Saturday 31 August 2013

Corrie characters: thick as two short planks

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

So there's Eva, wanting to help out in the Bistro. She pretends she has a dentist appointment and takes the afternoon off. What are the odds that she'll get caught out? Pretty flaming high, I'd say. She's skiving work to put in a few hours 40 feet away from her workplace. Naturally, Michelle went into the newly opened Bistro and Eva was busted.

Izzy is feeling a bit guilty for rubbing Tina's nose in it, having the welcome home party for the baby right under her nose. Then she and Gary decide they'll just think of themselves from now on. Um. Isn't that exactly what they were doing when they insensitively agreed to have the party in the Rovers when Gloria offered?

But the worst of all was Karl. It looked like he was going to lose his lunch when Craig "confessed". He tried his hardest to convince Craig he didn't burn the pub down. Craig wasn't convinced no matter what Karl said so he agreed. Craig's a murderer and painted the worst case scenario to terrify him into keeping quiet. Telling a kid that is going to make Craig's guilt bubble over sooner or later. What I don't get is how long were they driving before they found a quiet place to stop? It seemed like at least an hour going by how long Stella and Beth were trying to get hold of them.

Karl missed the appointment with the Registrar and Stella is worried he'll have been gambling and admits she'll swallow any excuse as long as he doesn't get cold feet. And both of those stories he spun were complete and utter bollocks but she must have been right, she *is* willing to swallow any old codswallop. She's going to deserve everything she gets, insisting on marrying him.

On the smart side, I think it's a good idea for Tina to spend a little bit of time with the baby. If she's got to live in the same neighbourhood, why not? It just might make it a bit easier and why not have the birth mother be in Jake's life as his "Auntie Tina"?

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Corrie A-Z: M is for Mother Figures

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

Many Corrie women have become mother figures to various residents over the years. While some are childless, others take individuals under their wing because their children aren’t around or they’re estranged from them or they want to make up from neglecting their own children by mothering others.
Timid widow Minnie Caldwell often took in lodgers as a way to pay the bills and debts she had. And as well as putting a roof over their head at No.5, she also took them under her wing and she looked at them as the sons she never had. Lodgers included Charlie Moffitt, Joe Donnelli and Eddie Yeats but her favourite was Scouser Jed Stone. An ex-con, Jed was the son Minnie never had and she often defended him when Ena Sharples badmouthed him. Jed made a living of working on market stalls and selling various goods like washbasins that rarely lasted in the long term. But loveable Jed was the apple of Minnie’s eye despite his many flaws. Many of the residents saw him as a petty criminal, but he was the sunshine of Minnie’s life and he affectionately called her ‘Ma’ to which she called him ‘Sunny Jim’. He left for Liverpool in 1963 without saying goodbye to Minnie, as he couldn’t bear to break her heart.

He returned in 1966, but after a few months, it transpired that he was on the run from the police for possessing stolen blankets. How crime has changed on the cobbles since then! Worried about devastating Minnie, Jed asked the police to pretend to be his friends. But, deep down Minnie knew and cried. Jed was jailed and later released but although he kept in touch with Minnie, we never saw him on screen with Minnie ever again. When Jed returned briefly to the street in 2008 and lodged with Emily Bishop, he reminisced about Minnie. He had a cat called Sunny Jim, a reminder to older viewers of what Minnie used to call him.
Matronly barmaid Betty Turpin is also remembered for being a mother figure to many– Bet Lynch being the most obvious. Many a time Betty was on hand to comfort Bet when a man let her down. As well as being a comfort, Betty also warned Bet about certain relationships and told her some home truths. Even after marrying Alec Gilroy, it was Betty who Bet turned to for advice and guidance in her marriage. Although Betty had son Gordon, he lived in London, and so Betty took others under her maternal wing. She also took in Bet if she was evicted from her bedsit and when she was robbed in 1980. In 1982, she took in Alec Hobson as a lodger. He lifted her spirits as she hadn’t been invited to Gordon’s wedding to Caroline Wilson. Due to her longevity and experience as a barmaid, Betty took many Rovers barmaids under her wing like Raquel Wolstenhulme, Maria Sutherland and Shelley Unwin. In Maria’s case, Betty told her of her experience of giving Gordon away to her sister Maggie when Maria confided in Betty about her pregnancy.
Like Minnie Caldwell, Emily Bishop has been a mother figure to many by taking them in. Also childless, in 1978 she took in Deirdre Langton and her baby Tracy after hubby Ray left them for Holland. And with the absence of her mother Blanche for many years, Deirdre looked at Emily as a mother figure for many years. As Tracy’s godmother, Emily felt it her duty to look out for her. It’s true to say that Emily played a big part in Tracy’s upbringing unlike her other godmother Betty who rarely had contact with her. Another one who Emily took under her wing was Curly Watts, or as she called him: Norman. He moved in as a lodger in No.3 and although she was initially worried that because of his youth he would bring noise and worry, but Emily found Curly a reliable and considerate young man and a long friendship developed. Even though after moving out, Curly and Emily remained close friends and Emily was always there to help Curly in times of trial. In recent times, Emily has been maternal to young Sophie Webster as she found her Christian faith.
Rita Tanner is another who’s a maternal figure on the cobbles. Also childless, Rita was a foster mother to many children in the 1980s. We first saw her as a mother in 1972 when she looked after Terry and Gail Bates, the children of her common-law husband Harry. She left Harry that year and fell for Len Fairclough. They married in 1977 and they fostered John Spencer in 1981 and Sharon Gaskell in 1982. The Faircloughs formed a stronger relationship with Sharon and they cared deeply for her. Although Sharon left for Sheffield in 1982, she returned in 1999 and yet again Rita, now alone, was on hand to help Sharon and console her when she had relationship problems before Sharon left again.

During Sharon’s hiatus, Rita fostered Jenny Bradley. Although they got off to a rocky start, they formed a strong relationship, cemented by Rita embarking on a relationship with Jenny’s dad Alan. Like with Sharon, Rita shared her experiences with Jenny and helped her on her singing career – although that didn’t last! But their relationship soured when Alan conned Rita and ruined her life and then Jenny left the street in 1991. She returned in 1993 but it seemed she was only after Rita’s inheritance from her recently deceased hubby Ted and she left again, her relationship with Rita damaged. During the 1990s, Rita helped out the Webster family and became a mother figure to Sally and a surrogate grandmother to Rosie and Sophie and since then Sally has confided in Rita with her marital problems and her family sagas. Currently, Rita has taken Tina McIntyre  under her wing, and although Tina caused Rita to be kidnapped on her wedding day to Dennis Tanner, they remain firm friends.
While Audrey Roberts has a somewhat strained relationship with daughter Gail and her grandchildren, she has been a maternal figure to many young women who’ve worked at her salon over the years that include Maria Connor, Candice Stowe, Maxine Peacock and Natasha Blakeman.
Kind-hearted Hayley Cropper has also been a shoulder to cry on for many of her colleagues at the factory like Janice, Sean, Julie, Karen and Kelly. She also took in Fiz and Chesney but her strongest relationship was with wayward Becky who returned the favour of Hayley and Roy’s kindness by defending them when they were belittled. Like many mother figures, Hayley has made a cup of tea or coffee for various street residents in a darkened Roy’s Rolls.
Although known for being a femme fatale, Elsie Tanner in her later years was known for taking young girls under her roof. With both Linda and Dennis absent from her life, Elsie took in Gail Potter and Suzie Birchall as lodgers and they kept her on her toes. In the early 1980s, Elsie took in Marion Willis, Eddie Yeats’ wife-to-be and was her confidante when she revealed she was pregnant out of wedlock.
Can you think of any other Corrie mother figures?

