Sunday 26 April 2009

Sunday Comments, April 25

Lines of the week:
  • Vernon to Michelle "I know she's left you in the lurch but as lurchers go, I think my lurch beats your lurch"
  • Tony "I'll deal with the grease monkey" (you figure?)
  • Blanche about Ken "They'll have given him the Most Pointless Graduate Award"
  • Roy "The Tower of Babel babbles on as never before"
  • Maria to Liam about the jukebox "(put)Take That and Kylie (on the juke) or we're swopping that for a dishwasher!"
  • Becky "Living with a top bloke. Working for a top bird, and i've done the dirty on them both. Good job i'm a good liar"
  • Carla about Rosie "If she had an idea it would die of loneliness"
Poor Becky, that was some hangover! She might have a sick stomach but it didn't stop her snogging the tonsils out of Jason. Poor Roy, he just can live with his own morals and disapproval and he's getting on my nerves. He says he's worried about Becky getting hurt but it's not about that. Becky doesn't see that she is putting herself in the line of fire, working in the pub, i do agree with that but she figures she can handle it. Poor Ken having to work with Becky and Roy and ducking the line of fire. But words get said in the heat of anger. Roy lost his temper which is rare for him and Becky lost her rag completely. Looks like their lovely friendship might be broken completely! She said some things that will be hard to take back. I think Roy realizes that down deep, she doesn't really think he and Hayley are freaks and at least they both apologized but it's going to take some time, as well, and space. Roy has many good qualities but his moral high horse is not one of them. He's very judgemental.

Poor Vernon, humming Kenny Rogers' Lucille (You picked a fine time to leave me....) and he's really bitter and lashing out and no wonder. And then he was at the mercy of Blanche's acid tongue wondering if Vernon's laziness or Liz's strumpet-ness was the crucial factor in the break up. I don't know why Michelle was so upset and nice to Vernon, she didn't really like him all that much. But Good on Lloyd, what a nice bloke!

Poor Norris. He's looking at his whole livelihood being yanked out from under. I don't see what he's got to fuss about, though, he stands to make a bit of money at least. He could start himself up in another little business all of his own. And he couldn't keep a secret if his life depended on it. Have i said lately how much i detest that tosser? Now that Kevin knows that Rita has accepted the deal in theory and why Tony wants to buy him out, he's even more resentful. Little guy stands up to the big bully, that's Kevin. What's he going to do if he finds out Tony has been sweetening up Rosie to spy on her father for him?

Poor Tony. He thinks Kevin is going to be a pushover in Tony's quest to buy out the neighbourhood. It doesn't look like it's going to be as smooth as Tony hoped. You just know that if he waves money and status under Sally's nose, she'll be on board but Kevin could very well just dig his heels in. Now she's going to nag the life out of him. Tony then uses Tyrone's dimwittedness to get an evaluation of the garage. Tony's next move will be to get Rosie on board too. Carla's realized just how ruthless Tony can be and though she argued with Tony when he sacked Sean, she did back him up, knowing she couldn't really put him in that position of weakness. she didn't like it though, especially when he wouldn't give Sean a second chance. Will he wait and make decisions with her in future? Doubt it. But it's going to push her away.

Having said that, why on earth would Sean take the risk of skiving off when he's already under warning from Tony. He was really pushing the envelope and now that Marcus has quit his job, it's almost as if Sean wants to get sacked and that's exactly what happened. And you know what? He deserved to get sacked. He'd been warned and he went on merrily doing what he wanted to do, figuring he was untouchable. But nobody was willing to man the barricades for him. They're a funny lot, sometimes they support the person that got sacked and sometimes they don't.

Liam has a new toy, a jukebox and a new business partner, his cousin Tom. Well, they would be partners if they would only stop messing around and playing like children. Liam puts up the money, Tom does the website but unless they're selling beer and board games, they're going to have trouble.

Good heavens, Teresa is throwing smoking ciggie buts on the top of Sally's conservatory. There's going to be war! (and pretending she's only had the one when there were dozens on the roof!) She's also pretending to be taking care of Jerry when she's persuading him to pour beer down his throat. Mel is right to be concerned that Teresa's stories are all lies.

And that's it from me for a few weeks. I'm on me holidays. Catch you at the end of the month!

