Thursday 30 June 2016

Corrie Canada sneak previews July 4 - 8

Without further ado, here is a brief sneak preview of next week's Coronation Street in Canada.

Lee's attack instigates nightmares for Sarah. She is in full meltdown and ends up hospitalized.

Alex continues to cause mischief. Yasmeen's mischief causes embarrassment for Sally. Beth offends Kirk to decamps elsewhere. Norris makes an unusual friend. Leanne is torn between loyalty to Nick and the need to make money by working. She gets caught between Robert and Nick. The police have more questions for David and Jason helps the police with their inquiries. Miscommunication leads to Michelle making a decision.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Billy Mayhew - 'I'm a gay vicar with a junkie brother'

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Oh, but Billy! Yes you are gay, yes you are a vicar, yes you have a junkie brother, but you are so much more than that. You are a man with a serious vocation, which you execute with dedication and duty. You are also fun, not afraid to throw a punch when necessary, and able to break up a fight. To all those who ask for it in your parish, you give your time, and it is also worth mentioning that you are very easy on the eye.

As Emma pointed out in her blog, you took centre stage on Sunday and you were magnetic. Every nuance of feeling registered right there on your face and your troubles became our troubles. So hats off to the wondrous Daniel Brocklebank for a superb performance.

Checking the date of Billy's arrival on the cobbles, it was December 2014. I had thought that it was much earlier than that as he feels as if he is a well-established character.

But Billy has his troubles, perhaps chief amongst them is his relationship with Sean, which now seems to be in the past. Judging from Monday's episodes, it seems as if Sean will not give up without a fight, though he is despondent. He calls his love life 'a countdown to disappointment and heartbreak.' Sean has seen Billy and Todd in an embrace. When he asks Billy. 'Is there anything going on between you and Todd?' Billy does not answer.

There is also Billy's brother, who is a drug addict. Billy has been giving him money, but berates himself for 'taking the easy way out' as he sees it. 'I knew the money I was giving him would go straight to his arm.' This is a complex situation for Billy and he feels ashamed to have a junkie brother but then he feels ashamed of feeling ashamed. He tells Todd, 'I am meant to be the one with all the answers.' Todd tells him, 'That's your boss's job. You're just another bloke trying to do his best.'

Another difficulty is his knowledge of Sarah's 'confession' regarding Callum. As he says, 'I'm supposed to respect people's confidentiality.' In addition, he speaks of his duty to his parishioners, 'People want to believe, they need confidence, certainties, to respect my judgement.' He then calls himself an 'abject failure.' A life viewed from the inside is very different from a life viewed from the outside. Never has this been more true than in Billy's case.

Then there is Marion, a mother drowning in grief, who turns up at Billy's church. Sobbing, she tells Billy about Callum and asks him to conduct Callum's funeral. On agreeing and as Marion departs, Billy clasps his mouth with his hand and raises his eyes to the skies, no doubt seeking a sign from God as to how he should proceed.

With Todd, later, Billy lies to him, telling Todd that he in fact did not tell Sean all about Sarah and her confession to Todd, but that he was telling Sean about Bethany and how she had been bullied. Todd seems to believe that.

  What Sean doesn't know and nor does Todd, yet, is what also came as a surprise to many of us, and that is that Billy has fallen for Todd. Who saw that coming?

Todd is enraged and orders Billy not to reveal his feelings for him to Sean. Todd then orders Billy out of the house.

Once again, a thousand praises to the brilliant Daniel Brocklebank!

Ruth  - twitter @Ruth1722

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Coronation Street Chit-Chat news catch-up, June 2016

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Here we go with Coronation Street chit-chat, a catch-up of some of the shorter news stories that haven't made it into their own blog post. Note that most of these stories are taken from the tabloids and should be read with a pinch of salt unless direct quotes are given and/or the story has been confirmed by ITV.

Current Corrie cast members
Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw) says he fancies having a go at a theatre role when he leaves Coronation Street. Read it here.  Ryan's leaving party from Corrie took place. Read it here.
Kym Marsh (Michelle McDonald) might be getting engaged. Again. Read it here.   She also talks about turning 40 and her life at Corrie. Read it here.
Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) and Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker) go on holiday to Majorca. Read it here.
Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor) says new Corrie producer Kate Oates is planning some big stunts. Read it here.
Sam Aston (Chesney Battersby-Brown) handed out sweatshirts at a school. Read it here.
Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) talks about his singing career. Read it here.
Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) says he only watches his own Corrie scenes. Read it here.
Kate Ford (Tracy Barlow) and Kym Marsh (Michelle McDonald) attended the launch of a kids TV theme cafe. Read it here.

Ex Corrie cast members
Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts) is joining the cast of The Commitments on its stage tour. Read it here.
Thelma Barlow (Mavis Riley) supported a Swanage charity. Read it here.

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Wednesday 29 June 2016

Five Coronation Street characters I could live without

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There are certain characters, at certain times in the life of Coronation Street, that I'm more than willing to give  a chance to.  I want to warm to them. I want to like them. I try my hardest, damn it, I really do try.

But there are some characters that despite trying as hard as I can, I have to admit defeat and give up on. Whether you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here are my personal top five Corrie characters I could very well do without right now.

Rana.  What's she there for other than to get Zeedan all hot and bothered? 

Sharif. His chickens are more interesting than he is.

Sinead is a ditzy bit of fluff, and as such, a soap staple. Every soap has one and Corrie needs one, but for heavens sake, give her a storyline before I fall asleep. And break up her and Chesney, it's a relationship without chemistry. Dullsville with a capital Zzzz.

Is there anything likable, at all, about Caz? I can't see it if there is. Get rid, please and let Kate Connor breathe.

And I'm sorry to say this as I've watched Sophie grow up on Coronation Street, but her whining and moaning now define her.  I'm hoping that after actress Brooke Vincent takes a break from the show to star in a stage play, she'll be written out with a bombshell and come back with a new dynamic storyline to boot.

There you go.  Ooh, I don't half feel better now that's all off my chest.

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Tuesday 28 June 2016

Five Characters I Would Like to See More of on our Screens

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016.)


Flaming Nora recently blogged about five characters she could do without. So, inspired by her great idea, I decided to blog about five characters I would like to see more of and would love to hear what you think.

Firstly, I would make a plea for Steph to appear more frequently and for longer. Lately all we've seen of her is when she is working in the bistro. True, she does get the occasional one liner but an actress of her calibre could do so much more. She is, as she demonstrated in the 'pictures on the internet' story, a skilled performer and she could easily carry a weighty storyline. Beautiful, talented, with an excellent ability to deliver a comedic touch, this girl is seriously under-used.

Secondly, Steph's brother Luke - currently in a relationship with Maria. It may just be my opinion but I wonder if others are less than convinced by Maria and Luke. I wonder too why Luke, who is a decent, handsome and intelligent young man is content to languish in a back street garage as Kevin and Tyrone's underling. Does he have ambitions? Might he want to open his own garage at some point in the future or even turn his capable hand to something else either car related or not? He doesn't seem to lack confidence and nor does his younger sister Steph, for that matter. Perhaps they could go into business together? Perhaps they could take advantage of government business incentive loans.

Third on my list is the jewel of a character who is Craig. What a joy he is and what a long-suffering son to his somewhat less intelligent mum, Beth. After having been ditched by Caitlin, it would have been interesting to hear more of  his thoughts and feelings about this. He did seem keen on her. He need some mates, other boys his age. It would be an opportunity to show young people in a favourable light, intent on various projects or working over their summer holidays, perhaps in preparation for gaining a university place. I believe that Craig is studying for A levels, but it would be good to learn some specifics and to see his interests in the world developing. A Gap Year maybe? Whatever it is, let's be knowing.

I would like to see more of Beth, but a calmer. more thoughtful side where she becomes a more rounded person and not just typecast as a figure of fun, as she is so often portrayed. To see her in serious conversation with the son whose initial she wears round her neck, would potentially be an excellent scene. How might Beth react to his ambitions and the possibility that he might leave home before long?  It occurs to me to consider whether or not Kirk might hold her back. In fairness to Kirk though, he does convey show emotional intelligence and it would be hard to find a fairer more compassionate man on the cobbles than Kirk, even though his intellect will not set the world alight.

And finally, my fifth choice is Mary. Yes, it's true she did have some storylines to get her teeth into fairly recently, but now, armed with her award for best comedy actor in the soaps, it would be more than a welcome decision, in my book, to use her more. I sense that Mary and Gemma similarly divide opinion, but I can see those two developing a friendship of sorts...

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Monday 27 June 2016

Should Corrie include big news stories in its episodes?

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Unless I missed it, I don't think that Coronation Street has ever mentioned, in recent months, the EU referendum. Maybe, if we had seen more of Ken and he wasn't quite so worried about Tracy or wasn't  grieving for Deirdre, it may well have been him who would have tried to engage residents on the cobbles in a discussion as to why we should Leave or Remain in the EU.

In one of the talks I did this spring, a couple of people asked me why Corrie never mentioned political hot potatoes. One of them said that Corrie would be more realistic if it did. I would be very interested to know what viewers think. Is it a good idea to introduce serious political discussion or should we leave that to Newsnight and Andrew Marr?

Perhaps big news stories might be mentioned in passing, without a full blown discussion emerging, though, given that Corrie is filmed in advance, it may well prove too difficult. Any such comments though could still be mentioned, even after big news stories, which might well add to the suspension of disbelief. If all the country is talking about something, might it not be odd, if the residents of Weatherfield don't mention at all what is on everyone's minds?

Corrie never shies away from issues, including: teenage pregnancy, surrogacy, drugs, mental health,
prostitution, domestic abuse, illegal immigration, gambling, to name just some. The inclusion of issues such as these make Corrie relevant and up to date. Some of these issues will or do already affect our lives, and so to see issues played out in front of us can make us feel less isolated and more willing to talk about them.

Ruth Owen

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Unpaid bloggers can't write? We beg to differ, Danielle Tarento!

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a news article in The Stage which has made my blood boil. I'm livid, I tell you, Livid.

A woman by the name of Danielle Tarento has criticised the quality of reviews being produced by online bloggers, claiming many are not “proper writers”.

Speaking at an event called Everyone’s a Critic, Tarento said most blog theatre reviews had been reduced to “soundbites and stars”.

She added: “This is a massive generalisation, but a lot of people are not ‘proper writers’. They do not have the intellectual background or historical background or time to know what they are writing about. What they are writing about is did they like it or not, which is not what I think a review should be.”

Well, Danielle Tarento might like to rethink her opinion and read some of the absolutely superb, first class theatre reviews from our team of bloggers.  Yes, we are unpaid but we are all "proper writers" and intellectual too. 

Here are the two most recent theatre reviews from very many wonderful, well-written, insightful theatre reviews from our team.
  • Our blogger Jordan was invited to the press night of Iris, a play starring Katy Cavanagh. Read it here.
  • Our blogger Stevie Dawson went along to the press night of Endgame at Home Manchester. The play starred Corrie favourites David Neilson (Roy Cropper) and Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow). Read Stevie's review here.
If Danielle Tarento thinks she's got what it takes, let's have her writing a Corrie episode review for the Blog. £25 goes to the charity of her choice if she takes us up on this offer.

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Corrie Canada weekly awards for June 20 - 24

Hangover cure: Bad pop music.

Impertinent Award: Amy is really pushing things, isn't she?

Pants on Fire award: Todd lied to the police and said Tony killed Callum to keep Sarah and Jason both safe. Tim told Sophie he was making a beer cake.

