Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Character Study: Leanne Anneke Battersby Tilsley Barlow

Simon is recovering from his own battle with a bottle and Leanne and Peter are continuing to battle over custody. Will this crisis be the one that makes Peter realize how much Simon is suffering? Leanne is fighting ferociously for the lad. One thing you can say about Leanne, she's never been afraid of a fight.

Leanne has been on our Corrie screens on and off since 1997 and she's never been a boring character. In the past, she never quite got the hang of being satisfied with what she's got and she still seems to lurch from pillar to post, looking for stability. She's tough, she's a survivor, and she has the makings of one of the classic Corrie women of steel.

I've written a character study about her over here.

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Jane Danson wants Toyah to return to Corrie

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a long interview with Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Barlow, over at Digital Spy today. It's one of those interviews with lots of words in it - but it doesn't manage to say very much. To be fair, it's a promotional piece for Leanne's Coronation Street storyline.  Nick and Leanne get back together. Peter's not happy. Eva's not happy. Staple soap fare.

There were a couple of things however that this fan did find interesting. One is that because Leanne and Nick are getting back together, this means more interaction between Leanne and Gail. Jane Danson says it's the first time she's had regular interaction with Helen Worth, who plays Gail, in about 10 years!

And there was yet another mention of Leanne's step-sister Toyah Battersby, played by Georgia Taylor.

Jane was asked: "Georgia Taylor, who played Toyah Battersby, left Casualty last year. Do you hold out hope that she could return to Corrie one day?"

And she replied: "Always! We're such great friends and always have been. As an actor, I'm sure she's keen to explore other things. But if the opportunity came up and it was the right time, I'd be really hopeful that she would say yes. Hopefully one day - I'd just like Leanne to have somebody around who would be really on her side 100% of the time! From my point of view, it would be fantastic." And from my point of view too.

Should Toyah return to Corrie? The campaign to get her back starts here!

See also: Georgia Taylor wants Toyah to return to Corrie

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So, who thought Sunita and Dev were still wed?

I think I knew that Sunita and Dev were no longer married, so it didn't come as too much of a shock last night when Sunita proposed to Dev and asked her to marry him. The only surprise was that she asked him at all, after he's ignored her and patronised her for years. But she's desperate, this is soap, so let's press on and remind ourselves how it went wrong for Sunita and Dev the first time around.

They married, if you remember back in 2004. Their ceremony came complete with a white horse in a full Hindu ceremony. Watch it on YouTube here. After she said "I do", Sunita was whisked about by the cops in mad Maya's illegal immigrants scam that she'd unkowingly become part of.

Then Sunita fell pregnant with the twins and life with Dev seemed fine for a while. Well, that's until she found out that Dev had fathered loads of kids by loads of women all over Weatherfield, many of whom he had housed and given jobs at his various shops. Sunita left Dev and let's face it, who can blame her?

The Alahan divorce took place off-screen after Sunita left the Street.  So there you go. They're both single, although living together and back together despite not being in love with each other.

Will they, should they, get wed again?

But never mind that, back to that white horse they had at their first wedding. You can hire it, you know and it's got its own website at http://www.indianweddinghorse.co.uk/

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CBC Schedule change for August 13

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Check your local listings for Monday August 13. Coronation Street may be rescheduled to 1 p.m. due to tennis coverage in your area. It's definitely changed for Eastern Standard Time and points west but NOT for the Maritimes and eastward, at least according to the CBC website today. It appears to be just the one day.

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Monday, 30 July 2012

Corrie hunks sign new contracts

Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw) and Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs) have had their Coronation Street contracts renewed which means that both of them will have ample opportunity to get their tops off on the Street for at least another year.

Alan Halsall revealed his contract news on Twitter saying: "Exclusive! Ha not much of 1. I'm delighted to say I signed my new contract 2day @ corrie!" 

And according to Digital Spy, Ryan Thomas has bought a talking bird to make the occasion of his Corrie contract renewal. The actor has apparently named his pet 'Norris' after Corrie's Norris Cole.

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Chris Gascoyne praises Alex Bain's Corrie performance

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter Barlow in Coronation Street, has hailed his young co-star Alex Bain, who plays his on-screen son Simon, for his performance during Simon's current custody battle storyline.

Simon has become embroiled in a custody battle between Peter and Leanne and Chris admitted it has hard to see Alex cry during the emotional scenes.

He told PA news: "It's hard for him to do that. He has coped with it really well and we try to make it a bit of fun. The story is hard because it happens to so many people and it affects you and it's heartbreaking to even play it out. He has done great and it's not been an easy storyline for him, or any of us, it's a tough thing to portray."

Eight-year-old Alex won Best Young Performance at the British Soap Awards 2011. Viewers are set to see Peter give Simon to Leanne so he can run away with Carla.

Chris said of Peter: "He panics and it's probably for Simon's sake that he gives him to Leanne. He is making decisions that he thinks will make everything alright again but actually he's not making any right decisions and it's just a mess. He's desperate and he wants to put things right for Simon but he's all over the place."

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Corrie Canada weekly awards: July 23 - 27

The Penny's Dropping award: Dev is starting to get suspicious. He thinks she's going off him. Then the money business and friends he doesn't know about, it all makes him think she's leaving him. His radar's up now. It's only a matter of time. These things always come out.

