Wednesday 30 September 2015

CBC to broadcast Corrie for one hour on Oct. 13 #CorrieLive

On September 23 in the UK, Coronation Street broadcast as a one hour live episode. Our Canadian Corrie dates are a bit of a moving target at the moment, shifting to about 2 weeks and a bit behind. In Canada, the live episode would have aired on October 13 and 14, if CBC broke it up into two nights as they often do for one hour specials.

I'm just watching Corrie on CBC now and they had an ad for the one hour special on October 13 so they aren't breaking it up into two nights, we'll see it almost the way it was intended (but with more commercial breaks, unfortunately, than was in the original episode). Still, we can't complain! The episode is excellent and deserves to be broadcast as one hour as intended.

Thanks, CBC!

This episode will mainly bring us to the make-or-break for the Platts vs Callum and it really is true that lives will never be the same. Roy and Cathy come to an understanding, Sally and Tim's relationship changes and Lloyd and Andrea face the future.

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Join Corrie anniversary walk on soap's 55th birthday

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

In case any of you are in Manchester in December...

New Manchester Walks are offering a guided walk on December 9th, which is the date of the 55th birthday of Coronation Street.

It's the last chance to walk with New Manchester Walks around Central Manchester to hear the history of the programme and how it connected with the city - before the set gets demolished!

The tour is hosted by Ed Glinert who led the campaign to get the old Granada set re-opened and who is the only official Manchester guide with access to the new live set in Trafford Park (but not on this occasion) and who hosts events with the stars (with Kemptville Travel).

This tour ends at the re-opened set, but does not include entrance. 

Find out more here and book your place on this walk. 

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Deirdre Barlow named The Guardian's fashion muse

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

The Guardian today have an article entitled "The top 20 autumn fashion trends you need to know about".  Well, all I know is I'll be slapping on a cardi when it gets chilly, but if you're a fashionista then you might like to read it so you know what to wear.

Listed as a muse for autumn fashion is our own, much missed Deirdre Barlow.

Here's what they say about here: "The fashion industry has decreed that Wes Anderson’s most stylish character, Margot Tenenbaum, is this season’s muse; her shabby fur coats and grubby eyeliner exactly what the industry wants to achieve right now. We don’t disagree, but we think the much-missed Deirdre Barlow is an even more apt inspiration: she did oversized glasses and prim blouses on a 1970s north-of-England budget while Anderson was still in short trousers."

The new ITV Corrie book Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street will be published next month. You can pre-order it here.

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Tuesday 29 September 2015

Corrie fan interview with Andrew Whyment's mam and dad

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Andy Whyment with his parents Jackie and Fred Whyment
Canadian Coronation Street fan Christine Warren who runs the Coronation Street Fun Pages, has secured an interview with Fred and Jackie Whyment, the parents of Andy Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland on Coronation Street.

Christine is a good friend of Fred and Jackie Whyment, and has been for some years. She has kindly given us permission here on the Coronation Street Blog to feature and link to the interview in which the Whyments talk about what it's like having a famous son on the famous show.

You can read the Whyment's interview here.

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Alison King on drinking Carla Connor's red, red wine

There's a lovely little interview with Alison King, who plays Carla Connor in Coronation Street.

The interview's in The Express and Alison talks about drinking all the "red wine" on Corrie as Carla.  
It's not real wine of course that she has to drink when she's acting. 

“It’s horrible red grape juice,” Alison reveals, wincing at the very thought. “It’s really sweet and sickly. And yes, I sometimes have to drink an awful lot of it.

“I’ve been playing drunk for the past two days. And we’ve been recording out of sequence, so continuity-wise it’s really hard.

“I have to remember how much Carla has had to drink, whether she’s had a nap, whether she’s topped up the booze from the night before. I hate watching it.”

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Monday 28 September 2015

Corrie's Mithered Men

(This post was originally posted by Emma Hynes on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2015, reposted with permission.)

Coronation Street has a well established history of strong women whose talk, camaraderie and resilience springs from its very foundation. An organic offshoot of such female representation has proven to be the beleaguered male; never too far from a telling off, apparently unable to get anything right despite his best efforts, getting away with what he can when he can, and usually to comic effect.

Names such as Stan Ogden and Jack Duckworth immediately spring to mind, but what of the current men of Coronation Street?

Courtesy of a recent set of Friday episodes, we were presented with a window on how men are perceived by some contemporary Corrie women. The double episode of the 9th of August opened with Sally and Gail strolling along the street, the former complaining about Tim putting fun ahead of work, and the latter offering the following observation:

“The problem is that most men are on the laziness spectrum. Top end’s lying on the settee all day watching re-runs of Bullseye and eating last night’s kebab, and well, the bottom end is just leaving the lid off the coffee jar, that sort of thing. I think it’s just inherent in men, laziness.”

It wasn’t necessarily laziness that saw the men of that Friday’s Corrie fall foul of its women, but nevertheless, they were undoubtedly playing second fiddle.

Nick learned that Robert was the new chef at the Bistro by finding him behind the bar, already working. Hired by Leanne, Nick had no say in the matter, and tried to exert some belated authority by introducing a trial period which all three knew held no weight. Nor did Nick offer much in the way of advice or encouragement during Carla’s intervention. In a subsequent episode it took Erica to break up with him even though he’d slept with Carla.

We had Michael at the behest of Eileen and Gail, flitting between them like a pawed mouse as he attempted, failed and was caught breaking into Barlow’s Buys. As if his situation couldn’t have been any more dismal, his tool of choice was a spatula.

And while Tony has proven himself worthy of anyone's fear, there was little he could do as an undaunted Liz stamped his flowers into the concrete outside Roy’s with a determined stiletto. We also later saw Tracy move Robert into number one with no regard for Ken who was powerless to intervene.

