Saturday, 31 May 2014

Conversation Street podcast 96

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, Peter gives into temptation and drinks. Marcus gives into temptation and succumbs to Todd's dubious charms. Maria tries to tempt Tyrone. There's another interview with Mark Grant of the Downeast Streeters talking about Jimmi Harkishin's recent visit to Canada as well.

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The faces of 2000

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 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 2000, 216 episodes were broadcast.

1. Gail Platt (144 episodes)
2. Janice Battersby (143 episodes)
3. Natalie Barnes (137 episodes)
4. Martin Platt (131 episodes)
5. Linda Sykes/Baldwin (122 episodes)
6. Sarah Platt (120 episodes)
7. Mike Baldwin (116 episodes)
8. Steve McDonald (110 episodes)
9. Jim McDonald (108 episodes)
10. Tyrone Dobbs (107 episodes)
11. Duggie Ferguson (103 episodes)
12. Toyah Battersby (98 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Vera Duckworth and Geena Gregory fail to make the top 12, but they also appear in 98 episodes

Average age: 34

Note: To date, this is the last time Jim, Linda and Natalie appear in the top 12

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Friday, 30 May 2014

Sneak Preview for Canadian Corrie June 2 - 6

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

Fiz suspects Tyrone and Maria falling nicely into Maria's plans but when Fiz calls the offending phone, Maria's world falls apart. Will Tyrone and Fiz press charges? Rob comes to a conclusion about Tina and Peter. Will he get the chance to tell Carla? Tony and Tracy do a deal. Peter makes promises he can't keep. Tracy and Rob's engagement party is the scene for secrets to come out. Jason becomes boss of the builder's yard. Kal and Leanne inch closer together. Owen surprises Anna but it brings back bad memories for her.

For more details and photos, visit the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Mary gets new motorhome on Coronation Street

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

There are soap websites out there in the interwebnet that bring you pictures of Michelle Keegan in her bikini. There are pictures of Eva Price's cleavage. But no, not us.  We bring fans the news they desperately, ahem, crave and are therefore happy to report that Mary is going to get a new motorhome in Coronation Street.  Heck,yeah.

Mary's new motorhome is going to be an Auto-Trail Frontier Scout motorhome, supplied by Crewe-based dealer, Spinney Motorhomes. It is the second time Spinney Motorhomes has supplied a ’van for use by  Mary, who is played by Patti Clare. The first was in 2011.  The new motorhome is due to hit our screens in April.

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Fab Photo - Chesney and the Quo

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

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. To older folk like me it doesn't seem that long ago since Status Quo graced the hallowed cobbles of Coronation Street but just look at how young Chesney is in this photo. There's a very good 'behind the scenes' documentary about Francis and Rick's time on Corrie in this DVD.

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

When a Welshman went to Weatherfield

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

Despite it being a dull and dreary day, nothing could dampen my excitement at going on the Coronation Street Tour on Wednesday, 23rd of April. I went with my friends Scott, Mostyn and Gwenfair, who are also fans of Coronation Street and set off from North Wales. Our tour was at 14:20, so we arrived in Manchester around 11:00 and with time to spare, we went to visit The People’s Museum which is down the road from Granada Studios. The museum told the story of the development of democracy in Britain – from the common man getting the vote to women getting the vote after fighting for so long. It also depicts the story of the socialist life of the North West of England and there’s a close link there to Coronation Street. After all, that was Tony Warren’s aim when creating the programme – the story of the ordinary folk of working class Northern England.

We then went for lunch at an Italian restaurant before walking to the studios, the four of us buzzing as we saw signs guiding us there. We were given our backstage passes and while we waited, we sat in the café and watched Coronation Street: A Moving Story that was on TV there. On the foyer to the café, you can see photos of classic Corrie characters like Alf and Audrey, the snug trio and Bet and Alec.

We then began our tour, led by our tour guide Andy, a true Lancastrian! Starting off in the green room, we then commenced through the corridor of stars that again had photos (some I hadn’t seen before) on the wall of the likes of Elsie, Betty and Len Fairclough, Ray Langton and Jerry Booth. Our next stop was the make-up and costume department which was also very interesting and we got to see Rita’s clothes – some of them dating back to her shoulder-padded years in the 1980s!

After watching a five minute film of the history of Corrie, we then went to see the interior sets. I had heard they were small, but I didn’t realise they were that small. It was Gail’s house that shocked me to be honest! We then saw Martha Fraser’s barge and the attention to detail was incredible – from the mugs to Ken’s kimono! There were various props on display as well, from Deirdre’s glasses to Elsie Tanner’s handbag and red telephone. It was a shame that we couldn’t take photos inside!

