Wednesday 31 August 2011

Jack Duckworth tribute and quiz

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

As Jack Duckworth has now left Coronation Street with his beloved Vera, here's a little blog post in honour of the most feckless man on the cobbles. If you'd like a full account of Jack's life on the Street, have a look at (although it's not quite up to date).
Get the look and build yourself your own Jack Duckworth style.And here's a little quiz. How much do you know about Jack Duckworth?

A. What was the name Jack used when he dressed up as a woman to join the ladies' bowling team?

B: What year did Jack and Vera take over the Rovers Return? Where did the money come from to enable them to take it over and why did they leave?

C: Which two major Corrie characters did Jack have affairs with while married to Vera?

See also:
Is Tyrone the new Jack Duckworth?
Jack and Vera Duckworth voted best Corrie double-act
Bill Tarmey's dream exit for Jack Duckworth
Jack Duckworth's vest

The secret of Jack Duckworth's specs

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1994

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 34 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

It had been planned for Ken and Deirdre to reunite but when Anne Kirkbride fell ill and had to be written out of the show for six months, storlines had to be rejigged and Ken was paired up with Denise Osbourne instead and got her pregnant. On her return from nursing her sick mother, Deirdre was furious and reminded Ken of the times she’d begged him to let them start a family when they were together. Deirdre flew off on holiday to Morocco where she had a holiday romance with a 21 year old waiter. On her return she borrowed money from Emily and amazed the Street by paying for him to come to the UK. Samir Rachid arrived frightened by the western world but hopelessly in love with Deirdre.

He took a job in a local restaurant and moved into no. 1 with Deirdre, despite the misgivings of her daughter Tracy. When immigration officers started to show an interest, Deirdre proposed to him to keep him in the country and they were married at the register office. Immigration officials refused to believe it was a genuine marriage and they were both faced a fierce interrogation by the authorities. Samir felt like a prisoner and Deirdre felt isolated when her friends refused to believe he loved her. She sold no. 1 to Mike Baldwin and the pair of them used the proceeds to fly back to Morocco to start a new life.
Another unlikely romance blossomed in 1994. Curly Watts had always been interested in barmaid Raquel Wolstenhulme but she’d rejected his advances in the past and he’d come to think of her as unobtainable. He was sacked from Bettabuy after his area manager, Elaine Fenwick, submitted a sexual harassment complaint against him after he kept declaring his love for her. He worked for a week at the bookies but it was a disaster and so he took a job as manager of discount shop, SoopaScoopa. In an attempt to impress his new bosses he pretended to be engaged and managed to talk Raquel into pretending to be his fiancée.

Raquel had been having a hard time of thing, continually being messed around by Des Barnes. She’d moved into no. 6 with him but he was still attracted to the evil Tanya Pooley who was having an affair with Des’s boss, Alex Christie. Things came to a violent conclusion when Des confronted Alex & Tanya in bed. Raquel arrived on the scene in time to hear Des ordering Alex out of ‘my girl’s bed’ and left in floods of tears, searching out Bet Gilroy for comfort.

After such a torrid time, it is no surprise that when Curly decided that he really did love Raquel and proposed to her, she accepted even though she didn’t love him in return. Much to her delight, for Christmas that year Curly named a star after her. She broke off the engagement the following year after Des Barnes begged her to marry him at their engagement party but she eventually realised that she didn’t love him. So, on December 18th 1995, in the programme’s first ever hour-long special to celebrate the programme’s 35th anniversary, Raquel and Curly were married in secret in a register office with strangers as witnesses.

Also in 1994: Ivy Tilsley moves to religious retreat; Reg Holdsworth marries Maureen Naylor; Fred Elliott makes his first appearance, I say, Fred Elliott makes his first appearance; Sophie Webster born; Tony Warren gets an MBE; Reg buys the corner shop; Bet Gilroy teams up with Charlie Whelan but he runs off to Hamburg with the evil Tanya Pooley; Fred Elliott tries to bribe an official in a black pudding contest; Steve McDonald and Fiona Middleton move in together.

Fiz and John do Calgary

There's an interview with Jennie McAlpine and Graeme Hawley in the Canadian Calgary Herald today. Jennie and Graeme where there a couple of months ago for the Banff World Media Festival. Corrie was up for an award for a Best Soap Opera but lost to a Spanish soap. They were interviewed for  the newspaper.

For Canadian Fans, we are currently 10 months behind the UK shows, there is a minor spoiler about Stape's future but nothing really is given away. Graeme talks about John Stape and describes him as a good man, really. He describes John as mulit-faceted and "he was the bad guy but he kind of wasn't the bad guy,". He also says that in spite of the sensational storylines that are not going away, Corrie still manages to "maintain what is essentially the (core) of the show: this slice of kitchen-sink life."

Don't forget, Canadian Fans, CBC is going to start showing 1 hour of Corrie every week night starting Monday, September 5 and airing a Sunday repeat from 7:30 a.m. onward. It's a lot to keep up on but these first two weeks of September lead up to the Tram Crash on September 15.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Farewell Jack Duckworth

(This post, a combination of three originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, is reposted to this blog with permission.)

How sad was tonight's Coronation Street?  We all knew he was going, but by 'eck, it was done well.  Ta-ra then, Jack, lad. You'll be well missed.

RIP Coronation Street's Jack Duckworth.