Calling his bluff: Dev had it spot on but Sunita bluffed, and lied and accused him of bullying *her* and walked out the door to try to persuade Dev he got it wrong. It's all classic moves

David against Goliath award: Tina is determined to stand up against the big bad drug dealer.

Deja Vu award: Repeat Star: Nick still has a soft spot for Leanne.

He's at it again award: Karl nicked the money donated for the party.

Cranky Soup award: Carla is in a mood isn't she?

Red Flag to the Bull award: Carla doesn't know what she's getting herself in for, rattling Kirsty's cage. Strike! Tina poking Rick with a big stick nearly got Tommy killed.

Back where she belongs award: Neon Star: Streetcars has Eileen back!

Exclusion award: Sean is feeling left out by Marcus and Maria.

Thawing relations award: Maybe Tina and Kirsty might be friends yet.

Jumping to conclusions award: Norris as always, gets the wrong end of the stick about Dennis and Norma.

Pants on Fire award: Dennis still lied to Rita, no matter what the circumstances.

Musical coordination award: Jukebox star: Sunita's telling Dev her friend lives in Liverpool. Was that inspired by the Beatles' song playing on the jukebox?

Sins of the father award: Simon turned to booze. Well, after the example he's had all his young life, and all he overheard, we're not surprised. That was a very long "10 minutes" search!

Patronizing award: Brian really doesn't have a way with kids does he?

He just can't help himself award: Nick can't stay away from Leanne when she's in trouble. She's vulnerable. He's there to pick her up. Do the math.

Agony Aunt award: She's only 17 but Sophie seems to be the go-to girl for Dev's marital problems.

Beat yourself up award: Guilty star: Peter feels very guilty about messing up with Simon and doesn't know how to fix it. He figured it out in the end.


Change the record award: Marcus is first and foremost on Maria's things to talk about.

Blazing Row award: What a brilliant rant and rave Leanne had at Peter's expense! But she should have kept it out of Simon's room.

Familiarity breeds contempt award: Karl can't handle Sunita under his own roof. Why didn't Sunita to go the empty flat? Well, we know why but she didn't expect him to dump her.

Woman scorned award: Sunita's not taking "Yer dumped" for an answer.

Lines of the Week:
Ken "Breakfast!!" Dennis "The last meal of a condemned man!" Ken "Hope not. It's only Wheetabix"
Roy "My mother is a staunch republican and a life long curmudgeon"
Norris "Apparently I witter!"
Sally to Julie "Are you religious?" Julie "Oh no! I just like the buildings"
Rick "You drop that bag in the water, this one goes in straight after"
Dennis to Tommy "In my experience, few women can resist a man willing to grovel"
Dev to Sunita "Why is it I don't believe a single word you're telling me" (because she's lying)
Sunita "It's somebody you know because you've made him up"
Stella to Karl "I'm glad it's them going through this and not us" (give it 5 minutes)
Peter to Ken "You are interested in the ongoing disaster that is my life"
Dev "I'll give him a month, he will let you down" (How about an hour?)
Sunita to Dev "This is the problem...The minute I reach the breaking point you're begging like a dog and you put me down in the same breath. You should have tried harder! You should have paid more attention!"
Gail told the customer that the chicken was good but the duck was quacking! :)))
Leanne ranting to Peter "Everything is your fault because everything is about you and your terms"
Leanne "Two alcoholics in charge of a child. Yeah, that was going to end well!"
Eva "It's a curse being this fabulous!"
Simon to Peter "I thought if I had a drink, all my problems would go away" (ouch)

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Sunday, 29 July 2012

A tale of two Corrie affairs

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Affairs are a staple fixture of soapland and Sunita certainly won't be the last Corrie barmaid to be taken up the ginnel for a surreptitious knee trembler. The motivations behind Karl and Sunita's affair lie seemingly in that all-too-familiar affair-making threesome of lust, boredom and opportunity. This being soapland, Sunita and Karl's actions will not go “unpunished” and indeed some fans have started meting out their own punishment. Shobna Gulati, who plays Sunita, has already faced a barrage of criticism from some Corrie watchers via Twitter. Criticism of Karl, however, seems comparatively, though not unsurprisingly, all but absent.

Further down the street a more public love triangle had been unfolding for several months in the form of Eileen, Paul and Paul's wife, Lesley, who had early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Fireman Paul had arrived in Eileen's life in true romantic hero fashion, their eyes meeting as he freed her head from some railings in an unfortunate birthday-related incident.  As the story unfolded, we watched Eileen (played by the sublime Sue Cleaver) as she first dealt with the realisation that Paul was married and then as she wrestled her conscience when she occupied the simultaneous roles of both Lesley's carer and Paul's lover. From a storylining perspective, I can understand why Lesley was killed off,  though her death felt a little premature. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the complexities and dilemmas of these relationships explored over a longer period of time.

Like most Northern Lasses, I enjoy a good giggle and Corrie is rightly praised for its humour. Indeed, life in Weatherfield would be a poorer place indeed without Norris “the mole” Cole, his obsessive campervan-dwelling sidekick Mary and the walking daft ha'peth that is Kirk Sutherland.  But life on t'street is certainly no sitcom or walk on the Red Rec for that matter. For me, Coronation Street is at its best, its humour at its richest, when its characters are in the thick of it, battling with the complexities and confusions of life, just like the rest of us.

