Friday 31 May 2013

Sneak Preview for Canadian Corrie June 3 - 7

Here's a brief sneak preview for what's coming up on next week's Coronation Street in Canada.

Gary's freaking out, Tina's stressing out. Katy knows a secret.  Will Izzy find out? Tina quits her job causing more questions. Carla takes Rob back at the factory under duress. Rob plans revenge.

Roy pays his respects and has difficulty dealing with his emotions. Chesney tries a new look.

The pub reopens, and not without incident.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Conversation Street Podcast 42

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 the Price Family Plothole, the surrogacy twists and turns and Roy dealing with the death of his father. The character profile is all about our favourite, Roy Cropper

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Thursday 30 May 2013

Canada's No.1 Corrie Fan goes to the British Soap Awards

Canada's Number 1 Corrie Fan, Deborah Cyr, recently had a chance to attend the recent British Soap Awards on her holiday to the U.K. Deborah has met dozens of Corrie actors and is a dedicated fan. She was very lucky to get tickets for the awards *and* tickets for the red carpet. Here's Deb's overview. You can go to her website to see the rest of the details and lots more photos.


"In March I booked a holiday to England, May 2nd - 27th. I had a few Corrie things planned and really hoped one of them would be to be on the red carpet of the British Soap Awards meeting actors as they arrived. A number of friends had done that in 2011 when the awards were in Manchester and it was something I really wanted to experience.

I never realized the odds of getting tickets this year were next to none, but somehow once again I had some Corrie luck on my side. Not only was I on the red carpet, but for the first time in the British Soap Awards history fans were given the opportunity to apply to be in the audience. I got three tickets for the red carpet and to be in the audience for the show. I got to cheer all my Coronation Street favourites as they won 8 awards, including best soap. My luck continued as I was given a goody bag that the actors left the ceremony with, thanks to Nathan Wright of Doctors.

My husband Al, good friend Emma and I were the first to arrive at Media City on May 18th and the last to leave. When we left, all of the actors had also left. Our feet were aching and the jacket potato we'd had at lunch was long gone, but we had the biggest smiles on our faces. It was one of the longest days, but a day we will never forget. Watching my favourite soap win, seeing the familiar faces arrive all glammed up and then meeting a number of the cast after. You can read all about it and see more photos on my website

This is another day I will remember for a very long time!!"

Photos copyright Deborah Cyr. Top photo shows her and her friend Emma with Oliver Mellor (Matt Carter) and Sol Heras (Ryan Connor)

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Corrie A-Z: C is for Cigarette Holders

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

Over the years, many Corrie characters have been known to smoke. I believe that a cigarette in their hand explains a lot about their character and gives them a rough edge. Since the smoking in public places ban in 2007, characters have not been seen smoking in the Rovers so you have to keep watch of who smokes these days as they’re not regularly seen sporting a cigarette in their hand.
Known smokers include Deirdre Barlow, Liz McDonald, Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch, Hilda Ogden, Becky Granger, Steve McDonald, Lloyd Mullaney, Stan Ogden, Vera Duckworth, Ray Langton, Alan Howard, Jack Duckworth, Janice Battersby, Eddie Windass, Martha Longhurst, Suzie Birchall, Alec Gilroy and Peter Barlow.
Ken Barlow used to smoke in the 1960s (I don’t think Deirdre knows that!) and in her first appearance street duchess Audrey Roberts had a cigarette in her hand! And our Rita, in her early days, was sometimes sporting a cigarette in her hand as the photo shows.
Other characters are known to opt for smoking cigars. The ones that come to mind are Mike Baldwin, Fred Elliott, Billy Walker and Dev Alahan. And during Betty’s wake, there was a brilliant scene of the Corrie menfolk smoking cigars in the Rovers backyard.
Phyllis Pearce is best remembered for her gravel-voice but was never seen smoking.
While Annie Walker was a non-smoker, Doris Speed who played her was. It has been said that Speed died with a cigarette in her hand!   
Remember any other characters who smoke/d? Know any actors that do/did?

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Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Corrie Couple Shuffle (speculation)

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2013.)

And if you can say that 5 times quickly after a few pints of Newton and Ridley's, you get a star!

What does it mean? Well, I've been thinking about spoilers and speculating my little heart out this morning.

We know that Owen will be offered a share in the pub because Stella can't afford the rest of the renovations. My guess is that the insurance isn't going to come up with the money. Doesn't seem fair but Stella did remark that she wanted the work started before she heard back from the insurance and needed three quotes. I don't know if she actually got them and I reckon the insurance company is balking.

So, if this plays out as given, that Owen will be part owner of the pub, he's obviously not going to be a silent partner. Karl will not be long for our world since he's a murderer. He'll have to be caught or die trying. That's him out of the picture.

Cut across the road to Chateau Windass. Anna is struggling with Faye's desire to get to know her father, Tim, who's moved in across the road. Others have wondered if Tim and Anna could end up being a couple eventually, nudging bully boy Armstrong out the door. There you have the template for the couple shuffle.

Karl will be gone. Owen will be sticking his nose in the pub business and probably helping to pick up the pieces when St. Ella is all morose and upset after the revelations of Karl's dastardly deeds. Faye continues to cause ructions between Owen and Anna and their relationship breaks under the strain. Tim steps in, and Anna has finally got herself a nice guy (providing Tim proves to be that nice guy, no reason at this point to suspect otherwise but you never know...) while St. Ella has a stormy relationship with Owen. It's not the first time he's had his eye on the Rovers landlady (Liz). He may even have a hand in bringing Karl down, who knows, especially if Karl goes doolally and loses control.

What say you, dear readers? Worth a consideration?

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Why do you watch Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2013.)

