Monday 31 December 2012

Carla conundrum and Barlow breakdown

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

Guest post from Coronation Street Blog reader Anna Kalinski who is on twitter @annakalinski

“Y’arrighht, Leanne?”

I’ll be honest. I had been waiting for this week.

At last, an end to those stultifyingly boring “Tommeh and Teenuh” scenes. Every week: “Is this the end for Tommy and Tina? How will Tina react?” ask the synopses in a pathetic attempt to elicit some degree of suspense from us. “They were finished long ago.” And, “Probaby by scolding and squawking “Er! Tommeh!”, answer I.

Every episode for the past few months, monopolised by their petty dramas.Oh dear, I wonder what terribly  unlucky  financial incident will befall them this week, I wonder? It’s edge of yer seat stuff, this. Will they bump yet another car? Will one of them get yet another part- time job? Will Tommy, say,  start the night shift in Prima Doner, only for a big dog to suddenly run in and eat all of the kebab meat whilst he and Tina’s backs are turned and are busy  having yet another row about the surrogacy?  But, oh no! Then Tommy will have to pay Dev back yet more money!  Now they’ll have to spend more time in “the flat” working out what to do whilst Tina stands with her back against the worktop biting her forefinger (I can only conclude this is supposed to represent the depths of their dilemma), whilst Tommy stands  open- mouthed and with the same sorry and confused expression as a puppy that’s had an accident on the kitchen floor.

But anyway, enough of the small fry. About the proper characters. Y’know, the ones with character.

This week, Peter and Carla’s return ran thus:  Shock entrance, Leanne and Nick confrontation, stress, self-pity, Carla drinks, tries to drive car drunk. Leanne and Carla slapsies… Sorry - what’s that,  you want me to stop, you’ve heard this one before?

I have to admit, like many of us on this Blog, we were hardly double checking our series link at the prospect of another recycled Corrie storyline. It’s not good enough, frankly. We haven’t been treated to some very good writing recently, and we’ve had a definite feeling of déjà vu.  We’ve had inconceivable plotlines, “pull names out of a hat” couplings, affairs as the only real plot device, along with ex-soapstar  long-lost random relatives arriving. If we were okay with that, we’d just watch EastEnders.

There hasn’t been much light relief either. In fact the only comedy we’ve had recently was when Tina emerged from the bathroom the same colour as the Cuprinol  man (and twice as wooden) asking “Do I look pale to you?” with Tommy, without a hint of irony, replying “yeah”.

Our  Taylor/Burton of the street  are back. I love them as a couple and despite the recycled storyline, a Carla fight is worth ten of a Michelle fight and they’re still gripping to watch.  Imagine how much better they’d be if we actually tried to do something  imaginative with the characters.

I’m a Carla fan. For me, her five years on the street have made her a Corrie legend. She’s the whole tough/vulnerable/drama magnet/glam Corrie woman we love. Or love to hate. But before you disagree - who else do we have right now? The best thing about her for me is she’s evolved into such a character. 

Nowadays, Phil Collinson thinks that by plopping a character in front of us and telling us in a press release: “this is a strong character who will rock the street” a legend is born. Y’know, the way that Rob and Ryan are currently rocking the street to its foundations, now, yeah?

We left Carla and Peter in an interesting point- as a stepfamily. I loved the fact that Corrie was doing the whole blended family issue, with a couple of unlikely candidates, as often stepparents are. Has this ever been tackled well before in a soap? If at all? It started well; I enjoyed watching them contend with the heady mix of the ex Leanne, the  Daddy’s new girlfriend role, the mummy’s rich boyfriend with them all “trying to make it work”, with varying degrees of success. I found Carla’s attempts to become domesticated quite endearing,(Carla does spagbol episodes), and cringed at her misjudged olives at Simon’s birthday do.  The fact that Carla was trying so hard, despite it being so cringeworthy, showed  a new side of her, rather than the homewrecker we always get year in, year out. 

I loved Peter’s blundering ineptitude as a dad, caught up in a mess of fluctuating feelings, alcohol and trying to balance Carla with his son, but clumsily wading through everybody’s emotions like a bog with his unwitting insensitivity. Peter too is a very complex character, played laudably well by Chris Gascoygne. After all, it is notoriously difficult to play a drunk (see Janice Battersby), let alone a self – involved pitying conflicted one and it’s his misplaced sense of optimism that we’re seeing again now  and his desire that ‘everything will fall into place, hey?’ that keeps him  a sympathetic  character. Unlike Battersby.

Leanne really is such a bitter character who thinks the world revolves around her, yesterday asking  Eva to be her bridesmaid, qualifying it with, “because Toyah can’t make it”. Charming.

For me, the tide started to turn after her behaviour with Simon and the whole idea that she was suddenly his keeper and Peter’s services were no longer required as a father and also the fact that she clearly derives grim satisfaction in telling him  what a loser he is  in front of Simon every two minutes.

Then, this sudden love for Nick again - a little too convenient for my liking, like their upcoming nuptials. It’s Nick, then Peter, then Nick, then Peter…now Nick…will she choose Peter again? All too redolent of that great one liner: “Aw! Dip-dip-dip, my blue ship!”