By Our Kelly, follow on twitter @kelwrites

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Coronation Street extra in Olympic women's boxing team

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog July 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Nicola Adams used to be an extra on Coronation Street. And now she's  hoping to get a Olympic gold medal in women's boxing for Team GB.

Nicola already has three world silver medals and the European title - and she worked on Corrie as an extra to fund her way to her Olympic dream

She said working on Corrie was her most enjoyable part-time work.

"I went for a part in 'My Parents Are Aliens'. I didn't get it, but they asked me if I was interested in being an extra and that was it, I was away."

"I sat in the Rovers Return and visited the post office, it was really exciting. The extra work I really enjoyed and seeing all the actors and stuff, I'd like to pursue that after my career."

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Jane Danson on Leanne's "emotionally tough" storyline

Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Barlow in Coronation Street, has given a good, long interview to The Daily Record about Leanne's current Corrie storyline.

Jane talks about how hard it's been to play part of a family dissolving into bitterness as Leanne and Peter fight over little Simon.

She said: “It has been so sad. All of us who are involved in that story are parents so we can only empathise with that situation and try to imagine what that must be like. That’s the only thing you can do and I think it does help that all of us involved in the storyline have kids. It’s not just about the fight for a child, it’s also about the breakdown of the family unit and what that entails for the child."

She also praises young Alex Bain, who plays Simon Barlow, and talks about the difficulties she faces as a working mum. It's a good read.

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Sunday Canadian Corrie Comments, July 29

Norris was a right pain in the butt wasn't he? Sneaking around spying on Dennis, his phone, following him and he caught him with his ex, Norma and tattled on him to Rita. Never mind that Norma had a good reason for seeing Dennis and he was supporting her. Yes, Dennis should have trusted Rita to be understanding but you know, Dennis has been ducking and diving all his life. I'm sure it's second nature to him. And No, Norris had no business trying to find out from Dennis what happened the next day. He just wanted to know if the wedding was going to be called off and wasn't he a sour old thing when Rita did finally arrive? It was too bad Dennis didn't land one on Norris' puss. Way to make your best friend's wedding a nice day. He looked like he might vomit during the vows. He's so unpleasant. He's just jealous, Rita turned him down and he's never got over it.

It did look like the wedding might not happen, though. Tina sussed out Tommy's drug deal with Rick but when she kicked back, he had Tommy beaten up. They thought they might get Kirsty's help but she wasn't so inclined and Tyrone was pretty narked too. Can't blame them. Tommy was using his garage and he could have got into deep trouble too! Tina took matters into her own hands by taking the car and the drugs and summoning Rick who brought Rita with him. Rita had met him in Tina's flat the day before so went willingly but was pretty shocked when it all came out. Rick nearly dunked Rita in the canal but Kirsty brought the cavalry. Nobody knew where Kirsty was but i reckon Tina must have called her as well while she was waiting for Rick. It's the only explanation. Kirsty wouldn't have known where Tina was otherwise.
Rita was brave and put on a very good front but you knew she was scared, really. Tina knew he wouldn't be back as he threatened because she knew the cops were on the way. That's another clue that she must have called Kirsty.

Did you like Rita's outfit? I loved it and Dennis and Ken looked very natty in their tails. Lovely that Ken was Dennis' best man, his oldest friend in the world probably, as they grew up together. Wedding photos here

Rita made it to the registry office, pretty late, actually but she got married in the end and awwww wasn't it nice? Walking down the aisle to "On the Street Where You Live"!!! How perfect is that!? There's another red headed Mrs. Tanner on the Street!!! And also, Rick is arrested and that awful stupid storyline is over, too. Tina has chucked Tommy and rightly so, I say. But she took him back eventually with a little help and prodding from her friends.

The party was good mostly but there wasn't enough of it. Great costumes! Sean ended up making up with Stella so that he could use the ovens for the hotpots. The worst part was Sunita and Karl making out in the shop office when they could have gone up to the flat again. Of course they nearly got caught and Karl got locked in the shop. Jason was great as Elvis with his little quips in Elvis-speak. Anna and Owen got back together with Faye's blessing. Nick didn't dress up. I think he could have found someone to "be".

Steve looked great but i thought he looked more like a young Elton John than John Lennon and not really Sonny Bono with Tracy following him around yet again. She just doesn't get the hint does she? Jubilee party pics here

There were people inexplicably missing, not at the wedding nor at the party. I didn't see Leanne, Carla, Peter and Simon. Where were Izzy and Gary? Or did i miss them. I can't believe Maria and Marcus won the costume contest as the Osmonds.

Well Faye was the flower thief but Anna made her apologize to everyone. Norris didn't apologize to everyone he insulted and accused though did he? He just sniffed and turned away. Carla thought she should leave, maybe go to Michelle's. Did she sell her flat? Maybe it's rented out?

Sunita seems to have a lot of never before heard friends that she keeps meeting up with. Doesn't look like Sunita and Karl are going to be done with any time soon, more's the pity. I really didn't need to know she was thinking of not wearing underwear under her costume though. It's so grotty, this affair. I just can't understand how the gossips of the street, usually in Olympic Gold level, don't notice a single thing going on between Karl and Sunita. All that furtive groping, hot steamy looks, whispers in the corners. Nobody sees?? Then the kids found the cash she was hiding for Karl and that certainly put his radar up but she managed to blag her way out of it. She even broke her own mobile phone rather than let him get his hands on it. He cracked it and accused her of having an affair. All those excuses of hers were so obvious!