It's a simple question but I am interested to know what your answers are. It was suggested by an anonymous poster the other day that Coronation Street is something people have on in the background while they conduct their daily lives. Is that true?

Coronation Street has nowhere near the peak viewing figures it had in the 60s, 70s, 80s or even the 1990s. However it does still rate highly each week compared both with its rivals and other programmes. And this is in a time when viewers have three hundred channels to chose from, not just three (or even two when Corrie first started in 1960).

I have mentioned before that I no longer never miss Corrie. I still love it, I still know what is going on, but I feel these days that if I miss two episodes on a Friday it won't really matter as I can tune in again the following Monday without feeling that I have missed out. However when I do watch these days I find more and more that I am multi-tasking watching Coronation Street while doing something else. I may be looking back through rose tinted Deirdre bins, but back in the day Corrie always had 100% of my attention. 

So do we care as much about Corrie and its characters now as we did in the past? Do we make our regular date with the Rovers regulars through habit or choice these days?

I want to know why you still watch Coronation Street each week and if your reasons for doing so have changed.

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Eva's magic top on Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Having just caught up with last night's Coronation Street (from Wednesday 15 May) there's an obvious continuity error which is worth blogging. 

When Eva returned from Ibiza she was wearing an embroided cream top underneath her sparkly jacket.  She then goes into the Bistro where Stella throws her rubber gloves at her, so it wasn't too surprising to see Eva had changed into a different top later on in the episode.

But then later still, her outfit reverted to the first top she had on earlier in the shoot. 

See also: Steve McDonald's magic sausage 
See also: Sean Tully's magic hair

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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Has Gary Windass turned a bit creepy?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I love Gary Windass, I really do and always have done.  He's complex, he's different, he's seen his best mate die while in the army and he's been given a mini series all of his own, Gary's army diaries.

When he took Izzy hostage in her flat, I was in tears for the both of them. And when he and Izzy decided to have a baby together, I voted them the happiest couple on Coronation Street.  So, in short I think Gary Windass is great.

That's why I'm hoping this crush on Tina, and treating the lovely Izzy with contempt, will soon pass.  Last night on Coronation Street Gary tried to kiss Tina on the sofa. By the look of it, it didn't look like Tina wanted to kiss him back, but what if that changes in the coming weeks and what if, oh dearie me, what if, Tina and Gary get together and he wants her to be the mum of his child?  Is that what Corrie producer was hinting at when he said there'd be heartbreak for them all in the surrogacy storyline?

Bring back the Gary we know and love, the complex army lad/mum's lad, not this creepy, cringy, clingy Gary, please.

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Humdrum Street

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog May 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Maybe the permanent wet weather is starting to affect my mood. Either that or the knowledge that we are in for another drubbing in this year's Eurovision. Whatever it is, I found myself staring at Corrie rather than watching it. Yes, life is a series of swings and roundabouts blah blah blah but last night's episodes had all the vitality and vigour of an old supermarket trolley in a canal.

I think I have totally given up caring about the horrendous FayE. Is she eating properly? Well, feed her hen droppings. Not bothered. She seems to drain the life out of everyone around her. Anna has morphed into a hand-wringing ninny and even the increasingly odd Tim seems to spend a great deal of his time staring into the middle distance. Add to this the cheerless Owen, channelling Len Fairclough, petulant strop-fest Kayteh and her baybeh, plus the gimlet-eyed Izzy and hey presto - a true house of horrors!

Meanwhile over at number 13, Boria is giving meaningful looks at the end of every one of St Ella's utterances. St Ella: "Solicitor's letter etc etc". Gloria: meaningful look. Do us a favour, cut to the chase and reach for your cheque book form the interminable folds of your cardigan.

At the Bistro, the list of employees grows longer. Nick has employed his mother as a cleaner and Gail in turn now gets to supervise St Ella of the Scrubbing Brush as she applies tiny amounts of elbow grease to the even tinier floor. It's official - there are now more staff that customers at the Bistro. Maybe they are going for a record number of employees squeezed behind one modest bar. Not much room left though, unless you shuffle up next to Leanne and that sizable chip on her shoulder.

Even the drama of Roy looking for his long lost dad had a feel of 'clunkiness' about it. The idea of long, lost relatives is a soap vehicle used one time too many. It all seemed a little weary and not worthy of the lovely Croppers. Savour Hayley while we still have her!

Full marks though to Tina and her square looking pregnancy (what has she got down there? A tea tray? A selection of encyclopedias?) for turfing out creepy Gary. That lad is trouble and you can only fear for the child produced by him, old gimlet eyes and Tina Tea Tray.

OK, whinge over. Onwards and upwards to better things. I'm off to flick through a few of Deirdre's recipes before dinner. Stuffed marrow anyone? Thought not.

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Monday 27 May 2013

Corrie A-Z: C is for Canada

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2013.)

