Wednesday 31 October 2012

Pics: Natalie Gumede gets a classy makeover

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)
Coronation Street's Natalie Gumede, who plays nasty Kirsty Soames, has had a classy makeover for a photoshoot for Now Magazine.
"You can't be too concerned about what you look like or letting yourself go," said Gumede of playing violent, upsetting scenes in the soap. Sometimes real life is ugly - to show that, you have to forget your inhibitions. Alan [Halsall, who plays Tyrone] and I have a great relationship - he's funny, cheeky and upbeat, so that keeps us laughing between the tough scenes. It was upsetting for me the first couple of times I had to be violent as Kirsty."

"It was hard to get to that place and come out straightaway, so I stayed at work for a few hours drinking tea, just to come back down. I thought [the public would] hate me but I haven't been bashed over the head with a handbag or anything - yet! But people have shouted, 'Leave Tyrone alone!'"

Read the full feature in Now magazine, out today, Tuesday, September 18th.

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Conversation Street podcast number 10

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the episodes in Canada that aired up to last night can be heard here. Don't worry, they don't do spoilers so you won't hear anything you don't want to!

 This week's character profile is Ryan Connor (aka Alex, the son Michelle's forgotten!)

 You can also subscribe to them on iTunes, Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@conversationstr).

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Tuesday 30 October 2012

What will Phil Collinson's legacy be?

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

So, he's off and this tabloid rumour was true after all.

Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson is leaving Corrie as Emmerdale producer Stuart Blackburn takes over the reins on the Street in January next year.

But what will Phil Collinson's lasting Coronation Street legacy be? What will you remember him most fondly for - and what do you hate that he did to our favourite soap?

In a nutshell, here's just some of the things I can remember that he brought into Corrie - for better or for worse? You decide.

This is my opinion - what's yours?

(Some of the) tram crash story for Corrie's 50th anniversary.
Bringing Dennis Tanner back and marrying Rita
Bringing in Cherylee Houston as Izzy, Mikey North as Gary
Roy and Hayley's wedding, 2nd time around
Getting rid of Molly Dobbs

Bringing in his mate Michelle Collins as St Ella of the Back Room.
Carla Connor's rape. Never a good idea for sexual violence to be used to hike ratings. Phil got that very wrong indeed.
Rewriting Coronation Street history at Betty Williams' funeral.
Forgetting the name of Carla's brother was Darran, not Rob.
Marc and Marcia story
His threat to blow up the Rovers Return when he leaves
Killing off Ashley Peacock in the tram crash
Getting rid of Eddie Windass
Getting rid of Graeme Proctor
The Graeme and Xin storyline
Surrogacy storyline
Bringing back Tracy Barlow when we all saw her go down for 15 years for manslaughter
Speaking live on TV to protest against his critics

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Sunday 28 October 2012

Glad to be Gay?

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

Have a look down the end of the sofa.  What would make you trade in your pretty, delicate girlfriend for a big hairy man?  What would turn you off the strong arms of your husband and onto the weedy limbs of a girlie?

I'm asking because apparently, Maria has turned Marcus heterosexual.  This is a bit surprising for those of us who've watched Corrie over the years, because it's difficult enough for us to work out why men go for her.  Yes, she's pretty, but once she's told you the difference between L'Oreal's Coral Surprise and L'Oreal's Coral Smash for the eighteenth time, you realise that celibacy is a not unattractive option.

Sexuality is a continuum.  I'm a gay man, but if Mrs Peel from The Avengers or Holly Goodhead from Moonraker knocked on my door, I'd have to have quite a long thought before I said no.  Their awesomeness is beyond gender.

The current storyline asks us to put Maria in the same category as these titans of phenomenalness, and she just doesn't cut it.  It is sadly undercutting what could be an interesting storyline.

Weirdly, if it was the other way round, none of us would be blinking an eyelid.  If, say, Steve MacDonald suddenly took up with Sean, we'd find it hard to believe, but we'd accept it.  We're conditioned to understand that homosexuals can repress it for years.  Even though Sean is, fundamentally, a horrible person, we can see that a repressed gay man might still fall for him.  As a culture we see "coming out" as the end of the line.

The Marcus/Maria storyline hints that it's not the end of the line, which becomes confusing for us as an audience.  We like binaries; we like simple yes/no answers.  Tracy Barlow's evil: yes.  Kirk is thick: yes.  Mary could beat Jessica Ennis in the 800m: no.  Characters in nice simple boxes where they don't move from.  It's true of all soap operas - it's a necessary part of a show that churns out so many hours of drama.  Certain characters are always needed - the matriach, the bitch, the stud.  Marcus is "gay", and now he isn't, and we don't know what to do with him.  It's confused by the producers and the actors stating he's not bisexual (like Sonny, who was, like most tv bisexuals, a duplicitous scumbag).  How can Marcus be gay, and with a woman?  It doesn't seem right.  It doesn't fit the boxes.

There's a political element to all this too.  At a time when there are rallies against gay marriage in this country, and homophobic attacks continue, and many countries inflict horrific punishments on homosexuals, the idea of a gay man turning straight carries with it a political strength out of proportion to the storyline.  Remember, in the 80s, there was a widely held belief that you could "promote" homosexuality; that it was some kind of club you could convert people to.  Gay rights campaigners have fought to underline that homosexuality isn't a choice.  A storyline in which Marcus passes up Fish Lips Aidan in favour of Luscious Lips Maria plays right into conservative hands - "see?  It just takes the right girl!"

Coronation Street is one of the gayest programmes on television - even if you strike out Sean and Marcus and Sophie, you still have Norris, and Mary, and Julie, and Gloria, camping it up beyond all boundaries.  Corrie was created by a gay man, is produced by a gay man, is written by gay men; we can trust that they understand the politics.  And it's undeniable that this sort of thing happens.  Russell T Davies's excellent Bob & Rose dealt with just such an issue.  The lesbian comic Jackie Clunes is now married to a man; the composer of Glad to be Gay, Tom Robinson, has a wife and kids.  Things change.

It's an interesting storyline, an interesting question.  I'm curious.  My partner Dave is horrified by it; he sees it as a nasty right-wing plot.  Of course, he also hates Maria, because she is going out with Chris the builder in real life, so there's a certain amount of bitterness.  How it develops is the question.  Personally, so long as Aidan and his weird mouth are out of the picture, I think I'd be happy.

