Tuesday, 9 December 2014

It's the little things

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2014, reposted with permission.)

Coronation Street turns 54 tomorrow. Another remarkable milestone for such a remarkable telly programme. Who would have thought all those years ago that Corrie would still be popular today and would have evolved into such a massive part of our culture. 

Although tomorrow's birthday does not match the achievement of turning 40 or reaching 50, every 9 December does still send a shiver down my spine as I think of that first, brilliant episode introducing us to the likes of Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples and Annie Walker. 

Coronation Street means many different things to each and every one of us, so here are just some of the thoughts it conjures up in me, hopefully showing how important it has been and continues to be in my life. For me it's the little things that make Corrie what it is.

The sound of Elsie Tanner's smoky, seductive voice. Annie Walker's withering looks from behind the Rovers bar. Carla Connor's effortless glamour. Sally Webster's snooty, snobbish ways, painfully aware that she'll never make it to Hale Barns.

The sound of the Corner Shop bell tinkling. Mike Baldwin's Jag snarling down the cobbles. Every cherished mention of Fat Brenda, always maddeningly absent from the switch. Deirdre's stuffed marrow and those much-missed belts - come back Deirdre, it's not the same without you!

Alma's turned up collars; Phyllis Pearce - that hair and that voice; Gail Potter and decades of misery. Hilda Ogden singing out of tune; Woman, Stanley, Woman!

The genius of David Neilson, crafting big performances out of nearly nothing at all. Betty Turpin walking out of the Rovers 47 times but always coming back. Ena Sharples sitting in judgement in the snug. 

Steve McDonald, from teenager to 40 and beyond. Rita Littlewood belting them out at t'Gatsby. Angie Freeman, a character ahead of her time. That Audrey Roberts noise and her decades of crying out "Oh Gail!"

Suzie Birchall's hot pants, Eddie Yeats' wooly hat, Deirdre's re-entry shields and Bet's beehive. It's not a smile, it's the lid on a scream...

But most of all, that theme tune. Those closing credits ushering out scenes of marriage, parties and jubilation, that sense of community. Or death and despair. Community again. The bad guy always meets his match. The good guy sometimes makes it, sometimes not. Sharing the joys of much loved characters and seeing off the villains. All forms of human life are there. 

Corrie has it's ups and downs like everything else in life. Despite it all, I'm just glad it's still there. I adore its rich history and I still revel in its success when it gets it right. Long may Weatherfield amuse us, make us cry, educate and entertain us. 

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