Sunday 19 April 2009

Sunday Comments, April 18

Lines of the week:
  • Amber "Would you cop off with someone who was projectile vomiting?"
  • Becky "Funny (card) is what you send a mate. If it were soppy, you'd have cause to worry"
  • Teresa watching telly "Airing all their dirty linen in public...Some folk have no shame" (pot? kettle?)
  • Janice "Leanne's been sacked for sleeping with Steve" Dan "You wot???" Leanne "Let me rephrase that!"
  • Teresa "It were like giving birth to an articulated lorry!"
  • Michelle "This is another lie, isn't it?" Lloyd "Would I make up something like that?" (um... yes.)
  • Nelson "Some things you can't do with a broken 'eart"
  • Vernon to Liz "It's me that's wrong for you" Liz "Yeah"
  • Sally to Kevin "I remember asking you before we moved have you checked the loft!" (Too late!)
  • Rita "Things change, Norris" Norris "Usually a woman's mind!"
Michelle overheard an unfortunately intimate conversation between Leanne and Steve. Why didn't she confront Leanne if she thinks Leanne and Steve got it on? She was ready to tear someone to bits so why would she wait hours and hours to do it? Well it wouldn't have been as good a scene if it hadn't been done in public. First she treats the pub like it's hers and then she fires Leanne when it's not her place. Thing is, Leanne really was with Dan in the hospital all that night and it can be proven. With Michelle throwing all of Leanne's past at her bitterly, she's only made herself look foolish. Having said all that, Michelle does have the right to be royally pissed because Steve *did* cheat on her, but she'd be better off waiting for Steve to come back and tearing a strip off him! Liz finally hollered at Michelle but it didn't matter, Leanne isn't coming back to work so they're down a barmaid again. Can you believe Lloyd? He's just as bad as Steve! He made matters worse by saying Steve is planning a proposal and secret wedding and bought a huge rock and boy Steve's not going to be happy when he finds that out. What's even worse, everyone is going to know about it before he does!

And in the meantime, there's Becky trying not to let the secret out and Roy is definitely caught in the middle. To make matters worse, Michelle has hired on Becky!!! Again, how has she got the authority to hire and fire? Michelle can't life a crate from the cellar? Why is she working in a pub? I realize they have pot men to do the heavy work but most of the barmaids that have ever worked there could heft a crate or two as well. Michelle asked Sean to come in and help and he got caught. I was right. Tony is at least as tough a taskmaster as Mike Baldwin.

The partiers sure have their work cut out for them, cleaning up all that mess but they both left Ted to do it! I'd be calling in the emergency Maid service! I love that Ted calls Audrey up on her attitude when she gets on her high horse. Marcus has chucked in his job and Sean seems a bit shocked when he was encouraging it in the first place.

Vernon has a plan. He wants to buy his mate's bar and he and Liz can do it over and run it as a live venue. It's a big financial committment. It's an even bigger personal one. She's already going off him, you can tell and he knows it, too. She only wanted to see the bar because she was fed up with all the aggro under the Rovers' roof. Michelle looked pretty pleased that Vernon might be moving out! Did you recognize the fellow that played Vernon's mate, Nelson? He was in The Full Monty! Anyway, Liz is right. Live music isn't always as easy to keep drawing the punters in as it seems. She's been around the pub and bar business a lot longer than Vernon. I think Nelson's words about her and Vernon and the bar being a match made in heaven struck a nerve. But what it really comes down to is does she want to be on her own with Vernon, no buffers, no friends, when she is starting to realize that she never should have married him. And the answer is... no! And after all this time of disliking Vernon, he's grown on me and i feel quite sorry for him. She's right, she never should have married him, we all know that. It's not that she wants Jim, either, but they really weren't suited. What surprised me is that he tried to convince her they were great together when he's definitely had his suspicions that she's been pulling away. He does love her though he's being very sarcastic now because he's very hurt. Harry's now heard the gossip now, though and his radar is up and ready to comfort the newly single woman. I gotta say i think Harry and Liz make a better couple anyway but Clarissa is still hovering around but Deirdre isn't backward in coming forward in pointing out he fancies Liz. Well now it's Liz's turn to take off on holiday without any notice. How on earth do they manage to keep that bar staffed?

Happy Birthday, Jason! Eileen put posters all over! Jason wondered how Maria knew. Well we are supposed to think the posters told her but remember, she used to date Jason, didn't she? Tony's looking to expand the factory. Sounds like he wants to buy out the Kabin and the garage. Wonder if he'll succeed? He's making the deal pretty sweet. Norris is definitely not interested but Rita seems amenable. I thought they were equal partners but she must have the major interest because otherwise it would have to be a mutual decision. Jason didn't want Becky because it was going to fast but once she dumped him, he's panting at her skirts and can't get away from her. She's quite happy about it really, she really seems to fancy him and played it cool th is time around until he came back. Roy of course, is not happy because Jason's still married and Roy's high horse leaves no room for flexibility of circumstances.

Wait a minute... Sally was moaning about Claire claiming the "Lowry" even though it was found in her (Sally's) house. But last week, she said "finders keepers" and before they knew the concert programs were worth a lot, they were rubbish and even Kevin said it was none of their business how much they were worth. Then pop concert programs turned out to be a little goldmine and it'll pay for the extra electric work and a new kitchen! I wonder if both families changed the locks on the doors? Ashley wanted Claire to keep schtum about it but two goading sentences and a smug attitude from Sally had Claire shoving the cheque in her face, gloating right back and all of a sudden even Kevin is on board moaning. You know they're really savaged Claire's personality. She might have been a little bossy but she was never a Sally wannabe. Oh God, Sally practically accused Claire of stealing from them when they were moving back out again! What a cow!!! Claire might be a wannabe but she's got some ways go to before she catches up with Sally! At least Kevin and Ashley have stayed friends.

By gosh, that Teresa is a treat! She's sooooo awful isn't she? Offering to treat Darryl to lunch and then taking money out of the till to pay for it! She's not much help to Jerry though is she? It's like she's deliberately trying to sabotage his health.