Whatever happens, in every scene we can rely on her constant scowling, arm-folding, sarcastic eye-rolling,  and her jeering interjections every time somebody tries to speak.  Every time Peter and Carla emerge onto the street there she is! She’s somehow there, in every other scene scuttling around  in that red coat with her screwed up face and that death-stare like something out of Don’t Look Now. (Now there’s a New Year storyline idea).

If she cares so much about Simon, surely she would at least attempt to smooth things overand be civil  - conversely as Nick is doing. I’m also not sure about Simon – he’s turned into something of a brattish 40 year - old midget with his constant pronouncements on people and life,and as for him refusing to go anywhere because he wanted so much to stay with his dad and then hours latersuddenly  announcing that “Nick is his dad now!” I’m not sure if that’s poor writing or is meant to show us the extent of Leanne’s own influence on him.“Sailing on the water, like a cup and saucer...” indeed.

So, is there anymore mileage in the Carla/Leanne/Peter meat triangle? Possibly, but give us something more than what we’ve seen this week.

No really, please…

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Corrie Canada Weekly Awards: Dec. 24 - 28

Character of the week: The crossing patrol's Simon Cowell, aka, Malcom!

Shout out to the past award: Dennis mentioned Elsie's famous line from episode 1, to paraphrase, He's just about ready for the knacker's yard!

Plot repeat. I said, Plot repeat. Carla's picking up Simon at school and she's been drinking. Cue Simon kicking off (and rightly so).

Shooting Fish in a Barrel award: Gail was a very easy mark for Lewis' manipulations.

TMI award: Stella threw Karl's sexual failures back in his face.

Resourceful award: That Simon is very good at traveling the public transportation system on his own. Remember Blackpool?

Spelling fail award: Kirkys Turkys

Sour Grapes award: Hey Karl, Insulting the new fella isn't going to make St. Ella feel warm and fuzzy about the old one.

Good Answer award: Craig told his mother he wasn't in school because it was a teachers' shopping day! Ha!

Lines of the week

Ken "We both try to get away from this street and we never quite manage it." Peter "Does that mean I'm going to end up like you?" Ken "Afraid so" (You're already there, mate)
Sean "We're not going to all turn up wearing sackcloth and ashes" Kirsty "I want this to be a night he'll never forget" (you can bet on it!)
Rob "What's all the fuss about" Stella "Tyrone's birthday" (big, big signs on all the walls. Take a look around you)
Mandy "Lunch with a fireman. What could possibly go wrong?"
David "She's the one being immature, not me" Gail "Say that sentence again. Quietly. In your head"
Steve "Lollipop men only work a couple of half-hours a day. How much chaos can they cause?" (quite a lot as it happens)
Lewis to Gail "I was a little sparrow and you nursed me back to health" (gag)
Paul "A difference of opinion can be a healthy thing"
Leanne to Carla "There you are...back in the gutter where you belong" (don't piss off a Battersby, man, she's got form!)
Beth "My thing is bling!" (so say we all!)
Malcom about Dennis "I trained your husband" Rita "Any tips, cos I'm still strugglin'"
Jason "Don't ask"
Stella to Karl "I had more fun with him in one night than I had with you in 6 years and I didn't have to fake it neither"
And Beth about the yellow mob "Must be Gay Pride. Mind you, they all look a bit old"
Nick about the wedding "This time, it's going to go with out a hitch" (Phrase of Doom alert!)
Simon "I must be doing something wrong or you wouldn't keep leaving me" (ouch)

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Corrie schedule for this week Dec. 31 to Jan. 4

This week on CBC, Corrie is on every night but... but.... on New Year's Day, CBC is airing THREE episodes of Coronation Street, starting 6:30 local time. That means the Sunday omnibus will also be longer than usual. Gotta love it!

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Sunday 30 December 2012

Craig Charles on bringing the first black family to Coronation Street

I'm a huge fan of Craig Charles, not just for his acting on Coronation Street as Lloyd, but for his passion for music on the Craig Charles Funk and soul show on BBC 6. Awooga! Awooga! Awooga! It's the radio highlight of the week in our house.

Anyway, more power to the fella.  In a great interview with The Voice, Craig talks about bringing a black family into Coronation Street for the first time.

He says: “I have enjoyed having a black family in Coronation Street. It is the first ever in its history and I am quite shocked at that fact. It’s great to be involved with something that is quite iconic. It will always be the first black family, and after 50 years it’s about time really.”

Craig says it was his idea to bring in Corrie's first black family. “I actually suggested (bringing a black family to Coronation Street) to the script writers, I said, ‘look, there’s never been a black family, you’ve got me as a character, why not build one around me?’ We were trying to get it together for the 50th year anniversary but I had to film Red Dwarf so I took a lot of time off. Any street like Coronation Street, in Manchester will have a lot more than one black family on it. If you’re gonna do a show which is reflective of the community to do that you have to include everyone and Manchester is such a multicultural society. It’s who we are as a nation.”

He added: “We’ve come so far from the days when I was first on television and I’m quite chuffed it’s happened on Coronation Street, because Eastenders has had black families for years and Manchester’s not different from London.”

Craig also reveals that Lloyd's new family will have some explosive story lines. “I’m working really hard on Coronation Street at the moment, I have a daughter and an ex Mrs. and it’s all set to kick of, there’s gonna be a lot of crazy things happening to test Lloyd.”

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Sunday Comments December 30

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for supporting this blog!