Sad times indeed tonight as another Coronation Street legend goes to meet his maker. Here's a picture I took on a backstage tour of the set earlier this year. Jack Duckworth, RIP,

Tributes to Bill, and to Corrie have been pouring in since Jack Duckworth went up to the great pigeon coop in the sky last night. Read some of the good 'uns here: The Mirror's Jim Shelley and The Guardian's Mark Lawson and also in the Guardian, Ian Wylie

Religious backlash for Sophie and Sian

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in September, 2010, reposted with permission.)

Some might consider this a spoiler but but I consider that this is really only a logical "what comes next" for Sophie and Sian's relationship. That's my take on it. Your mileage may vary.

Sophie and Sian are in for more heartbreak next week on our screens here in Canada. The Sun reports that now that the teens have come home (you didn't think they were gone for good, did you?), the pastor at their church finds out about their relationship. He's not best pleased and lectures them with the standard church doctrine of "unnatural". Sian and Sophie argue that everyone is equal in God's eyes and whatever it says in the Bible, they're sure that God would admit his mistake. Even Emily Bishop can't disagree with the pastor though she's a lot more likely to be understanding but her opinion still stings the girls.

Will the pressure split up the girls? Will Sophie turn her back on the church? Will Sophie pretend to be something she's not? My guesses are yes, yes and no. I hope Sophie stays true to herself but I've always felt that Sian really isn't gay at heart. I may be proven wrong and that's ok, too. As for the church, maybe Sophie will find a church that does accept her. Whatever happens, it is sure to be handled well. This really is the kind of thing that happens to gay couples and other couples that don't fit the standard mold. Just look at the opposition Roy and Hayley have had to deal with for all these years and how people still make jokes about Hayley behind her back.

Jack and Vera Day (Spoiler)

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Today is Jack and Vera day. I know tonight I will be in floods of tears, because, Jack and Vera are more than just characters, they're people, the only two characters who in all of soapland actually seemed to love each other. And we will all miss them, lots!

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1993

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 33 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

While training to be a nurse, Martin Platt befriended fellow student nurse Carmel Finnan. She started to babysit for the family and moved in as a lodger. Little did he know that she had become fixated with him. After getting drunk one night he woke up to find her in his bed and she confessed to being in love with him and told him she knew that he loved her too. He denied he felt anything for her and to Gail’s surprise, he threw Carmel out of the house. Carmel confronted Gail and told her that she loved Martin, that Gail was no good for him and that she was p[regnant with his baby. Martin swore to Gail that there was nothing going on between him and Carmel and she believed him until she found out about the night they had spent in bed together and started to have doubts.

In a dramatic climax, Carmel tried to kidnap David Platt. Gail tried to warn her off and ended up pushing her downstairs. She broke her leg and Gail worried that she may have damaged the baby but at the hospital the Platts were told that Carmel wasn’t and never had been pregnant. Carmel’s grandfather turned up to take her back to Ireland and confessed to the Platts that this wasn’t the first time that Carmel had become obsessed with a man.

Lisa Horten and her son Tommy moved in with Des Barnes and they were contemplating moving away from the area to start a new life. Unfortunately Lisa was killed on the Street when she was knocked down by a car and young Tommy was taken in by his grandparents, Jack and Vera. Vera was counting the days to Terry’s release from prison with the expectation of them all living together in domestic bliss. Little did she know that Terry was negotiating with Tommy’s other grandparents, Geoff and Doreen Horten, to sell Tommy to them to be brought up in Blackpool. Jack twigged what was going on and thumped his son before disowning him for breaking his mother’s heart again.

Also in 1993: Jenny Bradley tries to fleece Rita; Liz McDonald leaves Jim to run the Queens; Liz has an affair with Colin Barnes; Fiona Middleton and Maureen Naylor make their first Appearances; Tracy Barlow finds out about Deirdre’s affair with Mike; Don Brennan stalks Denise Osbourne; Steve McDonald beds Vicky Arden; Jim calls Liz a whore; Raquel takes French lessons from Ken; the evil Tanya Pooley starts working at the Rovers.

Monday 29 August 2011

Corrie Canada weekly awards: August 22 - 25

I loved this little scene with Steve and Betty conspiring to give the new bar a bit of trouble.

Brick wall award: Rocky star: Claire is unmoving and is leaving Ashley high and dry and doesn't seem upset at all.

Napoleon award: Gold Star: Nick is dreaming of a global empire.

Sneaky award: Gold Star: Kevin nicking the baby's dummy to get an instant DNA test. You gotta love the express timelines on telly.

Darth Vader award: Death Star (obviously!): Kevin ... "I am your father, Jack!"

Proud Daddy award: Gold Star: Awww isn't Tyrone over the moon about that baby? Bless! And isn't that a cute baby?

Passed over again award: Bitter Star: Sally's face fell to the floor when she found out Michelle is the new Assistant Manager Trainee.

Hokey award: Paper star: Letters cut out of magazines for a threat note? In this day and age of technology? Seriously?

Smug Cow award: Gold Star: Kylie
Silver Star: Claire

Inventive tapas name: Gold Star: Eggy Thump (Ha!)

The Witch-Slap line forms to the left. Kylie's really got it coming.

Lines of the week:
Molly about Tyrone" He's the happiest he's been in his life!" Pam "Only because he doesn't know how unhappy he should be"
Molly to Pam: "Nothing's going to happen" (Oh crap, Phrase of Doom alert.)
Nick about Coronation Street "This place is full of busybodies!" (Are you new here?)
Rosie "Your little girl is 16, Sensible has gone out the door"
Pam to Kevin: "If you can't play at being Godfather at least act like a man." (Yay Pam.)
Liz: "Unlike you, some of us have standards." (Wha?)
Nick: "First binmen, now barmaids."
Sophie: "I'll be your lickle baby forever."
Janice: "You've never stitched a pair of knickers in your life." Michelle: "Maybe not but I wear 'em." Janice: "That's not what I heard." Michelle: "I heard you've never taken yours off. Still, no demand, no supply." (Touche!)
Kevin to Sally: "There's no brain big enough to take in everything you witter about."
Sally: "Walk in a straight line." Sophie: "Mum, I'm a lesbian. I don't do anything straight."