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Friday 30 August 2013

Leanne does Annie

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

For those Coronation Street Blog readers who don't use twitter to follow us there @CoroStreetBlog, here's a wonderful picture which one of our followers tweeted to us today and is definitely worth a blog post.

Jason in Pimlico 
BREAKING NEWS: Leanne Tilsley auditions for lead role in musical "Annie"!

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Corrie Canada sneak previews for Sept. 2 - 6

Here's a brief preview of next week's Coronation Street on Canadian screens.

Lloyd and Paul make peace but is it too late for Paul and Eileen? Peter feels belittled. Sally and Anna wage war over the garden fence. Tina puts 2 and 2 together. Chesney and Katy reunite but is it for the right reasons? Sally's intentions about Tim are overeager.  Leanne feels guilty, David feels even more guilty but before he can fess up, Kylie goes into labour.

If you want more detail and photos, check out the Moosejaw Mercury on (There are two weeks' worth of spoilers there so just scroll down a bit for next week's)

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Stephanie Cole takes Corrie break due to ill-health

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

Sad news reaches us today from Coronation Street where Stephanie Cole, who plays the wonderful Syvlia Goodwin, is taking a break from the show because of ill-health. That's why we haven't seen a lot of her lately and it will continue thus for awhile.

Corrie's senior publicity manager confirmed yesterday that Stephanie has left the show "for the time being".

It's not the first time Stephanie has taken a break from the soap because of ill-health and let's hope she'll be back on our screens very soon indeed.  We all wish her a very speedy recovery.

Edited to add: Apparently, according to a tweet by Stephanie Cole, she confirms that she is not ill and was due to end her stint on Corrie soon. She has left early due to a death in the family.

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Conversation Street podcast 55

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!

Gemma and Michael celebrate their one year podcasting anniversary!
This week, they chat about Tina's state of mind, Craig's crisis and Nick's coma.  The character profile is Mandy Kamara and the Kabin section is a Fountain of gossip.

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

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Thursday 29 August 2013

Poll: Music to herald in the new Corrie baby

We know that Kylie's baby is due soon, probably next month, I read with a chuckle some of the suggestions in the blog comments on the Coronation Street blog (on a spoiler post so I won't link to it) for the song that might be playing in the background as she goes into labour. With that in mind, shall we have a poll? Here's a couple of the best suggestions, and a couple from me but feel free to add your own!

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CBC reveals Corrie set secrets

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

I came across this interesting video from CBCtv (Canada's Corrie channel) on Youtube, exposing some juicy set secrets, the video is pretty new too, as it features Barlow's Buys, which hasn't yet opened, even in the UK's episodes.

Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) shows off the inside of the house on the street, which has some interesting features, such as an office upstairs, a wobbly fireplace and probably the least functional kitchen I've ever seen!

Being on the street myself earlier this year, I took a peek into the real Rover's interior and was shocked by how small it looks on the street.

Watch the video above to find out what set secrets the cast know and also for a sneak peek at what Rob and Tracy's new shop will look like.

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Wednesday 28 August 2013

Sally and Tim - Yay or Nay?

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

Tim snogged Sally on the soft furnishings last night on Coronation Street.

And tonight we'll see the morning after the night before.  Will Tim rush out and disappear to his new life in Newcastle, leaving Sally to cook beans on toast for one? Again? 

Or if, as seems likely, he might stay (just to wind Anna up, that'd be enough for me) and dally with Sally.

So, what do we think about Sally and Tim together. Will it work? Yay or Nay?

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Corrie A-Z: M is for musical talents

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

There are a few Corrie characters who have musical talents. And I love it when someone has musical links because it adds something to their character.

The most obvious one of course is the radiant Rita. During her early years she had a regular stint at the Capricorn Club and then the Gatsby. When she married Len, she didn’t sing so much and only did a few stints.

She sang at Stan and Hilda’s ruby wedding party in 1983 and while she was singing ‘Stardust’ she was informed that Len had died in a car crash. She vowed never to sing publicly again. But she has done. She sang at Blackpool when fleeing Alan Bradley, although she was having a nervous breakdown! Then she sang during the Millennium Party celebrations. She sang at Fred Elliott’s wake.

And of course recently
she sang in the Rovers on Christmas Day 2010, days after the tram crash

Another character with musical links is Deirdre who’s a dab hand at playing the harmonica, as witnessed in 2004.
Both Ena Sharples and Ernest Bishop were known to tinkle the ivories in Rovers sing songs. Ena had a harmonium in the Mission Hall and later the Community Centre and she played the organ at Ernest and Emily’s wedding. Ernest accompanied Rita at the Gatsby, much to Emily’s chagrin, and at various Rovers dos like Christmas parties and the 1940s night in 1974.

Jack Duckworth also accompanied Rita at the Oggies’ party, but I don’t recall seeing him playing the piano after that.
Betty Driver was a renowned singer but, apart from the 1940s night, Betty Turpin was never seen singing. A shame really!
Sue Nicholls also had a top 20 hit in the 1960s but Audrey Roberts has never been seen singing.

And of course, who can forget Hilda’s warbling!

Can you think of any other characters with musical talents?

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Tuesday 27 August 2013

Review: The Confusion of Karen Carpenter by Jonathan Harvey

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

Jonathan Harvey is one of the Coronation Street writers and he's also written a few plays and the award-winning TV show Gimme Gimme Gimme.

The Confusion of Karen Carpenter
 is his second novel (All She Wants being the first one) and is just as sharp and witty as the first.

Karen Carpenter is in her late 30s and has been saddled with not only the name of a famous but dead pop star from the 70s but also with a mother who seems to be having a midlife crisis. Karen is also coping with the sudden departure of her husband, who left a note on the kettle and walked out of her life. Between that, and grieving the loss of a baby several years before that, she's not coping well.