Poor Kirk, Beth wants an expensive pressie and Kirk is always broke. This year's repeat storyline is turkeys. I wonder if they'll cook up as dry as Christmas trees Gary and Chesney tried to flog last year.I'm surprised they haven't sold the butcher shop yet. Kirk didn't think about not having any electricity in the shop to keep the turkeys frozen. Solution? String electricity from half a block away from Beth's flat. Yes, that will be so safe. Man, it's amazing how fast that huge freezer came to full freezing temperature in just an hour or two. And what are the negatives to that turkey plan? Electricity costs, how much it cost to buy them, giving Craig half the profits. Craig said more in these two episodes than he has  in all the time he's been on the show.

Carla is recovering from her hangover in the cafe and Peter's still trying to persuade her to stay in Weatherfield. She reckons that was his plan all along! In the factory, she's surly with Rob who is definitely getting airs above his station. She *is* still the owner and it doesn't look to her like he's managing very well if there's stacks of unopened mail and he's using cheap materials. There's a very difficult brother-sister dynamic going on isn't there?

Carla is wasting no drinking time, either. She polished off the bottle and then had to go fetch Simon unexpectedly. Plot rerun anyone? Simon ran off with her keys and refused to get in the car with her. Good boy! I don't see why these kids have to be walked and driven back and forth to school anyway. Bessie Street is only a couple of streets away. I don't blame Leanne for going off on Carla and Carla certainly provoked Leanne into the attack. That was one of the better fights on the cobbles I've seen. Leanne really rounded one on Carla!

Carla isn't going to handle things without booze so she's going to walk out. If she has to stay in Weatherfield, it's going to be pickled. Things are falling apart rapidly for Peter or Carla and Leanne finally gets a chance to say I Told You So. Nick's being decent and Leanne can't help herself, there's far too much acrimony and bad feelings between Leanne and Peter and Carla. Carla can't use Weatherfield as an excuse but she is doing. She doesn't want to be where Peter's family and friends are, I think she feels threatened by Leanne's presence as well as all the bad memories of the flat and the rape. Boy when Carla makes her mind up she does't mess around. I want to leave. Tomorrow. So it's tomorrow and she seems to have talked Peter into going with her. It really seems like Peter is turning into his father! Mind you, Ken didn't give up his children to the wilds of Scotland for a woman. Peter doesn't think it's the same thing and that it won't affect Simon yet he's never shy about accusing Ken's abandonment as the reason he's got the problems he does. There are differences, yes but Peter already has let that child down many times in his short life.

Peter is caught between two tough places...Carla's well being and Simon. Simon is hurt and heartbroken and pushing his father away. Leanne really is not helping either, sniping and hollering but to be fair, it's not all resentment for what Peter'd done to her, it's also about Simon. 9 year old Simon managed to find his way to the airport. Piece of cake when you've already found your way from Blackpool to Weatherfield at the tender age of 6. He ran into the airport and Carla could see what was coming right there. That's why she was so anxious to pull him away but her worst nightmare came true. Peter couldn't leave. How could you when your little boy thinks it's his fault you keep leaving? So he had to choose Simon over Carla and more than one heart was broken. Simon sure didn't have one shred of sympathy now he got what he wanted.

Carla is going and Rob is smug. She figures she's going to sell the factory and the flat. Probably a mistake. Why can't she keep the factory going and have the money be a nest egg or a safety net. Rob can't afford to buy it and neither can Michelle. But there's a pretty good chance Carla isn't gone for good.

Stella  and Paul's friend had a date but Mandy thinks the guy's ears are too close together. Ears? Anyway it's just in time for Karl to make an appearance and sulk seeing Stella date someone else. Where the heck has he been? Stella's date seems a bit of a prat and thinks very highly of himself and his non-sense of humour. He's also patronizing and spent half the date on the phone to his mum. And he and Stella have nothing in common. I guess she pushed all that cleavage up for nothing. Jason was happy to hear the news, though, and Karl is still sniffing around too. He's definitely having regrets. 

Jason's making noises about wondering what the ideal gap is between two of a couple. This isn't boding well so it was virtually guaranteed Jason and Stella would get together in the worst pairing since Dev and Deirdre.  Oh and there's Sunita looking out of sorts and Karl is sending Stella flowers now. She's got Karl wanting to come back but she's got Jason very clearly fancying her and Jason wins in the end. I may be ill. Karl sulked about his non-date with Stella and Sunita couldn't even put a smile back on his face. Do you get the feeling Stella is only with Jason as revenge on Karl? It was funny when she chucked him out in just his underwear and he had to dodge his way home half naked. Eyebrows raised and his mother was not overly surprised, not really. Furious in fact, when she discovered Jason and Stella snogging under her roof.

Mother Lion came over all protective with the prospect of a cougar after her cub! Gail was quite delighted to overhear Eileen hollering down the street about her son and Stella and she was quite happy to tell Karl about it, too, but she didn't know Karl was trying to get back with Stella. Karl tried to intimidate Jason but there's enough years between them and Karl not being a hard man, I think Jason the builder would win that battle.  And Gail also took great pleasure in spreading the gossip in the pub so Stella and Jason took a deep breath and faced the world together. But again, I think part of that was to rub Karl's face in it.

David and Kylie are most definitely at war. One hollers and the other screams and you can see both are hurting. Gail played a blinder, though, insisting David should move out so he did, to Nick and Leanne's.

Steve and Dennis' war continues to escalate as Steve tells porkies about Dennis to Brian. Dennis felt pushed to quit since Steve caused problems. I love this lollipop man Martin! What a cracking character! He's a man with a plan. All the lollipop men and women are holding up the cabs! In the Conversation Street podcast, they likened the mob of lollipop people to a gang of Cybermen from Doctor Who and they were spot on! Steve can't resist digging his heels in and it ended up, as usual, in defeat. (see what I did there?) The ending of the lollipop story had a mob of them blocking the cabs on Victoria Street. Steve had to back down and Dennis had to buy them all a pint! I enjoyed this storyline! Kirky took the opportunity to try to flog a few birds though that didn't work. 

Gail isn't happy that Lewis is leaving the house but he's upright and "recovered" so that's that. Is anyone surprised he was able to reel her in so easily? Thought not. Roy is finding it difficult in the cafe alone. Fiz is just the ticket thanks to Tyrone's suggestion. I laughed at Deirdre fussing furiously in the kitchen and declining Carla's offer of help. Everything's under control. Yes. The minute Carla left Deirdre was hollering to Ken for help!

Chesney is getting suspicious about Fiz and Tyrone, all these secret meetings over the trash bins, you know. And Chesney voicing suspicions to Katy about an affair is really going to backfire. Can either of them keep a secret? Chesney is admirable in his defence of course.  It's getting harder and harder for Tyrone and Fiz to cover up the real story, now with Ches on the warpath. And buying chocolates in the Kabin has Norris speculating about guilty consciences. It was a joke but it was true, too! Fiz's red headed temper lashed out at Chesney but she still didn't tell him the whole truth. He might say he'll let it go but he'll be watching. And you'd think if he knows that Kirsty was capable of attacking Fiz, the next logical conclusion might be that she could go after Tyrone too but Chesney didn't think it through.

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Coronation Street Chit-Chat: Corrie news catch-up November 2012

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

It's about time we had another Coronation Street chit-chat, a catch-up of some of the shorter news stories that have been happening but haven't made it into their own blog post.  And so, here we go.

Current Corrie cast
Paula Lane (Kylie Platt) on drawing the line between her own fashion sense and that of Kylie's on Corrie. Read more.

Sally Dynevor (Sally Webster) on eating healthy to stay healthy after her breast cancer experience. Read more.

Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre) wears jumper for work, makes news. Read more.

Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) isn't too worried that new Corrie produer Stuart Blackburn will kill his character off as he's good mates with Mr B.  Read more.

Alan Halsall and Andy Whyment (Tyrone Dobbs and Kirk Sutherland) thrill fans in Canada. Read more.

Sam Aston (Chesney Battersby-Brown) joins Vets4pets annual conference.  Read more.

Craig Charles (Lloyd Mullaney) wants to do more Red Dwarf. Read more.

Ex-Corrie cast
Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster) hasn't yet been voted out of the I'm a Celebrity jungle.  If she wins, we'll blog her again but otherwise are staying quiet on her, especially about her oompa-loompa look.

Nigel Pivaro (Terry Duckworth) switched the Christmas lights on in Lowestoft, where he's starring in panto at the Marina Theatre. Read more.  For a full list of all Corrie cast in panto this year, have a look here.

Katherine Kelly (Becky McDonald) returned to the cobbles for a visit. Read more.

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Saturday 29 December 2012

Looking back at 12 months of Corrie: November 2012

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

Here we go with November in our look back at this year month by month.  If you'd like a full synopsis of everything that happened this month in Corrie, you can read the Corrie weekly updates website and our blogger Tvor's State of the Street for each month.

This blog post is purely my own highlights and lowlights for each month of the year so far. These are my own personal likes and dislikes for Corrie so do chip in with your own and remind me of anything major I've missed that happened during each month too.

So here we go with November 2012


Wendy flamin' Crozier tries and fails to get her claws back into Ken when he falls asleep on her soft furnishings. 

Lewis decides to get revenge on Gail and starts by trying to charm the pants off her: "You're the Koh-i-noor of Coronation Street."

Michelle returns from Ireland. 

Always difficult to watch and it keeps getting worse - as the acting keeps on getting better.  Fiz gets her finger sewed into a gusset as Kirsty's campaign of evil steps up a gear. 

Ryan gets Sophie knocked over playing with the traffic while he was high on drugs. 

Gloria leaves under a cloud and in the back of a cab after setting the honey-trap for Lewis.  Bring back Gloria! Now!

Surrogacy rumbles on and and on and on. 

Marcus decides he's not gay. Kirk's not the only one confused and asks Marcus: "Did you feel yourself slipping away or did you find it happening when you weren't looking?" 

Five-a-side football match between The Weathy Arms and the Rovers Return. So full of comic potential, Corrie did these sort of things wonderfully in the past. Not any more. 

Eva, Rob, Steve and Michelle kick-off in a Sheffield hotel.  Again, this should have been funny, the potential was there. What happened?
St Ella gets anointed with holy water from above when the bathroom springs a leak. It was like Lourdres had come to Salford.

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Conversation Street, Podcast number 19

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 Michael and Gemma talk about Carla and Peter's return and the character profile is indeed, Carla!

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

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Peter's Choice

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

Peter made his choice this week. He chose to stay with Simon and Carla chose to leave Weatherfield. It's a tough position to be in but Simon had to come first and Carla knew that the minute Simon ran into the airport terminal.