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1992

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 32 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
Since his arrival on Coronation Street the character of Jim McDonald had been pretty one-dimensional. He shouted at his sons, hurled insults at other characters and condescended to his wife, Liz. But 1992 saw the culmination of a story that melted the hearts of the viewers as the McDonald family came to terms with the loss of a baby. Liz had been surprised to find out she was pregnant and initially considered an abortion before Jim talked her out of it, pointing out that this was her last realistic opportunity of having another child. Steve had been involved with a gang selling stolen car radios and after Andy was beaten up as a warning to him, he went on the run. Liz was worried that Steve was lying dead somewhere and with the stress of the situation she went into labour prematurely. Baby Katie was born on January 1st 1992 but sadly died the following day. In the aftermath Jim was shown to be caring, sensitive and supportive and at last the viewers started to warm to him.

1992 was a year of weddings with no fewer than three marriages taking place within the space of a month. The first pair to tie the knot was Terry Duckworth and his pregnant girlfriend Lisa Horten. Terry had been allowed out of jail for the day accompanied by two prison officers but Vera persuaded them to remove his handcuffs for a wedding photograph. Seizing the opportunity, Terry did a runner leaving Lisa wondering if he’d only got married so that he could escape from prison. When he was eventually apprehended in Bettabuy’s car park he assured her that the wedding was genuine and he really did love her.

A week later the residents gathered at the register office to witness the wedding of Rita Fairclough and Ted Sullivan. Only one of the guests, Audrey Roberts, knew the real pain behind the smiles of the happy couple. Rita had broken down at her hen party and confessed to Audrey that Ted had a brain tumour and wasn’t long for this world. Three months later Rita found Ted asleep on a bench and realised that he was in fact dead.

Finally we saw the long awaited wedding between Mike Baldwin and Alma Sedgewick. Alma had been cited as co-respondent in the divorce between Mike and Jackie Ingram and she was distraught. After Mike told her that he had her name removed at the cost of thousands of pounds she happily agreed to marry him. However, the day before the wedding Jackie informed her that it had been Mike’s idea all along to cite Alma and she had doubts about going through with the wedding and only made up her mind to go through with it at the last minute: ‘The only sin I’ve committed, Mike, is knowing you. And I’ll be regretting that for the rest of my life.’

Also in 1992: Raquel takes up with Des Barnes; Tommy Duckworth born; Alec Gilroy sails away with Sunliners; Bet back in charge at the Rovers; Denise Osbourne opens salon; Mark Redman ages 2 years; Curly Watts buys no. 7 and puts a telescope in loft; Martin Platt trains as a nurse; Don Brennan attempts suicide.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Coronation Street through the years: 1980's

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

In the early 1980's, builder Len Fairclough rebuilt No.7 Coronation Street, which had collapsed back in the 1960's. It is easy to tell it apart from the other houses, due to it's brickwork and double glazed windows, and to complement this rather modern house, Vera Duckworth got her house cladded a she wanted to add a touch of glamour to the street.

Also the Corner Shop got a makeover tranforming from a corner shop into Alf's mini-market. In the 1980's, Corrie moved from the old set to the current one, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

With the set move, the producers could finally incorparate Rosamund Street into the set, the building added was the Graffiti club. In 1989, a property developer called Maurice Jones, bought Baldwin's Casuals, and the community center, then demolished them and replaced them with a factory unit, garage, two shops and three houses, and also a shop unit under the viaduct.

Check out our special 50 Years in 50 Days feature

Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, August 28

How to give a man a heart attack in 3 easy lessons. Poor flower delivery guy nearly went out of his shoes when John came streaking across the road to acost him! John doesn't really give two hoots about Chesney and Katy, or Fiz's scan, completely distracted by his own guilt. Charlotte doesn't give two hoots about John! Ok, the baby is important to John but the baby most definitely comes second in his priorities at the moment. "I KNow what you DId" in cut out letters... honestly in this day and age wouldn't you think someone would just print it from a computer? Can't be traced any easier than a magazine. Charlotte says she's getting letters too and it scares her right into John's reluctantly comforting arms. Something tells me she wants to get used that that!

I see Katy's still lying about spending her nights with Izzy in order to spend them with Chesney. Looks like Owen knows when he's defeated though. He figures he can keep Katy under control. Has anyone ever kept a headstrong teenager under control? Thought not. I can understand Owen being angry though, Katy's only 16 and Ches isn't much older and Fiz is kind of caught in the middle.

I really do think Claire is being unreasonable. What Ashley did is definitely worth a few nights on the settee but to leave him and take his kids away because of it? If i was Ashley i'd be telling her she's not taking the children. If she wants to go, go. Besides, if he doesn't give permission, can she legally take them out of the country? You probably couldn't get away with that here. IT was surprising that Ashley poured his heart out to Jack as they've never been close but probably, Ashley knew a kindred spirit in the world of marraige problems.

Then there's the little sub-plot about a rival bar opening up with Ciaran changing loyalties and Steve and Betty out for a little pay back and report Nick for rats on the premises. Wonderful stuff!! The water problem wasn't likely caused by Betty, but could be a lot more of a problem.