Karen's a teacher. She meets the father of one of her students at his wife's funeral. Is he an unfeeling ladies' man or has she got the wrong end of the stick? She's got a lesbian friend at school and is sure the friend fancies her. Or has she got the wrong end of the stick? It really all falls apart when her husband comes back into her life and we discover why he left in the first place.

The dialogue is fun, witty and sometimes very poignant. The situations are in turn hysterically funny (a Brazilian waxing from hell) and heartbreaking, and everything in between as Karen works her way through the tunnel and finds some hope. It's all you would expect from one of Coronation Street's best writers. (I haven't seen any of his plays, which by all accounts are just as wonderfully written!) I look forward to more from this talented writer.

The Confusion of Karen Carpenter will be available  in bookshops and on after August 15 and will be available in Canada by the end of August according to

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Coronation Street on location recce in Blackpool

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

Lisa Spencer is the Art Director working on Coronation Street and she's tweeted this fab picture of some of the Corrie crew on a recce in Blackpool.  

Ooh, now then, what's to do, Corrie fans?  

Who do we think ITV could be sending to Blackpool this time around? It's been a while since Corrie were on location in Blackpool, I wonder what it could be this time around? 
Lisa's tweeter is @lisaswarbs.

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Monday 26 August 2013

Corrie Canada weekly awards: Aug. 19 - 23

Churlish award: Lloyd said nice things about Mandy's cooking. What does she do? Spit "Is that a compliment" back at him, dripping in sarcasm.

Satisfaction award: Peter was very pleased to see Rob and Tracy fighting in the street.

Unlikely allies award: Carla and Tracy on the same side. Tenuously.

Insensitive award: Gary and Owen talking about a celebration for the baby's homecoming in front of Tina. Nice.

Deja Vu award: Poor Leanne, she nearly lost Peter to an accident and now Nick's life is hanging in the balance.

Workhouse award: That paper bag looked too heavy for an adult let alone a child. Surely that's illegal?

Unlikely award: Eileen dreamed of being Princess Grace of Monaco when she was young.

Continuity fail: Mandy's black bra strap was showing earlier in an episode and missing later unless they were off her shoulders but it didn't look like they were that loose.

Lines of the Week:
Norris "And he makes fun of me behind his back" Rita "We all do"
David to Nick "I forgive her. I make you pay"
Rob "I'm not letting your brother have the satisfaction of splitting us up" (meaning he would only stay with Tracy to spite Peter?)
Lloyd "Things could have gone better"
Steve "I wasn't Born in the USA so move on."
Eileen "Have you always been a pessimist?" Steve "It's the only way to be happy"
Rob to Tracy "The only thing cheap and tacky I want draped all over me is you" Tracy "And who said romance is dead!"
Lloyd "What have i got to rush  home for eh? The next installment of Dancing on Eggshells"
Beth "You know your problem, you think too much" Kirk "You're not the first person to say that" (really???)

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Picture of new Coronation Street set leaked

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

If I had a job working on the new Coronation Street set, I'd love it, I would, even if all I had to do was clean the windows or sweep the muck.  What I wouldn't do is breach protocol and take pictures to post online in soap forums and twitter.

Sadly, someone has done just that and some of the magic's been leaked.

This picture has been doing the rounds online for a few days and but now it's in the Mirror so if you want to take a look at it, it's here.

The story that Mr Curry Sauce has wrapped around the picture is that it looks too new.  Well, er, that's because it is.

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Sunday 25 August 2013

Sunday Comments August 25

David went mental and cracked, punching Nick. He admitted it all, all his tricks. But it was an awful betrayal, one brother sleeping the other's wife. David is still determined not to tell Kylie that he knows but Nick wants it in the open. Some remarkable scenes there. Tragedy then strikes a deadly blow thanks to David grabbing the wheel. They got out of that one safely but were run into by a very large truck (lorry). It all seemed to happen in slow motion, didn't it?

And it seemed to take a very long time for help to be called. That Driver would have been out of that vehicle in an instant yet it seemed to be a long longer. OH gosh then Nick's heart stopped en route!  What about David? Stressed to the max and he's not having a seizure? Never mind. And there's no need of everyone telling Nick to wake up, because he's in a medically induced coma.

Remember, Nick out and out lied to Leanne when she confronted him even though she said she could take the truth. Now he's in a coma. How much do you want to bet if and when he comes out of it, he forgets everything. Of course David feels guilty and now he realizes he loves his brother. So he should, and all! Everone's on a vigil and Leanne's barely holding it together especially thinking one of her multiple phone calls could have distracted Nick.

Tina wasted no time grilling David and and she's realized that Nick is the one Kylie slept with. It all makes sense now, doesn't it? She thinks David wanted Nick dead. He didn't but obviously it was a result of the argument with David. Now he knows Tina was the one that clued Nick in, he can focus his anger at her, I suppose. In his mind, it will absolve what he did because he can blame her. Meanwhile the police have found more witnesses to the accident and David's face showed contained panic. Will anyone have seen them struggle? Will David come out of it smelling of roses as usual?

Leanne's getting nowhere with the cops and now she finds out that it's possible if Nick recovers he'll never be the same. They don't know what kind of damage there might be, brain damage, that is. Memory, concentration, speech, or maybe physical issues like coordination. Then there could be depression, mood swings. They just don't know at this point. Leanne isn't taking it well. "Wait and See" is going to be difficult.

Stella has managed to get home and has stuck her two cents into the hospital room which looks more like a can of sardines for the amount of people squashed into it.

Izzy reckons she'll just go back full time and let Gary stay home full time. That turned Owen's mind around quick enough. Looks like Gary has settled down with the baby at least. Relaxed a bit more and gained a little confidence.  And talking about a party for the baby's homecoming in front of Tina? How insensitive is that? And Gary continues to be a nob. Gloria is jumping on the insensitive wagon too, offering the pub for the party instead of the Bistro. Really, though, all Tina has to do is ask for that night off but you know she won't because there's no potential drama in that. Surprisingly, though, Tommy got Gloria to see sense and offer Tina that night off.

The welcome home baby Jake party  was awful for her! I thought Gloria said she could have the night off but she says she's going to be there and she's in the pub while they're decorating. Yes, that helps her mood. She seems to be coping with the party underfoot though has to be nearly forced to get into the group photo. She's distracted but doing her best. Her best, that is, until Tracy comes in and tries to barge into the party to take advantage of the free wine and injects typical sarcastic remarks about Tina liable to walk off with the baby. Even Deirdre thinks that was out of order. Matters aren't helped by a public speech from Granddad Owen. You can see Tina's nerves being shredded little by little, especially when Owen heaps praise on Tina herself. Izzy also thanks her father for bankrolling it.

