Monday 31 October 2011

Is Carla really all that savvy?

 I was thinking about Maria's new job as Underworld P.A. That thought led me down the trail of past Underworld assistants and, you know? There hasn't been a sharp instrument among them, for the most part and I'm beginning to think Carla may not be as finely honed as she might like to think, either.

Let's recount... First, there was Dozie Webster. She showed more cleavage than organization skills. She drooled after her bosses (Liam and Luke) and tried to seduce Tony. She blackmailed Carla over the Liam affair and heaven only knows why she didn't get permanently sacked a half dozen times! She ended up leaving of her own accord.

There have been short term temporary assistants in the persons of Janice, Hayley and Sally. Very short term. Hayley is the most organized but she was mainly the floor supervisor, lending a hand when it came to ushering in clients and making cups of tea. Sally only did the job to fill in for Rosie and never got the job permanently (correct me if I'm mistaken) because none of the owners could stand working in close quarters with her!

Carla then hired Michelle, her former sister-in-law and apparently new BFF. Michelle struggled, flashed a lot of cleavage, and within days, Carla used her to get a new contract from a client, no doubt due to that cleavage. Not really the sort of things a P.A. is supposed to do.

Michelle bogged off with Ciaran on tour and now we have former hairdresser and fluffy-brained Maria, also a former sister-in-law to Carla and newest BFF, which is weird considering Carla had an affair with Maria's husband and Maria couldn't stand her. These things pass, apparently. The same "Let's Make A Deal" with a client is about to happen again. Maria doesn't have cleavage so I'm at a loss to explain this one.

Neither Michelle nor Maria have any experience doing business deals so it doesn't make sense that Carla would throw them to the wolves just because a client fancies the P.A. more than the owner. Is it any wonder that Carla's business is struggling to make a go of it?

She should have hired Julie as the P.A. Julie would have taken those clients in hand, winkled a deal out of them and not taken any funny business off them, either.

Ken and Deirdre's Bedtime Stories

Earlier this year, ITV filmed a series of short scenes between Ken and Deirdre as they got ready for bed at night and aired them on their website. We in Canada can't see video on the ITV website but thanks to the magic of You Tube, you can catch these great little vignettes. There were nine of them altogether. Here's the links but be award there may be some minor spoilers in the dialogue.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9

Return of the Kabin

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

I can't wait until The Kabin finally reopens, I've just begun realising how I missed all the little scenes between Norris, Mary, Emily and Rita in there. Norris and Mary have their Porta-Kabin, but we haven't actually seen that since Christmas day, and we've been rather low on appearances from the foursome since then.

I wonder what Norris will find to complain about in the new Kabin? Will Mary go crazy with her chainsaw? (I still want to know what happened there!) Will Rita buy earmuffs to block out the noise of Norris' voice, and will Emily be able to buy something for once, without being drawn into a debate between Rita and Norris?

Check out my small history of The Kabin over on my Weatherfield Recorder blog

Corrie Canada weekly awards: Oct. 24 - 28

Performance of the week: Chris Gascoyne kept me riveted.

RGI Award: Jeff thinks Sally is a (really) good idea? Romance really is dead.

That's you all told award: Gold Star: What a telling off Peter gave them all! Boy was it ever! And then he give Nick holy old Hell in the Joinery too!
Silver Star: And didn't Janice take a good sized strip off Nick!

Rubbing salt in the wound award: Gold Star: Even backed into a corner, Nick still couldn't resist rubbing Peter's nose in half truths and handed him the bottle. Swine!!!!

Big sister award: Gold Star: Sunita is always so nice to Sophie.

Tactful Award: Gold Star: What's Eddie like? Roy judiciously keeps silent. I'm gagging on the cake batter in his hair!

Big Brother award: Gold Star: Gary knows how to talk to kids!

Empty Pockets award: Tie: Dev and Steve. Broke.

Prize Idiot award: Dev for not insuring the shop to save a bit of money.

Colly wobbles award: Gold Star: Sunita has a hard time walking in the shop for the first time and was comforted by the woman that stole from her!

Ideas above his station award: Cocky star: David nicking Maria's clients because he's the "'air apparent". Wonder how he came up with that? Or who gave him the idea? Three guesses...(and did you see what i did there? I crack myself up!)

Bear Baiting award: Gold Star: Eileen shouldn't have spilled Owen's beans to Sunita and Sunita shouldn't have spilled it to Owen.

Overegging the pudding award: Julie certainly made a mountain out of a molehill. She doesn't remember what happened with Tyrone because she passed out. End of.

Fashion award of the week: Loved Julie's blue coat! And I loved Leanne's red hat!

Fashion Accessory award: Steve's backside teddy bear! Simon's cool shades.

Lines of the week:
Norris (gleefully) "You've got to hand it to the Barlows... the value for money at a wedding..." and "Peter Barlow should open up a laundrette with the amount of dirty laundry he's been waving about"
Betty "I made four dozen heart shaped vol-au-vents" Dev "Break 'em in half, keep with the occasion"
Peter to Leanne "That bouquet in your hand might as well be a wreath" (Ouch)
Gail "When the going gets tough, Nick Tilsley bails out" (had you not noticed before?)
Peter "Of all the bars in all the world...."
Peter to Gutless Tilsley "I'm ashamed for letting a gutless nobody like you get the better of me"
Ken, sarcastically, to Peter "Yeah, well she was lucky to find a saint when she stumbled upon you!" (Ken 1 Peter 0)
Tracy to Nick "Here he is, the best man. Who are the other candidates? Eddie Windass and Hitler?" Nick "I'm sure you've got some kittens to drown."
Julie to Tyrone "Our washing's all intermingled! You have to marry me now!" (*gulp*)
Dev to Steve "We might not have any money but we still have our pride" (which you tossed in the gutter to come crawling to Steve)
Eileen "The most romantic thing a bloke does round here is hold your hair when you're getting sick"
Fiz about Tyrone "He probably thinks Feng Shui is a Chinese takeaway"
Steve "No woman could hold a candle to you, Lloyd, you are my rock"
Sunita to Dev "Man up! Do what's necessary and stop whinging about it!" (Yay! tell him!)

Sunday 30 October 2011

Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, October 30

Boy did Peter ever throw the muck in that church. Norris was gleeful but nobody else knew where to put themselves and he wouldn't let them leave until he was well and truly done and he left pretty much no stone unturned, even told all about Carla's feelings for him. (Didn't Peter leave both crutches at the back of the church to walk up the aisle unaided? He had one when he was venting his spleen at everyone, that is, if he still has his. Nick automatically assumed Leanne would go with him now but he was surprised when Leanne told him off. So now Leanne has to try to get Peter back but she had to almost leave for him to agree to give her another try.