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This week in fantasy Corrie-land

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

I've been away from Corrie for a few weeks - almost a month, in fact. Firstly we went to Scotland, and then I've been busy, and although I've recorded episodes I haven't found time to watch them. So I've watched Monday night's and here's my fantasy about what's been going on:

1) Ryan and Tracy are indeed expecting a baby, only when it's born it's got 666 in its hairline, so Michelle has to sacrifice it on the steps of Weatherfield Town Hall, and Ryan and Tracy do indeed go to Glasgow and are never heard of or from again.

2) Tracy leaves behind Amy, though, because she's more badass than Little Simon, and will soon be sassing Steve all over, and we all know that'll lead to mass hilarity.

3) Norris and Mary go on a round-the-world cruise and are never heard from again. Ever.

4) Sally and Kevin (where ARE the Websters?) get back together, have a lovely wedding at the Town Hall (after Michelle's finished murdering), and then both disappear back into the kitchen while Sophie has beans for her tea.

5) Ken leaves with Wendy. Please god let Ken leave with Wendy. Or, even, we'll keep Wendy - but Ken can go.

6) Tina stops wearing her hair in that ridiculous beehive.

7) St. Ella just calms the hell down and stops trying to be everyone's agony aunt, and gets back together with Karl, and Sunita stops being a simpering wreck, and Eva starts being normal.

8) Gloria can stay though.

9) Kirsty. Kirsty can just. She REALLY freaks me out. The actress is brilliant, because Kirsty is so loathable. I cringe every time she's on. Please let her leave and then Fiz and Tyrone can get together and bring up Hope and Ruby together. Aww.

10) Finally, Lloyd's new family can stay, because they're both really good, and because he needs a family, god love him.

What happens in your Corrie fantasy?

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Sunday Comments October 27

This is fecking brilliant. Tracy and Deirdre's double act, verbally abusing Ken. He doesn't have a hope in hell faced with those two slinging hooks and arrows at him non-stop! Deirdre is insisting he quit the board but Brian decided to poke his nose in where it doesn't belong, in between a husband and wife, all for his own selfish reasons. He reckons he can chaperone Ken and Wendy but he can't be with them all the time. I'm with Deirdre on this one. The Bessie Street school fayre has Ken sprucing up his shoes and Deirdre turning into a smokestack. Deirdre and Tracy are continuing their double act against Ken and Ken figures a pre-emptive strike is to invite Deirdre to the fayre. She made a beeline for Wendy for a girly catch up. That left Brian and Ken shaking in their boots. Deirdre is worried and insecure.

Rita reckoned her Dennis was quite the ladies' man in his day but he's ok now. Not that long ago he walked out on a wedding because he truly didn't love the woman. Not long ago Ken was about to sail away on a barge. I don't think either one has changed all that much and I think Deirdre has good reason to worry. Unfortunately, between Rita's advice, Brian's sulking and Ken's passive aggressive sighing non-stop she didn't think she had a choice and gave in, against her better judgement. I guess he'll be willing to put up with her constant suspicions and threats. She says it will be over for good if he succumbs to Wendy. It was good fun watching Deirdre shadow Wendy at the school fair along with Julie and Deirdre insulting her from afar.

Michelle really is not dealing well with Ryan and Tracy's relationship. Tracy must be absolutely delighted. And of course, with Tracy, she's going to push it and push it as far as she can and then push it some more to stick the knife in. You'll see. Things were not good between Michelle and Sally in spite of the apology but Sally does talk sense about how to deal with unruly kids. She's had a lot more experience at it than Michelle, that's for sure and it seems like Michelle is starting to listen and appreciate the advice.

Meanwhile, Tracy in her mid 30s is finding out that having a 20 year old toyboy still rampant with hormones isn't really as good an idea as she originally thought. He's all over her all the time and it seemed to be wearing thin! But she couldn't talk her way into the meeting with Ryan and Michelle to make sure the wedge was firmly in place so she played a trump card. She says she's pregnant! She can't be, it wasn't Steve that's done the deed! And that's a good way to make a 20 year old run for the hills! So Ryan is shocked and Michelle is raging. He looks like he's about to turn tail and run and he feels like it too. Michelle reckons Tracy is trying to trap Ryan. I reckon she's a big fat liar this time around.

Steve has certainly come back into a DMZ. So Michelle tells Steve to sort it. He certainly blew Ken and Deirdre's world up with the revelation and his idea is to offer to pay to terminate the pregnancy. Michelle is ready to blame everyone including Steve. If she really is pregnant, (which I doubt though she's doing a pretty good job of pretending if that's the case) after losing the twins, terminating the pregnancy is the last thing she'd want. It sure backfired. She didn't get the reaction from Steve she wanted. She tried to get Ryan to leave her, but was it just her being a martyr? Or is she trying to put that last knife in Steve and Michelle's back? Yep. You guessed it.

Rob is there again to pick up the pieces and Steve is not happy about that. Ryan, in a backlash to Michelle's anger, and after making sure everyone knew Steve tried to pay her off, thinking his mother knew about it, really struck out at Michelle, telling everyone she was pregnant at 15. Ouch. Michelle is also ticked off at Steve, as you would be, and Rob again is there. Did you see Tracy gloating at Steve triumphantly? Rob doesn't fancy Michelle, he's known her all his life but you know, soap law general shows that support through a difficult time ends up with new respect and growing feelings, you mark my words. Steve is right, though. Tracy only understands money. She wanted Steve to make it go away, what else would he do when it comes to Tracy? Michelle has seen what Tracy's put Steve through over Amy and knows Tracy will do that same thing to Ryan. She didn't want a relationship with Steve if Tracy was in the picture. Well she is, and Michelle threw Steve out.

Michelle bitches about not having any milk. She's the one up and dressed. Did she expect Steve to go  for some? She's blaming Steve for it all and really, he did the most logical thing. Tracy and Ryan went to the doctor to get her pregnancy confirmed. Hmmm... I'm still not convinced she's pregnant. She could easily have left him in the clinic waiting room. I am surprised Steve hasn't insisted on seeing the blue stick! She's sure quick off the mark to use it as an excuse not to work. LOVED Ken being sarcastic to Tracy about where she was going to live!