Everyone's smiling except Rita, Tommy and Dennis who know how Tina's feeling. Tommy tries to fuss over her which makes her even moodier and she snaps his head off. Tracy starts in again, bringing up the money aspect though, to her credit, Deirdre points out Tracy tried to sell her child. Doesn't faze Tracy one bit and she pokes a bigger stick at Tina for not having any child at all to show for it. Everyone else has a go at Tracy but Tina finally snaps. She shouts at everyone for fussing and treating her like a fragile thing and at Owen for his gratitude and she tosses a drink on Tracy. She grabs a bottle of vodka from the bar and runs out and nobody can stop her.

Oh i laughed at Kirk, when he found the paper boy in the closet and was freaked out when it was found staring back out of the wardrobe at him. Craig is not going to prove to be a stellar paperboy replacement for the one Norris took a strop against. And judging from the weight of that paper bag, it must be illegal to make children something that heavy! It would be pretty heavy for an adult! He's about as interested in it as you would expect. The papers never got delivered and i had guessed he'd just left the bag somewhere and didn't bother. Beth is worried about her "delicate" Craig, who hasn't been himself the last few months. Kirk thinks it's his presence in the lad's life, bless 'im.

Julie's back and she's very glad of it too. She's got a lot of gossip to catch up on. Julie suggests Craig's problem could be drugs and Sally thinks he could be struggling with his sexuality. Neither helps Beth's mood. She confronts Craig and searches him. All she finds is a bag of humbugs. He won't say what's bothering him and runs off. In the pub later, Deirdre blames kids turning out bad on their fathers, because they're men, aren't they? Sean offers advice but Beth still feels like a rubbish mother. Kirk is brilliant cheering her up a bit but she's intent on searching his room next.

Mandy's turning into a bitter and petulant character and she's taking it out on Lloyd. It's non stop sour bickering with her. I bet he's wondering how she managed to change so much over 30 years. Nothing Lloyd suggests seems to make her happy. Now he's heard her say he has no ambition. It's really hurt Lloyd too and he's coming to the inevitable realization that he and Mandy aren't really suited after all. And Mandy knows it too and she's leaving him and Weatherfield. Aw, I liked her but they never really knew what to do with her.

I love that they're doing all these little scenes about nothing between Steve, Eileen and Lloyd in the cab office that they're giving us again.

Sally's dating another fella from an online site but she fancies the pants off Tim. Faye doesn't seem to be speaking to Tim. I thought he was leaving? Why is he still here? To go have coffee with Sally, it seems. I guess he's still planning to go to Newcastle but it looks very much like he fancies Sally, too.

Peter for some reason, is worried Rob's going to use Tracy and hurt her so he's pushing Tracy into pushing Rob into a committment, figuring Rob will run the other way. He certainly hedged his bets and didn't really let her down that gently. It makes Peter's suggestion that Rob is using her look bang on. We know it's true but now Tracy suspects it, too and Rob tore a strip off Peter for "interfering". Carla's still in the middle. He's still her brother and though she's had him up to there, there is still sibling stuff there. Carla is willing to let Rob and Tracy implode, both in business and in relationship.

Peter worries about Amy, fair enough, but he worries who's going to help Tracy put her life back together? He never really seemed to care about that before. Rob put a good spin on it, though, wait for them to be stronger, he's nervous of interacting with a child, she might agree for now but the seed has been planted. She isn't about to give up though.

It didn't take too long for Norris to get his nose into the new shop for an insult or two. Steve added a few to the mix too before Tracy tried to soften him up to spend more time with Amy. If she can farm Amy off more, she'll be able to move in with Rob. 4 with Steve and 3 with Deirdre, sorted. Except Rob still isn't having her in there full time. A shag is ok, but don't get your mail delivered there.

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Coronation Street wedding filming locations

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

With another wedding having been filmed last week it seemed an appropriate time to look back at some classic Corrie nuptials and where they were filmed:

Chadderton Town Hall, Manchester:
Curly and Raquel
Arley Hall, Cheshire:
Maria and Liam
Karen and Steve
Mike and Linda
Steve and Tracy
St Mary’s Church, Prestwich:
Shelley and Peter
Maxine and Ashley
Maureen and Reg
Peter and Leanne
Fred and Bev
Ashley and Claire
Sharon and Ian
Jason and Sarah
St James’ Church, Didsbury:
Lucy and Peter
Betty and Billy
Knowsley Hall, Merseyside:
Gail and Richard
Leanne and Nick
Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire:
Eve and Fred
St Boniface Church, Charlestown, Manchester:
Rita and Len
Gail and Brian
St Clement’s Church, Ordsall:
Concepta and Harry
Hale Chapel, Hale Barns:
Sophie and Sian
Tyrone and Kirsty
Holy Trinity Church, Prestolee:
Alec and Bet
Eddie and Marion
Deirdre and Ken
Manchester Costume Museum:
Deirdre and Ken
Ryecroft Hall, Manchester:
Karl and Stella
Steve and Becky
Gail and Joe
Rita and Dennis
Jason and Sarah
Graeme and Xin
Liz and Vernon
St Mary’s, Nether Alderley, Cheshire:
Tyrone and Molly
Tatton Hall:
Roy and Hayley
Old Chapel, Dukinfield:
Roy and Hayley
Granada Studios:
Sunita and Dev
Congregational Church House, Deansgate, Manchester:
Alf and Audrey
St John's Church, High Leigh, Cheshire:
Curly and Emma
Holy Trinity, Heaton Norris:
Cilla and Les (part filmed)

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Saturday 24 August 2013

Corrie A-Z: L is for Lotharios

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

While pin-ups have only been a norm in soaps in the last 25 years or so, Coronation Street has had Romeos and Lotharios treading on the cobbles since the 1960s.
Ken Barlow has charmed many Weatherfield ladies over the years – he’s married four times and had 24 girlfriends. His first on-screen conquest was Susan Cunningham in 1960 and over the years his women have included the likes of Valerie Tatlock, Rita Littlewood, Wendy Nightingale, Deirdre Langton, Wendy Crozier, Alma Sedgewick, Denise Osbourne and Martha Fraser.
Another early Corrie Lothario was rough diamond Len Fairclough whose conquests included Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch and Rita Littlewood (who managed to marry him). Len had that Scouse charm that was attractive and also he was a successful builder, joiner and plumber as well as being a councillor. His younger business partner Ray Langton also had an eye for the ladies – conquests including Irma Barlow, Sandra Butler and Audrey Fleming. A bad boy and fashionably with sideburns, Ray eventually married Deirdre Hunt. But his womanising ways led him to have an affair with Janice Stubbs which inevitably ended his marriage to Deirdre.
Someone who often clashed with Ray Langton was Annie Walker’s son Billy. Broad-shouldered and also occupying sideburns, Billy broke many a girl’s heart during his many stints on the programme between 1961 and 1984. Along with Ray, Billy Walker was the street’s heart-throb in the early 1970s and in 1974 he set his sights on Deirdre Hunt (17 years his junior). They planned to marry but Billy fled to Jersey weeks before the wedding and Deirdre later married Ray.
Businessmen Dave Smith (a ruthless-but-charming Cockney, a precursor to Mike Baldwin) and Alan Howard were also womanisers during the 1960s and 1970s with both having Elsie Tanner on their conquests list.