The scene between Leanne and Simon was heart wrenching! Ken gave Peter a few things to think about even if Peter took the moral high ground. Ken nailed it. Peter thinks he's not good enough for Leanne and the pain was really deep. It seemed to work. Mind you, Leanne should get her directions right. London trains always leave from Picadilly Station in Manchester and that was not it, it was the older Victoria Station which has far more atmosphere than the modernized Picadilly. Will he make it before the train leaves? No!!! But... she didn't get on the train and they're off on their family honeymoon. It won't be all hearts and flowers for a bit, you don't get over that pain so easily but I hope they manage to stick together.

All that aside, what did you think of Peter's confrontation with Nick in the wreck of the Joinery! Oh. My. God! I was rivitted! Nick is still cocky, goading and lying to Peter and even offered Peter a bottle to try to push him off the wagon again and i thought it almost worked, I thought he was going to drink it but he didn't. He frightened the crap out of Nick. He said he'd kill him and I think part of him really did want to though I didn't think he actually would. He put a good show on though. That was breathtaking stuff wasn't it? Wow! I think Nancy boy Nick wouldn't stand a chance against Peter in a fair fight where both men were healthy, i'm not surprised that Nick didn't fight back against Peter. He knew he deserved it. And didn't Leanne and Peter's reconciliation put a major knot in Nick's face! I'm all for anything that makes him suffer!

I also very much enjoyed Janice given Nick an earful and very very much enjoyed her telling Nick the news that Leanne and Peter were back together. And Nick, he was about to leave for Milan. Now he's all hot and bothered to rebuild the restaurant? Is he still hoping Leanne will come to him if Peter rejects her? And how could he go running the next morning after that crack on the leg Peter gave him? And all he could do is whine to his mummy and granny. Poor pitiful me.

Becky was less than pleased when she found Tracy behind the bar. And Steve has still not regained the use of his spine, I see. No more nights out, except a night at the casino, of course and naturally he wins! Does he pay Lloyd back? Does he heck, he tells Lloyd the secret and then he pays Dev back for the money Becky stole. It would have been a nice gesture if it didn't mean that Becky ended up having to confess so Steve wouldn't get arrested. I don't blame Lloyd for being upset but what am i missing? Steve took money from the business, didn't he? Did he borrow it personally from Lloyd? I didn't think so, so yes, Steve owes the business money but why is Lloyd acting like he's borrowed from him, calling it "my money" etc. Seems to me if Steve is part owner, he's taking it from himself as much as Lloyd. Maybe he only is obliged to pay Lloyd back half anyway.

Sally's date didn't go very well when Kevin intruded, as usual, to show the house to Lloyd and Cheryl, lying that he didn't know Sally had anyone there. What ever happened to Real Estate Agents? Sally would be in her rights to insist, rather than Kevin walking in willy nilly. As per usual, it descends into bitter acrimonious out and out war between them, much to the embarassment of Jeff, Lloyd and Cheryl. Sophie really does need an attitude adjustment. She might want her parents back together but she's not 7. Grow up, kiddo. I still can't get over the height of Kevin's hypocracy. He pays the mortgage so he can say who Sally sees? But it was ok when he paid the mortgage and messed around with Molly.

Graeme and Tina are giving Xin a place to live so Dev, naturally, decides they should be paying more rent even thoug she's a guest. Money grubbing twit. He could have been more sympathetic to Sunita who was a bit wobbly going in the shop for the first time. And Becky of all people there to hear her wonder who could steal from them while she lie there possibly dying. (She keeps saying that. She was long gone, why does nobody listen to me?) Well she was already long gone, wasn't she!

Dev was ducking and diving around Owen. Turns out he didn't have the shops insured. How on earth would someone be so stupid, especially after they'd been all blown up once already. You would think he'd be more aware of disaster striking. And you'd think 5000 pounds would be a mere drop in the bucket wouldn't you? I can't see how that's a make or break amound to Dev's financial survival. What i want to know is what happened to that great big posh house that Sunita was living in just a few short months ago and why isn't the flat up for sale too? Surely one of those would have sold. You don't get into this kind of financial straits in just a couple of months. The other shops not doing well? Sell them, too.

Oh and by the way, Dev took years to establish the shops? I don't think so. He was given first crack at buying them from his Uncle Ravi, who spent years establishing them. Which also changes history since Dev is supposed to have a lover in each one with a few illegitimate children, one old enough to be a mother herself which means he's apparently been around those shops for well over 20+ years the way the story goes now. And what's with him going whining to Steve selfishly when he sees they were all on the way out? He's asking for money. Well of course it was contrived to make Steve feel more guilty so Steve would give Dev his casino winnings. Maybe I should have more sympathy for Dev but I don't, sorry. Never liked the character much.
And in no way am I excusing Becky's actions, don't get me wrong. The money's been paid back. They used to be friends and that's probably gone now. There's no need to get vindictive. And I think Steve is going to get well and truly sick and tired of bailing out Becky all the time. Becky, to her credit, wouldn't let Steve take the blame and confessed and got a very public rollocking. No less than she deserves. Should it end there? What do you think?

Eileen made a tactical error, hinting to Sunita about Owen's dodgey practices. Now he's got even more reason to wreak havok on her life and he's going to, too. He made sure Jason didn't go home early when he knew Eileen would be out so he could nick Jason's keys, get in and find the papers she had. Now he's got all the evidence and he can lower the law on Eileen, having got rid of the evidence of his own crimes. (I take it her roof has been fixed already)  Eileen only got a "caution" which is being let off. No criminal record as such.  Owen's just as or even more detestable than Charlie Stubbs was, isn't he? He might have a redeeming factor in that he loves his kids but even with them he's a bully.

Kudos to the actor, though, Ian Pulleston-Davies for making Owen a Love to Hate character. well, maybe not that. Some characters i hate/d over the years were good fun to watch like Cilla and Stape but characters like Owen and Stubbs are really dislikeable and you don't have fun watching them, yet the actors are really good and really make it believeable.

The Windasses host Faye for her first overnight. It didn't go well until Gary showed up. I think the little one has a bit of a crush. The poor little girl is scared to death of rejection. Maybe Eddie thought it was going to be smooth sailing? Eddie frantically making cakes, with batter in his hair and a cigarette in his mouth over the bowl. GROSS!! Gary is right, they need to lighten up a bit, because Faye would get overwhelmed very easily.

Claudia can't understand why Marc seems to blow hot and cold. Not into her? Possibly. Secrets? Of course, it's a soap! What could his secret be? David's back from holiday and in fine form over this chick he met, Candy, who seems to be a cage dancer. Someone you can bring home to meet your gran, no doubt. He says he's never met anyone like her in his life.

