Monday, 31 October 2016

Corrie Canada weekly awards for Oct. 24 - 28

End of his rope award: David. My heart breaks for him.

Anecdote of the week: Gold Tooth Isaac. Some questions, you don't ask. Superb!

Glass half full, glass half empty: Steve's plan of attack is retreat to avoid the bad news. Tim's is to advance, because there's always a chance of an all clear. I'm with Tim. Underhanded award: Nick isn't above subterfuge, paying Phelan off to lie to Robert. Phelan, of course, never turns down a handout, no questions asked.

Pots...Kettles... Tracy telling Ken to do what he wanted because he always does.

Throwback award: Nick talked about what happened when the man that killed his father got out of jail and he got Leanne into danger.

Lines of the week:
Michael "I don't pop up as well as I used to. What're you going to do, throw me on the scrap heap?"
Anna about Faye "She wasn't acting very grown up last night, was she?" (Well yes, yes she was. More than you were.)
Michelle "I always think about Steve. This time I have to be selfish" (*This* time? there's a reason we all call her ME-chelle. But I'm with her on this one, actually. She does need to know)
Tracy "Flying business class on Bacon Air, is he?"
David about his car "You won't find many Bond girls draped over it but it suits me"
Sophie "I'm not coming back as Kate Moss"
Nick about Steve "He'll be down that hospital in a minute with the impression of Tracy's stiletto on his back"
Tracy "I was the only person in the cinema cheering for the iceberg" (Why am I not surprised)
Tracy "You're swanning off like some geriatric Jack Sparrow"
Tracy "Mary, I pay you to sell flowers, not do me head in" Mary "I can do both"
Ken to Peter "One of the very few things you ever showed an aptitude for is deceit"
Peter "All your life you've talked the talk but the only walk you've ever walked was away" (which is where Peter learned it)


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Underground Coronation Street in the Bistro Cellar


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

ITV Coronation Street have put online the plans for the Bistro Cellar.  It's a new set that was specially built to cage David Platt this week and stop him from trying to kill himself and Clayton Hibbs.

Above is the model and below are the plans.

Now then, I'm not an engineer but I'd love to hear from someone who is or knows about these things.  The Bistro is built in a unit under an arch of the viaduct. Is it really possible that there would be a cellar under a viaduct?  Wouldn't having a void under a viaduct undermine the structural integrity of the viaduct - which is, after all, a bridge to carry trams? Maybe I need to get out more.

Just a curious thought!

In the meantime, here's David in the cellar!




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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Sunday Comments October 30

David is still shutting everyone out and to fob off Gail, he pretends he goes to the cemetery to talk to Kylie. She buys it. Instead, he borrows Nick's car and parks around the corner from the gate where the courthouse vans enter, lights a lighter and mutters "boom". Then he's practicing the speed and distance and collision with empty boxes. Sounds very much like he has some very dangerous plan coming together. He can't use Nick's car but guess what? Oh yes, he is going to buy that old one Tyrone's been landed with. Nothing happens without a reason on a soap. The lads try to talk him out of it but he doesn't need it for long. It looks very much like he wants to use it to cause some sort of accident or even explosion with the prison van, don't you think?


Max is still having problems at work and he's definitely showing the neglect from David. When Gail goes to the cemetery which is where David said he'd been going, it was clear Kylie's grave has been unattended, with detritus still around from the funeral. She found him in the cafe, brooding. He did need telling, too. But at this point, he's beyond telling, I think.  Nick was good with David. Interesting that he'd mention that he knows what Max is going through. My question is, why isn't he making more of an effort to spend time with Max and talk to him about it. He really is one of the best ones to help Max especially now David isn't coping. Not coping at all. He's recorded a video goodbye to his children that Gail later discovered while David had the kids out for a drive. What do we do about David? How do we get through to him?

It's an elaborate scheme. Nick put Robert off and is blaming a problem on the electrics while Gail peeks out the window. He's having trouble keeping Robert from the Bistro, too so whatever this plan is, it involves the restaurant. Meanwhile, David's planning to go to the trial that starts "tomorrow". He's acting like everything is normal but doesn't seem to be aware of the tension in the air. The plan will be enacted tonight with the view to keeping him from the trial tomorrow. In the meantime, David is filling gas cans (petrol cans). There's a hitch, though, there will be some goings on in court today, points of law but David is determined to be there. The rest of them don't know that yet. The only problem is that the car wouldn't start. Oh dear.

At the candlelight dinner, Nick got David into the cellar and locked him in! That's the plan, keep him locked in to avoid the trial. He tried everything, pleas, begging, threats, cajoling, with Gail, Nick and with Sarah. They're all more concerned with keeping him alive, especially for the children. I'm surprised the rest of the family couldn't hear him booming that door and throwing stuff against the walls up in the restaurant, the quiet, mostly empty restaurant. That should echo like thunder.

David is in so much pain. It's hard to watch. Nick tried so hard to get through to him. He couldn't pierce that wall David's put up.

Sarah's still cold with Gary who then filled Izzy in on all the things he handled badly with Sarah. It's nice that Izzy can encourage him to keep trying. It's also nice that Izzy went to Sarah to put Gary's case forward. It worked. Gary got an apology from Sarah but she's still reluctant. That'll last about 5 minutes and they'll be snogging before you know it. Gary's still upset that Sarah's blanking him. You'd think he'd be a bit more on the ball with women by now but if Luke and Tyrone can talk more sense than him, you know he's not got a clue!

Simon's getting a football award and wants his dad to come. Apparently, Peter says he'll come. Peter's not very reliable, however, and he didn't come after all. Nobody is surprised. Tyrone has an old car to sell. You know that's going to mean something at some point. Watch this space. Dev has a skip for the wreckage left over from a bathroom renovation and he's caught Norris putting a box of old junk in it. If that was real life, he'd have to stand guard over it or al the neighbours and then some would have filled it before the first bit of Alahan debris hit the bottom of it.

Michelle isn't very happy that Steve is refusing to have the genetic test. Neither is Nick who is determined to force Steve into doing it because Nick is a control freak and a bully. Trying to get information out of Rana didn't really work other than to raise her suspicions a bit. Letting Leanne try to push Michelle into telling Steve how she feels is the better way to go. Forcing Steve is only going to make him dig his heels in. So she did. Michelle poured her heart out and as much as I'm not a Michelle fan, I'm with her on this. If you know there's a potential problem like that and you can find out one way or the other, do it, especially if there's a child involved. You need to know what to expect.

In the cab office, Steve tells Tim all about the issue. Steve's plan of attack is to retreat, not knowing if it's bad news is bliss. Tim's would be to advance, because there's an equal chance he'd get the all clear. Glass half full, glass half empty. Later, Leanne talks to Michelle and that's a point, can't Michelle (and Leanne) have a test even if Steve doesn't? Maybe they have to wait until the baby is born but these days they can do an awful lot in utero. The talk with Tim worked and Steve says he'll take the test.

