Tuesday 31 January 2012

Another Christmas baby for Corrie

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

Last nights episode of Corrie confirmed what many of us expected, that Chesney and Katy's new baby will probably be born around Christmas time. A yuletide birth seems to be a regular occurrence on the cobbles. Rosie Webster, David Platt, the Mallet twins, Nick Tilsly, Ben Watts and Hope Stape have all been born during the festive season in recent years. Jason Grimshaw also had his "child" Holly dropped on his doorstep on Christmas Day.

A new face on the street at Christmas is normally a light hearted occasion which is appropriate for the time of year. Who can forget Norris hilariously trying to deliver Emma and Curly's new son, and Sally giving birth to Rosie in the back of a cab?

Providing the new Battersby-Brown baby is born healthy, a new arrival to the Corrie universe will be a nice happy occasion and will be a welcome contrast to the drama and anguish that will no doubt be happening elsewhere as Becky McDonald leaves the street.

Let us know if we've missed any Noel newborns in the comments!

Do you like Kylie on Corrie?

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

Last week we asked you do you like the Marc/Marcia story line, and, unsurprisingly enough, the readers voted Nay, with blog editor Flaming Nora putting it aptly: "Sadly, a big fat NAY. This just hasn't worked" and I have to agree.
This week, we ask you Do You Like Kylie? We can all agree she is a nasty piece of work, but that's what makes a good character, right?
When she first appeared on our screens last year, I have to admit I wasn't fond of her. She just seemed like a younger clone of Becky (pre 2008). Between that, trying to bed Steve and exchanging her son for 20K, I didn't like her at all.But then, enter Kylie 2.0.

I don't know what happened when she came back from Aiya Napa, but my opinion about her completely changed. I love her now. Her constant bickering with Gail, her scenes in the salon, and her outing of Marc have all been highlights of this year. I just love her now - my favourite character in Corrie as well as Mary.
So obviously it's a big YAY from me, what about you?

(This next part was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2011.)

On a related note, there's a good two part interview on Digital Spy with one of my favourite Corrie actors, Paula Lane who plays Kylie. She talks a bit about Kylie's upcoming storyline where she and David move forward to get Max back.

Paula says she couldn't understand at first how Kylie could be so cold towards Max but has since realized that kids like Kylie that were in and out of care a lot, never had love shown to them so never learned how to show it themselves. Now that Kylie has a husband and support network, she just might have the confidence to raise Max.

We've seen this with Becky, too, as she's learned to have more confidence in herself through the support of the Croppers and then Steve. Becky still has that self destructive side and Kylie will probably not lose her edge either.

The main interview is here with a link at the bottom to the second part.

Corrie Pin-up of the week, circa 1975

With news in this week of Helen Flanagan, who plays Coronation Street's (This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2011, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Rosie Webster, doing a runner from the set when asked to pose in her undies, we give you this 1975 picture of actress Kathy Jones, who played Tricia Hopkins in Corrie.
Kathy tells us at the Coronation Street Blog: "Gail and Tricia wanted to become models, they had read an advertisment in the local rag asking for young girls to come forwrd to see if they were suitable. The gullible girls went along to the interview, and paid their money for photographs to be taken for a sales brochure. We had to walk up and down doing 'funny' walks to make us look awkward. Of course it was a con and they model agency boss (Tony Anholt) ran off with all the money. 

I remember I had to have full body make up applied, I was too pale for the bikini shots, Helen Worth had just returned from holiday so she was nicely tanned already. They applied the make up on the late filming night, Thursday (we used to film up to 8pm on a Thursday), then they said all studio time had gone so we would film that scene on Friday morning. Shower! So up early for another full body make up session on Friday. Funny thing was, I also remember the studio was quite full on those two days. hmm!
It was great fun though."

Follow Kathy Jones on twitter and view her website.

Monday 30 January 2012

Corrie Canada weekly awards: January 23 - 27

Style award: Julie again for that fab black and red dress. It really did say "banquet" and "take me but not all at once" didn't it!

Snidely Whiplash award: Gold Star: Yes, Peter, Frank was being snidey.

Idiot award: Peter reckons Frank was an idiot to propose in front of everyone. Um. You did it. And so did Leanne.

Pity Party award: Gold Star: Chris won't accept help from anyone except Cheryl and is rude to everyone else.

Pants on Fire award: Carla is lying through her capped teeth aobut not loving Peter anymore!

Baby Blues award: Teary Star: Fiz's new friend Ruth is using her baby to get drugs into the prison and her cellmate is offering it to her. Ruth is putting a sob story onto Fiz but she's also tough as nails.

This means war award: Norris is on a crusade to bring Sylvia down!

He's My Hero award: Gold Star: Norris isn't my hero but I did enjoy him trying to charge Sylvia £5 for a newspaper!

Heart is in the right place award, Methods need a bit of work: Gold star: Sylvia wants to help but she's only going to drive away the customers. Adjust the prices 50p to include the cost of sauces.
Silver star: Tommy needs to invite Tina if he's making a meal. Surprises bring you a dinner companion with a 5 o'clock shadow.

Fits like a glove award: Gold star: I do like Karl, I must say.

Got your number, ladeh award: Gold Star: Kylie accused Gail of being jealous, spiteful and knowing no woman will be good enough for her son. She's right. Then Audrey sacked her. Frankly, Audrey was asking for a bit of Kylie's revenge

Sherrif of Weatherfield Nick award: Gold Star: Fiz is out to right all wrongs in the jailhouse.

Love is Blind award: Gold Star: Does Julie really think Brian is a George Clooney type? Must really be love! Eileen's expression pretty much mirrored mine!