Michelle's going to work for Carla. Two wonderbras in that tiny office. There's not going to be enough room, i'm telling you! Is it me or are Michelle's "girls" increasing in size? (actually, I think the actress was pregnant at the time) But at least she's no slouch dealing with Janice! Sally's nose is out of joint and i can't honestly blame her. She's got more experience in office work than Michelle even if Carla couldn't stand working with Sally close quarters. She'd have the office ticking over better than it's ever done before.

20,000 is a lot of cash to round up quickly. But maxing out the credit cards and the line of credit is going to come back to bite you on the bum big time. Couldn't you just smack that smug off Kylie's gob? The last bit of cash comes from Streetcars but at least Steve told Lloyd instead of just fiddling the books.  Kylie is just about the most awful of the awful. She probably even gives Tracy Barlow a run for her money though she might not be murderous at least. I've gotta say though, Paula Lane who plays her is fantastic!

The nurse at the hospital could find herself in an awkward position if she's calling every woman coming in for a scan "Mrs." Unless of course, it's written on their charts I suppose. Rosie and Jason are a couple. She's decided. lol! Sally doesn't think Jason is good enough for her. I kind of think it's the other way around! Kidding. I actually think they're fairly well matched. At least in the IQ stakes. You'll notice we now hear the tram go by occasionally. Watch this space.

Cheryl's coming up in the world. From lap dancer to kebab shop cutter to barmaid at the new place. It's too bad the character is about as bland as a bland thing.

Happy birthday Sophie! Rosie's gift of sexy underwear totaly embarassed Kevin. Baby's growing up! Boy is she ever! Did you notice Sally looking away uncomfortably when Sophie kissed Sian thank you for her pressie? She's still coming to terms with it all and I like that they haven't just dropped it and are showing Sally still doesn't find it easy though she's really trying to get her head round it all. When she does, she'll be the biggest supporter and probably lead the Pride parade! And that was some wild party. Who invited the vicar? I think there's going to be Hell to pay there now he knows she and Sian are in a relationship. And those choir mates will probably never be the same either, having their eyes opened wide!

Kevin is still stalking Molly and now he's determined to find out if he's the baby-daddy. What's he going to do if he is, though? He doesn't want anything to do with the baby. I seriously doubt he'd want custody or visitation because then Sally would find out. He only wants to know because it's a soap ;)) (And how cute is that baby!) It wasn't very fair for Pam to call the christening a sham. No matter who's baby it is, a christening isn't so bad is it? If it's what you want. I get it, though, it's the whole Godparent situation she was talking about. It just didn't sound that way. And the way Kevin is snapping at Sally, i'm really surprised she's not suspected something was up by now.

How fast was that DNA test? He took the sample one evening and had the results back before end of business the next day. That's just not possible. They take weeks! He is such an arrogant SOB isn't he? He had to know but still had the nerve to whine about HIS son being brought up by someone else right under his nose. Kevin couldn't wait to tell Molly and it's broken her heart.  And Jack Sr.'s unfortunately, he's overheard the lot. This could quite literally kill him in his state.

Now, I'll be here next Sunday but then I'm on my  holidays. During the first two weeks of September, leading up to the tram crash, i know, it's bad timing Corrie wise and I'll have a bunch of really great blog posts scheduled to be published so please do keep checking back daily. If I get a chance before my holidays, I'll do up some quicker summaries and schedule them to be posted on Sunday. The Weekly awards are also already prescheduled since they were originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog in November and December last year.

Fat Brenda's Cream Horn (Aug. 28)

(This post was originally posted by Fat Brenda on the Coronation Street Blog in October, 2010, reposted with permission.)

Hiya loveys,

There's been no Norris this week  'cos he's been in some medieval castle or other with scary Mary and he'll be kicking himself when he gets back, he's missed loads!

For a kick-off, Steve's been and put all our jobs at risk in the cab office by buying a child with Streetcars money! He's like a receeding hairlined Madonnna without the leotard, that one, with his rescue kid. I did feel sorry for little Max being passed from pillar to post but there seems to be something quite strange about Weatherfield kiddies that means their parents can talk about things right in front of them and they STILL don't know what's going on. It's a good job really when you consider the things that happen to folk around here.

I'm still upset I didn't get invited to Sophie Webster's birthday party. If the puke on the lawn was anything to go by it looked like a belting night. One of the church choir got a taxi home, sang two verses of 'He's Got The Whole World In his Hands' and chucked up all over Eddie's cab, he wasn't best pleased, she didn't even leave him a tip!

Talking of the Websters, Kevin's been like a bear with a sore head this week. He's definitley upset about summat (apart from being married to Sally) and I'm sure we'll all find out soon enough what it is. It's definitely got summat to do with the Dobbs family, I always see him sneaking in and out of there when I'm out having a Dunhill and I reckon that Molly could help clear up the mystery.
There's nobody more sneaky than John Stape though is there loveys. He's up and down them back entries like a manky cat looking for supper! I see him meeting up with a wild-eyed lass every so often, they both look at the factory, she quivers her lips, he sweats and then she gets off again! What the flamin' hell is all that about?! Whatever it is aint gonna to be good news for poor fiz-bomb.

The only thing left to say is that I'm not looking forward to tonight loveys. I can feel summat in me waters, summat terrible and I can only hope I'm wrong...

If you want to follow me tweeters then click on this... here!

Bye bye loveys.