Perhaps the most hen-pecked of all is Tyrone who appears to be getting it from all angles of late. If Fiz isn’t berating him or fighting his battles for him, he’s under pressure from Kevin at the garage despite having an equal share, and the recent camping holiday saw him completely emasculated by alpha-male Dougie. He wasn’t the only one, but appeared to be particularly singled out for ridicule as he attempted to assert his manhood, and failed miserably.

Poor Kirk is also well used to being on the receiving end of a scolding courtesy of Beth, and as he skipped behind her through the woods, attempting to keep up while she relentlessly berated him for getting them lost, he too secured his place in the ever burgeoning Corrie catalogue of mithered men, joining other existing characters such as Steve, Dev and Tim.

While persistently making little of men is no laughing matter, and is not an activity I engage in, I think what makes it work in Corrie is the manner in which the stories are portrayed and performed. While we can sympathise with the women some of the time, these men have often been victims of ladies who aren't always in the right, and we are encouraged to align ourselves with the men, and celebrate and share in their triumphs, enjoying their antics as much as they do. Indeed, you sometimes get the impression that they wouldn't have it any other way.

With the exception of the very serious and aptly portrayed domestic abuse storyline between Tyrone and Kirsty, for the most part, instances of mithering have generally consisted of light hearted additions to storylines, or subplots which have humour at their core. What is essential is that there are plenty more male characters who don't find themselves mithered, and enough women who don't engage in talking them down to redress the balance and counter the erroneous perception that 'all men are the same'. I did feel that Steve's past treatment at the hands of Michelle and Liz overstepped the mark, and was glad to see this remedied.

Another positive element is that the hen-pecked are given the opportunity to assert themselves, as last Friday's Corrie demonstrated in two ways. Firstly, the opening dialogue saw Steve roundly discredit Michelle's arrogant assertion that Aidan wasn't used to intelligent female conversation with the line "Yeah, I often have chats about renaissance art with Beth Tinker”.

Secondly, when Mary declared cut flowers to be "a time honoured pathetic male gesture," Tim taking the bunch home as an apology to Sally affirmed her assertion. But it also interestingly succeeded in diffusing it. Tim may have skipped out on cutting the grass in favour of a lark about at an art class, but he was thinking of Sally nevertheless, and seized an opportunity to soften her anticipated anger with something he knew she would like.

We didn't see the scene, but such is the quality of the characters that we can easily imagine it play out in our heads; an initially furious Sally mildly chides him with a twinkle in her eye at the sight of the bouquet before picking her best designer vase to proudly display her floral surprise while Tim reclines happily on the sofa cracking open a beer and wondering what's for tea.

As above, there are plenty of male characters who aren't actively harangued by women. Kevin, Jason, Sean, Billy, Callum, Lloyd, Gary, Roy and Zeedan, for example, are all well capable of asserting themselves when necessary.

While I enjoy the balanced comedy which arises from beleaguered males and scolding females, I also like to see men strongly represented. I enjoyed Tony avenging his son, I pitied Jason as he experienced the indignity of talking about being beaten up from his hospital bed, I like Kevin's new found entrepreneurship and Lloyd's decision to reject Andrea. Aidan is also shaping up to be a very positive addition to the male cast.
But whatever happens, there is no denying that the poor hen-pecked Corrie male, who is of such long standing and has provided many hours of entertainment, will continue to be found sneaking off to the Rovers for the apocryphal 'swift half' for many years to come.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Corrie's Paula Lane opens her own drama school

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Paula Lane, who plays Kylie Platt in Coronation Street, is opening her own drama school.

Paula and her husband Tom Shaw are opening the Lane Shaw Academy in Hebden Bridge on Saturday October 10, at Hope Baptist Church.

With more than 25 years of acting experience between them, they will be personally teaching the classes and hope to inspire and pass on their skills to other budding young actors.

Paula tells the Halifax Courier: “We are so looking forward to the school opening. I know from personal experience the advantages that acting can bring to a young person and it can be a great starting block to build up confidence in a young person’s development, for example with public speaking and social skills.” she added.

Paula has played Kylie in Coronation Street for the last five years and previously lived in Hebden Bridge, before relocating to London to pursue her acting career where she attended the Central School of Speech and Drama and graduated with First Class Honours.

Tom, who lived in Halifax, did his training at the highly-acclaimed London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and has appeared in several programmes, including the award-winning comedy the Inbetweeners, as well as working in theatre. They now live in Hebden Bridge with their eight-month old son.

“We are really excited about opening the Lane Shaw Academy,” said Tom. “There will be a free taster session on Saturday, October 10, for youngsters who want to come and see what it is all about. We’re going to keep things lively and fresh and have the children taking part in some really fun activities.” he added.

Lessons will be split into three different age groups between the ages of five and sixteen and will last an hour, during term-time, to coincide with the school holidays.

For more information on the taster session visit the LaneShawAcademy Facebook page or email to register a place on the taster session. They're also on twitter at

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Samia Ghadie gives birth to baby boy

Congratulations to Samia Ghadie who has given birth to a baby boy.

The Coronation Street actress, who plays Maria Connor in the soap, is celebrating the arrival of her baby son with fiancé Sylvain Longchambon. The little boy was born on Thursday 24 September.

Samia, who plays Maria Connor in Coronation Street, already has a daughter, Freya.

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Sunday 27 September 2015

Watch: Drag queen does Corrie Gail tribute act

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Here's something you don't see every day. 

It's a drag queen in a Manchester club doing a tribute to Coronation Street's Gail Rodwell. 

Remember when Gail found out in Corrie that David was the one sending her cards signed "Love from Richard Hillman" and she thought she was going mad? 

Well, here's the scene when Gail found out it was David sending the cards to her, mixed in with Cher's 'Woman's World'.

Worth a look and a giggle.