Just so you know, Becky is the Rovers' 50th barmaid. Isn't she gloriously tacky? Bright blue dress and bright orange bra showing from under it!

Friday 17 April 2009

Teresa Morton, Worse mother than Cilla?

So we've now got to know Jerry's ex-wife a little better. I don't know if we know how long they've been divorced. Let's hope it's been a long time. I'm betting that as soon as he realized Finlay wasn't his son, a rather obvious observation once he was born, that he chucked her out. Mind you, she probably talked him into letting her stay a bit longer. Or maybe he left with the kids. We remember him rescuing Finlay and Kayleigh because she'd left them while she went on holiday and he does seem rather fond of the lad.

Now she's back because Kayleigh called her, knowing the family needed some help. Why she didn't call Jodi back from London is beyond me (well, obviously because the actress wasn't free and there was more they could do with Teresa than with Jodi). She's got a soft warm place to live and she doesn't want to leave!

And isn't she awful!!! As soon as she found out that Lloyd owned the taxi firm, she let him think he was Finlay's dad and started soaking money out of him, none of which was spent on the boy though she pretended about the video games until Michelle blew her cover. It was a bit stupid though, how she was able to talk Lloyd out of a blood or dna test, citing 8 years of back child support to be paid. So what? She'd have to go to court for it and they'd only set out a payment schedule but of course, it was because she knew the truth.

A little bit of noise from the kids' party next door, which wasn't bothering Jerry in the least (and so it shouldn't considering the loud music coming out of his place when they first moved in!) and she stormed over there and dragged Rosie out by the hair. Ok, that was great! Rosie deserved it, mouthy little show-off! Teresa was given her marching orders but she managed to wheedle her way back in by pathetically appearing to sleep on the bench under some grotty box board.

Just wait until you see what she does to keep herself under Jerry's roof!!!!!!

Yes, boys and girls, I truly believe she's worse than Cilla as a mother. Cilla was pretty bad, but Cilla did show a bit of love for her kids even though she still went off and did what she wanted to do, leaving them behind. I don't think Teresa would think twice about them kids though .... trying not to spoil it here, she does find a way to wreak havoc on someone that did one of her children wrong, in her own Teresa-like way. Mostly, though, she's really awful. Cilla and Les made a good, if over the top, couple. Teresa doesn't have anyone to play off like that. She's singularly unlikeable and nearly unredeemable but yet.... though i don't like her, i love the character! She's good fun to watch and wonder what's she going to do or say next!

Sunday 12 April 2009

Sunday Comments, April 12

Lines of the week:

  • Kevin "The girls can use the garden to sunbathe in" Jerry "Darryl will like that" Sally "need a higher fence!"
  • Steve "Men can have bezzy mates as well you know"
  • Kevin "You need some serious mental help, you"
  • Liam "if only i'd have invented the shoehorn.... I'd have called it a heel spoon"
  • Lloyd "Steve's as white (pure/honest) as those tulips on the bar" (they're lilies aren't they?)
  • Lloyd to Becky "There's a woman coming after us with a butterfly net and you, me and Steve are the butterflies"
  • Ted "What's the worst that could happen?" Audrey "With David? Mass Genocide!"
  • Teresa about Rosie "And what's that supposed to be? The floor show?"
So the house move is on. It doesn't take long for transactions to complete on television does it! I laughed at Kirk getting the colours of the boxes right but trying to put them back in the same house! Sally and Claire are in organizational overdrive and Claire is being even more of a pain than Sally is, making them wait in the street with their boxes until everything was dotted and crossed. Well nobody gets in Betty Williams' way! She says jump, you say how high!! Best way to pass the time? Street football! Doesn't Sally just grate on your last nerve sometimes? Imagine unscrewing the light fixtures! I thought she was going to throw the keys at Claire! Ashley sure got a shock, literally!! Kevin and Sally think it might have been Sally's fault that the house needs rewiring so the Peacocks and Websters are going to share a house!!! They're going to have to stack the kids in the conservatory!

Claire found treasures in the Webster attic and it's finder's keepers. She thinks she's got hold of a Lowry original. Turns out to be a little bit of Coronation Street history which is lovely! Supposedly Irma Ogden painted it when she was young. Don't forget, Number 13 was the Ogden residence from 1964 until about 87 when Sally and Kevin bought it from Hilda. Now, we never saw Irma with a paintbrush in her hand, though Ken says she used to paint. Doesn't matter, i don't care if they rewrote history this time, it was a nice way to bring the Street history back in the story for a few episodes. If it was a real Lowry, you just know Sally would insist on sharing the money since the house was hers for years. She is the one that forgot to clear out the loft or the one that forgot to make Kevin do it. Still, Sally did say Finder's Keepers. She may live to regret that! ;)))

I'm surprised Liam hasn't talked over the sale of the factory with his wife, you know, the one he promised to be honest with from now on? Oh right. She's also the one he has cheated on. Rosie is being bribed to keep Carla's secret. Hmmm... seems Rosie has a copy of the incriminating video on the computer! Keep that in mind, people. Liam wants minimum 200,000 pounds for his share of the factory that's worth even more. He damn sure didn't pay that when he bought it off Adam, he and Paul got it dirt cheap, much less than the 180,000 Tony's offering! They must be doing good business! Of course he sold in the end because he's got Carla breathing down his neck. Makes a nice change, i suppose ;))) It's all revenge for him not wanting her, though isn't it? Liam tried to sell it to Maria as a way of getting Carla out of their hair but she was hurt that he'd done it all behind her back and worse, that she'd heard it from Carla first! Well all i can say is... if the factory bees thought Mike Baldwin was a tough boss, I think they're going to wish him back once Tony gets hold. Already he's treating Rosie like his personal assistant even though the work she's doing is on behalf of his other business. Carla may end up wishing she'd kept Liam on! Now Liam doesn't know what to do with himself so he's going to drive Maria round the twist.