Leanne's frantic to find out if Steve has changed his mind but Simon thinks she's upset with Peter. Another name drop. Too many. Soap law dictates that if someone hasn't been seen for awhile and is suddenly spoken of a lot, they're going to show up. Watch this space. Put that aside for the moment. Nick's suggestion is to tell Tracy about the problem and she'll have Steve sorted lickety split. That brings its own problem, like, Tracy questioning Leanne as to how she knows about it all. Liz is fretting, too, though knows Steve is going to have a test. But the results won't be back straight away anyway.

Steve takes advantage of his own upset to walk the dog. He got home in time for Tracy to tear a strip off him but he cut her short by telling her he's already taken the test. If she's that concerned, surely she can take Amy for a blood test to see if she's got the gene. Michelle had to admit she told Leanne about the tests and worries. Now Steve has to find a way to keep Michelle from riling Leanne because we all know Leanne's gob runs a mile when she's riled.

Anna's really been knocked for six about this new boyfriend of Faye's. She'd be happy if she could lock her up until she's 30. Even Kevin can tell she's gone a bit too far to the over protective side of things. I think he's right. Faye won't risk getting pregnant again. In the meantime, we have to put up with Anna's sour face. Anna did offer to take the whole family out to a meal at the Bistro but Seb is reluctant to go under the glare of the interview spotlight. He showed up in the end, with an expensive gift for Faye but he couldn't get away fast enough afterwards. I'm suspicious.

Sophie has been invited to Miami by Rosie for three months and it sounds like the business class flights are free and so would the hotel be. How could she resist? Well Kevin isn't about to let Sophie go. He worries Rosie could adversely influence Sophie, that's what it comes down to but Sophie could easily just walk away. She doesn't need his permission. She owns half the business so even if he decided not to keep her job open, she's got an income.

Ken seems to have hit a bit of a cross roads at his advanced age. A few remarks seem to have hit home; A mention of Emily walking in the footsteps of the Incas, Freddie's stories of seeing the world in the Merchant Navy, being stuck at home subbing in the florist. He's feeling as wilted as some of the flowers.

Ken has definitely decided to go on his tour of Europe, leaving tomorrow. That was quick. Must have paid through the nose for last minute tickets. Tracy couldn't help but be sour about his holiday, probably because there will be one less reliable minder for Amy. And I still think Amy is far too old to be walked to school. Tracy is definitely jealous but Mary's little talk hit home. She probably is feeling a bit abandoned by Ken's exit. Never mind, it looks like he is not going anywhere.

Guess who's back! It's Peter, looking pretty rough around the edges, too. He's crossed the wrong person in Portsmouth and is blacklisted from the marina trade so he's come home, broke. He tried to get money out of Tracy. No dice. Peter's also in contact with someone, but we don't know who, yet. I'm pretty sure he was lying to Ken about where he was but even if he was telling the truth, Ken is not inclined to believe him ever. Ken and Peter get into it, rehashing the same old arguments and accusations but when the taxi arrives at 2 a.m. to take Ken to the airport, he collapses with a stroke. Oh dear. He's just not destined to leave Coronation Street, is he?



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The Life of Peter Barlow on Coronation Street

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

Peter Barlow has always been at the heart of affairs; womanising, alcoholism and a custody battle involving his son Simon. The Street’s notorious smooth talker - who counts current street residents Leanne, Michelle and Maria amongst his conquests -  found himself embroiled in a bigamy case when he married Rovers barmaid Shelley Unwin after already being wed to florist Lucy Richards. When the truth came to light, Shelley threw Peter out and he left Weatherfield alone after Lucy announced that she and Simon were to emigrate to Australia. Having resigned himself to never knowing his son, Peter wasn’t seen again until 2007 when he briefly appeared as half sister Tracy was sent to life imprisonment for the murder of Charlie Stubbs.

In 2008, Peter arrived back on the cobbles with his son after Lucy died from ovarian cancer. Peter used the estate that Lucy had left to him buy a local bookmakers, renaming it "Barlow's Bookies". It was at this point that Peter and Leanne Battersby began their turbulent on off relationship and decided to open a bar. Despite Ken’s concerns over his son’s new venture due to his alcoholism, the bar idea went ahead but on the opening night, Peter fell off the wagon, got drunk and was forced to go to rehab.

With his demons behind him for a while, Peter then met Carla Connor who began to lean on him when he helped her with her drink problem. But attempting to seduce Peter went horribly wrong for Carla; he resisted temptation due to his engagement with Leanne. On the night of Peter’s stag party hosted in his and Leanne's former bar, The Joinery, disaster struck when the premises were destroyed by an explosion. Following the explosion, a tram derailed and crashed into the street, trapping Peter inside the bar. Peter was rushed to hospital and, aware that he was unlikely to survive, he married Leanne in his ward bed during Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary live episode. On the brink of death, Peter went into cardiac arrest moments after the ceremony concluded. But the Barlow boy fought for his life, survived and finally left hospital in a wheelchair.

Despite their hopeful beginning to married life, Peter and Leanne’s wedding bliss was short lived as the local lothario finally embarked on an illicit affair with Carla. Leanne was heartbroken after their secret was discovered but Carla and Peter went on to get engaged.  However it wasn’t long before Weatherfield’s Wandering Eye reverted back to type and enjoyed a forbidden tryst with Tina McIntyre. Carla's brother Rob Donovan attempted to frame Peter after he murdered Tina. Peter was cleared but following the breakdown of his marriage to Carla, he left the street once more in November 2014. Peter returned briefly to attend his step mother Deirdre Barlow’s funeral in July 2015 but has not been since since...until now.




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Coronation Street Blog Interview: Chris Gascoyne

(This post was originally posted by Emma Hynes on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2016, reposted with permission.)

It has been nearly two years since Peter Barlow was a permanent fixture on Coronation Street, and three months since I was almost a not so permanent fixture on my chair after glimpsing his return at a Corrie press screening. Actor Chris Gascoyne now feels ready to reprise the role for a number of interesting reasons which I was privileged to hear about in person when I met him in Manchester this week. And while he is cagey concerning what Peter might be hiding, his excitement about returning to the show is certainly no secret.

With a new producer at the helm since his departure, Chris gave an insight into his meeting with Kate Oates and his thoughts on where she's taking the programme. “It’s early days yet, but I think she’s really bright and she’s got a great vision for the show. The way she talks about it, and the characters, is on a deeper level, using history for drama and all that, and I thought it was brilliant. So, I genuinely feel like I’m lucky to come back at a very good time.”

It seems the manner in which the unfinished business between Peter and Leanne might be dealt with may offer a good example of this depth. “They never talked about what happened” notes Chris, “but again, with the new producer and the writers, we’re finding out the conversation that me and Jane [Danson] always wanted them to have and they never did. But now we’re actually seeing those things, which is quite satisfying from the characters’ point of view, and from mine and Jane’s. And it’s not high drama, it’s human drama, which is nice.”

Chris is certainly looking forward to seeing what lies ahead. “It’s just really exciting to see where these stories are going to develop and, as an actor, what I can bring to it” he enthuses. “I’ve moved on a lot - two years older, two years of different experiences - and I’m excited finding out what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it.”