While researching the links between Corrie and Canada, I was amazed at how many there have been over the years. Be it links with characters, cast or crew.
Ivan, Linda and Paul Cheveski emigrated to Canada in 1961 when Ivan got a new job there. They stayed there until 1966 before returning to live in Birmingham. While in Canada, their second son Martin was born in 1964 but he wasn’t mentioned until 1980!
The residents were shocked in 1965 when Corner Shop owner Florrie Lindley’s husband Norman turned up on the street. Florrie had always maintained she was a widow. In fact, the Lindleys had been estranged for many years and Norman had been working in India. Upon his return, Norman offered Florrie the chance to reunite and move to Canada. While Florrie considered his offer, Norman had a brief fling with Elsie Tanner. In the end, Florrie accepted and the residents bid the Lindleys farewell.
Handel Gartside, Minnie Caldwell’s old flame, returned to Weatherfield in 1970 after 33 years of living in Canada. He then moved to Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire where Minnie regularly visited him and went to live with him in 1976.
When Irma Barlow left the street for the last time in 1971 she was said to have moved to Llandudno. But by the time of her father Stan’s funeral in 1984, she was said to be living in Canada as she had sent a telegram of condolence to her mum Hilda from there.
Then in the late 1980s it was revealed that Audrey Roberts had a son called Stephen living in Canada that she gave up for adoption at the age of 16. It was Malcolm Reid, an old flame and neighbour of Audrey’s that adopted him and later immigrated to Canada where Stephen was brought up as a Canadian. Malcolm visited Audrey in 1988 and the residents speculated who he was until Malcolm innocently told Ivy Brennan about Stephen. Audrey had told Ivy that Malcolm was her brother-in-law! During his visit, Malcolm tried to lure Audrey from Alf but he was having none of it and saw him off. In 1996, Stephen visited Weatherfield to get to know his mother Audrey a bit better and meet half-sister Gail for the first time. During his stay, Audrey’s best mate Alma Baldwin fell for him. Stephen soon returned to Canada and visited again in 2007 en route to Italy where he had moved to expand his business empire. Initially offering nephew David a job, it was niece Sarah and her daughter Bethany who joined him in Milan.
During his first stay, Stephen’s nephew Nick went to stay with him and Stephen offered him a job in Canada which he accepted. But within the year Nick was back and married Leanne Battersby. But after a disastrous marriage, Nick left the street again for Canada. He returned for Gail’s wedding to Richard Hillman in 2002 and embarked on a relationship with Maria Sutherland who joined him when he returned to Canada. But Maria soon returned after the relationship soured. Nick returned once more in 2003 and stayed until 2004 before leaving for Canada. Many years later, Nick returned to the UK and settled in Nottingham before moving back home in 2010.
Recently, Colin Fishwick (the real one!) immigrated to Canada to escape the wrath of Ben Fielding, the husband of a woman he’d had an affair with. But he soon returned to the UK, only to suffering a beating from Ben which resulted in him suffering a fatal heart attack – and thus began the John Stape and rug saga!!
As for members of the cast with links to Canada, Sue Cleaver (Eileen Grimshaw) lived there for a time.
And how many of you knew that it was indeed a Canadian that was responsible for the commissioning of Corrie back in 1960? Harry Elton (1930-2004) was the first executive producer of the show and did so until 1963 when he returned to his native Canada. Thinking he’d have as much success in Canada as he did in the UK, Elton was shocked that he to climb the ladder once again. He worked at CBC and the Canadian Museum of Civilisation until his retirement in 1990. He spent his later years visiting China and it was while visiting Tibet that he died from a heart attack. On another note, it was his daughter Victoria who played the first baby, Paul Cheveski, on the programme back in 1961 and 1962.

And let’s not forget that Corrie has been broadcast in Canada since the late 1960s on CBC and repeats have been shown on various other Canadian channels. The show has a strong fan base in Canada and many Corrie stars have visited the country over the years to meet fans and plug the show and of course many Canadians contribute and comment on this blog and various other websites dedicated to Corrie. So, to all you Canadians out there: hello!!
Do you watch Corrie in Canada? Since when and how did you start watching? Have you ever met any members of cast or crew when they visited Canada?

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Corrie Canada weekly awards: May 20 - 24

 Mummy's boy: Sometimes a man just needs his mother, even if it's just to put a plaster on. Nobody knows you better.

Nosy neighbours award: Norris might be thoroughly detestable, but Sally wants to know the gossip and Gail wants to be filled in. They just do it in a far less obnoxious way! Loved that little exchange!

Making me ill award: I am finding it very hard to watch Stella make cow eyes over Karl.

Sudden BFF award: Gloria made a point of inviting Rita to the engagement party. Neither of them has liked each other up to now. When did that change? And she invited Michelle and Steve? Huh? Because they're BFFs with Stella and Karl too right? Wrong.

Stress cleaning award: Roy's clearly thrown by the communication with his father. He's cleaning like a madman.

Typical builder. Karl is trying to take up the slack. What does he do? Make tea.

Pants on Fire award: Audrey made up lies about David's clients cancelling in order to get him  home to rest.
Gary lied to Izzy about the 200 quid.

Annoying little git award. Chesney is really getting on my wick.

Quandary award: Roy doesn't know if he wants to know what his father wrote or not.

What money award: Tina wanted to lend Gary some of the money she got from Owen. I thought she gave that to Tommy to pay back Tyrone?

Lines of the week:
Norris "This isn't tittle tattle, you know" (It isn't, David about the baby "Think he'll look like me?" Gail "I hope so!" (more than you know)
Sylvia "Truth at all cost but at what cost?" (she's got a point)
Karl "It's Stella that saved my life" (Gag me)
David to Gail "What about when you were pregnant with me? 'Frankie Says Abort'" (ouch that was uncalled for)
Rita to Chesney whose looking at magazines "Comics are over there, luv" Chesney "I'm 18" (so?)
Gail "If I gave my demons and inch, they'd run amok!" (wouldn't they just!)
Sylvia "Did I hear  you say that Kirk is helping him (Craig) with his homework?" Beth "What's wrong with that?" Sylvia "How long have you got?"
Nick to Sally "Are you always this nasty about your neighbours?" (yes)
Tina "we should never let men get involved in this baby making thing" (erm...)
Gail "Two mothers-in-law on the same payroll will only work if there are clear boundaries"
Sylvia "Does it hurt? Would you like me to kiss it better?"
Kylie "You get pregnant, everyone wants a piece of you"

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Price family to be made into Corrie's top clan

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a Coronation Street spoiler today in today's Sun that says all members of the Price family, including the detested (in our house) St Ella, have been given another year's worth of work on the soap.