Then we entered the Rovers interior set, which again was really small and I found it hard to believe that they can fit in so many characters onto the set when there’s a party or even a Christmas episode! One of the highlights of course was getting our photo taken behind the bar, with me doing a landlord pose! To think that the likes of Betty, Bet Lynch and the Duckworths had stood behind that bar. It’s incredible.

Andy then showed us the Duckworths set and he emphasised how every set represents the characters that live in that house. There was the bar in the corner and Jack’s stuffed pigeon and a Charles and Diana tea-towel. While telling us about the history of the house, Andy said that Ken and Valerie Barlow lived there, but incorrectly stated that Valerie was electrocuted there. They had actually moved from No.9 in 1968 into the newly built maisonettes across the road and that was where Val died. It was Val’s death that resulted in the maisonettes being demolished in 1971. I know, I’m a Corrie anorak! He also incorrectly stated that Tyrone had married Kirsty, but they didn’t! We then visited the Underworld set and what was great was as we entered, Mike Baldwin’s voice thundered over us. Andy then told us some interesting facts about the set as he did with every other.

Then we reached the crescendo. With the Corrie theme tune trumpeting over us, the door of Nick’s Bistro opened to the nation’s favourite street. And what a thrill it was. As I stepped onto the cobbles, I was in total awe. As I walked, Vic Damone’s number one song from 1956 (written by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner for the musical My Fair Lady) came to my mind:

I have often walked down this street before,
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before
All at once am I, several storeys high,
Knowing I’m on the street where you* live. 
*Corrie characters

And then I began to quote Mel Hutchwright, played by Ian McKellen:

“Inhaling this Northern air, and the cobbles, and the pigeons…I see the history of generations; what countless shoes have worn these cobbles down, what were their owner’s thoughts, their lives.”

Our first stop was a photo outside The Kabin and then we went around the set taking photos of the street and the Rovers and then over to Roy’s Rolls. Another thrill, which my friend Gwenfair hadn’t realised, was going round the back to the ginnel and entering the Rovers backyard and were startled when Blanche started talking! As we walked through the ginnel, the voices of Hilda Ogden, Fred Elliott and Norris echoed across the cobbles.

As we talked Welsh to each other, one of the tour guides came over and asked where we came from. When we said North Wales, he spoke Welsh to us and it turned out that he came from the same town as us. But we didn’t know him as he had left Llanrwst for Manchester 16 years ago. He said that he had been an extra on the show once and when he saw an advert asking for tour guides, he jumped at the chance. It was a really odd occurrence seeing him! 

Before setting off home, we visited the gift shop and bought a few bars of chocolate and a souvenir key-ring. For those of you interested in Corrie memorabilia, the shop sold various Corrie mugs, bags, ornaments, coasters and books. 

We drove home towards North Wales with beaming smiles on all our faces. It was an incredible day – our dreams had come true! We had a lot of fun as well which made the visit extra special!

If you are considering coming for a visit, I would urge you to go! It really is magical! 

If you are on Facebook, you can see more of my photos here

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The Faces of Corrie in 1999

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 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 1999, 210 episodes were broadcast.

1. Leanne Tilsley (149 episodes)
2. Ashley Peacock (144 episodes)
3. Gail Platt (142 episodes)
4. Janice Battersby (139 episodes)
5. Mike Baldwin (138 episodes)
6. Natalie Barnes (136 episodes)
7. Sally Webster (135 episodes)
8. Audrey Roberts (134 episodes)
9. Linda Sykes (129 episodes)
10. Rita Sullivan (123 episodes)
11. Fred Elliott (122 episodes)
12. Maxine Heavey/Peacock (121 episodes)

Average age: 39 

Note: To date, this is the last time Rita makes an appearance in the top 12 after 20 years. This is the only time Ashley and Maxine make an appearance in the top 12

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Michelle's Memory Game

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

It must be great being Michelle Connor.  You're the centre of the universe.  Your boyfriend exists only to indulge your every whim.  Your best friend is having a terrible time of it at the moment, which allows you to be judgmental and sanctimonious.  And you have your own pub.  Really, life couldn't be better.

In fact, Michelle is even able to rewrite her entire past and convince herself that it's true.  On Monday's Corrie she launched into a tender, emotional soliloquy about how wonderful it was to have a baby.  How beautiful it was for her and Dean to spot the little spot of genetic material that was Ryan on the screen.  It was all so lovely, she teared up.

Except that wasn't Ryan, was it Michelle?  You might have forgotten, but we haven't.  We lived through the interminable, never-ending baby swap storyline of 2008.  We endured the weeks of gut wrenching emotion and people locking themselves in the back room of the Rovers and clandestine visits in manky cafes.  We put up with every tedious second of it and we don't appreciate it being swept under the carpet.  Yes, it was a horrible, misguided storyline that would probably have been best off not happening.  Doesn't matter.  It did happen, and Corrie's continued insistence that it didn't is a source of constant frustration, and the cause of many Gogglebox-esque shouts at the TV.  Over and over.