With Peter set to be joined by Adam and Daniel, creating something of a male Barlow dynasty, Chris offered a great take on how this is an interesting twist on Corrie tradition. “Initially Coronation Street was about the families, it was a very family oriented show, one family against the other, like Romeo and Juliet. I think that’s what Kate is bringing back and I think she’s going to do it brilliantly.” He continues, “like I said, it’s early days, but there is so much subtext under the five main Barlows in that family. It was the women that were very dominant in the past and now it’s become dominated by the Barlow men, which again is very different.”

But what of Tracy? “Of course Tracy’s always there” Chris notes, “and she’s always very heard and present, but all that’s good because there’s so much history, there’s so many things to be sorted out with all those characters and it genuinely is exciting.”


So, can we expect to see Peter mature? “Sometimes when he goes to Ken or Leanne on his own, he sulks, he’s like a baby” Chris laughs, adding “but I think he’s getting better and I can see it kind of progressing more and that’s what’s interesting. Were not just staying with the same - of course, he’s fundamentally the same character, but then these new experiences he’s going to have will change him.”

Chris’s enthusiasm and how he analyses his character makes for a fascinating interview, and it’s interesting to hear of his hopes for Peter. “I would hate him to get boring, I would hate him to be sensible, but to have more profound experiences and learn more” he reveals. “If he was boring, if he were just ordering a half and going in the pub and being dead nice to everybody, then it would be really, really dull, so I don’t want him to change that much. But, what I am saying is, I enjoy his progression, finding out about him or what he thinks.”

We’ve learned that Peter is sober, and Chris has similarly interesting views on his character’s relationship with alcohol and how he might like it to be represented. “He’s struggling to now face these people in his life head-on without drink involved; he can’t do it, he doesn’t know how to do it” he notes. “The thing is, if Peter did drink, he’ll die now. All the audience know that if he drinks again, he’s going to die. So, if he does drink again, we’ve gotta play that out. It’s got to be finished” he explains, adding, “I kind of hope that we don’t keep using that as a device, when he says ‘aw, I can’t deal with life’ and he gets the bottle; I don’t think we need that anymore.

I think it would be more interesting if he went into an AA group and everybody’s sat round and he says ‘listen this is what my day’s been like’, and then we hear these things that you wouldn’t hear on the street and when he goes back we see him having to deal with it. I think that’s a better way of attacking the drinking story - it gets a bit old that, looking at it, and smashing the glass in the sink.”

Having seen Chris in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at Home, Manchester in March of this year, I had to take the opportunity to tell him that I thought he was fantastic and I asked him if there was a character he'd played on his break that helped him bring anything new to Peter.

“Definitely that, definitely Samuel Beckett” he told me. “David [Neilson] would say the same. It changes your whole being to be privileged enough to do 60 performances of a Samuel Beckett play every night and rehearse it. So, yes, all that, everything feeds something else so that’s why I’m quite hyper at the moment because I really am enjoying doing it, and exploring and finding it and I’m privileged to work every day on something that I love.”

There is no doubt sitting in front of Chris Gascoyne and listening to him that he means this most sincerely. His love for and knowledge of his craft is so endearing and intriguing, and it’s inspiring  to hear him express it so ardently.

It will be no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I am thrilled at Peter’s return to the cobbles, and I am very much looking forward to enjoying the quality performances we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing from Chris over the years in this brilliant role.

By Emma Hynes
www.emmahynes.net
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes



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Saturday, 29 October 2016

David Platt is breaking my heart

(This post was originally posted by Tvor on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2016.)

This post first appeared on State of the Street. Reproduced here with permission.

Say what you will about David Platt, from cheeky lad to tearaway troubled teen to family man and back to psycho Dave, he's never boring. I've been amazed to see how he's evolved and pulled himself through his troubled years to become a husband and father. He's even managed to have decent relationships with his brother and sister and his mother when you never thought you'd see the day. The only one of his relatives he ever seemed to pay any notice of was his grandmother Audrey and even then, it was (pardon the expression) hit and miss.

Now, after the death of his beloved Kylie, he can't cope. He's so filled with anger that he's retreating into himself and pushing everyone away including his children who need him so much. He nearly killed the brother of the young man that killed Kylie and would have if he'd not been interrupted by a nurse. It shocked me that David could have gone to those lengths, because I don't want his character to leave the show and murderers always have to pay one way or another. Kylie is a case in point, even if she only killed Callum to save Sarah.
 
This storyline has also brought the rest of the Platts in to try to help David. Even Sarah, David's former nemesis, has shown that down deep, she does love her brother. The scenes between Nick and David have been wonderful. I never thought I'd see those two develop a real brotherly relationship and even his spiky relationship with his mother has softened. It's shown that David does love his mother even though they've had a very rocky relationship, but even his mother hasn't been able to help in spite of knowing what he feels like, she having a spouse murdered, too. 

As I write this, we're about to head into a week where all will be revealed. It appears David is going to try to kill Clayton and expects he will die as well. The video he recorded was one of the best scenes ever on Corrie, loaded with despair and sadness and resignation from a character that spent most of his life as a cocky, cheeky git. He feels his life is over and even the prospect of being there for his children isn't enough to pull him back from the edge.

I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm pretty sure Jack P. Shepherd isn't leaving the show so somehow David will be prevented from executing his plan, no pun intended. Gail, Sarah and Nick have taken action to try to keep David safe. Locking him in the basement of the Bistro could work but David is slippery and he'll probably find a way out. Short of Gail parading his children in front of his car, Kylie's ghost sitting in the back seat giving him an ear bashing or a traffic jam keeping him from his goal, how's this going to come out?

We'll know by the end of next week. Top stuff, Coronation Street, keep it coming!




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Chris Gascoyne on the retun of Peter Barlow to Corrie

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

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much drama is Peter going to bring to the cobbles this time?
Well, very quickly...10! Sorry, but yes, at one point the drama couldn’t be more serious. It all kicks off very quickly and it looks like Peter is hiding a few secrets.

Has Peter changed since we last saw him, or is he still the same old Peter?
He’s older, he’s sober and his life is in a different place.

What brings him back to Weatherfield?
He’s telling everybody that he’s been sacked from crewing the ships because he’s had a fall out with this guy and that is possibly true but it’s not the real reason.

How does his return go down with the rest of the Barlows, Simon and Leanne?
Not very well with all three of them. He has spoken to Simon while he’s been away, Simon’s been down to stay with him, he’s not been totally absent from Simon’s life but he was supposed to come back for a football presentation and he didn’t. So everyone is saying to him you didn’t come back when you promised yet you show up now, what are you after? Peter is sorry about missing the presentation, he knows he let Simon down, so he has to accept that Simon and Leanne are upset with him. Tracy’s not happy either because he’s asking for money straight away so she wants know what’s going on. Ken is still upset with him for not being there for Simon, so he doesn’t get off to a very good start.     

This is obviously a big week for the Barlows. Is Peter to blame, and what can he do to put things right?
Peter wants to put things right and he’s really trying, he knows that he’s going to walk back into this minefield and he’s taking it all on the chin. He knows he’s all these things that they’re telling him he is but slowly he’s making inroads, he knows he’s messed up but he wants a chance to come back and be accepted again.
 