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1991

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 31 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
Curly Watts’ engagement to fellow Bettabuy employee Kimberley Taylor was short-lived. She cited Curly’s dislike of her mother and the fact that although she wanted to save herself until she was married, he was always trying to get her into bed. Overhearing this, checkout girl Raquel Wolstenhulme thought that it might be worth giving herself to Curly as it could improve her career prospects. At first Curly wasn’t in the least bit interested as he was still obsessed with Kimberley who had taken up with her cousin, Adrian Gosthorpe. After he told Curly that he and Kimberley had had sex, Curly attacked him and ended up in a police cell. Kimberley was moved to Bolton and Curly then directed his attentions towards Raquel who he supported in her attempts to win the Miss Bettabuy North West title.

Though thwarted in the beauty contest, Raquel did achieve her ambition to do some modelling when Angie Freeman asked her to help out with her end of degree show. She was spotted by a photographer who lured her away from Bettabuy for a career in ‘artistic’ poses. Upset, Curly got drunk with Angie and they spent the night together. Angie immediately regretted it, regarding Curly as more of a brother than a lover. Five months later, Raquel was back, crying on Curly’s shoulder, jobless and homeless. With Curly’s help she got a job at the Rovers and moved in as Des Barnes’s lodger, though in reality she spent only one night in the spare room.

Des Barnes bought himself an old boat and set about renovating it in the back garden. Steph got annoyed at the amount of time he spent working on it, neglecting both him and the house. She went off on a skiing holiday and when she returned, Des was convinced that she’d had an affair whilst away. She denied it but Des remained convinced and so spent more and more time on his boat. Feeling neglected , Steph was flattered when she received some attention from architect Simon Beatty and started an affair with him. Des eventually finished work on the boat and on its maiden voyage, Steph confessed all to him and told him she was leaving. Des panicked her into thinking he had killed himself by blowing up the boat but she found him sitting on the river bank watching the flames: ‘There goes our marriage Steph … didn’t it go with a bang!’

Also in 1991: Ken attempts suicide but is saved by Bet; Mike Baldwin and Jackie Ingram marry but split up in a week; Gail Tilsley and Martin Platt get married; Mike opens a garage and employs Kevin Webster to run it; Ken starts seeing Alma and Mike steals her off him; Vicky Arden is orphaned; Percy Sugden is Bettabuy santa; Andy and Steve McDonald start a pirate radio station.

Saturday 27 August 2011

John Stape on Corrie - What's going on??? (spoiler)

(This post was originally posted by Seapenguin on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Going by the bits and pieces I've picked up from spoilers and so forth, my impression is that John Stape murders Charlotte by bashing her head in with a hammer. Nice. (What is it with Corrie just now - tram crashes, bloodbaths, murders...)
Anyway. Will this really happen, or is it just another red herring? I haven't the foggiest.
However, Stape is definitely reading about a nine point nine nine on the tension scale at the moment and despite showing flashes of the old Stapian wit it's clear that his nerves won't take much more. He's laughing maniacally and getting into bother from Peter Barlow for screaming at wrong numbers in the bookies. He's thinking about Edgar Allan Poe stories and wondering if it's his heartbeat he's hearing or Fishwick's. Is it Charlotte who's driving him to the brink of insanity by making the silent phone calls and sending the mysterious flowers and letters? Personally I'd be surprised - but then I generally am. Who else could it be though? Who else knows about the body hidden in the old sump hole under the factory floor?
I do hope that John doesn't bash Charlotte's head in with a hammer! I could live with him bungling another death, but not full-blooded murder. However...if he DID get done for murder, perhaps there could be an insanity plea, and he could stay in Corrie albeit as an inmate of a maximum secure unit, receiving therapy sessions and being visited by Fiz and the baby on a weekly basis? I just don't want the Stape saga to end!

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1990

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 30 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

For thirty years the cast had rehearsed in large rooms with tape on the floors marking out their homes but in 1990, Coronation Street was given exclusive use of its own studio called Stage One allowing rehearsals to be done on the actual set that the scenes would be filmed on. Rather than sets being erected for filming and then being dismantled so that other filming could be carried out, sets for places like the Rovers, shops and café could be kept up permanently with house interiors erected as required. The Coronation Street cast also got their own dressing rooms, make-up facilities, costume areas and Green Room.

With the expansion to three episodes a week the previous year this all helped in dealing with the increased workload and tighter schedules. More characters were needed too and the erection of houses, shops and flats on the even side of the Street gave the production team the space to expand the cast and to move some existing characters from off-street residences onto the actual Street. The first characters to set up on the other side of the Street were Des and Steph Barnes. Steph’s father, who had built the new houses, sold no.6 to them at cost price and they moved in on their wedding day. They were labelled by some as ‘yuppies’ but they were really just working class people who had a bit of cash, Des was a bookies clerk and Steph a shop assistant. At their housewarming, Steph got Kevin Webster drunk and shaved off his moustache, thus winning a bet with Des who was forced to drink in the Rovers without his trousers.

Rita Fairclough closed the Kabin on Rosamund Street relocating it to one of the new premises on Coronation Street and moved out of no. 7 and into the flat above the new shop. Jenny Bradley swiftly moved in her friend Flick Khan and her younger sister, Joanne who became the centre of attraction for Steve and Andy McDonald. Steve won the battle for Joanne’s heart but his father, Jim, didn’t approve so they stole Jim’s motorbike and ran away to the Lake District together. The romance was short-lived and Joanne soon returned to the Street after having to take a badly paid job in a hotel. Liz went to fetch Steve home and threatened to leave Jim if he laid on finger on their wayward son.