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Saturday 26 September 2015

Ex Corrie actors join Happy Valley series 2 in 2016

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog August 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Last year, Sarah Lancashire starred in a police drama called Happy Valley. Keep your eye open for it. We often get British dramas in Canada on some of the cable stations like Showcase. It's gritty and really, really good. Anyway.

Sarah used to play Raquel Watts in Corrie. Happy Valley was filmed in beautiful Yorkshire and was a really gripping drama, it really was, and I don't use words like "gripping" loosely. There's to be a second series that's starting filming soon and will air on BBC1 next year and there will be a few ex-Coronation Street actors joining Sarah.

We'll be seeing Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper), Amelia Bullmore (Steph Barnes) and Katherine Kelly (Becky MacDonald) in the series. That's quite a power line up, isn't it? Amelia has recently been in several series of Scott and Bailey which also starred former Corrie actor Suranne Jones (Karen MacDonald). Katherine Kelly has done many projects, too, best known to many for her role in Mr. Selfridge. Julie Hesmondlhalgh has only left Corrie more recently but has already shone on stage and in two short related series called Banana, and Cucumber and was in an episode of Inside No. 9. 

Happy Valley is created by Sally Wainwright who used to write for Corrie. It will be like old home week and after seeing the first series, I can't wait for the second one!

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Friday 25 September 2015

Corrie Canada sneak previews for Sept. 28 - Oct. 2

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

Tracy is arrested. Can they make the charges stick? Alya grovels, Nick accuses Robert, and Carla's got a weight lifted off her shoulders at last. Jason tries to take revenge on Callum who's under threat from Denton. Andrea has some news that she's not ready to tell Lloyd but Steve finds out. Cathy's nephew gets the wrong end of the stick. The Windasses get some bad news. Callum tries to take Max who just wants to go home.

For more details and photos, visit the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Aidan Connor - Corrie's new fashion icon

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Much was made on twitter when Shayne Ward made his debut appearance on Coronation Street as Aidan Connor.  After the Sarah Harding debacle, the sheer sense of relief that Shayne could act was immense.  Once we got over that, the next thing we noticed was his shirt. It even made its own newspaper story.

Aidan's first shirt almost, but not quite, blended into the wallaper at the factory.

Since his first foray into fashion management, we've seen the two-tone white and blue shirt.

And the brown flowery shirt, seen here starring in the Bistro trying its best to blend in with the brickwork and the leather sofa.

Is there a subliminal message going on with Aidan's shirts? Maybe they're saying he's trying but failing to fit in with his surroundings. Or maybe because he works in fashion he's showing he's got style and a sense of design. Whatever it is, I like it and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Corrie wardrobe team come up for him next.

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Thursday 24 September 2015

Claire King talks to HELLO! about cosmetic surgery and Corrie

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Claire King, who plays Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street, is interviewed in HELLO! magazine where she talks about cosmetic surgery and Corrie.

When she was invited to audition for Coronation Street, she reveals, "My heart leapt. But I promised myself there and then that if I didn't get it, I would give up the job I loved – I would quit acting."

And, she says, part of the reason for the lack of work was her age.

"Although my older peers had warned me that when actresses reach the big 5-0, work often starts to dry up, I couldn't imagine it ever happening to me," she said. "But then, a few years before I'd even reached that landmark birthday, the phone stopped ringing. It was as sudden as a tap being turned off. I was devastated."

She realised that many of her peers had gone under the knife to look younger telling HELLO! "they were old friends with new faces" and she decided to follow their example by undergoing a suspension facelift, when a simple stitch is placed under each cheek to pull up the lower half of the face.

"When I looked at my double chin and sagging jawline, I was prepared to try a cosmetic procedure to improve my chances of being offered new parts in the job Ioved," she admitted.

She says that after the op: "My life started to take off again. I felt happier and more upbeat."

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Corrie's criminal characters

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2015.)

Don't worry yourselves - this isn't a comprehensive rundown of all the Weatherfield folk who have donned the orange tabard of doom whilst residing at Her Majesty's pleasure. No. This was more inspired by the slice of joy known as Callum. Callum of the Camp.

Recently, I'm beginning to see the hopeless drug baron as something of a guilty pleasure. His very wrong-ness has become his greatest asset. Take last week when he was called to storm across the cobbles to threaten Sarah. He may as well have swooshed across in a Vera Wang gown. Lots of laughs in my household and Callum, job well done. He is a fantastically terrible character but is he the worst? In my ever-so-humble opinion, Callum may have a way to go before he eclipses any of the following . . .

Amy Burton
Poor old Corrie was in a bit of a pickle, harridan-wise, following the departure of Ena Sharples in 1980. Phyllis Pearce had been wheeled in as a potential replacement gorgon during 1982 and though much-heralded in the tabloids as being the new Ena, she never really reached those dizzy heights. Fast-forward to 1987 and the introduction of Vera Duckworth's mother, Amy Burton. Oh dear. This was a disaster from the off. Fanny Carby, much like the early performances of Shelly King, decided that the only way to deliver the lines was to the back row of the theatre. More importantly though, Amy was an unlovely old trout. Sly, thieving and hectoring, she was shoe-horned into Hilda Ogden's old char-lady job at the Rovers. The comparisons were unfavourable. The producers had her perform every scene dressed in some daft turban. By March 1988 enough was enough and the old drear disappeared forever.

Lauren Wilson
Towards the end of 2007, an attempt was made to brighten up the life of eternal dull-fest Violet Wilson by providing her with a 'fun' younger sister. Enter the incredibly annoying Lauren, a thick-skinned trollette who, we were assured, had been a big hit in the bars of Ayia Napa. She had a grand total of zero redeeming qualities as she blagged free digs from Eileen, used Darryl Morton as her personal ATM and strong-armed Sean into taking her on holiday. He returned from Spain alone and one can only surmise that an unclaimed baggage is still travelling the carousel at Malaga International.