Lines of the week
Audrey "The two of you couldn't run a bath let alone your own business"
Julie "Single is the cruelest word on the planet. That, and banana"
and "I am offering you the full English here but if all you want is cold toast and a quick coffee, it's your funeral"
Sally (dreamily, about Frank) "Men like that don't take 'No' for an answer" Sean with a lot more meaning "No. They don't"
Norris about Julie's excitement "If she'd been a puppy, she'd have left a puddle"
Leanne about Frank "Do you think he knows that all of her husbands have their own personal vault in the cemetery?" (she's not far wrong, either)
Governor to Fiz "Please tell me. I won't let you down" (Do I smell a Phrase of Doom?)
Emily about Norris "What if he's formed an alliance?" (i.e. he got lucky? Nah!)
Sylvia "What on earth would Al Qaida want with Mr. Magoo?"
Marcus "You need to be pro-active" Julie "I'm a woman, Marcus, not a yogurt"
Mary to Emily "Leave your Christianity home and locate your inner cow!"
Kylie "I'm supposed to stay in then, like a nun?" Gail "I can think of professions you're better qualified for..."

The Marcia and Audrey storyline - are Corrie pulling it back from the brink?

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

I know Marcia's taken a terrible slagging about wigs, teeth, dress sense, you name it, but I have to admit I'm quite gripped by the Mark/Audrey storyline at the moment. I'd go so far as to say I think it's turning into a Coronation Street classic! It's definitely one I'm not going to forget in a hurry.
Audrey's long been one of my all-time favourite Coronation Street characters, and I think it's good that at 70 years old they have given her a potentially interesting romantic storyline instead of a dull pipe and slippers equivalent. When Marcia first reared her head I have to say I groaned and switched the telly off, thinking this was yet another trashy, ridiculous, headline-grabbing attempt by the producers. Which indeed it clearly is. I really thought that a Corrie stalwart like Sue Nicholls deserved better. And the terrible wig and awful clothes really didn't help - Mark is comfortably off, and supposedly a man of taste - it doesn't make sense that Marcia looks quite so much like she's stepped out of a charity shop fancy dress night.
But I've come round to her a bit. I really liked the way Audrey stood up to Kylie's vicious bullying the other night, and I thought it was great when Marcia appeared in the Rovers for her I am what I am moment. Like it or lump it as my cross-dressing gran used to say.
Interested to see what the next few episodes will bring. Hopefully a better wig...

Character Study: Gail Potter Tilsley Platt Hillman McIntyre

With Gail and Kylie at war with each other, I thought it might be time to explore Gail's past. How did she come to be an interfering mother-in-law? Was it a personality change or a logical progression over the years? I think that, yes, she grew from an independent and stubborn soul to an Ivy Tilsley clone and it was pretty much inevitable. Read my character study here and find out about the life of Gail (pick a last name).

Sunday 29 January 2012

Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, January 30

Gail's alone in the house with Kylie while David's away on a training course and the fur most definitely flew. Kylie didn't like him going away especially when he seems to have forgotten her birthday and Gail only paid the merest notice. Everyone seems to be ignoring her so she decides to go on the town with Eva. Now I can see those two as double trouble!

I can't see how Kylie would have had much fun with her mother in law glaring at her from across the bar. That is, unless, if you're deliberately winding her up by flirting with strangers. Got her locked out of the house, though. Ooops. Now, see, if I'd been Gail, I'd have just taken photos of Kylie and whatsisname and sent them to David. Sorted. Kylie ended up with the photos instead, she caught Audrey out in the restaurant with Marcia. Let the revenge begin!

Lloyd's a mug, what is he? But how on earth was he supposed to say no when Cheryl asked for Chris to move in, for Russ's sake if nothing else. Oh this is not going to end up well. Lloyd helping out, taking Chris for appointments, you just know that, though he's doing it for her, it rubs him the wrong way. Gotta feel bad for Maria, dumped like that and finding out the man you love has a brain tumour and doesn't want you near.

I would feel more sorry for Chris if i didn't think he was milking his illness to get Cheryl's sympathy. He finds himself with his feet under Lloyd's table and makes out like it's a bit imposition but you know he's pleased as punch and probably hopes it's going to play on her sympathies and their shared past. As soon as Chris told Cheryl he wanted his condition to be secret, he sealed his fate and the news was sure to spread like wildfire 10 minutes later, and it did. They all started talking behind his back so Karl let the cat out of the bag. Now everyone is falling over themselves with sympathy, just what Chris didn't want.

Carla sure seems all loved up after her Italian holiday. Leanne isn't too happy, and for all she's determined not to let Carla drive her away from places like the pub, if she's just going to sit there fuming, what's the point? Carla decided to head off the rumours and she told Frank she used to have a thing for Peter but it was one sided and it's over now. She lied through her teeth.

Leanne's still snarling at Carla, too, and she doesn't even know what went on while she was in hospital! Frank seems to be cut from the same cloth as Tony. When he knows what he wants, he pushes for it, moving forward pretty quickly. After establishing that Carla has no feelings for Peter anymore (Lie!!!) he's after asking her to marry him with a big shiny diamond that could outdo the one she got from Tony, that "Flash Harry" he told the jeweller about. Carla probably feels railroaded and has to prove how she feels by going along with it, that, and the fact that Peter keeps saying he doesn't want her and she has to prove to Frank she doesn't still love Peter, which she does.

But we know Carla doesn't do well under pressure. And does Frank really think he and Carla and Peter and Leanne can be all mates together, all warm and fuzzy? Never going to happen. And for someone that says he doesn't harbour any feelings for Carla, Peter sure can't seem to get out of her way, can he? And Leanne certainly wasted no time sticking the knife in when she found out about the engagement. So Frank decided to play peacekeeper between the two women and Peter even went along with it. Did they make up? Well.. i'd call it an armed truce because Carla, the hypocrite was lying through her teeth, though i'm sure she does miss the friendship. Surely she doesn't think Leanne is going to truly put it behind them?