Weatherfield is poison for Carla, it was evident by how fast she fell off the wagon. We had a wobble on the cobbles between she and Leanne where she definitely got the worst of it. Best left hook I've seen in a long time!

You can see Carla's point of view but in the end, it had to be about Simon. More on that over here.

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Potential Corrie plot line avoided

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2012.)

With the main focus of Street activity being centred on Leanne stomping around the cobbles, Carla wallowing in a vat of her own misery and Peter Barlow's new stoned/tanned/serial killer persona, a few well-chosen words from Rita last week ended any possibility of a certain storyline surfacing. Like some Sword of Damocles hanging over t'Street, I lived in fear of a long-forgotten Miss Littlewood offspring turning up.

The re-emergence of Dennis Tanner and the knowledge of his fling with Rita back in 1923 brought about the possibility that the erstwhile cabaret floozy had been left in the family way. How easy it would have been for our favourite redhead to sit Dennis down and tell him that, all those years ago, she had popped out a baby Tanner. Of course, it would have been 'ret-con' of the highest order but given that Betty Williams was the Rovers' longest serving landlady, the elasticity of Peter Barlow's accent and Carla's brother acquiring a new name several years down the line, anything is possible.

It was with a sigh of relief that I witnessed Reet admitting that she had never been blessed with children. Stately as a galleon, she drifted back to the Kabin leaving us safe in the knowledge that there is no chance of a surprise visit from a wise-cracking, middle-aged Tannerette. Although this being Weatherfield - never say never!

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Friday 28 December 2012

Why I've had enough of Corrie's Leanne

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2012.)

This may be very controversial, but here goes. I really dislike Leanne. I am sick to the back teeth of her whining, moaning, arguing and having cat fights on the cobbles. Now I know she's had a lot to put up with in her life: Les Battersby, Peter's alcoholism, Janice's various hair styles, acting with Adam Rickitt and discovering Cindy Beale is really her mother. However, her current self righteous attitude is really getting on my wick!

I'm probably alone but I always seem to find myself on Carla's side. I mean anyone in their right mind would prefer a life in LA to living cheek by jowl with the Barlows and the constant threat of Deirdre's stuffed marrow. I just feel like Leanne has become a very unsympathetic character. I know she loves Simon, so why shout and argue in front of him? She doesn't really love Nick, so why put him through all this for nothing? Ok, Carla stole her husband, but I don't remember Leanne showing Carla much sympathy when she was raped. Given Leanne's somewhat turbulent past, you would think life experience would have made her a more understanding person.

Let's not forget Leanne's arrival on the Street as a wild child, causing havoc wherever she went. Eloping with young Nick(y), getting embroiled in the affairs of wicked Jez Quigley, coming back as a table dancer and turning to prostitution. How quickly they have forgotten that Leanne was in the boot of Carla's husband's car when he crashed and died. And Leanne's affair with Nick while she was with Peter is seldom mentioned. There was also the affair with Danny Baldwin and their attempt to con poor old Mike. Also, in my opinion she accepted Stella far too easily as her mother. What of poor Janice, the woman who spent years raising her as her own daughter? 

I think what Leanne needs is a visit from Janice and sister Toyah. Janice can put St Ella of the Back Room back in the Corrie Cupboard where she belongs and Toyah can talk some sense into her sister. Hopefully that would get Leanne back on track!

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Toyah Battersby to return to Coronation Street?

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

Woohoo! There's a Coronation Street spoiler in today's Mirror that says Toyah Battersby could be returning to Corrie.

Toyah, played by Georgia Taylor, has been asked to return to Corrie by the "soap's new boss" says the Mirror.

However, the story then goes on to report lots of "could" and "would" so it doesn't seem like it's done deal after all that she is returning.

It also repeats quotes from Georgia Taylor from the past saying she'd like to return, and quotes from Jane Danson as Toyah's on-screen sister Leanne Battersby who has also said in the past she'd like Toyah to return.

So, there you have it. A non-story  but wouldn't it be great if it came true?  I'd love Toyah back. What do you think?

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Thursday 27 December 2012

Classic Corrie episode - Ernest Bishop's Funeral

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

Although I am still an avid viewer of the present day Coronation Street, I do often hark back to classic moments in the Street's illustrious past. Rather than repeat familiar cliches on the most famous episodes, I would like to start an occasional series remembering and commenting on episodes from the past 50 years that stay in my mind for particular reasons. I will provide a brief synopsis of each episode, explain why I have chosen it and then give details on my favourite scene and best performance (in my humble opinion). We'll start off with a rather sombre occasion, back in early 1978.The Funeral of Ernest Bishop - episode first broadcast: 18 January 1978
What Happened
This episode focusses on the funeral of Ernie Bishop, played by Stephen Hancock. Ernie was of course married to Emily, still a Street resident today. His departure from the programme was a controversial and shocking one. His violent shooting in Baldwin's Casuals at the hands of two young men after the wages, was big news in 1978. In those days, high profile departures of this nature were few and far between. It therefore lost none of it's impact. However, as much as we all know that episode, for me Ernie's funeral is far more powerful. 

Why I have chosen this episode
Unlike some episodes today, this one played out in a very realistic way with almost the entire 30 minutes given over to the one story. There were no fights by the graveside, no shock announcements or big secrets revealed. There wasn't even any major confrontation. It was real - the characters reacted and behaved as you would expect people to be in such circumstances. Yes, it was fairly sombre and grim, but the subject matter was so it had to be. 