That gives Ryan a great idea. A spare room with a mate in Glasgow. Yes that will be so much better. Two adults, a child and a baby in a spare room. Is that really a good idea??? You can see Tracy's face showing a bit of dismay. And again, is there room for Amy? Apparently not so I guess Ken and Deirdre get to keep her. Tracy didn't waste any time reverting to her lazy ways, making Ryan carry every last ounce up the stairs and expecting Michelle to make her cups of tea. Tracy also started stalling Ryan, making sure they'll not leave until they're all sorted and organized first. Steve impulsively asked Tracy to move in with him and Michelle. You could see her face, "YES!!!"

Meanwhile, everyone is trying to untangle the family underbrush in the factory just when Ryan and Tracy show up. Michelle isn't happy about the potential move to Glasgow but you can also see Tracy isn't too chuffed either, planning to delay it as much as she can, from the sound of it. Ryan really does show up his immaturity. Steve is determined to make sure they don't leave with Amy. The family meeting didn't go so well and a lot of that was up to Michelle continually insulting Tracy. Bad move because it pushes Ryan even more towards Tracy. Steve made another dumb move. He asked Tracy to move in with him and Michelle. Tracy's face says "RESULT!"

I feel for Kylie. She wants more but can't see a way to it. Training at the salon seems to be out and her nail business seems to have fallen off. She could go to college to get qualified but wouldn't that cost money that she and David don't have? Especially if they couldn't even afford an expensive pair of footie boots for Max. Nice little scene with Kylie and Gail but i hope when Gail said Nick was the ambitious one, it's not going to give Kylie ideas about going after Nick. Kylie is still sulking about wanting a better job. Gail is wondering where Audrey is and Nick has had an unsettling phone call from Audrey. Meanwhile, Gail, Kylie and David are trying to keep the peace in the Bistro with a crowd of rowdy lorry driver wives, that was funny. Gail's effort nearly got her decked! What a hoot! Nick has offered Kylie a job and David is not happy but since he's not going to encourage her advancement in the salon, she's outta there. But after all the times Kylie's got drunk, danced on tables, upset the customers etc, would Nick *really* give her a job? I don't think so. 

It looks like Gloria's B&B scheme is going to work now that Stella is going to be out of the way over the weekend. I agree, too, that it's probably a secret judge because as she said, nobody knows they're a Bed and Breakfast aside from the competition people. It's got to be a quiet check. Gloria is knocking herself out preparing for this overnight guest. She's frantic that she will win those Selfrige's vouchers. The guest seems impressed on arrival at least. She didn't want him to relax in the bar because he might hear they really aren't a b&b and with Norris under foot, heaven knows what else he'd hear too! But oh heck, St. Ella's home early and busted Gloria! But she managed to hold Stella off, shouting that the guest didn't know that they knew he was not really a guest. You think he could have heard?

The B&B guest said Weatherfield was close to Salford. But last year Jason, who was born and raised in Weatherfield considered himself a Salford lad and Roy said his establishment was a Salford backstreet cafe. The fans objected strenuously and it looks like Weatherfield is back on the map in the place it should be. It was originally based on Salford and was assumed to "be" it for fictional purposes. I just never liked them saying outright that they were Salford though I can accept that Weatherfield is close to Salford. But Victoria Street and the pub are not in Salford. They are in Weatherfield. End of.  Seems like Gloria got away with the B&B scheme, with Stella going along with her mother. And she even said good things about Gloria and the pub to the judge before he admitted who he was. Now she's got to be on guard for a mystery drinker and having to be nice and polite all around. Dennis overheard Gloria talking about the mystery drinker and you could see the wheels turning, with the prospect of free drinks.

Nick has brought Audrey back and there's clearly a problem. It's already got her friends buzzing with curiosity after Rita and Dennis were more or less snubbed. Yes indeedy, it seems Lewis has done a bunk. He disappeared on the Eurostar. It sounds like something out of Agatha Christie. He obviously got off at Lille and did a runner. The question is, why? Everyone thinks he's let her down again because they never really accepted him completely and were always ready to assume the worst about him.

Now the order of the day is...where's Lewis? Last time he did a runner, he was about to be caught out. The neighbours are abuzz and Audrey has to run the gamut of the gossip.  Audrey put his photo in the newspaper and that's made the chickens come home to roost, and the Penny dropped. Audrey was sure he was going to have a very good explanation. Did she think Penny's explanation was good enough? Lewis nicked 10,000 of her savings after jilting her.

Penny's story sounded very much like Audrey's didn't it? Married to a steady man who died, met a smooth operator, suggestion of a new life abroad, all of it five years ago. She wanted to warn Audrey. But we do know that Lewis *appears* to have changed since meeting Audrey. Will she continue to have blind faith? Of course she is. One thing's for sure, the rest of Audrey's family won't believe it and they are not going to be able to talk her round. How can Lewis have put Audrey through all this? That's what it comes down to. And that does make Audrey think again. I can't help thinking though, down deep, she still thinks there's an explanation he'll come up with that she'll be able to accept. 

Norris is determined to spread as much of the limited gossip he managed to glean. Unfortunately it was only half-baked and wasn't very satisfying so he pushed and pushed when Audrey came to the party until she gave up, caved, and ran off with her tail between her legs. Just as they went inside, we spy Lewis driving a very expensive car, watching from across the road.

Mary's full of plans for a Russian night. I hope she's not planning that full up Cossack dance for entertainment. There's no room in the cafe to swing a cat let alone have a literal knees up but Kirk tried, from a chair! The vodka took its toll, with Beth and Julie getting giddy about their fellas and Fiz and Kirsty near daggers drawn. These nights are getting rowdier and most of the clientele seems to be just our usual suspects instead of non-residents now. 

Jenna is maintaining radio silence where her mother's concerned. Mandy's getting frantic. Jenna showed up finally and there's an armed truce for now. They were all going to have a takeaway but Jenna bottled out. Meanwhile, Lloyd has told Mandy that he still has feelings for her and that's making Mandy run a mile with Lloyd getting shot down in flames in her wake. Over in the factory, Beth mentions having been a model at one time and that's true, as far as the back story we know. Remember Steve, when he looked her up to ask her out to get back at Becky, he said she was a model when he knew her all those years ago.

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Saturday 27 October 2012

Weatherfield Gazette in typo trouble

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

With thanks to Coronation Street fan Michelle Hurst on twitter who spotted this surprising typo from Monday night's Coronation Street.  Michelle is the Grimsby Telegraph deputy editor.

Michelle tweeted: Tut Tut Weatherfield Gazette - proof read your headlines before going live on

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Stuart Blackburn to be new Coronation Street producer

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

Stuart Blackburn has been appointed as the new producer of Coronation Street, succeeding current boss Phil Collinson in the role says the offiicial ITV Corrie site.