At least Eva's childish prank tearing up the birthday card was outed. Spoiled brat! But Leanne is telling confidences to Stella so she must be thawing somewhere inside there.

Julie really did look spectacular in that red and black dress! Too bad her nerves got the better of her! She got drunk and made an idiot of herself and may have driven Brian away altogether! Some wonderfully funny stuff with her this week! I really think these two are the new Mavis and Derek for the new Millenium, I really do! and he's not nearly as gormless as Derek was. Love lorn Julie worries that she's lost Brian for good. Step up, Eileen to do a little matchmaking.

Julie did have a point. High horses don't suit Brian and he is pompous. They both have their drawbacks. But you know what? I think these two are a dream together and I think they are the new Mavis and Derek. Full Stop.

Tommy keeps trying to seduce Tina but he's not very good at it is he? And Tina is now got her eyes on the hunky Dr. Carter. He's been in the show for months and months and maybe he's finally getting a storyline? That will take him down off the spare parts shelf at least. Well if Tommy will try to surprise Tina, he's going to be disappointed. This is the second time his plans have been scuppered by someone.

Sylvia has decided that Roy's business accumen is severely lacking. He's too generous and is not making the money he could be making so she's implemented cost cutting measures, much to the annoyance of the regular customers and she's gone a bit too far, not just making short measures of food but charging for sauces, salt, pepper and even milk for the tea! Norris is making it his mission to take Sylvia down and though I won't call him "My Hero", she does need it. Roy certainly wouldn't stand up to her until it had gone too far. Brilliant move trying to charge her 5 pounds for the Gazette. Certainly shut her up!

As usual, though, Norris takes it too far, but then, so did Sylvia by locking Norris in the loo overnight. I can't believe Roy or Hayley didn't hear a thing considering the amount of noise Norris must have made. The stairwell to the flat is right next to the loo, they'd have been coming and going and likely, the loo in the flat is right over the loo below. If Roy heard some sort of banging noise, why didn't he investigate it? I don't know why he looked afraid. He had water. He had a place to pee *and* a nice warm place to sit!

The next day, Emily wondered if Norris had got lucky while Mary had him bound and gagged and kidnapped by Al Quaida! However, Norris was suitably incensed and Roy finally put a stop to all her cost cutting nonsense. If they are that concerned, why not just raise the prices 10 or 20p to cover extra sauces and milk etc.? Mary was determined to extract every last possible bit of revenge but a reasonable demand of a fancy meal cooked and served by Sylvia was quite suitable. Mary was also determined to make it look like a proper date with Norris, too. She never misses an opportunity, does she? Nor misses the opportunity to milk the revenge for all she can get out of it and it isn't even her revenge to take.

Meanwhile Roy and Hayley, but mostly Hayley are still coping with a baby, who's cries over the monitor were about as fake as i've ever heard. Fiz has resurfaced after a little absence. Now she's got to clean and watch all the other mothers and babies. Fiz faced her fraud charges with a suspended sentence but there's still the murder charges to face.

And it looks like Ruth is using her baby to smuggle drugs into the prison and Fiz knows it because her roomie is offering it up. She's also changed her mind about having Hope with her and has the chance to fast track the process if she snitches. Will she? Will she tattle on Ruth's drug pushing and smuggling? Will she believe Ruth's story about her boyfriend forcing her to sell drugs? Yes, Yes and No. Ruth is chucked out of the Mother and Baby unit and Fiz is let in. It didn't take long for Fiz to find out the consequences of what she's done to Ruth, though i would have thought that if they'd found drugs in Ruth's room, they would have locked her in a cell for punishment.

Becky and Hayley are both gutted to lose Hope, i don't know who's feeling it more! Becky, it seems. She didn't even want to leg Hope go!

Oh and we're back to the same issue that we had when Gail was in jail and Tracy was her roomie. Fiz is on remand, she's not been convicted yet and she wouldn't be mixing with prisoners that are already incarcerated with a sentence.

An aside, that blonde we met this week, the actress that plays Ruth is the real life daughter of Bev Callard who was Liz McDonald.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Here's to you Mrs. Roberts

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

It's a story as old as time itself.  Boy meets girl.  Girl introduces boy to another girl.  Second girl catches boy in a frock.  First girl flounces off in a huff.  Boy falls for second girl.  Girl falls for boy.  Boy borrows girl's make-up.  Girl criticises boy's choice of underwear.  Girl is blackmailed by conniving granddaughter in law.  Boy wanders into pub wearing a Per Una skirt and is surprised when Sally Webster spits out her Cinzano.  Girl admits she can't bear to live with a man wearing a nylon wig.  The end.

Let's face it: we've all been there.

It's another chapter in the book marked Audrey Roberts: My Hilarious Love Life.  Poor Audrey.  She's had a hard life.  A teenage mother (twice), she's had to put up with her husband dying, her best friend dying, and being related to both Gail and David.  Throughout it all she's kept her head held high - well, her hair held high, anyway, thanks to a rampant addiction to hairspray.

She first appeared in 1979 at Gail's engagement party (her first one), showing herself to be something of a good-time girl.  You can imagine how well this went down with Ivy Tilsley, a woman who thought Queen Victoria was a bit of a tart, and she added Audrey to the already lengthy list of reasons why Gail was wrong for Her Brian.

Audrey then departed the series, because Sue Nicholls had to go and appear in another piece of quality British television: Rentaghost.  For viewers of a certain age Audrey will always be Miss Popov, the sneezing Dutch woman whose powers of teleportation lead to all sorts of hilarious consequences, often involving a pantomime horse.