Also in 1990: Rosie Webster and David Platt born; Deirdre divorces Ken; Ken sells the Recorder; Alec tracks down estranged daughter and hits it off with his granddaughter Vicky; Curly Watts and Kimberley Taylor get engaged; Alma moves in with Mike but he takes up with Jackie Ingram; Jack Duckworth buys Vera an Alsatian called Boomer; Percy Sugden lies about his age to get a job as a lollipop man.

Friday 26 August 2011

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1989

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 29 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

When her mother Pat was killed in a car accident, papergirl Jenny Bradley was taken in by her boss Rita Fairclough. Her father Alan was traced and reintroduced to his daughter after an absence of six years and took an instant liking to her foster mother. Initially Jenny felt only bitterness towards her father, but slowly over a period of weeks, with the help of Rita, he won her over. The courtship between Rita and Alan blossomed, but Alan was never sure of her feelings towards him and he started an affair with barmaid Gloria Todd.

When Rita found out about Alan's secret love, she gave him an ultimatum. Initially, he decided to stick with Gloria, but after he reappraised the financial situation he went back to Rita. When Alan went to the Middle East to work, Rita stayed behind and looked after Jenny, fast becoming a surrogate mother. On his returned, Alan proposed to Rita and she turned him down, but invited him to move in to No7 with her and Jenny, 'over the brush'.

The relationship soon started to fall apart, with Rita becoming ever more cold towards Alan and eventually, he left her for housewife Carole Burns. Rita was devastated and longed for him to return, which he did after 6 weeks after he tired of the physical side of the relationship and a bank had refused him a loan to set up a business, Carole having no money. Rita welcomed him back with open arms, unaware of his real motives for returning. Alan stole the deeds to No7 and calling himself Len Fairclough, obtained a mortgage for £15000 so that he could set up his security firm. Rita was proud of the new offices on Rosamund Street, little knowing that she was financing them and for a while at least, the couple seemed happy.

Things were not to remain calm for long however. Alan tried to rape his receptionist Dawn Prescott and she went straight to Rita and spilled the beans about the source of Alan's funding. At first she refused to believe the story, but she broke in to the office and found letters addressed to Len in Alan's files. Whilst Jenny was out celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rita confronted Alan with what she had found and told him that she wanted to see him ruined. He pounced on her, beat her about the room and then tried to suffocate her with a cushion. Jenny arrived in the nick of time to pull her father off Rita and he disappeared out into the night.

The police eventually caught up with Alan and at the last moment, he changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, but walked free from the court after his time on remand had been taken into consideration. With revenge in his heart, he took a job on the building site opposite No. 7 so that he could keep an eye on Rita and torment her. Unable to take the constant proximity of the man who had tried to kill her, Rita disappeared without a trace. The locals were convinced that Alan had done away with her and the police dug up the building site looking for her body.

On an overnight trip to Blackpool so that Alec Gilroy could check out some acts, he and Bet Lynch discovered "Rita Littlewood" singing in a hotel owned by an old mate of Alec's. Bet and Alec found Rita in a terrible state, seemingly having blotted out the last 15 years. Bet stayed in Blackpool to comfort her only to lose her again, while Alec returned to Weatherfield and in a state of guilt over having suspected Alan of killing Rita, told him where she was. Intent on getting Rita to return and clear his name, Alan went to Blackpool where he came across her on the street outside her hotel. He bustled her into the car, but she managed to escape and ran across the road narrowly missing a tram. Alan was not so lucky and was killed instantly, his crumpled body lying on the promenade as Bet consoled a distraught Rita.

Also in 1989: Friday episode introduced; Brian Tilsley murdered; Factory and Community Centre demolished to make way for shops and houses; McDonald family arrives; Reg Holdsworth makes first appearance; Gail starts seeing Martin Platt; Curly & Shirley split up; Curly gets job as trainee assistant manager at Bettabuy; Kevin becomes head mechanic at garage; Vera gets stone cladding; Alma divorces Jim and gets café as settlement; Deirdre throws Ken out after his affair with Wendy Crozier; Jack holds his glasses together with a plaster for the next twenty years.

A Knight's Tale - A Fan's review

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

We previously posted the official press information for A Knight's Tale here. Now we're presenting a review of the DVD as seen by blogger Chewy. On last night's Corrie here in Canada, Rita mentioned Norris was swanning around a medieval castle. This is the result:

After Romanian Holiday, I had high expectations for this DVD, but this time around, it feels as though something is missing. Out of Africa and Romanian Holiday were mildly believeable, but A Knight's Tale throws realism out of the window.

There are two main plotlines in the DVD - Rosie and Jason's adventure; and Mary, Norris and Reg's story. Suprisingly, I actually enjoyed Rosie and Jason's side of the story more, as it takes an unexpected twist in the later scenes, though there didn't seem to be a proper conclusion to the action.

Reg, Norris and Mary's story just didn't sit right, and seemed to drag on, and climaxes with scenes such as Norris and Reg bouncing along on spacehoppers in a tournament.

Curly was something of a spare part throughout, though he was enjoyable to watch and it was good seeing him being successful. There are several side characters who gave me a few laughs, such as an old lady, who seemed to keep getting caught up in all the action.

Dickie the boatman, with various references to Richard Hillman from Norris, and from the character himself.
Curly, it was good seeing him around again.
Rita making an unexpected cameo.
Brilliant scenery.

The plots seemed to drag on for too long.
The 'tournament' seemed too silly.
Reg Holdsworth, need I say more?
The unrealistic plot points.