The best defence is a good offence and she just walked out, with her bags, when Stella came to find her for her shift. And didn't Sunita look scared witless when Stella knocked on the door! Karl looked horrified that his mistress is now under his roof with his wife/partner and he takes the unsympathetic corner in public. In the corner shop, Dev is crying on Sophie's shoulder, poor kid. And of course, Sophie already has ideas about Karl but she's keeping schtum. One day without Sunita, and having to cope with the kids on his own and he's on his knees in the pub with flowers, practically anyway. He might choose to believe her but down deep he must know. She's going to have to be careful.

She's not inclined to go back so he turns and gets nasty and sarcastic again. Dev begs and insults her in halves. It's no wonder she's sick and fed up with him really. Proof that she thinks she's doing the right thing though he did seem to hit a sore spot when he reckoned whoever the man is, he'll let her down eventually. She seems to know that's what's going to happen. And indeed Karl tells her later point blank that he didn't want her to leave Dev for him. Ouch. She tells Stella she doesn't have anywhere to go yet she could move into the flat couldn't she? Now she's hanging out on street corners waiting for Karl and begging him to stay with her. It hurts, doesn't it, he just wanted a bit on the side.

Peter is still digging his heels in and determined to keep Simon away from everyone he loves. He's threatening to bring up Leanne's past as well but i would say he's got just as much to lose in that department. Leanne is pouring her heart out to Nick again and he'll let her. He still loves her, you can tell. But Eva thinks she can get Nick back. It looks like she's going to use Jason to try to make Nick jealous.

Now money and games consoles are going missing and it turned out to be Simon that stole it and still Peter doesn't really seem to get it. And then Carla made a nearly fatal mistake by buying a bottle of wine and hiding it in the utility cupboard and Simon, after a chat with Brian because he'd been crying in assembly, hid at home in the closet. He heard his dad being frantic, wondering where he was, talking to the police. Carla spilled all the beans as to why Simon was really upset because Peter was very defensive about it all. When they went out to look for him, Simon decided to do like daddy does and drown his sorrows in the found bottle of wine. Sins of the fathers. Poor little mite! I can never understand how someone begs and questions someone who's passed out cold. (other than "can you hear me?") He'll be ok, but...

Even *THEN* Peter and Leanne can't help arguing and slanging at each other in front of that poor little boy in his hospital room! Someone really needs to knock their heads together. Brian really had no business sticking his neb in at the hospital like a great wart stuck there. Social Services is involved and rightly so though Peter accused Leanne of dragging them into it. She didn't though. My heart really broke when Simon told Peter that he hated his life and he thought his problems would go away if he drank, like his dad does. I think i heard Peter's heart crack too. He backed down and allowed Leanne to see Simon and could then see how happy it made the boy and he finally did the right thing, telling Simon he can live with Leanne. It nearly killed him but he did it.

Kirsty probably won a few friends over that strike she incited over Eileen's sacking. Carla had to back down but Eileen had already got her job back at the cab office, where she belongs, I might add.

Maria gave Marcus and Sean the Bistro voucher but in the end, Sean told Marcus to take Maria out instead. And Maria is starting to look a bit dreamy eyed about Marcus and talking about him non-stop at work. You could understand her getting a crush on him though, he really is lovely but she's got no chance. Still, Marcus admitted he and Sean are very different. I wonder if that's an admission of bad things to come? Audrey noticed Maria's crush and called her on it. That made her think better of it. That's all it takes sometimes to burst the bubble of infatuation, a reality check.

Gary and Izzy found out it's not that easy to look after a child full time when they minded Faye over the weekend.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Ex Corrie star Geoffrey Hughes passes away at 68

With great sadness, one has to announce the death of a true Corrie great - Geoffrey Hughes. Between 1974 and 1983 and in 1987, he played the loveable ex-con and binman Eddie Yeats. He passed away of prostate cancer. He had been living on the Isle of Wight.

Eddie is best remembered for his Scouse accent, his wonderful chuckle and for being Stan and Hilda's lodger in the early 1980s. A Rovers regular, he was responsible for installing the famous 'muriel' at the Ogdens' house and was involved in many schemes over the years - conning the residents on numerous occassions by selling dodgy carpets, watches and paintings. He was an unlikely friend and confidante to Bet Lynch and worked for a time as a labourer for Len Fairclough. Eddie left the street in 1983 with new wife Marion and their daughter Dawn was born in 1984. He did return briefly to visit Hilda in hospital in 1987 as Geoffrey Hughes wanted one last chance to act alongside Jean Alexander who was leaving the show.

As well as his role as Eddie, Geoffrey Hughes is also known for playing Onslow in  Keeping Up Appearances, Twiggy in The Royle Family and Vernon Scripps in Heartbeat.

Thank you Geoffrey for creating such a brilliant character and rest in peace.

The BBC have a tribute to Geoffrey Hughes here.

Do you have any memories of Geoffrey? Did you ever meet him? Leave your comments and tributes below.