Blackburn, who has been working as Emmerdale's series producer since early 2011, will take up the position in January 2013.

Phil Collinson will remain at ITV in a new role working with Kieran Roberts to develop new drama from ITV's base in Manchester.

Speaking of his new post, Blackburn commented: "I'm in the very privileged position of producing Emmerdale's hour-long live episode to celebrate the programme's 40th birthday, and I get to produce Coronation Street too. Life just couldn't get any better. Emmerdale is a very special programme to me, as I was born and brought up in West Yorkshire. I'm in total admiration of the cast and production team as they are all incredibly talented people. They do an amazing job and I'll be sad to leave them. Coronation Street also has a place in my heart, as I believe passionately in storytelling, and although I recognise it's a massive responsibility, I have the best job in the world."

Phil Collinson said: "It's been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I'll be sad to leave. But the drama can only stay at the top of its game if the producer is re-energised every two to three years. By the time I say farewell I'll have been with the programme for nearly three years and produced almost 750 episodes. It's an achievement I'm hugely proud of, but I know I couldn't have done it without the amazing production team, writers, cast and crew who work tirelessly to produce the best drama on television. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I wish Stuart every success, and look forward now to taking up my new role developing drama and producing brand new drama from our base in Manchester."

Well, well, well. So this tabloid spoiler was true after all.

There's an interview online with the incoming Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn.

Stuart was interviewed by 5 live's Richard Bacon who, to be fair, asked some proper, good questions.  And to also be fair to Stuart, he managed to evade giving proper, good answers!

Stuart Blackburn was a story editor on Corrie until he joined Emmerdale as producer in 2009.

Listen to the short but sweet interview online here

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Friday 26 October 2012

Sneak Preview for next week's Canadian Corrie, Oct. 29 - Nov. 2

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

Audrey believes Lewis and pays up. The Penny drops, so to speak.  Tracy moves in and under Michelle and Steve's skin.  Mary continues to celebrate international cuisine in spite of flagging energies but Anna puts her foot down and Kylie takes action. But has Mary gone too far this time? Tommy is still struggling with the surrogacy plan. Lewis gets a new job and finds out a secret about Gloria.

Mandy takes a step back. Jenna takes a step closer. Steve's plan to show Ryan the truth works in the long run, but  devastates Michelle  but it could backfire on him when Rob picks up the pieces.  Ryan's heartbreak ends in tragedy for Sophie.

For more detail and photos, see the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Kate Ford on OCD and being a Corrie cougar

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

There's a long interview with Kate Ford, who plays Coronation Street's psycho bitch from soap hell, Tracy Barlow, in the Mirror today.

Kate talks about having OCD and anxiety attacks; about her husband Jon Connerty and four year old son Otis, and about playing a Corrie cougar on the cobbles.

She also says how happy she is playing Tracy Barlow on the Street and wants to stay.

“Definitely for the next few years, if they’ll have me,” she says.

“I used to get itchy feet, but my priorities have changed. I love Coronation Street. I need to make money for my family and I know which side my bread is buttered.”

The full interview has some nice pics of Kate and her family and it's definitely worth a look. It's here.

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Sol Heras: "I snogged Kate Ford for an hour"

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

There's a good, long interview by Sue Crawford in today's Sun with Coronation Street actor Sol Heras, who plays Ryan Connor.

As it's The Sun, Sol talks about filming love scenes with Kate Ford, who plays his on-screen cougar (and psycho bitch from soap hell) Tracy Barlow.

He says: “There was one eight-page scene in the Rovers recently and me and Kate had no lines — it was literally just kissing from start to finish. Altogether it was probably an hour’s worth of kissing. We had chapped lips, dry mouths and both of us were needing to come up for air! We were just glued to each other — I’ve never kissed anyone for that long in my life. But I can’t complain, there are worse jobs!”

Speaking about the upcoming bombshell that Tracy will drop when she announces she's pregnant with Ryan's baby, Sol says that Ryan is shell-shocked, but decides he will do the right thing and stand by Tracy to raise the baby with her.  Sol says: “His mum says Tracy is playing games. But he takes it upon himself to be mature and, after taking advice from Steve, he decides to propose to her in front of everybody in the Rovers.”   Ooh, should be excrutiatingly embarassing to watch!

Sol was working as a painter and decorator and gardener when he found out he had landed the part of Ryan in Corrie. You can read the full interview here.

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Thursday 25 October 2012

Meet Gloria's first B&B customer at Rovers Return

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

This picture shows actor Gregory Cox as an undercover journalist on Coronation Street.  He'll be seen on screen on Sunday, October 14, and Monday, October 15, as Laurence Carnegie - a secret reviewer who is checking out the bed and breakfast at the Rovers Return.

Mr Cox said: “Laurence was a great character to play as he gets treated like a lord by the landlady to impress him and hence get a good review. So ITV caterers provided splendid breakfasts and high teas which I naturally shared with the cast and crew. It was great working up in Manchester as they are much friendlier up there - not a cliche - and my daughter Georgie now lives there, so we could meet up.”

This year the actor, who is married to actress Robin Miller, worked with Mike Figgis on his new film Suspension of Disbelief, due out shortly. He is also busy filming the last episode of Poirot.

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Does Rob Donovan think he's Ryan Connor's dad?

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

Watching last night's Coronation Street (14/10/12), a thought in my mind came to the conclusion that it is possible that Rob Donovan thinks he is Ryan Connor's father. 

Let's not forget that Ryan is NOT Michelle's real son. Ryan was the baby Michelle picked up by mistake in the hospital. Alex is her real son. 
In a scene in the Rovers, where Rob is comforting Michelle, Ryan and Tracy enter and Ryan mentions that Michelle fell pregnant at 15. Ryan mentions his father, and there's a camera shot on Rob which got me thinking that he's his father. And considering Rob and Michelle's history, it is possible. Anyone else thought about it? Or am I thinking too much into it?

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Corrie Originals: - Ivan Beavis as Harry Hewitt

First appeared: 14th December 1960

Last appeared: 6th September 1967

Ivan Beavis played the role of bus driver Harry Hewitt between 1960 and 1964 and then in guest appearances in 1965 and 1967.