I'm happy to hear that Jane Danson (Leanne), Sue Johnston (Gloria) and Catherine Tyldesley (Eva) will all be staying on after Corrie bosses gave them one year contract extensions.

But St Ella's staying too and that does not gladden the heart of this Corrie fan. I won't bang on, you already know how much she spoils Corrie for me.

The Sun piece says that Corrie has started writing a host of new storylines which will make them the most heavily-featured characters in Weatherfield.

I wonder what Emmerdale's like these days? Anyone?

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Sunday 26 May 2013

Could Deirdre's stuffed marrow save Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Top telly soaps have come in for their annual bashing, this time from an academic report saying that soaps depict characters with unhealthy eating choices and lifestyles with little or no exercise.

But while Emmerdale got in the neck for Eric Pollard being the
unhealthiest soap character because he's always drinking, and EastEnders' Fatboy getting a ticking off for eating peanut butter and jam sarnies, Coronation Street didn't fare too badly.

The report by Liverpool’s John Moores University for the Co-operative store, found that Corrie was the healthiest at mealtimes, with 41% of all food consumed, or referred to, getting the seal of approval from health experts.

So it just goes to show that there may be a point to Deirdre's stuffed marrow, after all.

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Sunday Comments May 26

High noon at the Rovers. Owen was intimidating but he didn't actually touch Karl who equally didn't back down. Owen isn't considering a solicitor and really, there's not a lot they could do anyway. Karl keeps playing the hero for Stella, keeping her on the sweet side. Gloria is meddling with everyone and anyone, trying to get Leanne to put her cash into the pub. Meanwhile, Stella's solution is to offer Owen a partnership in the pub. He still isn't going to be able to pay his crew, though, is he?

Stella has said Yes to Karl's proposal. More fool her. Gloria's thrilled but Stella knows she's probably the only one. Eva was more thrilled about a new frock. Leanne was dead set against it and Karl. But when Gloria found out that Stella offered Owen a partnership she mentioned having a bit put by and looked decidedly shifty. She can afford to thrown an engagement party, and all.

Owen would still end up having to get a loan to pay his crew and buy more supplies. It's a difficult spot in the short term but he thinks he can do it. Anna's not so sure. Catching the Prices celebrating and spending money infuriated him. Even when he found out Gloria paid for it, he decided he'd be suing for his cash. And how can Owen afford to eat and drink at the Bistro these days? Owen is furious, Stella is worried sick. In Owen's position, I'd probably sue, too. Stella doesn't have a choice but to put the pub up for sale and get a job. I'm surprised Kevin isn't charging them all rent but that's another plot hole really. I mean, wouldn't you at least charge a nominal rent or ask them to pay the utilities? Karl should get a job too. Stella's going to take advantage of Leanne and take a job at the Bistro but she thought it might be as  bar staff. What she got was cleaner. Does a tiny place like that need two cleaners? And Gail already looks at Stella as a rival, co-mothers-in-law after all.

Stella reckons cleaner's wages will pull her out of the hole. It won't hurt, i suppose and Karl should definitely get of his backside and it's about time he offered. kI don't know if we were supposed to find Gail lording it over Stella and her mops funny but it wasn't. Why did Gail even need to have more than one mop? I really don't see why the Bistro even needs two cleaners. Now Leanne is feeling guilty about not lending Stella the money and Gloria is making noises about finding other ways out of the hole.

Norris manages to get his nose into everywhere doesn't he? He's such a nasty git and wasted no time spreading the gossip. He speculated that Stella burned it down herself. But they already think that Sunita did it on purpose, so why would he think that? And arson isn't a reason for insurance not to pay out unless you've done it yourself or practically handed the keys to someone that did it. I loved the little exchange between Sally and Gail, however, when Sally was dying to find out and since the Prices are in Kevin's house and Kevin isn't there, Sally can take it upon herself to do a bit of digging. With Gail's "help". Well no, but Sally promised to fill her in. Love it! Nice little scene.

Sylvia seemed intent on hiding the letter from Roy but Hayley doesn't understand why. Maybe Sylvia has a point and Hayley in her everlasting quest for honesty and truth (just like Roy of course) just might be opening a wound that shouldn't be opened. Hayley is determined that Roy find out about the letter so Sylvia was backed into a corner. Roy decided not to open the letter. He's closed the book on his father and that should be an end of it but you know Hayley won't be able to let it go. It's clear, no matter what Roy says, that the idea of communication with his father has thrown him. He was very defensive about it too, even when Hayley hadn't said anything else. Clearly it's on his mind. He's debating and fretting and cleaning now. What to do? Roy doesn't need the nagging. He is curious about the letter no matter what he says. His mind isn't on his job and he's just going to have to bite the bullet. Hayley and Sylvia pushed and pushed until he opened the old wound. There's no going back now. 

Even Gail can tell that David's fussing and overworking himself. All of this business about David working too hard, everyone saying it's not good for you but no word about his epilepsy until he collapsed and then nobody even blinked and seemed surprised, like his epilepsy was a routine thing when really, it had been forgotten in the show for a couple of years now. He took a funny turn or two in the salon and he even took a bit of a funny turn in the Bistro, though it was odd that Steve was the one that jumped up, concerned. Audrey and Nick are both arguing about how to give David a break and make sure he doesn't suffer financially. Must be nice working for family! Audrey is fussing over David who really does think he's handling it. Again, she keeps skirting around his health issues. Does she think mentioning the E word is going to send him round the bend?

Katy is back. Can't find someone to mind the baby. David's storyline needs a bit extra to make it more scarey. Therefore David looks after Joseph just before he collapses in the park. What a scary thing for a child to see but Max did manage to call Nick when David collapsed. Usually epileptic seizures only last a couple of minutes. David must have been out for longer than that if he didn't come round until Nick got there. Even providing it was at the neighbourhood Red Rec, it would have taken Nick longer than a couple of minutes to drive there and find them I would think.