Rentaghost was finally axed when BBC research discovered that kids found Timothy Claypole disturbing, not funny, and so Sue was free to return to the cobbles.  She almost immediately focussed her attentions on ensnaring Alf Roberts, because if there's one thing every woman needs, it's a wealthy grocer with a heart condition.  Alf fell for her joie de vivre and sparkling wit, while all the time Audrey was wondering how much she could get for his mayoral chains at Cash4Gold.

As time went on, Audrey fell more and more in love with Alfie, and when he finally popped off to the Cash and Carry in the sky she was bereft.  By this time she'd acquired a hairdressing salon of her own, where she could spend her days leafing through the appointment book with a cup of coffee in her hand.  Her best friend by now was Alma, another smoky eyed Sixties survivor with a penchant for big hair.  The two of them could regularly be found knocking back the G&Ts while they complained about their stupidly rich husbands and their nice homes.

Because, of course, Audrey was a cut above the rest of the Street's residents, and she lived out in Oakhill, Weatherfield's posher than posh suburb.  Her past as a teenage scrubber has been forgotten; now she has a semi-detached house with a garden, and don't you forget it.  It does mean that when she has a public humiliation (which is all too regularly) the barflies in the Rovers tend to rub their hands together with glee, but that's the price you pay for having a conservatory and conifers.

Through all of this Audrey watched as Gail wandered through a procession of disastrous relationships and brought up three of the most irritating children in Christendom.  It did mean that the two women - who had so little in common during Gail's childhood, when she was the Saffron Monsoon to Audrey's Edina - could now jointly commiserate about how all men are bastards, and their relationship improved.  On top of which, her long lost son Stephen suddenly crawled out the woodwork, and they had a tearful reunion.  Stephen continues to reappear in the soap whenever a character needs to be sent abroad; he is the CEO of a mysterious conglomerate which seems to span the globe.  Rumours that he is in fact a criminal super villain are, as yet, unproven.

With Alfie safely stowed away underground, Audrey entered the new millennium with her eye out for a new husband.  It's become a rite of passage for any moderately successful middle aged man to have a pop at Audrey; she's a sort of welcoming committee for the male menopausal.  Fred Elliott, butcher extraordinaire, fell most heavily under her spell, but she refused to marry him because she could never be happy with a man who smelt of offal.  Despite this, he continued to hold a torch, slipping her an extra couple of kidneys whenever Ashley's back was turned, and Audrey tacitly encouraged the devotion.

During all this Gail was married to a serial killer called Richard Hillman; Audrey was the only one who saw through his smooth lines and realised he was a wrong 'un.  Richard embarked on an elaborate plot to convince everyone that Audrey was senile, though why he didn't just crack her on the back of the head with a length of piping like all his other victims is beyond me.  Perhaps he realised it would take a SCUD missile to get through all those layers of hair.  Eventually Audrey was proved right and Richard was revealed to be a sociopath.  You'd think this experience would have stayed with her, but when Maria made similar accusations about Tony Gordon, Audrey told her to stop being a silly girl and keep quiet.  Mind you, it was Maria.

Heartache intervened when her best friend, Alma, succumbed to cancer; she was with her right to the end, and promised to rename the salon Alma's in her memory.  This was then quietly shelved when she realised that "Alma" is an even less glamorous name than "Audrey".  The salon's continued liquidity is in the meantime a mystery to everyone else; it somehow supports three stylists even though the only business they ever get is Emily coming in to have a trim.  Perhaps Audrey is managing to keep it afloat single handedly with her Elnett purchases.

Fred had rebuilt his love life, and was just about to marry Bev Unwin when Audrey dropped the bombshell; she wished it was her at the end of the aisle instead.  Fred was confused and dismayed, and promptly fell down dead in her hallway, solving the problem for everyone.  She moved on instead to Bill Webster, having a mucky affair with him while his wife was in Germany; he ended up moving in, but there's only so many ways you can have a conversation about plywood before you get bored, and she dumped him on a weekend in France.

For a while, Audrey was alone, her only job in the soap to roll her eyes in dismay whenever David smashed something up.  Her hopes of rekindling an old romance were dashed when Ted Paige turned up and revealed that after their night of passion, he decided to be gay: an understandable reaction when you consider that his one heterosexual experience resulted in Gail.  She eventually decided she'd had enough of this and hired Nigel Havers to be her boyfriend, a course of action why many a middle-aged lady has dreamt about over her Lean Cuisine.  Nigel tried to be good, but he just wasn't a one-woman man, and after a snog with Dierdre Barlow he fled to Greece with Audrey's savings.  No wonder she started to consider Mark to be a catch.  Ok, he spent his weekends miming to Judy Live at Carnegie Hall in a floor-length ball gown, but at least he had his own bank account.

So now Audrey is alone once again, though I doubt it will be for long.  Give it a couple of weeks and she'll be all over Dennis Tanner like a particularly rampant case of Japanese Knotweed.  It's a choice between him and Norris, and let's face it, she's not that desperate.  At least, not yet.

Friday 27 January 2012

Sneak Preview of next week's Canadian Corrie, Jan. 30 - Feb 3

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

Because Kylie tries to blackmail Audrey with what she knows about Marc, Marc outs Marcia to Audrey's friends and Audrey is embarassed but also shocked at her own reaction. Is this the end for them? Kylie wants forgiveness but it's not forth coming so she takes desperate measures, with David getting caught in the crossfire. Kylie has a lot of bridges to rebuild.