How does it feel being back on the Street?
It’s great to be back, to see all the people, Corrie’s been part of my life for more than 16 years and it really is an extended family.

What swayed your decision to return?
It was always a break, I always intended to return. Playing Peter is very full on and I needed to go and do other things so I could come back with a new energy. I met with our new producer Kate Oates who had great ideas for the character and it felt like the time was right.

When the news was announced what reaction did you receive from the fans?
It’s been amazing, people seem really thrilled that Peter’s coming back to the street; saying it’s great news, asking when he’s back and saying how excited they are which has just blown me away.
 
Are you excited about the news that Adam Barlow and Daniel Osbourne are returning?
Yeah, it will be nice to see the Barlow household full again. After the loss of Annie (Kirkbride) it’s felt very sparse. It’s always nice to work within a family and there’s lots of different personalities there. Peter knows who Adam is to a certain extent, although he seems to have changed a lot, but he doesn’t know anything about Daniel who just seems to turn up out of the blue.

It’s a very damaged family, however hard they try and function normally they’re always only one step away from an explosion.  They’re trying to avoid the inevitable in that house constantly and that’s why it’s great. There’s going to be a lot of personality drama based on what they all want but also what they all share in common, which is Ken, and he’s damaged all these children in different ways. Ken pushes and pushes Peter then he snaps and lashes out that he wasn’t there for him when he was younger, Peter becomes a little boy again around Ken and he hates himself for that but Ken pushes him and I imagine he’ll push the others at some point too.

What does he make of Leanne being back with Nick, and seemingly having Nick’s baby?
He’s actually really pleased for her, ultimately Peter wants Leanne to be happy, just because he couldn’t provide that it doesn’t mean he wants her to be unhappy. But then it’s almost funny that it’s Nick, him really? Peter loves to wind Nick up, he lives for it, he can’t wait to get his hands on him and start with his sly little comments, put him down a bit, laugh at him and then walk away, it’s a sport to him.     

Is there any spark left between Peter and Leanne?
There’ll always be a spark there, because of Simon and what they’ve been through there is a deep rooted love there for each other but they can’t keep each other happy. He’s not in love with Leanne but he genuinely does love her, she’s brought Simon up for him when he couldn’t and that’s something he’ll always be grateful for and love her for.

Would you like to see Peter finally try and be a good dad to Simon?
Oh yeah, that’s all Peter has ever really wanted, but the audience love to hate him and his failings as a dad. He does deeply love Simon.

What has been your favourite storyline to film since playing Peter?
The writers always come up with such fantastic facets to Peter’s personality and I’m lucky that they write so well for me. I think my favourite time on the show was when Jane and I were working on the start of the alcoholism storyline, I couldn’t wait to get the next script. He desperately loved Leanne but he couldn’t stop drinking, he wanted to be there for Simon but he set the flat on fire, then Carla came along and he couldn’t resist it was all just really exciting seat of the pants kind of stuff.   

Peter has screwed up a lot of things in his life – what do you think has been his biggest mistake to date?
Not being there for Simon, that’s it. Yes the alcohol played a part but the greatest guilt he feels is that he hasn’t been there and time’s running away with him. He’s wants to grab it and he wants to make everything right but a lot of damage has been done.



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Friday, 28 October 2016

An explosive week ahead in Weatherfield . . . again

(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2016.)

There's been a great deal written about the wonderful Jean Alexander over the past few days both here on the blog and in the papers. I was struck by her comments, made several years ago, about how she no longer recognised Corrie as the same show she had been a part of. Those gentler times had indeed gone forever. It's very easy, as a fan of the show, to be swept along by memories of yesteryear in Weatherfield. Yes, they were different times, harder in some ways and Corrie provided us with a cosy, humorous antidote to the sometimes grim, grinding realities of life in 1970s Britain.


I hold my hands up and admit quite happily that I would still enjoy storylines where Gail and Suzie hard-boiled the eggs being laid by Hilda's hen, where a couple of Rovers barmaids end up in the middle of a lake and where the entire community gets together to put on a Christmas show. All very lovely but hardly a representation of life in twenty first century Britain. Corrie is a very different animal now and so are the demands on what the show has to offer. Five episodes a week, every week couldn't really centre themselves around tales of Mavis Riley's budgie problems or Alf Roberts having sat on a Christmas pudding. There have to be set pieces every now and then.

Coming up this week (Next 5 episodes airing in Canada) is yet another opportunity to wheel out the word 'explosive'. No doubt it will be.  In the hands of actors of the calibre of Jack P. Shepherd and Helen Worth, it should be a treat and who knows, there might be a few twists and turns along the way . Why then does it all feel a bit 'meh'? Is it a case of one explosive plot too many?

Maybe this inertia is partly the fault of the 2010 tram crash, the daddy of all big bang weeks, which served up drama 'par excellence'. Everything that's followed has been in its shadow and often involved characters who, dare I say it, we were not all that bothered about. So, the Rovers burns down with Stella inside. So what? Victoria Court detonated itself taking Kal and Maddie with it. We hadn't really invested much in them by that point. In addition, we have to suspend reality like never before. We have to dig deep and truly believe that the Tilsley-Platt-Rodwell crew will blithely carry on with their lives despite numerous murders, attempted murder, brain injury, mental health issues, teenage pregnancy, abortion, long-lost relatives popping up with the regularity of spring daffodils and a matriarch who can't pass a church without whipping out a veil and marrying the next unsuitable man with a pulse.

The over-the-top action weeks don't seem to be used sparingly enough to make them into 'appointment to view' telly. It's a dangerous path to take and one that led to Channel 4's Brookside running out of steam at the turn of the century. Credibility would only stretch so far and it soon became a joke when yet another helicopter crashed onto the shops or a murderous cult began to ensnare local residents. Not that I think Corrie is anywhere close to that level of ludicrous behaviour. Employing the 'explosive week' plot device is fine as long as firmly enhances the drama and provides an aftermath. To spend the next few episodes watching shenanigans in a basement and the race to stop David from becoming a human torch would be wasted if he ultimately backs down and has a little weep on Gail's shoulder. It would be nonsensical.

Do we need Corrie, or indeed any soap, to be more realistic? Are we hankering after the days of Annie Walker's whimsy, Rita and Mavis putting the world to rights over the Kabin counter or the factory girls going into battle against Mike Baldwin? Or is it right that Corrie should portray people living in contstant turmoil, people like Tracy for whom there is no redemption and men at odds with the world like Roy?

Jean Alexander was right. Hilda Ogden would have been an alien being, out of place in a Weatherfield fuelled by murder, immorality and angst. Hilda definitely belonged to those gentler times. We turn back to those times probably because we were younger and maybe felt safer. It's an age thing, seeking sanctuary in the cosy world of yesteryear. In twenty years time there will no doubt be a sea of Corrie fans looking back at 2016 with that rosy glow of nostalgia.

For now though, sit down, buckle up and prepare to journey into the unknown with David Platt.