Michelle: "Oh, I do miss my Ryan now he lives abroad."

Viewers: "Go and see your other son!"

Michelle: "It was lovely holding my baby for the first time."

Viewers: "That wasn't your son!"

Michelle: "Let's have a family holiday - me and Steve and Ryan and Amy."

Viewers: "WHAT ABOUT ALEX?!?"

Poor Alex has just vanished without trace.  The last we heard of him Michelle was taking him to meet his grandparents in Ireland, which implies he was being welcomed into the bosom of the family.  Then: nothing. He just vanished.  This psychologically unbalanced, emotional young man who was deeply attached to Michelle after the disappearance of his own mother was never mentioned again.  Where is he?  Did he just give up?  Similarly, Ryan spent weekends with his biological father for a while: that all went out the window. When he went off the rails with drugs and dropping out and all sorts, his father was nowhere to be seen. Wouldn't a quiet word from him have helped?

It makes Michelle seem like even more of a bitch than she already is.  It's hard for her to spout truisms about "families" and to criticise Tracy Barlow's mothering skills when she has a son she doesn't give a monkeys about.  I accept that Ryan is her "real" son, in the sense that he's the one she looked after his whole life, but Alex is her biological son, a legacy of her relationship with The Sainted Dean.  And he needs a mum.

I'm not particularly keen for Alex to come back because, as I said, the whole storyline was incredibly dull. But it would be nice for Michelle to acknowledge it now and then.  Perhaps a little "Ryan's off being a DJ in the Med, and my other son Alex moved to Australia to study."  Or, "I know how you feel, Gail; my son Alex turned out to be a dangerous psychopath and has been locked up in a secure institution for the rest of his life."  Or "I think of Alex sometimes, since he was killed in that terrible exploding sofa accident while I was on my cruise."  Nothing much.  Just a bit of closure.

I'm guessing that in Michelle's world she just lost interest in him.  And since the Earth revolves around her, that's all she needs.

See also: Rewind on Ryan Connor

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Does familiarity breed contempt on Corrie?

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

While browsing on Digital Spy this morning, I came across an article about the cast of Eastenders getting their photo taken. While I’ve never watched Eastenders, I was always familiar with the characters and would tune in if the episode was exciting. But looking at today’s cast photo I was shocked to see how little of them I actually recognised. The only familiar faces I knew included Dot Cotton, Ian Beale, Phil Mitchell and Sharon Watts. Gone were the likes of Frank and Pat Butcher, Pauline Fowler and Peggy Mitchell to name a few. It suddenly hit me how the show has changed in the last 10 years, not to mention since it began back in 1985. Out of the original cast, only Ian Beale remains.

This got me thinking about Corrie and its cast. The show has been fortunate, or you may think it’s unfortunate, to have cast members that have been with the show for many years. While Ken Barlow of course has been in the show since the beginning, and Emily isn’t far behind him, many others have given a long and loyal service to the show. Rita, Deirdre and Gail have been in the show for 40 years while others like Audrey, Kevin, Sally and Steve have been in the show for 25 to 30 years. Other current characters like Roy, Norris, Tyrone, Maria, Fiz and Dev have also been in the show for many years.

Coronation Street has always had long running characters with even legendary names like Hilda Ogden, Bet Lynch, Elsie Tanner and Annie Walker appearing on the show for over 20 years. Others include the Duckworths, Alf Roberts, Betty Turpin, Mike Baldwin and Mavis Wilton.

I believe for a show to succeed, and Corrie has succeeded (we can’t argue with that), it should embrace change but also keep those familiarities. Over the years, if you popped in and out of Corrie, you were always assured that when you returned, Betty would be dishing out hotpot and Rita would be serving behind the Kabin counter. I think that’s one of the things that attracts me to Corrie – that sense of history and familiarity. 

While other soaps have had huge cast changes over the years, Corrie has always maintained and kept its old guard. But, in recent years we have lost some long servers and over the next decade or so we will lose others. But I think we should be grateful that we have had them for so long!

So what do you think? Are you glad that there are so many familiar faces still in Corrie? Or do you welcome more new faces? Does familiarity breed contempt?

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Isn't it time we met Myrtle Cole?

Our blogger Graeme asked a while ago if it was time to meet Blanche Hunt's sister Beryl.  And while we're on about bringing in characters we've heard of but not seen, how about bringing in Myrtle Cole?  Myrtle who? I hear you say!

Actress Janet Wright
Last week on Coronation Street Norris told Rita that he had two failed marriages behind him.  I could only remember one - Angela - who also married Norris' friend Derek, or Dirk as he used to call him.  But I couldn't remember Norris having a wife before Angela and so I posted the query to twitter.  The answer came in from Coronation Street fan @AlistairGeddes who told me that Norris was once married to Myrtle, before he wed Angela and before he appeared on Corrie.