David hoped his grandmother would write him a reference. Well really, it's the least she could do considering she's family and she *says* she wants to help him stand on his own two feet. He's not going to be able to do that without a job and he can't get one of them without a reference from the only place he's ever worked. She did but it was a double edged sword. Good thing the lovely Ted, newly minted Granddad stepped in and he got the job! Audrey's face fell. She thought her mediocre reference would have held him back! She can be quite spiteful, yet she already told David earlier that she didn't hire him back so that he could stand on his own two feet. Well by ruining the new job for him, how's that helping him? Especially since he didn't ask Ted to fake the letter, Ted did it on his own impetus. Ted trusts David. David wasn't the problem at the party, it was everyone else! As always, parties often get out of control when there's strangers that crash.

Steve headed for the sunny hills of Spain to get out of the heat. Cause after his fling with Becky, it's cooler in Spain than it is in Weatherfield! Typical flaming Vernon making Liz carry the drums! Lazy to the bone that one. Liz says she's not a jealous person anymore. The reason for that is, she doesn't care about Vernon enough to be jealous. Vernon loves Liz to bits and he can see her moving away further and further and he doesn't know if he can stop it from happening. Even from Spain he's sucking up, sending flowers and calling her. Michelle knows darn well he's up to something and Lloyd is no match for a woman on a mission. Be careful what you wish for, Michelle, you just might find out. Carla winding her up didn't help but she figures Steve cheated on her and she's right, of course. So how is he going to get out of it? Is she going to figure out Becky was the one? Is she going to badger anyone and everyone until she finds out?

Now i was just waiting for Teresa to work Jerry into allowing her to stay. Lloyd thinks the dates fit for Finlay's conception. Well that's only because Teresa says so. Thick is right! Altogether now... We Told You So! She is pretending to be a broken hearted mother who didn't have a choice but to leave her kids, blaming it all on her boyfriend. Jerry nearly gave in until Mel pushed him back but that just means Teresa's going to try another way. Spousal/partner abuse always works. Jerry's such a nice guy and you'd think he'd know not to believe a word out of her mouth but I guess he just didn't want to take the chance. I'll tell you something though, Rosie looked ridiculous and I was cheering when Teresa dragged her out by the hair. They've got quite a lot of cleaning to do, what with Amber sick all over the walls and God knows what kind of shape the carpet is in.

You notice the artful shots of Claire behind shrubbery and boxes and just the high camera shots? The actress is pregnant! Did you notice shouting that sounded like it was coming through the walls when Maria and Liam were arguing about the factory sale? Claire's wrong, cold water is better for burns than cream.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Last post on the Michael Le Vell night (maybe)

Well, unless i come across something else, that is.

Got this article in my mailbox via Google news feed and it's a short interview with Neville MacKay who hosted our Evening With this year (and did a fab job too!). He is apparently from the south end of Nova Scotia, a place called Middle Ohio in rural Shelburne County. The Shelburne Vanguard had a little piece on him with regards to the show. He mainly talked about his involvement, saying how early people were lining up and his 20 minute crowd warmup (and they loved it!). The article also mentioned the Downeast Streeters which is always good :) Neville himself is a celebrity as well, so he had many of his own fans at the event and signed lots of autographs. Not only was there a signable photo card in each program of Michael, there was also one of Neville and it sounds like he autographed quite a few. I might have got one myself if i'd had a program! I did manage to get one of Michael's photo cards from a leftover program during the time people were lining up for autographs. I think Neville had left by the time i had managed to get my hands on a program though i did see him earlier and had my photo taken with him at least.

I also heard a CBC radio interview Michael had done on Q. He did mention being here in Halifax first and said we were all "mental" with a laugh. I don't think he meant it as a bad thing, more, maybe, that we were all good fun. I hope so, anyway :))

Thursday 9 April 2009

I wasn't influenced, honest!

Yellow!Though we haven't seen it yet in Canada, Julie, Kirk's girlfriend, has been sporting a jaunty yellow handbag (purse) and a fuscia coat on UK screens. I can't say i'm keen on the two colours together but the yellow bag is quite nice. A couple of weeks ago i found myself in a shoe/bag store and spotted a bright yellow bag. Not really the same style as Julie's but similar in colour. I didn't even think about it at the time and i didn't buy it but the other day the weather here was very dark and dreary and rainy. I decided to go see if the yellow bag was still there because my day needed brightening up. It was!! See? Julie's bag didn't occur to me at the time i bought it but i thought of it after. Don't worry. A hot pink coat is not in my future. Red? Maybe.