David / Clinkers to Riddle. 
On twitter @bridglondon


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Ken's brother, David's rabbit and a postcard from Peru

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

Our blogger Chewy wrote a wonderful piece about The Element of Surprise in Coronation Street this week. He refers to the fact that storylines are more exciting when we don't know what's going to happen.

Added to that, we've noticed that since Kate Oates took over as Producer, there have been a few historic references to past characters on the show. And it's not just characters - Weatherfield County FC and The Zambesi Club have been mentioned recently too. 

This week we heard Ken refer to his brother's footballing trophies and so for those who might be scratching their heads thinking: "Ken had a brother?" here's a little bit about him from Corriepedia:

David Barlow (Ken's brother)

David Barlow was the younger brother of Ken Barlow. Born in 1942, he followed quite a different career path from Ken, getting his first major break as a professional footballer for a club in London before returning to Weatherfield in 1965 and marrying Irma Ogden. After sustaining an injury which ended his football career, David bought the Coronation Street Corner Shop and ran it with Irma until 1968 when they moved to Australia so he could resume his footballing. David and Irma settled down in Australia with baby Darren but in 1970 both David and Darren were killed in a car crash.

In addition to Ken's brother being referred to this week we also had proof that Emily is alive and well and living it up in Peru when Ken received a postcard from her.  And David's dead pet rabbit Barney got a mention too, well sort of, when Gail guessed David's password for his laptop.

It's all good stuff and bodes well for the tenure of Kate Oates at the helm of our favourite soap.

Glenda
Twitter: @flaming_nora



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The Life of David Platt on Coronation Street


The Teen Tormentor Years
David Daniel Platt, born on Christmas Day 1990, is the son of Martin and Gail Platt. Drama was never far from David’s life even from a young age, when he was the centre of a botched kidnap plot orchestrated by his father’s friend, Carmel Finnan, who later attempted to frame Gail for pushing her down the stairs. The young boy’s disobedient streak first began to surface when, in 2001, David’s parents divorced after Martin had an affair with Rebecca Hopkins. Distraught, David began to misbehave and after becoming the target of a school bully, his wayward behaviour became violent despite Gail's hopeless pleas. If only the Platts knew then that this was just the beginning of Dangerous David Platt.


As the Platt family looked like they were moving on to happier times who could forget Gail’s third husband, Richard Hillman. In March 2003, Richard was revealed to be a serial killer and set about killing himself, Gail, David, Sarah and Bethany by driving them into the local canal in a spectacular scene. Luckily, David and the rest of the family were rescued as Richard met his demise in a watery grave.

However the memories of his evil stepfather made an imprint on a young David leaving him suspicious of Gail’s next relationship with Phil Nail. With his penchant for scheming spiralling, David plotted a sinister hate campaign against his mum’s new partner, framing him for poisonous pen letters spookily signed from Richard. Phil finally reached breaking point with the teen tormenter but in the end he was dumped by an angry Gail and David remained triumphant.


After successfully tearing apart his mother’s relationship, romance was in the air for David himself when he developed feelings for fellow hairdresser, Maria Sutherland. But the course of love failed to run smoothly as Maria was enjoying an illicit affair with the Street’s badboy Charlie Stubbs who then threatened David into silence. Not one to be obedient, David attempted to blackmail Charlie but he was bundled into a bathtub with Charlie determined to drown him. In the nick of time, Maria saved David’s life - another brush with death. 

The Tina McIntyre Years

David then tried his shot at romance for a second time when he began a relationship with Tina McIntyre in 2008. After finding out that Gail paid for Tina to have an abortion, demonic David pushes his mother down the stairs and when Tina ends their short-lived romance, it sparks a vicious rampage where he smashed up the Street, attacked Ken Barlow and hit a policewoman. He was sentenced to four months in a Young Offenders Institution.

Blinded by love for Tina, David sparked a rumbling feud with the Windass family after they refused to pay for work Tina’s father Joe McIntyre carried out. Devious David returned with a vengeance and, driven by jealousy of Gary Windass’s friendship with Tina, David framed Gary for theft. Gary’s confession to the police led to David being arrested once more.

But David’s conflict with the law didn’t deter his jealous crush on Tina and when she began a relationship with Jason Grimshaw, David agreed to supply her father with drugs as long as he attempted to break up the pair. Joe’s shock suicide lead to Gail being arrested for his murder and David had to prove his mother’s innocence.

Tina’s next love interest was David’s best friend Graeme leaving the heartbroken Platt feeling betrayed. When David suffered a blackout while driving and knocked Graeme over, he was arrested for attempted murder as no one believed his version of events. Although his track record wasn’t the best, just before the court case began, David suffered another blackout and the Street began to realise he was telling the truth… well, this time.

The Kylie Turner Years


After a sunshine break abroad, David returned to Weatherfield engaged to Kylie Turner, half-sister of Becky McDonald. After gaining custody of Kylie’s son Max from Becky and Steve McDonald, it looked as though David was finally heading for wedded bliss. But heartache struck when he discovered that his wife had slept with his brother Nick. Choosing not to confront the duo, he caused a car accident, leaving Nick in a coma and with permanent brain damage. Kylie and David reconciled but after discovering Kylie’s amphetamine addiction, he threw her out and she left Weatherfield.

Kylie arrived back on the Street but so did a familiar face from her past who threatened to destruct the family life that David and Kylie had worked so hard for; Max's father Callum wanted access to Max. The custody battle that followed turned into a violent feud which escalated when Callum used Sarah and Bethany in a sinister game of manipulation. When they attempted to frame Callum for a crime he lashed out at Sarah and so Kylie, in an act of protection, killed him.

The murder was covered up until rescue workers found Callum's body and David was initially the main suspect. The  family managed to frame another of Callum's enemies who happens to be dead and, after all the catastrophe they had endured on the cobbles, David and Kylie agreed to relocate their family to Barbados. At the final moment, their plans are ruined when Clayton Hibbs stabs Kylie and she takes her last breath in David’s arms.


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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Corrie Canada sneak previews for Oct. 31 - Nov. 4

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

Clayton's trial gets underway. Beth makes a deal to be able to attend to support Craig. What will the verdict be? Craig and Beth make up. Ken lands in hospital, Peter lands in the Rovers. Alya struggles with the new embroidery machine. Sinead is resentful. Michelle considers a difficult decision.  Eva and Aidan look after Liam.



For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at Corrie.net.



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Coronation Street will dedicate episodes to Jean Alexander

Coronation Street will dedicate tonight's episodes to Jean Alexander, who has sadly passed away. (edited: Let's hope CBC follows on and gives Ms. Alexander the same respect)

An ITV spokesperson confirmed Monday's episodes (aired in the UK October 17th) will be dedicated to Jean's memory.

And they added that show bosses were considering having characters reference the death of Hilda, who would now be 92.

John Whiston, Creative Director at ITV Studios, said in a statement yesterday:

“Everyone who loves what is special about Coronation Street will know how sad it is to hear that Jean Alexander has died. Hilda Ogden was the earthy heart of the show for very many years, and the brilliance of Jean as an actor was that she could shift from high comedy to deeply emotional and moving drama in a heartbeat. That takes real skill and real acting but also real humanity."