Cross posted from the Coronation Street Blog

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Peter does the right thing

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2012.)

This week sees Peter finally reading the signals correctly. It's finally got through his thick alcohol-muzzled skull that he has to put Simon first. The guilt over his child turning to alcohol because of the example he'd set was overwhelming and he realized Simon was better off with Leanne.

This storyline is the stuff classic soap operas are made of and when Corrie does them, they do them very well. There's more of my thoughts on this storyline here.

Keep up the good work Corrie! We know you can do it when you try!

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Corrie spoiler links

Here's a few Corrie spoiler links for you to let the secrets out of the bag for the near future for these characters. Don't click if you don't want to know!

Gary and Izzy

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Chris Gascoyne to take six month Corrie break

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Last month it was announced by the official Coronation Street website at itv.com/corrie that actors Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow) and Alison King (Carla Connor) would be taking a four month break from Coronation Street.  Today, Digital Spy report that Chris Gascoyne will be away for not four months, but six.  

Chris spoke to Digital Spy about the reasons for the half-year break from Corrie.  Questioned over whether he had planned the hiatus for long, Chris replied: "No, not really. Things just snowball on. You don't get a rest because there's no end to this show and when you have got big storyline after big storyline you get very tired and you're not really on top of your work. So much so I just needed a break to refresh myself and then come back and I'll be fine."

Of how he will spend his time away from filming, the 44-year-old father-of-three added: "There'll be a bit of family time and just time to have a normal life really."

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Friday, 27 July 2012

An affair to remember (but we wish we could forget)

For weeks now we've been suffering this Karlita affair. It's out of character for her and the sleaze factor is rising (or should that be dropping) rapidly.

This week sees the penny dropping for Dev and his radar is up. He may have got the wrong idea when he found the cash but he's on the right road.

Watching Sunita grasping for straws and trying to bluff her way out of his accusations brought a few bad memories back for me. The affair might be so wrong for these characters and Corrie but I have to admit there's a very real element of honesty in it. Affairs really are like that. Sleazy, full of lies and cover ups.

Read more about it over here.

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Sneak Preview of next week's Canadian Corrie, July 30 - Aug. 2

Here's a sneak preview from next week's Canadian Corrie:

Eva overhears Sunita and Karl arguing. Sunita backs away and Dev makes an announcement. Stella accuses Karl of gambling. Eva keeps a close eye on Sunita.

Leanne and Peter continue to argue about Simon. Leanne and Nick get closer. Eva's not going to be happy about that. Neither is Peter.

Beth and Tracy try to prevent Steve from selling Number 13. Sean is jealous of Marcus' friendship with Aiden. Will Sean's insecurities split them up? Hayley and Norris trip the light fantastic, much to Mary's chagrin but Roy's offer of a chess match cheers her up.

Streetcars' rival goes bust and an old familiar face reappears and promptly falls out with Steve. Izzy confides a secret to Fiz.

There are more details and photos on the Moosejaw Mercury over on Corrie.net

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Things I liked and didn't like about the wedding episodes

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Now that Rita and Dennis are on honeymoon, we can look back on the wedding day and relive the good, the bad and the ugly. I loved the wedding vows, I loved that Ken, Dennis' oldest friend was the best man. I liked Norris being put in his place when the wedding went through after all. I just wished Dennis had connected a fist in his smug little face!

I didn't like Sophie's wedding outfit and was a bit confused as to how Kirsty knew where Tina was but I think I need to rewatch that. There was a lot of time Kirsty was out of contact and she may have been setting up the sting at that time. Tina had time to call her while she waited for Rick.

The Jubilee party stuff was ok but I was disappointed that Nick didn't dress up. I even thought of who he could have gone as.

Want to find out? For more good/bad/ugly, click here.

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Fab Photo circa 1990

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2012, reposted with permission.)

It's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. Congratulations to Rita and Dennis who got married last week. Here's someone who really should have been there, along with the berk she married and the man she should have married.

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Getting it right and getting it wrong on the cobbles

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2012, reposted with permission.)

It's been a mixed old week down in Weatherfield. The action began with the culmination of the Duckworth drug dealer saga. Three cheers for the powers that be who managed to bring this one to fruition in (for Corrie) a remarkably short space of time. Again we were teased with the prospect of trout-face Tina going to meet her maker. Yet again our hopes were dashed and the belligerent barmaid lives to see another day.

Tommy, battered and bruised, mooched around in several of his low-cut tops, edging further away from the so-called 'cheeky' character we had been promised a year ago. This perpetually sobbing wuss of a bloke needs to man-up and soon. At least whilst he is with Tina, they don't ruin another couple.

The title of Weatherfield Fag-Hag of the Year would normally be festooned (or should that be harpooned) on the doleful Eileen Grimshaw. But await! We have a pretender to the crown and it comes in the form of muddled Maria, who seems to be falling hook, line and sinker for a man who fits somewhere between Charles Hawtrey and Liberace on the league of masculinity. Give it a couple of weeks and Maria will be swooning over pictures of Christopher Biggins.

