Sunday, 4 October 2015

Exclusive: Behind-the-scenes visit to Coronation Street

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

Synchronicity is a wonderful thing.  I recently received a message to my personal twitter account wishing me a happy birthday. It came from @michaeladamsuk and he said he was a big fan of the Coronation Street Blog.  Immediately, my nephew's girlfriend joined in the conversation and it turns out that she is Michael's cousin! Michael had no idea of the family connection when he tweeted me and it's like we're all one big happy family now. 

Anyway, Michael then went on to tell me he'd been invited in to see the Coronation Street set on a VIP visit and asked if I'd like a report and some pics after he'd been. Would I? Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Michael has permission from ITV to share the pics and his report with the Coronation Street Blog. And so, with a million thanks to Michael for his write-up and for sharing his pictures, some of which I have included below. 

And now, it's over to Michael...

"After a painfully long but exhilarating train journey from Durham, I had arrived in gritty Manchester. This time however, I knew that I wasn't just visiting Granada. And I was ridiculously excited. Rewinding to a few weeks previous, I somehow managed to get myself a tour of the new (can we still call it that?) Coronation Street set at MediaCityUK. Those weeks leading to August 27th dragged, and I was experiencing a vast amount of emotions, from excitement to nervousness.

1pm. 27th August.

I was stood not just outside the studios, but outside Weatherfield General. Liz McDonald was sat in a smoking shelter having a tab break, and I could see D&S Alahan's across the road. It was like stepping into the telly. But before I could start to imagine some sort of scenario where I woke up in a fictional Mancunian town, I was whisked past Beverley Callard and signed in, along a corridor and swiftly into the studio.

I was stood in front of the living rooms of the much-loved characters that we tuned into see five times a week. The Kabin, corner shop, salon and Rovers were all before me. It was a magical feeling, something that I'll never forget.

Onto the exterior set, I was told to be quiet whilst taking photos as they were filming inside of Underworld. I enquired about which other sets are on the exterior set, and was guided into Rosamund Street Medical Centre and shown around the children's ward at Weatherfield General, which is currently being used for Hope's cancer storyline. I was also shown in Prima Doner and Streetcars, though the latter has been moved back into the studio for convenience. Through the community centre, I was guided upstairs and into Cathy's living room, and the prison cell where Peter Barlow spent a good few months on. We also went into Webster's Autocentre, and Jason's construction site, and I was given a sneak preview of the new look Platt's house, though that's still top secret for the next few weeks!

From here, I was shown through a prop store and admired the ridiculous amounts of suitcases, and down to the staff canteen for a cuppa. This may sound like the most dullest part of my entire visit, though it was livened up by the fact that I was sitting in the same room as Marc Anwar and William Roache, aka Sharif Nazir and THE Ken Barlow!

Later in the day I was shown around the interior sets, and got to watch scenes filmed in the Rovers back room and toilets with Steve (Simon Gregson), Liz (Beverley Callard), Tony (Terrance Maynard), the gorgeous Michelle (Kym Marsh) and the equally as gorgeous Rover the dog! I also watched scenes with Ken, Roy, Audrey, Cathy and Nessa (Cathy's sister) in no.1 and Roy's Rolls.

To be honest, I didn't want to leave and I even considered setting up camp in the ginnel. But after four and a half hours, I left Coronation Street with some of the best memories of my life, that will be treasured forever.

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