Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Coronation Street Blog Interviews with Kym Marsh, Simon Gregson, Kate Oates and Erica Stewart

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

I always look forward to my trips to ITV in Manchester, and while yesterday’s was no exception, a rather different prospect lay ahead of me on this occasion. Travelling on behalf of the Coronation Street Blog to view last night's heart rending episode in which Michelle tragically lost baby Ruairi at 23 weeks, I would also be interviewing Kym Marsh, Simon Gregson, producer Kate Oates and Erica Stewart, a Bereavement Support and Awareness Specialist from the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, about the storyline.

While Kym is portraying the experience of her character Michelle, there is an added dimension in that it is a subject very close to home for the actress, having suffered the loss of her own baby Archie eight years ago. Simon Gregson and his wife Emma Gleave also lost a child at 21 weeks and 4 days, so both have lived through the experience.

I’d like to say firstly that this day was handled with such reverence and respect by the people at Corrie, that it was a privilege to be there, and Kate, Kym and Simon spoke with such honesty and conviction about the experience and why they felt this was an important story to portray.

Kym said how glad she was that they chose to do the storyline, a decision which was very much left in her hands. “Kate approached me very early on about the storyline and said to me in no uncertain terms that if I did not want to do this I did not have to do it” she explained, and after speaking with her children, and having a long conversation about it with her Mum, she decided to take it on. “My Mum said to me, ‘What is your gut instinct, because that’s usually the right one.” she explained, continuing, “I said ‘my gut instinct is to do this’, and she said, ‘why?’ and I said, well because I’ve always tried to do my bit for charities that fund research or help people to discuss and talk and heal around baby loss and I felt what better way to raise awareness of this subject and to help people in some way. So that was my reasons behind doing it with the hope that that may happen, and also to honour my son, to be quite frank, because when you lose a baby, it’s not something that ever, ever leaves you.” She continued, “learning to accept what’s happened to you only comes from talking and I think this subject has been very taboo for far too long and I think people should share, because sharing is absolutely imperative to being able to put the pieces of your jigsaw back together somehow, and that’s what I’m hoping people may gain from this.” 

Kym acknowledged the challenge it posed for her, adding, “it was quite tough, but I was absolutely looked after, we both were, from day one.” Kate was very conscious of her duty of care to Kym and Simon considering the circumstances, and there was a psychotherapist on hand for them 24/7. On meeting him for the first time, Kym wasn’t sure what she might need from him. She explained, “in truth, I didn’t know what was in the box til I lifted the lid off. Who knows. It’s been 8 years since my son died.” She continued, “You never get over it but you learn to live with it and you live with that every day and it’s not something that will ever leave. But then diving back in and putting yourself back in that delivery suite, back in that place where you’ve spent years coming out of, I’d no idea where I would be. But it strangely helped me to realise that, actually, I think I’ve accepted that that happened to me. There’ll not be a single day that goes by that I don’t think about him and I will never, never, never get over it, but I accepted that this happened to me and I’m able to talk and I’m able to reach out to other people that have been through those situations.”

Erica added, “It’s something you don’t get over, but it’s something that you don’t want to get over either because if you say, I’m over it, it’s almost being disloyal to your baby that’s died. So I think you speak for a lot of parents, and a lot of parents can identify with Kym, yeah. Beautifully done.”

While Simon talked of it being upsetting to watch the scenes back, they are both so proud of them, and of the crew who Kym described as “outrageously good” adding, “[they] were so respectful throughout the whole thing”. Tony Prescott also received high praise for his direction, and special mention was made of the quality of the scripts, how having Sands on board was brilliant, and how supportive their fellow cast members were.

Kym and Simon also agreed that being as close as they are definitely helped, and that it would have been far more difficult otherwise with Simon explaining, “You’ve got to trust the person you’re with to do such serious subject matter.” Kate watched the episodes with them and welcomed the glimpse it gave her into their working relationship, how they support each other and respect one another’s work.