Jean's niece Sonia Hearld said: “At one time she was the world’s all-time favourite soap star. I think people just took her to their hearts and thought she was their friend. People would come up to her when she was in the street and just want to hug her and say, ‘Hello.’ I think people felt she was part of their lives. As she said, ‘Without the public liking me, who am I? I’m nothing. If they don’t like me, I don’t exist really.’"



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Conversation Street podcast 221

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

The main focuses of this week's storylines were David's plot to get revenge and Steve dealing with the discovery that he might have a genetic disease. The minor stories including Sophie's invitation to Miami, Faye's new boyfriend and Sarah and Gary circling around each other took a back burner. It was a very good week over all. The classic character profile is Don Brennan and Micheal and Gemma speak about the loss this week of Jean Alexander who played iconic Hilda Ogden.




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The Life of Peter Barlow on Coronation Street

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

Peter Barlow has always been at the heart of affairs; womanising, alcoholism and a custody battle involving his son Simon. The Street’s notorious smooth talker - who counts current street residents Leanne, Michelle and Maria amongst his conquests -  found himself embroiled in a bigamy case when he married Rovers barmaid Shelley Unwin after already being wed to florist Lucy Richards. When the truth came to light, Shelley threw Peter out and he left Weatherfield alone after Lucy announced that she and Simon were to emigrate to Australia. Having resigned himself to never knowing his son, Peter wasn’t seen again until 2007 when he briefly appeared as half sister Tracy was sent to life imprisonment for the murder of Charlie Stubbs.

In 2008, Peter arrived back on the cobbles with his son after Lucy died from ovarian cancer. Peter used the estate that Lucy had left to him buy a local bookmakers, renaming it "Barlow's Bookies". It was at this point that Peter and Leanne Battersby began their turbulent on off relationship and decided to open a bar. Despite Ken’s concerns over his son’s new venture due to his alcoholism, the bar idea went ahead but on the opening night, Peter fell off the wagon, got drunk and was forced to go to rehab.

With his demons behind him for a while, Peter then met Carla Connor who began to lean on him when he helped her with her drink problem. But attempting to seduce Peter went horribly wrong for Carla; he resisted temptation due to his engagement with Leanne. On the night of Peter’s stag party hosted in his and Leanne's former bar, The Joinery, disaster struck when the premises were destroyed by an explosion. Following the explosion, a tram derailed and crashed into the street, trapping Peter inside the bar. Peter was rushed to hospital and, aware that he was unlikely to survive, he married Leanne in his ward bed during Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary live episode. On the brink of death, Peter went into cardiac arrest moments after the ceremony concluded. But the Barlow boy fought for his life, survived and finally left hospital in a wheelchair.

Despite their hopeful beginning to married life, Peter and Leanne’s wedding bliss was short lived as the local lothario finally embarked on an illicit affair with Carla. Leanne was heartbroken after their secret was discovered but Carla and Peter went on to get engaged.  However it wasn’t long before Weatherfield’s Wandering Eye reverted back to type and enjoyed a forbidden tryst with Tina McIntyre. Carla's brother Rob Donovan attempted to frame Peter after he murdered Tina. Peter was cleared but following the breakdown of his marriage to Carla, he left the street once more in November 2014. Peter returned briefly to attend his step mother Deirdre Barlow’s funeral in July 2015 but has not been since since...until now.

Peter Barlow returns to Coronation Street tonight! SURPRISE!



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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Element of Surprise

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2016.)

In the last decade or so, it seems every time there has been a big stunt or disaster coming up, we've known every little detail of what is about to happen, the only real exception was the Tram Crash, which did manage to keep a few details under wraps.

Knowing what was to come, made all these events much less exciting, it became less about the shock, and more about seeing something you heard about play out on screen.

Since Kate Oates took over, it seems she has begun changing this. While we did know that Kylie was going to be killed off a week or two before it happened, we had no idea how, and everybody began speculating on how. It made watching the show much more suspenseful.

Next week seems to be taking this one step further, we know David is planning something, we know the general outline of his plans, most of the small details that had been revealed to the press, were actually hinted at in the show itself. We have no idea what will happen, who it will involve (other than David) and where it actually happens.

I hope Coronation Street keep this up, as not knowing what happens next makes watching the show a lot more enjoyable!


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Interview with Coronation Street archivist Helen Nugent

(This post was originally posted by Tvor on the Coronation Street Blog in September 2016.)


Christine Warren at the Coronation Street Fun Pages has published an exclusive interview with Helen Nugent who is the show archivist. Christine has a great interview where Helen tells her all about her job. There's a lot to it!

Helen has been in the job for 16 years. She reads all the scripts and summarises them, then updates each character's biography. All this is used by the Press Office and the Directors as well. She notes particular clips of film for future montage use or use by the media. She also gets to oversee official merchandise which is still being produced. She also is in charge of historical continuity and it's interesting to see her views on what happens when things get changed:

Yes, it does get tricky from time to time, but the thing is, it is a work of fiction, and sometimes the Producer will tweak history a little in order to have a good storyline.  For instance, we may change someone's birthday so they can have it on a day we go to air.  We know the diehard fans get upset if we change events of the past, and quite rightly so, and we do try very hard to stick to Coronation Street's rich history, but sometimes if we have a story we want to tell, it can't be helped.  I may not always agree with it, but ultimately it is their decision.

She has a lot of interesting things to say and the interview is very much worth a read. There are some great photos as well.




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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Coronation Street praised for muscular dystrophy storyline

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

Muscular Dystrophy UK has praised Coronation Street for its “sensitive, accurate” storyline about muscular dystrophy.

This week, viewers will see Steve McDonald – played by Simon Gregson – discover that both he and his unborn children could inherit the genetic condition myotonic dystrophy.

The storyline runs from Monday 10 October until 28 October.

ITV approached Muscular Dystrophy UK to advise the scriptwriters and production team about what Steve, Michelle and Leanne may be going through.    

Speaking about the storyline, actor Simon Gregson, who plays Steve McDonald, said: “I’m proud to be part of a storyline that will highlight little-known genetic conditions like myotonic dystrophy and bring them to national attention. As a dad to three boys, it’s reassuring to know there are charities like Muscular Dystrophy UK out there who can explain genetic testing and help families through the process.”

If you would like information or support on muscle-wasting conditions, please call the Muscular Dystrophy UK Information and Support Team on the free helpline: 0800 652 6352 (Mon-Fri, 8.30am-6pm) or email at: info@musculardystrophyuk.org.



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Mikey North's going to be a dad

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

Coronation Street's Mikey North, who plays Gary Windass, tells OK magazine this week that he and wife Rachael are expecting their first child together.

When the pregnancy news was confirmed, Mikey said: 'We were both feeling emotional but, for once, I didn't cry. That makes a change – I must be starting to man up in my old age!'

You can read the full interview in this week's OK magazine, if you'd like to.