Favourite scene
Before the funeral, the mourners all gather in Emily's house. For several minutes the characters sit, subdued, with minimal dialogue. What dialogue there is is inconsequential to the story, you really do get the feeling of people who are very familiar to each other yet still unable to say what they feel, or frightened what they do say will be the wrong thing. It really is a brilliantly played scene, with classic characters like Elsie, Suzie, Ray, Mavis and Bet showing how good they could be.

Best performance
It has to be Eileen Derbyshire as Emily. As the longest serving female member of the cast, it is often possible to take the character of Emily for granted. However, this episode shows just what a great actress Eileen Derbyshire is. There aren't many episodes that focus mainly on Emily but she really does carry this performance off incredibly well. Her grief is real without being overplayed. While everyone else hesitates and struggles when they speak, Emily is the one who is succinct in facing up to what has happened.

Favourite linesBet: "I don't know where they'll put me, most of my lot are buried under a supermarket....they're not under t'sod, they're under a pile of special offers."

Albert: "The dead always are an embarrassment to the living and that's a fact."

Annie: "It's even affected her hasn't it? Our tough as old boots Bet."

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Corrie originals - Alan Rothwell as David Barlow

First appearance: 9th December 1960

Last appearance: 10th April 1968

Alan Rothwell played the role of Ken Barlow’s younger brother David between 1960 and 1961 and from 1963 to 1968.

Born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1937, Rothwell made his acting debut in The Claverdon Road Job in 1957. Three years later, he was cast in the role of 18 year old David Barlow in new drama serial Coronation Street and made his debut in the first episode. Although an apprentice engineer, David sought a career in football and was a successful player for Weatherfield County and even left the street in 1961 to play for a London team. During his hiatus from the show, Alan Rothwell had roles in Top Secret (1961-1962) and Z Cars (1963).

He made a permanent return in 1964 where he was paired off with new girl Irma Ogden. His football career ended the following spring when he tore a ligament and he announced his retirement. David and Irma had a quiet wedding but the residents joined in the reception. That year the Barlows bought the Corner Shop from Lionel Petty and made them at the heart of the street. In 1967, Irma became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage and that Christmas, to heal the pain, the Barlows fostered Jill Morris for a few days. David was the hero of the hour in 1967 when a train crashed into the street and he saved Ena Sharples from the wreckage. By 1968, David had grown tired of shop life and wished to return to the football field – after all he was still 26. He was offered a place in an Australian team and the Barlows sold the shop to Les and Maggie Clegg and immigrated to Australia where their son Darren was born that year. The reason for their departure was that both Rothwell and Sandra Gough, who played Irma, wished to seek other acting projects. Over the years, Rothwell had appeared in 253 episodes. 

While Irma visited the street in 1969, David didn’t accompany her. In 1970, Sandra Gough wished to return to Coronation Street and when Rothwell was approached to reprise his role as David, he rejected, stating that he was too busy within the theatre. With Irma becoming a regular character, the producers decided the best thing to do was kill David off. He died in a car crash in Australia as well as their son Darren. Rothwell was saddened with the decision to kill off David as he thought that when the time came, he could return to the show. While David’s memory was kept by Irma until her departure in 1971, the character has been largely forgotten by the show and is never mentioned by his brother Ken.

Rothwell has managed to have various acting rolls over the years and the role of David has never affected him. He appeared in Play for Today (1970-1973) and in 1985 he re-entered the soap world when he was cast as drug addict Nicholas Black in Liverpool based soap Brookside but the character was killed off in 1986. He’s had various roles in Heartbeat (1994-1995), Emmerdale (1997-1998), Wilmot (1999-2000), Dead Man Weds (2005), Doctors (2004-2010) and Casualty (1998-2011). He was also a presenter on children programmes Picture Box between 1969 and 1990 and Hickory House between 1973 and 1978. He appeared as himself in Coronation Street based documentary The Corrie Years in 2011. 

He’s been married twice: to Marjorie Ward and Maureen Haydon. He has a child with Haydon. 

Have you ever seen or met Alan Rothwell? Have you any pieces of trivia about him?

Research from Wikipedia, Corriepedia and IMDB.

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Wednesday 26 December 2012

So, what do you think of Californian Pete?

I'm enjoying this new character on Coronation Street, Californian Pete. We've never had such a laid-back, calm and collected fella on Corrie before and I kinda like it. He's a little bit 'whatever', he's reasonable, he listens and he cares. He doesn't drink, he doesn't fight, he doesn't go around breaking hearts.  Oh hang on, yes, he does. He broke little Simon's heart last night.

So, this Californian Pete bloke, what do you think then? Should Corrie bring back the old Peter Barlow and out this imposter or do you want him to stay?

The official Coronation Street website at has an interview with Chris Gascoyne about the choice Peter has to make. Will he go or will he stay? He'll stay, of course, it's a no-brainer.  The actor's just come back after a five month break in a Buddhist retreat, it's highly unlikely he'll leave again so soon.
I'm enjoying this new character on Coronation Street, Californian Pete. We've never had such a laid-back, calm and collected fella on Corrie before and I kinda like it. He's a little bit 'whatever', he's reasonable, he listens and he cares. He doesn't drink, he doesn't fight, he doesn't go around breaking hearts.  Oh hang on, yes, he does. He broke little Simon's heart last night.