Substitute BFF: Michelle ignores Maria for years until Carla's gone and now she's the backup confidante.

Philosopher award: Tim and Craig, but mainly Craig. (see line of the week)

Secrets and Lies award: It is probably the thing that annoys me the most about soaps, keeping secrets for no good reason. There's no reason on earth Billy can't tell Sean about Lee.

Shades of Mike Baldwin: Mike used to keep a cheeky bottle in his desk just like Johnny!

Blame shifter award: yes, it takes two to make a relationship work but Michelle can't put the blame on Steve for the choices she made.

Dirty drunk award: Nick.

What a coincidence award: Marian has come to Billy's church and wants to have Callum's funeral there. I thought poor Billy was either going to pass out or vomit on the spot!

Classic Literature award: Amy is reading one of my all time favourite books, Little Women.

Fashion award: Sally's new outfit for the Council do really was nice. Even soaked in beer!

Lines of the Week:
Michelle "Do you really want to be like your mum, Amy? Cause right now you're doing a really good impression"
Steve "I should have stayed in Spain"
Will "We didn't close the deal"
David to Todd "Consider me up to speed"
Tim "You won't find the answer to life's problems at the bottom of a glass" Craig "He's right, you know. You only find the dregs and occasionally your reflection" Steve "who's he? Humphrey Bogart?"
Todd to Billy "Being a vicar doesn't make you special, you're down here with the mortals"
Billy to Todd "You can't dig holes in fresh air"
Beth "When you have kids, Kirky, the whole point is they don't do the same stupid things you do!"
Billy "The ultimate justice comes from God"
Todd to Billy "You're just another bloke trying to do his best"
Steve to Michelle "Putting salt on your cornflakes is a mistake. what you did is in a different league" (she's still making herself out to be the victim, isn't she?)
Sean "You're dumped" and "somehow, I've managed to turn the local clergyman into a love rat"
Sally "I really wanted to make a splash" (asked and answered! I was waiting for it and was rewarded with a huge laugh!)
Billy "A gay vicar with a junkie brother"

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Sunday 26 June 2016

Sunday Comments June 26

Amy is still refusing to go back to Number 1 and Michelle is on Amy's side lest she tell Steve about Will. The little madam learned blackmail from the master, after all, or mistress as the case may be. Now she's skiving off school and being impertinent and cheeky. She's emotionally holding Michelle hostage. She's really just reacting to what Tracy did and also she's upset about the prospect of what Michelle might have done with Will. Michelle had a momentary lapse of reason with Will but she's over it now. Unfortunately, just when Michelle thought she had everything under control, Will and his ex- and now current fiancee, Saskia, showed up with Saskia shouting the odds and accusing Michelle and Will of having an affair! Uh oh!

Cat is officially out of the bag. Even if it isn't an affair, and only a kiss, Michelle had to confess to it. At least she managed to drop Will back in it again. She reminded him of the affair he had with Becky when they were together the first time around. So why was that different because they weren't married then? It was far worse than that kiss she and Will had and yes, I know, she was nearly to the point of no return and I can't blame Steve for being angry.

Steve went to the cab office and Tim was in a full righteous over Steve's betrayal and oh look who shows up, Will, a glutton for punishment so Tim had a little wrestle wtih him since Steve couldn't. Michelle now has a new best friend, someone she hasn't spoken to other than in passing, in years. Maria. Michelle is justifying herself but is saying it to the wrong fella and Steve is going to end up feeling like she's blaming him for it all and making it all about her and that's what she did, making herself the victim because Steve left her alone. She needs to accept that she's a grown up and is responsible for her actions.

Steve is more or less giving Michelle the silent treatement. I'd say he overreacted to just one kiss, like Chesney did with Sinead/Aidan, but Michelle was a lot nearer the line to be crossed than Sinead was. Nice to see Tim taking Lloyd's part as confidant for Steve but it isn't helping, especially when a lot of people know his business. He doesn't want to forgive her.

There's a reason fans have been calling her "Mee-chelle" for years. she's still trying to absolve her mistakes by blaming Steve or trying to get him to share the blame. Admitedly, it takes two to make a go of a relationship but she can't blame him for the choices she made. They're bickering and doing it in front of Amy so now Steve finally realizes Amy comes first and should do but Amy overheard Michelle talking to Maria about Steve hiding behind her and took it the wrong way. Poor kid laid it out for Tracy, too, about the years of Tracy fobbing her off on other people but she still isn't ready to forgive Tracy for her recent actions, either, and there she overheard even more bickering with her in the center of it. Rock. Hard place. Meet Amy Barlow.

The short story is that Amy decided nobody wanted her so she packed up and took off. She didn't get too far, straight for the bus stop, which is the last place people thought to look. Michelle made up with Amy, at least but decides to leave Steve. She has had enough of him giving her grief and thinks they need a bit of space. Steve backpedalled pretty quickly. He doesn't want her to leave but let's face it, he wasn't treating her very well, either.

Platts are moving back to Number 8 and Sarah is worried that she let cats out of the bag in her drunken ramblings. It would be really hard moving back in there now that everything is out in the open. Andy's back in town! Ooh, Steve's doggy, Rover has made a return appearance and so did Eccles!

Jason is still out of sorts and worried he'll get done for murder. Todd doesn't know what to do about this so called confession and Billy feels like he's stuck between a rock and a hard place, too. He worries about Sarah and all she's been through but he can't tell her that he knows what she told Todd. Todd's solution? He told the police Tony confessed! Todd is a very good liar, though, so it sounds credible even though the police inspector was highly skeptical.