Kym was consulted a lot through the storyline, and explained, “We wanted to very much show the whole journey and what happens and everything. And although Michelle’s journey is different to Kym’s journey in a lot of ways, it’s also very similar in some ways, but I did have a lot of input in that, because I was allowed to.” Kate added, “I think it was important, because, asking Kym to play it, I wanted to make sure that we got it right, that she could endorse it, that there were no surprises, and that all that fitted.”

Photo: Sands on Twitter
After sitting with Kym to talk through her story, they undertook research which included listening to documentaries and podcasts, reading blogs and forums to pull all different experiences together. Kate explained, “when we put the storyline together I took the quite unusual step of showing Kym the storyline, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. Reading it in storyline form beat by beat before it even hit scripts, before the writers had even had it, Kym read it.”

Simon discussed how the father can feel completely helpless in such a situation, and that Steve’s grief comes afterwards as he prioritises supporting Michelle.

One of the things that shocked me, and which I wasn’t aware of, was that they couldn’t be provided with a birth certificate, as the birth occurred prior to 24 weeks, and this, along with the term ‘late miscarriage’, Kym explains, are genuinely upsetting aspects of the experience for many women. “The other thing that we’ve discussed as well is the terminology” she explains. “The late miscarriage. That was one of the things that really got to me when they called my son a late miscarriage, it really annoyed me, it angered me because I’d just given birth to a baby. I didn’t miscarry my baby, I gave birth to him. Why is there no birth certificate? The clue is in the name, birth certificate. I’ve just given birth. So, why? Because he didn’t survive? Because he was not viable? What is that? When I’m not here anymore, no one will know my baby ever existed, and that’s the thing that upsets a lot of women, I think, is that thing where you can’t have a birth certificate. There are a lot of babies that actually do survive from 22, 23 weeks, they’re allowed a birth certificate, why can’t they have a birth certificate?”

Kate Oates sees this as an opportunity to review the way people talk about and respond to the situation, for example, women knowing what lies ahead for them being able to hear babies crying around them, but resources not being available to care for them in a place more sensitive and suited to their needs. “Let’s all talk about it” she says, “and just reassess because when I was looking at the protocols, and how there have been no change in protocols for late miscarriage, and haven’t for a long time, I found that really surprising because hopefully we’re all growing and evolving, we all talk more all the time, these kinds of discussions are thankfully becoming more commonplace, not commonplace enough, but I was surprised to realise how outdated some of those systems were. This is part of the big point of telling the story.”

There is no doubt that it will have succeeded in its aim to get people talking about the issue, and hopefully lead to a review of how such tragic events are handled. I have the utmost respect for Kym Marsh, Simon Gregson, and all the team at Corrie for having the courage to take this on, for giving such an intense, powerful and sensitive portrayal, for the thought and consideration that has gone into the story, and the respect and dignity with which it was treated, performed and depicted. It was a genuine privilege to have watched it, and to have been able to meet them to talk about it yesterday. 

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes

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Conversation Street Podcast 235

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

It was a tough week on Coronation Street for Michelle and Steve with an amazing performance by Kym Marsh. Michael and Gemma discuss the issues in detail and wonder what's next for the MacDonalds. Andy does Phelan's bidding again, Chesney swerves a night out with Sinead while Eva uses a secret to blackmail Peter. A character profile on Suzi Birchill is next and there is news and feedback as always.

Remember, you can also listen to Conversation Street on iTunes (leave a fab review if you do!)

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Coronation Street immortalised in new Manchester art

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Copyright: Jean Hobson
Jean Hobson is one very talented woman.  Through her drawings, prints and paintings Jean has created a sensitive record and study of the transformation of Manchester. 

Her work naturally involves Coronation Street and Jean has created some wonderful works of art. All of the prints are hand printed silk screen prints, which she's printed and now has for sale.   