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Monday, 24 October 2016

Corrie Canada weekly awards for Oct 17 - 21

Childish award: Tim and Steve fighting over whose friend Tommy Orpington is. (It *is* quite funny, though)

Pants on Fire award: David lies to the police that he wasn't the one that revealed Clayton's name all over town. Vinny lies to Eileen that the "client" who sold him the fake passports is a flat-buyer for Number8, only she found out Rita bought number 8.

Suspicious Minds: Eileen doesn't trust Vinny. He talked his way out of the casino stop off, pretending a client is interested in Flat 8 but later, she found out that Rita bought Flat 8. Someone has some 'splaining to do.

Fast on his Feet award: Todd did do the 'splaining and he came up with a pretty credible story on the fly.

Throwback award: Do they even have internet cafes anymore? I suppose they must but there certainly aren't as many of them littering the streets.

Best Defence is a Good Offence: Phelan knows how to keep Eileen in line. You don't trust me so there's more at risk than the business project.

Troublemaker: Anna stirring things by telling Gail that Sarah has a new boyfriend. And later, she really went over the top on Faye after finding her with her new boyfriend. It was really unnecessary to be that vicious about it.

Backfire award: If Nick hadn't been so officious with Steve, Steve probably wouldn't have dug his heels in and refused to take the test.

Lines of the Week:
Gemma "I'm like an old peoples' carer crossed with RoboCop" (isn't she just!)
Phelan "He went to a casino, not the Swiss Bank"
Norris to Freddie "Straighten your back, Quasimodo"
Audrey to Freddie "C'mon now, the truth. Otherwise it'll be the Chinese Whispers version in 3 days time" (that's the gossip mill version.)
David "My life means nothing now and someone has to pay for it"
Phelan "The things we do for money" Vinny "At least it's a lot of money"
Liz to Steve "You've got a lovely little McDonald growing in there" Michelle "I sincerely hope you're talking about me" Liz and Steve: awkward laugh.
Liz "It looks like you've lost a shoe and found a sock"


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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday Comments October 23

David's next effort is to plaster the neighbourhoods with posters of Clayton's face. Dangerous move, really. Freddie warned David vaguely, that it wasn't a smart move and he believes even murderers deserve a fair trial. I can understand why David wouldn't take that stance. The police suspect it's David doing all these tricks but David lies so well. But the police are right, he could have damaged the case, making it even easier for Clayton to get off by not allowing him a fair trial. But even worse, Macca has been hit by a brick through the window and has a serious head injury and the police think David did it along with everything else. Uh oh.

David managed to keep his cool under interrogation. Even to the point of being flip. Gail seems to have corroborated David's story about a walk though she did lie to the police about David's injuries, that she didn't know how it happened. And a neighbour was seen tossing the brick through Macca's window so David's off the hook. For now.

David was released but never came home. Where did he go? Flowers to Macca and having to wait for him to go through surgery. Is he going to go down Karl's route and unplug the machines? No, he tried to smother him!!!! Dear heavens, David really has gone over the edge. I suppose he can claim temporary insanity. Even worse, the prosecution isn't going to have David testify at the trial. This could tip him right over the edge he was barely clinging to. He admitted to Nick what he'd done in the hospital. How close it came. You know, David is breaking my heart, all that pain and anger...

David isn't good for much after that. Audrey tries to get him to work to take his mind off things but he pretty much just calls it in and then leaves early. He's casing out the courthouse to see what kind of security there is, and there's a lot, but he does notice the armoured vans and where they enter the courthouse compound. hmmm....When he gets home, Gail finds him a lot more like his "normal" self. What's going on?

Steve and Tim are basking in the afterglow of their encounter with the star footballer, each trying to outdo the other. Tim gets the next leg up, with his own close encounter in the cab office with Tommy and has invited him for a little lads' party at his house. But a kickabout on the street ended up with Tommy getting hurt. I think that little friendship is over, don't you?

Vinny is keeping Eileen out of the loop as much as he can and she doesn't trust him. Nor should she. He said he was interviewing contractors but Tim said he drove him to the casino. He could have been interviewing there or he could have been stopping off. As Phelan said, it's his private life. Suspicious minds. What Vinny was actually doing was paying for new passports for he and Phelan who managed to warn Vinny. He was ready with a story, a buyer for Flat 8 so there's Eileen with egg on her face. It didn't stay there long when she found out that Rita signed a contract for Flat 8.

She really is a liability to the project. Phelan telling her off and threatening their relationship did far more to keep her in line than Vinny's threats. Confronting Todd got her answers but not what she expected. He thought fast on his feet and outlined a sort of scam but sort of not. The poshest flat is the one to get people interested then they can back out of that one and steer them to another one. Eileen is furious. Phelan is very good at thinking on his feet, too.

He knows just when to admit he's in the wrong even when he doesn't mean it, if it keeps Eileen on side. Phelan had to to confess to Rita that the flat was double sold, but played it like she still will get the flat after all and she bought it, hook, line and sinker. Phelan is now starting to have second and third thoughts about continuing the project. It's been far more trouble than he thought it would be but Vinny is insisting he stick with it for two more months and then they're out of there forever. But is that what Phelan wants now? He's found a comfortable life, maybe he doesn't want to be on the run forever. He even put out wine and candles for Eileen and proposed a nice holiday in a few months.

Phelan and Vinny are looking at 2 months to the end of the scam project but Phelan reckons Eileen is going to plague him with her insistent involvement. Vinny suggests that he find something else to occupy her. Phelan is successful in easing Eileen back to Streetcars, saying that it isn't really good for them to be living together and working together all the time. He's delicate about it and plies her with posh holiday brochures, promising they can go in 3 months. She goes back to the cab office but Sally sticks her oar in and Eileen ends up having to interview with Tim to get her old position back. I don't blame her for being offended, since, as she pointed out, she was at Streetcars since the very beginning. I think Tim was enjoying putting Eileen on the spot even if it was Sally that engineered it all.

The lads tease Freddie about a jealous Audrey  but he brags that she wants to go dancing with him. There's only one problem. He can't dance. Luke tried to teach him but he wasn't very good with the ballroom dance moves. Norris to the rescue. But in a garage, full of traps, they ended up with Freddie taking a dive and breaking his arm. He did confess to Audrey how he hurt it and she offered him a room at her house so she could look after him. Tyrone offered as well and Freddie took that up. Mind you, there are two children, and Craig's still kipping there, too.

Bethany might be banned from the gym but she can still run and Gary spotted her going like sixy down the road. Gary questioned her but Bethany seems to have eased his mind though she still seems to be feeling a bit isolated. But Izzy told Sarah about Bethany running and that plus Bethany avoiding food really worries Sarah. It's clear she's developing a disorder and it's clear she needs help. She did admit she just finds all the family troubles overwhelming and she can run so she doesn't have to think about everything. Poor kid. It's back to the gym, at least Gary can keep an eye on her and she can work out properly. And there's definitely a spark between Sarah and Gary. Aw, I think Sarah and Gary make a pretty good couple, actually. And it's about time she found a good guy for a change.