In 1976, Cockney Mike Baldwin bought the abandoned warehouse and established a denim factory. A ruthless boss, he soon became known for his way with the ladies. Bet Lynch fell for him immediately when he arrived and over the next thirty years Mike managed to woo the likes of Deirdre Barlow, Maggie Dunlop, Susan Barlow, Alma Sedgewick and Penny King and many more. He wined and dined them in fancy restaurants and they got to ride in his Jaguar.
Upon his arrival in 1986, Alan Bradley reminded many of Len Fairclough and indeed reminded Len’s widow Rita of him and she fell for him. While he was with Rita, he was also involved with Gloria Todd and Carole Burns. During his 20 years on the cobbles, Martin Platt also charmed many Weatherfield womenfolk including Jenny Bradley, Gail Tilsley, Sally Webster and Katy Harris.
Steve McDonald has also had his fair share of women over the years including Vicky Arden, Fiona Middleton, Karen Phillips, Tracy Barlow, Michelle Connor and Becky Granger.
Corner shop proprietor Dev Alahan in his early years was a Street Lothario (he still thinks he’s still got it!). Over the years he’s bedded Geena Gregory, Deirdre Rachid (shudder the thought!), Tracy Barlow and Sunita Parekh.
Peter Barlow has followed his father’s footsteps with the ladies and has even committed bigamy. Relationships over the years include Shelley Unwin, Lucy Richards, Maria Sutherland, Leanne Battersby, Michelle Connor and Carla Connor. Peter’s best mate Ciaran McCarthy has also used his Irish charm and good looks to whisk Sunita Pareck, Tracy Barlow and Michelle Connor off their feet.

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Friday 23 August 2013

Conversation Street podcast 54

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!

There's an extra long podcast this week to make up for a shorter one last week. This week, Gemma and Michael cover a week plus an extra Friday episode and talk about the car crash that is David and Nick's life, literally, the departure of Mandy, Tracy and Rob's new business.  There's no character profile due to the extra long Street Talk section.

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

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Thursday 22 August 2013

Kevin Kennedy to launch autobiography

Kevin will be promoting his book at the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival in October.

At the festival he’ll be talking candidly about his life, and answering questions from the audience. The three day festival runs from 25-27 October, and promises an inspiring schedule of events covering drama, dance, music, theatre, films and visual arts. The festival will also include a series of live performances and family friendly activities, all linked to literature and philosophy.

Find out more here.

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Wednesday 21 August 2013

A crashing bore on the cobbles?

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2013.)

I think it's happened. I've reached that stage in my life where every thought has to be preceded with the phrase "Well, back in my day . . . " followed by some utterly dull reminiscence about how wonderful it all was way back when. Sadly this was my official mind set for Monday evening's dalliance with death, as the Brothers Grim trundled towards oblivion on a Manchester back street.

Of course, it was always so much better back in the day. Who of us failed to be riveted as Renee Roberts, resplendent in a nasty twin set, met her maker courtesy of a runaway truck?

How many of us joined in with Alma Baldwin's anguished "noooooooooooooo" as Don Brennan took her on a special fishing trip?

This week we found ourselves in the company of grimacing Nick and a sniffling David as they faced up to the indiscretions of Christmas past. Well, this was certainly one gift that kept on giving. We've endured over half a year of furtive conversations and family cover-ups.

Again, back in the day, the car crash was a plot device used sparingly. Renee's death was a shocker as was poor old Judy Mallet's delayed reaction to her ride in a dodgy motor. Nowadays, characters dice with death on a weekly basis, get trundled around that tiny hospital, endure the usual gallery of worried relatives gathered around the bed and then go back to work the following week. The NHS in Weathefield should be commended.

Credit where credit's due though. The actual crash stunt itself was a good one, with the other vehicle ploughing into the Bistro Mystery Machine with gusto.

Do we care if Nick and David survive? Not really to be honest. Anyway, we know they do anyway and the only real pay-off from this saga is the prospect of Nasty Nick striding across t'cobbles. Vengeance will be his and if that means changing the bar snacks then so be it.

Weatherfield - you have been warned!

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Julie Hesmondhalgh on Hayley cancer story: "Best episodes I've done"

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

There's an excellent short video on the official Coronation Street website at with Julie Hesmondhalgh as she gives her first on-screen interview about Hayley and Roy's huge storyline.

Julie said: "The episodes this week are just beautiful."

"It's only when the consultant talks about Roy that she falls to peices." And then we see the consultant asking Hayley: "You mentioned a husband, can you rely on him for sumpport?" 

"Oh yes, you can", we said on our sofa, last night when we watched this scene.

Julie talks about filming the powerful scenes between Hayley, Sylvia and Roy when she tells them she's got pancreatic cancer. "The words hung in the air on the set and everyone was a little bit quiet afterwards because it's something that affects everyone. Corrie does that well, it makes something universal, personal, like the transgender storyline."

We then see a scene of Hayley telling Roy she doesn't want anyone knowing about the cancer.  Julie says these scenes are "the best and my favourite five episodes I've ever done. Hayley being irritated by Roy, the Sylvia stuff undercutting everything and at the end Roy and Hayley coming together and talking about what to do in the future. That was pretty hard to do, and it'll be pretty hard to watch.

"The storyline honours their relationship and their love story, it's fitting and it's proper and it matters, it's what people are living with every single day and I think it's important to tell those stories."

And Julie Hesmondhalgh is promoting the petition to provide more funding and awareness for pancreatic Cancer to aid long overdue progress in earlier detection and, ultimately, improved survival rates.  Help Julie get 20,000 signatures - Hayley's legacy  - sign the petition at

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Tuesday 20 August 2013

Corrie A-Z: L is for Layabouts

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

Over the years, there have been many layabouts on the cobbles. I believe the original layabout was Stan Ogden. Henpecked husband of Hilda, Stan was often seen snoozing, doing the pools or supping in the Rovers and didn’t contribute much to the Ogdens’ income. Yes, he did have a window cleaning round, but he found excuses to finish by lunchtime, often complaining of a bad back! As well as being bone idle around the house, he reluctantly did anything in the community. Unless it was a drinking beer contest! Stan’s partner in crime was Eddie Yeats. Although he eventually found a job as a bin man in the 80s, during the 70s Eddie was the brain behind their various schemes. But it was after Hilda telling them to go out from under her feet that they did these schemes. And every chance they got, Eddie and Stan were often found supping in the Rovers until closing time, often putting Annie Walker’s nose out of joint!