Chesney and Katy are having money problems but cheer up when they see the baby at the scan. Anna and Owen move closer. Becky gets a new job, though not the one she hoped for. Tyrone meets a new woman but doesn't realize someone gave her a nudge in his direction.

Tommy is jealous. Fiz feels threatened and turns to Tyrone who gets into a pickle trying to help. It doesn't have the results they were aiming for but it does end up giving Fiz a boost and she stands up for herself. With Chris and Lloyd at loggerheads, Russ suffers the fallout.

Carla meets Frank's parents, and later, feeling pressurized, she gets drunk and gets behind the wheel, it's Frank that must cover up the deadly results. Stella's life hangs in the balance.

For more detail and photos, see the Moosejaw Mercury at Corrie.net

Norris in the loo

Most of the time, I can suspend disbelief. I know that you have to do that for television fiction, they do take liberties. But I just can't imagine that Norris would have been locked in the lavvy all weekend. It was a Friday episode when he was locked in but a Monday episode (originally aired in the UK) when he was let out.

Doesn't Roy open the cafe on weekends? Saturdays at least? It always seems to be open. And wouldn't they hear Norris hollering from down below them or hear the lavvy flush over the weekend?

Even if the cafe is closed, Roy and Hayley still use the staircase right next to the lavvy to go up and down and out of the flat through the cafe all the time. As far as I know, there is no other external door to the flat other than through the business premises. Surely Norris would hear someone coming and make noise.

I might believe an overnight in the loo, but not a whole weekend. Sorry. Can't buy this one.

edited to add: I think they seemed to make out it was only overnight and I think Roy did make some comment about hearing a vague thumping overnight. But what I said still goes. The building wouldn't be *that* soundproof that either Roy or Hayley wouldn't have heard something and investigate.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Downton Abbey, Weatherfield Style

With tongue firmly in cheek, here's a little look at some of the Downton Abbey characters from Coronation Street, now that we're getting Season 2 here in Canada.  There's more details of the actors who have worked in both Corrie and Downton Abbey here.

The Dowager Countess of Grantham is clearly Corrie's Blanche Hunt in disguise. Head of a family she can no longer control, with an acid tongue and some wonderful cutting comemnts.

Charles Carson the Butler. Decent, straightforward, salt of the earth, just like Jack Duckworth, only Carson doesn't disappear for hours on end down the cellar. Not yet, anyway.

The Earl of Grantham meets the Codger of the Cobbles.  Both of them trying and failing to run a household full of women who've got the measure of them both.

Mrs Isobel Crawley and Mrs Rita Littewood-Fairclough-Sullivan. A woman who Gets Things Done.

Matthew Crawley lets women wrap him around their finger, just like our very own Steve McDonald.
Thomas Barrow, First Footman reminds us of Liam Connor. We can't say exactly why, there's something about the man but we just can't put our finger on what it actually is....

See also:
The Sopranos - Weatherfield Style
Mad Men - Weatherfield Style
The Flintstones - Weatherfield

Rosie Webster is my new favourite character!

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

Believe it or not, I am enjoying Rosie Webster a lot lately. That's something I never thought I'd say out loud. I'm not sure if it's the writing that's better or Helen Flanagan's deliver that's spot on or a combination of both but Rosie is turning into a cracking character these days. Still vain and shallow, of course, but a lot less annoying. Read more about it over on t'other blog here.

Let's see more of Corrie's Karl Munro

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

Anybody else want to see more of Karl Munro on Coronation Street?

One of the main reasons I watch Corrie these days is to see if there's any decent male totty, suitable for the more mature woman of course.

Peter Barlow's long been my favourite, swiftly followed by Bill Webster, but coming rapidly up on the inside is Karl (played by the excellent John Michie).

Not only is he fit, I think he's sadly underused at the moment. He was great as roving-eyed cop Robbie in Taggart, and he definitely has the potential to be just as good in Corrie as a louche, womanising cab-driver with an attractively dark edge.

My only quibble is his accent. As I'm Scottish I've no idea how accurate it is, but I do know that there are plenty of Scots living in the North of England and I don't see why he wasn't allowed to use his own.

Never mind. Let's hope he gets a really juicy storyline soon that allows him to use his talent to the full.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Fat Brenda's Brand Spanking New Cream Horn

(This post was originally posted by Fat Brenda on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2011, reposted with permission.)

Someone needs to tell Carla that it isn’t part of the job description to get romantically involved with her business partner! I mean, Paul you can excuse cos she was married to him before he owned it but we’ve had Liam, Tony and now Frank! Nick only got away with it cos he was too busy trying to get Leanne back into his single bed (at his mum’s house).

Poor Frank was apparently devastated when he ‘did a Dev’ and went down on one knee to be shown up and rejected in front of everyone. I can’t imagine why she turned him down after dating for only three flamin’ weeks and being told that he assaulted Maria! She dun’t half pick ‘em that Carla!

And what about Chris having a brain tumour! I was most surprised by the fact he had a brain for a tumour to develop on but then what do I know?

Lloyd is a kind and caring fella though cos not only did he let me finish early for me Zumba class with Bernice, he’s also let Chris stay at his house so he can feel like a gooseberry in his own Ikea decorated home! It must be hard for Lloyd when the folk living in his house are as bland as the decor!

Maria seems to have turned back into the deranged lass we last saw painting MURDERER on the factory after Liam died. She’s devastated about Chris leaving her and she’s not the only one, apparently Ozzy the dog and baby Liam are really missing Chris an’ all. Baby Liam even brought Chris’s trainers into the living room in his mouth – or was it Ozzy? I can’t flamin’ remember, they both dribble and go missing for months without anyone noticing!