Is it worth mentioning Sunita again? Oh go on then, let's. From shop-assisant to slut, the ruination of Ms Alahan continues. She's now taken to serving up the twins pasta dressed like a brothel keeper. By the end of next week expect to see her dishing out beans on toast decked out in fish-nets and a whip. Oh I'm forgetting, we already saw Sunita's pins in all their glory last Monday (credit where credit's due - Shobna Gulati has a body to be proud of). However, this unseemly storyline soldiers on. Sunita's character change continues to jar and feels unrealistic. In addition, Karl has morphed from jovial bloke to filthy old man in a matter of weeks. If the rumours are true, Sunita is due to descend into the ranks of the soap-opera bunny boiler in the near future. All very sad and unecessary but maybe she will emerge on the other side as the till operator we once knew and loved.

Missing person award of the week is awarded to Deirdre. Presumably Mrs Barlow found the prospect of attending either Rita's wedding or the Jubilee party a complete bore. Let's imagine her holed up in number one, chain-smoking in her dressing gown and weeping over her futile attempts at making a commemorative plate.

Congratulations then to fesity Rita, a riot in peach, as she tussled with a nasty drug dealer, a rancid Norris and a dreary bridesmaid. Barbara Knox delivered in spades and in a week of so-so stories, hers was the one that stood out. Here's to you, Mrs Tanner!

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Barbara Knox interview - "I'm Rita till I die!"

There's a wonderful - and rare - interview in today's Mirror with the legend that is Barbara Knox, who of course plays Coronation Street's Rita Sullivan.  As regular readers may know, Rita's been my favourite Corrie character for decades. You can check out my Rita's Men post I wrote for the official ITV Corrie website here.

Sue Crawford's interview with Barbara takes place in the run up to Rita's wedding to Dennis next Monday, 4 June and I'm pleased to report that Barbara says she has no plans to retire as Rita.

“Retire? What a filthy word,” she says. “I haven’t thought of retiring. I keep saying to everybody I know – don’t retire, just keep working. It’s so good for you – it certainly is for me. I know it’s hard and you’re tired and you don’t want to go in, but your brain is in action. And I do think the sheer discipline of work helps to keep you younger. So apart from loving the job, that is at the back of my mind. I’ve done it all my life and I enjoy it and I genuinely find it stimulating.”

Barbara talks about the kidnap story for Rita on her wedding day and admits she was frightened by the canal scenes. “I was terrified – it really was very scary. There was quite a bit of rough handling and it was right at the edge of this water – it was awful. I was thrown about like a rag doll, almost going over into the water – it was very frightening. I was stood there watching them doing their dialogue so when he pushed me I screamed and it was genuine. I didn’t know that was going to happen – I thought he was just going to shake me. Greg Wood who plays Rick was very good. He hung on to me, because I was so terrified.”

There's information in the interview that I didn't know.  For instance, Barbara is divorced, has been married twice and has three children, John, 55, Amanda, 50, and Maxine, 42. She admits she enjoys gardening and tapestry and lives a quiet life.

Read the full interview here, it's great

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Barbara Knox interview on ITV's This Morning

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog May 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Barbara Knox, who plays Coronation Street’s Rita Sullivan (and my favourite Corrie woman) was interviewed live on ITV’s This Morning. She talked about Rita’s  wedding to Dennis which we saw on Corrie last night and how honoured she feels about Rita’s wedding being played out at the same time as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  

Barbara talked about starting work back in the 1960s on Coronation Street with some of the most incredibly strong women characters and actors who were already loved by the nation. “It was terrifying!" she said: "In a 'don’t sit on that chair' sort of a way". She said that she learned a lot from the older actresses who played the likes of Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner and Annie Walker but admitted she was terrified of Doris Speed. She was so nervous working with these ladies, she couldn’t speak for sheer nerves but they were all kind and helped her an awful lot, becoming great friends.

Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby managed to make Barbara shed a tear after watching a video clip of some of Rita’s scenes on Coronation Street. Holly asked Barbara what the greatest changes were between Corrie back then and Corrie now. Barbara replied without doubt that it was the speed at which Corrie now works.

Speaking of Rita's wedding, she said she immersed herself in helping to design Rita's gown and wedding hat (secrets of which we'll be revealing here on the Blog on the wedding day!). She picked the chiffon herself and helped with the design of the dress, hat, shoes, flowers, jewellry, everything.

However, not all will run smoothly for Rita on her wedding day as she gets kidnapped by drug dealer Rick.  Barbara said that the scenes by the canal absolutely terrified her and it was also the first time she'd met the actor Greg Wood who plays Rick, she only met him that morning and was begging him to hang on to her when they were filming the canal scenes as she was so scared.

But, she added, sparkling: "It is the best job in the world."

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Welcome home, Mr. and Mrs. Tanner

There's a new red-headed (more or less) Mrs. Tanner on the street and I'm chuffed to little mint balls that there is! The wedding started off with an adventure but it ended up ok. Was there ever any doubt whether they would be married in the end? Julie came over all emotional and I know exactly how she felt!

For anyone that didn't see it, here's a blog post with pictorial highlights

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The beginning of the new set

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Well, here it is, the frame of the future Coronation Street, which has gone up really fast over the last month. Thanks to 'manc' from the Skyscraper city forum for the picture.

Click through the link to see a picture of the whole of the new ITV compound.

(edited to add: The ITV studios are going to move to a new home on the Salford Quays next year as part of the BBC Media City complex. Thus the outdoor set has to be rebuilt. No word on what will happen to the old set.)