Have a look at the Manchester Screen prints here.

The main print above, 'Coronation Street' is printed in black on a grey board. The image size is 320 x 260mm, mount size 500 x 400mm (fits standard frame). These are priced at £95 each mounted and including postage. 

Copyright: Jean Hobson

Copyright: Jean Hobson

The smaller prints 'Rovers Return' and 'Roys Rolls' are printed in black on a white good quality paper.
Image size 125 x 175mm, Mount size 210x 300mm (Again will fit into a standard frame)
Priced at £25 each mounted and including postage.

For full details have a look at Jean's website: http://www.jeanhobson.com

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Michelle, Steve and the miscarriage storyline

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

These are the new pictures just released by ITV Coronation Street showing the emotional scenes between Steve and Michelle as they head home from hospital after the trauma of Michelle's late miscarriage.

Coronation Street are working with Sands - the stillbirth and neonatal death charity - on this storyline.  The Sands website is here.

Kym Marsh said: “I thought long and hard before agreeing to take on the challenge of this storyline. It is obviously a cause very close to my heart having lost my beautiful Archie at 21 weeks and 5 days. I discussed it with my family and friends, all of who were very supportive.

“In the end I felt it was an important story to tell in order to raise awareness of something which affects thousands of women every year.

“I have had to go to some very dark places in my mind whilst filming these heart-breaking scenes but my family, friends and colleagues have been incredible. Losing a child is something that never leaves you so to revisit those feelings as Michelle has been challenging.

“Coronation Street ensured that I had a counsellor on set at all times to go to after filming the scenes but for me the best tonic after a hugely emotional day was to go home to my kids and be reminded of how lucky I am to have them.

“I am very proud of what we have done with this storyline and I hope it helps raise awareness and helps people to talk about their own experiences.”

Coronation Street producer Kate Oates said: “The subject of miscarriage will always be sensitive; but telling this story with Simon and Kym at the centre would always have an extra poignancy. Through careful writing and research, we hope we are able to encourage discussion, understanding and compassion for those viewers affected by the loss of a baby. The cast were in safe hands with our amazing and empathetic director Tony Prescott, and it has been humbling to see all the actors involved being so selfless and generous in their performances.”

Erica Stewart, Bereavement Support and Awareness Specialist at Sands, said: “We’re pleased to have been approached by the researchers and writers at Coronation Street for advice and help to ensure that this heart-breaking storyline, that will see character Michelle have a late miscarriage at 23 weeks, is portrayed truthfully and sensitively.

“Miscarriage, which is the death of a baby in the first 23 weeks of pregnancy, is not rare. Sadly, it affects 200,000 couples each year in the UK, with most pregnancies ending in the first 12 weeks.

“The death of a baby later than this, but before 24 weeks when the baby’s death becomes a stillbirth, raises many issues. Bereaved mothers of babies who die later in pregnancy but before 24 weeks don’t have the same rights to maternity leave or pay as mothers of stillborn babies, and the baby’s death is not formally registered.

“At Sands, we know how distressing this can be when there is no legal document to say that the baby ever existed. We support anyone affected by the death of a baby, from when they find out their baby has died through to the weeks, months and years ahead.

“We applaud our fellow baby loss charities, such as the Miscarriage Association and Tommy’s, who are involved in campaigning to raise awareness of miscarriage and funding research into its causes.

“For a TV drama like Coronation Street to cover this devastating experience is a brilliant way of raising awareness of the issues surrounding a baby’s death at any gestation.

“The death of a baby is rarely talked about. Many people shy away from the issue, others have a misconception that this is a thing of the past.

“We hope that with a TV drama as popular as Coronation Street covering this heart breaking experience, it will help to lift the taboo, and raise awareness of all the issues that surround the death of a baby.”

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Corrie Canada Weekly Awards Jan. 20 - 24

The Godfather award: Robert's impression of Don Corleone!