The biggest thing to have happened round these parts is the reduction in portion sizes at Roy’s Rolls! I’ve set up a petition to reintroduce three rashers of bacon to the all-day breakfast but that Sylvia ripped it up right in font of me – granted, it did only have two signatures on it and they were both mine but I was still upset!

"Once upon a time, loveys, there was a small cobbled street and in that street lived a princess called Brenda. She was very very attractive - I mean REALLY attractive - and turned the fella’s heads whenever she walked by in her velour tracksuit and flip-flops. She spent most of her time locked up in a cab office, held prisoner by two evil wizards – Lloyd and Steve.

One day a handsome prince called Karl began working at the same place and he proper took a shine to Brenda and she talked to him about Slimming World and Dunhill and the reasons why she hates Kerry Katona and Eileen Grimshaw and he told her all about the mobile disco (Munro’s Mobile Disco) he ran in the eighties and his world record Agadoo attempt. But Karl was under the spell of an evil witch called Stella who ran the local inn and frightened folk with her shoulder pads and bad roots.

One day Brenda’s fairy godmother, Bernice, took her to Zumba where the power of Latino rhythms transformed her into a continental minded lass with confidence and poise. Brenda danced into the cab office a transformed woman that night, with a jar of Ragu in one hand and a baton of Freshco garlic bread in the other. Brenda swept Karl up in her arms. She looked into his 'come to bed' eyes and he ran off and told Brenda never to do owt like that again. And why? Because there’s no such thing as happy flamin' endings in Weatherfield loveys, just PAIN AND SUFFERING... and I threw me back out picking him up so I'll not be going back to Zumba for a while either."

Bye loveys!

Console me on Tweeter if you like by clicking here.

Can you guess who this Corrie actor from his school photo?

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

Can you guess which current Coronation Street actor is pictured here in an old school photograph?

If you really want to know who it is and want to find out more about the actor as a boy, there's an interview online here.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Corrie newcomer Rebecca Callard talks about her character

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

Rebecca Callard, daughter of Beverley Callard who played Liz, was on ITV's This Morning earlier today talking about her character Ruth, who makes her on screen debut tonight as a fellow prisoner of Fiz Stape.

Rebecca said that her character will be "formidable, really interesting, hard and tough," and she is something completely different from the characters in costume dramas that she usually plays.
She added that she wouldn't want to be a character relating to Liz, as "it's nice to be doing something for myself." She insisted that although lots of people have said she only got the part because of her mum because that isn't obviously isn't true.

Rebecca will only be in nine episodes at first and she doesn't know if she can come back. She would like to though. I think Ruth sounds like a strong character person even before seeing her on screen, so I hope she does, but what does everyone else think?

Marc/Marcia - Yay Or Nay?

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

This week, I am asking, "Are you a fan of the Marc/Marcia story line?" I thought it a bit bizarre at first, and it's getting worse, unfortunately, I can't stand it to be honest, it's brutal viewing.

Firstly, poor Andrew Hall. While he's trying to do a good job, it isn't coming out well (pardon the pun) I find the storyline very tedious and dull, waiting for the scenes to finish, and I cringe every time I see him on the show.

Of course there have been a few good parts, the bar scene where Audrey throws drinks over the two men was very funny. And, dare I say it, last week's scene with Marc's face in the pie was slightly hilarious.

But apart from that, I'm not a fan of this storyline. It could be great, but not now, and it's a wasted opportunity in my eyes but to be honest, the sooner he leaves, the better, I say. So its a firm NAY from me, and what about you?

Have you got the Weatherfield Cell Block Blues?

(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2011.)

The 'Radio Times' soap supremo Gareth McLean has cast his eye over prison-related storylines in this week's issue. His basic moan is that although the lead up to a character's incarceration can be dramatic, the viewer is then rewarded with dull scenes set in the slammer. A case in point is dear old Fiz, moping around wearing a netball bib looking frightened. From weepy Deirdre to maudlin Gail, HMP Weatherfield has never been a place of great excitement or interest. 'Prisoner Cell Block H' it is not. Deirdre never had her head jammed in a steam press and Gail never tried to escape in the back of a garbage truck.

The fellow prisoners are usually deranged (Graeme Proctor), demented (Jackie Dobbs) or look like Les Dawson in a frock. These days it seems to be the case that most soaps have a string of petty criminals. Taking a look down the Street, those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law include Steve, Becky, Deirdre, Gail, Fiz, Kevin, Tracy, Dennis and even Ken. It can only be a matter of time before Rita is hauled before the courts for dealing  . . . mint humbugs.

Are the prison plots value for money or just dull as ditchwater?

Is your dog addicted to Coronation Street?

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

Ok, taking a deep breath and preparing to write the oddest blog post of the year...

Is your dog addicted to Coronation Street?  Oh yes, I really said that. A press release from The Dogs Trust as the UK switches over to digital TV says that: ‘The way digital is delivered seems to make it easier for dogs to watch.  We've thought for some time that dogs love watching telly to relax, either with their owners or by themselves.’  And they reckon that Coronation Street is a canine favourite. 

Ok, I know they'd say that just to get their press release in the news, but you know, I'm thinking there just might be some dogs out there who lie on the sofa, howl along to the theme tune, whine every time Deirdre comes on screen, barks at Betty or wags its tail when it spots Eccles.  Email your pictures and Youtubes to us of proper pets and we'll blog the best Corrie canine fans.

Have a look here for a long list of Youtube clips showing dogs singing along to the Corrie theme tune.

Monday 23 January 2012

Julie and Brian, are they the new Mavis and Derek?

The best storyline this week, bar none, was the coming together of Julie and Brian and it was every bit as fun as I anticipated.

She calls him her Destiny. He's got his head in the clouds around her. Her heart is beating like a trance club and he's beating the pavements trying to keep in shape. For her? Maybe. I don't get the feeling running and Fell climbing were normal passtimes for him.