Don't take David home, take him straight to the medical centre, people! Well they did talk him into going at least.  And now Nick knows that Sally knows the paternity secret. It's all thrown David for a loop. All he has to do is take care of his health and take his meds and it's unlikely it's going to happen. He went a couple of years without a problem, after all. It will be hard with a new baby but he's got a good support network.

David's worried now if the baby could have epilepsy and wants to see if there is a test. That's going to put Kylie in a spin. Why? The baby could prove not to have the gene and that only means the baby doesn't have a gene for epilepsy, not that the baby's not David's. But it does also mean a genetic test will tell you who the father is, too.

Where'd Karl get the overalls?  This episode was filled with people that never seemed to be friends in the past being all over each other. Dennis and Rita, Steve and Michelle at the engagement party? Gloria and Rita dislike each other. Steve and Michelle are hardly Stella's best friends and Steve has sacked Karl about 18 times. Carla is intent on having Rob and Peter make friends. I don't think it's ever going to work. Peter threw Marcus into the mix as a buffer. Talk about feeling like a fifth wheel in the middle of a peeing contest. Kylie needs new maternity tops and Gail offers her some clothes. She's even tinier and it's unlikely Gail still has 22 year old maternity clothes.

Gary's been invited to an army reunion of a few mates. Tommy does want Tina back but reckons she doesn't want him back. Izzy discovered the 200 pounds that Gary spent on the ring for Tina and Anna overheard it and raked him over the coals for it. Gary in return, threw her quick rebound with Owen after Eddie's departure in her face. Izzy was suspicious enough to ferret out the truth and confronted Gary straight away about both the money and Tommy's accusations about fancying Tina. Tina was horrified and stoutly denied anything was going on. So did Gary but we know he's got a thing for her.

I'm glad Izzy tore a strip off him. He's in denial about how he feels. Tina considered giving the money back and that in turn, makes it not a gift and it's the right thing to do. Gary found the ring, Tina's paying for it. Gary's pissed and blames Tommy for putting a bug in Izzy's ear. Take responsibility for your actions, mate.

Gary wants to avoid the reunion but Izzy insisted. She's also forgiven him for spending the money on Tina's Dad's ring. She's handing over cash, probably some of the money Tina paid back for the ring. Funny thing is, though he does fancy Tina, he really does love Izzy, I'm sure but he wasn't too happy when his mates were all over his photo of Tina. Green eyed jealous monster, for sure. He wasn't happy to see Tina arguing with Tommy either. So again, he decides he should look after Tina but with a few beers under his belt, feeling down about army mates, and the green eyed monster loose, he made a pass at her. Tina wasn't having any of it which is refreshing.

Tim isn't the keenest father is he? Not really finding a comfortable routine and Faye doesn't really care if she's late for school. She's just happy with her Dad. Tim's still struggling with parenthood and more interested in games on the iPad than making sure Faye's got what she needs for school. Anna's discovering that Faye is living off takeaway and having to watch football. It's clear she's not really happy but she's not giving up yet. Is Tim working? Apparently so. Owen is crabby about Tim being in the house and the obvious, Tim isn't up to parenthood.  Anna knows that Faye has to want to come home oh her own. Meanwhile she's probably not eating properly and seems to really know her way around the kitchen.  Chesney really needs a serious attitude adjustment. He wouldn't look after Joseph and then accused her of palming him off on David callously. He knew about the appointment, after all. Accusing her of lying, and not looking after him because he thought she was lying, or so his ranting implied had me cursing at the screen. I wish both of these people would just go away. Even if Rita and Dennis didn't really belong at the engagement party, it was nice to see them.

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Corrie memory loss

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

Oh dear, it seems poor Gary, Owen and Anna haven't got the money that is owed to them by Stella, for the work they did on the Rovers.

Wait a second, isn't this the same family (minus Owen) who refused to pay Joe McIntyre for the work he did on the kitchen, also the same family. The same family who purposefully made Joe spiral into debt?

This also brings up the question of why Tina is close to them, especially Gary who played a significant role in ruining Joe's life, along side his Uncle Len, surely you wouldn't want to do someone a favour after they did that to your family.

I'm hoping Tina will turn on creepy Gary, who seems to be starting to head back into his old ways lately.

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Saturday 25 May 2013

Corrie Spoiler links - Spring 2013

Time again for an occasional post wherein we list some Corrie Spoilers by character name only. If you want to know what happens, click the link. Hovering over the link may also spoil it because there may be information in the url.

Summer spoilers

Surrogacy storyline



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Graeme's Heros and Villains of the week

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

Time to look once again at who has been good and who has been bad in the streets of Weatherfield this week. This week was dominated by one particular story yet again, however there was thankfully a few other more interesting developments too. And finally, my beloved Audrey got some screen time!

So first of all to my hero of the week. A difficult one to chose this week as there wasn't exactly a groundswell of good deeds on the cobbles. In the end, I've decided to go for Anna Windass. Yes, I know she can be incredibly annoying with all that bleating at Gary, Faye, Owen and well, anybody that will listen. And yes I know her current position as Salford's very own Mother Earth is a long way from the character that first arrived back in 2008, but I do think poor Anna is coping rather well in the face of multiple misery.

She had it on all fronts this week. 'Orrible Owen was battling Beige Stella in the fight to save t'Rovers. Gary was deceiving girlfriend Izzy while becoming increasingly creepy towards surrogate mother Tina. And Tim was obviously starting to struggle with the reality of being a dad to nasty little Faye. Just your average week then. However despite all this, Anna clung on as the rock of the family. She stuck by Owen in his feud with St Ella, and told her a few home truths along the way (Go girl!) She told Gary straight when he was openly lying to Izzy. And she handled the Tim/Faye situation just right, while standing up to bullyboy Owen in the process. Not bad, all things considered!

Now to my villain of the week. I'm afraid it has to be Karl Munro. The character makes my flesh crawl. It says plenty about St Ella that she's taking this nasty piece of work back and is prepared to overlook all his past misdemeanours. So much for building a relationship with long lost daughter Leanne too. Mum of the Year Stella has let cheating, lying, arsonist Karl come between them all too easily.

I'm hating the way Karl is stuck to Stella like a limpet in every scene. I know the truth is bound to come out but honestly, how much longer can the writers stretch this out for? It's a shame really as Karl had great potential as an honest, every man character. Of course the writers had to muck about with that almost immediately. I am dreading scenes this week that see Stella don the cleaner's tabard at the Bistro while the delightful Karl continues to do nothing but buy cans of Stagg Ale from the shop owned by the man whose ex-wife he is responsible for burning to death.

I have a horrible feeling there will be a big revelation just as vile Gloria walks Stella down the aisle. I wonder what colour her wedding frock might be?...

So those are my choices, what are yours?

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Overexposure Street

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2013.)

Why must the powers that be at Coronation Street make the same mistakes over and over again? I'm afraid the recent news that the Price family are set to take centre stage in a whole host of new plots has sent me scurrying for the remote control. Yes, I'm looming over the off button.

Before I go any further, I'm not going to use this blog to moan on about Stella and her family. I've said plenty on that subject before and sadly my views have not changed. Regardless of the character(s) involved I just cannot abide overexposure on Coronation Street!

All we have to do is look back to see that moving forward with the same characters dominating screen time can only lead to disaster. Recent history has given us various flavours of the month, whether it be Becky, Tina, Michelle, Sean or Tracy. Each of these characters, whether you love them or loathe them, has been force fed to us time and time again until both the character and most probably the actor too has suffered from burn out.

The whole point of Corrie is that it's one big repertory company. Variety is the spice of life. We like to see a community in action, not just episode upon episode focussing on one particular family. There is no point in having a cast of 65 actors if only a fraction are treated to  storylines. 

Corrie is also about longevity. We care more about characters that stick around. That's why we love Roy and Hayley, Ken and Deirdre, Audrey, Rita and the rest. We feel like we've known them for years so we continue to tune in to the ups and downs of their lives. When characters dominate over a short space of time, they burn out or leave. Where else is there to take a character when they've faced a fire, a siege, a kidnap and a cancer scare in six months? Ok, that's an exaggeration but really the Corrie of 2013 is stretching believability at the best of times as it is.

So whatever we think of Stella, Gloria and Eva, it looks like they are staying put. My plea to the powers that be is this: Stop forcing them down our throats please! Rest the characters for a while - we don't need to see them at the centre of the drama all the time. Give someone else a shot. Give these actors a holiday, I'm sure they need it. Watching Corrie at the moment, I know I do!

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Friday 24 May 2013

Corrie Canada sneak previews for May 27 - 31

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

Tina and Gary are awkward and Izzy notices. Tommy warns Gary. Ryan hears a secret. Gloria surprises everyone. A letter brings Roy's past to the present and he works to uncover more information. Rob and Peter are still at odds. Katy and Chesney are still arguing.

For more detail and photos, see the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Conversation Street podcast 41

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 Roy rediscovering his past, Karl and Stella, and David's health problems. The character profile is all about the memorable Annie Walker. 

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

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Thursday 23 May 2013

David's epilepsy returns

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)

If you thought the whole storyline with David's epilepsy has been swept under the rug, you wouldn't be thought badly for it. It has never been mentioned after the first week or two when David moaned about having to be on medication the rest of his life.

Now, however, it seems they're going to focus on it again. In the Daily Mail, there are papparazzi pics from some filming done in a local park where David has been out with Max and collapses. There doesn't seem to be any other explanation so the Mail is, probably correctly, surmising that this is going to be revisited.

In the original storyline, it seemed the stress of being suspected of trying to murder his mate Graeme Proctor was the result of passing out from epilepsy behind the wheel of a car. In the years since, David has been under a lot of stress but never had any relapses. While it's possible that could happen, medication doesn't usually prevent seizures from ever happening again. This time around, he drops to the ground in front of Max who is scared but manages to use David's phone to call "Uncle" Nick who comes running to help.

If you're wondering who the buggy belongs to in some of the photos, Chesney and little Joseph were in the same scenes but Ches must have been off changing the nappy or something.

I'm glad they're bringing this up again as it's important to stay consistent with the characters and there's been precious little of that lately. If this is up to the new producer, well done, Mr. B.

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Can we have more of the terrific Tanners please?

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

I make no secret of the fact I love Rita. For me, she is one of Coronation Street's most wonderful creations, and she's as splendid today as she was forty years ago. I also enjoy see Dennis Tanner back in Weatherfield and think these characters work incredibly well together. They are a little slice of old fashioned Corrie gold every time they appear.

So why not provide them with a decent, high profile storyline? They are crying out for one!

Longstanding Coronation Street legends are becoming increasingly thin on the ground these days. We have lost so many classic characters in recent years that we must make the most of the ones we still have. Gail and Audrey still feature fairly prominently and I'm pleased we're seeing more of Deirdre, Roy and Hayley, however the feeling persists with me that there are a lack of storylines for the Tanners.

Dennis pops up infrequently in the background of fairly insignificant scenes while Rita tends to appear as the voice of reason in whatever Tina and Tommy are getting up to. I can't help but find it all a bit unsatisfying. We don't even see many of the classic Kabin scenes these days with Rita, Emily and Norris. These characters may be getting on in years but I think they still have plenty of spirit left in them. 