Corriepedia confirms this about Myrtle and as I can't find anything about Myrtle having passed away, how graet would it be for her to pop back into Norris' life?  And how about if Rita got jealous with the attention that Norris was bestowing on his ex-wife? Just a thought!

Alistair also says on twitter that he'd love Canadian based actress Janet Wright to play Myrtle.

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The Faces of Corrie in 1998

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 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 1998, 208 episodes were broadcast.

1. Leanne Battersby/Tilsley (128 episodes)
2. Alec Gilroy (125 episodes)
3. Les Battersby (122 episodes)
4. Janice Battersby (121 episodes)
5. Gail Platt (120 episodes)
6. Sally Webster (117 episodes)
7. Natalie Horrocks/Barnes (116 episodes)
8. Jim McDonald (114 episodes)
9. Kevin Webster (114 episodes)
10. Vera Duckworth (112 episodes)
11. Toyah Battersby (111 episodes)
12. Greg Kelly (111 episodes)

Average age: 37 

Note: This is the last time Vera and Alec appear in the top 12 and the only time Greg does

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Monday, 26 May 2014

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards: May 19 - 23

Personal Trainer award: Mary!

History re-write award: When Jason first came to Weatherfield he was training to run in the Commonwealth Games. He didn't run in the 5K race. I guess that's been buried in the past.

Competitive award: Mary does have that drive to be the best, but it's Monopoly, Chess or crossword puzzles (and entering competitions!)

Job Seeker's Allowance award: Well, if Dennis, a pensioner, seems to feel he must have a job, why isn't he claiming unemployment benefits while he works? I will tell you why. He's drawing a flaming pension!

Musical ambience award: "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" playing when Tim is trying to woo Sally back.

No pressure there, then: Peter's not even back home 5 minutes but Tina's in his face.

War Brewing award: Jenna and Andrea are loading and firing at each other, snarky looks and veiled remarks. It hasn't gone unnoticed.

Fraternity award: Lloyd and Steve. Brothers from different mothers.

Tattle tales award: Izzy "borrowed" the charity money. Sally told Carla and Katy told Gary.

Lines of the week:
Steve "Don't be all stick and no carrot!" Michelle "You just forget about your carrot"
Norris to Dennis "If you're looking for a horoscope, I'll save you the trouble. Your future's not looking rosy"
Mary "Stirring sight, isn't it? A sort of lycra-clad microchasm of society united by a common purpose" Eileen "I was thinking the same thing"
Tim "I'm mot feckless, I'm  just a little disorganized at times"
Anna "OUR WASHING MACHINE'S BROKEN!!" Roy "I don't think this is about a defunct appliance"
Carla "Thing is about addicts, they lie like other people breathe"
Michelle "Steve eithout Lloyd is like Turner without Hooch"
Maddie to Sally "I think I prefer it when you're slagging me off cause it's less creepy"
Lloyd about Andrea "It's going to take more than a pathetic heart to come between us" (classic Phrase of Doom and it could be Jenna that does  the coming between if her reaction is anything to go by)
Lloyd "Get some rest...with Ali and Forman slugging it out over me?"
Sally about Tim "He called me a snob! Can you believe that!!?" (Sean certainly can)

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Character appearances on Corriepedia.

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

For those of you who've been following my series of blog posts about the top 12 faces of Corrie, you'll be interested to know that over on Corriepedia they've been using the data that I've collected (and sent to them) to make a full list of character appearances for every year. And that's every main character from 1960 onwards. 

So if you want to know how episodes did Ena Sharples appear in 1976 or how many did Maria appear in 2002, well Corriepedia's the place to go.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Tomlinson, who's one of the editors of Corriepedia, for all his hard work in compiling these lists. Over the last few months we've been corresponding regularly if my posts needs editing!

I hope John doesn't mind, but I'd like to quote what he told me in an e-mail in February about the special relationship (as Churchill once said) that Corriepedia has with us here at the Coronation Street Blog. And I have to say they're my sentiments exactly:

"Can I...take this opportunity to congratulate you on the Coronation Street Blog and thank you for your work there? Many, many times we've used you as a resource for information as you're comprehensive, accurate and a mine of information on the development of the show and its associated spin-offs. I just wish you'd been going and had an archive since 1960!! You're also just great fun to read which is also a blessing! I think we complement each other in an unintended way - you're on the case as regards the future of the programme as well as its present form (and some of the past, mainly through [Llifon's] postings) and we're solidly in the past, filling in those gaps because there hasn't been the web since 1960 and because the sheer volume of data precludes anything like us being available in book form. A huge interest for me is that it's also uncharted territory: we've uncovered some facts that even the production office don't hold, such as repeat information and the like. Finding such things out is time-consuming but great fun and I'm sure you get the same kick out of your endeavours. We're also a little dry and factual whereas you bring out the fun in being a Corrie watcher!"