Impossible dreams award: Robert fancies a married, pregnant Michelle.

Four hanky award: Michelle and Steve's tragic week was heart wrenching even if the actors hadn't been through similar in their own lives. That dose of reality made this very hard to watch. Utmost respect for both actors.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia award: Sinead has a phobia about Friday the 13th.

Lines of the week:
Gemma "I was playing Putrid" Rita "Cupid" (HA!)
Eva about Toyah "I know her type. Barking out all orders then basking in all the pigging glory"
Kevin "How'dyou think dipping into the petty cash for Hope last year helped, eh? I wouldn't mind only she isn't even yours!" Tyrone "It's not the first time I've raised a kid that wasn't mine"
Gemma "I've done it on the top of a bus shelter and let me tell you, I couldn't have cared less about those people on the top deck of the 1-4-3!
Gemma "A six foot kebab? I'd be more worried it was going to eat you than feed you"
Liz "Grieving is a lonely, lonely place"

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Coronation Street red carpet pics from NTAs

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

Here are some of the red carpet pictures taken last night as the Coronation Street cast made their way into the National Television Awards. 

Faye Brookes won the only award for Corrie last night when she was given the gong for Best Serial Drama Newcomer.


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Faye Brookes wins Best Newcomer Award at the NTAs

Faye Brookes was awarded the Best Newcomer gong at the National Television Awards, held last night.  The NTAs were hosted by Dermot Leary and shown live on ITV on Wednesday 25 January.

Faye, who plays the role of Kate Connor in Coronation Street, was up against stiff competition to win the award.

Congratulations to her!

Corrie was beaten to the award of Best Serial Drama (aka Best Soap) by Emmerdale.

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Exclusive inteview with Conversation Street - the Corrie podcast

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Exclusive interview with Conversation Street - the Corrie podcast
Today we have an interview with Gemma and Michael, the lovely people behind Conversation Street - the Coronation Street podcast.  As with all great fan sites their podcast is a real labour of love. I asked Gemma and Michael all about their podcast and here's what they said!

Why did you start the podcast - and how long has it been going?
We'd both been listening to a variety of podcasts for a few years. Michael started listening to podcasts about the TV show Lost, which made us wonder whether there was one for Coronation Street - turns out there wasn't any more (although there had been one at The Soap Show for many years called Word on the Street which Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda contributed to weekly).

After many of our own conversations that we thought could have made it onto a podcast, we decided to start one for real. It all came together during the summer holidays of 2012, after a long trip back from Cornwall where we bashed out all our ideas, including the perfect podcast name, and it's been going ever since!

Gemma from Conversation Street having a conversation in the, er, Street
How long does the podcast take you to do each week?
It takes both of us the duration of each episode for one thing, as we need to take notes. With lots of pausing and rewinding to catch things, that can take up to 40 minutes per Corrie sometimes. Each episode also has a large amount of prep to do beforehand too, including browsing Corriepedia for the weekly 'This week in Corrie history' segment; researching for whichever character profile or feature discussion we'll be having; looking around the web for the latest Corrie news (most of which is thankfully collated by the Coronation Street Blog!) and gathering listener feedback from emails, Facebook messages and tweets. When we come to record, each episode usually takes between one and a half and three hours, then it's onto the editing and uploading process - maybe another hour or so. All in all, we guess that adds up to around ten hours a week - certainly not a small job!

Which Corrie cast members and those behind the scenes have you interviewed so far?

We've had a number of interviews over the years with fans, including Corrie expert Mark Llewellyn, fan artist Paul Lanagan, Jack 'Lego Corrie' Lewin and of course, the Coronation Street Blog's own Glenda Young. When we went up to see the Coronation Street Tour at the old studios, we were also lucky enough to be able to chat with some of the tour guides there. Our biggest coup, though, has been being able to have the lovely Sally-Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, onto the show for two interviews. She was incredibly generous with her time, and we were so excited to be able to chat with one of our favourite actors on the podcast!