Sunday 5 April 2009

Sunday Comments, April 5

Well, after all the excitement of Michael Le Vell's visit, it's back to normal programming...

Lines of the week:

  • Lloyd about Becky "She's got a fuse as short as Tyson's and a mouth as big as a clown's pocket"
  • Mel "Lloyd! You are Not Finlay's Dad!"
  • Teresa to Lloyd "You wanted to believe it!" and "I didn't like to let him down!"
  • Becky "You don't lie to people you really like" Jason "I do"
  • Sean about Carla "Botox bull in a china shop!"
  • Steve "Apologizing was the right thing to do. Not that i actually apologized, i just asked Harry to have a word"
  • Natasha "a good relationship is like an asymetrical bob. You've really got to put the hours in to get it right" (huh?)
  • Teresa to Liz "Watch them fingernails, luv, you could strike oil!"
  • Michelle to Steve "Are you having an affair or something?" Steve "Gulp"
  • Becky to Roy "It was one night of madness... no .. it was 10 minutes of madness" (ok, i didn't need to know that)
So Steve and Becky had a drunken fling and neither wants to know. Now she's chucking Jason anyway and now he's coming back to her which she's finding difficult. Steve is sucking up to Michelle big time and getting Lloyd to lie for him. Will Roy lie for him too? Roy's usually good at secrets but of course has come over all judgemental again. Thing is, Becky knows he's right and she knows she doesn't have a long leg to stand on. Michelle then gets snarky because he didn't tell her he was going to stay out all night even though she told him not to come back. But he did come back, unscathed and armed with flowers that for Steve, always means he's done something to be guilty for and if Michelle can't figure that out by now, she must be blind. Meanwhile, jason wants Becky back even though he didn't want her before and judging from her sad little face, she'll have him back if he asks nicely again.

Dan lied to the police to stitch up Steve and get his revenge well and proper. Steve only tried to get Harry on board and even then, Michelle scolded him but it looks like Harry's arguments in favour of dropping the charges worked and he still had to wind up Steve pretending he didn't. Now all Steve has to worry about is covering up his fling with Becky. Wasn't Steve's wishing to be 14 again a nice little line or two? Steve tried to get Michelle out of the pub when Becky came in but Michelle said she couldn't, she was working. That never ever stopped her before if she wanted to run out and see Alex or fly off to Ireland to see Mammy Connor. And she was ready to take off again as soon as there was a chance Steve would take her on holiday when all he's really doing is getting out of the frying pan .... and into the fire!

Gail's off to Italy and leaving Ted in charge of the terrible teens. Again, Audrey is jealous that Ted is the favoured parent. Where's he been all your life. You tell me, mother. Well no, there was no conversation like that, but there should be! David's worry that he can't get a job with a criminal record or reference is valid, let's face it. But Ted will fix it :))

Liam and Maria are back and all seems right with their world for now. They're going to try and have another baby. Everyone is pleased to see him back at the factory except Carla who seems to be about to stir up a lot of trouble. Even getting Maria to do her designer hair and Liam was frantic, thinking she'd spill the beans after the two of them argued about him being back at work and refusing to sell his share out to Tony. I suppose he probably will and it's a good thing since Tony is already treating the factory like his own personal kingdom, ordering the workers around. Meanwhile, we have another Connor on the screen, cousin Tom. Liam does not strike me as all that ruthless a businessman.

The reason Tony was on crutches is because the actor Gray O'Brien, had some nasty back trouble for awhile.

Ken's uni reunion is coming up. He doesn't want to go... cause you know, what has he actually done with his life? Well after all, he's retired like everyone else would be and he was a teacher which is pretty respectable. But hey, maybe he'll meet an old girlfriend! Whatever happened to Clarissa? Lloyd doesn't seem to be driving her around these days.

I wonder if Teresa swipes a fiver or two every time she opens the till? She didn't like the video games he'd bought either, Money's better! Then she tried to flog them back to Michelle who'd sold them to Lloyd in the first place. Did you see her down that pint? Holy crap! Most blokes couldn't even do that and the actress has to be applauded because apparently that mixture they use tastes vile! Nice, she then pretended she'd bought the games to hide the stolen cash. Wonder if Lloyd will spill the beans. I'm surprised he's not said anything to Jerry but she won't get away with soaking him for money for much longer. And we didn't have to suffer weeks of it either, Lloyd told Mel because she could tell something was weird with the way he kept asking about Finlay. It was an interesting storyline, good to introduce Teresa as probably the worst mother in the Street, even more than Cilla if that's possible. it doesn't seem likely that Lloyd, usually pretty smart, would get sucked in by Teresa and believe her without a test or anything.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Michael Le Vell on Youtube

Now i mentioned that we gave Michael a cariacature of himself as a gift. Here's the start of him opening it. He really liked it. I didn't film to the end of him showing it off because i wanted to make sure i got a still photo of him with it.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Michael Le Vell in Halifax, Tuesday

Day two of Michael's visit to Halifax started early. He was due to be in the hotel lobby pretty early to head out to some radio inteviews and since I was staying in the same hotel, i made sure i was up in time to be in the lobby. I had to go to work and it was about the time i'd be heading over to the office anyway. He was outside having a smoke and i chatted to Connie and picked up a tea for a few minutes. I only wanted to say good morning anyway and once i'd done that, i went to work.

After work, my friend Denise, who was one of the volunteers for the night, and I went to my hotel room and about 4:30 we went to the venue in the hotel, which was all set up with 725 chairs, a stage and two huge video screens. Around the walls on each side of the room were some booths set up. We have a raffle so the prizes were displayed, and we sell tickets for an autograph, so there was a booth for that. We also distribute surveys and question forms in the program. The surveys are useful for feedback and the questions get sorted and submitted to the guest. I was at one other table with another committee member. This year we ordered four large boxes of merchandise from CBC Shop and set up to resell it.

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, another really special feature this year was a large "ginnel" made of 12 panels covered in "brick" with poster sized photos of all the guests that we have had here in Halifax to date and 5 large backdrops of various businesses on Coronation Street, the Rovers, the Kabin, Roys Rolls, the Butcher shop, the garage and the corner shop. These were the inspiration of one of our committee members, Chris Bailey. The end result was spectacular! Lots of people were taking photos of the ginnel and the backdrops alone!

Ok, the doors haven't even opened yet, have they! Our Master of Ceremonies is a local florist, Neville MacKay, who's quite well known and a massive Coronation Street fan. He always donates lovely floral arrangements for the star's hotel room and wanted to be more involved. He kept the crowds entertained while they waited in line outside. When the doors opened, people hurried in to get good seats and then roamed around to have a look at everything. We at the merchandise table were quickly surrounded and were swamped! We had a lovely man helping to keep people in an orderly line and another woman, Anne Marie, who jumped in an lent her two hands to the sales desk, too! And boy, was I glad of the extra hands! We were taking credit card sales but most of the punters were throwing cash at us! Business was more than brisk, i can tell you!

Closer to 7, Neville took the stage to chat to the fans. He used some lovely flowers he'd brought to describe the properties and meanings of the flowers, likening them to characters on the show. Red roses for classic beauty and he said those were for Rita and Emily. Calla Lillies, i think, were one of the trendy flowers for trendy gals like Maria. There was a shrivelled old something (prune?) for Ted Page!! And a lemon on the stick for the inevitable fruit in the bunch, Sean. Let me just say here that Neville himself is gay so he wasn't out to insult anyone!

Finally, the hour came and Michael came out from behind the curtain to thunderous applause and cheers!!! Neville had given out some roses to people in the front and they tossed flowers at Michael as he came up onto the stage which was decked out with a vase of daffodils and backed by a large Rovers Return backdrop. He spent the next hour and a half answering questions, telling stories, and trading jokes with Neville, keeping everyone laughing. People would run up and take a few snaps and return to their seats. I was doing that and also taking notes! Later the organizing committee from the Downeast Streeters came on stage. Michael and Neville had everyone applaud for us and our efforts and then we presented him with a couple of gifts. The first one was a hand painted rock depicting Webster's Garage. This was done by a lady named Debbie Jardine, aka the "Rock Lady". The other gift was a unique cariacature (corriecature?) of Michael in front of the Halifax waterfront skyline with many Halifax landmarks and icons visible in the cartoon including Theodore tugboat, the ferry, one of our harbour bridges, the town clock and one or two others. This cartoon was drawn my my very own fiance, Graham! Michael was very surprised and really liked it! I videoed him opening it and took a few photos as Graham wanted one of Michael holding the photo, and giving the "metal" horns up sign which he graciously did when i asked! \M/

The winner of the "Guess Who's Coming" contest was drawn and the winner was awarded a $100 gift voucher to My Mother's Bloomers, a prize generously donated by our Neville. Michael drew the raffle tickets, too. First prize was breakfast the next morning with Michael and i saw the winners the next morning practically skip across the room when they were led to the table.

After a break he signed the autographs. Anyone that was there last year remembers that we had a bit of confusion around how the lineup work work. We did it a little differently this year, selling tickets by colour and having 20 of each colour so that when a coloured ticket was drawn, only 20 would line up at a time and the rest would remain seated. No numbers, no confusion and it seemed to work pretty well.

But that's really not what you want is it? You want to know some of the things Michael talked about so that's the next part of the blog.

Michael was asked how it is decided who will come on the annual Canadian trip and while most times the producers put up a notice in the green room asking if someone wants to go, this time he himself put his name forward. That's because his good mate Steven Arnold gave the trip such a glowing review and persuaded him that he ought to go. It worked out and here he is! He's only been here two days but he's loved it so far. Everyone has made him feel welcome everywhere and he says the people are fantastic!

He really never talked about his background aside from how he chose his name. His real last name is Turner but there was already an actor in the Equity with the name of Michael Turner. His mother's maiden name is Le Vell and his other choice was MacKenzie but his auntie thought Le Vell sounded posher so Le Vell it was.
He says the cast really is like family and in almost 26 years of working there, there's really never been anyone he's not got on with. Some other things about him: He's a really good poker player, he's a Manchester United fan and he only started playing darts when he was invited on a celebrity darts television show. He never knew how to play before that so had to practice for about a month so that he wouldn't make a fool of himself on telly. He was raised in Manchester and his parents died when he was young. There's a bit more about Michael and about Kevin Webster here.

In answer to various questions:
- Someone cheekily asked if he'd do a love scene with another male and if so who? He joked with Neville over that for a bit and then said he'd choose.... Tyrone! Seriously, though, he later said that actors love to be the centre of attention and they love having big storylines which gives them lots to do. When they're told they have a big storyline coming up, even if it's going to be controversial, all the actors involved are pleased. They don't really even worry about if the viewers will like the storyline because it's all good work and it's all pretend anyway. There's an upcoming storyline that's rumoured to be happening on the UK timeline involving Kevin, though I am not going to spoil it because it didn't sound like a certainty yet when Michael talked about it. That only means that he's not got the scripts yet and I *think* hasn't been told officially and you can't always believe everything the tabloids report. It's all his job though, so yes, if he had to kiss another man (which isn't the rumour I mentioned), he'd just get on with it because it's all part of the job. "We just want to make entertainment" he says.
- Now, in his earlier years, Michael was rumoured to be gay, probably because he used to do a lot of appearances in gay clubs all over the country. That's when "Kevin" had that big bushy moustache. Michael was surprised that when he shaved it off, the gay clubs didn't want to know anymore!! He asked Neville why that was. Neville gave the "family show answer" and said it was because many gay men have a great love for their old grannies who often had a bit of whisker when they gave the little ones a kiss!
- The grease and dirt on Kevin's and Ty's hands isn't real, it's black makeup mixed with hand lotion. He has discovered though, that real mechanics have to wear thin latex gloves now because of the carcinogens in the oil so we may see Kev and Ty wearing them soon. He said he and Alan Halsall have a lot of fun with the gloves and play on it a lot! In real life, he hasn't got a clue about cars!
-There was one story he told, and I didn't get all of it, but it seems he still suffers from stage fright after all these years. He was relating how he sometimes has to scold himself for blanking on his lines, because he *knows* he knows the lines but they just go out of his head, or sometimes he'll get so nervous he's shaking and he demonstrating trying to "eat breakfast", for instance, with hands shaking so much that he'll miss the food with his fork or miss his mouth with the fork and food on it and he says "it's only trying to get a sausage on a fork, how hard can it be?" What happens is that he has to think about what he's doing, or it may need particular timing in the scene so it isn't something he can just do naturally and that can get him worked up trying to do it right. Sometimes, too, I think stage fright isn't so much a case of nerves as it is a huge adrenaline rush. But that's just my own take on things. I've read Jean Alexander's autobiography and she often had stage fright especially in the early days and Lord Laurence Olivier is famous for having it too so he's in good company!.
Me and MC Neville MacKay
Now, before you go any further, my no-spoiler rule doesn't apply to this next section so don't say you weren't warned!

- Yes, the house swop with the Peacocks is going ahead and Kevin will be sipping the finest wine Salford offers, in the new conservatory.... with a lead pipe!
- when asked how they find actors for new characters, he joked about a casting couch but said the casting directors hold auditions and sometimes if the new characters are planned to be long term, they will set up camera tests with other actors. This is something they've only just started doing recently, I think.
- Kate Ford who played Tracy Barlow has had a baby and is quite happy being a mom for now
- Michael Stark who plays Jerry Morton was brilliant but they never really gave him much to work with (and that spoiled it, because he's going to be leaving the show soon)
- On a related note, the little fellow that plays Finlay is not related to Craig Charles who plays Lloyd and No, Finlay isn't his son. But you probably already figured that out!
- one of the biggest spoilers was a storyline that hasn't happened yet. The rumour has hit the UK papers that Kevin and Molly are going to have an affair. We asked him about that and it also came up at the show and Michael said that he didn't think Kevin would ever do that to his best mate, Tyrone so he is hoping is isn't going to actually happen. He didn't say definitely that it would so maybe he doesn't know officially yet or else he's not allowed to say, I don't know. I can't see it either but I also watch the UK timeline and read the updates and spoilers and there are already hints that Kevin is getting more annoyed with Sally and is going to be thown together with Molly when they get involved in a fun run. Cross your fingers it doesn't get any further than a flirtation or a near thing. I just can't see Molly doing the dirty on Tyrone when they're such a perfect couple and have only been married a short time. I can, however, see Kevin being attracted to her if he's been out of sorts with Sally lately and feeling put upon.

Back out of the spoiler zone and back to your regularly scheduled blogging....

- The food that gets eaten while taping really isn't very appetising. Michael joked about the dubious cleanliness habits of the servers but i'm sure it's all above board!
- When asked about Sally 's affairs, he admitted that Kevin always had an inkling and looked the other way because he wanted to keep his family together. As i thought!
- when asked which is better, a BMW or a Mercedes, he replied that as an actor, he can't afford either one but does drive a Mitsubishi.
- When asked about all the beautiful women on the show, he seemed to mention Michelle Keegan who plays Tina as being particularly lovely and he talked about how quickly Helen Flanagan grew up and blossomed, seemingly overnight! One minute she was a little girl and days later, it seemed, she had boobs and an uplift bra!! He's expecting Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie, to blossom similarly any time now as she's a couple of years older than her character who is only 14 on screen.
Crowd at the Marriott Ballroom- What was his favourite storyline with Sally? Divorce, he joked. All that aside, though, he says that Sally Whittaker who plays his wife Sally, is a very professional actor and is absolutely fantastic to work with. She actually hates it when her character has to act like a fishwife! He says he doesn't understand why people hate Sally so much. That's often the kind of feedback he gets from people that meet him on the street, advising him to smack Sally around a bit! He also says he's very lucky to work with three great actors, including the two that play his daughters though it doesn't always go smoothly when he's trying to work and they're chatting about shoes and clothes and makeup! He thinks the casting directors really chose well when they recast his daughters. He says that sometimes happens because they cast children as newborns and sometimes get new children when they are about 5 and again, when they are about 10 or 11 and the children realize they really don't want to be actors. They then will try to get children who are already actors or want to be so will be more likely to grow with the role.
- Tes, it felt great to thump John Stape, he laughed.
- Has he ever had to do any scenes that make him question his own morals? What morals, he joked! Nah, again, it's all just pretend at the end of the day. It's what he does for a living.
- Jean Alexander, who was the wonderful Hilda Ogden, was remembered fondly. He said in the old days, they all rehearsed in an old warehouse and had little partitions for their own private space and shared a space with a telly as well. You could smoke inside then and Jean used to sit there and smoke and if snooker was on the telly, she'd sit and watch it, mesmerized!
- He says that Bev Callard, aka Liz has some good stuff coming up. It's all about Liz, Steve, Lloyd and some perfume! Hmmmmm.... But when someone mentioned all the "sensational" storylines we seem to get these days he said, without shenanigans, it'd be pretty boring and nobody would watch.
- Is the Street haunted? Nope. Though when asked if he believed in such things, I got the feeling that maybe he did but he didn't really seem to want to go into it too much. He did say that most people have had spooky things happen to them.
- Boxers or Briefs? (and we did warn him this question always comes up) The answer is.... Boxers!
- He was on the street when he was much younger, about 12 or 13 years old, as a paper boy Neil Grimshaw who gave Mavis a lot of grief. He was in it for 13 episodes.
- their work schedule is pretty tough these days, they can film up to 6 days a week for long days if they're in a big storyline and they have three filming units on the go.
- Would he ever want to leave to do something else? He did have a short time off a few years ago and did a play in Chester just because he wanted to see if he still could do it, having done it a lot before his Corrie days. Some people want to leave to be a big star. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't but he loves where he is at the moment because there's always new storylines and something to do.

The other interesting thing he brought up was about iconic characters such as Hilda or Elsie Tanner or Vera Duckworth. People sometimes thing the show just wouldn't be the same and would suffer when one of these characters leaves the show because the actor wants to go or due to ill health. It's sad when one of them leaves but he says the show always goes on. New characters and storylines always come along and though you may miss that particular character, "There's never anything bigger than Coronation Street itself". I've heard that before, other actors always say the biggest star *is* the Street!

He's been on the show going on 26 years. I think you could say he's one of the iconic characters now as well, having put more time on the show than some of the ones he talked about. Jean Alexander was on Corrie from 1964 until Christmas 1987 so he's passed her term. He's got more years in than Pat Phoenix had as well. I can't imagine Coronation Street without Kevin (and Sally!) but as he said, it *will* go on!

Michael is really nice, he's got a great sense of humour and seems to love to joke around. Neville flirted with him shamelessly and he went right along with it, making jokes right back. A few of the jokes may have been a bit close to the knuckle or "rude" as he calls it ("off colour" in the UK means you're feeling a bit ill) but i think it only shows he was comfortable with the whole thing, and with Neville and really enjoyed himself.

At the end of a very long day and evening, some of us went to the hotel bar, along with Michael, for one or two last nightcaps and to wind down. Michael was visibly tired by that time and i don't think he would have been long for bed once the bar closed. Still, when a few fans approached him, as they did the night before in the bar as well, he graciously chatted to them and posed for a picture. He was nice Me and Michael at the eventenough to have a last photo with a couple of our group as well and I got a nice hug and kiss on the cheek goodnight when I went left the bar. What a sweetie he is!

It was a late night for all of us so I took the next day off and i was staying in the hotel as well which makes a big difference. I still managed to get up and get down for breakfast in time though, because i wanted to at least have one last look though i wasn't going to interrupt him, of course. I was quite pleased, though, when he arrived with the event coordinators, when he spotted me across the room, waved and called out Good Morning, Diane! Made my day! He hasn't spent as much time with me as with the others so i was pleased he'd remembered my name. I caught up with a couple of the other committee members who had also stayed over and came down to breakfast before i was done and we'd all agreed that none of us had really slept all that well. Too wired up and overtired when we went to bed!!! I didn't get to meet his wife and children though i did see them in the restaurant at breakfast as well. I only recognized them because i had seen them with our committee chair and coordinator in the hotel lobby. Of course, I didn't go over and bother them as they didn't know who i was.

So another year and another very successful event. Of course i took photos (someone mentioned that taking photos is in my DNA!) and you can see them here (click "View Photos", no need to sign in). I'm going to upload my video of him opening his gift and i'll post the Youtube of that probably later tonight or tomorrow.
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