And David's getting awfully full of himself at the salon, nicking Maria's clients and assuming he'll be in charge in less than a year. When did he get so hot and bothered about the salon anyway? So, One squabble and Maria quits? You know why, of course, it's very contrived. I hate stuff like that. Since Kym Marsh had to leave on maternity early, someone has to be the Factory assistant so now it's Maria and she's been shoved into a storyline that suits her even less than it suited Michelle.

Julie decided that Tyrone needed a healthy dose of tea, laundry and sympathy and a casserole. Getting drunk and passing out. Incidental background music "I'd step in front of a train for you" the song is apparently called Grenade. (incidentially i hate that song but ironically, it has the lyrics "I would die for you, baby But you won't do the same" ... Molly actually did but i suppose, not for Tyrone!) Hurricane Julie, she means well. It was a giggle anyway.

Carla needs a PA but does it have to be Maria with absolutely no office experience? Why *not* Julie? Or Sally who'd be weeing herself trying to get into that office full time. Gail, even, would be a good office manager since she'd done it at the clinic for years. The added bonus here is that it would put Sally's nose right out of joint if her best friend got "her" job! So Maria has been thrown in to the deep end and told to flirt for England. That's so wrong.

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Saturday 29 October 2011

Nasty award of the week: Owen Armstrong

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

This is one award that couldn't wait until the weekend. I really haven't enjoyed much of Corrie this week and Owen Armstrong is the reason why, for the biggest part, though not the only part.

Corrie seems to have been all nasty, all the time this week, starting off with Peter moaning and griping, Steve and Lloyd falling out, Steve and Becky whinging and David ultimately causing Maria to leave the salon. (Which is silly considering the stick she's had to put up with from him over the years. Last straw, I suppose!)

But the biggest culprit has been Owen who was just horrible every time he was on screen and you can read more about it over here.

Coronation Street and Star Wars

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

I've realised how many times Coronation Street references Star Wars this week. following Owen comparing himself to Han Solo, and Sunita comparing him to Chewbacca in Friday's episode. One of my favourite scenes of this year, was David and Gary talking to the police, when David comes out with the famous line "These aren't the droids you're looking for, move along". I wonder which one of the writers is a closet Star Wars fan then?

Anyway, getting to the point, I was wondering which Corrie characters are most suited to the weird and wacky world of Star Wars. I agree with Sunita, Owen would make a fantastic Wookie, or perhaps one of those little teddy bear Ewoks.

And there's always Gail...

Edit to add:
I don't think Owen would make a good Han Solor or a Chewbacca, he'd be a much better Storm Trooper!

And you know what? My fella and I sometimes play a casting game, who would you cast as Corrie characters or vice versa and I recall we did a Star Wars version using Corrie characters...Roy would play Obi Wan Kenobi, using his Jedi powers for good. Leanne would make a great Princess Leia. Steve has to be Han Solo! Chesney would be a young Luke Skywalker. Mike Baldwin, in very high boots, would make a good Darth Vader (Adam/Danny, you are my son!!!) and Ken, of course, would be Yoda!!

Who would you cast? Maybe play it with Star Trek characters!

Friday 28 October 2011

Coronation Street: 2010 Annual Report

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog January 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Reprinted with permission from Corrie fan Dave Lee. Follow him on twitter  davelee1968

What with tram crashes, canoe man copyists, multiple murders, dream sequences, factory sieges, bible-thumping lesbians and a ruined theme tune it’s been a landmark golden anniversary year in Weatherfield – but has it actually been any good?

The year in Corrie started with the World’s wettest man, Joe McIntyre, getting even wetter when he decided (probably quite sensibly) that a life spent on the lam was preferable to waking up next to the chinless visage of new bride Gail every morning. Thankfully for all of us he drowned while ‘doing’ a canoe man on his boat in the Lakes. How they managed to afford to buy and maintain a motor cruiser and take holidays in glitzy yuppie cabins while she worked as a receptionist and he owed untold thousands to a money lender was never fully explained but as long as he was definitely dead no-one seemed to care. And at least this lead to Gail’s imprisonment and the consequent return of Corrie’s grade A superbitch Tracy Barlow, first to fake a prison cell confession from Gail and then, later in the year, to arrive back in the street for 24 hours that saw her piss off everyone in sight and get her brain stoved in by France-bound widow Claire – a woman who could show Joe a thing or two about going on the run in style.

The much vaunted tram crash was (a couple of Thunderbirds-like model shots apart) actually quite well done. Certainly you couldn’t take your eyes off the screen for the entire episode, mainly just in case John Stape murdered someone else ‘accidentally’. It was a chance to rebuild the set and write out some deadwood very stylishly taken. Stape himself has been desperately annoying this year, partly because he can’t seem to put the kettle on without killing a wronged acquaintance but mainly because his lie-cover up-lie-cover-up duotone existence has become inordinately repetitive and wearisome. At least when he was just Rosy Webster’s pervy teacher-turned-kidnapper there was some amusingly stupid lines from the wittily christened ‘Dozy Plebster’ to enjoy. Now Stape just sweats gratingly through each new escapade like Robin Askwith playing Fred West in a bad Ray Cooney farce. I feel for the poor script writers. Imagine their dismay when they have a storyline involving ‘sweaty’ Stape short-strawed onto them. A recent episode was scripted by Jim Cartwright – the creator of, among others, Road and Little Voice – and saw him forced to pen a scenario where Stape conceals evidence of his latest bumbling murder (suffocating a pensioner whose son’s identity he had stolen) by pouring soup into his pockets while pretending to be a parcel-less delivery man. Cartwright must have visibly wilted when he realised what he’d signed up for. Really, has all the money from the film of Little Voice gone, Jim?

Back with the Platts, Nick’s brand new 1980’s style club/ bar/ diner/ sex office lasted about a fortnight before being mashed by the tram, leaving scorch marks on the viaduct wall alongside those still in place from the near-identical car crashes of one-legged kidnapper Don Brennan and Dev’s mad bird Maya. Someone should really apply some flame-retardant paint to that viaduct wall before David Platt has another convenient epileptic fit and smashes into it while trying to squash a love rival - expect that one around June time.

In the salon, Audrey fell for plummy man-prossie Lewis until he snogged Deidre, robbed the bookies and nearly ran off with all her cash. Fairly predictable but at least a welcome diversion from the pointless pregnancy/ abortion/ fake pregnancy yawn-fest involving the sauce bottle-shaped hairdresser known in our house as ‘what’s-her-face?’ and the slightly more entertaining concurrent illicit romance between her feckless paramour ‘skinny’ Nick and the street’s most unlikely ex-prossie Leanne.