When they met, they crooned Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. They gazed into each other's eyes, very clearly struck by Cupid's arrow. When Julie ran into him again at the school, Dylan in tow,

Her personal fashion statements hit the overdrive in that hot red and black dress and she looked amazing but her confidence was not up in the stratosphere. She drank too much Dutch courage and was all over the place. The best line of the week, though, "Single is the cruelest word on the planet. That, and 'banana'", when questioned, she pulled back another shot, declined to answer and muttered "Still too painful" BWAHAHA!

Then, drunk over dinner, she reckoned Eva was after her man and then even more drunk, trying to accost him in the bar. In the end, she caused quite a scene and it didn't end well.

If Brian manages not to be scared away, it'll be a miracle. Or Karma, as Julie would see it. And maybe that's just what it is, karma. They do seem to be the perfect couple and they have the potential to be a classic double act in the same vein as Mavis and Derek!

If the spoilers are true, they're going to be on our screens for the foreseeable and I for one, can't be happier.

Corrie comedy gold!

Corrie Canada weekly awards: Jan. 16 - 20

Deja Vu award/Self Pity Party award : Steve... unhappy, feeling sorry for himself because he can't have the one he wants, gets drunk, shags Tracy. Repeat. Along with...

Living in a Dream World award: Gold Star: Tracy thinking she and Steve could ever be a proper couple.
Silver Star: Steve thinking the secret that he slept with Tracy wouldn't get out.

Miracle Cure award: Medical Star: David put back a lot of plonk at the bistro but that can't be a good thing if you're on meds for epilepsy but that storyline seems to have been completely forgotten.

Slum Lord award: Dev tells Tina he's jacking up the rent and I bet he's not charging Amber that extra 60 a month. He's such a tw...it.

Chivalry award: Smoky Star: Nick lighting Becky's cig?

Problem Child award: Gold Star: Amber busted Dev's rules and has been kicked out of uni.
Silver Star: That Beth's lad, apparently a junior arsonist. Hey, he could be Graeme Proctor in the making though.

Nosey Nelly award: Gail just can't help interfere where Kylie is concerned. Kylie's business with Social Services is none of her business.

Dubious taste award: I'm not quite sure I'd want a sofa quite that pink.

Alienation Award: How to drive all your customers away in three quick lessons. David and Kylie won't have much of a salon left to run.

Homeless award: Chris used to have his own flat. I assume he gave it up and moved in with Maria.

Sob story award: Dreaming about her baby in a Moses basket and singing Row Your Boat? Isn't that a bit over the top, Stella?

Makeup remover award: Marc dunked his face in the cream cake and the heavy eyeliner disappeared.

Big Brother award: Gold Star: I love it when Kirk gets all protective of Maria.

SuperCow award: Stroppy Star: Someone needs to tell Eva that tearing up cards out of jealousy is for 3 year olds.

Lines of the week:
Steve to Becky "I suppose you stayed in a convent in Crete? The Holy Sisters of Largin' It!"
Audrey "When i want your opinion, I'll bob yer a text"
Gail "I'd make a wonderful addition to the bar staff" Becky "What, as the mascot?"
David "You've got Becky working for you? As what? A bouncer?"
Tina to Dev about the pay rise "You're not doing it on purpose, are you?" (Yes)
Becky "Is this a party? It looks more like a living nightmare to me!"
Simon "You can never have too many grans" (especially when you're 7!)
Maria "'E don't know much about management but he does know about sucking up"
Mary to Audrey "As long as my appointment is with you and not the Boston Strangler"
Audrey to Kylie "Lighted candles? I wouldn't trust you near me with a hot cuppa tea!" and "Frankly the two of you couldn't run a bath let alone a salon"

Simon Gregson interview in Cheshire Life magazine

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

Simon Gregson, who plays Coronation Street’s Steve McDonald, doesn't often give interviews, and so it's worth pointing out that he's been speaking to Cheshire Life magazine. 

It's online here with lots of pictures.  

Simon talks about happy domestic life at home near Wilmslow with his wife Emma and their two sons. The interview doesn't give anything away, there's no spoilers, no celebrity insights, it's just a really nice piece about home life for the Gregsons. Nice.

Picture copyright Cheshire Life magazine.

Dennis Tanner in a dress?

(This post was originally posted by me on The State of the Street

There was a blog post on Coronation Street Blog about whether Marc/Marcia was a good storyline or not. That's not under debate here, but a comment by "ChiaGwen" mentioned Audrey and Dennis as a better pairing and my imagination went wild. Everyone seemed to agree that Andrew Hall was sadly miscast and has been very unconvincing as Marcia. Wouldn't it have been fun if Dennis Tanner had turned out to be a cross dresser?

Oh come on.... Why not? It's not really a retcon. We have no idea what Dennis' life has been like since he left the Street in 1968. Maybe he discovered that dressing in women's clothing was relaxing. I think that Dennis would have made a far more convincing cross dresser and he's got the cheek and charm to pull it off. Probably has better dress sense, too, considering how well turned out his mum Elsie Tanner always was!

He'd have picked a far better wig, too. Here's a rough Photoshop mock up of Dennis in an Audrey 'do just for a laugh.

Could Dennis have made a better character for the cross dressing story? Your opinions, please?

Sunday 22 January 2012

Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, January 22

Steve didn't make it out of Number 1 without being seen but he regretted it. And you know, he knows how Tracy feels about him and it didn't do her any favours sleeping with her and then dumping her cold like that. And he wonders why she goes psycho on him! Deirdre is right, Tracy had to work too hard to get him and it was only him rebounding from Becky. He just doesn't think about what's going to happen after the immediate gratification.