Ravi Desai
Awful, lecherous old goat who took over the Corner Shop in early 1999 and was gone by the end of summer. Another 'booming' performance brought numerous scenes with women being addressed as 'dear lady'. Ravi seemed to alienate his worthy if dull daughter Nita and clashed with son Vik over his dalliance with Leanne Tilsley. Thankfully Ravi sold the shop on to his shy and retiring nephew, Dev Alahan.

Andrea Clayton
Three cheers for Weatherfield's weariest teen, Andrea Clayton. The achingly boring Claytons took up residence at number 11 in early 1985. It soon became apparent to the viewer that we would be treated to many months of Andrea agonising about her forthcoming exams. On she droned as days turned into weeks that seemingly turned into millennia. By summer, the UK crossed its collective fingers and prayed for three straight fails. Sadly Andrea got her three A-levels plus a little something extra from Terry Duckworth. Not that we cared.

Greg Kelly
As unlikely a character you could ever meet. Supposedly Greg was the long, lost son of Street ne'er-do-well Les Battersby. He apparently hailed from somewhere in the north west although his accent hovered between Watford Gap and Brighton Pride. Greg was an unlikely . . . make that 'totally unbelievable' ladies man who dallied with Maxine Heavey before moving on to gullible Sally Webster and her £50K inheritance. Greg also inherited 'the girls' aka Roseh and Sopheh who he pouted at and ignored.His life seemed to be lived in a state of dull hysteria, a fair bit of flouncing and barely disguised moments of camp. Which brings us nicely back to . ..

Callum. Compared to the selection of mediocrity listed above, maybe our Cal isn't quite so bad. He at least has a loyal companion in the form of Vicky Pollard Gemma and he dotes on Maxeh. Is he bad or  bland? Earlier this week I noticed that he had a lengthy tattoo down one arm. If it belongs to the actor, the it could be something quite meaningful. If it belongs to Callum, then it's probably a recipe for a Victoria sponge.

By David Bridgman
Twitter: @BridgLondon

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Wednesday 23 September 2015

Does each generation get the Corrie it deserves?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Here's something I've been thinking a lot about recently - does each generation get the Corrie it deserves?

Coronation Street is 55 years old in December this year. It is the longest running TV soap opera in the world. With that legacy to live up to as it faces its future, it shouldn't be bogged down by its past. But it should hold its principles firm.

When I tune into Coronation Street five times a week (or six as is currently being forced on us, (in the UK) more of which later), I want the security and comfort of knowing I'm going to watch something I love. I want that feeling that I'm being served up a nice toasted crumpet on my favourite plate with some hot tea in my favourite mug. I want the cosiness, I want the fun, I want the drama.  And I get all that. I enjoy it still, otherwise I wouldn't continue to watch it and I wouldn't run this site.

But what we also get after 55 years of the show is a soap opera for our time. It's 2015 and Corrie has stiff competition from 'Stenders with its darkness and violence and people who whisper loudly and shout quietly. And then there's Hollyoaks aimed at a demographic I don't understand and programmes like Towie and Geordie Shore with their fake hair, fake tan, fake boobs, fake reality.

Pic: Metro

What we have now in Corrie is a bit of a mix.  We've recently seen Sarah Harding, a pop singer come and go. It wasn't one of Corrie's finest moments but I think I understand why they tried. X-Factor winner Shayne Ward arrived in the show recently. With X-Factor being another of ITV's flagship programmes, who can blame the corprate powers that be for combining both of their golden geese? That's how things work now, it's the business end of show-biz, and this is where I get to mention those six episodes a week that are being forced on us now.

I use the word 'forced' because I don't like the 6th episode on a Thursday night. It's too much. I have a life and I don't want that much Coronation Street in it. You really can have too much of a good thing. I want quality, not quantity. You may well disagree. But why are we having six eps a week now, does anyone know? And when will it end? Maybe it won't. Advertisers must be falling over themselves to book into those coveted extra Corrie slots. 

Perhaps it's an age thing not to want too much Corrie. For me, watching Coronation Street means sitting down in front of the TV, part of a routine. I've never watched it online and wouldn't. I couldn't, not Corrie. This week I've shuddered with horror as people have suggested I watch the live episode on my phone (my phone!) as I'll be overseas when the live episode airs.  I could not be that disrespectful to my favourite show, the cast and crew, to watch their live performance, as part of ITV's 60th anniversary, on a tiny little screen. Anyway, it's more fun to hunt down a foreign bar with English telly.

Anyway, I digress. There are also two comedy actors joining the show - Paddy McGuinness and Ted Robbins. I have high hopes for both. Yes, I would prefer to have some talented unknowns coming into these roles, but I do understand the necessity of bringing in names.  There are things I don't like or enjoy about Corrie but I'm just a life-long fan, I have no say. As a fan, all I can do is take what they give. And what they giving, in the most part, is great.

However, all is not lost. We still have some amazing, talented scriptwriters, some of the best on TV.  We still have some cosy-crumpets-and-slippers-by-the-fire moments. And we still have characters we love ... and while that's the case, I will always be a fan, ready to forgive Corrie anything.

Well, almost.

Oh yeah, and this.  

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Why I'm a big fan of Zeedan

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in September 2015, reposted with permission.)

I freely admit it, one member of the Nazir family has grown on me more than all the rest. I have developed a massive soft spot for Zeedan. Before I go on any further, I do admit that this is in part down to the fact he's a fine looking, strapping young man but it goes far beyond that.

At first I really disliked the character. He was sullen, difficult and annoying. Of course that was what the writers were going for and both they and Qasim Akhtar succeeded. He was the last member of the Nazirs to arrive on screen and Corrie has a history of family units arriving en masse and not fitting in. Although the Nazir family have a long way to go before they become part of the Corrie furniture, I hope they do stay around for the foreseeable.