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Sue Nicholls meets Corrie fan who saved her life

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

In November last year, an unknown fan wrote into Coronation Street after they spotted a mole on Sue Nicholl's arm as she played Audrey on telly in Corrie. We blogged about that here.

After receiving the fan's email Sue was contacted by the health office at the studio and was informed of the email and that maybe she should have it checked as a precaution. Following on with that, Sue had the mole removed and tests later proved it was in the early stages of skin cancer.

Sue wanted to thank the fan personally, but couldn't as ITV hadn't kept the email, says The Daily Mail today.

And so the paper launched an appeal for the fan to contact them and there's a lovely story today with Sue and the Corrie fan who saved her life.

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Secrets of Rita's wedding cake and dress

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

For those Corrie fans asking where Rita's wedding dress and hat came from, we have the inside info direct from the Coronation Street wardrobe department.

Rita's dress was specially made by one of Corrie's assistant designers, Carmela Manzo Warren. Carmela has designed several outfits before for a lot of the Corrie actors as well as for other occasions. 

Carmela spent a lot of time with Barbara Knox, who plays Rita, while designing, making sure that she was comfortable and happy with the final outfit.

And Rita's hat came from H'atalier in Manchester.

Well, today's the day for red-haired Rita, Queen of the Street, to marry Dennis Tanner. We know that all will not run smoothly with Rita getting kidnapped while the Street enjoys a Jubilee fancy dress party as the wedding drama plays out by the canal.

But one thing's for sure. There'll be cake. Oh yes, there'll be wedding cake for Rita and Dennis and here it is in all its glory.

This is the very cake that has been made for Rita and Dennis' wedding on Coronation Street, by Suzanne Thorp at The Frostery.  (eta: You only get a quick glimpse of the cake on screen)

Check out The Frostery's website which reveals pictures of cakes from past Corrie weddings.

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Corrie's Jubilee Street Party pics

Tonight and tomorrow, on Canadian screens, the Street is going to throw a big street party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and here's a few photos. The cast are dressed as pop stars from over the 60 years. It looks like it's good fun. I like it when they have these big community "fancy dress" parties!

Not everyone's at the street party, it's also Rita and Dennis' wedding day! That's not going to go smoothly because weddings never do, do they?

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Welcome Home, Eileen

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog by Chewy in June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Watching last night's Corrie, I was over the moon when Eileen revealed she had got her job back at Streetcars. In fact, over the last few weeks, I've noticed Eileen returning to the character we all fell in love with years ago. It finally looks like she can settle down properly with Paul.

I'm looking forward to seeing Eileen back on the switch at Streetcars, and with Lloyd soon returning to the cobbles, we will hopefully see the three of them talking about rubbish in the cab office, like they should have been doing for the past few years!

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Some thoughts on last night's Corrie

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Leanne always seems to end up back at Nick's door. Nick still has that soft spot for her and he wants to be her friend and confidant. He'd take her back in a minute and if she's been knocked back yet again, she could end up back in his arms, too. You can still see that longing in his eyes, can't you?

It can't have been the weekend, Dev picked up the kids from school. But Rick and his thugs managed to stomp all over the garage and beat the crap out of Tommy. Where was Tyrone? Kevin? And all that screaming out of Tina, did nobody hear it through the wall of the Kabin or from outside that thin metal door?

Someone please put an end to this appalling Karl and Stella thing. Please. Or at least let Dev get a clue.

It looks like Kirsty's actually making friends and fitting in with the girls in the factory. I like that she stood up to Carla and encouraged the strike on Eileen's behalf. Carla might just have met her match if she doesn't sack Kirsty first. But it had better be for a good reason or Kirsty will have her up in front of a tribunal. I don't understand why nobody else has in the past, not just Carla but many of the Underworld bosses have sacked folk for very little reason. One or two have threated action but most have always got their jobs back but it's a very real concern. You don't even hear most of the sackees threaten it as a rule.

Missing persons/characters in the cupboard:

Does Hayley still work in the factory? If they were a machinist down, where was she?
Where's Sylvia?
Chesney and Katy and the baby?
Things seem quite on the Salon front. Is all forgiven?

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Lovely Rita

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog by David (Clinkers) in June 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)

It was indeed a momentous week in the UK and the Commonwealth. There are celebrations up and down the land. People are festooning buildings with bunting and street parties have been organised. All of this to commemorate and give thanks for . . .  Rita. Yes, on Monday, (Tuesday and Wednesday in Canada this week) Rita Littlewood-Bates(unofficial)-Fairclough-Sullivan is due to waltz down the aisle disguised as a large peach cobbler. The octogenarian shop assistant will be joined in holy matrimony with a bloke she hadn't previously clapped eyes on since 1964.

We've been lucky enough to follow the life and loves of Rita for the past forty years. In her early appearances, Rita occupied some kind of middle ground on the show. While never bring as brassy as Elsie Tanner, she was also some distance from being Emily Bishop. We don't know too much about Rita's backstory. What caused her to reach her forties without so much as an ex-husband or an illegitimate kiddy in tow? By the time we met her in 1972, she was already middle-aged. Unmarried, living in sin and working as a cabaret artist, she could have easily been judged as a slut. Yet throughout, Rita has always retained a certain dignity which has stood her in good stead over the decades.

