Tuesday 31 December 2013

Conversation Street podcast 72

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, Gemma and Michael talk about Brian's confession and Julie's heartbreak, David's dilemma, Dennis' new project and and Dev gets fit. There's no profile but next week will be the annual awards show and Michael and Gemma discuss all the nominees!

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And so it begins (storyline speculation)

It's the beginning of the end for Julie and Brian. There's no way he can come back into her good graces after his most recent cowardly stunt. He says he didn't want to break her heart by admitting he was taking a job in Wales and by going along with her plan to foster. He says "IF" I was lying... eh? *IF*??? He's always been selfish and cowardly and Julie now knows it and he's broken her heart. The ultimate betrayal was him sabotaging their fostering chance behind her back. That really was the ultimate in underhandedness. He only admitted it when his back was against the wall in the face of her determination to appeal the decision.

We've already seen the beginnings of Peter and Tina. Whether that will continue after the honeymoon or not, whether we'll be in for a full on affair or a lot of angst, doe eyed looks across the bar and "come here, no, go away" over and over remains to be seen. After everything Carla has gone through to finally be happy, it's only inevitable that her world comes crashing down around her ears. She's uttered far too many Phrases of Doom in the past couple of weeks for it to be any other way.

It's the beginning of the end for Marcus and Maria too, if Todd's lascivious look at Marcus' backside is anything to go on. I applaud Corrie for breaking the mold and showing us the unlikely love affair between a gay man and a straight woman. It does happen, probably more often than we might thing but it's not all that common either. It is meant to show us that you really can be surprised by who you fall for. But in the end, Marcus still identifies as gay and it's bound to come between them sooner or later. I just wish it wasn't with the manipulative tosser that Todd has turned into. Todd may fancy Marcus but I wouldn't put it past this version of Todd to chase after Marcus just to stir the pot and break he and Maria up on purpose. With some people, it's more about the chase than about the catch and I think Todd is one of those people.

I'm going way out on a limb here and predicting another beginning, if not an end. With the arrival of the handsome Kal, everyone wants to know which woman he'll get involved with. There were rumours that Liz would get her claws into him but now that we've seen Kal, even just a little, I don't think he'd be lured by Liz in the least. I'm predicting another L-ady. I'm going to point the fickle finger of fate at Leanne Tilsley who is probably ripe for a bit of fun after the uphill battle she's having with damaged husband Nick. Kal will start working with Nick and be around more and I think Nick's tirades are wearing her down, little by little. I never really thought Nick and Leanne were suited this time around anyway. She might be the love of his life but I never felt that he was the love of hers. That honour went to Peter, in my feeling. I think she went to Nick on the rebound from Peter and while she loves Nick, it was more about stability and maybe to make up for hurting him in the past (the affair just before the tram crash when she had the affair with Nick but married Peter on his deathbed).

I can picture Leanne and Kal together and I think they would have a lot of chemistry. She's already proven she can be a good mother so his kids would be in good hands. He's a dad so he'd be good to Simon, too.

And the last beginning of the end is the final few weeks for our beloved Hayley Anne Cropper. So far, chemotherapy hasn't seemed to have had a lot of residual effect, not that we've seen but I do think that they're dressing her in clothes just a little too big, to imply she's losing weight. She's starting to look a bit more tired and pale around the edges. She's planning her funeral and it's all going to be terribly sad for all of us who have come to love her over all these years. Now that her son has popped up again, only to be just as horrible as it was the last time and the first time, she's at least got some sort of closure even if it's not really a peace made between them. More of a resignation.

And in this, the anniversary week of the tram crash three years ago, I do wish someone would have mentioned the fact. Three people died, one of them integral to the street for many years and who might still count quite a few neighbours as his friends. I still miss Ashley Peacock. It would have been nice for Nick, whose life Ashley saved, or Kirk, who worked with him, or some of the other regulars to make a mention of him.

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Where's your favourite table at Roy's Rolls?

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

What a lovely thing we heard on Coronation Street last night.  When Julie wanted a  pow-wow with Brian, she told him to meet her at their favourite table in Roy's Rolls.

This got me thinking as to which would be my favourite table in Roy's Rolls, and I know where it would be. 

As you go in Roy's Rolls, you'd enter the cafe and have the counter in front of you. My favourite table would then be reached on the right hand side, underneath the window, tucked away behind the door and out of ear-shot of most of the other customers in there. Nice and quiet, secretive, the perfect table for a gossip and a catch up.

Which one would be your favourite table in Roy's?

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Take ITV's Corrie year end quiz

ITV have a fun little quiz on their website today with 12 trivia questions from storylines through this year. They're multiple choice and not really that difficult but have a go anyway and let us know what your score is.

Check out the quiz here.

(psst... I got 100%....just sayin')

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Monday 30 December 2013

Coronation Street review - May 2013

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

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year.

May 2013

The Rovers Return reopens after the fire; Roy goes looking for this dad, ends up heartbroken and blames Hayley for encouraging him to read his dad’s letter. "I’m truly sorry, Roy, if I’m in any way to blame…" she says to which Roy replies: "But you are, Hayley. You are. You are to blame,” before going off the rails in the caff; Gary tries to kiss pregnant Tina; Sinead and Chesney start dating; Carla catches Rob and Tracy out after they try to nick silk from Underworld.

Find out what happened earlier this year in January 2013, February 2013, March 2013, April 2013         

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Corrie Canada weekly awards for Dec. 23 - 27

Air Guitar award: Dennis!!!

Phrase of Doom: Leanne asked Peter if he was going to mess this one up. Noooo chance, sez the groom. and the groom tells his new wife nothing's going to happen, either. Um.....do the words "slope" and "slippery" occur to anyone?

Jealous harridan award: Rita really is unpleasant to Dennis a lot of the time.

Reverse psychology award: Dev wanted nothing to do with the trainer until he thought they all thought Kal was lording it over Dev or he couldn't afford a trainer.

Second chance award: Kylie took David's hand. It's a start. It won't happen yet, but it's the first step.

Damp Squib award: Rita. Rain on anyone's parade, lately, Have you?

Blackmail award: I can understand Nick's anger but it's not fair to make your mother choose.

Fashion Accessory shout: Kylie's Rebel earrings.

Lines of the week
Dennis "There's not much rock and roll in the life of a lollipop man"
Gary "I know it's hard to believe but I've grown up!"
Dennis "I was rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers in the 60s" Rita "You were  rubbing shoulders with tramps and winos when I found you" (Totally uncalled for!)
Nick "Him or me, mum, decide"
Audrey to Gail "Who'd you think you are? John Wayne"
Nick to Audrey "Getting David to do your dirty work?" Audrey "Like you got your mum to do yours?"
Dennis "I'm busy." Rita "Doing what?" Dennis "Moving. and Shaking"
David "Whatever Nicky wants, Nicky gets. Always"

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Sunday 29 December 2013

Coronation Street review - April 2013

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

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year.

April 2013

Sunita dies and Steve’s jacket button flies off at her funeral; Gary starts falling for pregnant Tina; Rita marches Dennis to the doc for drug awareness advice when she catches him eating a space cake; Faye moves in with Tim and he leaves her home alone;  Mary starts babysitting Dev’s kids; Sinead Tinker arrives; Rob starts work at Barlow's Bookies with Peter; Kev Webster heads to Germany and Deirdre bops around the living room to Uptown Girl on her wedding anniversary to Ken.

Find out what happened earlier this year in January 2013, February 2013, March 2013    

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A few spoiler links for Canadian Corrie fans

Right. Now we don't do spoilers here but some of our readers do like them so every now and then, we post a few links to our sister site, Coronation Street Blog, to posts that have spoilers. Hovering your mouse over the link may also reveal the spoiler in the URL so take care there. For those of you who do want to know, here you are!

Steve and Michelle


General New Year spoilers

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Coronation Street in top three most Googled TV shows of 2013

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

Coronation Street has been named in the top three most Googled-for television programmes of 2013.  In the Google Zeitgeist Trends of 2013, there's all sorts of interesting information about what people have been searching for using Google this year.  

In the Google 2013 chart for "TV Shows - Most Searched", Corrie comes third after Breaking Bad and EastEnders. 

And here's a lovely little screen shot showing you how to search for our fab fan website too.  Mind you, if you search for Coronation Street on Google we always come up on the first or second page.

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Sunday Comments - December 29

Rita's turning into a cranky old woman. The sight of Dennis rocking and rolling to music from his heyday was wonderful stuff! She hollered at him for playing air guitar on the lollipop and then she was rude to him in the pub. She really does treat him light a naughty child, doesn't she? Why shouldn't Dennis get back into music management or at least give it a try? Laughed at Gloria inviting her along to the music meeting and offered "Ritchie" a gig in the Bistro. That'll be news to Nick! Rita was also bitchy about Gloria's involvement.

If Tina has any sense at all, now that Peter's a married man, she'll stay well away. Will she heck! The day after, before heading off to honeymoon, Carla's all loved up, Peter's having coffee with one of his expwives, and Sally's aching to take the reigns and lord it over Eva. Liz really rubbed it in with Tina listening to her talk to Peter across the bar. I don't know what to think about all this.

Tina figures Peter has more feelings for her than for Carla and should not have married. Peter's acting like it was a passing fancy which is probably closer to the truth. Tina seems to be blowing it out of proportion like someone her age probably would do. Even Beth can see that Peter just likes a challenge. It looked like she was about to spill the beans but she didn't and stood there in the street with her heart on her sleeve like a teenager.

It's really clear that Kylie still loves David as angry as she is. She really feels so betrayed.  And why hide from Kylie? It's going to get round in short order that he's working there again. David wants to get back with his family but he's got to go softly softly. The family was about as thrilled as you would expect to find out David is back on the horizon. You don't like it? too bad. Gail thinks it is all too fast for Kylie and Nick. It's never going to be time enough for them, though. They're quite happy to take his money in support of the kids but not let him near? No I don't think so. He has done wrong but he still doesn't deserve to be cut off from his kids.

Nick was bound and determined to cause trouble in the salon. I thought he was going to kneecap David there for a minute. But it's also not up to Nick to give Kylie money to support her. The scenes between Kylie and David were spellbinding.

There is so much chemistry between Kylie and David. The actors just spark off each other and the characters work so well together. I do like that David made sure to point out that none of it would have happened if she hadn't slept with his brother. I can't blame Nick for how he feels, of course not. It's a lose-lose situation really. They nearly made a breakthrough but David picked the wrong phrase to mean he would get back in Nick's good books. I think they did make a step but it's still going to take some time. I don't think we should expect a Christmas reunion.

There's Gail caught in the middle between her two sons. She doesn't want David not to see his baby and how can she say No to that dear little Max's face? I can understand Nick's anger but it's not really fair for him to make her choose. That's a terrible place to put Gail. And it's another reason for David to go back to hating his mother again, too, I'm very afraid. He's always felt like she favoured Nick and this is only reinforcing it.

Mary has a mild allergy to lycra so no more exercise. Excuses, excuses. Looks like Mary also puts in a few hours in the corner shop as well. Sophie nagged and bullied Dev into a run, good for her! Starting right into running is terrible for you. You need to learn to run properly.

Enter Kal, Gary's former army mate. I'm pretty sure Mary set up Dev to get him to the pub to meet Kal. Dev was totally dissing him until Dev's ego got a bit of a knock and then it felt like reverse psychology. Turns out he and Kal have something in common, both single parents and widowers. Kal sure caused a stir among the blondes in the pub! Causing a bit of stir with the blokes too. Steve seemed a bit jealous that Michelle was getting friendly with Kal. Dev is keen, for how long remains to be seen.

It feels like Christian is on a hair trigger. He's a user and a selfish git and I'm trying to be polite and use names that won't offend. Roy calls him a scoundrel. You can fill in the blanks. But she thought it was worth the price and had the best day ever. Nobody thinks she should have given him the money but she looks at it as a legacy.

Sean fancies Todd and it's very clear to Jason, at least. Todd may quite well fancy Marcus, he sure made a beeline for him in the Bistro. Todd just allows people like Sean to fawn all over him. Todd wouldn't have Sean romantically if he was the last man in the world. It was extremely bad form for Brian to tell that to Sean so bluntly. If he'd have been polite from the start, Sean wouldn't have dragged it out of him.

Todd doesn't want any bad feelings with someone he can use for whatever so he's sucked up to Sean and placated him, stringing him along. It's like it's a game to Todd and maybe Marcus is discovering that.

Poor Julie. You have to feel sorry for her. Can't have kids, her dream. and she's living with a cowardly backstabbing tosser who's about to break her heart. Beth is right. Julie should appeal. Then she could bust Brian well and truly. His back is against the wall now he knows she's going to try to appeal. God, Brian can bore for England, can't he? Poor Marcus! Marcus let the cat out of the bag about Brian's job to Todd, the worst person he could have slipped up with and Todd wasted no time dropping Brian in it.

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Saturday 28 December 2013

When Dot Cotton was in Coronation Street

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

There have been many actors who have played roles in different soaps. June Brown, who played Dot Cotton in EastEnders was also in Coronation Street.  I'd always known this about the actress, but had never seen a clip of her in Corrie, until it was aired on TV last night.

June Brown was interviewed on the BBC's The One Show and you can watch her Corrie clip in which she sits and chats to Emily Bishop on The One Show website here. (June's bit comes up at 30 seconds in)

June also started a wonderful anecdote about how she was given the role in Corrie by Tony Warren, whom she had met when he was just a small child.  She was acting on stage in Manchester and Tony was waiting for her outside the stage door when she came out of work.  He asked her for her autograph and she said "Oh, you don't want my autograph, I'm nobody famous," and he replied: "No, but you might be one day." 

June wanted to talk more about Tony Warren, and this fan certainly wanted to hear more, but The One Show being what it is, the presenters swiftly shut her up and moved on to more important issues, like jam jars or something.

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Should Corrie look back to the 1970s for inspiration?

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

I've been watching a lot of old Corrie episodes from the 1970s lately, thanks to the joy of Youtube. Why they are never given a proper rerun on one of ITV's countless digital channels I'll never know. Anyway, it made me wonder whether the powers that be of the 2010s shouldn't pop onto Youtube themselves.

Should modern day Coronation Street learn a few lessons from days gone by? 

For a start, the collection of characters Corrie had to offer in the mid to late 70s is far fewer than the cast of thousands we watch today. I often struggle to keep track of all the comings and goings and feel that some characters barely get a look in. In the 70s the cast totalled thirty regular actors if that and each and every one of them holds my attention and gets a chance to shine.

The viewers also only got an hour of Weatherfield life each week during the 1970s. Half an hour on Monday, the same on Wednesday. There was no need for double episodes, hour long specials or, heaven forbid, special weeks with Corrie broadcast every night. Yes I know there were only three channels at the time, but Corrie's viewing share was still immense. Less was more. A cliffhanger on a Wednesday evening would have the viewing public hanging on tenterhooks until the next episode the following week. These days, as I've often said I can miss several episodes without worrying that I'm missing out.

Everything in the 70s seemed to move at a slower pace too. We can probably count the major disasters, events and incidents on one hand for the 1970s. In contrast, the Weatherfield of today seems to be increasingly explosive, dramatic and 
bizarre in a desperate attempt to keep us watching. In the 70s a wedding or a funeral would take place without an explosion, a murder or a punch up at the reception or wake. These events resembled the weddings or funerals of the viewers who tuned in loyally each week, and that's why it worked. These days Corrie weddings take place at grand country houses and most congregations are subjected to a dramatic intrusion or an explosive secret tearing a family apart. 

Some could say the content of Corrie episodes from the 1970s was a bit dull or that nothing momentous happened. It just feels more real to me, I can believe in the characters and situations. You would never see the majority of an episode in 2013 devoted to a character like Deirdre's forlorn search for council housing, however the sight of Deirdre, Emily and Alf climbing the stairs of a desolate block of flats in January 1979 somehow had me hooked. There was more tension and drama in a scene where Annie Walker found out that Fred Gee had taken forty pounds from the Rovers till than in any one of Tina McIntyre's attention-grabbing trysts.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned and in the minority on this one, I don't know. I know modern soap operas are not supposed to reflect real life and most people don't want to see their own boring day to day existences, they want escapism. However I want to believe in the characters, empathise with them and understand their problems. 

Is that not what working class, continuing drama is all about?

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Friday 27 December 2013

Coronation Street review - March 2013

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

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year.

March 2013

The Rovers Return burns down killing Toni and putting Sunita in th'ospital; Kirsty crashes Tyrone’s trial: “He’s not a monster, I am!”, Doris Babbage turns up when Gloria’s fella Eric dies;  Gail moves out of the box room and in with Sally;  Katy and Ryan kiss in the kebab shop and she breaks poor Chesney's heart.

Find out what happened earlier this year in January 2013, February 2013  

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Fab Photo - Annie Walker

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2013.)

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. After last week's excitement of the unveiling of the new Corrie outdoor set here's a picture of Doris Speed in 1982 lending a hand with the demolition of the original, 1968, outdoor set.

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Introducing Jimi Mistry as new Corrie character Kal

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2013.)

Introducing Jimi Mistry, who I had the privilege of interviewing recently at ITV.

Last week we saw Dev trying to get into shape, but soon he will have more than a walking work station in the shape of Jimi Mistry, who many will recognise from the film East is East or the soap Eastenders, and is joining Coronation Street as Kal, short for Khalid. He will play the role of a personal trainer and his mission is to get Dev into shape.

Kal will also be instrumental in helping Nick Tilsley recover and become fully fit. Jimi spoke highly of Ben Price who plays the part of Nick and was fulsome in his praise of Ben for his warmth and the terrific welcome he showed.

Clearly, to be a personal trainer the actor has to look the part and indeed be the part. Jimi told us that he believes in the mantra, ‘Be the best you can be’ - and who can argue with that?  As a result,  Jimi is putting himself through his paces and he spoke in particular about a form of exercise called ‘cross fit’ which is the exercise Jimi’s character Kal will be recommending to his clients and urging them to try  as part of their training regime.

Coincidentally, Jimi was already involved in this kind of training before he got the call from Coronation Street, so from that point of view, the character of Kal is perfect for him.  Exercise and diet are very important to him too, and it shows.  Whatever regime he’s been following, it is certainly working as he looks very healthy on it.

Jimi was in Eastenders from 1998-9, and since then he’s been working in a number of different countries. After roaming around the globe, Jimi was keen to get back to Britain. He is 40 now and is getting married again soon to Flavia Cacace from Strictly Come Dancing. Jimi says Strictly changed his life. From a very young age he loved to dance, practising Michael Jackson’s moves in his  parents’ garage. Interestingly it was only after the show that Flavia and Jimi got together and he proposed on New Year’s Eve.

Jimi feels that Coronation Street’s reputation is second to none and who can disagree? He was keen to join Coronation Street, but was surprised and delighted to be invited to join so swiftly.

In his role as Kal, Jimi plans to make a real impact in Britain’s best loved show. He is keen to invest a lot into his character, which will, he readily admits, mean hard work.  He said that he had a process for learning lines but when he told the cast about his process, they said that that would change and he’d be learning his lines the night before.  Also it has taken some time to get used to the way in which the scheduling and the filming are organised, but he has now mastered it.

Asked which female character, if any, Kal might enjoy a relationship with, Jimi had no news. It is worth emphasising that he is single when he comes to the cobbles, so it surely must be the case that there will be a woman at some point, who will be rather taken with handsome Kal.

There is though, real sadness in Kal’s life. His wife has died and he has children, one of them a teenage son, who, true to form, being a teenager, is somewhat challenging.

Jimi himself has a twelve year old daughter, who lives in France with her mum, though he sees her regularly, so his experience of Street teenagers will be just in time for him.

A couple of amusing questions were put to Jimi, one being whether he would, if given the opportunity, change the theme tune to Coronation street. He said he would not change it fundamentally but he would add a little Billie Jean bass line - and who wouldn’t like a sample of that?

Another question was about whether there was anyone in particular he would like to shoot a scene with and he told us that Norris was probably at the top of his list.  Maybe if Kal opens a gym, which seems to be on the cards, we would be able to see Norris joining and breaking a sweat on the treadmill.  And how good would that be?

Asked if he was ready for the attention from both press and public, Jimi confirmed that he was.  Good job really, as it is a certainty that this very pleasant and charming man will be receiving lots of attention from both. He’ll be  a strong male character and The Street is in need one.

Do please excuse the pun, but it’s irresistible. It seems that there is a mystery (geddit) behind Kal’s arrival in Weatherfield.  On the surface he is undoubtedly charming and inspiring in his work, but there is a whole other side to Kal. Of course, Jimi cannot give away what this side is, but it certainly adds intrigue.

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Thursday 26 December 2013

Coronation Street set tours - more news revealed

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

More news in today about the reopening of the Coronation Street set to the public, as we reported here.

The Manchester Evening News now reports that proposals have been submitted to Manchester town hall planners this week who will review the full application in the New Year.

According to the planning application, the Corrie tour 2014 will offer:

An introduction to the tour, the site and its history bringing in some of the ‘Street’ including characters, props and memories.

“The Corridor of Stars” - an opportunity to look into the dressing rooms of some of the famous actors and cast members.

The Green Room - a look at Coronation Street's future, ITV’s investment at MediaCity, and upcoming events, and news.

Pre-show - a small space introducing some of the most loved character with objects, graphics and film. This will be followed by a tour of Stage One, which will feature an introduction film highlighting the best moments of the Street.

It will also include a guided tour and exploration of Stage One with access to some iconic sets. Fans will also be able to see unique displays that showcase some of the props and furniture used in the show. There will also be themed stopping points highlighting TV moments, behind the scenes techniques and production. Visitors will then be guided from Stage One, stepping through the bistro doors and out onto Coronation Street. This will give them free access to all the famous landmarks, gardens and alleyways. The plans also feature a gift shop and cafe for visitors.

If the attraction is given the green light, tours will run throughout the day at the studio in Castlefield, from 10am until 6pm. There will also be a chance for corporate hire of the venue for evening tours. The guided tour would take groups of around 40 people several times each hour, with as many as 900 visitors each day.

A spokesman for ITV said it was too early to confirm how much tours would cost, but added: "After the production has moved to its new home, and subject to planning permission, we are looking into the possibility of opening the current Coronation Street set at our Quay Street site as a tourist attraction for a limited period, giving fans the opportunity to walk down the famous cobbles.”

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How To Eat Out

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2013.)

How did you spend your Sunday?  Recovering in bed from your Saturday night?  A roast dinner with the family?  A healthy walk in the country?

Your day can't have been as exciting as Julie's, because she decided to go out.  Everywhere.  All day.

She had breakfast in the cafe:

A drink at lunchtime in the Rovers:

Her tea in the Bistro:

And then a chip supper:

Does Julie actually have a kitchen?  Is her flat being fumigated?  Is there a ghost?

I think we should be told.

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Wednesday 25 December 2013

Weatherfield's winter of woe

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

With December and Christmas knocking on the door, the time of year sought to remind me of one of the bleakest periods of Corrie's history. A moment's silence please for the winter of 1983. It's startling to think that thirty years have passed since the programme entered a period of seemingly endless exits.

The important thing to remember is that back in 1983, Corrie was a very different animal. The cast was much smaller and therefore the impact of a departure was felt all the more keenly. As much as we 'love' them (or not), the disappearance of a brace of Prices and McIntyres has little effect. Thirty years ago this was not the case.

1983 saw several prominent faces disappear from the cobbles and for a variety of reasons. Geoffrey Hughes decided to call time on his portrayal of Eddie Yeats. Hughes later recalled that he realised that with Bernard Youens' failing health, much of the 'Stan Ogden' based storyline had been transferred to Eddie. With less time with his family and increasing fatigue, Hughes quit. He was less than enamoured with his character's shotgun wedding to Marion Willis. The actress who played her, Veronica Doran, was also told that Marion would be axed. In a smart piece of writing though, we saw the newlyweds sneak out of the Ogden's ruby anniversary party and ponder over the arrival on the Street of the police who, unbeknownst to Eddie and Marion, had arrived with news of Len Fairclough's death.

The demise of the Street's resident everyman felt like a punishment meted out to the actor Peter Adamson. During 1983, the tabloids had frothed at the mouth while reporting on Adamson's trial for allegedly assaulting two girls. He was found not guilty but incurred the wrath of Granada by selling his story to a newspaper. Having breached his contract, Adamson was sacked. Len was mentioned for the rest of the year prior to an off-screen death in December. The memory of the character was tarnished by the fact that he had been cheating on Rita, a woman who then ascended to the moral high ground where she has perched ever since. The death of Len was the making of Rita.

Annie Walker's disappearance from the Rovers Return had not been planned. Doris Speed had appeared in the soap as late as October but a mystery stomach illness saw her hospitalised. A muck-raking piece by one national newspaper revealed Doris was not sixty nine years old, as she had maintained, but eighty four. Quite what they expected to achieve by embarrassing an ill, elderly woman is unknown. Convalescing at home, Doris Speed was then left traumatised by a break-in  She announced her immediate retirement an moved to a nursing home in Bury. It was an unhappy end for such a glorious character and the Rovers became a slightly awkward, less friendly place over the next twelve months.

In the midst of this turmoil came the front page news that Pat Phoenix had quit after a total of twenty one years on the cobbles. She claimed boredom and restlessness had driven her from the show. Certainly, recent storylines had seen Elsie Tanner lose her lodgers, receive a demotion at work and save from propping up the Rovers bar, do very little. Pat Phoenix craved love stories for Elsie but even when these did make it to the screen, she was unimpressed with the middle-aged men who were cast. With the decision made, Elsie was given a decent send off as she was paired-off with ancient Bill Gregory and dispatched to Portugal forever. Her final episode in January 1984 included that now famous walk down memory lane, heels clacking across the pavement and her enigmatic "Ah - now there's a question" sign-off.

For viewers, it was difficult to watch popular faces disappear from the screen one after another. With a much smaller company, the focus had to be switched to other characters. The likes of Bet, Rita, Vera and Ivy all shuffled centre-stage which seemed like a good move. The characters were already known and popular. Shoe-horning old faces such as Linda Cheveski and Billy Walker back into the mix jarred horribly, particularly as the returnees were pitched as being quite unpleasant. With Albert Tatlock and Stan Ogden having to be written out during 1984, it would be another year before life on the cobbles truly began to settle down again.

Did the powers-that-be handle Weatherfield's winter of discontent well? On the whole, they probably did. The producer, director and writers had to respond to circumstances that in some cases were well beyond their control. Sad as this period was, it did help to usher in a new front line of characters, many of whom saw out the next decade and beyond. Nowadays, Corrie can afford to lose faces without it being too much of a retrograde step which is perhaps a good thing - the show should and always will be bigger than any of its individual characters.

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Merry Christmas from the Bluenose Corrie Blog

(This photo was originally posted by Sunny Jim on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2013.)

It's Christmas so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. As Christmas arrives, here's a festive scene for you. We'd like to thank you all for your support this year!

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Tuesday 24 December 2013

Coronation Street review - February 2013

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

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year.

February 2013

Lewis nicks Gail’s life savings  and leaves her a video nasty: “I’m afraid I’ve been rather a naughty boy.” Gail: “He’s broken my heart and ground it into the floor with the heel of his built-up shoe.”; Gail finds out the truth about Kylie sleeping with Nick; Sylvia returns from America and Roy takes her gambling to pay off her debts; Tyrone tries to do a runner with Ruby but ends up behind bars; Owen smashes Faye’s laptop in a rage;  Mandy’s shellshocked when Flash the tortoise dies;  Gloria turns up with her new fella Eric Babbage in tow. “He’s very big in vinyl floor coverings, huge in fact.” 
Find out what happened earlier this year in January 2013

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Pics: Weatherfield window cleaners

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

When Tim announced to Sally this week that he was intending to get himself a career that would take him to some dizzy heights, it was clear there was only one way he could go.  For a feckless fella on Coronation Street, there can only ever be one profession of choice - a Weatherfield window cleaner.

So let's look back at some of the other workshy individuals from Corrie's past who have taken to window cleaning.  First off was Stanley Ogden.

Followed by Eddie Yeats.

And of course, the king of the chamois cloth, Jack Duckworth, who saw a lot through those bedroom windows he cleaned, especially Dulcie Froggatt's.

The last window cleaner in Weatherfield we had was Graham and since then, the windows must've got a bit mucky so Tim could have quite a job on his hands.

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Conversation Street podcast 71

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 we celebrate Peter and Carla's wedding. Dev has a new storyline and Gemma and Michael are happy about that. Hayley's son, Christian, has returned to cause some upset but Hayley took it all in stride. Peter's ex, Shelley Unwin is featured in the character profile.

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Monday 23 December 2013

Coronation Street review - January 2013

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

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year. 

January 2013

Lewis cons Gail and over-orders olives; Rob cooks the books at Underworld; Fiz is poisoned by carbon monoxide; Sophie and Jenna kiss; Karl seduces Sunita; Nick and Leanne announce their wedding, again, to which Gail yells, quite rightly: “It’s too soon, it’s too stupid and it’s a complete farce!”; Kylie finds out that she’s pregnant;  Kirsty blames Tyrone for pushing her down the stairs after their wedding falls apart; Tim arrives after Faye finds him online.

Corrie characters mentioned in January 2013 we still want to meet - Nobby and Nolene, a couple Carla knows who sell cheap pants on the market.

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Corrie Canada weekly awards for Dec. 16 - 20

Pushy Award: Sally has never been backward in pushing her men forward. It didn't always work but she never stops trying.

Corrie tradition award: Are we about to have a new window cleaner on the cobbles? Not if Sally has her way.

#(%*@^ award: That Christian really is a nasty piece of work isn't he? I'm so glad Fiz wiped the smirk off his face even if she did tell him Hayley was ill. Then he held the grandchildren for a ransom of 5000 pounds.

Fashion Fool award: Dev wearing orange spandex (just for visibility of course!)

Great Minds think alike: Tim and Sally got to the bridal suite before Steve and Michelle. Never mind. They got there in the end.

Geography fail: Nobody knows where Bali is!

Lives of the week: Sally" You actually paid money for it?" (Kind of agree with her there!)
Carla "I Do. It's the longest sentence in the world" Peter "I'd gladly serve"
Tim about Eva "She puts the chest in Manchester"
Carla "Here's me marrying the love of my life tomorrow and I've got to spend the night before in a hotel with Michelle"
Peter "You know what they say about monogamy? Damn fine wood"
Carla "We're a house of cards at the best of times"
Tracy about the first dance song "What is it? Another One Bites the Dust?"
Gail on inspirational role models "Word of advice. Don't be too ambitious. I put up Angelina Jolie. Just made me depressed"

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Sunday 22 December 2013

Coronation Street preview video - Fairytale of Weatherfield

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

Here's a behind the scenes video of Coronation Street cast members preparing to sing a special version of The Pogues' Fairytale of Weatherfield, filmed specially for Text Santa. 

You can see that video here, posted yesterday.

Here's our Corrie fan version of the lyrics too.

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Corrie creator Tony Warren on set move: "Move? What move?"

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

Journalist Ian Wylie was at the new Coronation Street set reveal last week and spoke to Corrie's creator Tony Warren.  There's a lovely piece on Ian's website about the day itself, seeing the new set for the first time and speaking to Tony Warren.

Tony says this about the new set move: “Coronation Street hasn’t moved at all. It’s exactly where it always was. Which is wherever you want it to be inside your own imagination.  It’s still here. Move? What move?”

Read the full interview, with some great pics and a short video of the new set as it was revealed to the press by Executive Producer Kieran Roberts  - it's all here at Life of Wylie.

See also: New Coronation Street set - our full write up and pics

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Sunday Comments December 22

Brave little Simon is heading back to school and the wedding is full steam ahead though Carla is pretty sure Peter's having doubts. I suspect, the flirtation with Tina aside, that it isn't doubts as much as chilly feet. Carla keeps running into wedding disasters and the latest has the band jacking it in. Will Peter manage to pull that one out of the hat?  It's going to have to be him because she's furious and she's determined he's going to be involved somehow. He tried to put it off on Steve, his new best man but will he heck! Hey, Lloyd does music!

Doesn't look like the feud between Peter and Rob has cooled off any. Peter wouldn't even shake Rob's hand. And Carla and Peter are taking chunks out of each other to the point where Carla is afraid he's not going to show up and Peter nearly downed a glass of wine.

Meanwhile, Liz seems to be on Tina's case on an ongoing basis and Tina felt the need to let Peter know. Any excuse, most definitely judging from the night before visit from Tina. Was it Carla that drove him to drink of was it the thought of Tina because his face sure showed something when she rang the doorbell? She really had no excuse to go see him so she obviously wanted to find out how he really feels about her. She found out and then saw that he was alone on his wedding day and came to him again. She then wonders what he's doing to her, what he wants from her. Looks to me more like she's stalking him!

Carla knows something's up, just not what. She was honest about his drinking. She couldn't support it. So why did she even have it in the house? And why make the wedding vow that she'll support him no matter what?

And the wedding day arrives. Preparations are underway. Make sure the groom is sober and the bride sober-ish. Take the boy away and leave the groom home alone with the new squeeze taking advantage of it. The bride is scared silly the groom won't show up. Roy pushed the boat out with a lovely hired car for Hayley. Tracy's gob rubbed everyone the wrong way, as per usual. The groom is late but he got there in the end. The brother is making traditional threats to the groom. Take care of her or else. 

The groom said I Do with some lovely vows. He had Carla in tears and half the viewers too. once Michelle did her reading about being with someone through the pain and suffering with the focus on Roy and Hayley. Later the bride was drunk and gave the new squeeze to the groom to dance with then she landed flat on the floor. That's one wedding night disaster. The wedding is over and all the guests have gone home. Except for one. But with legs like those in a skirt that short, he certainly did do something he'll regret. She looked like she was about to cry when Peter greeted Carla at the altar. She stayed behind and snogged the groom and spilled rid wine all over the wedding invitation, a portent of doom if ever there was one.

Wedding fashion: I liked Hayley's outfit and I liked Fiz's coat. Carla's dress really was lovely but I hated Michelle's bridesmaid dress and the Cleopatra makeup. Tina and Fiz's dresses were black or dark but i suppose with Carla's sophistication, black at this wedding is chic.  Fiz really looked nice. Sally's dress was nice too and Tim's last minute suite looked... suitable. Tracy's red and black dress was a bit non descript.

Sally's buying a suit for Tim who's gone walkabout as per usual and comes back with a monstrosity of a van with a vulgar slogan on it. I'm sure he'll paint over it but in the meantime, it's sat in front of Sally's door! I'm very surprised Sally agreed to go in it and it ended up embarassing her! Couldn't have happened to a nicer gal! Sally got drunk and for once didn't cause a ruckus. She just shagged Tim in the bridal suite. And back at home. And then asked Tim to move in. Tim jumped at the chance, he knows a good thing when he sees it.

Well now. Gail wants David to pay Kylie for child maintenance but nobody is letting him see the children. That man needs a solicitor. Audrey needs help in the salon and let David help out and he's wormed his way back in to a job. Audrey's a soft touch and Kylie will go ballistic. David's hopeful and optimistic he'll get Kylie back. He probably will but it will take some doing.

Three of Maria's clients all arrive at the same time. Surely she didn't triple book herself? Nice to have a window washer on the Street again!

Dev is determined to get in shape. Buying something that allows him to walk while behind the serving counter? Mary pointed out it was a deathtrap and he landed flat on his face to prove her point. Next up. New trainers for running, including a posh water bottle and tight spandex top. He'd have been better off at a brisk walk to start with. He kept procrastinating until Sophie shoved him out the door for his run. He got as far as the pub.

Jason doesn't seem to be too successful getting jobs. Small, independent business, I guess it's difficult. But Sally's very good at pushing her men into making more of themselves. It doesn't always work but she never stops trying both with Tim and with Jason. In the meantime, wash me windows, yeah? The dinner party with Sally,Tim, Jason and Eva was about as sparkly as you would expect. That is to say, Not. And Eva was wearing herself out reading between the lines of everything Jason said and finding out all about his exes! She did get him telling her he loves her though it didn't seem quite as sincere as you might think.

Sally was rather bitchy to Eva about Jason wasn't she? reminding her of Jason ditching Sarah. She didn't bother to tell her that he did marry her eventually and that it was Sarah  that stuffed it up that time. And Tim ended up cleaning windows all day. Sally doesn't look too happy that he is thinking of doing it full time (in the grand tradition of Corrie window cleaners through the years!)

Hayley is continuing her chemo sessions. She must be sailing through them because she still looks pretty healthy, rather than over tired or drawn though she did get some pain at the wedding. Guess that's the start. Also, I think they're starting to dress her in clothes a bit too big so it looks like she's losing weight. But oh heck, look who's turned up like a bad penny! Christian! And he's just as ignorant and rude as ever. Even finding out about Hayley's illness and he still walks out without paying.

Fiz tried to do the right thing and keep his appearance from Hayley.  She did confess to Roy what happened with Christian who later turned up, surprising Hayley but she turned him down. He'll be back. and there he is. I can't blame Roy for being prickly about it but he doesn't help the situation much, does he? And Christian had an agenda. It was more than just getting to know her.  Yep, for a price. You want to see the kiddies, it'll cost you. You were never there for me. (I didn't know about you!)  Needs it today? Sounds like he's under pressure from the local loan shark, not the bank.  What a tosser!!!

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Saturday 21 December 2013

World of Coronation Street Tour, 2014

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

The annual treat for overseas Corrie fans - the World of Coronation Street Tour - is back in 2014.

From The World of Coronation Street: "Over the years Corrie fans from all over Canada and from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand have joined us in a common bond to join our Corrie family, and of course have lifetime memories as a result.

This year's tour highlights in our first week include a group visit to the NEW STUDIOS at Media City in Manchester, a dinner with a special guest and a private group dinner with a surprise STAR!

Our second week's highlights will include an afternoon group visit to Downton Abbey.

Tour includes airfare from Toronto and special add-on fares are available from various Canadian cities.  Almost all inclusive 15 days-13nights -25meals and sightseeing all included."

Find out more at the World of Coronation Street website.


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