Zeedan was obviously a troubled young man, mainly due to his father's choice of career in the army and the death of his mother. This caused most of the conflict with Kal's new girlfriend Leanne, who's shady past really didn't help matters. I admit I became a bit bored of all the hate flying around in this storyline as sadly we never had the time to drill down into the dynamics of the father son relationship. I did wonder about the longterm future of Zeedan if that was how he was going to be however things have fortunately changed for the better.

I know soap characters frequently have personality transplants and the whole thing is completely unbelievable but in Zeedan's case I think it has been a gradual, sympathetic process that has worked well. The death of his father has obviously affected him profoundly and this has made him a much more palatable character. I've started to really enjoy his appearances and hope we see a lot more of him. He has taken on his father's job at the gym out of respect and is obviously really loyal to his family.

What I really like though, is the thawing of the relationship with Leanne. He has promised to look out for her and the scenes with both Leanne and Simon have been very natural and well played. We knew Zeedan would be the first to discover Leanne's abuse at the hands of Simon and the scenes in Friday's episodes were terrific. I hope Zeedan and Leanne continue to bond, but please writers do not put them together romantically! Let's have a platonic friendship between a man and a woman for a change. It does happen!

Qasim Akhtar is proving himself to be a great addition to the Coronation Street cast. He is doing an excellent job as Zeedan and I hope we see him in many more storylines in the months and years ahead. 

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 

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Tuesday 22 September 2015

Corrie supports Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Jennie wearing her gold ribbon for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz Stape, was interviewed on ITV's This Morning today. She was there to promote Fiz and Hope's cancer storyline.

Jennie says she's pleased to be doing this storyline because of the feedback and messages from parents and families, some of whom have children going through the same disease as Hope. 

Jennie says she has met some incredible people because of the story who are saying thankyou to her for Corrie raising the issue of childhood cancer.

Jennie has visited the Royal Manchester children's hospital and there's a short clip of her on one of the wards interviewing some of the staff and poorly children.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and you can find out more about it here.

You can watch the video here.

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Monday 21 September 2015

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for Sept. 14 - 18

More Art Win: Craig's flowers were awesome. So was Mary's Grim Reaper with Nettles in its own way. Very Mary.

Guiltier than Thou: The more Carla sinks into misery, the guiltier Tracy feels.

Gang wars award: Callum threatened Tony revenge. But I think Tony's heavies could probably trump Callum's and then some. Callum might have used the finger of doom on Tony but he was begging a minute before and gasping for breath on the way out.

Turning point award: Todd has some some awful things but I wonder if this is the crisis that's going to make him pull his own life together.

Blushing Bride award: Sally's red faced in her wedding dress, not from a blush but from the effort to get out of the dress!

Friends with Benefits award: Now that Liz and Lloyd can agree that they aren't in it for a proper relationship, I think they're going to be in it for a bit of fun.

Gift Horse award: Kevin hated the bracelet Tim gave him. It was rather ugly.

Plot Device award: Nick left his wallet at Carla's and it's full of credit cards. Carla has a gambling habit. Do the Maths!

Cute Quota for the week: Hope with her face painted. On come on, she *did* look 7 shades of cute!!!

Lines of the week:
Cathy "They would have spotted I was a fake faster than the Mona Lisa in a top hat"
Lloyd "I'm trapped!"
Mary "For me, cut flowers are synonymous with death. And betrayal"
Aidan to Tim "You're a window cleaner, right?" Sally "He's a Window Enhancement Executive" (Bwahahaha)
Gail about the shop from which Sally bought her dress "I bought one of mine there" (I bet she doesn't remember which one!)
Kevin "I'm a mechanic, I'm not a ladies' flamin' maid!"
Tracy "Whoever started the fire, it was an accident anyway" (she's cracking)
Liz "A girl is entitled to feed her cravings every now and then"

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Sunday 20 September 2015

Sunday Comments September 20

Tony was fierce! He only gave Callum a fraction of the medicine Callum dished out to Jason and Callum was scared silly. He even begged. Callum might threaten to come back at Tony with some of his heavies, but I would imagine Tony's got some pretty intimidating mates, too. Liz managed to pull him off and Tony confided in her about his regrets and fears. Todd offered to donate a kidney and Eileen overheard it. This might be the turning point. For everyone. On top of that, David had a good gloat over Callum getting thumped by Tony.

Aidan is trying his best with Carla and he did need to get a bit hard on her. But I'm getting sick and tired already of Aidan and Robert butting heads. It happened again at the auction with Robert forcing the bidding up high on something Aidan wanted, winning it even though he wasn't a County football fan. Just enjoyed the opportunity to be smug.

Robert is persuading Tracy to come to the charity auction for Maddie's memory. I wonder if they're auctioning off guilt soothers? The more Carla wallows, the guiltier Tracy feels, too. It's the day of the memorial charity auction. Sophie is fussing and decorating, while Carla is just trying to avoid it. But when Aidan hears a signed jersey from Weatherfield County is up for grabs, he thinks they should go. Carla doesn't look too happy about it but later on, they all troop in. It doesn't help that there's a really large portrait of Maddie propped up. It also makes Tracy hugely uncomfortable too. When Carla comes, flanked by Aidan and Michelle, she gets drunker and drunker as the evening goes on, overbidding on a photo.

Her presence is not appreciated by Sophie or the Nazirs but nobody can convince her to leave. When they finally get her home, she's a mess but nobody can convince her not to blame herself for an accident. She slipped out though, and went for another bottle of wine which she swigged on the street, tossing the empty in Sally's hedge. Nice. She was intent on asking for forgiveness but nobody was home and all she got from Tracy was a defensive earful and a massive hangover the next day. Nick and Michelle are at their wits' end.

Nick then conveniently left his wallet at Carla's, full of credit cards. And oh guess what? Cliche time again. Carla used Nick's credit card to gamble online. Placing bets now, hands up who says he'll forgive her even though he should really have her arrested for fraud or he'll never get that back. I hope it wasn't the business credit card.