Born in Liverpool in 1926, Beavis joined the Fleet Air Army when he was a teenager before becoming an audit clerk, an accountant and company secretary. He later joined amateur dramatics before making his TV debut as 35 year old Harry Hewitt in new drama serial Coronation Street in 1960.

Debuting in the second episode, Harry was a regular character for nearly four years. His storylines included rebuilding his relationship with daughter Lucille; courting and marrying Irish barmaid Concepta Riley in 1961; fathering son Christopher; Christopher kidnapped by an unstable Joan Akers; and storylines involving his job in the bus depot. In 1964, new producer Tim Aspinall decided to get rid of some deadwood from the show and Harry, Concepta and Lucille were on the list. Lucille was salvaged as ITV bosses believed that a street without children would be unreal. Harry, Concepta and Christopher moved to Ireland while Lucille stayed put on the cobbles, taken in by Jack and Annie Walker at the Rovers. Harry visited Lucille in 1965 and appeared in two episodes.

Harry Hewitt became a burden for Beavis. He suffered from being typecast and in 1967 asked Coronation Street to kill off the character. And that they did. While visiting Weatherfield for Elsie Tanner’s wedding to Steve that year, Harry was crushed to death when the jack under his van slipped. Overall, Beavis appeared in 311 episodes. He could finally put Harry to rest. Despite killing off Harry, Beavis failed to secure big acting roles. He had roles in Dixon of Dock Green (1971), Public Eye (1971-1973), The Liver Birds (1971-1974), Crown Court (1974), Bless this House (1972-1974), The Sweeney (1975), Z Cars (1967-1978), Juliet Bravo (1982), All Creatures Great and Small (1988) and Casualty (1990). He made his final TV appearances in police drama The Bill in different roles in 1990 and 1991. He appeared as himself on Happy Birthday Coronation Street! in 1990, a programme celebrating the show's pearl anniversary.

Beavis married Kathleen Atkins in 1956 but they later separated. They had two children called Hilary and Michael. Bevis died in Northampton in the East Midlands on Christmas Eve 1997 aged 71.

Did you ever see or meet Ivan Beavis? Do you have any pieces of trivia about him?

Research from Corriepedia, Corrie Net and IMDB.

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Wednesday 24 October 2012

Conversation Street podcast number 9

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the episodes in Canada that aired up to last night can be heard here. Don't worry, they don't do spoilers so you won't hear anything you don't want to!

This week there's a great character profile on Tracy Barlow that's quite interesting to hear!

 You can also subscribe to them on iTunes, Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@conversationstr).

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Alison King and Corrie shortlisted in RTS North West Awards 2012

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

The Royal Television Society (RTS) has today announced the shortlist for its 2012 North West Awards.

Alison King, who plays Coronation Street's Carla Connor, has been nominated for Best Performance in a Continuing Drama.

The Big Quiz – Corrie v Emmerdale has been nominated for the Best Entertainment Programme award.

And Coronation Street is nominated as Best Continuing Drama.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Manchester on Saturday 17th November.

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Tuesday 23 October 2012

The name's Street, Coronation Street

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

2012 sees the world celebrating 50 years of Britain’s favourite Secret Agent – James Bond. Britain’s favourite Street celebrated the same anniversary just under two years ago, and together the two national institutions have become treasured parts of popular culture over the past half a century. Let’s take a look at the similarities between the two Golden Greats:

To start, both Corrie and 007 have certainly had, ahem, Pussy Galore...

But did you know Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore, Goldfinger) has also popped up on the Corrie cobbles?

40 years after starring alongside Sean Connery’s Bond, Honor appeared as the outrageous Rula Romanoff on our very own Coronation Street, an old friend of Rita’s from her singing days. And she’s not the only actor to have starred in both Bond and Corrie.

Prunella Gee is best remembered by Corrie fans as Maxine Peacock’s ditzy mum, Doreen. But she’s also had the honour of being one of the renowned Bond Girls – in the unofficial James Bond flick, Never Say Never Again.

Joanna Lumley has gone on to have a very successful television career, and in her early days she dabbled in both 007 and Corrie. On the cobbles, she had a brief relationship with our Ken back in 1973 in the role of Elaine Perkins. But four years earlier, she was also one of George Lazenby’s Angels of Death in his solo Bond outing, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Another Angel of Death in OHMSS was actress Angela Scoular, in the role of Ruby Bartlett. She too has popped up on the Street, as Sue Silcock – a brief love interest for Ray Langton in 1972.

So, perhaps we need to consider who on the Street would make a good James Bond, and who would make a good Bond Girl? I think Rita may have missed her calling in life – whilst sunning herself in Majorca, she could have instead given Tiffany Case a run for her money (and Sean Connery’s affections!).

But for the role of 007 himself? We’ve had Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan... but who from Coronation Street could fill these mighty boots? There’s only one answer, really...

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Marcus Dent, Street Mate

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

Of course, the inhabitants of Corrie-land don't really exist. They are characters. We should pause and give thanks that Tracy McBarlow is the product of an idea hatched by some mad man in 1976. Weep with joy that she is pretend. Cheer at the thought that there is, hopefully, no steely landlady called Stella, poised to invite you "into the back".

We should also remember that the actors are not, in fact, the characters we see. Most of us will know that sweet little Minnie Caldwell was, in reality, the much more earthy and foul-mouthed Margot Bryant. The snobbish slice of joy known as Annie Walker to millions was actually the wonderful chain-smoking Socialist Doris Speed.

If you had to pick someone as your Corrie buddy, who would it be? I'm beginning to think that Marcus Dent might be that person. In a sea of Weatherfield madness, his is often the one lone voice of reason. If you needed someone to turn to, who better to have on your side than Marcus? Sensible but with a sense of humour. Grounded but not crushingly dull. Likes a gossip but won't bellow your secrets down Rosamund Street. Marcus Dent, we salute you! Much of this is down to the manner in which he is portrayed by Charlie Condou. As fun as screaming queens are, more than one on't cobbles would be a nightmare.

The women would be more difficult to befriend. You might pour your heart out to Tina but the scowling wench would be breaking her neck (if only . . .) to tell the first person she saw. She's so desperate to blab that you would probably find her verbalising to a brick wall if she had the chance. Eileen might be OK but her deadpan face would eventually suck the will to live from your body. Stella? Well, her home-spun philosophising in a tatty back room would hardly make your heart soar with joy. Kierkegaard she is not. Deirdre would try and win you over with some hideous slice of marrow on a bed of crisps, washed down with a bucket of Freshco red and twenty Benson & Hedges. She's not the healthy option.