Death-wise, as well as Joe we lost Molly (mad-stare midget, won’t be missed), Ashley (meh), Jack (get some rest, eh Bill? You’ve earned it) and the very much missed Blanche. Maggie Jones created a truly wonderful character and the soap handled her real life passing with great sensitivity. They also gave us a quite magnificent moment when Blanche sent Norris a sublime parting shot from the grave at the reading of her will. Best line of the year by a mile. Incidentally, a far more dramatic storyline for Molly would have been to reveal that she was actually pregnant by factory-exploding staremaster Tony Gordon as the resulting sprog would surely have been a dead ringer for one of the sea devils from 70’s Dr Who.

The factory siege itself was pretty poor and along with the tram crash aftermath only served to prove that it’s impossible to be a police officer attending major incidents on Coronation Street. Rather than trying to deal with whatever situation you’ve been called to, you spend your entire day dragging various members of the cast back behind the cordon through which they’ve just burst in an attempt to ‘help’ you. What the Weatherfield police need is some yellow tape that says ‘for heaven’s sake, stay there and let us do our job – your histrionics are not helping’.

In other news, Sunita left her very eligible new chap and a vast red brick palace in a leafy suburb to move into matchbox sized No.7 with  Dev, a man as inexplicably attractive to women as Steve McDonald and with an acting style pitched somewhere near Shatner with the DT’s. Norris was held prisoner by the frumpy fruitcake whose name no one can remember in a Bronte country cottage. Becky and Steve bought a kid in a dull storyline that’ll fall apart by Easter. Sophie and Sian lezzed off but the writers fudged the reaction of the Bible believing Corrie residents so that the whole thing invoked nothing more than a shoulder shrug from most characters. The introduction of the street’s first disabled character Izzy and Peter Barlow’s current wheelchair confinement apparently mean that Coronation Street has been mysteriously transformed from a cobble-strewn wheelchair nightmare (without a dropped curb or ramp in sight) to something apparently easier to navigate on wheels than the Top Gear test track. And weirdly there’s dwarves everywhere. You may not have spotted it but someone pointed it out to me months ago and when you look there’s loads of them inexplicably padding out the back of scenes. Probably an in-joke or maybe they’ve always been there, invisible until Corrie went HD. Trust me, look carefully and you’ll see them, though not around panto season, obviously.

So, all in all quite an entertaining year BUT I have to take serious issue with three very alarming developments. The new titles are OK and suitably HD friendly but the re-jigged music is CRAP. It used to have a gentle, relaxing jazz-tinged lilt that eased you in and out and over the ad breaks, the new version (obviously designed to be quicker to allow for more ads) is like being poked repeatedly in the ear with a rusty cornet. It has no swing and even less charm, get rid.

Also, during the tram crash week, Xmas and New Year there was at least three end of episode montages where tracking shots of various characters dissolve slowly together under either Rita squawking Winter’s Tale (Knox does Essex, available now from Wrongco) or Ken Barlow reading maudlin poetry. Stop it, Corrie, you’re not the Wire – or maybe you’d like to be and you’re simply preparing the audience for a storyline where Dev starts running Manchester’s crack gangs from some boarded up houses on Rosamund Street.

And finally, and most unforgivably, there was Jack’s dream sequence. Dear, oh dear. We all liked Jack and it’s quite right that an ailing actor who’s dedicated his working life to the show be granted a suitably respectful send off but presenting him with a vision of his dead wife and making him dance round the living room with her as the camera cranes out of the window is a crime against credibility akin to the legendary ‘Bouncer’s dream’ madness in Neighbours. As good as most of the past year has been on Corrie (and most of it has been corking) all involved in this particular fiasco should be forced to travel to work everyday by rickety tram while playing ‘Great explosions Vol 3’ on their iPods until they crack up.

Inequities in Love and War

As you know, Peter nearly put a pasting on Nick in revenge for the affair with Leanne. I ask you, is that fair?

Well, in a soap world, yes it is. But it also makes me wonder, what about Leanne's part in all this? She was a willing participant, after all. I'm not suggesting Peter should rough her up, because that's not morally or politically correct, is it? But I've just had to have a bit of a rant here about the inequity of it all.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Why Owen Armstrong is a good villain

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

Owen Armstrong is, in my opinion, one of the better villains in recent years. He's cold, ruthless, manipulative and cunning, he steps over people to get what he wants, but he always has his reasons.

This week, he was ignoring Eileen. She had won as far as they were both concerned, it was finished, until Eileen decided to tell Sunita about Owen's dodgy accounts, and Sunita had the cheek to tell an unpaid Owen that he could just fiddle his accounts. That got Owen in a real bad mood, he wasn't going to let Eileen get away with what she'd done after that kick.

Owen is better than villains like Tony Gordon and Tracy Barlow. Why? Because he isn't a murderer, he's just basically a dodgy builder (I can't say backstreet builder due to him actually owning a full sized construction company too). It's also easy to see why he tries to control what Izzy and Katy do, he sees Izzy's disability as a weakness, something that makes her vulnerable (though she's strong enough to stand up for herself), so Owen tries so stop anyone getting close to her or Katy, for fear someone might hurt them.

Sneak Preview of next week's Canadian Corrie, Oct. 31 - Nov. 4

Without further ado, here's a brief run down of next week's Coronation Street on Canadian Screens:

Dev and Sunita find out Becky stole their cash. What will Steve do? Becky struggles to cope and a familiar face returns. Owen takes his revenge on Eileen. Underworld client Frank steps over the line with Maria. Will Carla believe her or will her business concerns win in the end?

David is head over heels in love but when his fiancee arrives, she's a familiar face and nobody's impressed by his choice. Xin's visa is running out. Tina comes up with a plan but it's risky and Graeme isn't too happy about it.

Anna and Eddie struggle with Faye. Sophie hits rock bottom, hits the bottle and hits the ground, bringing Kevin and Sally together. Will they be able to put aside their differences for Sophie's well being?

Fiz brings Hope home and wants Schmeichel out. Katy tells Chesney something surprising.

For more detail and photos, see the Moosejaw Mercury at

CBC renewing Coronation Street

According to this little news tidbit, CBC has renewed it's contract with ITV to be able to air Coronation Street in Canada with a multi-year contract. That news site may require a login which showed when I first looked at it but then showed the whole article the next time so your mileage may vary.

They apparently have a quote from Tony Warren who says: “I am delighted to hear of the new Canadian deal especially as the unsung hero of the show, Harry Elton, who was the original executive producer and a Canadian, had the foresight to commission the programme.” They're also calling it Canada's "most popular drama serial" and indeed, Corrie is one of CBC's top rated shows. In spite of their purported "All Canadian" schedule, there are still a small number of non-Canuck items on the air which bring in the bucks and Corrie has always been one of their best-sellers.

Now with the double episodes, we're catching up at a rate of a month per month or a week per week if you want. Current episodes this week originally aired in late February 2011 which makes us 8 months behind. We were over 10 months behind at the start of September, so that's great progress!