I would also like to thank David McGowan, who is the creator of Corriepedia, for his hard work in creating a haven for Corrie fans! No other soap opera (I believe) has an encyclopedia of its history and I for one love to browse through various episode synopses or character profiles. And thank you also to all the contributors to the site - you're work is much appreciated! 

To see the character appearances lists, click here. The link takes you to 'Coronation Street in 1960' and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can pick and choose the particular year you want. There's also an arrow if you want to skip a decade. 

I hope you've enjoyed the series of posts as much as I have been compiling them. And in case you missed any of them, you can see the whole series here.

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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Fat Brenda missed off list of Sexiest 100 Women in the World

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

Coronation Street cab operative Fat Brenda has been missed out again in the rankings for the Sexiest 100 Women in the World.

Corrie's Michelle Keegan  is the highest ranking British name in the list, and is runner-up overall.  If you care about such things, the list is here.

We contacted Fat Brenda for a quote but she was drowning her sorrows with a cup of Mellow Birds and a Dunhill.   Follow her on the tweeter at @fatbrenda.

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Lloyd's beard - Yay or Nay?

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

I know he's had a heart attack and he's not well in hospital and all that, but the pressing question of the day is this, Corrie fans.  Lloyd's beard - Yay or Nay?

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Sunday Comments - May 25

It's the day of the fun run and Steve and Lloyd haven't made peace between them and it only escalates through the day and through the race where they run elbow to elbow, bickering the whole way. They're so close that Lloyd trips over Steve's feet but is convinced Steve tripped him on purpose. It gives Steve the edge to pull ahead but when Lloyd crosses over the finish line, he charges Steve but then collapses with an apparent heart attack!!! Guilty, much, Steve?

Meanwhile, Andrea never did show up at the race, having given a somewhat less than convincing excuse. The next excuse about why she didn't get to the starting line didn't sound too convincing either. Lloyd is forgiving but Jenna isn't. Eileen doesn't seem to trust her either though she's not quite so vocal about it. Lloyd's having a rough week, too. You don't just get over it and in fact it's well known that after a first heart attack the next 24 to 48 hours are the most likely time you'll have another if you're going to and it seems he almost did, though it was angina.

Now Lloyd has to clean up his act. No smoking, sensible drinking, healthy diet. He doesn't look too happy about it. And I wonder how long it will be before Jenna and Andrea wage full out war because the snarky looks and veiled remarks are escalating. He's noticed, too. Jenna's made no bones that she doesn't like Andrea. But there's something about Andrea and she looked quite distressed after that text in hospital.

Steve's offering to give up the booze to help Lloyd. Thanksfully, Lloyd won't take him up on it but it did serve to add to the bond between them when Steve referred to him as a brother. Awwww.

The fun run was great, otherwise. Mary was "training" Dev and was hugely excited and proud when he crossed the finish line. I laughed when they hugged and then pulled apart, looking uncomfortable. Yes. Well. Even Gail ran the 5K!! I am surprised Jason didn't, though. He used to be a runner when he first came to the Street.

Izzy is in charge of the charity money. Izzy is broke and all the bills are outstanding. All that charity cash is tempting. Just to get through to payday, right? But will she get the cash from Gary before the girls want the charity money counting? Make it even worse, The newspaper is setting up a photo op and Izzy clearly looks nervous. They didn't show her taking it but it's clear she did and she's busted. Terrified she'll lose not just her mates but her job. She even sidelined the newspaper person and now Sally's tattled to Carla and Katy's tattled to Gary. Carla didn't sack her yet and i wouldn't. I'd keep her on and take the money out of her wages.

Anna's still pulling away from Owen who's still baffled. She's pretending it's just because she's working two jobs and trying to hold the family together. She can't take the pressure. He isn't convinced that's all it is. We know there's more to it than that. It's guilt. Pure and simple. Katy already knows there's a problem and Izzy has her suspicions that it's to do with Phelan. Anna really is stretched on her last nerve and she's snapping and screaming at everyone!

Owen thinks he has to sell the business and the flat. And with the state Anna's in and all the pressure she's under, he thinks because of him and Gary, he's definitely going to sell up. Jason says he doesn't have any money. I guess he burned through the money he made selling Julie the flat. Spent it on his own freelance business i suppose and on the gym refit. I'd really love to see Jason own the business! He could hire Tim back on too!

It's giving Tony ideas, though. He's making Owen an offer but it isn't a good one. It's an insulting one but Owen might not have a choice.

It's Hayley's birthday this week and Roy is having a clear out of all her old brochures and travel magazines and catalogues. Roy is starting to notice that Anna is troubled and it's about more than the defunct appliance. Roy really showed a breakthrough reaching out to Anna as a friend. He even offered a loan but as we all know, it's not really about that, is it? She says she's going to tell Owen. Will she? It won't be easy. And with Owen in a bad mood over Tony's offer and knowing he's probably going to have to take it, and then Izzy arriving in tears,  the timing wasn't right.