Sunita might be a viable option as your Weatherfield Woman Friend. At least if you felt tired, you could nestle in between her baps and enjoy a light doze . ..

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Monday 22 October 2012

Corrie Canada Weekly awards: Oct. 15 - 19

It's harder than it looks award: Tyrone is exhausted after a few hours minding the baby, spark out amid the piled up laundry!

Guilty as Charged M'Lud award: Could Marcus have looked any guiltier when Jason interrupted the kiss?

Pants on Fire: Ken lies like a rug but he got busted this time.

Pack Rat award: Wendy kept the cufflinks she had made for Ken in 1990.

Tie Breaker award: Was anyone surprised when Ken chose books over computers for the school?

All ModCons award: There's a computer in the taxi office!

Competitive award: The Bistro is offering breakfast even though the Cafe only did the one night (so far)

Stupidity award: Ken phoned Wendy on the land line. A number that will show up on the phone bill. Yet he does have a mobile.

Green eyed monster award: Michelle is jealous that Ryan gets on better with Sally but Sally's trying to do her bit to talk Ryan round, much to her credit.

Lines of the week: Eileen to Jason "Do you think Maria's The One?" (she is this week at least)
Paul "And I thought parties are supposed to be fun" (they are, but putting one together is hard work!)
Mary "There's no room for sentiment in business"
Julie "I love citrus" Paul "You can always suck a lemon"
Kirk to Jason "Welcome to the family. Let's hope you last longer than the other brothers-in-law i've had" (doh, would that be a phrase of doom, then?)
Wendy "I do find it hard to let go" (uhoh, another phrase of doom!)
Deidre to Ken "I want to know where you've been...and who with" (echoing the words she said to him 20 years ago! Nice touch!)
Gail about Mary "It's the quiet ones that are always the worst" (in whose world is Mary the quiet one?)
Mary "The only tough cookies in that restaurant are on the menu" and "It *is* a war. And come next week it will be the Cold War" (re: Russian night)
Brian "I'm being embroiled against me will"
 Rita "I haven't overtaken anything in over 50 years"
Ken "There's nothing going on!" Tracy "right, because if I hear otherwise, you're going to wish you'd sailed away on that other trollop's barge!"

And the line of the week came from Emily "Will that man NEVER learn?!"

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Should anyone else wander back to Weatherfield?

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

Well, I don't know about you but I've rather enjoyed the re-appearance of Weatherfield's Wicked Wench of the 80s, the delightful Wendy Crozadopoulos. The latter-day town hall trollop is now living it large in the leafy suburbs of Manchesterford. She is everything that Deirdre isn't - successful, assured, well-groomed, sober . . . Not for her a ridiculous night in with a "Delia's 1001 Marrow Recipes" cookbook and a vase full of cooking sherry. Oh no. Our Wendy is all granite surfaces and capo de monte figurines. She probably has a Spanish Lady toilet roll holder and a salad spinner.

Seriously though, it's been good to see philandering Ken and Winsome Wendy hitch up again after over twenty years. Thanks to the popularity of Friends Reunited and Facebook, it is possible to catch up with people you have not bumped into (i.e. avoided) for decades. It's not something that happens a great deal in Corrie land. There was the clumsy and horrible re-introduction of Billy Walker and Linda Cheveski back in 1984 plus the parachuting in of Sharon Gaskell and, bizarrely, Eunice Gee in the late 1990s. The writers fiddled around with the latter's history in order to have us believe that her and Fred-face had enjoyed numerous happy years together. I digress . . .

Should Weatherfield friends be reunited? I'm not sure that they should. I live in forlorn hope that Suzie Birchall will one day clomp across t'cobbles or failing her, Trisha Hopkins. Gail could do with a good chin-wag (pun intended . . .) with an old mate. Trisha could catch up on the decades of birth, death and intrigue that she's missed. And that's just Gail. Ken recently mentioned his forgotten son - you know, thingy, the one he had with the wanton Denise. Surely time for another father and son reunion.

Audrey never mentions her elderly Canadian son and even Gail has forgotten her Gielgud-esque old dad. How about we all join hands and summon, if you will, Spider Nugent? Or Curly Watt's dull second wife? Let's hear it for morbid Zoe Tattersall, the eeb-bah-gum charms of Gary Mallet or even that colossal Hattie Jacques-sized nanny who got all jiggy with Ashley back in the day? Three cheers for the Molly who Kevin squired but who didn't die! Where is she now?

Let's bring back those minor characters for one last hurrah. One last forgotten storyline to tempt us all with. Friends of Harry Flagg - your time is now!

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Sunday 21 October 2012

Sunday Comments October 21

Maria really is terrified as you would be and so far, Jason knew nothing about it. He's happily packing his stuff in stolen Underworld boxes to move in to the flat. It's a tiny flat over a salon, sharing the same building space with the flat over the Taxi firm. Yet it's got Kirk, little Liam and Marcus in there already along with Maria. Even given that Jason will be sleeping in Maria's room, surely that flat can't be more than a two bedroom?

So yes, Maria finally told Jason and you know he'd be supportive. Today's the day Maria gets the results. David's narked that she's still not at work but at least Marcus could handle him. What's the expression? David's all mouth and no trousers? Jason is being such a nice bloke but he did forget his mother's birthday. Maria is all in the clear, luckily, and later, possibly out of relief and champagne? She and Marcus kissed! But then we know Maria has had a crush on him for ages. or it could have been all that champagne they'd been drinking all after noon.

Jason walks in and interrupts the kiss and Marcus couldn't possibly look guiltier!! I don't think Marcus was offended,  just really confused because he enjoyed the kiss too!  Jason of course doesn't notice but he wouldn't. Later Marcus blamed his mood on Sean being at the party but his upset and mood were distracting him from Aiden who didn't really pick up on the signals. But Marcus seems to have picked a fight with Aiden and has disappeared. Oh you knew he'd show up eventually, though. "We need to talk" was inevitable. Marcus is confused and with Jason's arrival, they didn't really get to delve into it anyway. Maria got Aiden and Marcus back together. And ... I just don't take to Aiden. He seems quite nice but I think he looks shifty.

Jason's lovely, he really is, but he's just not The One, is he? I never really thought she was over the moon with him, more that he was the man of the moment, maybe a bit of a nod to the past. Jason has moved in now and Maria is making him breakfasts to assuage her guilty conscience over that kiss with Marcus.

Mandy is planning to move back to Nottingham but we can't have that, can we so Lloyd offered her the spare room in his flat. That's a two bed flat too, you notice. All these spare rooms must be the size of closets! Naturally Jenna shows up on the day Mandy moves in and isn't happy about it. Mandy says she knows her own daughter but doesn't know whether to call or show up. So she calls and shows up and Jenna doesn't. It's a tough situation all around really. Jenna's world has turned upside down and she blames her mother. I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

Kirsty is back to work and everyone is happy to see her... except Fiz of course. Tyrone still says he loves Kirsty but all this tension and fear is bound to eat away at that love. Fiz really wants Tyrone out of that situation but she can't push too hard or he'll push her away too. And she shouldn't be winding Kirsty up either because Tyrone will wear it. I can understand Kevin being annoyed but Kirsty's right, Tyrone has carried the load plenty of times and if Tommy had been mobile and in anyone's good books, he would still be there.

Tyrone is doing ok looking after the baby but his cooking skills still need a bit of work. Oh and Kevin needs a good smack. 

I notice Eileen's home has indeed been redecorated. After all those years of dark walls, they're now a pale lavendar and the paper in the front door area is floral in a muted similar colour. Nice stripey curtains too in the back of the room. Nice and updated, isn't it?

It's Eileen's birthday. It's been a long year for her since she got her head caught in the railings last year and met Paul! Big surprise party with all these non-speaking extras playing old friends that we've never seen before and never heard Eileen even speak of before. Lots of silvery confetti and she won't thank them for that. That stuff lingers. She'll still be picking up bits of that next summer! Plenty of awkward between Sean, Marcus and Aiden.

Roy and Hayley are off to California and Mary has her feet behind the counter. Roy wasn't happy at first but then he never is until he gets used to it. I wonder if Anna can get through the 2 weeks or whatever it is without throttling Mary.

Mary's big idea is a Spanish night at the cafe with the clever "Cafe Ole" title. It's not such a bad idea, either though the "bring your own booze" bit might be illegal, I don't know. Wouldn't you need a license for that since it's not technically a private party? Now you all know I've not been liking Mary for some time but bloody hell this was brilliant, with her shaking her maracas and trilling Spanish Songs and her enthusiasm even talked Anna around.

I have to say though, She only came up with the idea and distributed flyers on the morning of the day and the place was packed that night, even emptying out the Bistro, not the usual type of clientele that would patronize a little back street cafe, Spanish theme night or not. Not usually anyway. But oh what the heck! It was so successful that Mary intends on doing more of them. I'd say those are fighting words!

Gail and Nick come barging into the cafe with all guns blazing but it's true it's only one night. For now. It would never be every night anyway and Roy may put the blocks on it. Or not if it continues to be really successful and Mary does all the work. The place was packed to the rafters by 7 when Norris and party arrived. Gosh they eat early don't they? In Spain you wouldn't get a restaurant that filled until 11 p.m.! 

Gail has decided to come up with a plan of her own. Even though the Cafe only put one special night on which did, of course, attract customers away from the Bistro, Nick is now offering breakfast every day. That's a bit more unfair don't you think? It's not as if the cafe was open every night. Mary is not going to take this rivalry lying down, because that's just not the sort of woman she is. Any excuse for vengeance, right? Breakfast at the Bistro didn't work out as well as he hoped though. It's too late, though, Mary's on a mission. This time it's Russian Night.

I'm not quite sure why David and Kylie have no money. They can't have much in the way of expenses, possibly contributing a bit to the household but no proper rent, no car, both have jobs even if not highly paid. Kylie wants to become a stylist now, reckoning she'll make more money than doing nails. She would. Will she be any good at it though? I think if Sarah Platt and Candice Stowe can do it,

Kylie certainly can but she shouldn't just jump in with no instruction either so she plans to go back to college. But David doesn't think it's a good idea because they won't need another stylist. That's not really fair. There's no reason he couldn't help her get started.  Gloria is a bag of nerves, wondering who the mystery judge is. Beth has given her a good idea, she needs to figure out how to suss out the judge. Where's Stella? Did she go on holiday and not tell us? Not that I miss her, mind you.

Ken has thrown himself into his new career whole heartedly and he and Wendy have even taken the same side for the good of the school. Technology is important but possibly for a primary school, the library upgrade is the better option and you knew Ken would vote for books over computers. That's no surprise. He and Wendy are now socializing and Brian is lurking around spying on them and relishing the scandal. Wendy's a bit of a pack rat,  hanging on to his birthday present for 20 years! 

Ken hasn't told Deirdre yet about Wendy appearing back in his life and you knew she was going to go through the roof. And it's lies, lies and damned lies with Ken. Why break a habit of a lifetime? He used to do it so well but Deirdre caught him in one lie and now her suspicions are roused. He's getting careless in his old age. Ken could have told Deirdre straight away about Wendy but knowing how she'd react, he's keeping it quiet but he's already showing all the signs of a man sneaking around to see a woman even if it's on a professional basis.

Signs that Deirdre would know very well. You know someone that long, you must be able to tell something's up. Well as things go, you can't keep it secret for long and Deirdre certainly got an OMG eyeful! she caught him in the final lie when she found out Brian was going to the funeral. Busted! Neat that she got Rita to go with her. She went with Rita awhile back when Rita was searching for Dennis.

"I want to know where you've been...and who with" Brilliant! Those were the same words Deirdre said to him 20 years ago! Nice touch! He gave up and admitted it all and he's got no right to call her down for spying on him and being narky. Not after all the lies he's been telling. You can't blame Deirdre for being upset and feeling threatened. Tracy's opinion is to be confrontational, typically and that's what Deidre did. It was quite a good confrontation, too. Straight and to the point. Ken gave up his cufflinks and slunk to his birthday drinks in the pub in his  birthday pullover, making excuses for Deirdre's absence with everyone knowing the truth. I'm glad Tracy took a piece out of him, too. Now Ken knows that everyone knows and feels they're all judging him.

Deirdre decided to lay down the law. Ken defended himself as an upright citizen duty bound to the students but Deirdre says she deserves better. She gave him the ultimate ultimatum, the job her her. Is that fair? I rather think it is under the circumstances, even if there's nothing going on. The trouble is, he'll dig his heels i and she'll push him right to Wendy.