In 1983, another layabout moved into the street in the form of John Harold Duckworth. Jack was very much a second-Stan as he was a lazy layabout and was also henpecked by wife Vera. Jack avoided doing a lot of work and was always seen feeding his pigeons, having a flutter on the gee-gees and drinking beer. He entered paradise when he was hired as Rovers potman in 1986 and remained in the job until 1999. He loved to go down to the cellar to read the paper and do his betting and helping himself to Alec Gilroy’s ale. In his retirement, he loved to go down to the Rovers or the betting shop to escape Vera’s wrath.

In 1997, ex-con Les Battersby and his family moved into No. 5. Opinionated and outspoken, Les epitomised the 1990s layabout, although he lacked the fondness viewers had for Stan, Eddie and Jack. He, like them, enjoyed supping in the Rovers and making bets and wife Janice was disgusted when he spent their electricity money and alcohol which led their power to be cut off. Janice eventually left him and he met and married Cilla Brown. Les worked as a cab driver but whenever chance he got, he snoozed in the cab office, to Eileen Grimshaw’s chagrin.

Eddie Windass moved into the street with partner Anna and son Gary in 2011 and already had an existing family feud with their next-door neighbours the Platts. Like Les, Eddie found a job at Streetcars and was also often seen lounging in the cab office. Unlike his layabout predecessors, Eddie was a dab hand at baking cakes!

The current holder of street layabout is Karl Munro. Like Jack, Les and Eddie, Karl also worked as a cabby before he was sacked by Lloyd Mullaney. Like Jack, he also works at the Rovers as a cellar-man with partner Stella as the landlady. While other layabouts loved a little flutter in the bookies, Karl has a gambling addiction and has lost thousands in the casino. He sponged off Stella and sponged off girlfriend Sunita Alahan but works now as a potman again.

Who’s your favourite layabout?  

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Blog Exclusive! Stunt secrets of Corrie car crash

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

Here we go with another Coronation Street Blog exclusive.

We have a fab interview with Matt Owens from Rapid Fire Cover, Television and Event Fire Safety Specialists. Matt was the chap in charge of setting the Rovers Return on fire earlier this year and now he’s back to cause car crash carnage on Coronation Street.  Just try saying that with a mouthful of Deirdre's stuffed marrow!

Not content with setting the Rovers Return on fire a few weeks ago, Rapid Fire Cover are smashing up two of our favourite Corrie characters and putting one of them in a coma after a nasty car crash next week.

Q: Who’s driving the truck and the Nick’s Bistro van – are they stunt doubles, specially trained drivers for this sort of thing?

A: Both the truck and Nick’s van are driven by trained stunt drivers under the direction and supervision of the stunt co-ordinator. They are wearing the same costume etc. so that from a distance it looks like the actors that are driving.

Q: At what point do you stop the action with the actors and put the stunt drivers in? 
A: The stunt drivers are bought in for anything that may require precision driving or something that is deemed high risk. In general, the actors don't do the stunts, although the one shot where the van goes in to a spin is with a stunt driver at the wheel and Jack in the passenger seat. This sequence was rehearsed prior to Jack been put in the van. At the point of the lorry crashing in to the van, there were two dummies dressed the same as the actors inside as obviously the potential for the stunt to go wrong at this point is extremely high. Once the vehicles have stopped, been checked over and made safe, the actors will have been into make-up and are then carefully put inside the damaged vehicles as if they were there all along!

Q: Did you have to do more than one ‘take’ with the crash to get it filmed from different angles?
A: After the vehicles had been involved in the stunt, they were visibly damaged. This limits the amount of takes we can do but can also add pressure to the cast and crew to get it right first time. Extra cameras were bought in to capture the action from different angles and to ensure that the stunt was completed in one take. Like with anything, the more times you do something, you increase the likelihood of something going wrong. This is also the same for the scenes where we are cutting the vehicle up during the rescue, after we have taken a door off or cut away at the roof, it is very difficult to put it back together, we can’t just blue tack them back on!

Q: Obviously the stunt doubles and actors’ safety is paramount, but what about the vehicles, don’t they get smashed up all the time? Do you have mechanics who have to knock all the dents out after the shoot? What happens?
A: The vehicles are bought specifically for the stunt and prepared accordingly. We actually had two Bistro vans, one that was driveable and one that had been adapted for the stunt. Parts of the interior and airbag had been removed to reduce the risk to the stunt drivers and actors.  The battery was changed with a dry cell battery and the fuel tank had been replaced with a much smaller one to reduce the risk of fire. The driver’s side had also been reinforced so that the van did not crumple inwards upon impact and the lorry also had an extra bull bar fitted to protect the stunt driver that was inside. The vehicles are usually scrapped when they have been finished with as they would be unsafe to put back on the road. I don’t think there is much call for convertible vans anyway!

Q:  When the Rovers burned down, it seemed like there were lots of people on the set watching and being there for safety reasons. Were there just as many on the shoot for the car crash?

A: There were not as many people on standby for this as it wasn't deemed as high risk as the Rovers fire sequences, although it obviously posed its own risks. We had five firefighters and a fire appliance on standby carrying hydraulic cutting gear, backed up with battery operated cutting gear, plus a full inventory of rescue equipment.  An ambulance crew were also on standby incase we needed to get a stunt driver or anyone else for that matter into immediate medical care.

Q:  What sort of safety procedures did you have to put in place before, during and after a scene like this car crash?
A: As for every stunt we are involved in, everything is risk assessed and discussed months in advance. Whilst we understand there is a need for the desired footage, there cannot be a compromise to anybody's safety. Prior to the stunt taking place, all of the cast and crew are briefed on how the stunt will be carried out. Everything is checked thoroughly and rehearsed a couple of times to ensure that everyone is aware of what is going on and to establish safe areas where cast, crew, cameras and sound equipment can and cannot be located, as I have said previously, we only get one shot at this. During the stunt we are fully kitted up and on standby, so that we are available at a moment’s notice should the stunt goes wrong. Rapid Fire only employ serving firefighters, so we are obviously well rehearsed. Once the stunt has been carried out, with the stunt coordinator, we will firstly ensure that the stunt driver or actor are ok and have not sustained any injuries and then we will check the vehicles over and make sure they are safe and do not pose a risk.

Q:  Ooh, it sounds exciting!  Is there anything else you'd like to share?
A: Jack P Shepard (David Platt) is one of the funniest people I have had the pleasure of working with and Ben Price (Nick Tilsley) makes an amazing cup of tea!

Q:  Oh go on, give us some gossip from the set.
A: I have applied for the vacancy coming up at Weatherfield Fire Station,  my interview is next week, remember you heard it here first.... EXCLUSIVE!

I'm sorry if I have spoiled the illusion for any one! I think I may have given all of the trade secrets away here. Don't try this at home kids!

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Monday 19 August 2013

Coronation Street theme tune - the versions

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

How many versions of the Coronation Street theme tune have you heard? If you can add to this list, please leave a comment below or email me with the weblink to where we can find more Corrie choons and we'll add them to the blog.

The theme tune variations we've found so far are as follows:

Sing Me a Memory - the version with words
Soulful funk version by The Flaming Muchachos
Ska reggae version by Izzy Royal

Coronation Street Jamaican singalong by Top Grant
Rock and funk style
Funkin' it up on Corrie 
Compare the Market - Corrie's sponsor from Nov 2012 - meerkat band plays the theme tune.

Songs about Coronation Street
The best known Street in the land 
Every Street's a Coronation Street

See also: Was Jimi Hendrix influenced by Coronation Street theme tune?

Can you add to this list? Let us know!

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Corrie Canada weekly awards for Aug. 12 - 16

Vicious Vegetable award: Gail really was making a meal out of that carrot. There must have been peelings on all the walls and the ceiling the way she was weilding that peeler.

Meddling award: Sophie had no business making a complaint and it shows  up her immaturity. She only made things worse.

Do the math award: Though we didn't see him take it, David seems to have a spare 50 quid for the entertainment budget.

Mardy cow award: Sophie might be really, really sorry she called in on Paul, but she still rude to his face.

Word Processing award: David wrote an anonymous note. Centered on the page, in a nice large font, sans serif. I wonder if he spellechecked it too?

Is that the end of it award: Have Paul and Lloyd finally settled their differences? I hope so!

Local news fail: How on earth did Paul and Lloyd's scramble on the cobbles get into the newspaper?

Guilty complex award: Nick did fancy footwork to cover but his face had GUILT written all over it  and she knows damn well it's true.

Revelation Award: Nick finally figured it out. David. David.
Jan Brady award: Tracy is starting to sound like one of the Brady Bunch. But instead of Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! it's Peter, Peter, Peter! Stop whining. Oh. Forgot who I was talking about for a minute there. As you were.

Misplaced anger award: David is determined to ignore Kylie's part in the one night stand. It's not 50/50 in his little world.

Lines of the Week
Deirdre  to Rob about helping out decorating the new shop "no more than she fancies passing insincerity off as charm"
Jason saying to Paul, "You've been accused of being a racist then you go and smack a black guy. Sound!"
Sean to Beth about the baby "You just bored him into submission"
Sophie "If I could take it back, I would" (Well, why can't you take it back?)
Leanne "What's that scent you're wearing? Jealousy by Calvin Klein?"
Deirdre "I don't trust him as far as I could throw him. And if you'd seen me doing shot put at school, you'd know that's not very far"
Rob to Tracy about his friend "He *killed* someone!" Tracy "EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES!!!" (Does Rob know about Charlie Stubbs?)
Anna about Mary "Take no notice. The clock doesn't quite strike twelve"
Tracy to David "Why don't you go home and Google 'sarcasm'"
Peter "Hey, Rob, who's your mate?" Rob "One of me fan club" Peter "Oh, you found her did you?" (heh)
Deirdre to Tracy "I think you'd sell me if you thought you could get a few quid"
David about Nick "He suffers and we live happily ever after"
Gary to Owen "I want to be a good dad. Like you" (Are you new here?)

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Sunday 18 August 2013

Chris Fountain suspended from Coronation Street over rape song

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

UPDATE: Radio Times reports that Chris Fountain will still appear as Tommy Duckworth in upcoming Corrie episodes, and not be edited out.

There's a disturbing story in today's Mirror that says Chris Fountain, who plays Tommy Duckworth, has allegedly been suspended from work at Coronation Street after rapping online about rape.

The Mirror says that in a video posted on YouTube Chris performed in a mask as his alter-ego The Phantom. Wearing a zombie Halloween mask and baseball cap covered by a hoodie he rants about rape and violence.

Chris, who has played mechanic Tommy Duckworth since 2011, said: “I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence I have caused. I am deeply ashamed by the lyrics and very much regret my behaviour. The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music and I’ve not done anything like it since, nor will I.”

A statement from ITV said: "ITV find both the language used and the views expressed in this video totally unacceptable. Chris Fountain has been suspended pending further inquiries into this matter."

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The truth is out there - Nick figures it out

Well thank heavens for that! Nick will never give Inspector Clouseau any competition, will he? Leanne went from "Oh don't be silly, nobody's out to get you"  to "You were up to something and someone we know is behind it, someone obvious" in warp speed. Nick's been worried for weeks that someone has been out to get him and never put the pieces together.  It took her determination to make all of his pennies drop at once.

More about that over here.

What I want to know is, if Paul's little visit to the cop shop has landed him in the newspaper, is the reason for it there too? Will Paul now be branded a racist for all of Weatherfield to see? Jenna was a bit annoyed but shouldn't she have been really upset and worried about the doo-doo really hitting the fan? Where was Paul's ranting, raving and setting Sophie, who ramped up all this, in his sights?

Speaking of Sophie, has she called up the fire department and rescinded her accusation?If it was anonymous, why did they even make an issue out of it? If it wasn't,  why didn't they send anyone to talk to her in person and get a more detailed statement? They wouldn't take this lightly and they would be at least following up the initial call prior to a detailed investigation.

And why is Gary always such a knob? Babies cry. It's not that they don't like you. Don't whine and whinge about it. Doesn't Izzy get any maternity benefits while she's off? Why is she so worried about money? There's no need to go back to work part time. Just let Gary do all the work, all the night feeds, and everything else at night and all weekend. That will be his share.

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Sunday Comments August 18

And we start off the show with a round of argy bargy on the cobbles between Paul and Lloyd because of what Sophie started. Oh looky, how convenient that the police happened by (Oh wait, Nick called them). At least Jenna spoke up straight away. I hope Jenna is going to make Sophie call up and take back the complaint. It was none of her business anyway. And why is it sometimes, a victim can elect not to press charges and that's an end of it but other times, it doesn't matter and the police will charge anyway. And there's Sophie stupidly saying if she could take it back, she would. Well she can, can't she? One phone call.

Paul and Eileen are bickering. Mandy and Lloyd are bickering. Sophie and Jenna are bickering. Everyone's falling out with everyone else. It's nice that Steve seems to be staying neutral and being supportive. But oh looky, Paul brought beer as a peace offering and finally apologized. For everything including what he said and not being pig headed enough to apologize at the start.                                              

I'm tired of this storyline. I really am. I want it to go away.

Leanne feels like a hypocrite if she agrees to be one of Stella's bridesmaids. I can't blame her. I would find it difficult to play happy when I couldn't stand my mother's fiance. Eva has plenty to say and David carried it straight back to Leanne who attacked Eva in the factory. The factory. We haven't see her hair ornaments in there in months. Where was she hiding? Anyway, Peter escorted her out and back to the Bistro and Nick has automatically assumed all this sabotage is at the hand of Peter. I suppose he's as good a target as anyone. Except the obvious one.