For many years, Rita always retained a certain image which harkened back to better days. She tended to look smart but in reality, she was a bit tatty with her blousy tops and that nasty fake-fur coat that did the rounds for most of the 1970s. Her marriage to to Len in 1977 gave Rita a bit of status yet in those early post-wedding days, she appeared to be morphing into some backstreet bitch, with her constant carping for a better life. It was a war of attrition but eventually Rita came out on top - briefly.

 The demise of Len could have reduced her to a life as yet one more Weatherfield Widow. It was not to be. Rita went onwards and upwards. Many years later, when a vicious Bet Gilroy rounded on Rita in the Kabin, she snarled that Rita wouldn't have been anyone without Len's money. That's true but Rita used it wisely, on the whole, although she was fleeced by two of her vile foster children, Sharon 'Kennels' Gaskell and Jenny Bradley.

Rita has 'survivor' stamped all the way through her. A bit like Blackpool rock. She (and indeed we the viewer) survived the slightly too long Alan Bradley saga. Reet also buried a second husband, the mild - that is to say dull - Ted.  As Rita once recalled "He appeared in t'Kabin one day, we married the next, had a wonderful honeymoon, he died, had a lovely funeral and I was back behind the counter in time for Monday morning's papers." Well, maybe she didn't say any of that . . .

Anyway, in the golden autumn of her years, the fragrant Rita prepares to become Mrs Tanner but as this is Rita, there's a little business with a drug dealer to be sorted before she toddles down the aisle. Maybe she is a bit of a bad 'un after all . . .

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Corrie Canada weekly awards: July 16 - 20

And this month's drink poured over the head award goes to Nick. Well at least it wasn't the traditional pint but why does every woman think that's the answer and the last word?

Greem eyed monster award: Jealous star: Eva turned them into really HOT pots, caused a near riot and all for a misunderstanding, then wore a top cut down to her navel to make him jealous. It may have worked.
Also, Lewis staring daggers at the Mayor for chatting up Audrey and Sunita fuming over Stella and Karl's romantic evening.

Papparazzi award: Well Nick did say he wanted the publicity from the dinner party!

Too big for your boots award: Stella is threatening a lawsuit against Sean? In whose fantasy court, I ask? He owns the recipe, it's his call where and who he makes it for.

Unreasonable award: Not sure who's dug their heels in further, Peter or Leanne but I think Peter might have the edge there.
Stella only gave Sean his dinner hour to make a batch of hotpot and hollered at him for only making 30.

High Standards award: Kirsty's father sure has strong opinions but to be fair, they sure sprung a lot on him out of the blue.

Fashion shout out. Lewis in yellow marigolds! Everyone else seemed shocked, too!

Pants on Fire award: Simon told the court officer that he hates his dad. Karl trying to get out of the dinner party at the Alahans.

Show off award: Dev singing karaoke. That whole dinner party was sick inducing. But then so is the Karlita affair.

More than you bargained for award: The surprise party was more of a surprise for Tyrone than Kirsty. Ouch!

You've changed your tune award: David's backed down, Audrey's offered him his job back.

The Signs are There Award: Dev wonders if Sunita wants to get away from him by working in the pub. Well then, pay attention and do something about it.

Putting the Fun in DysFunctional: Why are funerals always rife with bitterness and accusations? Have some decorum, people.

Magic Bank award: How on earth could David and Kylie get approval for a mortgage?

Fashion award: I really liked Sunita's long tunic top. I also liked the scarf Carla had on that was grey with skulls all over it.

Dumb Bunny award: Gold, Silver and Bronze star: Tommy. (and the Pants on Fire award for all the lies he's telling)

Nice Buns award: Roy doesn't know what Dolly Parton is famous for? Really?
Just kill me now award: Bored star: Norris banging on and on and on about that flaming contest.

She's at it again award: Faye stole all the flowers!

Lines of the Week:
Nick "I'd rather hire Manuel from Fawlty Towers"
David "There are some people that are supposed to grovel and serve. And there's me"
Tyrone "Beth wants to make a man out of Tommy" Kirsty "That explains the look of terror"
Nick to Eva "I don't do "mad, vindictive women" (he did do Tracy Barlow, however) and "you're not mad, you're unhinged!"
Sean to Stella "How many years did you and Betty go back?" (Yay! I still don't think there's a legal leg to stand on).
Stella to Karl "It feels a bit weird, trying to be romantic. Takes time to switch off" (If it's real, it's not that hard to be romantic)
Tyrone "I don't understand how someone who can love you one minute, can use you as a punchbag the next" (Like your mother you mean?) and "I'll work on trying not to get on your wick as much" (But he wasn't getting on her wick, really)
Nick "The difference is my gran isn't a bunny boiling headcase"
Leanne "You're just one big walking cliche"
Norris "I'm not Grumpy" Faye "So which one are ya?"
Eileen to Sean "Your ability to lie is second only to your ability to throw a ball"
Gail "Can I just nip this in the bud?" Norris "That's an unfortunate choice of words"
Peter to Leanne "Everybody has a past" (you included, me laddo. Bigamy anyone?)
Spelling fail award: Faye's sign "Fresh Flours"
Steve about Carla "I barely recognize her without a coffin 4 feet behind her."

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