So, this Californian Pete bloke, what do you think then? Should Corrie bring back the old Peter Barlow and out this imposter or do you want him to stay?

The official Coronation Street website at has an interview with Chris Gascoyne about the choice Peter has to make. Will he go or will he stay? He'll stay, of course, it's a no-brainer.  The actor's just come back after a five month break in a Buddhist retreat, it's highly unlikely he'll leave again so soon.

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Classic Corrie documentary from 1972

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2012.)

Earlier today I stumbled on a fascinating Coronation Street documentary on t'internet. The programme is from 1972 and features very interesting interviews with H.V Kershaw, Peter Adamson (Len); Doris Speed (Annie); Violet Carson (Ena) and a fresh faced Bill Roache. It's great to hear from these Street legends - I think it is the first time I've seen Doris Speed and Violet Carson appear as themselves on screen. 

What I found particularly interesting was the actors' views on how being in Coronation Street had changed their lives, particularly in relation to being recognised by the general public. It made me wonder what the original and much missed stars of the Street would make of the media and public attention today's actors receive! I also found it very amusing when Bill Roache talks about his plans to leave Corrie at some point in the future! Well Bill, forty years later and you're still our Ken!

The documentary is in two parts, the first part can be found here

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My Corrie Christmas

Here's my Corrie Christmas presents! In addition to the 2013 calendar, I also received these wonderful Lilliput Lane Corrie houses! They are just gorgeous and the detail is really fine. If you want to see close ups with some of the back views, check them out here. The back of the Duckies' house is exquisite with a little pigeon loft and birds!

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Carla and Peter's Corrie comeback

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

So Carla and Peter are returning to Coronation Street next week. As we've all seen from spoilers on the upcoming episodes their much heralded return appears to promise, well much of the same. As much as I really do like both Carla and Peter I am a little disappointed by this news.

How many times can we witness either Carla or Peter getting drunk and letting their loved ones down? How many times can either one of them neglect Simon? And how many times can Carla and Leanne scrap in the Street? I think it is a shame that after giving these characters a rest their return sees very little character development.

So what would this fan like to see?

Although it might seem boring, personally I would love to see Carla and Peter come back refreshed from their trip and in a solid relationship, as I do really like them together. I would also dearly love Carla to waltz back in to Underworld and immediately dispense with both Rob and Michelle's services. Yes, I know it will never happen, but for me Rob is a dreadful character we've all seen countless times before, played by a wooden actor. And as for Michelle... well where did she suddenly access all this business acumen? At this rate she'll replace that Hilary on Dragon's Den. I hate her lording it over the workers. Mike Baldwin she ain't! 

Anyway, I digress. What are your thoughts on Carla and Peter returning to the Street? Are you looking forward to seeing them again? And what would you like to see from them on their return? 

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Tuesday 25 December 2012

Is Carla nearing the end of the road?

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

Since Carla returned a few days ago, it's started to feel like she doesn't really fit in on the Street anymore, she seems to have been isolated from all the characters she used to get on well with.

There is also the fact that Peter is back to being clean and serene, with a clear head, it's starting to seem like he's realised his mistakes and is slowly drifting back to Leanne.

Carla even seems to be alienated from the factory now, with Rob and Michelle running the show.

However, I do think the character is salvageable, giving her a fresh start away from the factory would be great, and mixing her in with a new set of characters could give the character some fantastic storyline potential.

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Looking back at 12 months of Corrie: October 2012

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

Here we go with October in our look back at this year month by month.  If you'd like a full synopsis of everything that happened this month in Corrie, you can read the Corrie weekly updates website and our blogger Tvor's State of the Street for each month.

This blog post is purely my own highlights and lowlights for each month of the year so far. These are my own personal likes and dislikes for Corrie so do chip in with your own and remind me of anything major I've missed that happened during each month too.

So here we go with October 2012


Deirdre's suspicious about Ken meeting Wendy flamin' Crozier. She yells to Rita: "I think Ken's up to his old tricks again!" to which Rita replies, with a touch of Cagney to Deirdre's Lacey: "GET IN!". Deirdre yells at Rita to put her foot down. "Overtake that van!" to which Rita replies: "I haven't overtaken anything in 50 years!". 

Mary starts her theme nights at Roy's Rolls while the Croppers are visiting Sylvia in the States.  Mind you, these theme nights might have started off well but they ended up being repetitive and naff.

Audrey returns from her holiday alone after Lewis does a runner from the Eurostar. Miss Diane from Crossroads turns up looking for Lewis, too.

Kylie starts work at the Bistro.

Steve convinces Ryan to propose to Tracy in a packed Rovers after she pretends she's pregnant with Ryan's baby. I loved this  


Maria and Marcus snog.

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Fab Photo - Merry Christmas!

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2012.)

As it's nearly Christmas we bring you a few of our favourite festive photographs.

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Monday 24 December 2012

Video: Corrie gets into the Text Santa spirit

(This post was originally posted by Craig Laurenson on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2012.)

Here’s a corker of a video that’s been released today as part of ITV’s Text Santa appeal.

Each day a special video is posted, marking another door on the Advent Calendar counting down the days to the appeal on December 21st.

Today’s sees the cast and crew of Coronation Street getting into the festive spirit with a sing-song to Mariah Carey.