Michael from Conversation Street looking very shifty by the builders' yard

Have you ever been told secrets and spoilers you've had to cut out from the podcast?
We've spoken, off the record, to one or two actors and staff members at Corrie who've told us things we've had to keep secret! We've even got a whole interview with one person that's full of juicy details that we were eventually unable to share. It's hard to keep some things a secret, but you'll never get us to spill!

Your annual Coronation Street Awards are great fun, is there a good fan reaction to them online?

There certainly is! We like to open the voting up to Corrie fans, as we feel the final results shouldn't be down to us, and there have been some people who've been quite vocal in campaigning for their favourite characters! We also try to tag in as many of the actors as we can on Twitter when we publicise each award, so they can get their fans involved too. We like to think that the awards' cheeky names and trophy pictures help give them the edge over other soap awards, too! The response to this year's results in particular has been overwhelming - the bulk of it came while we were trying to take notes for an episode of Coronation Street, and our Twitter notifications were going crazy! (What a taste of fame!)

If you had one wish for the podcast, what would it be for 2017?
We're waiting by the phone for Kate Oates to invite us to the writers' room to heckle everybody in person! (In all honesty, the chance to visit the studios themselves would be incredible!)

Running a fan site is a labour of love and a great deal of hard work. Do you ever feel like putting your feet up and wallowing when Corrie comes on instead of taking notes and reporting on it every week? (I know I do!)

Absolutely! As much as we love Corrie, writing down everything that everybody says and does can get quite tedious; however, we're so proud of everything we've achieved with the podcast, so we guess it's worth it in the end!

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We are great fans of Conversation Street here at the Bluenose Corrie Blog and we post a link to the podcast as soon as it matches up with the Canadian air date.

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Sunday Comments January 29

Simon keeps running into Peter and Toyah together and he hates it because he has to lie to his mother. He found Peter's cigs and Leanne ended up assuming they were his. All he had to say was that his Dad dropped in and forgot them. Eva and Toyah did finally make a truce but I don't think they'll ever be best mates, especially now that Eva has wheedled the secret out of Simon about Toyah and Peter.

I really do think Toyah was kind of letting everyone else do a lot of the baby shower work, she was certainly avoiding Eva's calls even though they were supposed to be working together and now that Eva knows about Toyah and Peter, her level of disrespect has overflowed into contempt.

On to the shower and everyone seemed to be taking pains trying to get Audrey to say the magic word, "baby" to get her drunk on shots! Loved how Audrey carefully sprayed perfume over her shoulder at Gemma who stank of onions from the kebab shop! It got to the point that Audrey was setting herself up! And come on, who hires a stripper for a baby shower? I've never seen that in all my days going to baby showers. Never been to one in a pub either, come to that. Eva finally confronted Toyah in the ladies' room and she admitted it. Eva is angry but she's going to have to keep the secret due to Leanne's blood pressure.

Robert's excuses about Steph's friend kind of rang hollow. That's because he really does fancy someone else, someone they all know and it's Michelle! He took the food samples over to the pub for approval. Michelle dragged it out of him, asking about the date and he's definitely sending some kind of signals. He couldn't resist, he had to come back later during the baby shower to talk to her. She was definitely picking up signals and asked him about it. Just came out and said it. Do you fancy me? She was shocked when he admitted it. And you know, i never thought Steve and Michelle were suited. Michelle might be self centred, almost as much as Tracy, but she's most definitely kinder than Tracy and Maybe these two would make a good couple.

It's a moot point now, though, because Michelle doubled over and is losing fluid. She didn't want Steve to know while he was off playing golf but Liz called him when Sean told her and now everyone else nows. In the hospital, she's scared stiff as you would be. Leanne's trying hard to keep her steady but her being pregnant, she's identifying. what if this had been her? Steve got there in good time. There's a heartbeat. They're going to keep her in for antibiotics. Meanwhile, Leanne is really feeling Michelle's worry. Nick is only concerned what happens if Michelle loses the baby. What does it mean for Leanne's baby and them?