When Jason found out that Todd has accused Tony of the murder, he and Billy both were shocked for different reasons. Jason is still sure David did it and Billy knows damn well he did it to cover for Sarah. Eileen reckons the police will see through his motives for telling them that lie. Jason really thinks his father would have told him if he had killed Callum and wouldn't have trusted Todd with "the truth". I bet if Todd told Jason that he thinks Sarah confessed, Jason would change his tune. Todd told David and David was flummoxed, too but he stayed cool while talking to him but he is sure that Sarah said something to Todd and that's why Todd went to the police. Sarah doesn't mind because Tony's dead anyway, Kylie's horrified. David thinks it's not such a bad idea.

Now Billy really feels like he's in a difficult position and if he goes to the police, everyone will get in trouble now. He's really having a difficult time having to keep the secret. The stress is going to affect his relationship with Sean, too. The police really don't believe Todd's accusations, it's just too coincidental that he came up with blaming Tony since they're focussing on Jason. Eileen thinks it's possible Tony could have done it which doesn't sit well with Jason, either but that seems like a good thing to Todd, that Eileen is on board. Tony's dodgey and yes, he certainly had the motive after Callum beat up Jason. He could have done it.

In the meantime, Billy's brother is still lurking around and since Todd saw him, and he's the only one that knows who Lee is so far, he had to drag Billy away from a lunch with Sean because Lee was in overdose mode. Why oh why can't Billy just tell Sean the truth! That drives me nuts about soaps, people keeping secrets for no good reason just so that Sean could see Todd give Billy a hug and assume the worst.

Billy's having a conscience crisis and Sean thinks he and Todd are having it off. I think Sean is justifiably angry at Billy and there's no reason Billy couldn't tell him about his brother. So Billy is dumped. Sean has shot himself in the foot with relationships before and he thinks this one has gone down the tubes a per usual with his luck but it's not like that at all.

Finally, Sean found out about Lee because Todd told him! About flamin' time! At least he got to talk to Billy about his brother. Billy nearly spilled the beans about Sarah because he didn't know how much Todd told Sean. So, Sean has even more reason to be narked off because now he knows there's a second secret and that's one that Billy can't tell but he was forced to, more or less, since he told Sean about the bullying that Bethany's enduring, not the murder he thinks Sarah confessed to. So, no more lies. It's a soap, what are the odds? No, no more lies but Billy feels so bad that he thinks Sean was right to dump him so he stays dumped and Billy has yet another secret. Billy is developing feelings for Todd. Unexpectedly, and to his credit, Todd was outraged when Billy confessed.

Meanwhile, coincidentally, Callum's mother has come to Billy's church and wants Billy to conduct Callum's funeral. It looked like Billy was going to pass out or throw up! Certainly puts him in a difficult spot.

Gary is fitting in well now he's staying with Izzy. Izzy's court case is next Monday but she hasn't told Aidan and Johnny about it yet. She fessed up and Johnny decided to suspend her with pay. But what happens if she's convicted?

Izzy's trial is coming up. Anna's not going to bear grudges. How kind (/sarcasm) Family outing to the Red Rec with Gary and Kevin in a smack down over the playground equipment. Anna's going to stick by Izzy and Jake no matter how she feels about the crime, though. Families stick together. Turns out Gary lost the smackdown! Izzy plans on making a stand with this trial. I don't know what she thinks is going to happen.

Leanne and Simon are back. We haven't seen Simon for yonks! Of course, Leanne hasn't heard the wedding gossip. What did I miss? they all say that! Now she's worried about Nick. There's still a bond there. Nick's pretty sure Robert isn't going to give the restaurant back and he's probably right but Leanne's going to give it her best shot. Pour on the guilt. Will it work? Nope. Leanne and Nick weren't willing to share the manager's job so Leanne quit! Andy's back but with Leanne not working, the restaurant is short staffed and Robert is in a mood, snapping at everyone and anything. Zeedan couldn't talk Leanne into coming back to work, either.

Nick is in the dumps and naturally, he would be. Looking for a job in the newspaper for him is the wrong way. He needs to get hold of an agency or headhunter. He's also getting on my nerves, going into the Bistro and wasting no time insulting Robert and getting drunk, which only makes things worse. Leanne is a good friend. I hope they don't put them back together again. I really never bought into that relationship and why should Leanne take up with Carla's castoffs? It's supposed to be Carla taking up with Leanne's castoffs, right?

Tim is up to something. With Craig. And boxes. Tim calls it practical science. It's actually a home brewery and he's calling it The Bucket and Sponge. Tim's made home brew in mere days. I doubt very much it would be good to drink so soon, would it? Craig faked being ill the next day, when he was actually hungover. When Beth found out, she blasted bad pop music into Craig's aching head until he confessed where he got it and then she tore a strip off Tim until Sophie offered her free beer.

Tim is strewing brewery makings and bottles are exploding all over the house. Sally arrived home dressed to the nines for a special function in a new outfit, guaranteed to end up with exploding beer all over it, right? I was waiting for it. Yep. Made a splash all right! Finally, Sophie tried to get Sally to see that Tim having a hobby is a good thing. She used Sally's snobbery to suggest a summer house over a shed, sounds nicer and nobody else has one. I'm surprised there'd be room!

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Coronation Street contracts extended for two stars

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Antony Cotton has had his contract extended to play Sean Tully in Coronation Street for at least another year.  He announced this on twitter. 

The Sun today says that Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie Webster, has signed a new contract which will keep her in the show until February 2017.

Brooke will be taking a break from Coronation Street later this year to star in a play called Be My Baby.

She'll be playing 19-year-old young mum  Mary Adams in the play which will run at Manchester’s Lowry Theatre.  Find out more here.

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Saturday 25 June 2016

Yay or Nay - Would you like Rosie Webster back in Corrie?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Helen Flanagan has told The Sun newspaper this week that she would love to go back to Coronation Street as Rosie Webster.  Her quote is as follows:

"I would absolutely love to go back to Coronation Street one day but it would have to work around Matilda," she told The Sun.  (Matilda is Helen Flanagan's little girl).