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Fat Brenda's Cream Horn

Everyone's skint loveys, not just folk like me and you but even international business tycoons like Steve and Dev. The only person with any cash to splash nowadays is Owen the builder who seems to have rebuilt the whole flamin' street with his merry band of men - well, Jason and Chris anyway. No wonder Owen's in a bad mood all the time, he must be knackered!

Mind you, Peter must have a bob or two cos he's gone on his honeymoon and shut the bookies without batting an eyelid! He must have more money than sense. I'd have run it for him cos, let's be honest, there's nobody else to do it, especially not Nick, he's still embarrassed after Peter made him wee with fright in his knicker briefs when he threatened him and as for John Stape, he's in the hospital cos his mind's broke!

Anyway, how can Dev be flamin' skint? He downsized after he sold that posh house in Didsbury and he owns that flat on Victoria Court as well. He keeps going on about that money that was nicked, 'five grand' he keeps muttering to himself. At Dev's prices five grand would only buy you two flamin loaves and a few tins of beans so how he thinks it'd be enough to rebuild and restock a whole shop I don't know! If only he'd have sent that cheque off, mind you, entrepreneurs like him are known for entrusting really important business cheques to Royal Mail!

The winner of this week's 'Getting On Me Flamin' Wick Already Award' is, Xin! Flamin' hell, talk about problems. She was in the cab office tellng me how she can't get the job she's trained for and how her ovens broke so she has to eat crisps for her tea and blah blah flamin' blah! You work in a restaurant lovey, eat there if yer so hungry and at least you've got a job! I've nowt in for me tea, I've a broken oven and I work in a cab office that's got a kettle in it and nowt else! Try living on Ainsley Harriott Cup a Soups for a week and then moan! But, me point is loveys, why should I even care? I don't even know her! She's just some lass Tina used to work with but they're suddenly asking her to move in! Mind you, Tina loves a charity case, look at her dad! When I asked if I could move in with 'em after Bernice's shih tzu knocked me ashtray over and set fire to me bed they weren't interested! It's all about how you look innit loveys! If I looked like Xin they'd have snapped me hand off - like Bernice's dog did when I tried to wrestle it from me burning bed... the little shih t(zu)!

I blame Tina for building it up too much, 'aww she's dead funny is Xin. She's a proper laugh is Xin'. Since when has Tina been a decent judge of what's funny or not? She spends ninety percent of her day scowling!

Fay(e) stopped the night at Eddie's and he said it went alright...after Gary and Izzie showed up anyway. I said to Eddie, 'as long as you didn't tell her that boring anecdote about that fella leaving his wig in the back of yer cab then I'm sure you were brilliant.' Eddie has many strong points loveys but telling stories isn't one of 'em. If he ever tries to tell you summat amusing don't build yer hopes up.

Carla's struck up an unusual friendship again after her friendship with Michelle who hated her for keeping Tony Gordon's secret and Leanne who was in the boot of her dead husband's car she's made friends with Maria whose husband she had an affair with and who had a relationship with Tony after Carla knew he'd killed Liam! Phew! Poor Carla, she'll make a friend that has nowt to do with her past one day and the world will implode loveys!

Talking of Leanne, her and Peter have decided to give it a go after Ken taught Peter about forgiveness. If Ken's so forgiving how come he still moans to Deirdre about her stuffed marrow? Hypocrite!

I hope David's being careful in Tenerife, he doesn't want to bring owt nasty home with him does he...

Tweeter me loveys if you've any gossip and if you haven't, yer not trying hard enough!

Let's Hear it for Peter and Leanne

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

Yes, I realize this isn't a photo of Peter and Leanne but it's part of the whole story. Peter and Leanne are going to make a go of it all in spite of Nick's efforts. Even at the last, when Peter was threatening Nick, he couldn't let it go without a few more sly digs, aimed to push Peter's buttons. He even gave him a bottle of booze which in turn got thrown at his head. I only wish it had connected!

But in the end, Ken made Peter realize that it was worth working at, worth working hard and making a go of it because Peter and Leanne really are good for each other and they really do love each other. And naturally, I had a ramble about it all over here.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Sally Dynevor ditches her Corrie wig

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster on Coronation Street, gives a lovely, long interview to today's Mirror in which she says the time is right for her to ditch her wig and appear with her own hair on Corrie.  It's a wonderful, uplifting interview and you can read it here.

Sally's also been awarded a Tesco Mum of the Year award which she will receive at a ceremony next Sunday.

Sally Dynevor named Celebrity Mum of the Year

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, has said being named Mum of the Year is better than winning a Bafta. The 47-year-old mother-of-three, who has battled breast cancer in real life as well as on screen as her soap character Sally Webster, will be honoured at the Tesco magazine Mum of the Year Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel on Sunday.

Sally, who will join seven other inspirational mums who have been nominated by friends and family, said: "To me, to be told you're Mum of the Year is a million times better than winning a Bafta. I feel honoured to be in the company of the other nominees, their stories are incredibly humbling, and I'm just filled with awe for these amazing women. I have so much admiration for them."

The Corrie actress, mother to 15-year-old Waterloo Road star Pheobe Dynevor, 13-year-old Samuel and seven-year-old Harriet, has played Sally in the soap for 25 years, but when researching a breast cancer storyline in 2009, discovered a lump in her breast.

Sally said: "I thought there was absolutely no way that was what they were going to tell me; I thought I'd made it up in my own head because of the storyline, I was sure they had got it wrong. What surprised me most about discovering I had breast cancer was realising how much I love life. I'd never thought about my mortality before. Now I just want to enjoy every moment. I want to love even more than I've ever loved and embrace everything so much more. If I went and left this world and the kids said, 'We had a great childhood and loved our mum' that would mean everything to me. Being a mum is the greatest role I've had."

See also: Sally Dynevor ditches her Corrie wig

Monday 24 October 2011

Peter Barlow: Heartbreaker

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

How fantastic was Chris Gascoyne tonight? Truly one of the Corrie greats, along with the fantastic Alison King - also at the forefront tonight. It felt fantastic seeing Peter finally tell everyone how disappointed he was in them all.

Everyone in his life except Simon had some sort of gameplan - sadly it will be him who suffers most from the events of tonights episodes. Seeing Janice back in action was fantastic too, a real rough character, but with a heart of gold.

Oh, and is it me or did Peter have an air of 'Scarface' about him tonight?

Peter Barlow - Coronation Street's smoking volcano

(This post was originally posted by Seapenguin on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2011.)