Sally feels stunned that Tim left her. Shocked that Tim called her a snob. I don't know how Sean and Julie kept a straight face! Jason thinks Tim should apologize and suck up. Tim isn't sure it would work. Let me tell you, in many cases, sucking up does work. It did in this case. They do still have a lot of feeling for each other. At least it only lasted 10 minutes before they were bickering again about instant mashed potatoes and a broken dish!

Meanwhile, Maddie is having a tougher than usual week, her little brother is leaving today and chances are they won't get to see each other very often. Let's hope t'internet works! Sophie's got a laptop so with any luck, Ben's foster parents will as well. Sally was kind to her, at least and Maddie responded.

Rita might say Dennis staying on her couch is temporary but he's been there a week or more. She looks conflicted. As i said earlier, sucking up often works. Dennis brings flowers and begs her to take him back. I still can't figure out why he's so broke and why he should have a job when he must get a pension. Begging doesn't seem to really do it. He broke their trust and really shattered it and there's not a lot he can do to fix that. Sucking up isn't going to fix this one. She wants him gone but she does admit to Norris she's worried about him and feels like a fool for still loving him. She doesn't see much left for her at her age.

Carla's worried sick about Peter and doesn't know what the future is going to hold for him. And he's home by Friday, fixed or not. Tina seems to be Carla's go-to shoulder these days, ironically. Carla needs to go to Al-Anon for family support, that's what she needs. She finally made Tina realize how serious it is, too, and she thinks she pushed too much stress on Peter. Deirdre's sympathetic to Carla's plight and defended Peter strongly to Rob and now an engagement party is in the works.

Peter is back and says he's learned. Says he's feeling stronger and better but who sticks her face in the mix? That's right, Tina. Adding pressure. Nice one. And now Simon's avoiding him. That's even worse. Peter's feeling very sorry for himself.

Tina saves the day, again, and brings Simon to him. She keeps finding ways of insinuating herself in his life yet she was worried his crash and burn was her fault for putting extra pressure on him. She's continuing to do exactly that. She can't help herself. Peter's going to have a hard time winning Simon's confidence again.  She finally admitted to Peter that she is not making anymore demands. She's backing off and he needs to get himself well.

Meanwhile, Tracy's being her usual obnoxious self. She doesn't hesitate to rile Tina up whenever she can. Rob tries to be peacemaker but I think down deep he enjoys the conflict some of the time. Just doesn't like it when she goes too far. So much for all Rob's insistence on keeping things above board while he's on parole. Is he not anymore? Because he doesn't seem to have nearly as many doubts working with dodgey Tony. Tracy has decided to have her engagement party in the Rovers after all, just to show off in front of everyone.

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Coronation Street wins nine gongs at British Soap Awards 2014

Well done to Coronation Street who have won nine awards at the British Soap Awards 2014.

The event was held at the Hackney Empire in London on Saturday 24 May and will be screened on ITV at 8.15pm on Sunday 25 May.

Corrie's awards came in as follows:

Best Actor - David Neilson (Roy Cropper)
Best Dramatic Performance - David Neilson (Roy Cropper)
Best Actress - Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper).
Best On-Screen Partnership - Roy and Hayley Cropper
Best Single Episode - Hayley's death
Best Storyline - Hayley's cancer
Best Comedy Performance - Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald)
Sexiest Female - Michelle Keegan

A special award for Outstanding Performance was presented to Helen Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre.

See also: Red carpet arrival pics of the Coronation Street cast

Read the full list of winners at the Radio Times.

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The Faces of Corrie in 1997

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 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 1997, 209 episodes were broadcast.

1. Kevin Webster (140 episodes)
2. Judy Mallett (122 episodes)
3. Sally Webster (121 episodes)
4. Jim McDonald (120 episodes)
5. Vera Duckworth (119 episodes)
6. Chris Collins (116 episodes)
7. Alec Gilroy (116 episodes)
8. Gary Mallett (116 episodes)
9. Rita Sullivan (116 episodes) 
10. Fiona Middleton (114 episodes)
11. Deirdre Rachid (112 episodes)
12. Samantha Failsworth (111 episodes)

Average age: 38 – this is the first time the average age of the top 12 is under 40. The average age drops from 51 to 38 in a year 

Note: To date, this is the last time Deirdre and Fiona appear in the top 12. And this is the only time Judy, Chris, Gary and Samantha appear in the top 12.

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Conversation Street podcast 95

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 Peter is back from rehab, Lloyd failed the fun run, Anna's reaching the breaking point, Roy extends the hand of friendship, Izzy resorted to desperate measures and we've been blessedly Maria-free. The character profile is classic Derek Wilton!