Back at the hospital, it's going to be a long night. Neither Michelle nor Steve is going to get any sleep. The next day, Michelle goes into labour. Oh, that's not good. They can't stop the labour, they will do what they can if the baby does breathe but it looks like it won't. Michelle has to give birth knowing her baby will probably not survive. Steve was furious that she was blaming herself and could hear all the babies crying on the ward. She gave birth and the baby didn't make it. At home, Liz lit a candle, remembering her own baby Katy, born too soon and Leanne sobbed, cradling her own baby bump.

It was interesting to see Liz without makeup, pale and washed out, sitting in front of the mirror knowing she is on her way to see Michelle and Steve. Here's what's difficult. The law in the U K says they can't have a birth certificate because he was less than 24 weeks gestated. No death certificate either but that birth certificate is proof that he existed and it's kind of a slap in the face when you've actually given birth. As Michelle says "he existed" and she went off in a rage to sort it only it couldn't be sorted. Turns out the midwife went through the same thing. They said goodbye to their wee son, each in their own way.

It's heartbreaking to watch and moreso because I know that Kym Marsh went through exactly the same thing a couple of years ago and Simon Gregson's wife has had multiple miscarriages. They have both been though this for real and there was a lot more there than just acting. I think they were very brave to go through with this and I have utmost respect for them.

Billy's asked Roy to hire Shona. Roy's explanations of all the ways to cook eggs and bacon is a bit intimidating but it looks like Shona's willing to take on the challenge. Todd tried to get the job, too but he was too late. In other news, Billy's got his church back but he's going to stay living at the Grimshaw house as a "lodger" (just if anyone asks).

Aidan has his lawyer involved regarding Adam's claims and he thinks it might be cheaper to pay him off. Eva was horrified that everything could be lost at the factory. Well she can do something about it. She went straight to Peter and straight to the jugular. Back off the factory or she'll tell. I think she'll get results. Even Toyah can see the merit in it. Michelle's pregnancy scare (and she doesn't know the half of it) brought a reality check to Toyah who knows it could just as easily have been Leanne and it's just not worth it. Peter's going to back off. I don't know if he can convince Adam to, though.

Alya really encouraged Rana to tell Zeedan how she really feels about having a baby just yet. She took Alya's advice and was honest with him. Zeedan was ok with Rana's confession, he agreed to wait until they were both ready. Maybe he is ready to make peace with Alya after finding out she encouraged Rana's honesty.

Dev is getting very antsy about the money Sharif took from the gym accounts. It shouldn't be up to Zeedan to pay Dev back. It shouldn't be up to any of the family members. I guess helping out at the gym for no pay is helping, not sure how. On the plus side, the kebab shop is doing well! so well that the staff can have a free can of pop! At least Zeedan had the grace to thank Alya for talking to Rana. How long will that thaw last is anyone's guess at this point.

The next thing we know, the bailiffs are carting gym equipment away in lieu of what? because the gym hasn't been paying the rent? the VAT? Yes, Sharif took money from the account and hasn't paid it back. Zeedan thought he could get the fancy machine to take to the bailiffs. She won't let him and he's unforgiving. Dev gave Chesney his car keys to pretend the car doesn't belong to him. I don't know if the bailiffs could take non-business related goods but perhaps they can. It's a fuzzy area, something I don't really know about.

So Dev has to scramble to make the other businesses bring in a bit more money. Just the other day he told Chesney and Gemma that the kebab shop takings were up. I guess he needs to feed the 5000 to turn more profit.