Anna is really being a cow at the idea that Sarah and Gary are making eyes at each other. She overhears Bethany teasing Sarah about a new fella and I'm not sure if Anna realizes it's Gary but she ends up telling Gail about this new fella, name unknown. It doesn't quite have the effect she hoped for i guess because Gail only hopes it's a nice guy and thinks it will perk Sarah up. Meanwhile, Bethany's crush is still evident.

She's got more things to worry about than her crush, though, because Sarah's found her diet pills. Bethany insists she's not taking them anymore but lets slip that Gary knew. Sarah might not have that new boyfriend for long when she tears a strip off him for not telling her even though Bethany made him promise not to.

Someone else has a new boyfriend, too. It's Faye who's engineered a babysitting night at Izzy's and sneaking this new young lad in. His name is Seb. I must say Faye is looking quite grown up these days but of course the actress is a few years older than the character. She got caught with her fella by Anna and Kevin checking up she's ok with Jake. Typical Anna, her nasty valve is wide open and there isn't much left of Faye after Anna was done with her. Ok, I'm sure Anna's worried about pregnancy but she did go over the top.

Gemma is in the short list of the Good Samaritan award but there's very stiff competition. Todd's advice is to pull at the heartstrings but she's really feeling defeatist.

Hmm, Steve has heard from his dad. What was it Steve's Dad had to say? It was bad news. Jim has been diagnosed with a genetic condition called Myotonic Dystrophy and he's called Steve to tell him. That means Steve might be carrying the same gene which also means it could be passed on to his children. He and Michelle go to their first scan and are over the moon but even though everything looks fine according to the technician, Steve knows you can't see genes on a scan screen. He finally manages to tell Michelle the bad knews and naturally she's kind of freaked out. But Steve is feeling so bad and guilty that she tries to be the strong one. Rana is roped in for some advice and when they weed through the plethora of dodgey websites and find a proper medical one, Rana tells them it's a 50/50 chance Steve has the gene and if he has it, the disease isn't curable. Or at least that's what I got from her sober shaking of the head. They need to go to the doctor and Steve needs to be tested.

We all know this is going to affect Leanne, and Leanne finds out the news from Michelle who she's found crying at the bus stop. Leanne of course, is freaked out and can't show it to Michelle, not more than general concern. Nick is going to wade in and start making waves and it's true, they do have a right to know what's going on. Bombard Steve with texts and calls until he has to leave the pub and come over. Nick promise to be sensitive and calm. Right. Not happening, is it? I think Steve would have been more likely to take the test if Nick hadn't stuck his oar in. It's a pissing contest.


Michelle didn't want Leanne to tell Liz or anyone else but Steve caved in about 2 minutes within talking to his mother. But Liz was very good and very supportive. But Steve is putting off telling Leanne. He doesn't know Michelle's already let the cat out of the bag.


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Hilda Ogden: A character that defined Corrie's golden age

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


Over the weekend there have been countless moving tributes to Jean Alexander, the woman who gave us Hilda Ogden and portrayed for 23 wonderful years. Be it on TV, radio or the internet, everyone's tributes have been constant - Hilda was a true soap legend.

Now Hilda had left Corrie 4 years before I was born, but as soon as I took an interest in Corrie, Hilda was one of the first faces I got to know from 'old Corrie'. She was easily identifiable - her curlers and headscarf, her singing, her gossiping, her 'muriel' and her flying ducks. And of course, her marriage to 'my Stan'. It is only through YouTube clips and DVDs that I've grown to appreciate Hilda as a soap legend.

The Ogdens were introduced to the show in 1964. This year was a controversial one in the show's history. It had seen the first mass exodus of cast since it began in 1960 under the 'First Axeman' Tim Aspinall. While the likes of Martha Longhurst and Frank Barlow bid goodbye, enter the Ogdens at No.13. You could say they were the Battersbys of their day.

Hilda secured a job as a cleaner at the Rovers and thus began a wonderful partnership between her and landlady Annie Walker that would last for nearly twenty years. Hilda's admiration for Annie and Annie's contempt and annoyance at Hilda were products of Corrie gold. And what was wonderful was the fact they never addressed each other by forename only - they were Mrs Walker and Mrs Ogden.

Her catfights were also legendary. I've watched clips countless times of Hilda's classic scraps with the likes of Elsie Tanner, Mrs Walker and Bet Lynch. She always gave good as she got. My mum always said when watching those clips that she remembers women doing exactly that in her home village.

When Bill Podmore became producer in 1976 he decided more humour was needed in Corrie and thus began Corrie's golden age for many. The Ogdens were pivotal to the success of the programme at the time, starring in memorable storylines like installing the 'muriel' in 1976, the seance and the second honeymoon in 1977, the chimney debacle in 1978, the hens in 1979 and various storylines involving Eddie Yeats between 1980 and 1983. When the golden age ended in 1984, it was no coincidence that it coincided with Stan's death.

It was also an end to Hilda in 'classic Hilda' mode. The character softened as all her contemporaries had either died or left - Stan, Elsie, Annie, Len and Eddie. Nobody was interested in her tidbit gossip and her tut-tutting of Rita Fairclough living over the brush with Alan Bradley or Sally and Kevin having sex before marriage was seen as old-fashioned.

When Hilda eventually left the street in 1987, it seemed a natural thing. It was indeed an end of an era. An end to an innocent time. When Hilda left, it seemed Corrie was allowed to change to mirror EastEnders and Brookside with sensational storylines like the Alan/Rita saga and Brian Tilsley's murder.

Corrie has never tried to have another Hilda on the street. Maybe a character like her wouldn't fit in anymore. She belonged to a classic Corrie era which we can look back fondly and rightly so.

Rest in peace, Jean Alexander. Thank you for creating not only a Corrie legend, but a TV legend. That's no mean feat and for that we are forever grateful.




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Coronation Street singers - from Betty Driver to Cath Tyldesley

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

Our blogger Graeme does a fantastic job on his own Carry on Blog - have a look here.  Earlier this week Graeme wrote a blog post, based on something I'd heard on the radio, about Carry On Film stars who had branched out into singing.  You can read it here.

Well, it started me thinking about Coronation Street cast members who had put out a song or two, too.
We know that Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) once released an album under her name of Barbara Mullaney. We blogged about it here.

And there's Betty Driver, of course.

Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) released not one, but five albums!

Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) released an EP called 'Sings And Plays For You' in 1961

Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor) rose to fame as a singer on a reality TV show...

...as did Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor).

Keith Duffy (Ciaran McCarthy) was already a member of boyband Boyzone when he joined Coronation Street.
 
Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) has also been working on releasing his own music. Have a look here.

Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) currently has an album out and a singing gig at the Lowry next month. Have a listen to Rise via the wonders of YouTube below - it's great!



Going back in time, Bill Waddington (Percy Sugden) had a song out at Christmas 1988.
We blogged about it here.


And of course Coronation Street have released various official compilations of the cast singing songs, over the years too.
Coronation Street - The 25th Anniversary Album

  An official album released in 1995
 
Soundtrack from the ill-fated musical.

And let's not forget that writhing, singing sensation Adam Rickett, who played Nicky Platt.
No need to thank me.



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