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Friday, 23 May 2014

Why Audrey will always be my Queen of the Street

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

I am unashamedly a massive fan of Audrey Roberts and the lady who brings her to life, the super Sue Nicholls. Audrey is for me the Queen of Coronation Street. Sue has been a part of Corrie since April 1979 and I hope she'll be on our screens for many more years to come.

I think one of the main reasons I love Audrey so much is that we've seen her character develop a great deal over the years. There is something satisfying about this progression that we rarely get in soap operas, as characters either always play to type or actors get fed up and leave. I've loved seeing Audrey develop from the flighty piece who neglected Gail and got up Ivy's nose, through her social climbing days as Alf's devoted wife to her current incarnation as doting gran, fierce defender of those she loves and wise counsellor to many.

Much of this is down to Sue Nicholls who plays Audrey so beautifully. Sue is undoubtedly a brilliant actress, equally at high drama (the Richard Hillman saga) tragedy (losing Alf and Alma) and comedy. Such diversity is becoming increasingly rare amongst today's crop of Corrie actresses.

I love the relationship between Audrey and daughter Gail. For an onscreen partnership to last so long is pretty rare and sometimes I wish they would exploit their rich history more often. I loved the now famous scenes of mother and daughter out power walking in the countryside and I hope the writers can come up with more in this vein. 

Audrey also has lovely relationships with several younger members of the Corrie cast - as we saw on Monday night with Maria. These scenes always feel more believable and less forced than the relationship Rita is supposed to have with Tina McIntyre. 

My one frustration with Audrey is that she always seems to feature in other characters stories these days rather than her own. There was a spell when she was quite prolific post-Hillman, mainly featuring in romantic storylines with the likes of Fred Elliott, Bill Webster, Archie Shuttleworth and of course Lewis Archer. An actress who can make even the awful Marc/Marcia story appear watchable is worth her weight in Corrie gold.

I think it would be nice to see Audrey appear in a storyline built around her for a change, and not necessarily involving a man. 

So do you agree that Audrey Roberts is a Corrie legend? What are your favourite Audrey moments? 

And what would you like to see her do next?

As Queen of the Street, I hope she reigns for a long time yet.

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Fab Photo - Deirdre's cakeface

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

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. I'm sure you've all seen this week's picture before but is it possible to have too much of a good  thing? Here's Deirdre with cake all over her face.

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There's something about Mary...

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

I am aware that I may be in the minority, when I praise Mary Taylor as one of my favourite characters  on Coronation Street. From my point of view, she lights up the screen and I am very ready to listen to her rather strange, even rather archaic way of expression.

So, I know some people despise her for cutting off the phone wires and saying, or rather lying to Norris,  that the motor-home would not start. And who can argue with that? She had got Norris on her own in Bronte country and maybe, and nothing is impossible, Mary had a rather distorted view of herself and Norris as a latter-day Cathy and Heathcliff.

Her first words to Hayley, when she was playing chess with Roy, were, 'I just mated your husband - twice.' Mary did develop feelings for Roy but soon realised that any attempt to have a relationship with Roy would be over before it had begun. Everyone, bar Mary knows how devoted he was to Hayley.

Now, having got most of the bad stuff out of the way, let's take a look at the good stuff. There is no doubt at all that Mary came to Dev's and his children's aid just at the point when he and they needed someone, after the death of Sunita. Mary was brilliant. Her 'weirdness' and her odd ways seemed to disappear when the need presented itself. She was cheerful, sensible, very kind, thoughtful, generous of time and spirit. It is worth remembering that Mary herself does not  have a family and though we can never say never, it seems unlikely that she will now. In caring for Dev's children, she didn't once try to smother them with her unfulfilled maternal instinct, rather she was sensitive to the children's and Dv 's needs and never once over-stepped the mark.

Some may complain that Mary did this in order to find her own sublimation; it satisfied a craving in her,  and so fundamentally it was a selfish act. My argument would be that you can say that about almost anyone. Doctors and nurses become who they train to be  because it satisfies them. It also heals the sick, which is a desirable outcome. People's motives are always questionable, but it matters not if the result benefits others.

Though things went a little awry when Mary introduced the theme nights at Roy's Rolls, the number of covers served on those nights were unarguably good. Her help too in The Kabin cannot be disregarded and though she may have thought that she would find a way in to Norris, even when she was rebuffed she continued to work. She has verve, energy, optimism  and a ceaseless interest in life. Not a bad achievement for a woman who as a girl was bullied physically and emotionally. You've got to hand it to her...

While helping to make jam for Hayley, shortly before Hayley's death, Mary takes on the might that is Emily Bishop.  'Emily claims to be a very experienced and much -praised jam maker. I too have links to the upper echelons of preserve production.' Mary tells all those involved that Emily is claiming that the jam-making is not competitive. Mary then says directly to Emily, 'And yet you've elbowed me in the ribs approximately four times.'