And more importantly they are a great deal more interesting and entertaining than the younger crop of Weatherfield residents.

So what would make a good story for the Tanners? Well, when Dennis returned, so did a large chunk of wonderful, amazing Coronation Street history. All those early days in black and white - another link back to the likes of Elsie Tanner, Annie Walker and Ena Sharples. When do we hear these brilliant characters mentioned or even given a name check? Yes, I know Corrie must keep moving forward in order to survive, but the reason it is held in so much affection is its rich past.

I would love to see Rita and Dennis delve into their back catalogue. To my knowledge, Dennis hasn't mentioned his sister Linda since his return. I believe the actress who played her back in the early 1960s is still around, so why not bring back another Tanner, at least for a guest appearance? It would be great to see the Tanner siblings interact once again.

So do you agree? What ideas do you have for future Rita and Dennis stories?

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Wednesday 22 May 2013

The Rovers Return Maternity Ward (with rumour)

It's a soap standard that very few babies are born in a hospital in the maternity ward. It's just not as dramatic as giving birth in a remote shack on a beach or in the back of a taxi, is it? Even in Corrie's early days we heard characters talk about having their babies. Ken Barlow himself was born in 1939 at home by Ena Sharples when his mother, Ida, went into labour suddenly.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the Rovers Return, the heart of the Street, has been the scene of several births over the years. The first one, as a character back story, was Elsie Tanner's daughter, Linda, who was born in the back room and delivered by Ena Sharples. Corriepedia verifies this.

The first birth on screen was the son of Tricia Armstrong who had baby Brad in the back room. Betty Turpin delivered him. Tricia had had a one night stand with Terry Duckworth. She was "in lurve" but Terry didn't want to know and he even questioned whether he was the father of the baby she said was his. Terry took off again for parts unknown and Tricia and her son Jamie moved into the Rovers with Jack and Vera. Tricia gave birth on February 14, 1997 though we were not witness to the actual labour and birth scene.

Things sure change in the course of a decade. Sweet Violet Wilson began working as a barmaid in 2004. After a few non-starters in the love stakes, she fell for Jamie Baldwin but they eventually broke up. She had no idea at the time that Jamie was romantically involved with his step-mother Frankie. Violet discovered she was pregnant but when she told Jamie, she discovered the truth about Frankie. Needless to say, they didn't get back together and Violet soon miscarried as it was an ectopic pregnancy.

It seemed that the motherhood gene was triggered in Vi. She and best mate Sean decided to have a baby together and since Sean was gay (ok, still is gay!) they went the turkey baster route which was successful.Violet wanted to keep the pregnancy secret for a few months but Sean was so excited that he let the secret Jamie! Sean was overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the baby and it made Violet feel crowded and she was having regrets. Too late to turn back now, my dear! Soon, however, she and Jamie rediscovered their feelings and reunited, much to Sean's chagrin. He wasn't happy that Jamie might be bringing up his son and that Jamie and Vi planned to move to London.

Violet was caught in the middle between Sean, the biological father of the baby and Jamie, the man she loved. More and more, she resented Sean's interference. On 22 February 2008, Jamie was en route to London to start moving some things when Violet went into labour. Sean and his boyfriend Marcus, a midwife, delivered the baby in the pub, in one of the booths. Sean began to bond with the baby, called Dylan, straight away making things even more difficult. Vi and Jamie ended up sneaking off to London a week or so later, breaking Sean's heart. Several years later, Sean has finally made up with Vi who has since broken up with Jamie and sees his little boy, Dylan, regularly.

Let's skip ahead to 2012 shall we? Tyrone Dobbs has already been a dad and lost that child to his former best friend, Kevin Webster who, as it turned out, was the biological father of baby Jack. Tyrone's wife Molly and Kevin had an affair and the resulting baby turned out to be Kevin's, not Tyrone's (and was born in the front room of Number 9, delivered by Sally Webster, ironically). Molly died in the tram crash and the next summer, Tyrone met Kirsty Soames, a police officer. They began dating but Kirsty rubbed Tyrone's friends the wrong way with her obsessive jealousy. Tyrone planned to break up with Kirsty who chased after he and mate Tina in her police car, causing an accident.

In hospital after the accident, Kirsty found out she was pregnant. Tyrone was over the moon when Kirsty promised him the baby was indeed his and they reconciled for the sake of the child. Kirsty lost her job and took a menial job at the factory. Her resentment built more and more and she began lashing out physically against Tyrone. He was not willing to fight back nor to leave her but Tina found out and it caused further confrontations between she and Kirsty. In one last physical confrontation, a nearly-nine-month pregnant Kirsty baited Tina who pushed her. She fell back against a table in the pub and then went into labour. There was no time, yet again, to get to the hospital and Marcus delivered another baby, this time in the back room. Little Ruby was none the worse for it.

Now we find out that Tina McIntyre, who is carrying a baby for Izzy and Gary may become the next in line to give birth in the pub. If true, this is starting to get a tad tedious and unimaginative, ITV, especially with a medical centre 20 feet from the pub door.

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The new Rovers Return - small changes make a big difference

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

If you were to take a quick look at the new Rovers, you wouldn't think there was much of a difference, but if you look closely, there are a lot of little changes.

My favourite change would be the new portrait of Betty, the controversial "Landlady" caption has been removed, now leaving just a proper tribute to Betty's many years as a barmaid.

The new booths are probably the most notable change, as the old dividers had been quite a recognisable backdrop to many hours of drama and gossip, now replaced with a new art deco style border, they almost resemble the original dividers that were in place after the 1986 fire.

There's a few new changes which help the Rovers look like a pub you would expect to see in 2013, there's a newspaper rack by the bar, where residents can read up on the latest news, or more likely, look up the latest goals and transfers in football.