Sally is taking Michelle's point of view though she doesn't really know the half of it but she's gentler with Ryan. Good heavens, though, he's cooking and hoovering? And it's distracting him from Tracy's wiles. That's not good so Tracy needs to stir the pot a bit more with Michelle. Trying to make her feel like Sally is taking over and possibly has nefarious motives for keeping Ryan under her roof and it worked too. Michelle lashed out at Sally in the factory without any real good reason except Sally's supermom attitude but Tracy's the one that pushed the buttons. Because it looked like the attack was unprovoked, everyone else walked out too! Ooops!

Oh there's Rob. We've not seen him for awhile. Michelle whined to Rob that Sally doesn't like me, she thinks she's better than me... Yeah. She admitted that she'd done wrong. She doesn't see that it was all Tracy's instigation, does she? I don't know why Michelle thought she could apologize to Sally in private when she'd humiliated her in front of the staff. The apology should rightly be in front of them as well. Tracy stuck her oar in just for fun, enjoying Michelle's awkward situation.

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Saturday 20 October 2012

Deirdre's ultimatum: Should Ken give up his job?

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

"It's me or your job!" Deirdre told Ken last night in no uncertain terms on Coronation Street after she found out he'd been wining and dining with old flame Wendy Crozier. 

For those of us with a long memory, last night's Coronation Street brought back the ghost of Wendy Crozier from the first time around.  Last night, the very same line of dialogue was used in 1989 when Deirdre had suspicions that Ken had been seeing the woman from the Weatherfield Gazette.

"I want to know where you've been and who you've been with."

You can see Ken and Wendy first time around here on YouTube starting at 3'.36".

But what do you think about Ken and Wendy this time around?  Should Ken give up his job at Bessie Street School? Yay or Nay?

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50 Shades of Corrie

Members of the Coronation Street cast have donated their underwear to a British artist who is using them in an exhibition to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Sian Doherty, who exhibits under the name Fanny Gogh, has had undies donated by a number of celebrities which she uses in her artwork.

Among the pieces she is showing in the soap's home city of Manchester is one entitled Fifty Shades of Corrie, which features the soap stars' scanties in a homage to raunchy best seller Fifty Shades of Grey.

Among the Coronation Street stars donating their knickers were the actresses who play Eva Price, Tracy Barlow and Sian Powers. Even Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth, threw in some of his smalls for the cause.

Ken was quoted in The Sun as saying: “I was happy to support Fanny and the British Heart Foundation - an old string vest and my favourite thong were the least I could give her.”

Sacha Parkinson, who played Sian Powers in Corrie, was particularly keen to help out, adding: “My mum Leigh suffered from myocarditis on the left side of her heart and the heart care unit and Heart Foundation aided her recovery. The British Heart Foundation should be a charity close to all our hearts as you never know when a life-threatening problem might arise.”

You can bid to win the artwork here.

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Friday 19 October 2012

Sneak Preview for Canadian Corrie Oct. 22 - 26

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

Sally tries to referee, Tracy  plays her trump card, shocking everyone. It gets a result but was it the one she wanted? Steve has a plan but doesn't tell Michelle.

Deirdre insists but Rita mediates. Will she back down from her ultimatum? Kylie is frustrated. Nick provides a solution. The cafe/Bistro wars continue. Gloria's B&B plan gets busted by Stella. Audrey's back and Lewis' past comes back to haunt him. Is there a thaw between Mandy and Jenna?

For more detail and photos, see the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Storm clouds gather in Corrie's autumn preview

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.) has released a preview for the main storylines that will run in the coming months.

The article details the upcoming storylines for several couples on the street, such as Leanne and Nick and Steve and Michelle. Don't click if you don't want to know but isn't this photo great?

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Thursday 18 October 2012

Corrie Originals - Noel Dyson as Ida Barlow

First appeared: 9th December 1960

Last appeared: 6th September 1961

Noel Dyson played the role of saintly Ida Barlow between 1960 and 1961.

Born in Manchester in 1916, Dyson came from a wealthy family and after being educated in Sussex and Paris; she enrolled at London’s RADA and then performed in repertory companies across the country in places like Birmingham, Oxford and Windsor. After a hiatus during WWII, she returned to acting and made her TV debut in the BBC’s The Guinea Pig in 1948. During the 1950s she appeared in TV shows like Chance of a Lifetime (1950), The Vise (1957-1959) and Emergency Ward Ten (1959).

In 1960, she was cast in the role of 44 year old Ida Barlow in new serial Coronation Street. She was married to postman Frank and mother to sons Ken and David. A placid character, Ida was forced to play referee between Frank and Ken who often clashed over class and ideals. A homemaker, she also worked as a cleaner at the Imperial Hotel. Debuting in the first episode, she rarely went to the Rovers and was close friends with next-door neighbour Albert Tatlock. Her mother Nancy Leathers came to live with the Barlow family when she fell ill. But the success of Coronation Street proved to be a problem for Dyson as she didn’t see herself in the programme for the long haul. When her contract came up for renewal, she refused to sign. Feeling that re-casting the role would prove unpopular, producers decided to kill Ida off – her being the first regular character to be killed off. Her death occurred off-screen with her being hit by a bus on the way home from visiting Albert’s daughter Beattie Pearson in September 1961. Overall, she appeared in 41 episodes. Due to her short time on the programme, Ida’s death didn’t have a huge effect and she’s been rarely referred to over the years, not even by her son Ken.

Dyson managed to secure several roles after her departure, but only supporting ones in productions for the BBC Sunday Night Play (1962-1963), ITV Play for the Week (1959-1964) and Thursday Theatre (1964-1965). In 1968, she was cast in the role of Nanny in sitcom Father, Dear Father alongside Patrick Cargill. She would play the role for the whole seven series until 1973 and in its sequel Father, Dear Father in Australia in 1978. In 1979, she secured another long running role as Aileen Potter in sitcom Potter, starring alongside former Corrie co-star Arthur Lowe who played her on-screen husband Redvers Potter. But when Lowe died, he was replaced by Robin Bailey in the third series before the show was discontinued. Dyson later appeared in hospital drama Casualty in 1993. She passed away in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1995 aged 78 after collapsing on stage. She made a posthumous appearance that year in Heartbeat, a drama series based in the 1960s.
She was married twice: to Kenneth Edwards and Harry Judge. Judge and Dyson were married until her death.

Did you ever see or meet Noel Dyson? Do you have any pieces of trivia about her?

Research from Wikipedia, Corriepedia, Corrie Net and IMDB.

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