Prepare for some questionable miming but all round good merry fun, and for a very worthy cause!

Bid to win outfits worn on Text Santa by some of the Corrie cast members.

Find out more about the mini-episode of Coronation Street as part of Text Santa

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The Men of Coronation Street - Then and Now

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

One criticism I do have about the 21st Century Coronation Street is the apparent reliance on casting supposedly good looking younger actors regardless of the role they are required to play. I'm nudging and pointing at the fairly recent additions of Ryan Connor (II) and Carla's brother, Rob Donovan. I am sure they are both perfectly nice guys, but so far their characters have both been hugely lacking. For me, the alarm bell was ringing as soon as those publicity photographs of them in the boxing ring surfaced. What was that all about? Personally, I'd have backed Elsie and Ena in the ring over those two any day!

This all got me thinking of how times have changed. The past twenty years or so has certainly seen a marked increase in these kind of casting announcements, although I think the current trend really began with the arrival of Adam Rickett as Nick(y) Tilsley. Remember him?? However, it wasn't always this way. Who were the Coronation Street pin ups in the early days of the show? Was there a Tommy, Ryan or Jason for the 1960s audience? Let's see how they compared.

I suppose we have to start with the Peter Pan of Weatherfield, Mr Kenneth Barlow. The original Corrie youth, he did rebel against his family and fought for what he wanted out of life. He also had more than his fair share of the ladies (and continues to do so). However, could he really be considered an early Corrie pin up? I have my doubts. Ken was soon married off, although that didn't stop him creeping down the ginnel for assignations with, well, anybody. He was also a bookish intellectual, leading mother-in-law Blanche to describe him once as "the poor-man's Melvyn Bragg." Enough said.

So who else was there? The original Street bad boy Dennis Tanner, as portrayed by Philip Lowrie. When we first met Dennis he was giving Mum Elsie cheek, while also revealing he had recently been in prison. This is more like it. However Dennis quickly became a comedic character, dabbling in show business. Perhaps now they are married Rita can go back to t'Gatsby with Dennis as her agent? That would give him a job, as the powers that be are obviously so keen for him to have one! Sorry, he is ruled out for that bathing in front of his mother thing. Who would do that? 

There was also Len Fairclough. A real rough diamond. A man's man. Builder Len was popular with the Street ladies, from Bet Lynch and Elsie Tanner to the woman who eventually tried to tame him, Rita Littlewood. As macho and brutish as Len undoubtedly was, we never saw him without his vest, and quite rightly so. I don't think we would ever have seen Len doing a spread for Attitude magazine. Moving on!

Finally, there was of course Ray Langton. Watching old episodes, I have grown quite fond of our Raymond. He first appeared in Corrie as a delinquent in the mid-60s before returning and becoming a more responsible, if still wise-cracking character. Ray did indeed have quite  a twinkle in his eye back in the day, however there is one thing he cannot be forgiven for, ever. He will always be partially responsible for the monster that is Tracy Barlow. That certainly knocks a couple of points off as far as I'm concerned!

So what are your views on the casting of today's Street hunks? Do you have a particular favourite or someone you cannot abide? And how do you think this has changed since the early days of Corrie? 

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Corrie Canada weekly awards: Dec. 17 - 21

It Must be Genetic Award: Becky went on a rampage with a sledgehammer. Kylie went on one with a crowbar

Pants on Fire award: Dennis has a job but it's a lollipop man and he hasn't told Rita what it really is. Kylie is lying about taking her birth control pills.

Breakup Number 35 award: Tommy's walked out. Again.

Observant award: Lloyd and Steve reckon Lewis looks pretty cozy with Gail.

Harsh award: David said some horribly hurtful things to Kylie when he found out about the pills. He wasn't very nice to Tina either.

Eva's headgear is wearing it's winter coat!

Impeccable Timing award: Peter shows up seconds before the taxi to the airport leaves.

Showdown at the OK Corral award: Steve and Dennis facing off at the crossing.

Tit for Tat award: Steve thinks being barred from the Kabin is petty and vindictive but he's the one that bragged about his own capacity for the same isn't he?

Multitasking award: Unlike men watching tell, women like Eileen can watch and listen to conversations and take it all in too.

Tradition award: Either Rob hasn't opened that filing cabinet since Carla left or he's keeping up the long standing tradition of keeping a bottle stashed in the factory office.

Lines of the week:
Tommy to Tina "You are an experiment. You are a test tube with legs"
Tommy "I didn't put any pressure on you, I put you first" (not much you didn't)
Nick to Lewis "You're her new pet project. Not seen her this happy since they brought back Dallas!"
Norris "My foot arrangements are my own business and I'll thank you not to broadcast them to all and sundry" (You mean like you do with everyone else's business?)
David about Max "You were up the duff before you even knew the father's name. The kid has been dumped more times than Britney" (harsh!)
Stella to Tina "Go home and take the weight off your gob"
Steve to Dennis "Fascist!"
Steve "When it comes to pettiness and stupid vendettas, I am the Master" Lloyd "You're the Obi Wan Kenobi of Small mindedness"
Kylie "What's daft about cold blooded murder"
Steve about the Kabin ban "That's petty and vindictive" (Tit for tat, I say) Rita "I believe the phrase is... Sling yer Hook!"
Carla "Peter gets to see Simon and I get to count the days through gritted teeth."

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