Peter Barlow - he's butch, he's brooding, he's swarthy- and contrary to expectations he's got some self-control as well. For now...
I despise violence as a rule but I think I'd struggle if I found myself with an iron bar in my hand and weaselly rat-fink Nick Tilsley at my mercy.
But not Peter. No. He satisfied himself with scaring seven shades of you know what out of him. And me as well - I was petrified watching him hobbling through that dripping hell-hole of a Joinery. Somehow the crutches added to the general atmosphere of menace - a touch of the Long John Silvers maybe.
How long can this self-restraint last? Will Nick scarper to Milan or will Peter nobble him first? Just how evil is Peter going to get - or will his feelings of responsibility for Simon prevent him from going totally over the top? I don't know - I've not read the spoilers. But I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of Peter, that's for sure.
My own blog is here

Corrie Canada weekly awards: Oct. 17 - 21

Popularity Contest. Nice Start!

Use whatever you can award: Gold Star: Tracy used the memory of the tram crash victims to try to get Valentine's day off.
Silver Star: Nick. When all else fails, give her a plane ticket.

Ask and ye shall receive award: Gold Star: Sally wonders if she should get a new fella and one walks into the bar and wants to take her out!

Sex Object award: Dubious Star: *Now* Rosie wants to be seen as more than a near-perfect body? Where do i start?

Fashion accessory of the week: Rosie's handbag and that patterned dress was an accessory all on its own! Everyone had red on too, Rosie, Sophie, Leanne's dressing gown.

Cliche secret discovery scene: Gold Star: Leanne's secret overheard in the toilets by the worst possible person - Tracy!

Grammar Fail award Gold Star: Someone needs to teach Sophie a bit of grammar. She wanted to lend some money *from* her mother... no she said "Off" her mother. And then she tells Sian "this couldn't have come at a more worser time"

What did your last slave die of? Rosie even has Jason holding her phone for her.

Rock Bottom award: Gold Star: Poor Fiz. Poorly baby, ill husband, money worries. No wonder she's tempted by Joy Fishwick's legacy.
Silver star: Peter.

Mrs. Webster's Neighbourhood award: Friendly star: I loved Sally being all trashy and brash and pally with the Windasses to put off the buyers.

Bully of the week: Gold Star: Owen has turned his sights on Gary now Gary's moving in with Izzy.

Too much to hope for award: Gold Star: It figures Tracy would manage to stay out of jail.

Put your big boy/girl pants on and get a grip award: Gold Star: Peter needs therapy more than physio.
Silver star: It's about choice, Sophie. Grow up and make one.

You Idiot award: Gold Star: Steve hiring Tracy so she won't take Amy away. (Mind you, there were a few contenders for this award.)

How can I miss you if you won't go away award: Gold Star: Leanne really, really wants Nick to leave.

Lines of the week:
Peter: "I'm anything but ok."
Eddie: "What Claire did was wrong" Tracy: "Thank you." Eddie: "She should have put more shoulder into it, done a proper job."
Rosie: "People have been raising kids for aeons. How hard can it be?"
Sally: "I doubt this will knock my family off the front pages, unless we discover Carla's carrying Peter's baby."
Leanne to Nick: "You were immature, pathetic and manipulative before and you still are."
Leanne to Nick "Peter Barlow is a man. You...You're a selfish, sniveling little Mummy's boy"
Leanne: "You think you're hard, don't you?" Carla: "I've had my moments"
Leanne to Peter: "You didn't fall off the wagon, you were pushed off it"
Peter "Simon's going to be brilliant, if not hilarious as Best Man"
Tracy to Tina "Is your mum still alive? Oh... well 50% isn't bad!" (and that was the nicest thing she said!)
Carla to Leanne "The stench of hypocracy's knocking me sick"
Tracy to Nick "At least i don't wreck people's homes" Nick "No you just batter them to death!" (And isn't Tracy planning to do just that? be a home wrecker by telling Peter?)
Peter "I'm just so lucky!" (Agggghhhh!! Soap Opera Phrase of Doom!)
Rosie "I'm more than just a tomato!" Jason "Yeah but you got some great tomatoes!"
Nick to Leanne "I won't leave without you" (I guess you aren't going anywhere, then)
Peter to Nick "I want you to be me best man" (not what I wanted him to say to Nick and not what Nick expected)
Janice to Leanne "You're going to remember this day for the rest of your life" (Isn't she just!)

Sunday 23 October 2011

The church used for Leanne and Peter's wedding blessing

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

If you're wondering which church was used for the Coronation Street filming of Leanne and Peter's wedding blessing, then here's everything you need to know. 

The church used was St Mary’s Church in Prestwich.

The church has been seen on Corrie before as it was used as the location for Peter Barlow’s bigamous marriage to Shelley, and Jason Grimshaw’s and Sarah-Louise Platt’s doomed nuptials, plus it was the place where Fred Elliot would have married fiancee Bev, were he not dying in the arms of Audrey at the time.

The church was also used for the funerals of Mike Baldwin and Liam Connor, as well as the place where Emily Bishop nearly met her doom at the hands of a madman, and the place where Sarah-Louise’s daughter Bethany was almost killed by her own grandmother, says the MEN.

Here is the church's own website.

edited to add: I've been there as well! It's a lovely little church tucked away off a main road.

Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, October 23

I see Peter didn't learn his lesson after all and knowing Simon saw him drinking didn't give him the push to stop again. He's surly and argumentative with Janice and Leanne both. He's hiding bottles in the sofa. Nick has dragged out Carla's secret about her feelings for Peter and he was lying to her that he didn't know Peter was drinking to keep her off guard.

And also, Nick is still sniffing around Leanne, reminding her of their former wedding anniversary and he schemed so that she wouldn't go to Physio with Peter for his surprise of taking a few steps. Peter gets in a mood and that sends him back into the bottle again and Nick doesn't help, hoping Leanne will catch him. He doesn't give up, does he? He makes slimeballs look good! Fortunately, or maybe not, Peter called Carla for help instead and passed out at her flat overnight.

Peter seems to have learned and he's at his meeting. Step 1. Maybe he'll stay off the sauce this time even if he says he'll keep on drinking. He went to a meeting and Nick used his absence for more poison which Hayley inadvertently helped by thinking she was doing the right thing by saying she'd seen him at Carla's. Of course she didn't know he was there all night. Oooops! Time to lay into Carla who wants to keep a confidence so she confronts Peter who lies to her face but he's busted and Leanne forgave him.

However, she realized that Nick was the one that was making it easy for Peter to drink. Leanne should have told Peter that Nick wants her back, she might have got away with it without having to tell him about the affair. Laying in to Nick really isn't going to make him stop his little tricks and sure enough... oh i know you said you hated me but there's a plane ticket. Let's fly away to Paradise days before you are getting wed.

Leanne couldn't talk Peter out of having Nick as Best Man and the worst thing happens, Tracy overhears Carla and Leanne in the loo and she's the worst person possible to know the secret about the affair. Will she tell Peter? Will she just keep it for future reference? Will she heck, though she did seem to feel bad about telling Peter such bad news. I'm surprised she went to Nick first and Nick doesn't mind if Peter knows because he would get a free run at Leanne. Nick accused Tracy of being jealous. I can't see that. It didn't make sense really. And Peter had already found the plane ticket and his suspicions are already roused.

