself with her nan, which you can see on her twitter account. She also posted the picture above. As you can see, Lisa has donated her nan's handbag on the show as a prop for her character Beth. What a lovely thing to do.

When David Neilson first joined Corrie to play Roy Cropper, the bag that Roy carried belonged to Roy's mother Phyllis who had just passed away.

David said: “That bag went round Loughborough market for many years! It will be 30 years old now. My mother died just before I joined the show so I was chucking stuff out and thought it would be good for Roy.

“He was always knocking on Deirdre’s door, asking if she needed a bit of shopping and initially they gave me a carrier bag. But you see guys standing at bus stops with bags like that and I thought I’d introduce it. It’s also very handy to carry my scripts round in!

“Roy’s key on the piece of knicker elastic attached to the bag was also my mother’s. We fastened it on to the bag for her, because she kept locking herself out.She was forever calling out the police or the glazier to get her back in and they’d have to break the window.”

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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