(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2016.)
One of the best ideas the writers of Coronation Street have had in recent times is to enter Sally Metcalfe into the political arena. Actress Sally Dynevor is little short of a comedy genius - currently there is nobody who can match her for comic skill in both timing and delivery.
When the idea was mooted that Sally might stand for a council seat, there was a sudden flash of recognition in Sally’s eyes. This is what she is born for – this is her raison d’etre – this is her true calling. No one can claim that Sally lets the grass grow. No sooner has she made a decision than she is talking policies and relishing her role as a potential Weatherfield Councillor on an Independent ticket.
So how suited is Sally to the role? A councillor needs to be hard working, ambitious and energetic. Sally has all of those three attributes. A councillor also needs to be able to build up a rapport with the people he/she represents. It is this aspect of Sally’s character that might be off centre.
In Monday’s episodes she was initially suggesting that Weatherfield residents should be under contract to keep their gardens tidy, then a little later was putting forward the idea that hanging baskets should be made compulsory. Clearly, Sally wants people to take a pride in their area, but is not hitting the right note for persuading people to her view. She needs these people on her side, so should avoid annoying them. Unfortunately, her nannying approach may turn people against her – the very people whose votes she needs.
She also approached Steph and Andy who were enjoying a quiet drink in The Rovers, talked politics at them and had the audacity to ask them if they planned to have children. Steph reflected that she had come for a relaxing drink, not an edition of Question Time.
For viewers, these suggestions make for great comedy, but if Sally wants to be taken seriously as a councillor, then she needs to think about more pressing needs concerning hospitals, schools, potholes, waste disposal and all the other local issues that matter to people.
Ken, after initially agreeing to be Sally’s campaign manager has now backed out which is good for viewers because the comedy potential of Norris now having gained that poisoned chalice, will be far greater. They are bound not to get on, both having huge egos and less than reasonable personality traits. Sally chose Norris over Mary, viewers will remember. Neither Norris nor Mary seemed particularly suitable, but had Sally chosen Mary it might have helped Mary distract herself from thoughts of Brendan.
As Mary and Norris waited in Sally’s house for her decision as to which of them Sally would choose, Tim was wanting his house back and for it all to be over. Massively exaggerating her own importance Sally told Tim that she had to make them wait, make then sweat a bit.
Should Sally succeed in her ambitions to take up a role in political life, it will be interesting to see how it might affect her work in the factory. Will she have to be demoted or work part time? Council meetings are frequent and often long so it will be hard to see the Connors tolerating too many away days. That said, the machinists might be relieved to have less of her.
And how will it affect Tim? Will he be resentful that Sally is breaking out of her conventional wifely role? More household tasks for him? Might he be full of pride that his wife has secured a seat on the council?
Whatever the outcome, these three things are a must :-
1.More screen time for Sally
2.More screen time for Tim
3. More screen time for Sally and Tim
Ruth Owen, twitter @Ruth1722
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