Interestingly, and adding depth to her character, Mary is not blind to the faults of her love object. Walking home one evening, back in February, Rob and Tracy were walking towards them and Tracy called out that they should be called Daffy and Donald. This insult spurs Norris on to reveal to Tracy that Rob kissed someone other than Tracy. Tracy becomes furious! At this reaction, Mary states to Norris, 'You have many endearing qualities, you are community-minded and very, very moral. You're a stickler for detail, the way you scrutinise the grammar on everything you read - it's absolutely fastidious.' That all said, she continues; she tells him that he's a 'despicable busy-body who delights in upset and distress and it's a very stupid man who will risk the wrath of Tracy Barlow.'  

Just this week at the charity race, Dev could not have had a keener supporter. 'Run Dev, run,' she shouts with real passion. Before the race she is stretching and manipulating his legs in preparation for his run and lists what she has brought to cover all eventualities - Deep Heat, vitamins, glucose drops, ankle supports and a first aid kit. A little over-prepared maybe but you can't fault the enthusiasm.

Finally, to strengthen Mary's case a little further, as the runners are in full swing Mary comments, 'A stirring sight, isn't it?  A sort of lycra-clad microcosm of society, united by a common purpose.'

Yes, Mary - it is. May you brighten our screens for many more episodes!

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Corrie look-a-like: Valerie Phelan and Eddie Windass

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

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between Valerie Phelan and Eddie Windass?  No? Oh, just me then!

For more daft Coronation Street look-a-likes, have a look-a-here.

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The Faces of Corrie in 1996

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in March 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 1996, 163 episodes were broadcast.

1. Vera Duckworth (114 episodes)
2. Liz McDonald (105 episodes)
3. Andy McDonald (102 episodes)
4. Jack Duckworth (100 episodes)
5. Ken Barlow (97 episodes)
6. Deirdre Rachid (94 episodes)
7. Rita Sullivan (92 episodes)
8. Bill Webster (92 episodes)
9. Don Brennan (90 episodes)
10. Jim McDonald (87 episodes)
11. Mavis Wilton (86 episodes)
12. Mike Baldwin (85 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Alma Baldwin, Fiona Middleton and Audrey Roberts fail to make the top 12, but they also appear in 85 episodes

Average age: 51

Note: This is the last time Mavis, Liz (to date), Jack and Don appear in the top 12 and the only time, to date, Andy and Bill appear

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The Roy and Anna Show

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

The death of Hayley was a momentous occasion in the world of Coronation Street, and rightly so.  A much-loved character breathed her last in heartbreaking, brilliantly acted scenes.

The moment that resonated with me the most in the whole episode, however, didn't involve Hayley or Roy; it involved Anna.  Arriving in the flat after Hayley had taken her lethal cocktail of drugs, Anna quietly picked up the glass she had used, washed it, and stowed it in the cupboard as if it had never been there.  She didn't say anything at all.  She just did it, understanding that she could help this horrible situation in a tiny way.

I loved that moment because it showed the essential good at the heart of Anna.  She can be misguided, a bit dodgy perhaps, and she's got terrible taste in men.  She's also saddled with a pretty annoying family.  But Anna herself - she's just a lovely lady, doing her best to get through life.  The whole Phelan saga has been something of a slog for me; I find it very hard to sympathise with Owen when he knew right from the off that Pat was dodgy as hell.  Even now I can't work out why he's selling the yard (which he can use for his business) and not Tina's flat (which is probably worth a lot more and is just a bit of property).  Anna has remained a centre at it all; watching her quietly collapse - and then sell herself for the good of her family - is devastating.

And that's why I really enjoyed her almost, but not quiet, confession to Roy in last night's episode.  I was willing her to tell him what she did.  Of all the people on the Street, Roy is the one least likely to judge; he'd view her decision with cold hard logic and he'd try to help.  He wouldn't be moralistic.  He'd also see it as a fair exchange for when he confided Hayley's decision in her.  The moment when he described himself as Anna's friend was beautiful.

I hope this is how the storyline continues, with Anna and Roy's friendship developing and they try to work things through.  Those two characters talking in the cafe really touched me.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Reasons to be cheerful about Coronation Street

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

When fans aren't happy about Coronation Street, we like to make our views known.  And there's a lot to complain about right now, it's clear from blog posts left by very different membes of our team and from the comments left on the blog, our twitter and facebook page too.

But there's also a lot left to like.  And below are the reasons I continue to tune in, five times a week. 

What are yours?

Sally and Tim

Kirk and Beth and Craig

Rita (always)


Threesome in the cab office - Eileen, Steve and Lloyd


Roy and the cafe

Izzy and Gary - of which we see far too little. Mikey North who plays Gary is a star.


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