The new jukebox has a bit more of a modern look, though not too modern, it looks as if it has been rescued from another pub, which was the look that the pub was going for, according to Corrie's art director in an post from earlier today.

Another big change is that the pub has wooden panelling that now covers some of the walls in the bar, I think this is a nice change as the wallpaper will no longer cover each wall, and wooden panelling on the walls is something you would commonly see in a real world pub, further adding to the realism of the pub and the soap itself.

All in all, the new Rovers has manage to mantain the classic "Rovers" style, while also looking more like a pub you would see in modern day Manchester.

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Tuesday 21 May 2013

Introducing the St Ella Drinking Game!

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2013.)

Now this is in no way encouraging beige, sorry binge drinking amongst the Corrie ranks (or should that be Corrie massive?) I just needed to come up with a fun way to sit through the current tedium that is Coronation Street.

Is it just me or does Stella appear in every scene ITV broadcasts of Coronation Street at the moment? I know the Rovers Landlady is traditionally a pivotal role in the Street. Both Annie Walker and Bet Lynch featured prominently throughout their tenures in the Rovers Return. The big difference for me though is that both the aforementioned characters were immensely likeable and well drawn. Unfortunately for me, the similarities end with them all being Landladies of the Rovers Return.

I am trying to be fairly lighthearted about this, but honestly, I am waiting for Stella to pop up through a manhole cover on the cobbles. At the moment the woman features even more often than the bleedin' Bistro. By the way, how can everyone manage to eat there practically every night?! Does nobody live on a budget? Is it the only restaurant in Weatherfield? After a huge bust up with Leanne, where do Stella, Karl and Gloria go for a plate of spag bol and a bottle of cheap Chianti? Where else but Nick and LEANNE'S Bistro. When Peter and Carla have a huge row about Leanne, where do they go for a bucket of Pinot Noir and a fizzy water? Nick and LEANNE'S Bistro. 

It's all more than a little ludicrous. 

Anyway, back to my little game. Every time Beige Stella appears on screen, pour yourself a wee drinkette. It doesn't matter what your tipple is, be it gin like Audrey, vodka like Rita or a pint of snakebite like Becky.

Before long, you'll have forgotten St Ella ever existed in the first place. As the Meercats would say, simples!

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Behind the scenes at new Rovers Return on Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Coronation Street Art Director Rosie Mullins-Hoyle explains how she and the design team created the new look Rovers Return.

 “The redesign of the Rovers was a massive challenge firstly because it was the first time in 25 years that the set had come out of stage 1! For myself it is an iconic set and perhaps the most famous in the country so there is a lot of pressure to get it right and do it justice.

 I was given a brief from Producer Stuart Blackburn that the pub needed to feel like the Rovers - it needed to keep its character, the changes needed to be subtle and people had t notice new things about it after seeing a few episodes. Stella had made a conscious effort to try to make it feel like the same pub. In the back room she has picked out the the same wallpaper she had before as this is her home and she wants it to feel like it did.

We had an additional Rovers set built for the Fire which then became the Rovers building site allowing us time to recreate the new Rovers on the original set. The work took approximately 6 weeks and a team of 3 painters, 4 Chippys, an upholster, construction manager, setting team of 4, a dressing team of 4, 2 Production Buyers, a Graphic Designer and Myself. Every aspect of it was carefully thought out down to the detail on the panelling and bar top and the colour samples of wood grain were done to get the colour perfect, every detail was considered.

A big challenge we had was time as due to tight filming schedules we had just one week to get the Rovers building site set out of studio and the new Rovers in, up, lit, dressed and ready for filming! It was well and truly all hands on deck! It had to be carefully planned and systematically done with a tight deadline and the dedicated construction and dressing teams worked through the night and gave up their Bank Holidays to make it happen.

The wallpaper was picked by the show’s Head of Design Alan Davis and approved by Stuart. The wallpaper was bought in bulk in case it discontinues as it potentially needs to last us for the next 50 years! A couple of gallons of paint were used. The Rovers hallway was given a new look with the continuation of wood panelling from the bar and a change in wallpaper which tied in with the pattern in the Rovers bar. I was careful to make sure that the colours used in the hallway are the same as the colours used in the old hallway bringing splashes of orange in the artwork on the walls. All of the wallpapers were tested on camera prior to filming to see how they looked under studio lights and we checked that we were technically able to shoot with them.

Stuart wanted it to feel like it had been kitted out with items from a pub that had shut down. I sourced a stained glass bay window online  from a pub in Birmingham that had been knocked down . This was then used to create the glass partitions in between the booths. Additional reclaimed stained glass was sourced and used in the back bar optics which were redesigned. Both the seating and the new back bar have an art deco detail to them adding to the theme that these have come from another old pub and are continuing their life in the Rovers.

When picking the upholstery with upholsterer Alan Eccleston I must have looked through hundreds of samples to get the perfect one - a traditional gold fabric with repeat flower pattern which colours tied in with the Rovers wallpaper. Once selected it then underwent flame tests to check it was suitable for use on a set. The curtain fabric was sourced from a local company that provided us with upholstery and curtain fabric for the last Rovers redesign.

The dressings were all sourced with the original Rovers in mind and with us not wanting it to look shiny and new. The Buyers sourced across the country to get every detail right - old Salford prints, brassware, hot plates, old pub stools and tables, pictures, establishing a pub poser table and a new juke box.

Look out for the Rovers continuing to change in its first 4 weeks on screen and then subtly in time as it gets its life back. For instance the back room with vintage beer posters and day to day life and memorabilia that will be added to over the years. We have just added a hand painted 'Rovers Return' dartboard. All of these details add to the character and history of the Rovers Return Inn. “

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