Tracy, seeing the state of Carla, acts with pity and Robert starts to realize that there's some issue between Tracy and Carla that's upsetting Tracy, not the actual fire itself. (well, it is the fire, but Carla's the one making Tracy feel more guilty about it, Carla's own struggle with the guilt)

But when Robert confronts Tracy, she avoids telling him the truth. He recognized pity in Tracy but also fear. What's she scared of? Why is Carla suffering so much guilt affecting Tracy? He insists that no matter what it is, he will stand by her but she knows it's big. He starts to figure it out but Tracy vehemently denies it. He insists on the truth but Amy comes in and saves her mother from an admission. Later, Tracy came *this close* to blurting it out to a drunken Carla.

Robert has pretty much figured it out, he just doesn't know the how and the why but Tracy isn't ready to crack, yet. He determined that he can't stay with her if she can't tell the truth. Yet she lies and she tries to blame it all on Carla again but he's not letting her manipulate him. In the end, Tracy confessed it all. She insisted to Robert that she didn't go round to kill Carla but she certainly thought about it. As much as i'm glad Tracy finally confessed to anyone let alone Robert, I have to say I can't really buy into this, Robert and Tracy. I can't really get into them at all. I don't see any chemistry there

Fiz and Tyrone take Hope for her MRI scan. They won't know the results for a few days but they're desperately worried. Ty is trying to convince both of them not to worry until they know what their dealing with but you can tell it's not really working. Later, Fiz finally confesses to Maria what's happening. You've got to talk to someone!

Hope missed her first day of school and I can't quite figure out why. Did she have another check up? Fiz and Tyrone seemed to be mainly waiting for test results and were dragging Hope around from hospital to home again. Why didn't they just let her go to school? Anyway the news is devastating. Hope has cancer. No parent should have to hear that. Poor Fiz and Tyrone, they don't seem to be able to comfort each other, do they? They both have different ways of dealing with it. It's just as hard on Tyrone as it is on Fiz but he doesn't show it the way she does. They'll have to get it together to support each other or it will break them.

Sally has bought herself a wedding dress which, frankly, looks horrible. It looks like a limp rag really and she ends up getting stuck in it when the zip catches. Even Kevin who comes to find out why she didn't get to the auction, can't work it loose. Sophie comes in and catches them in what looks like an undressing and then Kevin ends up ripping it and Sally thinks it's an omen. Tim lying about working while he went to a football match isn't going to help. But the suggestion to call it off doesn't sit well either. Tim managed to salvage the situation.

Kevin's turning 50 and Tim wants to throw a surprise party but Sally, knowing Kevin far better, doesn't think it's a good idea. Tim gave Kevin a bracelet that stunned Kevin, not because he loves it but because he hated it. I'm a bit surprised that a straight man would buy another straight man a big, chunky, gold bracelet but there you go. Anyway in the end, Tim overheard Kevin confessing he really doesn't like it. The party was classic Sally, playing Mine Hostess and trying to lord it over everyone. I love Sally these days! Not quite sure why Sean, Billy and Andrea were there unless they were crashing the party, hardly Kevin's BFFs.

Simon's back in the picture. He's sulking because he's got a rubbish phone. He's got a rubbish phone because he's been acting out and battering Leanne and doesn't deserve one. But yes, naturally she's giving in to him and promising a phone if he behaves. Naturally, he acts up again and is rude to Robert. Everyone seems to be rude to Robert, have you noticed? No phone for you! Cue another tantrum or violence episode before long.

Just as I thought, Lloyd is feeling railroaded into a relationship with Liz. Liz started to feel like they could be an item again and oh look, there's Andrea again, apologizing for overreacting over him just sitting in a booth with Erica. Andrea even found a record to replace the one she sold. Is Liz about to be disappointed again? Andrea tries to talk Lloyd back but he confessed to sleeping with Liz. He knows he's completely ruined his chances at getting back with Andrea now. How is he going to get out of this one?

Andrea is staying with Eileen for the moment. Lloyd is still not able to tell Liz or anyone else how trapped into a thing with Liz he feels and every time he tries, something diverts the conversation. He does try to express his doubts that he's ready for a relationship again and is surprised to find out she feels the same way. Phew! Now that's out of the way, they can relax and have a bit of fun.

Roy managed to talk Cathy out of her panic at facing so many art class strangers. She still has a long way to restore her self esteem, doesn't she? She did ok in the end. I loved Craig's flowers and even Mary's interpretation of the Grim Reaper was fab, it's very Mary! Cathy is finally going to try to go back home, but when Roy finds out about Hope's diagnosis, he's gutted and she reckons she shouldn't leave him alone. It's her turn to be there for him.

LOL moment, Sally introducing Tim as a Window Enhancement Executive! I don't know what this rivalry between Robert and Aidan is or where it came from but I want it to stop. It's stupid. This week saw the return to our screens of at least three people we haven't seen for ages, Gary, Andy and Dev. Steph and Andy. Still cute together! Amy's starting at Weatherfield High! And Jack is starting school as would Hope be if she weren't ill. Wow! Our babies are growing up! Rover's back for good!

May not be any Sunday comments for a couple of weeks or so as I was on vacation and it could take me a bit to catch up!

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Saturday 19 September 2015

Trifle throwing voted fans' favourite Deirdre Barlow moment

(This post was originally posted by Llifon on the Coronation Street Blog in July 2015, reposted with permission.)

Coronation Street Blog readers have voted Deirdre's penultimate scene back in October 2014 as their favourite Deirdre moment. 403 voted (2 were dismissed) and 93 (23.08%) voted for Deirdre throwing the trifle at No.1's wall.

In second place, receiving 56 votes (13.83%) was when she got a Manchester tart in the face by Gail in August 2010.

