Many characters in Coronation Street are instantly recognisable because of the jobs they do. Rita for instance is and forever will be linked to that Kabin counter and the endless proffering of aniseed balls and pineapple cubes to the toothless residents of Weatherfield. Audrey has, since the days she gave Hilda Ogden a dodgy rinse in Alf's front parlour, been synonymous with standing behind various be-wigged characters, somehow miraculously cutting their barnets with scissors about a mile away from their heads. And Roy's Rolls wouldn't be Roy's Rolls without...Roy!
|Craig Tinker they are not!|
BPack's over-bearing, interfering, pedantic council work is supposed to be light relief in amongst the more serious fare Corrie have been feeding us of late. I'm all for a bit of light and shade but I draw the line at BPack brandishing his little litter pincher across Roy's counter display of cream horns and fancies. Hygiene completely out the window and running down the road faster than Phelan's new daughter.
It strikes me that there are certain rules that always seem to apply to Coronation Street characters where the world of work is concerned. And here they are:
1. Everyone must work within at least spitting distance of their own front door. Nobody waits on at Delphine's or The Clock anymore. Jobs only ever materialise at the Bistro. Nobody ever ventures to the Trafford Centre for a job, they just add themselves to the payroll in the Underworld Packing Department.
|Liz hopes Moira will like her new look|
3. Characters move between jobs and take on new jobs with alarming speed. Last Wednesday Liz was all moist-eyed in the back room, bemoaning the end of her days in the hot pot kingdom and then with the briefest flourish of a pair of specs she was off to the Medical Centre to grapple with the appointments system. Gina Seddon got a job in packing with Kirk while the ink was still drying on the script which saw Sally find that heart in a box. And Queen of the Job Swaps is Michelle, although to be fair, she did sleep her way to the top of Victoria Court first.
|Michelle settles in behind the Bistro bar|
5. Characters will always make bizarre, not even in the world of soap is this acceptable, career choices. Look at Toyah Battersby, the beiged-down version. I get that she loves Peter Barlow, well I don't get it but I can see she's smitten. Despite this, she had a successful career as a therapist in Liverpool although once making the move back to Weatherfield, does she pick this up again, no she settles for the odd shift slopping out half pints to Norris in the Rovers. Back to Michelle again. Why does she persist in taking on customer-facing roles when she has the people skills of Rosa Klebb (she of the knife/shoe combo in James Bond) and the temperament of Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie. And as for Dev, would you ever set foot in that Corner Shop knowing he'd be lurking behind the product placement cash machine and before you can reach for the gin? Maggie Clegg he is not!
|Dev's Service at its finest|
I will finish with some of the Corrie employment pairings which have really made my heart sing. I still pine for the days when Gail and Alma worked together behind the counter of the dirty old caff. I still long for the delicious foursome of Annie, Fred, Bet and Betty at the Rovers, with Hilda popping up in her tabard when you least expected it. Mike Baldwin will always be King of the Faktry, Alf Roberts' spirit is always in that grocer's white coat at the Corner Shop and Rita and Mavis were the Kabin Queens. I still take pleasure in seeing Norris mither away over his liquorice torpedoes; from seeing Gemma in her Eurovision-esque Kebab shop outfit and of course from seeing Roy dither gently in his cardigan as he feeds the faces of folk.
|No caption required...|
By Graeme Naylor
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter