Wednesday 30 April 2014

The seven lives of Peter Barlow

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

In an interview with Chris Gascoyne in the TV Times - read it here - it was pointed out that the character of Peter Barlow in Coronation Street has been played by seven different actors.   Yes, seven.  Is this a record? Have any other characters been played by more actors?

You might like to read about the same actor who's played 11 different roles on Corrie - Dave Dutton

And so, without any further ado, here are the seven lives of Peter Barlow (with thanks to

Chris Gascoyne (2000-present)

David Lonsdale (1986) - he also turned up on Corrie as Kirsty Soames' dad in 2012

Joseph McKenna (1977-1978) - read more on Joseph as Peter Barlow here

Linus Roache (1973-1975).  Linus Roache is the son of William Roache, who plays Coronation Street's Ken Barlow.  Linus' first screen appearance was at the age of 9, playing his father's son in Coronation Street.

Christopher Dormer (1970-1971)

Mark Duncan (1970-1971) and  John Heanneau (1965-1969)

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Time for Sophie Webster to grow up?

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2014.)

Ah Sophie Webster, what has become of you? Unfortunately young Sophie is now neck and neck with Michelle for the award of character most likely to get on my nerves.

It wasn't always this way. Once upon a time Sophie was bright and cheeky and a great foil for her sister Rosie. We felt sorry for her as Sally lavished all her attentions on Rosie and her ambitions at Oakhill. However since Rosie departed for the bright lights of wherever it was she went, Sophie has taken centre stage chez Webster and sadly not in a good way.

I think it was a great decision to have a regular lesbian character in Coronation Street, I just wish it had been someone likeable. Instead we have pouty, shouty, narky Sophie being disrespectful to her mother and boringly self-righteous whenever the mood takes her. Her religious leanings are only mentioned these days when the writers remember.I applauded her Christmas time charity work but unfortunately that has been dropped, only being a segue for yet another tortuous romance.

I didn't particularly enjoy the Sophie/Sian pairing as they were a tad on the screechy side for me. Sophie and Jenna was just wrong from the start. Ms Webster ruined Jenna's career and most probably the characters future storyline potential.

Now we come to Maddie. I am trying to like her but it's all just causing me too much effort. The pair of them sleeping rough should have been thought provoking, instead I found it tedious and I struggled not to fast forward. I just hate the way the pair sneer at Sally and anyone else who disagrees with them. It feels like both characters would be better suited to EastEnders or Hollyoaks.

Sophie, like several other characters, has lost her way. We've had her current incarnation for ten years now and while it is great that young actors stay in Corrie that length of time, I just wish they could focus efforts on taking them in interesting directions. Why can't Sophie better herself, get back to college and move on? She seems stuck in a neverending loop of working in Dev's, chasing Maddie around the place and being nasty to her mother. Enough already!

So do you agree, is it time Sophie Webster grew up?

Follow me on Twitter: @GraemeN82

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Tuesday 29 April 2014

Tisha Merry on the future for Corrie's Steph

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

There's a good interview on Digital Spy with Coronation Street newcomer Tisha Merry, who plays Steph Britton,

Digital Spy recently chatted to Tisha Merry, who plays Steph, for her thoughts on the ongoing storyline and life at Corrie.  It's a good read.

Tisha says that when she found out that she was being brought back on a permanent basis into the show, she was absolutely over the moon.

Read the interview here (contains a major spoiler).

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The faces of Corrie in 1986

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

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.

In 1986, 105 episodes were broadcast.

1. Jack Duckworth (72 episodes)
2. Terry Duckworth (72 episodes)
3. Bet Lynch (71 episodes)
4. Gloria Todd (68 episodes)
5. Hilda Ogden (67 episodes)
6. Rita Fairclough (67 episodes)
7. Mike Baldwin (66 episodes)
8. Susan Barlow/Baldwin (66 episodes)
9. Ivy Tilsley (65 episodes)
10. Kevin Webster (65 episodes)
11. Mavis Riley (65 episodes)
12. Vera Duckworth (64 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Betty Turpin fails to make the top 12, but she also appeared in 64 episodes

Average age: 41

Note: To date, this is the last time Terry appears in the top 12 and the only time Susan appears. This is also the first time that an original character failed to make the top 12.

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Monday 28 April 2014

Corrie Canada weekly awards for April 21 - 25

Smarmy Git award: That new Clive fella on the building site.

Rock and a hard place award: Marcus isn't supposed to have anything to do with Liam but there was nobody else to pick him up.

Fashion no way! Michelle had her bra strap hanging down her arm. Ew.

Master maniplator award: Phelan's indecent proposal. why did Anna even entertain the idea? For Gary, that's why.

Bleeding Heart award: Sophie is determined to cling to Maddie even if it means sleeping on the streets. Surely she's not that desperate to be in love?

Fallout award: Steve and Andrea. Now where would this be leading?

Lines of the Week:
Carla "I always had me old mate Merlot riding shotgun"
Eva "I know when someone's starin' at me, I've had years of practice"
Todd "I can't help it if I'm damaged"
Eileen "What's it like on cloud cuckoo land Julie. I really must go there on me holidays"
Gary "You should have made sure Phelan was *in* the mill before setting fire to it"
Liz to Steve "You could do with some nuts" (for bar snacks, you lot!)
Owen to Anna "What you've done for this family...." (You'll never know. Or maybe you will)

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The love triangles of Weatherfield (slight spoiler)

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

Is the love triangle de rigueur? It would appear so in Coronation Street at the moment. It feels like every other storyline is focussing on some kind of love triangle, from the plausible to the just plain contrived. Let's take a look at some of the recent Weatherfield romantic entanglements:

Tina, Peter and Carla. Obviously the most high profile at the moment. I feel great sympathy for Carla although given her relationship with Peter was itself founded on an affair, I guess it's what goes around comes around. As for Peter and Tina, it's just gut-wrenching. Apparently they have terrific chemistry but I'm yet to see it. Multiple pregnancies and alcoholism are being thrown into the mix to make it more interesting.

Steve, Andrea and Lloyd. This one is more interesting because of the great, genuine friendship between Steve and Lloyd. At the moment we're not quite sure of Andrea's motives in all this. At first she seemed keen on Steve but now Andrea seems settled with Lloyd. Michelle certainly doesn't like Andrea, which makes me like the newcomer all the more. If this love triangle takes Steve away from Michelle it maybe won't be that bad.

Rita, Dennis and Gloria. This was just plain ludicrous. We're always saying we want to see more of the senior members of the Corrie cast, but this storyline was really not the way to do it. First of all the writers turned Rita into a shrew and a stick in the mud. I never liked Gloria so I'm glad she's gone, but what a waste of Dennis. Philip Lowrie is returning for a spell, but for me the damage has sadly been done. It surely couldn't have been that hard to find things for Rita and Dennis to do?

Marcus, Maria and Todd. Oh the ruination of Todd Grimshaw. I was pleased Todd was returning but I loathe what he's become. There's a thorough unpleasantness about him these days and Eileen was on to him straight away. Jason is the mature, hard working brother now. He has set his sights on "straight" Marcus who, against his better judgement, cannot resist. It's a shame we hadn't seen more of Marcus and Maria together, for as things stand, I don't really care that much that Maria and Marcus are going to split up. I do care though that Charlie Condou is leaving as he's a great actor playing a decent, under-used character.

Liz, Tony and Eileen. We've already seen trouble here with Liz and Eileen exchanging words with poor Deirdre trying to keep the peace. Eileen claims not to be interested in her ex but it's obviously stirred up old feelings for her. Who knows where this one will go next, although I've also noticed a frisson between Eva and Jason's dad.

Stella, Leanne and Kal. Oh dear. The Price ladies have a habit of doing this don't they? Remember when Stella got together with Jason, only for Eva to end up with him afterwards? Well Stella's up to her old tricks again, only this time I don't think luck is on her side. In the weeks ahead it looks like St Ella is going to set her beige cap at fitness instructor Kal. However, I think Kal is more interested in Stella's daughter Leanne. Is Leanne over Nick though?

Looking ahead, you've got to wonder what Kevin's imminent return will mean for Sally and Tim. Personally I like Sally and Tim together and I'd hate to see Kevin get in the way of that.

So what do you think of all these burgeoning love triangles? Are you enjoying them? Which are working and which aren't? 

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Sunday 27 April 2014

Chris Gascoyne on being a Barlow and a Buddhist

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

There's a good interview in the TV Times with Chris Gascoyne, who plays Coronation Street's Peter Barlow.

Chris talks about leaving his role as Peter Barlow in Corrie after playing him for 14 years, and also talks about the place that Buddhism has in his life.  Chris says that it was while he was on a Buddhist retreat in Scotland last year that he decided to leave the soap.

Chris has been interested in Buddhism around 12 years ago and says that meditation is now a part of his everyday life.  "I meditate for about 15 minutes or half an hour every day.  As an actor, you're constantly thinking about a character and what's the most interesting way to play it.  It can consume you and send you a little bit insane.  If you find something like meditation you just sit down and you can back to yourself, you don't let the fantasy intrude in the reality.  It's a big part of my life and I'm glad I found it."

Chris says he'd like to act in a play next and that he'd also like to go to Plum Village, a Buddhist retreat in France. 

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Spoiler links

While this blog is spoiler free for Canadians, or nearly so, every now and then we post some links to spoiler articles for those who want to know what's coming up. The links only refer to the characters involved. Only click through if you want to know!

The McDonald family
Summer Spoilers

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The faces of Corrie in 1985

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

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.

In 1985, 104 episodes were broadcast.

1. Bet Lynch (83 episodes)
2. Ivy Tilsley (82 episodes)
3. Vera Duckworth (82 episodes)
4. Deirdre Barlow (78 episodes)
5. Terry Duckworth (76 episodes)
6. Hilda Ogden (74 episodes)
7. Ken Barlow (72 episodes)
8. Jack Duckworth (72 episodes)
9. Alf Roberts (70 episodes)
10. Mavis Riley (70 episodes)
11. Betty Turpin (69 episodes)
12. Mike Baldwin (68 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Brian Tilsley and Kevin Webster fail to make the top 12, but they also appeared in 68 episodes

Average age: 50

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Saturday 26 April 2014

Conversation Street podcast 91

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

This week there's buzz about Phelan and Anna's encounter, Maddie and Sophie take to the streets, Tyrone's worried and Michelle and Lloyd run into a misunderstanding over Steve and Andrea. There's no character profile but there is some chat about an upcoming Corrie-related book and some fashion goss about Debbie Rush's (Anna) wedding.

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Sunday Comments April 27

Owen really is near the end of his rope with temper fraying fast and Anna's right to be concerned. It seems like a situation unlike anything he's ever experienced before. Owen and Gary are working all hours but promising to go to Faye's play. Not if Phelan has anything to do about it and he's pulling rank, hiring a new foreman over Owen's head and doesn't this Clive look like a smarmy git? Owen has a plan to scupper that site, you can tell by the way he eyed Clive's cigarette butt. Except there seems to be flammable liquid at hand and he's about to set it alight. Lucky job Anna found him in time. the smell of gas/petrol must have been very strong. She's right, it would have played right into Phelan's hands.

I can understand Anna's actions, going to find Owen but Gary running out on the play seemed spiteful even if he was just worried. He's still quite immature when you really think about it. Can't settle, doesn't think before he acts, etc. Now Gary's post traumatic stress is kicking back in again. He looked on edge, didn't he? Mikey North is excellent. I'm glad they don't forget about things like this altogether. And i would not be surprised to see Owen having a heart attack. I don't know why Anna keeps thinking Valerie is going to be any help. And i really don't know why she thought talking to Owen on her own would help and look where it got her? He decided to let Gary and Owen off the hook if Anna spends a few hours with him, that classic indecent proposal.

Oh 'eck. Wasn't that scene creepy with him playing with the food? "maleable" and all that... Gary is falling apart again so that's what did it. That's what pushed Anna over the line to accept Phelan's offer. Phelan even rubbed it in Owen's face without telling him the truth about who he was meeting. And meet him she did. Desperate times. And i fyou thought Anna wouldn't go through with it, you'd be wrong. She did and he still didn't give her the contract.

Tina thinks she wants to make Peter's life hell and wipe the smile off his face. It's not just that, but if it does kick off, the whole neighoburhood will be in an uproar. Meanwhile, Peter is feeling those drinks the other day and is right back into the cravings and Michelle is still giving Steve the silent treatment. Ooh haven't we seen that creepy client before? Tina's told Steph she's been having an affair but she's not letting Rita in on the secret.

Meanwhile, Peter's still pretty shaky. He's meeting another client. In the pub. And Tina's determined to woo him back. It can only end in tears. Possibly Peter's. Seems he's still hiding bottles in the high places.

Maria is really in a difficult spot and she's also concerned for her little fella. That's nice to see, at least. We all knew this would end in tears. It's a rare thing if someone can really get past their natural instincts. But with Marcus lurking about, it's hard for Maria to get over him. Now he's had to rescue Liam without Maria's permission but really didn't have a choice. Maria went spare! Marcus really does feel like a pariah. Todd is still in it for himself but Marcus has decided to leave for a few weeks. I imagine Todd will do whatever he can to make Marcus stay.

Maria is starting to feel paranoid, thinking everyone is laughing about her. She'll be quite happen to see Marcus head to London. Oh i really wanted Kirk ot smack Todd to the ground but as it was, he did shake up Todd some. I bet he won't take on Kirk or Maria again like that. Maria is still blanking Fiz and Tyrone has been informed that Kirsty is out of prison, putting the cold finger of fear in his and Fiz's heart.

Beth's idea for self improvement is a boob job. I guess that crack about spaniel's ears cut deep. They'll probably managed to talk her out of it in the end. Kirk is so sweet and even sensible. It does send out the wrong message. Now there's a little bit of news. Dennis has been trying to call Rita and she's not been taking the calls. Soap laws say that means he's not gone for good.

Looks like a Social Worker tracked down Maddie. She already had accommodation, just a room, and it turns out she's been lying about her age. She's not 18 yet! More and more, I really hate this storyline though I do like the character Maddie. the actress is great. Now Sophie and Maddie are both out the door and I don't blame Sally for taking a stand. But yep, Sophie is a legal adult and they can't force her home.

Now at the shelter, Sophie is so out of her element and now we can see why Maddie didn't want to stay at the shelter. There are lads that are practically stalking her and extorting money out of her. Maddie refuses to tell tales, such is street life I guess. She's decided to chuck her "safe" room and is on the streets now and Sophie can't persuade her to change her mind so she's staying with her. God, will this ever end?

Oh looky there, Steve and Andrea's nightschool plot is back again. It's not been mentioned for ages, thought they were done with it. Now it pops back up so it must be for a reason. They are bickering when Steve accused her of continuing to fancy him. She says she doesn't but I wonder. Steve now has to do all the course work himself and tells everyone he's knackered. Andrea is lacking sleep too. That's going to be the plot device and who couldn't see it comming! She fell asleep, thought he was Lloyd when she woke up and they were caught by all the significant others involved. Cue misunderstanding. Steve ended up with egg on his face, or in this case, kebab sauce.

Steve figures the only thing to do now is admit Andrea fancied him. It's the only way to get out of that pinch and Michelle did believe him. And she told Lloyd nearly the exact same excuses. And he believed her, too. But naturally, they got their stories crossed and they're busted.

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Coronation Street's male strippers

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

With Kal getting his kit off in Coronation Street this week when he steps in for a male stripper at the Bistro for a hen night party, let's have a look at other male strippers who've appeared on Coronation Street.

Can you think of any more to add to this list?

Zorro the male stripper at Carla Connor's hen party in The Rovers.

The Masked Python male stripper turned up for a party night in the Rovers - but what was the occasion, can anyone  remember?

And on the theme of strippers, here's another look at the great little online Streetcars Stories where Lloyd and Steve dance around the cab office to 'The Stripper'

There's one other that I can remember, can you?
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Friday 25 April 2014

Fab Photo - Tug of War

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

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. Llifon posted a blog the other day about the characters standing around in the Rovers talking about nothing that would develop any plot lines. It's the sort of thing that used to happen a fair bit but nowadays the best we can hope for is a bit of nonsense in the cab office between Steve, Lloyd and Eileen. Here's something else that we rarely see these days: the Rovers' regulars taking part in some sort of meaningless sporting event, usually against The Flying Horse. The man near the end that you probably don't recognize is George Hepworth who was engaged to Audrey for a short time.

Can you identify the rest of the tug-of-war team?

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Corrie Canada sneak previews for April 28 - May 2

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.

Peter gives in to Tina's temptations. Carla insists he go to rehab. Dennis returns. Phelan keeps his end of the bargain.  Anna feels guilty. Maria may be rebounding for an old flame. Lloyd and Andrea make up. Tracy and Rob make a deal with Tony. Mary and Gail learn to self defend.

For more details and photos, visit the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Thursday 24 April 2014

The faces of Corrie for 1984

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

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.

In 1984, 105 episodes were broadcast.

1. Jack Duckworth (83 episodes)
2. Bet Lynch (83 episodes)
3. Betty Turpin (81 episodes)
4. Hilda Ogden (75 episodes)
5. Rita Fairclough (75 episodes)
6. Deirdre Barlow (69 episodes)
7. Mavis Riley (69 episodes)
8. Alf Roberts (68 episodes)
9. Vera Duckworth (66 episodes)
10. Billy Walker (65 episodes)
11. Percy Sugden (64 episodes)
12. Ken Barlow (63 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Bill Webster fails to make the top 12, but he also appeared in 63 episodes

Average age: 50

Note: This, to date, is the last time Billy appears in the top 12

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Welcome to Weatherfield with Coronation Street tour guides

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

If you're off to the Coronation Street tour in the coming months, here's a picture of all of the tour guides who will be showing Corrie fans around the Street. 

We've photoshopped in to the picture Jonny Grimshaw (aka Jonny G Force) who is a Coronation Street extra and who will also be working as a tour guide.  Jonny was on a day off when the group photo was taken so we've added him in seamlessley, as you can tell.  You can find out more about Jonny Grimshaw here and if you meet him, be sure to say hello.

Thirty five guides have been recruited from in and around the Greater Manchester area and are now embarking on an intensive and interactive training programme, which focuses on providing visitors to the tour with a truly memorable experience, in preparation for the opening day on Saturday April 5th.

Two of our Coronation Street bloggers - Emma and Ruth - are beig allowed into the Coronation Street set tour in advance of the official opening to fans.  We'll  bring you all their pictures and news!

Prior to opening, several days of run-throughs will take place to ensure that the guides provide the same high level of excellence on the first tour as they will on the very last tour in October.

Coronation Street The Tour will open on April 5th and will run until October 4th 2014.

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Tuesday 22 April 2014

The faces of Corrie in 1983

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

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.

In 1983, 104 episodes were broadcast.

1. Bet Lynch (82 episodes)
2. Fred Gee (80 episodes)
3. Deirdre Barlow (75 episodes)
4. Vera Duckworth (71 episodes)
5. Elsie Tanner (70 episodes)
6. Betty Turpin (70 episodes)
7. Alf Roberts (69 episodes)
8. Eddie Yeats (68 episodes)
9. Ivy Tilsley (66 episodes)
10. Hilda Ogden (66 episodes)
11. Mike Baldwin (65 episodes)
12. Ken Barlow (65 episodes)

Average age: 49

Note: This is also a significant year for the top 12. Elsie makes her last appearance after 22 years. Both Eddie and Fred make their last appearances in the top 12.

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Long Haired Losers From Liverpool

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

I don't know if you noticed, but Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-0 yesterday.  Even if you don't like football, you'll know that this is kind of a big deal.  Liverpool and Manchester have a bitter, bitter rivalry, one that makes Alexis and Krystal look like conjoined twins.

Liverpool has the history and the excitement; it's got architectural delights on every street, and showbiz glamour through its decades of producing top entertainers like, erm, Jimmy Tarbuck and Cilla.  Manchester, meanwhile, is bigger and has more money; its skyline can't compete with the Liver Building and two cathedrals, but it's got a tram system and a Harvey Nicks and the BBC.  It's a bit more 21st Century than its near neighbour, a bit more forward thinking and less likely to coast on past glories (seriously Liverpool, the Beatles split up forty odd years ago; let it be).

Manchester also has Corrie, which gives it the perfect opportunity to get one over its Scouse rivals.  It mainly does this by ensuring that anyone with a Liverpudlian accent is, at least, a bit dodgy, and at worse an out and out thug.  Right now Pat Phelan is providing the show's dark underbelly, sexually harassing Anna and blackmailing Gary and Owen.  He's bent as a nine bob note, with years of financial impropriety and questionable deals behind him.  Owen should never have palled up with him, not least because their first meeting resulted in a motorbike being held hostage; that might have given a normal person a hint they were dealing with a crook.  That and Phelan's got a Scouse accent so thick you could sit on it and row across the Mersey.

Go right back through Corrie's past, and you get a parade of Liverpudlians who are a little bit wey, a little bit woo.  Think of Kenneth Cope as Jed Stone, a former borstal resident who had a string of nefarious schemes under his belt, convoluted plots that would net him a nice tidy profit without him having to do an honest day's work.  He was finally locked up for robbing blankets, which is exactly the kind of petty, low-level dodginess Scousers on the Street seem to get up to.

They're never Machiavellian geniuses, lording it over the lives of residents with their evil brilliance.  They're just a bit grubby and criminal.  Jed's replacement as Scouse schemer was Eddie Yeats, who arrived on the Street fresh out of Walton nick.  He spent the rest of his time on the show handling stolen goods, being sent back to prison, and puffing on Woodbines while he picked his feet at Hilda's dining table.

That's not to say that Scouse characters are charmless; even Phelan has a bit of a twinkle about him.  Michael Starke, who played Jerry Morton and who will forever be Sinbad from Brookside, managed to keep his terrible character and awful family afloat pretty much on charm alone.  He seemed like he was going to turn the tide of naughty characters from Liverpool - he had his own business, his own home, a deeply unlikeable set of children covering a bizarre range of ages.  But what's this, in a news report written about Starke's castingJerry, in his 40s, is described as a hard-working man who dotes on his family and has no qualms on dodging the taxmanYep, even before he'd arrived, we were told he was crooked.  Of course, we already knew that, because he was born in the L postcode.  Also, he was Sinbad.

The one Scouse character who's managed to keep his nose clean is Lloyd or, as he's better known, Craig Charles.  This is mainly because what Craig Charles is doing can't really be described as "acting"; he's basically just playing himself.  I love Craig, but Lloyd isn't really a stretch for his talents.  Seriously, I keep expecting Lloyd to start reminiscing about his performance poetry days, or to call Steve a smeghead.  He's just a naturally charming, funny man, and his double act with Steve is one of the greatest in the show's history.  It's a real-life double act too, which makes me wonder if some of the writers take a shortcut when they write the scripts, e.g.


(Just film Craig Charles and Simon Gregson having a chat for five minutes.  We'll stick the best bits in the show.)

Lloyd's been a bit of a love rat, but that's pretty much the worst thing you can say about him.  He is a taxi driver though, a profession which is not exactly renowned for its high moral standards.  I bet he's not above taking a roundabout route so he can add a few more quid to the meter. 

Still, I suppose it's good that we finally have a Scouser who isn't a criminal, a tax dodger or a bankrupt on the show.  And with Les Dennis soon to join, that'll mean there's two!

What's that?  He's playing a burglar?

Never mind.

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Out this week - A Perfect Duet. The Diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper

Coming this week ....  A Perfect Duet. The Diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper. By Glenda Young
With a foreword by Julie Hesmondhalgh (who played Corrie's Hayley Cropper)

An Unofficial Coronation Street Companion book. 

Published 24th April 2014 and available for order now here

For Coronation Street fans everywhere, the amazing and touching story of Roy and Hayley Cropper, from Hayley's arrival in 'the street' through to her sad farewell.

Relive their story through the eyes of  lifelong Corrie fan, Glenda Young, editor of The Coronation Street Blog.

Rediscover all those magic moments, the gossip, the highs and lows of this brave and ground breaking story line in Britain's best loved soap opera.

Join the Facebook page for A Perfect Duet 

A Perfect Duet will also be available through here

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Monday 21 April 2014

Corrie Canada weekly awards April 14 - 18

Timeshare award: Tina is having trouble keeping Peter in one place for 5 minutes so she can drop the bombshell.

Abandoned award: Eva feels second best again.

Dirty Laundry award: Kylie spilled all of Gail's horrifying past events to the PC

Lesser of two evils award: Tim admitted Maddie attacked him. Easier than 'splaining why he didn't tell Sally about Maddie and Sophie as a couple.

Off the wagon award: Peter, of course.

Dead Man Walking award: Peter.

A Chorus Line award: The girls serenading Stella off in a black cab.

Who is that woman? We actually saw Michelle without that wide streak of black eyeliner!

Dodge a bullet award: Peter only has one of his women pregnant, not the mistress, too.

Naive award: Tina. Nick.

Lines of the Week:
Michelle "Steve and a secret is like a kid with a bag of sweets he's not supposed to have"
Rob to Carla "Keep your money. I'm your brother"
Tina to Peter "It's my turn!"
Eva about Carla "She looks like she'd rip the head off a puppy if it looked at her funny"
Kylie "We've got nowt to nick except a telly and a box of Lego"
Carla "I'm hardly flipping Mary Poppins, am I?"
Peter "I'm going to be pushing around a zimmer frame by the time that kid leaves school!"
Owen "Why are you doing this?" Phelan "Why does anyone do anything? Fun? Spite? Power trip? All of the above?"
Sally "What are they doing, then?" Maddie "Each Other" (Blunt award?)
Eva "Living in a flat above the kebab shop? I don't know if i can stand the glamour"
Carla to Peter "And you didn't have a drink to celebrate?" (well he did, but it wasn't a celebration!)
Kirk about the gym "How long has this been here?"
Tracy "Why would any woman cheat on you?" (High sarcasm) Kirk "Thanks Tracy!!!"

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What's your favourite period in Corrie history?

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2014.)

Is it true to say that things ain't what they used to be? I've always thought so where Coronation Street is concerned. 

I comment (moan) quite frequently about many aspects of modern day Corrie, quite often using examples from the past to highlight a decline in standards however I'm starting to wonder if I'm right.

I watch a lot of old Corrie episodes mainly due to a lack of other decent telly these days. My box sets and the glories of Youtube often keep me entertained. However, I realise it would be rash to make such a blanket statement about Corrie "then" versus Corrie "now". 

For every Stan and Hilda there's a Chalkie and Craig Whitely, although they did give us the wonderful Phyllis Pearce. For every Eddie Yeats there's a Brian Tilsley and for every Suzie Birchall there's a Susan Barlow (you know the one I mean). 

The sixties, seventies and eighties had as many mistakes and dodgy storylines as we've all suffered through in more recent times. How many of us reminisce over the likes of Lionel Petty, Granny Hopkins or any of the Clayton family? Yes recent times have given us the awful Mortons and those bookies (I can't even remember their names), but we've also had Graeme Proctor, Beth Tinker and Kylie Platt. 

For me there have been two periods when Corrie seemed to go from strength to strength. The show certainly seemed to be firing on all cylinders between 1976 and 1983. It had strong characters, brilliant writing and a seamless blend of moving, poignant drama and wonderful, beautifully played comedy. 

Much later, I think the period from 2003 to 2007 was also a delight. The nature of any long running show is that it will have peaks and troughs. I think we're somewhere in the middle at the moment. The Roy and Hayley story showed that the writers and actors can still raise their game when it matters. However the weeks following Hayley's sad demise seemed like a different show in many respects. 

I'm not sure Corrie will ever see the likes of Pat Phoenix, Doris Speed or Jean Alexander again, but that doesn't mean it won't go on entertaining us for years to come. 

So what was your favourite period in Coronation Street history and why? And how do you think it compares to the Corrie of 2014?

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Coronation Street Chit-Chat: Corrie news catch-up

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

Here we go with Coronation Street chit-chat, a catch-up of some of the shorter news stories that haven't made it into their own blog post. 

And so, here we go.

Current Corrie cast 
Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor) is not gay. Got that? Not. Gay.

Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) would like to be Peter Barlow.

Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre) says she won't be appearing on any reality TV shows when she leaves Corrie. But she does eat chips for breakfast. And she's a bit worried about looking too tanned for her Corrie corpse.

Ex Corrie cast
Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper) joins the BUPA Great Manchester Run
Nigel Havers (Lewis the cad) starring in The Importance of Being Earnest on stage.
Oliver Mellor (Dr Carter) starring in All Creatures Great and Small on stage.
Bruce Jones (Les Battersby) to star in new film.
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Sunday 20 April 2014

Sunday Comments - April 20

A bad, busy day couldn't come at a worse time when Carla's trying to tell Peter she's pregnant and everything keeps going wrong. Kirk loses the keys to the van and a delivery is late, Eva comes in the office without knocking and they all get an ear bashing from Carla who's on edge. Rob helps out while Peter's missing at a meeting and then trying to get 5 minutes from an insistent Tina and Peter's not too pleased to see Rob there when he runs out on Tina after a crisis text from the factory. Finally, Carla gets to tell him the news and boy, is he shocked. In the end, though, Peter feels bad that he wasn't there for Carla to lean on.

He's ok, with it, though, and supportive. It's a lot to get his head around. She's scared of it all but it looks like he's going to be supportive. He really does love her and this probably puts it all in perspective. Tina was a mistake. She doesn't realize it yet. Why on earth would she go charging towards he and Carla in the middle of the street? And she keeps shadowing Peter but he's avoiding her.

And no wonder Tina was so anxious to see Peter! He really should just have turned off his phone! And trotting out that old excuse about an AA friend? Surely Carla would remember he used the same one on Leanne when he was seeing her. Anyway now Tina thinks she's pregnant too! If you think he was shocked before, I think Peter needs new shorts after this! That's tipped him over the edge into a panic attack and right into a bottle. I don't suppose you can blame him! Steve has to rescue Peter and of course, Steve and his bright ideas, he figures it's better to keep Peter out of Carla's way so they end up in a room over the pub together. And another cat's out of the bag because he told Steve about Tina.

Steve covered Peter's backside over the drinking but there's still the little matter of the big secret that Steve now knows. But it was funny, the scenes between the two of them in the B and B! And again, Michelle, angry as a wet hen and under normal circumstances, she should be but still over the top treating Steve like a child, dragging him down the street by his ear. HIS EAR!!! Even Liz noticed. OH I hope i live to see the day when he tosses her out on her backside!!

Is Tina pregnant or not? She was determined to wave that stick under Peter's nose (ew) Meanwhile he's shaking for the need of a drink after his bender. Well Tina's not pregnant and Peter dumped her. Her attitude was basically bullying Peter and he took the grown-up stance. He was right, though, there was more to her possible pregnancy than just the two of them. She wouldn't have to give this one away. But the speech he made to her, about not thinking he would be any good going through fatherhood again, he didn't want it again, and he knows Carla's pregnant but Tina doesn't. When she finds that out, she's really not going to take that or the rejection lying down, little madam. A woman scorned is a dangerous thing. And Peter better get that used pregnancy test out of the way quick, like, before Carla gets home.

Julie's still running around trying to figure out charity events. Her idea is a ladies' night at the Bistro with sexy outfit exchanges (yeah, that's good, considering how different in sizes they all are) and an auction and Roy thinks a sponsored walk is good, too. Ladies' Night wasn't all that raucous, I thought. One man in the place, Kal, and he wasn't even mobbed!

Stella is leaving for New York and Eva's narked she told Leanne first, feeling abandoned. even worse, she's leaving in 2 days and her mother's going to the other side of the ocean. Ok, Eva's upset and she's a right to be but Stella did handle it badly. Nice that Dev came to say goodbye. And nice serenade, though, a chorus or two of New York, New York. Now Eva and Leanne are moving in together over the kebab shop and Eva's already got suspicions about Leanne and Kal. Nick has noticed something, too. UH OH. Eva nosed in and tried to get info out of Sharif. This is going to end in tears, isn't it? And Nick is uttering so many Soap Opera Phrases of Doom, that when he does find out Kal fancies Leanne and she fancies him, he's going to hit the mother of backslides into that wild and crazy guy he was after the accident, it's still there lurking just under the surface.

The gym is opening thanks to the miracle builders. First one through the door is Norris for the free coffee. Deja Vu (When Rob took over the Bookies'). Jason suggested Roy could join the gym. Now *that* I'd love to see!! The gym does look nice.

Sally's spying on Sophie and Maddie wherever she can and isn't pleased that Kevin ended up giving Sophie cash because Maddie will get her mitts on it. the only fun part of this storyline is watching Sally go spare. Kevin was good with Sophie and was understanding but he was right, they shouldn't be lying to Sally. I do love that Maddie can wind up Sally so easily. Bluntly, too. Tim had to admit that it was Maddie that beat him up so that Sally wouldn't hold it against him for knowing about Sophie and Maddie and not telling her. Lesser of two evils, I guess. Well, she's driving Maddie out and Sophie into a 12 year old's temper tantrum.

Rob and Tracy's 6 months rent-free is over and Peter upped their rent by a considerable amount more than he probably originally intended. Gives Rob more reason to dislike Peter, I guess. Now they're going to get into a deal with Tony? That's got to be bad news. I can't blame Peter for wanting Rob to start paying rent. He owns the shop, he's got a mortgage and taxes to pay. It was the deal in the first place, after all.

Aw, i think Roy must realize money's tight at the Windasses too, bringing over leftover food. Beth seemed to bounce back from the ego kicking. She's going to spend the money on herself. But she did take it personally that someone asked her to join the gym. They're asking everyone, luv!

Owen wants to do extra work on the side. Turns out the Council has blacklisted him and that's another reason to blame Gary because Owen is sure it's another one of Phelan's interferences. You can see Phelan is absolutely delighted at all the trouble he's causing Owen. And money is already tight so Tim ends up having to stump up all the money for Faye's trip, with Sally helping of course. Anna appeals to Valerie who is a right cold hearted bitch isn't she? Even when Anna said Phelan was flirting with her, it didn't phase Valerie who knew about Gary attacking Pat and really, she couldn't care less about him chasing Anna. I bet he does stuff like that all the time. I keep thinking that if Phelan ends up dead, it will be at Val's hand.

Gail has to id from photos and is reliving it all. I laughed at Kylie pointing out how she got through all those horrific things in her past like a murdered husband, Hillman and being banged up for allegedly murdering Joe McIntyre! She identified the guy, though, just the same. Kylie's been great with Gail.

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The faces of Corrie in 1982

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

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next 10 weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.

In 1982, 104 episodes were broadcast.

1. Len Fairclough (80 episodes)
2. Elsie Tanner (75 episodes)
3. Annie Walker (74 episodes)
4. Eddie Yeats (71 episodes)
5. Hilda Ogden (70 episodes)
6. Bet Lynch (68 episodes)
7. Ken Barlow (66 episodes)
8. Ivy Tilsley (66 episodes)
9. Fred Gee (66 episodes)
10. Rita Fairclough (66 episodes)
11. Mike Baldwin (65 episodes)
12. Mavis Riley (64 episodes)

Average age: 51

Note: This is a significant year for the top 12. Both Annie and Len make their last appearances, having appeared for 22 and 21 years respectively. Len also holds the record for holding the top spot – eleven times! In 1975, the top spot was tied between Len, Ray and Bet – 84 episodes each.

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