The Mirror reports Mr Curry Sauce saying this recently about the new Corrie producer Kate Oates: "Kate was going on about how excited she was to join the cast and crew in January and saying she couldn't wait to get her teeth into the show ... [she wants a return for] Rosie."

Yay or Nay - would you like a return for Rosie Webster?  I say yes. With the temporary exit of her on-screen sister Sophie Webster when actress Brooke Vincent takes leave to star in a stage show (read about that here), it could be a good time for her to return.

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Samia Ghadie: "I have no idea where Ozzy is"

In this week's fab Inside Soap magazine there's a Q&A with Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor in Coronation Street.  The questions she's answering are ones from fans, so there's some interesting ones including a question about Ozzy the dog.  Remember him?

"Whatever happened to Ozzy the dog?" asks Faye in Worcestor.

Samia replies: "I don't know! I think Maria must have locked him away in the flat for a while - but I'm going to ask because I have no idea where Ozzy is."

In reply to other questions, Samia says she hangs out off-screen with Jane Danson, who plays Leanne. The most weird place she's ever been recognised was in the CN Tower in Toronto as she was lying on the floor.

And she admitted that she almost cut Kate Ford's (Tracy Barlow) fringe with the scissors when they were filming in Audrey's salon.

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Corrie Sunday Worship

(This post was originally posted by Emma Hynes on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016.)

(Note, In Canada, this week's Thursday and Friday episodes originally aired as one hour on Sunday, June 12)

It has been over eight years since Coronation Street's half hour slot on Sunday nights was spirited away to Friday evenings at 8.30pm. However, the eleventh commandment, which dictates that thou shalt rearrange thy schedules to accommodate major sporting events, meant that we could revel in the resurrection of Sunday night Corrie once more, and for a whole hour too. Honour thy football and thy soap, they said, and it was good.

Sunday Corrie was always a special thing for me. As the weekend prepared to exit stage left, there remained a final scene to look forward to before the curtain fell. It staved off the back to school or work feeling, as we could escape to Weatherfield for half an hour.

It seemed fitting that Billy the Vicar would be at the centre of the action for tonight's Sunday service by the wonderful Chris Fewtrell as he grappled with his conscience and the values which define him. I'm really enjoying this element of the Callum saga. It's not only the fact that Billy believes Sarah is the killer, and is aware that Todd has lied to the police about Tony, he's battling with what is the right or wrong thing to do; while he sees Sarah as a victim, can he accept a deceased man's memory being besmirched for something he didn't do, or live with the lies?

His struggle was further compounded tonight with Marion asking him to preside over Callum's funeral. And if all that wasn't enough, after keeping his brother's existence a secret from Sean lead to suspicions about Todd, these turned out to be well founded, as Billy declares to Todd that he's falling for him. As he tearfully ended his relationship with Sean, I felt so sorry for him. The fact that Billy is a vicar with a strong moral compass lends a great complexity to the drama as, through him, we can vicariously ask, what would I do in each of his unenviable situations?

Billy has been a firm favourite with me since he arrived on the cobbles in 2014, and the fact that we know him to be an upbeat ray of sunshine ensures he garners great sympathy in his current state. The questionable morals of the soap characters we know and love have brought us some cracking storylines over the years, but I'm enjoying the presence of a good living character and seeing him face the challenge of everything he stands for being put to the test. It helps that Daniel Brocklebank does a consistently brilliant job of bringing this great character to life.

That concludes my sermon for this evening, but don't forget, we can rejoice at having double Corrie tomorrow at the usual time of 7.30pm and 8.30pm, and on Tuesday for an hour at 8pm.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites

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Friday 24 June 2016

Coronation Street's Tina O'Brien gets engaged

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Tina O’Brien, who plays Sarah Platt in Coronation Street, has just become engaged to her boyfriend Adam Crofts.

Tina told Closer magazine: “I’m really happy. I’m with my best friend. I said to my mum the other day: ‘I’m so lucky, not only do I love him but I fancy him as well.’”

The couple have a son, Beau, two, together, as well as Sarah’s daughter Scarlett, nine, from a previous relationship with Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw).

Tina split from Ryan Thomas one year after she gave birth to their daughter, leaving her devastated. Closer magazine says that Tina told a magazine at the time: “About a week before Scarlett's first birthday, he said he didn't love me any more. He said I didn't do it for him any more. Those were his words. I was absolutely devastated. He said he didn't want the responsibility of a relationship with me.”

However she and Ryan have since formed a strong friendship, working alongside one another on Corrie and raising their daughter together in the best way possible.

Congratulations to Tina and Adam! 

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First pics of Catherine Tyldesley's wedding

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Eva Price in Coronation Street, was married last week to her fella Tom Pitfield.  They're pictured above with Corrie cast mates Jane Danson (Leanne) and Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor).

Catherine and Tom's wedding pictures today appear in Hello! Magazine.  The mag reports that Shayne Ward sang at the wedding. Shayne said: “Cath asked me to sing it for her only a few weeks ago. I’m so happy and honoured I was able to do it for her.”  

The wedding took place at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire.

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Thursday 23 June 2016

Corrie Canada sneak previews June 27 - July 1

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

The police turn their investigations to Tony, angering Jason who still thinks David killed Callum. Phelan hides the evidence. Sarah attends Callum's funeral and with Lee lurking around, Billy falls apart. Lee decides to use Sarah as leverage to get money out of Billy. Izzy's trial takes place. Guilty or Innocent? Michelle has regrets but Steve remains cool. Caz is jealous of another friend of Kate's and Luke's suspicions grow. Sean wants Billy back and puts Todd in the middle. Tim builds a summerhouse. Bethany's exams take place. Beth's reunion is rocky.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Conversation Street Podcast 203

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

It was a short week for Corrie episodes in the UK, just three so this podcast is a bit early for us Canadians. It's been all about the Platts and the McDonalds this week where we have the ongoing police investigation and Todd maneuvering so the people that matter to him are safe. Michelle and Steve are on the outs as well and Tim has started up a little side brewery that could cause a bit of mischief. Author Glenda Young is on the show this week, talking about her new book, The Little Book of Carla Connor and there's news and feedback to look forward to as well.

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Wednesday 22 June 2016


(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016.)

I was watching Friday's Corrie, hoping that if I hung around long enough something interesting might happen, when my attention was grabbed during a scene between Zee and Alya.  I spotted the bin at the back of the scene.

Yes.  That's how fascinated I was.  I went bin spotting.

The first thing that grabbed me was its position.  That's not a very wide windowsill for a bin to go on.  And who puts a bin up that high anyway?  You're just asking for spillage.

The second thing that grabbed me was that it said "City Council" on it.  Is Weatherfield a City, I wondered?  It was always a Borough Council in the past.  Had it changed?  After all, Salford, the place Weatherfield replaced in Greater Manchester, is a city now.  Maybe they had a change as well and it just wasn't mentioned.

But then my confusion deepened.  Computer, ZOOM AND ENHANCE.

Admittedly, it's harder to see when it's not on a 55 inch LED screen.  But that definitely says Salford under the flap of bin bag.  That's a Salford City Council wastebin.  It's a bin from the real world, and it could destroy everything.

The show fractures around the bin.  There is no Salford in Coronation Street's world: Salford is Weatherfield, Weatherfield is Salford.  This bin cannot exist in Weatherfield and yet, there it is.  It's crossed over from another world, another universe, another galaxy.  The Nazir's kitchen is now the fulcrum of a collapsing fiction.  What next?  Audrey calling Gail "Helen"?  The viaduct toppling over in a strong wind?  The beer in the pub turning out to be non-alcoholic?  The whole show could fall apart in front of our eyes, destroyed by this one, misplaced bin.  All is a lie.

Or alternatively nothing will happen and I'm just being melodramatic.  One of the two.

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Got a Phelan about the future of Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2016.)

Admittedly, I haven't felt as engaged as usual re all things Corrie. The 'big week' was fun enough but like a good Chinese takeaway, you're left with hunger pangs after the main event.

Like many, I was sad to see Carla go. An iconic character? I think so. Carla may have weathered many a storm down the years but it was definitely time for her to go.

As for the Platt shenanigans? A dismissive 'whatever' comes to mind. We seem to have been living with this storyline for several centuries. Even the EU referendum debate is starting to look like more of a palatable drama than the goings on at number eight. On it drags then, leading the way in a sea of 'summat and nowt' early summer sagas; Michelle's self-righteous indignation, Steve's gurning response, Amy becoming Tracy Two, Sinead's humdrum love life, Izzy heading for Cell Block H. Ho-hum.

Waiting in the wings though, there is the feeling of a storyline to come. A hint of evil autumn mists perhaps a-closing in on t'cobbles. 2016 has witnessed the rise and  . . . well, rise of Pantomime Pat, the current embodiment of cackling comedy evil.

Bit by bit he is dismantling the lives of Street residents for his own personal gain. However, this is Corrie and baddies don't win out forever. Eventually there has to be a reckoning. Which makes me wonder - will viewers be treated to the 'Death of Pat Phelan'? Within a few months there could be a number of people with murder on their minds, particularly when it transpires how cruelly he has manipulated the Grimshaws.

I'll bet you Jackson's chippy to a hairnet that before long, Phelan will have mysteriously fallen down a flight of stairs, felled by one of Todd's witty one liners. Or perhaps he'll hurl himself off t'faktry roof, driven to distraction by Sean's constant yapping. Or maybe Eileen of the Miseries will wreak her awful revenge on the man who ripped the House of Grimshaw asunder. Which, wonderfully, could lead to Eileen being hauled off to prison. Curtains for Eileen? Well, it wouldn't be the first time.

Clinkers to Riddle. On twitter @bridglondon

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Tuesday 21 June 2016

Coronation Street Blog interview with Tina O'Brien

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Ever since Callum's murder, it has been Sarah who has been the most affected. Kylie and particularly David, have seemed to hold up better than Sarah, not that that is much to be proud of. On a few occasions, it has seemed as if Sarah might just give the game away in her conversations with Billy and also Todd. Sarah has cried the most, worried the most and appeared the most physically and mentally disturbed by the murder of Callum. She is jumpy, nervous, anxious and on edge. Ordinarily perhaps baby Harry's crying would not have troubled her so much, but the knowledge that Callum's body is decomposing under the annexe where her mother sleeps, is just too disturbing. That he is also Harry's father adds a further dimension and it is Sarah's belief that Harry won't settle because he senses the 'presence' of his father.

Throughout the intervening weeks since the murder, David and Kylie have had to warn Sarah to get a grip and to control herself. They have reiterated that she must tell no one, nor act as if anything is untoward. Sarah has struggled, but so far has managed to keep the sinister secret between the three of them.

Would it be fair then to claim that Sarah is mentally weaker than David and Kylie? On the surface, perhaps yes. However, we must take into account the fact that Sarah has had a relationship with Callum and what's more, has carried and given birth to his child.

Tina O'Brien told us that she was determined in her preparation and in her presentation of her role as a woman suffering from post partum psychosis, to 'get it right' - to be as convincing as she possibly could to portray the psychological difficulties of women suffering all manner of problems after the birth of a baby. Tina  added that she went to a Wythenshawe mother and baby group to gain first hand experience from those very women who have struggled after the birth of their babies. I find this so impressive, as it conveys to us Tina's dedication and sense of responsibility to portray as accurately as she can, how it feels to struggle psychologically after having giving birth. And what's more - she has done a terrific job. What could have been melodrama, is, in the capable hands of Tina O'Brien, a convincing depiction of a woman on the edge.

The discovery of Callum's body now ends all speculation that somehow he had escaped and is just biding his time before reappearing and exacting a terrible revenge.

Fragile before the discovery of Callum's body, forthcoming episodes will now see a woman at breaking point. Intriguingly, despite the discovery of Callum's body, Sarah goes into denial as to it being Callum, so her already severely confused mental state will give way to further struggles. Callum's funeral will emphasise the strain Sarah is undergoing.

The Platts will be arrested, excluding Audrey and Nick, Tina said. 'Will they get away with it?' Tina was asked and her reply was that, 'If it is up to David, then probably.' David will cast the net far and wide in an attempt to incriminate others. Todd and Tony burnt out Callum's car in revenge for Callum having beaten up Jason, so it is likely that Todd will be arrested, though it is obviously too late for Tony. There will be several people associated with the drug dealing that will also come into the frame, maybe including Gemma.

I asked Tina about Sarah's friendship with Todd and whether she might confide in him as matters become very serious indeed. Tina replied that she and Todd become closer and he is a great support to her. The death of their child several years ago will always be something which draws and glues them together. Tina said that with Sarah, in her increasingly disturbed psychological state, is unclear in what she is actually saying to Todd, leading him to jump to conclusions and make incorrect assumptions. Sarah also wants to confide in her mother, Gail, but recognises that she cannot.

It was pointed out that EastEnders is running a similar story. Though Tina admitted that it was unfortunate, she was able to point out decisive differences in the treatment of post partum psychosis, in that Sarah's difficulties centre around Callum and the fact that she holds in her arms, Callum's child, half brother to Max and Callum's second son.

Tina was full of praise for new producer Kate Oates, who used to be at the helm of Emmerdale. Tina told us that Kate is 'very much on the ball' and is brimful of ideas. Though Kate is now fully a part of the  Coronation Street team, Kate's episodes will not hit our screens until the autumn

Ruth Owen, twitter @Ruth1722

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Monday 20 June 2016

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards June 13 - 17

Conclusion leaping award: Sarah's nearly incoherent rantings made Todd believe she was the one that killed Callum. You can see where he might think that.

Hypocrite award: Chesney didn't want Sinead to work so they could spend the day together and dropped Sinead the instant his mate Gemma needed encouragement to go to work.

Weird Science award: After 8 months, could they really tell to an exact date when Callum received the head wound that killed him?

Mean Girls award: Eva for embarassing, nay, bullying Sinead about the sloppy attempt to kiss Aidan when she knows full well she's probably done similarly stupid things in the past.

Pet Owner fail: Gemma, kept forgetting to feed the guinea pig Callum gave her. It died.

History repeats itself award: Chesney is overreacting to Sinead's drunken attempt to kiss Aidan. You may remember he shot his relationship with Katy to bits over a mere kiss, as well.

Lines of the week:
Phelan "I've got bigger fish to fry as far as this street's concerned" (Bring it on!)
Sarah "What if some people do see the dead?"
Gemma about her guinea pig "I called him Ginga Ninja"
Fiz "Her mate's just died!" Sinead "Oh Boo Hoo. He was a drug dealer. It's been ages since I had a Chinese"
Gail "A middle aged woman half his size? What am I supposed to do? Hit him over the head with a frying pan?" (Yeah, pretty much)
Roy "Funny 'Ha Ha' has never been my forte"
Chesney "So now you're blaming me?!" (yes. It was your fault)
Gail "People are going to think we're cursed!"
David "Thanks for that, Gail. Your Mother of the Year badge is in the post"
Todd "I'm thinking now I know what it's like to be caught between a rock and a hard place"

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Sunday 19 June 2016

Where have you seen Alistair the tile man before?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

If you're wondering where you've seen Alistair before on Coronation Street, then wonder no more.

Alistair is the fella who loaded the roof slates from No.3 onto a truck and promised Norris the new tiles will arrive shortly. But rather than pay Norris for the slates, he drives off, leaving Norris roofless.

Alistair is played by actor Nicholas Asbury, who is no stranger to Coronation Street. Back in 2011 he played the role of a vet called Mr Brodie.   He was the vet who treated Schmeichel when the Great Dane was diagnosed with liver disease in November 2011.

He was the vet who treated Schmeichel when the Great Dane was diagnosed with liver disease in November 2011 - and put him down!

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Sunday Comments June 19

We move ahead with the after effects of the events of last week.

The gossips have forgotten about Carla and Nick and have jumped right into a much juicier murder. Who killed Callum? Those on the street with an opinion seem to think David did it. All of the Platts are arrested on suspicion and all are questioned. The police seem to be most interested in David as well, gearing much of the questioning of all of them in his general direction. David stays cool and collected, even glib at times, admitting he's glad Callum is dead but it doesn't mean he killed him. Finally, when pressed as to who else would have access to their house and a grudge against Callum, David takes a drink to stall for time and comes out with a name. Jason Grimshaw. Well, it's true that Jason did have a grudge, we know that. That big plop you just heard was the sound of Jason being dropped in it.

But David and Kylie are anxious to find out what Gail and Sarah told the police, first and David isn't all that happy that his mother assumes the police will think he did it since he's the only man in the house. I think it's more that his history with Callum that made the police suspcious.

And Jason is not best pleased, is he? The police have come for him next. Gemma is fierce and whoever did do it is going to have to answer to her. Finding out that David probably shopped Jason in didn't please Kylie, up to his old tricks again, isn't he? From the police perspective, Jason has every bit as much motive and opportunity, one more candidate to muddy the waters. He's not happy and the clan confrontation on the cobbles was inevitable. Jason's really worried he's going to get done for the murder.

Sarah can't handle it if Jason gets charged. Jason gives Sarah a hard time when it was actually David that did the deed and with Todd on Sarah's case, too, she's buckling under pressure and thinks she sees Callum's ghost around every corner. Todd doesn't want the news that he and Tony burned Callum's car to get out and doesn't want Jason to shoot himself in the foot by freaking out so he'll deal with Sarah. Todd's trying to get on Billy's side and find out what Billy knows about Sarah's state of mind. Billy did admit he knows Sarah was afraid of Callum but Todd jumped pretty quickly to put theories in Billy's mouth. Anything to make sure Jason doesn't get convicted of doing something he didn't do. Sarah's really losing it and that's not a good thing. She could say or do anything.

So will Todd, anything to get Jason out of it. Todd does care for Sarah, just the same and finally persuaded her to talk to him. She slipped and told Todd she saw Callum dead and then started to break down. She can't hold it in anymore. She blames herself and told Todd that Callum attacked her and it would sound to anyone that she was the one that killed Callum. In a way, it could be her fault for contacting Callum in the first place but she didn't actually do the deed.

Will Todd use that to get Jason off? Billy found him in a state. Todd really does believe Sarah was the one and he told Billy. In confidence. Billy was shocked! He admitted to Todd that he thought Sarah might have been raped but is second guessing his assumptions. And I don't think David believed Sarah and Todd were talking about their dead son. Todd isn't going to let Sarah be done for murder but doesn't want Jason to be either. He'll come up with something, though, he's good at that. He's dragged Billy into this as well.

Meanwhile, Gemma is devastated over Callum's death and she's on the warpath and if it wasn't David, she believes it's Jason that did it and he ended up wearing the traditional pint over the head.

Bethany has turned sweet 16! She's organizing her own party and all of a sudden she's got all these people that want to come! And someone's sending her anonymous birthday gifts. Now who can that be? We don't know but Sarah is really getting over protective, worried about everything and everyone. There really was a party and there really were guests who gave Bethany presents and everything. more bullying?

The Nazirs are going away and leaving Phelan to work on her Orangerie. Zeedan is going to have the house more or less to himself so naturally he's going to invite Rana over even though he's not going to have her stay overnight. He's got principles! I don't know why she stays with him if they want different things and she doesn't either. Looks like he's been dumped again. How long will he be able to hold out or will he marry her first? Mind you, I don't think she'd marry him but I think he's probably going to ask.

Johnny is miserable and missing Carla. They can't access the payroll because she's password protected it and they can't get hold of her. What do you suppose the password turned out to be? #blessed. Really. Beth is invited to a school reunion. Izzy has a court hearing to enter her plea and is attempting to plead not guilty.

Chesney is now back from one of the longest holidays ever. Sinead is glad and turns down a modelling job to spend the day with him. It wasn't just her, either, Chesney wanted her to as well. But as soon as he spies Gemma who's quite upset about Callum, he goes running off to the kebab shop to help her get settled in at work and support her, much to Sinead's annoyance. Later, when Sinead comes to the shop she sees them having a laugh and spins on a heel. She's sure she's going to be dumped and drags Fiz to the pub for copious amounts of alcohol, totally insensitive to Gemma's grief, and then later, attempting to kiss Aiden which is instantly mortifying for both of them. eek! She can't hold her booze very well, can she? So that's the second "illegal" kiss we've seen, after Michelle and Will which, to be fair, went a bit further than a sloppy drunken attempt.

But Eva got the truth out of Aidan and wasted no time embarassing Sinead and telling Chesney what happened. Seemed kind of mean, really, since it was hardly even close to an affair and I'm quite sure Eva has done some pretty stupid things in a similar vein before. Surely she should be sympathetic rather than horrible and naturally, Chesney's got the wrong end of the stick and overreacted. Beth overheard them fighting and decided to try to get them to make up. They ended up talking it through but didn't get too far. Let's not forget that Chesney broke up with Katy over a kiss and accused her of an affair that hadn't happened at all. And Gemma's there needing someone to comfort her. Sinead better watch out. She told Chesney he could kiss someone. He did, but only on the cheek and then made up with Sinead.

Roy brings Cathy home but avoids her by staying out doing errands most of the day. Cathy tells Anna about the proposal and Roy's non-answer but Anna is sure Roy cares very much about her. Later when Roy comes back, Anna gives him a bit of an ear bashing about giving Cathy the right answer, as she's the best thing that's happened to him in ages. Will he? Of course he will. They had a lovely talk and they're properly engaged. Ring and all, after Roy ends up not knuckling under to his mother's manipulations to come back to her side. Sylvia only wanted an ally when she fell out with her sister, as Roy determined.

Norris seems to be about to be ripped off by a con man in his attempt to have some of his roof slates replaced. He insulted Phelan both after Phelan turned down the paltry job of checking for loose slate tiles and Jason for being a murderer and then tried to offer his hand after Jason scolded him. Mary's quite sure the man that later approached Norris about buying the slates is dodgey. If Phelan is anywhere near the equation, my guess is that the man is one of his dodgey mates.

The man has removed all of Norris' slates and promised to pay Norris but drove off, leaving dust in his wake. I don't think we'll see anymore of him and Norris has no roof and Mary has no Camilla cup. Phelan to the rescue. I wonder if the original slates really were worth something? We don't know exactly but Phelan really was in cahoots with Bob/Alistair. Phelan actually sold Norris back the slates he sold to Bob/Alistair and split the difference with his mate.

Steve has a broken wing (the actor had an accident in real life). Amy is determined not to go back home with her mother and Steve is on her side. Tracy can't order Amy home nor can she sweet talk her. She's bored but she's not going home. Michelle has a plan to make peace between mother and daughter though she doesn't really think Tracy deserves it. Amy caught on. Fail! She nearly did text her mother again but someone knocked on the door and looky who it was! Will! What on earth does he want? Well, I suppose we can guess. Not what, who! And Michelle's reaction, and Sean and Michelle's conversation has got Amy suspicious. Now she's all moody and distracted again and has Amy to contend with and she'll blackmail Michelle into ensuring she doesn't have to go back home again. She's her mother's daughter, that one.

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