Beth is off looking after her mother who had a nasty fall. But at least it was cushioned by all the clothes she shoplifted! Sinead's right. Chesney really doesn't have a sense of humour. He's always been a grumpy old man in a young man's body! He really didn't want to go out nightclubbing with Sinead and Kirk so he jumped at the chance of swopping shifts with Gemma but Sinead wasn't too happy about it. Odd, I would have thought she'd be going to the baby shower, too. Gemma told Sinead what he did for her and Sinead was furious and she went gunning for Chesney. Poor Daniel didn't know which way to look but he didn't leave, either. Probably didn't get his food yet i guess. But the fight was nasty and it ended up with ketchup squirted on Chesney. Deliberately.

Sinead did apologize to Daniel the next day. I wonder if they're setting those two up? He turned up in the kebab shop looking for a book and ran into Sinead there, too. Chesney and Sinead seem to have made up but it wasn't very passionate. He even told Gemma they'd been together too long for all that hot makeup sex. Pah. What did I tell you? He's boring and he knows it.

I don't think Tyrone should have been telling the rest of the staff all about Kevin's financial woes and that he tapped into the tax account to pay the medical bills. It's none of their business. Literally. Other than Tyrone of course, it's his business, too. Freddie had a good idea. Offer valeting on cars separately from having them fixed. Kevin didn't want to know, he was rather dismissive wasn't he? And he was horrible to Tyrone about Hope's expenses.

Phelan insisted that Andy take delivery of Kevin's new two truck and he had to scramble to nick a pair of overalls. He couldn't get them straight away but after Tyrone and Kevin argued he managed to slip in and nick one. Phelan has set up a meeting for Andy to pick up the tow truck and sell it on, even has a fake id done up for him. Pat in the flat with Steph was an extra incentive to go through with it. He did and assuming he handed over the cash, Phelan intends on using him to get him more money. He seems intent on getting revenge on Kevin but for what? Because he doesn't like him? Because he shouted at him once or twice?

Meanwhile, as a result of Kevin using garage money for Sophie's medical bills, Kevin and Tyrone are still bickering, this time over a stapler of all things. At least Fiz and Anna forced them to talk it out. They did and they shook but then Kevin took a call from the people that sold him the truck asking how everything is. Of course, Kevin doesn't have it and someone else signed for it. Now he realizes it's been stolen!

Bethany has finished the exams she swerved, apparently and now wants to start a course in beauty studies. Sarah is in a bad mood over the breakup with Gary no matter what she insists. That Nathan is still lurking around the Street, now he's managed to get Bethany to distribute his business flyers though he made it seem like it was her idea.

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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Coronation Street Blog Book gets five star reviews

Two five star reviews have been recieved for our sister blog's Coronation Street Blog Book and we couldn't be more pleased!  Absolutely chuffed that fans are enjoying reading the book as much as the blog team there enjoyed writing it.

Here are the reviews taken from Amazon today.

Our blogger Emma has written a lovely blog post all about the process of being included in such a wonderful book.  You can read Emma's words here.

And find out more about the Coronation Street Blog book here.

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In praise of Steve McDonald

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Guest blog post from Coronation Street fan Rob Coates.
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!

Steve McDonald. Lazy? Layabout? Lothario? Just a few words that spring to mind when the name is mentioned. Ok, perhaps lothario is pushing it, though he's certainly had his share of lovers since he first walked the cobbles as a teenager back in 1989. But cast your mind back to the 90s and you'll find Steve was quite a different character to the one we know and love today.

Steve married Alec Gilroy's granddaughter, Vicky, in an attempt to get to her inheritance. In those days, he was very much driven by cash. He said he loved her, of course, but he's said that so many times in his life, we've all lost count (he managed to fall out of love with Michelle, in love with Becky, out of love with Becky and then back in love with Michelle again!)

But cash was his driving force back in the day and amongst wooing Vicky and selling stolen car radios, he tried his hand a printing t-shirts. He was a grafter. It seemed, at least to me, that back then, the producers were priming him to be the next Mike Baldwin (unfortunately, Mike discovered he had a family he'd forgotten to mention for 30 and they ended up running Underworld). But by the late 90's, Steve had lost all interest in money.