It didn't help when Steve ran up one side of her and down the other, thinking she told Becky about their night. Tracy really did hurt from that. No wonder she decided to run off with Amy and Steve ran her right out of town with his own stupidity. Not that i feel sorry for her. Ok, one very tiny tiny bit. For about 4 seconds. That's it. I'm over it. She's still a cow.

Becky seems to have hit the wall of reality. Neither she nor Steve seem to be able to admit how they feel and get through to the other. It cut her to the very bone though, when she found out Steve stayed over with Tracy. Tracy was Steve's rebound. Nick was Becky's???? Actually it wasn't half bad though both of them knew it for what it was and decided to cut it short before they both ended up even more hurt. Nice little mini-storyline. If i was to get romantic about it, it felt a bit like two lost souls reaching out to on another. Nick could see that Becky had a long way to go to get over Nick and he didn't really want to be the runner up prize.  Becky did a really good job of not smashing Kylie and David's face in the table for rubbing her face in the Max thing. And it was fun to see Gail's and Kylie's reactions in the morning!

The funniest thing about it all was Steve's "come back", frantically trying every name in a tattered old black book, coming up with a woman he dated once years ago. Said she was gorgeous. He made her sound like the best looking woman in the world. It was inevitable that she turned out to be a Cilla clone. And that kid!!!! Oh. My. God! That moon-faced mute kid! How brilliant were both mother and child!!!! They MUST come back! Wouldn't it be a scream if that kid turned out to be Steve's son? I do wonder how old he is. If Steve dated Beth 10 years ago and she didn't have him then, he can only be about 9. Big kid for 9.

I would think Sunita would be happy to have someone to babysit the rambunctious twins and she is being a bit surly where Amber is concerned. The more she pushes, the more Amber is going to push back. I bet if she was nice to Amber and made an effort, Amber might as well. Did you catch Dev talking about what Amber used to do when she was a kid? How would he know? He knew she existed but he never did anything more than financial support from afar. Certainly never sat and watched tv with her. When we first met her, she didn't even know Dev was her father.

Amber thinks Sophie will be forgiven her debt if she makes a concerted effort. I'm not so sure Kevin will give up on the major balance of 20 grand so easily. Not this soon anyway. Anyway back to Amber. Getting kicked out of university made Dev go through the roof! And i think giving her a midnight curfew was a bit unreasonable. If she can come in quietly, it shouldn't matter seeing as she's sleeping in the downstairs anyway.

Dev does treat Amber like a kid, though, that much is true. He was horrified that she failed out of university and he's hollering at her just exactly like she knew he would. Also, he decided to give the flat to Amber. Wouldn't he have to give more notice to Tina about a rent hike? There must be laws. You have to give a few months' notice here about an increase. So now Tina is living in a newly discovered spare room in Tyrone's house, presuming that Tommy has a room as well. Amber had the hots for Tommy, Tommy has the hots for Tina and might have succeeded except they both caught him in lies. I think he's his father's son.

Where are all these extra spare rooms in the terrace houses coming from? They're all 2 up 2 down. That means 2 bedrooms up, plus a bathroom (which used to be the bitty room before conversions). Sunita and Dev have the kids each in their own room and now Tyrone has a spare room though he's got Tommy living there too.

Marc is slowly drawing Audrey into Marcia's world but didn't Audrey play a blinder, telling off them two fellas in the bar. Audrey giving David and Kylie a chance to run the salon on their own. Nearly into the ground! Kylie isn't fully trained yet in aesthetic therapies but nearly pulled off Julie's toes and was thoroughly rude to her. Gail's acrylic nails fell off in someone's meal at the Bistro during her trial as a waitress. Amber's hair did look nice with the pink additions though, But then David is a bit more competent than Kylie.

Leanne wasn't too pleased to find Stella making friends with Simon. I don't for a minute think Les wanted Stella to leave the baby with him. He wouldn't have known the first thing about babies. Her sob story and singing Row your Boat was a bit over the top. *Puke* There are tentative olive branches, Leanne is softening a bit.

Poor Gary is pretty fragile. Nice little brother-sister scene though. What's up with Owen tearing into Chris? So the bumper is off the van! That doesn't mean Chris hit anything. It could have been  hit while he was parked somewhere. But then again, what's up with Chris? Maybe he did forget and then he dropped a tray in the pub. Then the doctor mentioned Chris missed an appointment. Definitely something going on here. It didnt' set well with him either, when Maria interfered with Owen to try to get his job back. We find out by the end of the week that Chris probably has a brain tumour.

I certainly hope they aren't thinking to explain all his spousal abuse away to that. There was enough time passed with absolutely no problems between him leaving Cheryl and this latest streak of problems including memory and clumsiness. It would belittle the former storyline. Oh wait. Considering how many times they want  us to just forget old storyines, that's probably exactly what they're doing. He's an idiot, though. He tells her he's got a brain tumour and then dumps her. Nice. So much for all those words of love he was spouting earlier.

Gail is already suspicious of Kylie and she had no business trying to find out who Kylie was on the phone to (Social Services). It was none of her business even if it did give us a really good scene with Kylie being vulnerable with Gail. She knew very well Kylie didn't tell David. Kylie really pushed Max away from her and it turns out she really doesn't have much confidence in herself to be a good mum. What kind of example does she have after all? I think everything she told Gail was the truth, not a big sympathy story.

Gail wanting to be a waitress in the Bistro, a chic place that wants to pull in the up and coming? Leave aside that she lost her false nail in the tagiatelle for a moment, she was probably not that bad if she hadn't been fawning all over the restaurant critic and Nick was a bit unfair there. But he wants his Bistro to be young and hip, which Gail is not.
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