But anyway, it's out now. Peter knows the truth and the wedding is almost upon him. He's going for revenge. Cold and furious. You can see him setting everyone up. Getting Nick and Carla to come to the pub? How awkward was that!

And here are a few photos from the wedding, pre-disaster
Peter contemplates his plan
The Groom and Best man make their way up the aisle

Then the bride enters.

Waiting with bated breath...
The bride is blissfully ignorant of what's about to happen. The happiest day of her life and one she'll always remember, but not for the reasons she expects.

Meanwhile, the people that know more than they can say are waiting...wondering....
And the groom has a face like thunder...

Blessing day arrives and you know Peter has something up his sleeve. Ken and Deirdre are optimistic. But when Peter made Lloyd keep Simon out of the church, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Peter managed to walk down the aisle under his own steam. Norris managed to be bitchy and nasty as always. (It worked when it was Blanche. It doesn't work as Norris)Leanne walked down the aisle, all smiles and joy. Peter's gob looked like thunder. They get to the altar and, HOLY CRAP he served her divorce papers and blew the affair out of the water!


Tracy had her hearing and it didn't matter that Peter was missing. He'll be back to hear what her verdict was, naturally. Self centred witch. Meanwhile Becky managed to get cheap flights so they could all go to Spain to see Liz and Andy only Tracy came home after all and Steve is so desperate to keep Amy close that he has given Tracy a job. Nice. Becky naturally sees that as not taking her side and pandering to Tracy. Nothing new there then for the Spineless Wonder. I think Lloyd probably wonders how on earth he managed to get in behind the bar in the middle of ground zero. Looks like Steve and Becky took Max to Spain and left Amy home. Poor kid. Tracy is sucking up to Tina and throwing around less than tactful remarks and bickering about who gets to have Valentine's night off so they're not getting off on the right heel.

Fiz was desperate enough to cross the fraud line and talk to the Fishwick solicitor and accept the money. Reluctantly. And she had to go to the funeral for appearances' sake. She had to tell Chesney what was going on too. As if he needed another reason to dislike John! It's going to be a bit tricky being Fiz Fishwick without identification. And oh come on, will settled and money transferred in days? In whose world? And the solicitor wants ID for the house and those details but i'm sure Fiz can put him off. She got through the funeral ok, at least, and she's found John's "Colin" bank details so she can use that for the initial money.

Dev seemed very evasive when Owen wanted his next invoice paid. Dev is waiting for the insurance he says. But he seems to be avoiding that conversation with Sunita too. I had a good laugh at Rosie trying to explain Twitter to Betty.

Wonderful stuff! Sally's latest plan has the trashy Windasses over when the potential buyers come to see the house again! Did you see Anna's face when Sally handed her a tin of ale, not even a glass to go with it! Worth having to have them for a meal if it put off the punters! Score another one for Sally over Kevin. Kevin was so chuffed that Rosie wanted to spend time with her baby brother but of course it was only to use him for the photo shoot and the dumb cluck brought the wrong baby home! Score another one against Kevin.

So much for all this confidence that the rest of your family are opening their arms to you again. What do you do? Disown your daughter. Clod. Sophie is bunking off school and doesn't even care. And as soon as Sally finds out and is about to do something, Rosie comes in and it's all about her. Sophie is pushed aside. Yet again. Over and over again. Is it any wonder Sophie seems to be walking around with a big chip on her shoulder. No wonder Sian is getting fed up as well. And why on earth would Kevin even care what Sally thinks about Rosie's gaff with the baby? Big fat hairy deal and that's pretty much what she told him. And why would he think she has to tell him wherever she goes? None of his business and she told him that too.

Meanwhile, Sally wishes for a new fella and one walks in the door. Gail and Sally both perk up but it's Sally that catches his eye. Jeff, he's called. Very smooth, handsome, seems nice. Got to be a hitch there somewhere. I imagine Rosie was highly exaggerating that "topless" photo shoot in a grungy studio but it was enough to get Sally on the warpath to holler at "Alfie". Who turns out to be Jeff. Ah. Why would he think Alfie sounds cooler than Jeff? I wanted to see Rosie with the chicken head on!!! Rosie figures she has to be a drama queen to get Sally's attention??? really??? i thought it just came naturally! I'm glad Sally stuck up for herself.and she got flowers for Valentine's day!

Gary is moving out....and in with Izzy! In spite of all his troubles, I do like them as a couple. That was the only place he could say he was going that Anna really wouldn't object. Unfortunately, it also means Owen has a new victim to bully but this one will fight back. David's living it up in Teneriffe suddenly. Must be nice! Tina has a really good friend that we've never heard of that has got a job at her and Graeme's favourite restaurant, that we've also never heard of. Aw Graeme overheard Gail mention the anniversary of Joe's death and he booked a fancy restaurant for Tina but she wasn't having it and they went to that place that's their favourite. The one we never heard of before. Remember? (Oh and her new best friend's name is "Xin" and is pronounced Sheen.) Xin isn't very happy and Graeme was chomping at the bit to get to the buffet.

Tracy sure got a laugh out of Eileen, Carla and Tracy but unfortunately, she was cleared any further retrials because not only was the expert dodgey, the evidence was no longer good either. I chuckled when Rosie leaned down to coo at baby Jack, his little face looked highly unimpressed. Cheryl has only been working in the cab office 5 minutes and she's after redecorating and making it look "tasteful yet fabulous". It's a poxy cab office, not the showcase of his business. How many of you out there ever see the inside of the cab office that you call for a taxi? She did make it look ok and even covered that ratty old chair that Lloyd insisted not be thrown away.

Claudia is wonderfully bitchy isn't she? And she brings out Audrey's inner bitch too! This Marc fella, though. It must be true that couples start to look like each other. In this case, they sound like each other too! Claudia's (Rula Lenska) voice is very husky and both of them speak through clenched teeth. Oh go on, picture him in a big red wig, some eyeliner and some lippy! (spoiler thru this link) You know you want to!)

Saturday 22 October 2011

Michelle Ma Belle

(This post was originally posted by Merseytart on the Coronation Street Blog January 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Kym Marsh Ryder Marsh’s unexpected maternity leave has created a hole on Coronation Street.  Her sudden departure means there is no character who personifies the goddess Aphrodite on British screens.  What will we do without her?

Michelle Connor is the current Queen of the Street, the woman all the female viewers want to be, and the male ones want to bed.  She enriches every scene she’s in, drawing our eye with the screen presence of a Garbo or a Hepburn; even when all she’s doing is ordering a pint at the bar, her personality radiates through the screen and wipes out everyone else present.