Final verdict:
Buy Romanian Holiday instead

Thursday 25 August 2011

Fireworks in the Kabin

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Back in 1973  Mark Hillkirk was injured after a spark from the bonfire on the Red Rec landed in a box of open fireworks. Since then Rita has refused to sell them. She had a huge row about it with Sharon Gaskell many years later and Sharon told her that as the Kabin now belonged to her, she'd sell whatever she liked. It looks like now the Kabin is Norris's, then he'll sell whatever he likes too but I can't believe Rita would have been so happy to sell those fireworks to Peter tonight.

I'll get my anorak.

Norris Cole, Hearthrob?

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in October, 2010.)

There's an interview in the Mirror today with Malcom Hebden who plays Norris Cole. You wouldn't think he would cause too many hearts to flutter but apparently he received a letter once from a man requesting a topless photo of him! Malcom also says that for some reason, children seem to be quite fond of Norris. That's a bit baffling since Norris is usually vile to children in the Kabin and has very little time for them.

Malcom came to acting a bit later in life but has directed a lot of theatre as well. He appeared on Coronation Street in the 1980s as a Spaniard who lusted after Mavis Riley and Norris Cole, the character, was created as a pal for Derek Wilton in the 1990s. When Derek died in 1997, Norris left the Street but was brought back in 1999. He's been part of the fixtures and fittings in the Kabin ever since. Now that the Kabin is about to be wrecked under the tram, Malcom does not know whether Norris survives or not and he's not too keen to find out. Apparently, you can go ask the producer who will tell you but he hasn't done that. Time will tell whether Norris emerges from the wreckage but if the crash happens at night, which I suspect since they are doing much of the filming at night, then chances are good that Norris won't be on the property since he lives at Number 3. Who else is going is still up for speculation. 

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1988

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 28 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
Mavis Riley and Derek Wilton’s lives had intertwined many times over the years. Since they jilted each other at the church in 1984, Derek had shocked Mavis by marrying his boss’s daughter, Angela Hawthorne and on occasion had returned to Mavis for comfort after suffering at his wife’s acid tongue. Angela divorced Derek, citing Mavis as co-respondent. Tired of the daily grind of newspapers and toffees at the Kabin, Mavis went for an interview at a stationery firm only to find Derek on the other side of the desk doing the interviewing. She was insulted when he refused to employ her but he made her another offer instead. Down on his hands and knees and talking through the letterbox at the Kabin because Mavis wouldn’t let him in, he proposed to her. To her friends’ amazement she accepted but not before letting him know how much he’d hurt and humiliated her in the past. A register office wedding was arranged and this time they both turned up. They honeymooned in Paris before setting up home together in the Kabin flat.

Shirley Armitage was the first ethnic minority resident of Coronation Street. She’d been working for Mike Baldwin for a few years but in 1988 she’d had enough of living with her family and asked Alf Roberts about renting the flat above his mini-mart. Alf turned her down saying that he needed the space for storage but when later on Curly Watts, who unbeknownst to Alf was going out with Shirley, asked about renting it, he readily agreed. The pair of them soon put two and two together and realised what was going on. Curly’s landlady, Emily Bishop, got to hear of the problem and tackled Alf about it, calling him a bigot in the middle of his shop. Alf relented and Shirley and Curly decided to move in to the flat together, where she swiftly took his virginity. Even after they moved in they faced problems, this time from their respective families, neither of whom approved of their relationship.

Also in 1988: Curly Watts out and Percy Sugden in at Emily’s; Ivy Tilsley and Don Brennan are married; Alma Sedgwick returns and takes over Jim’s Café; Brian and Gail Tilsley remarry; Kevin and Sally Webster buy no. 13; Audrey Roberts jets off to Canada to see her son; Bet Lynch gets pregnant but miscarries; Ken Barlow buys all of the Recorder; Mike Baldwin banned for drink driving; Mike wins Don’s taxi in a poker game.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

What do you think of Becky McDonald?

(This post was originally posted by Seapenguin on the Coronation Street Blog September, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I'm wondering what the Coronation Street "script boffins" are cooking up next for Becky McDonald, nee Granger (played by Katherine Kelly).
Is she going to become a long term fixture at the Rovers, or is there going to be a massive Steve and Becky bust up next year, triggered by Tracy getting sprung from the nick? Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. Even - and that's a big "even" - if it means seeing more of Kate Ford as Tracy. I liked Becky as Kelly's nasty mate - a horrible character but really well-played and great to watch. But I've never been comfortable with the gushy Becky/Steve relationship, or convinced by Becky playing a central role in the Rover's.

It's always felt to me as if she was just parachuted in. It's frustrating because there is obviously a huge back-story with Becky and if she's to continue as a main character I'd like to see them develop that a bit more.
Perhaps that's on the way? Maybe I'm clutching at straws but I've sensed a slight edge creeping into Katherine's playing of Becky since the awful Kylie appeared - just a hint of something steely in the eyes which might signal something meatier in the wings - and I don't mean one of Betty's hotpots. And I certainly don't mean a pathetic baby-buying plot. I'll be delighted if I'm right.

Corrie fans vote for Rosie and Jason as the new...

... Dumb and Dumber.

 In the latest poll here on the Coronation Street blog we posed the question: Rosie and Jason are the new...? 

294 fans voted and the results came in as follows.

Rosie and Jason are the new Dumb and Dumber, 73%
The new Alex and Katie, 14%
The new Posh and Becks, 6%
The new Jack and Vera, 5%

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Sneak Preview of next week's Canadian Corrie, August 29 - Sept 2

Here's a sneak preview of what's happening on Coronation Street in Canada next week.