Or perhaps he just grew up. Either way, he turned into the man who runs two businesses whilst barely seeming to lift a finger. Except to reach for the tin of biscuits in the cab office.

But perhaps it was his love-life that got in the way of his mission to be the highest paid CEO of t-shirt printing in Greater Manchester. He has, of course, been married six times. Which is quite a lot for someone only just on the wrong side of 40. One might call him the Elizabeth Taylor of Weatherfield. Or the Gail Potter Tilsley Tilsley Platt Hillman McIntyre Rodwell of Weatherfield. But that sounds ridiculous. And would be slightly confusing.

So, Steve dabbled with big business, went to prison, married 73 different people, bought a taxi firm, bought his mum a pub and fathered Rosemary's Baby. Sorry, Tracey's baby (the delightful Amy. Which I think should be her actual name: The Delightful Amy. I can just see her laughing mischievously in a cloak).

But Steve's lowest time came when he was diagnosed with depression. Luckily, it was cured within eight weeks. And, as quickly as the writers moved on, so shall we.

For someone who has been so busy, perhaps Steve has the right to steal every scene he appears in by looking like he just got up from the couch after picking at his feet. Running two businesses seems remarkably stress-free. Who knew?

With thanks for this guest blog post from Coronation Street fan Rob Coates.

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Friday, 27 January 2017

What Zeedan Knows

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

Another great guest blog post from Coronation Street fan Rob Coates.  Rob recently wrote for us In Praise of Steve McDonald.

This time Rob writes about Zeedan Nazir and his words are poetic.

What Zeedan Knows
With that constant scowling look, Zeedan Nazir definitely Knows Something.
What he knows, nobody knows.
Even when he has nothing to know, he definitely Knows Something.
But what could it be that he Knows?
Perhaps he Knows how a constantly empty kebab shop manages to produce an increase in profits.
Perhaps he Knows that Rita is planning on charging an extra five pence per quarter of Midget Gems.
Perhaps he Knows the reason why Kevin doubled the size of the garage without needing to take on any extra staff.
So, I imagine, as Qasim Akhtar steps from his dressing room - make-up ladies flitting about him applying last-minute touches of powder to his face - as his long, flowing fur coat is removed gently from his shoulders, he steps on set.
His brow sufficiently furrowed, eyes narrowed and his lips thinner than Eva's waist, the director sees he is ready and shouts "action!"
Because in this scene, there is something that Zeedan Knows.
What does he Know?
We may never know.

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In praise of Coronation Street's miscarriage storyline

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

I'm still upset and reeling after watching last night's Coronation Street.

I watched it later than it was broadcast as I was out at an event. And when I came home and did a quick check of social media before turning off my phone that was when I saw the comments. Our blogging team had called it the most harrowing episode of Coronation Street they'd ever seen and plaudits had been given to Simon Gregson and Kym Marsh.

I braced myself as the theme tune started, this was not going to be a cosy Corrie ride.

Kym Marsh and Simon Gregson have both been through the agony of losing babies in real life. There was so much more than acting going on in last night's Corrie and I know I can't have been the only fan in tears.

Yes, Corrie must win awards for this storyline, for the way it was directed, shot and written. But much more than that, is how amazing Kym and Simon were for sharing their grief on screen, going through it all again.  Corrie have been supported by the neonatal death and still birth charity Sands.

Our blogger Emma was present at the press conference yesterday at ITV at which Kym and Simon and Sands were speaking about this storyline. I'm sure that Emma's words will convey a great sense from behind-the-scenes.

Well done to Coronation Street for tackling this storyline, and well done especially to Kym Marsh and Simon Gregson in what has been one of the most incredible episodes of the show I've seen in years. Crikey, I'm filling up again just thinking about it all.

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