In third place with 52 votes (12.90%) was when she was in the courtroom in March 1998.

The other results were as follows:

Her showdown with Ken in February 1983 - 33 votes (8.19%)

Her two-hander with Tracy in March 2007 - 31 votes (7.69%)

Confronting Ken over his affair with Wendy Crozier in December 1989 - 30 votes (7.44%)

Marrying Ken for the second time in April 2005 - 26 votes (6.45%)

Marrying Ken for the first time in July 1981 - 18 votes (4.47%)

Searching for Tracy after the lorry crash in March 1979 - 12 votes (2.98%)

Her rendezvous with Dev in December 2001 - 11 votes (2.73%)

Her first appearance in November 1972 - 8 votes (1.99%)

Marrying Samir Rachid in November 1994 - 8 votes (1.99%)

Marrying Ray Langton in July 1975 - 7 votes (1.74%)

In the AA meeting in July 2009 - 6 votes (1.49%)

Her spell in prison in March and April 1998 - 2 votes (0.50%)

The following all received 1 vote (0.25%) - her death in July 2015; camping with Ken in August 2014; telling everyone Ken has gout in November 2011; no favourite moment; making peanut bowls; her singing and making stuffed marrow; her role in the Ken/Mike rivalry between 1983 and 2006; falling into Wally Bannister's pool with Tracy in June 2003; confronting Ken about his affair with Martha in May 2009; and her storyline with Jon Lindsay between May 1997 and April 1998. 

Happy with the results?

by Llifon
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - now available to pre-order
Official ITV Coronation Street tie-in book

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The magnificence of Erica Holroyd

The magnificence of Erica Holroyd
Claire King as Erica Holroyd is an absolute joy.  She turned up in Coronation Street at the end of last year to see her old mate Liz in the Rovers Return and she's been on the show ever since.

She disappeared for a while to look after her mum, got pregnant at 50 with Nick's child, ran the wrath of Gail but then sadly lost her baby. Erica's settled down now into nights with Nick, days of drinking in the Bistro, and doing little else in between. And that's exactly why I love her.

There's no point to Erica, she doesn't do anything. She doesn't work, she doesn't have a job, she doesn't even spend much time with Liz, her only friend. She isn't involved in any major stories, she doesn't have an agenda, she just sits at the bar and drinks. Well, I like a woman who plays to her strengths.

There's a lot we don't know about Erica - and that's another thing I like. I have no burning desire to unearth some mystery back story about her, it's good she has no baggage. I don't care. I'm enjoying watching her just being herself, drinking at the bar, exchanging glances and words with anyone she fancies.

When she finds out about Nick snogging Carla, and she will as this is soap, will she crumble? Will she break down and die? Oh no, not Erica. She will survive. I'm not even sure she likes mumsy-boy Nick much. He's just someone to snog and canoodle until the bar opens again. Next, she goes for a drink with Lloyd, so she can't be that torn up about Nick before moving on to fresh meat.

I love Erica because she Just Is.  There's nothing to stop her moving into the Rovers with her mate Liz and the two of them running the pub together. There's nothing to stop her putting a bid in for Underworld and taking the factory off Carla's hands, bringing in a manager and letting it do its thing while she reaps the rewards. There's nothing to stop Erica from going out and getting a fella. There's nothing to stop her doing anything she flaming well likes. But it's the fact she chooses not to do any of this that I find so intriguing.  All she wants to do is drift to the nearest bar stool and drink a large glass of red.

Recently on Corrie as Erica sat at the bar in the Rovers next to Carla, she ordered a full bottle (a full bottle!) of red wine to drink on her own (on her own!) in the afternoon (I know!). When Carla came into the pub, Erica asked Sarah for another glass so she could share the bottle with Carla.

"You start drinking with me you'll get a repuation!," Carla joked.

Erica's reply was: "I've never really been one for worrying what people think."

And that, in a nutshell, is why she's wonderful to watch.

The future is bright.
The future is Erica.

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Friday 18 September 2015

Conversation Street podcast 165

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the episodes in Canada that aired (up to last night's Canadian Corrie) can be heard here.

It's a short podcast this week, covering the last three episodes that aired in Canada. The next one will be extra long. Maddie's memorial auction was this week and Carla ended up making a spectacle of herself at it. Robert showed amazing powers of deduction and figured out the truth about Tracy and the fire, and coerced her into confessing to him. Kevin turns 50 this week and Tim has a party up his sleeve. Fiz and Tyrone get devastating news about Hope. The character profile this week is Tim Metcalf.

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Is the end nigh for Callum Logan on Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

An eye for an eye and all that. Last week on Coronation Street we saw the campest villain that Corrie's ever had, Callum Logan, beat up Jason so badly that he ended up in hospital.

Little Max had seen Callum beat up Jason. Inside Soap magazine say that Max becomes terrified of Callum and won't go near him any more. Realising he's in a lot of trouble, Callum tries to enlist Bethany to give him an alibi but thankfully Bethany refuses to lie for him this time.

And then this week on Corrie, there was a revenge beating when Jason's dad Tony Stewart took out on Callum and beat him up too for beating up his son. Are you with me so far? Good.

I wonder if this signals that we're getting close to the end of the Callum storyline?  So far Callum and his gang have pretty much had things their own way and done their own thing. You know, all that real hard man stuff like threatening girls and being nasty to doe-eyed teenagers.

Now that Callum's had Jason beaten up (I bet he doesn't get his hands dirty by doing it himself, it'd spoil his nails), Tony gets revenge. And as we all know, you don't mess with Tony.

Surely it can only be a matter of time before Callum disappears for good?

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Thursday 17 September 2015

Happy 50th Birthday, Kevin Webster

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2015, reposted to this blog with permission.)

It's Kev Webster's 50th birthday on Thursday September 3rd 2015 (source: Corriepedia) and it's being celebrated on screen tonight, Wednesday September 2nd.