Leanne gets fitted. Sophie gets judged. Jack discovers Molly's secret but takes it to his grave. Charlotte's there for John and we find out who's behind the messages and flowers. The Joinery opens. Who will Leanne celebrate with if she can't find Peter? Where is Peter, anyway?

For more details and photos, check out the Moosejaw Mercury on

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1987

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Day 27 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

For 23 years Jean Alexander had played the nation’s favourite gossiping cleaner, Hilda Ogden but in 1987 she decided to call it a day to allow her to do some of the things she’d been doing before she started in Coronation Street. When Jean announced her decision to leave, the writers decided to send her off in style.

Dr and Mrs Lowther, who she had cleaned for for years, had decided to retire to Derbyshire. Hilda went round to help them pack up their house and disturbed some burglars. In the struggle she was knocked unconscious and ended up on a life-support system. When she came round she was told that Mrs Lowther had died of heart failure during the attack. On her release from hospital she withdrew into herself, frightened to leave the safety of no. 13 and when Dr Lowther offered her the chance to be his housekeeper in Derbyshire, she jumped at it. On Christmas Day in the Rovers the whole Street turned out to give her a rousing send off and over 26 million viewers tuned in to hear her sing ‘Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye’.

Eager to get the brewery off her back, Bet Lynch set about getting together the funds to buy the Rovers off Newton and Ridley. She couldn’t scrape together anywhere near enough and so, despite warnings from all her friends, she borrowed money off Alec Gilroy. No sooner was the pub hers than she disappeared off to Spain, feeling unable to cope with the repayments she’d saddled herself with. Alec was quick to tell Cecil Newton where her money had come from and he was allowed to take control of the pub. When Alec located her he flew out to see her and asked her to come back to run the pub with him as his wife.

One of the most unlikely weddings ever to feature on Coronation Street went ahead with fans outside the church chanting ‘Don’t Do It’. But do it they did, with Bet wearing the most outrageous meringue of a wedding dress you’ve ever seen, while wardrobe were unable, or unwilling to even bother, turning up Alec’s trousers properly.

Also in 1987: Brian and Gail Tilsley are reconciled after birth of Sarah-Louise; Alan proposes to Rita and they live over the brush; Deirdre becomes a councillor; Don Brennan makes his first appearance; Terry Duckworth beds Dulcie Froggat; Susan Baldwin gets pregnant and tells Mike she’s had an abortion; Vera Duckworth’s mother, Amy Burton, moves in.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Coronation Street DVD: A Knight's Tale

There's a new DVD "spinoff" that came out in the UK last November. The premise is that Mary and Norris spend a weekend at a posh hotel that holds Medeival Weekends. The manager of the hotel is Reg Holdsworth and *his* boss is Curly Watts. Rosie is hired to be one of the serving "wenches" and she brings Jason along. Sounds a bit contrived? Well, here's the official ITV press release on  A Knight's Tale. Hmm...


Welcome to Tatlock Towers: a weekend of unrequited love, comical conmen, sinister plastic surgeons and chargrilled swan. It could only be a Coronation Street DVD special out 1st November.

Two of the Britain’s most enduring TV characters – Coronation Street’s Curly Watts and Reg Holdsworth – are reunited for A Knight's Tale, a one off special to be released by ITV STUDIOS Home Entertainment on 1st November, 2010 (in the UK). They are joined by Norris Cole, Mary Taylor, Rosie Webster and Jason Grimshaw in a hilarious comedy of errors set at a medieval weekend within a remote stately home.

Curly – now a high flying businessman with a chain of hotels under his Armani belt – is giving Reg a chance to prove himself by hosting a medieval banquet weekend at Tatlock Towers. Things get off to a bumpy start when Reg hires Rosie Webster as a serving wench under false pretences and sets his sights on Mary Taylor, despite her attachment to poor Norris.

Fooling Norris into thinking the weekend is a competition prize, Mary is hoping a romantic break among wandering minstrels and elaborate banquets will succeed in wooing the reluctant object of her affections.

Meanwhile, believing she is set for stardom as ‘the face of Strumpet Ale’, Rosie drags Jason on the weekend to watch her star turn. There she meets a plastic surgeon who is convinced that, with a little work - with or without her consent - she could be perfect...

Kevin Kennedy, who plays Curly Watts, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back in the fold of Coronation Street, working with a tremendous cast and the best crew in the business, if only for a short while. To be back with Ken Morley is something I think a lot of fans have been waiting for – as a double act, Curly and Reg were very, very funny.”

Ken Morley, who plays Reg Holdsworth, continues: “I can only echo everything Kevin has said except add that both Kevin and I are fatter, older and not necessarily wiser! We look forward to continuing with the mayhem we first dropped on the nation all those years ago.”

Helen Flanagan, who plays Rosie Webster, added: “I’m really excited about taking part in the DVD being released in Coronation Street’s 50th year - it feels like a real privilege. The script looks like loads of fun - you’ll be seeing Rosie at her most outrageous best!”

A Knight's Tale follows the hugely popular Romanian Holiday in 2009, which saw Roy and Hayley Cropper and Becky McDonald marooned with the housemates from hell in rural Romania, and Out of Africa in 2008, which saw Cilla Battersby drag Fiz, Chesney and Kirk out to South Africa for her latest scam.


Now you've read that, I'll say this about it. I've seen it. It's not that great, in my opinion but then it's mainly characters I don't like or care about. It was all very contrived, the way it gathers all those characters together. There were some good bits and it was great to see Curly again. I expect the DVD will be available in Canada later this year, judging by past releases.
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