Nick called the cops about the 50 quid gone missing but there's no proof it was stolen. Because Leanne didnt' know he was doing it, she laid into him and it's caused more argument. Stella thinks Nick is just wound up and worried about his wife and Simon. Why on earth would he be? There's been absolutely no reason. That's just Stella out of touch with the reality around her. Or bad writing.

David is the last person Nick should be offloading to. We know that but Nick doesn't. David is so good at making these remarks that seem innocent but plant nasty seeds. You did notice that David handed Gail over 50 pounds and Nick was missing 50. Do the math! Gail will feel all out of kilter roasting a chicken midweek instead of Sunday but a big roast pork isn't like a Sunday dinner? David's got another backfire on his hands so he's gone and written an anonymous note to Leanne, upping the game.

Why doesn't Leanne suspect someone's out to get them with all that's been going on? Why is Nick the only one that's suspicious? Why doesn't someone trace all these suspicions back to David? Eva didn't realize that she sounded off in front of David and next thing, Leanne has found out. David's giving conflicting advice to different people. He was successful in getting Nick shopped for the watered down booze but it didn't have a lasting effect on Nick and Leanne together.

David has stepped up the game and sent Leanne a lovely, fancy font centered anonymous note implying Nick was up to no good on Christmas night. Is it a dirty trick like Nick has been saying or is it true? Leanne knows she hurt him on their wedding day so it *could* be true. David makes sure to push a few buttons before she confronts him. Nick's face when he saw the note? If that wasn't guilt, I don't know what it was.

He denied, denied, denied but he looked so guilty that she knows damned well it's the truth but he's resisting admitting it. The pressure is mounting. Leanne reckons Eva could have written the note. Is she going to think Eva was the one he was with? Well yes of course. Meanwhile David keeps showing up, coincidentally. Well maybe not. But nobody picks up on it. The letter may be the straw that makes the whole house of cards come down. So to speak. Who was at the wedding? Who could make that sort of assumption about Nick? Even so, Nick and Leanne seem to have joined forces again and Leanne deduced that it *has* to be someone they know, someone obvious. FINALLY, FINALLY Nick figured it out.

Nick now has to figure out if his suspicions about David are correct and lured David out in the van to pick up some stuff. He spied Tina and David having a serious conversation and grilled her. Why on earth she spilled David's secret to Nick, I don't know. Supposedly she's just worried but he won't thank her for it. Nick got his suspicions confirmed and confronted David in the van, first by edging around the subject then finally, with a direct hit but David made him spell it out and boy did it hurt David a lot more than he thought it would, didn't it?

Rob is already taking calls from someone that wants to offload some cheap stock. There's awkward words between Carla and Rob and Tracy across the bar but Rob won't let it be and fires another shot across the bow. He's also ticking off Peter by throwing construction gear around first thing in the morning and waking him up! And as much as Peter and Carla say they want nothing to do with Rob and Tracy, they can't seem to keep away, nosing in to see how things are shaping up.

Tracy spends more time whining about Peter. He's the golden boy and she's the screw up, to hear her whinge. Meanwhile with Rob, it's all about him, when you really listen to him talk and who's the first customer? Peter. Taking great glee in winding them up.

Deirdre doesn't trust Rob not to be dealing in stolen goods but Rob is intent on keeping his nose clean. For once in his life. The problem is, he doesn't have mates that are so clean and you'd think he would know which ones he can trust. Tracy ended up taking on  a load of stolen smartphones from "Fat Lenny" who said he was Rob's supplier for the rest of the gear (but he lied) and it happened to be on the very day his probation officer was visiting. I still wonder why the site visit though maybe that's something they do randomly.

Nice touch with Rob pointing out his friend killed someone... to Tracy the murderer who screamed back that people make mistakes! She might have been defending Lenny on the surface but i think it hit home. Thus, Tracy had to scramble to rid the shop of the gear before the parole officer could inspect the premises while Rob kept her away, lied and flirted with her to kill some time.

Gary can't handle a crying baby. It's only day one. He's taking it personally that he can't figure out what's wrong. And when he tries to jump in and do things, Izzy thinks it's because he doesn't think she can cope when he only wants a turn. The baby is picking up on Gary's nervousness and all the change from being out of a nice, safe incubator.

Day two and the baby won't feed when Gary holds the bottle. Gary feels useless and inadequate. So ...what? Now he's decided he won't be a dad after all because he's no good at it? After 2 days? Talk about a perfectionist. He's got to go back to work though I still think Owen wouldn't mind if he took a bit more time off but i suppose financial needs must. And Owen makes him work the weekend which is kind of mean. Izzy came up with a good solution. Have both of them work part time so Gary gets more comfortable looking after the baby too.

Roy is still fussing and trying not to cling to Hayley but she's finding it hard dealing with everyone else's pity. I am glad they've kept the continuity with Roy's sleepwalking. I think Hayley should lock the bedroom door! Or re-sew the bells on his jammies. Everyone's encouraging Roy and Hayley to go on a little holiday in Mary's mobile home and with her operation in four weeks, it would do them both good. That's leaving the door open for Jenna to work in the cafe and further annoy Mandy.

Jenna and Mandy are arguing about Sophie and Lloyd is on Sophie's side, another wedge between them. I agree with Mandy that it was an impulsive, immature move. It does sound like Jenna and Sophie have made up though are on rocky ground. I guess Sophie has a lot of sucking up to do! And they did make up in the end. Just in time for Jenna to get a new job and just in time for Mandy to go off on yet another one at her. It's too bad what they've done to Mandy. I used to like her. And she's allowed to be disappointed that Jenna lost her hard earned career and is working in low paying jobs but it's Jenna's choice. Mandy needs to express her opinion ONCE and suck it up the rest of the time. She had so much potential and now she's just a moody cow.

Mary and Sylvia's exchange about touring cathedrals was amusing. I like how they're changing Mary back into a nice but quirky person after that sojourn into madness there for a couple of years. Stella and Karl are going away yet again. They seem to have a lot of holidays which I don't mind because the less I see of them the better. I would assume that when they come back, things will ramp up in the weeks before the wedding. It's about time Karl's freedom was curtailed.

So much for coming home off holiday all relaxed. Tina didn't expect to see Jake home in Izzy's arms. Had to happen sooner or later. Gary wants to work part time so he can help be with the baby but Owen won't hear of it. Craig's back and kicking buckets, of water, all over Norris! Got revenge for Norris making him clean it up by nicking the plastic paperboy. Good on him! It's wrong of him but it was funny, them all taking the mick out of Norris.

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