Here's Kevin from his first appearance on the show, back in 1983.

After completing his course in 1983 aged 18, Kevin looked for work but couldn't find anything until he had a lucky encounter with Alf Roberts while hitchhiking back to Weatherfield in October that year.

Alf's car broke down while passing him by, and Alf offered to give Kevin a lift home if he could get it going.

When Kevin carried out the repairs with no trouble, the grateful shopkeeper recommended him to Brian Tilsley, owner of Tilsley's Garage in Albert Street, as Brian was looking for a mechanic to work alongside him. After a successful interview, Kevin was taken on.

Read Kevin's profile on Corriepedia and

Here is Michael le Vell in that first episode as Kevin. He first appears at 19 minutes into the

Kevin Webster through the years. Tash-tastic!

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Corrie Canada sneak previews for Sept. 21 - 25

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

Simon causes Leanne another injury and this time she confides in Zeedan. News of Hope's illness spreads. Robert pushes Tracy to tell the truth. Tracy and Carla find themselves on the edge. Will Tracy confess to Carla to save her life? Renovations are underfoot at the Platt house. Anna and Tim find out some upsetting news. Jason comes home.

For more details and photos, visit the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Wednesday 16 September 2015

The Corrie Roller-Coaster

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2015, reposted with permission.)

The Coronation Street juggernaut powers on. This year we've had fires, destruction, deaths galore. The usual secrets and lies, extra episodes dropped in without so much as a warning, precious little Rita, far too much Platt and the campest villain known to man. 

Watching Corrie these days is a roller-coaster in quality control. Most of the time one scene featuring Eileen Derbyshire being majestic in The Kabin or the Community Centre is enough to wipe out the glaring holes created during the Jenny Bradley kidnap drama. I don't know why, but it's just very up and down these days. It's been a joy to see Beverley Callard take centre stage as Liz, the best Rovers Landlady we've had in eons. It's been much less pleasurable to see forty odd years of Helen Worth's hard work dribble away as Gail becomes a permanent twittery waste of space.

Alison King can do no wrong as Carla, but her recent storyline seeing Mrs Connor's descent into self pity and gambling addiction just hasn't worked. Neither has her newfound lust for Gail's oldest off-spring and the fruit of Brian's loins, the whimpering Nicholas T. These two briefly worked together when the Nick with this face joined five or so years ago. At the time people wondered if they'd stick them together and thankfully they didn't. So why now? Have the storyliners run out of options? As the only two residents of the posh flats, can they only mix with fellow characters with balcony and fancy window shutters? 

Also added to the mix is the arrival of yet another Connor nobody has ever mentioned before but everyone knows so well it's as if they only saw him last week. I was prepared to hate Aidan on sight. This was partly down to the casting, following as it did hot on the heels of Sarah Harding's brief stint. More importantly it just felt like the latest in a long line of flashy businessmen in nasty suits, driving shiny motors and ramming their male selves into the back office at Underworld. We've had Paul Connor, Liam Connor, Luke Strong, Tony Gordon...blah, blah, blah. Nobody has come close to equal the sublime Baldwin years as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, despite my worries, I've actually taken to Aidan Connor. I know it's early days but I rather like the character, I like his dynamic with Carla and I'm quite impressed with Shayne Ward's acting. It also helps that he's fairly easy on the eye. I guess time will tell but it's showing promise.

Sadly, I'm still struggling with another newcomer to the cobbles. I know our wonderful editor Flaming Nora is loving the Roy and Cathy story but it's just not clicking for me. I don't even think it's anything to do with Hayley or the memory of Roy and Hayley together. I just don't think the characters work. Melanie Hill is an excellent actress with a strong career but somehow Cathy Matthews is just leaving me cold. I don't care enough.

Unfortunately the Platt family are going to dominate the September live episode. Well, it makes sense given that they've dominated the entire year. I don't mind the individual members of the Platt family, it's just when they move as a pack I get concerned. We've had so many family meetings, threats from Callum and dewey moments when Gail has said the worst is over. You'd think the woman would learn by now. It's become so tedious I just wish Callum, Gemma and Max would be spirited away somewhere t'other side of the Pennines.

I loathe Callum. He's a laughable character, played in a bizarre fashion. All the stuff with Sarah was dire. I also loathe Gemma although I know she has her fans. I sincerely hope whatever happens to Callum happens to her too as I don't want her as a long-term Rovers regular. Weirdly, Bethany has grown on me. Putting the stroppy eye-rolling aside, the character has come on of late and is actually the best of the Platt bunch at the moment. I may live to eat my words...

I've also found myself sighing a lot whenever Fiz and Tyrone appear on screen together. Ok, they will never be as beige as Sinead and Chesney (a traditional old before their time Corrie couple), but since they settled into domestic bliss they've become irritating and smug. Tyrone I'll always love but Fiz has morphed into a character I love to hate. She's become domineering, self-righteous and over-bearing. Vera Duckworth could be all of these things but we always forgave her. I struggle with the forgiveness when it comes to Fiz. 

I live in hope that Audrey and Rita may emerge from the Corrie Cupboard soon, all Deansgate frocks and scarves, freshly coiffed and ready to camp. Whatever the writers do, please DO NOT put Aud with Kenneth Barlow. The return of the glorious Jenny Bradley must surely mean more screen time for Barbara Knox as Rita. She's been noticeably absent this year and there is so much they could do with these two wonderful Weatherfield women.

Apart from that I hope Lloyd leaves Andrea-free, Craig's lovely girlfriend pays him a visit, Anna takes Faye on a long trip...somewhere else, Kevin shaves off his scraggly beard, Gary finds someone better than that Alya (me), Steph and Luke get a proper storyline as siblings and Zeedan finds himself in an episode where all his shirts are in the wash (hint).

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 

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