She first arrived in April 2006, auditioning for the singing role in Vernon Tomlin’s band.  Obviously, she got the role, due to her having the greatest female singing voice since Aretha Franklin, but she soon departed after Vernon attempted to grope her.  This points out her inspirational moral standards and commitment to truth and sincerity.

Michelle returned later that year, to become a barmaid at the Rovers, where she immediately caught Steve McDonald’s eye ... he is, after all, only human.   She brought with her a family of two brothers who died early; this was to increase the tragedy of Michelle’s life, since she had lost Our Dean at an early age and had been saddled with Ryan and his hair as a result. 

Despite their glaring sexual connection, Steve couldn’t get up the courage to approach this Venus, and so she hooked up with a businessman named Sonny; like all Manchester millionaires, he was never happier than hanging around a backstreet boozer while his fiancĂ© wiped dried up Stella off a beermat.  Unfortunately for Michelle, Sonny was bisexual, and if soap operas have taught us anything, it’s that bisexuals can’t be trusted.  No sooner had he slipped a ring on Michelle’s finger than he was banging Sean during a bomb scare.  Obviously, Michelle couldn’t tolerate this, and Sonny’s stupidity in choosing a man over her resulted in him being driven out of the Street and never seen again.

The way was now clear for Steve to become involved with this titan of sexuality; he didn’t really seem to want to, but really, how could he resist?  With her powerful sexual allure he was powerless, and before long she was settled in the Rovers, complaining that she had to work Christmas Day while Betty (aged 90) got off scott-free during the festive season to visit Her Gordon Down South.  Before long she was doing the rotas too, overriding Liz McDonald at will, which gave her plenty of time to deal with her latest personal disaster: her new-found son.

Yes,  Ryan, the boy with the pallid complexion and Busby hairdo, was not her real son, but instead a lanky youth with curls called Alex was.  This seemed unlikely, as Alex didn’t have the patented Connor shiny black locks, but a DNA test proved otherwise.  This was a bonus for both sons;  Alex got a mother, and Ryan realised that those secret thoughts he’d had about Michelle (a.k.a the universe’s most desirable woman) were not that disgusting after all. 

This horrific situation, a nightmare for mothers everywhere, resolved itself when Michelle decided never to see Alex ever again.  He gracefully accepted that her decision was final, and turned his back on his real family.  Michelle had only so much love to give, and giving it all to Ryan was hassle enough, without someone else getting involved.  Alex retreated to his parent’s house; he later killed himself, feeling unloved, but no-one cared.

At around the same time her relationship with Steve began to flounder.  For some reason, he disliked being lectured and harangued at every moment, and began a mucky affair with the scraggy waitress in the cafe, Becky.  His betrayal displays his clear lack of mental acuity, and Michelle acted with dignity when she found out about the affair, turning his mother against him and using his young child in her psychological mind games.  She refused to be bitter, and concentrated her efforts on moving on and up - taking the opportunity to make a tour of Europe with a band, because the Continent is desperate to hear tattooed skanks belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart while a man fiddles with his Bontempi in the background.

She returned, bigger and better - quite literally, as Kym Marsh Ryder Marsh came back two bra sizes larger thanks to a friendly surgeon.  Michelle immediately made plans to change her life, taking a flat above the kebab shop (though she complained to Dev that the smell from the shop was making her feel ill and demanded that he did something about it; his response was to stop making kebabs completely, as nothing should interfere with her lifestyle).  A friendly builder fell through the roof and put a smile on her face; he was entranced by the vision of Michelle rising from the bath, much as Sean Connery was captured by Ursula Andress rising from the waves in Dr No.  Only with more tattoos.

Her true calling came when Him out of Boyzone came back to the Street, and immediately fell for her seductive charms.  He pursued her relentlessly, but Michelle rightly recognised that she could do better than an internationally renowned boy band star and sex symbol with thousands of screaming fans.  She kept him at arm’s length, using her incredible sexual charisma to distract him so that the trained chef forgot how to roast a chicken (an easy mistake), before finally relenting and allowing him to throw it up her.  

At around the same time, Carla Connor rightly decided that a career pulling pints in small pubs would naturally have prepared Michelle to be a high-flying businesswoman.  She demanded that Michelle become her assistant in the factory, ignoring the pleas of people who had actually done that kind of job (such as Sally Webster) because they didn’t have Michelle’s innate brilliance.  True to form, Michelle was immediately forced to complain incessantly because she felt like Carla was leaving her to do too much work.  Carla apologised, and confessed that alcoholism meant she couldn’t pay Michelle as much attention as she deserved; Michelle forgave her, because she is, after all, the most wonderful humanoid in creation.

How will the Street survive without her?  Rumours are that Emily Bishop is even now petitioning the Pope for beatification, even though she’s not even a Catholic; in the meantime, Carla Connor is wrapping her chair in plastic between sobs so that no-one else sullies it.  Him out of Boyzone is inconsolable and is considering homosexuality, because no woman could possibly compare with Michelle.  Hurry back, Kym Marsh Ryder Marsh; without you, Coronation Street is nothing.

Coverage of Betty Driver's funeral

Betty Driver's funeral took place in St. Ann's Church in Manchester this morning. There was a marching band through the streets and in St. Ann's Square, a large video screen was in place so the general public could hear the service. Cast and crew members past and present attended the funeral as did Coronation Street creator, Tony Warren.

Speakers at the service were long time friend and personal assistant, Charles Orr, and cast member Helen Worth and former cast member Bill Kenwright who played Betty's son, Gordon Clegg. Helen said "She was the ultimate professional and knew everything there was to showbusiness, including stealing your scene without any words, A perfect look timed to perfection which lit up the screen."  and she is right. Betty really did steal every scene! (edited to add: BBC has the video footage of Helen's full speech here and yes, it's viewable for watchers outside the U.K. It nearly had me in floods, I'll not lie but it was wonderful!)

Bill Kenwright said "She was never ever in the most volatile of story lines. She was the bedrock of it. A juggernaut of love." and spoke of his mother-son relationship with Betty. Even near the end, when she was semi-conscious, she knew he was by her side during one of his visits.

Charles Orr recalled a recent incident where Betty brought out the inner fan of a group of young lads they encountered in a car park. "All the black hooded crows had gone and we left with this glorious sight of young men, jumping about doing high-fives. You could hear them on the phone, 'I've just met Betty Driver! I've just met Betty!' What can you say about that magic?" And magic she was, indeed.

Betty herself had planned the service and music including Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and with Lord of the Dance and Jerusalem closing off the service. There is more detail about the service and a slide show at the Manchester Evening News site and more photos at the Daily Mail.

Farewell, Betty, you will be missed.

Photo copyright and the Daily Mail.
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