(This post was originally posted by Tvor on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)
This week marks another first for Coronation Street. It slipped by almost unnoticed but was marked on Twitter by the superb Corriepedia.
This week, Corrie became the world record holder for the longest serial drama on television, passing the American soap Guiding Light.
The Guiding Light was created by a woman called Irna Philips who also created and wrote for many other soaps and serials, first on radio and then for television including several top ratings ones. My personal favourite was Another World which aired from 1964 to 1999. As The World Turns ran from 1956 to 2010. Ms. Phillips was also a writer for Days of our Lives which is still broadcast daily since the mid 1960s and she was a consultant on the popular Peyton Place in the 1960s.
You may remember that in 2010 just before Corrie's 50th anniversary, William Roache took the crown for longest continuous serving actor in a role away from Don Hastings who played Bob Hughes on As the World Turns (not Guiding Light as I had originally posted. Sorry!) from October 1960 until the series' final episode on September 17, 2010. You can see where Roache's dates were very similar, his starting point being December 9, 1960. In November, the calendar turned over in Roache's favour.
The Guiding Light actually started it's life as a 15 minute radio serial in 1937 and moved to television in June, 1952 though it continued on radio as well until 1956. It was actually cancelled twice for several months each time but was brought back by popular demand. Another actress on As The World Turns, Helen Wagner, holds the record for longest serving actor in a role, having had hers since 1956 but she had left the show for several years so her tenure is not continuous like Hastings' and Roache's were/are. Eileen Derbyshire is next on that list. I don't think it counts for absences for medical or personal leave when the actor is still technically on the cast list.
Congratulations, Corrie, you are king of the soap/serial drama world!
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter