Sunday 31 July 2016

Sunday Comments July 31

Billy, who wasn't really backwards in coming forwards when he got together with Sean, seems to be all flustered around Todd but very flattered with his attentions, until, of course, Todd had a bit of fun when the Bishop was visiting. (BILLY! TATTOOS!!!) Todd had a long philosophical discussion with the Bishop about the church vs. homosexuality in today's society though Billy and the Bishop turned it around on Todd to try to get him to join the church! Later, Billy doesn't want to jump right in to a physical relationship with Todd, just yet. He's more cautious, and it's not just getting over Sean.

I think Nick is definitely leaning towards Leanne again and she kind of is and kind of isn't letting him in closer. "Same old same old" comes to mind. But she's still taking painkillers for her bad back and they're making her ill. She went to the doctor but the doctor asked her if she could be pregnant. She said no, but then realized she very well could be, took the test and the test says yes! Now, the night of that mystery man was only a couple of weeks ago so if she's late at all, it's probably not by much which would be why she wasn't already supicious. She nearly bit Nick's head off after she found out. We still don't know who the father is, and the suspects line up. Nick, Robert, or someone else? There were rumours about Zeedan but he's very strict with his religion and I don't think he'd go for Leanne, especially because we saw evidence of wine and he wouldn't drink even if he would have sex with a non-Muslim.

Leanne was shocked but we've already been told in the past that she wasn't likely to be able to get pregnant again. She was due to have a drink with Nick in the pub. She's delayed, obviously, leaving Nick and Robert, the two alpha males on the Street, to knock antlers on the hilltop. Tiresome. Leanne kept looking at Robert while begging off her drinks date with Nick and their conversation was a bit vague. Is that a clue? Meanwhile, Simon is worried she's got something dire like cancer but she had to reassure him on that score.

She really needs to talk to someone but Eva is away visiting her gran in France. Leanne is all at sixes and sevens and seems to be backing off from Nick again, not quite admitting there's someone else. He's scared she's going to lead him on and then dump him and she has a baby daddy she's got to tell. It doesn't seem like it's Nick or I think she'd have said. Leanne can't be more than 2 weeks pregnant but she's already got morning sickness. I know everyone's different but that's a bit soon, innit? I looked it up, it was less that 2 weeks ago. At least she didn't go for the soap cliche and faint.

Anyway, Steph keeps coming round to talk Leanne into coming back to work and she ended up finding the pregnancy test but she pretended it was Eva's and was negative.

David and Kylie have redecorated the annex and moved in there themselves, looking to put the past in the past and make a future for themselves. Kylie decides to help Gail find her future, too, when she realizes that Gail still loves Michael even though she thinks that ship has sailed. A little engineering and bob's your uncle, Gail and Michael are back together! Awww! I'm chuffed! It's nice to see Gail happy again. I always thought the two of them suited each other well.

Kylie can see Bethany is not herself and has something on her mind. Even though school is out, the bullies are still harassing Bethany. She made Bethany tell her what was going on. Poor kid really felt alone with her mother ill and she couldn't tell anyone and she can't seem to stand up for herself. She doesn't know how she's going to handle it, but she's determined to do it on her own.

Kylie still isn't so comfortable in the annex, just the same. There are still ghosts. And Max seems to be feeling the loss of his dad, too, even if he isn't overly upset that he died. Lovely little scene between he and Bethany after his "accident". Bethany might have washed his sheet but she forgot to wash off the mattress. Kylie seems to be out of sorts, too though she seems pleased Michael and Gail are back together. She blames herself for it all because she brought Callum back into their lives in the first place.

Apparently, school is closed due to a burst pipe and Aadi and Asha have to stay at David's. Whatever happened to Mary? Erica works at the shop, Mary only helps out occasionally at the Kabin so why wasn't she available? Yep, more contrived horse hockey to give Kylie even more stress in order to push her to make arrangments to start over in Barbados. Those rotten kids made Max go in the bedroom where the body was and the handle on the door fell off. I guess Michael's not very good at fixing stuff.

There's an awful lot of talk about David and Kylie and the future. And David telling Nick he is a lucky guy having bagged Kylie. There's also a lot of bonding with Kylie and Bethany, and nice little scenes with Kylie and Gail. She's telling Max she'll always look after him. All that kind of talk makes me nervous. Very nervous. It's just all too perfect and phrase of doom-y. The next thing you know, Kylie and David have made a snap decision to move to Barbados where Becky lives for a fresh start.

Kylie has given Gemma some good advice. Let's hope Gemma can cut her old life off. David wants to wait a bit, he wants to officially adopt Max first. She reckons they can still do it from Barbados which, no doubt, they can. But first they have to tell Gail and she wasn't happy about it, not at all. She's using all her ammunition. My grandchildren, Sarah, stability for the children. Kylie brought out her own ammunition. Max shouldn't grow up in the house where his dad's body was found. He's having nightmares, wetting the bed. It's hard to argue with that. She really does want the best for her children and as hard as it is, Gail does know the truth of that.

Callum's and Gemma's old co-horts are lurking around the kebab shop, giving Gemma grief and making her give them free food. But when Sinead, who already feels a bit threatened by Gemma and Chesney's friendship, calls her on being a thief, she turns the tables and proves she's changing. She's been paying for the food out of her own pocket so Sinead had to apologize. Grudgingly.

Chesney trusted Gemma all along and I think that trust has gone a long way to giving her the confidence to stick to the straight and narrow. It looks like she's really trying to turn her life around but Callum's mates aren't going to let it go that easily. Dev caught the fake bank notes and Chesney took the blame for it even though Dev assumed Gemma was responsible. At least Dev had the grace to apologize but Chesney gave Gemma a serious warning.

After Kylie gave Gemma some advice, she was determined to change her life, starting with Clayton who tried to get her to change counterfeit money again. Wasn't it heartwarming when she was proud of herself, something that doesn't happen too often? Later, Craig was full of praise about the kebab Gemma created for him. A work of art! But Clayton came back and attacked Gemma and when Kylie came to her rescue, Gemma was unconscious on the ground and Kylie was left with a stab wound!!!!! There have been too many phrases of doom hurled around this week. This isn't going to end well.

Audrey is still kind of hovering around Ken, in friendship at least, and Freddie's still around and on her arm as well. He's a nice fella but I would imagine he's in no way ready to start a proper relationship with someone so soon after his Sadie died, unlike the Barlow-meister when he rebounded into the pirhana that was Nessa. Even Freddie is trying to get Audrey to ask Ken out! He's a good mate, is Freddie. He got straight to the point with Ken, suggesting he take Audrey to the theatre but of course there's continual crossed signals when he sees Audrey being affectionate with Freddie. He gave her the theatre tickets instead, with a lame excuse about a reunion of teachers at the school. Instead, Ken keeps walking around with a pained look on his face (which, to be fair, isn't all that unusual anyway) This is really getting tedious.

And actualleh, Freddie and Audrey make a better suited pair. Ken is too high falutin' for most people and he'd bore Audrey to tears whereas Freddie would make her laugh. I think with Ken, he's snoozed so he's about to lose.

Robert's turned into a bit of a tool, hasn't he? He's apparently shouty and stern with his staff and he's certainly defensive when Leanne offered Steph some advice. Is he missing Tracy or is that just his real personality and his nice guy front was just that? He does still have a nice side, which we saw when he was good to Amy last week, but he seems a lot harder these days.

Sophie is still glaring daggers at Caz and when a woman came looking for her, she pointed her to the Bistro where she knew Caz was. Mind you, she didn't think anything of it. And it turns out, the woman was checking up on Private Hammond and we find out that Caz is being court martialled!!! Caz lied to Kate about the meeting and when she found out Sophie redirected the woman, she blamed Sophie for her troubles with a warning. Caz's solution? Try to talk Kate into eloping. She'll think about it.

It didn't take very long for Caz's true colours to come out. Scally mates were causing trouble and chatting up Kate so Caz took one of them and rousted him right out the door, then tried to play up her ankle but both Sophie and Kate realized she as faking. Caz pretended she's only a little bit better and she stayed so she didn't have to leave Kate. She promised not to lie to Kate again but she already is, re the court martial. Kate's willing to believe it but it looks like she has doubts just the same.

The Army MP lady caught up with Caz again and the court martial cat is out of the bag. The truth was, Caz got in a fight, it wasn't an accident and the other girl was badly hurt from the sound of it, or the implication of it. Kate is outraged and Caz is begging but Kate isn't having it. Too many lies, Caz. It's over.

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Saturday 30 July 2016

Seagulls-eye view of Coronation Street set

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

TV Reality show star Fearne McCann was on ITV's This Morning today.  She talked about the soaps and mentioned that Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle McDonald in Coronation Street, was pooped on by a seagull while filming on set. 

Oh dear.

But that's not the point of this blog post.  In the soap snippet the cameras showed a birds-eye (seagulls-eye?) view of the Coronation Street set, which is definitely worth a little look...


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Friday 29 July 2016

Fab Photo Friday - An ace up their sleeve?

It must have been some sort of guessing game along with whatever cards were in their hands! Fred, Audrey, Emily and Norris play a hand of cards in the pub!

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Thursday 28 July 2016

Corrie Canada sneak previews for Aug. 1 - 5

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

REMEMBER, CBC is airing DOUBLE episodes of Coronation Street next week. 

Corrie WILL NOT BE ON DURING THE OLYMPICS but will be caught up afterwards with two weeks of double episodes.

The Platts' lives are struck by tragedy and the aftermath is devastating for all. Simon worries about Leanne and she finally tells him she's pregnant. Leanne then tells the baby's father the news. Maria offers friendship to Caz while Sophie offers a shoulder for Kate. Jenny has a dismal debut as a machinist and grows closer to Johnny. Later, Jenny gets a machinist trial. The Nazirs and Metcalfs continue to clash. Dev discovers he had the wrong end of the stick. Michelle helps Leanne when she has a scare and then gets broody herself. David struggles. Jenny schmoozes a client, making Johnny jealous. Eileen discovers Billy and Todd's relationship.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Wednesday 27 July 2016

Coronation Street guest blog post - Neil Sheldrake

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

Here's a guest blog post from Coronation Street Blog fan Neil Sheldrake.
Neil is on twitter at @retro_geek_2016.
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!

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

"My first vivid memory of Coronation Street is from 1989 and Alan Bradley's ultimate demise underneath the wheels of the Blackpool Tram; I was just days away from my 5th birthday! Ever since then I've watched the programme on and off over the last 27 years from sitting in front of the television with the family to relaxing after a long day at work in front of my computer viewing Coronation Street 'on demand'.

I think it'd be fair to say I'm a massive fan of the Street; after the recent soap awards I was at work in the staff canteen with my fellow workers and they were wondering who was pictured with Alan Halsall. They couldn't remember Lucy-Jo Hudson (who I hasten to add has been fantastic in Doctors recently) and I explained about the Harris family and how she'd killed her dad, Tommy, in Webster's Autos before committing suicide in the form of a diabetic overdose.

Not only that I know I've been watching the programme (in great detail!) when, during the Britain's Got Talent week, I recognised the back of Nick's Bistro as the backyard of Dev's Corner Shop! It threw me at first but I'm putting that down to the fake brick wall they'd erected.

When the former Quay Street site opened to the public for the final time I was fortunate enough to have visited seven times; I wasn't lucky enough to visit the Granada Studios Tours back in the 1990s so I made up for lost time. I'm glad I didn't have the opportunity (back then) to pay a visit as being able to see "behind the scenes" shows how much work goes into producing the world's longest running serial drama.

Whilst I appreciate people want to escape the realities of life when watching the nation's favourite soap it does irk me somewhat when people can walk into Underworld (as an example) with no form of interview and land a job; the same goes for selling a business to a sneaky rival or the stresses and strains of being unable to afford the rent but finding yourself in The Rovers for a few pints of Newton and Ridley!

Not only that but it does seem slightly unrealistic the Street residents live and work in the same Mancunian district without some of them ever venturing further afield into Salford, Manchester City Centre (and beyond). I appreciate it's perhaps expensive, a logistical nightmare and easier given the programme's turnaround but with the new larger lot at Trafford Wharf perhaps ITV could expand the set and introduce the shopping precinct and Freshcos?

Talking of sets it does seem strange watching the on screen antics of many a beloved character knowing you've 'seen behind the scenes' knowing the stairs don't lead anywhere etc; part of me is pleased Streetcars and Underworld are now on the Street again after spending years erected in Stage One/Two as it does show up what's filmed on the Street itself!

I fully appreciate the houses aren't built to full scale but I do wonder why some of the less used sets (i.e. Emily and Norris at number 3 and with Kevin at number 13) aren't also filmed on the backlot instead of wheeling them out when a storyline requires their use; at least with the Christmas storyline in 2015 we got to see Hope and Ruby's bedroom in use (as opposed to Fiz and Tyrone's bedroom being erected inside Roy's Rolls).

In terms of episode output I'm looking forward to Kate Oates' work in the Autumn and whether we'll be treated to the same kind of secrets fans of Emmerdale have been treated to the last couple of years; I have to say I'm loving Tim and Sally and Billy has been a great addition too. Tina O'Brien has been nothing short of outstanding since her return and I can't wait to see how Kylie is going to leave t'cobbles in a few weeks' time.

Neil Sheldrake

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Tuesday 26 July 2016

Lucy Fallon signs new contract with Coronation Street

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

Lucy Fallon, who plays Bethany Platt on Coronation Street, has signed a new contract to stay with the show for another year.

An ITV spokeswoman told the Sunday People today that Lucy signing a new contract was 'fantastic news' as she has a huge following, especially with ­younger fans.

And Mr Curry Sauce is back! Where's he been hiding for the last few months? The Mirror reports: "An insider believes Lucy will be joined by new cast members over the coming months. They are going to need a lot of gutsy girls to keep everyone happy for three hours a week.”

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Johnny Connor to stay on Coronation Street for another year

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

Richard Hawley, who plays Johnny Connor in Coronation Street, will be staying on the cobbles for another 12 months.

The Twitter account which is run in support of Richard Hawley today announced that Richard has signed a new contract to stay on Corrie for another year.

It's good news for this fan. I like Johnny Connor a lot and think he adds a great deal to the show in terms of acting chops and character gravitas too.

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Monday 25 July 2016

Meet the new hunks of Coronation Street

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

I thought long and hard before writing this blog post because I think it probably says a lot more about me than it does about Coronation Street!   Ladies of a certain age up and down the country - and some men too - have a new wave of Corrie hunks.  Well, without Peter Barlow, what's a girl to do?

And so, for your delectation, here are the men who rank up there as the current Coronation Street hunks.
Derek Griffiths as Freddie Smith. Leather-clad and drives a motorbike. Has yet to show his true colours towards Audrey and invite her out properly for a drink which she's going to accept and fall in love with the best looking fella she's ever dated.

Richard Hawley as Johnny Connor. Rugged on the outside, smoothie on the inside. A proper softie. The sort of fella you can just imagine smelling of Brut 33. And has a good-looking son in Aidan Connor too.

And Connor McIntyre as Pat Phelan.  As evil as they come and very watchable too.

Are there any more men you'd add to the list of current male-totty on the Street?

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Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for July 18 - 22

Family Matters award: I think David was deeply moved that Sarah covered for he and Kylie at the therapy session. It wasn't even relief on his face, was it? Kylie looked very sad and humbled at Sarah's words. Amazing performances from all three.

Burned Bridges award: Tracy has a long road ahead to make up with Amy.

Pants on Fire award: Billy's keeping secrets from Sean about "where he's been and who he's been with." (points if you recognize that turn of phrase!)

Phrase of Doom award: Sean "Me and Billy, we're the real deal. I can see us growing old together" (and predictably, they didn't last the week!)

Moral High Ground award: He had no problem stealing Marcus away from Maria nor any qualms about splitting up Jason (his brother) and Eva so it seems weird that Todd is trying to keep he and Billy apart on the grounds of disloyalty to another man that's like a brother to him. So, Todd has changed, but will anyone believe him when the doodoo hits the fan?

Classic Corrie shout out: Loved Ken and Rita reminiscing about Deirdre's days in the Street panto.

Convenience award: In an old, crowded cemetery, Blanche and Deirdre's graves are nearly right at the front. That was lucky! Maybe Blanche had owned a family plot there.

The World is Upside down: It's weird feeling sympathy for Tracy. It doesn't feel right, somehow. But we've all lost someone and it's never easy, is it?

Lines of the week:
Andy "Steph's gone for lilac and yellow. Who knew they went together?" (Sounds lovely to me. Easter-y, but lovely)
Todd "Come back but don't push yourself too hard" Tracy "Who are you and what have you done with the real Todd?"
Tracy "Storming off with your nose in the air? I invented that"
Billy to Todd "Seems we've got more in common than we thought" (and there's definitely a frisson of chemistry blooming in that flower shop)
Sean "That's my Billy, fully charged!"
Sean "I know 15 shirts might seem excessive"
Eileen "Excuse the pun but you are the answer to his prayers, Vicar" (not what the vicar wanted to hear, though, was it?)
Steve "As one door closes..." Sean "Another one slams in your face"
Todd "You know I'm trouble, don't you?" Billy "You're in luck. Trouble's my speciality" Todd "Good" (snog!)

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Sunday 24 July 2016

Sunday Comments July 24

David, Kylie and Gail are included in a family therapy session. Why Nick, also Sarah's brother, isn't included, I don't know. Never mind. Sarah is shaky and nervous. The doctor has to explain that post partum psychosis is different than the usual "baby blues" and there is probably more to it than just hormones. Kylie takes the bull by the horns and pointedly tells Sarah that she should say what is most on her mind, or she won't get better, that being the most important thing. David doesn't look too happy about it but he knows she's right and gives Sarah the nod.

Sarah begins and tells how she lured Callum to the house to set him up but he attacked her. She feared for her life and thought he would kill her until Kylie came. And... of course one episode ends there to leave us hanging until the next but all is well, Sarah covers for Kylie and says she pulled him off and David threw him out. David's relieved but I wonder if lying like that is at all helpful to Sarah's condition.

Gail was well put out that nobody told her all this for all these months. Sarah doesn't regret lying but Kylie feels guilty. David returns to his confident self and reckons it's all in hand and they're home free. Gail is not really very comfortable in her annex anymore, now it's cleared and cleaned up. I can't really blame her. She tried to trade rooms with David and Kylie and Kylie wasn't too keen but they did it in the end.

Amy still won't go to visit Tracy and later, when Todd visits, Tracy is happy that she is being released. Aren't drugs wonderful? She went from near kidney failure from an infection to going home just over a weekend. Amy was less than best pleased to see her mother walking in and still resists all attempts to win her over but Tracy reckons she has a plan. Amy's a chip off the old block after all and she knows how to get her affections back. So she says anyway.

There has to be something Tracy can do to win Amy's affections back. Not that I really care but you know since it's a soap, something will work. Wonder what it will be? Amy is invited to Simon's birthday party so Tracy crashes it, trying to buy her affections. Nope, that didn't work either. She really needs to take a step back but she won't.

Now it's the anniversary of Deirdre's death and she and Ken won't be able to go to the cemetery at the same time because of Amy and he worries that she shouldn't go alone. She might not have to. Robert agreed to go with her. That's the reason she's wearing a dress Deirdre liked and nearly forgot the flowers. Never lose an opportunity to impress the fella she wants, right?

I loved Rita and Ken reminscing about Deirdre in the pub even if it upset Amy. She is too young to realize that sharing funny stories and memories of the departed is a good thing. It was left to Robert to pick up the pieces and comfort her and maybe try to make Amy realize how Tracy is feeling on that day as well, thus he missed going to the cemetery with Tracy who thought he just didn't care. Tracy waited for Robert at the gates and finally went in.

I don't know why she was worried, both her mother and grandmother's graves were nearly at the front of the cemetery. He'd have no problem finding her if he showed up which he did. He was able to talk Amy round and it looks like Amy and Tracy have finally settled their differences. For today, anyway. But there's definitely a bit of a thaw even if Robert still isn't open to Tracy's invitations. She's come home. With conditions.

Phelan is trying to find ways around Eileen's hold on the purse strings and thinks he has it when he realizes that Steph and Andy are paying Jason below-market rent which they still end up paying late a lot. He manages to persuade her to raise the rent to market rates and naturally they're horrified but Michael, on a white horse (the posse) arrives back in town and saves the day. He doesn't rise to Phelan's wind ups and puts him on notice except his actions only provoked Phelan and Eileen and Phelan made sure Eileen thought that all the fault for the upset was Michael's.

Phelan knows Michael's not much of a match but Michael has one trick up his sleeve. He offers to move back in with Andy and Steph to pay an extra share of the rent which makes up the increase. Foiled again! Michael putting Phelan on notice may or may not backfire on him. It would be nice if Michael was the one that brought him down but I have a feeling it might be Todd, or perhaps the two of them together. Kylie and Gemma made up after their clash at Callum's funeral. That's nice to see, at least. Later, Kylie and Bethany had a bonding moment over the gym membership. Kylie got a bit of a shock to see Macca who gave her a bit of a hard time.

Dev tried to surprise Erica with a night at a posh spa hotel but Erica's mother was rushed to hospital and in the end, your mother is your mother so she had to beg off and insisted he take Mary. They make arrangements for separate rooms but you guessed it, when they get there, the reservations are messed up and there are no extra rooms so they have to share. Doh. At least there's a sofa to sleep on. Surely they could have asked for a rollaway cot. The room was more than large enough for it.

Anyway, Dev availed himself of a spa treatement, a back wax. Ouch! Did he mistake the word Waxing for Massage because he looked as if he was settling down for a relaxing back rub instead of having the hairs on his back ripped out with hot wax. He was in so much pain that they ended up having room service and drinking themselves senseless on free booze. I have to say that the drunk scenes were more painful than Dev's back waxing, though. And why would he ask her to keep the wax job secret, even from Erica? I'm quite sure she'll figure it out the first time she's back in bed with Dev unless their rumpy pumpy sessions are only infrequent.

Naturally, Dev and Mary ended up sleeping in the same bed and hilarity ensued when they were awkward after, wondering what actually happened when you know nothing did. Her gushing about "what a night" only horrified him the more. He should remember that she didn't actually say they did *anything* and she tends to the exaggeration. Dev is mildly amusing when he's scared and worried and confused.

School is out and Bethany is trying to find a summer job. The cafe has no openings and her chief bully, Lauren, joins her and pretends that she herself was bullied into being nasty to Bethany. Does Bethany fall for this? Of course she does though she really looked skeptical. She just wants to be liked, right? Poor kid. She came out of the cafe and was immediately surrounded by all the bullies who were waiting in force. Standing out there for how long and nobody noticed? Why didn't Bethany just go back inside the cafe? Why didn't she just smack Lauren, pull that silly bun out of the top of her hair.

Bethany can't tell Sarah her troubles, knowing her mother has enough to deal with. She's still looking for a job. Wonder if Underworld is hiring? They all seem to end up there. She's decided to join the gym. Maybe that will give her the strength to beat the crap out of the bullies. Ok. Violence isn't good. But working out might be just the thing she needs.

Chesney has to go see to an injured Cilla and has to leave Gemma to deal with the shop. He's sure she can handle it, even the delivery. She's not so sure. But why can't she go to Dev for help? He owns the place. Then, later on, her old mate Macca showed up with another bloke. She almost ended up giving them free kebabs to get rid of them but Chesney got back in time. We find out that Izzy was moved quite a distance to another prison which is more wheelchair friendly so Gary hasn't had a chance to put her right, that they aren't getting back together. Gail and Michael exchanged a few awkward words. I really want them to get back together. Sophie is starting to scheme and find ways of catching out Caz even if Luke and Freddie think she's better off leaving it alone. Freddie is right in saying that if Caz is lying about her injury, she'll get caught out eventually but Sophie seems intent on hurrying that along and has tracked down a phone number of someone in the Army. Uh oh.

Leanne is still friendly with Nick, and she invited him to Simon's birthday tea. I hope he's not getting mixed signals. And Simon? He's a different kid these days. It's like that period of anger and rage never happened at all. Not even a brief flicker of anger. Never. At anyone. It's weird. There was a strange look between she and Robert. Is that a clue to the mystery man? My money's still on Steve but they might yet fool me. Now Leanne put her back out and Nick is playing nursemaid. She's not enjoying the new job she's got, either. Nick was good to spend time with Simon and she's pleased he's around. Is she going to start reigniting old feelings again after all?

Todd is swamped at the shop and Billy ends up helping out. They get on quite well together, don't they? There seems to be quite the frisson of chemistry blooming in the flower shop between them. They both felt it and backed off. But for how long? Billy is heading to London for a break and a musical with his Dylan but he is looking less and less enthusiastic. But Todd realizes Billy's trying to keep secrets from Sean about where he's been and he's clearly having doubts and clearly having feelings growing for Todd and Todd might be falling for Billy. But griping about Sean and Billy to Tracy made Tracy realize in two seconds that Todd really wants Billy. And Todd finally admitted it to himself, and to Billy.

Sean is excited to spend a week in London with Billy but Billy? Not so much. He's conflicted, is Billy. So is Todd, because he's come over all moral due to having feelings for his friend's fella. That's not the old, scheming Todd. Tracy is pushing Todd to follow his feelings. She's probably right but there is that conflict issue. Sean's like a brother to Todd. Even Eileen seems to notice something's off with Billy who goes to see Todd who pretends his admission didn't happen. For a vicar, he's not very forthcoming with confessions, is he? He pretended he was nervous to meet Dylan but he couldn't do it. He couldn't go.

Naturally Sean was angry and figured Billy has someone else. Billy says there's nobody else but of course, there is, and when Sean accused him of not loving him anymore, Billy couldn't say anything to deny it. I imagine this split is permanent. Sean is pretty sure there's someone else and he's right but what's he going to do when he finds out who it is? Well, he's off to London anyway, to see his Dylan. Rita encourages Todd to reveal his feelings, too. Tracy, once she found out that Billy and Sean were split up, put them together. And together they got.

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Saturday 23 July 2016

Coronation Street and the Joy of Six

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

News that Coronation Street is going to change to six episodes a week in 2017 made me wonder when the last change to five episodes took place. 

With thanks to Corriepedia, here we go...

Corrie was launched on Friday 9th December 1960 with two episodes per week.
Corrie begins broadcasting a third regular episode each week.

Corrie begins broadcasting a fourth regular episode each week.

Corrie begins broadcasting a fifth regular episode each week began

Corrie will begin broadcasting its sixth regular episode each week.

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Who was Tricia Hopkins on Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog, July 10 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Thursday and Friday night's Coronation Street had some wonderful touches and you can read our blogger Emma's review of it here.  Friday 8 July was, of course, the first anniversary of the passing of Deirdre Barlow, on a day in which she would have celebrated her 61st birthday too.

In the Rovers, Ken and Rita reminisced and remembered Deirdre. A pantomine was mentioned in which Deirdre played Dandini...

... and Tricia Hopkins was mentioned, the woman who received a black eye from Deirdre.
Tricia Hopkins was brought into Coronation Street as one of the show's first dolly birds. She was in the show from 1973-76.  Gail Potter (now Rodwell) was brought into the show as a friend for Tricia.

The actress who played Tricia Hopkins is a lovely lady by the name of Kathy Jones. We met Kathy at Corriefest a few years ago and she really is wonderful. 

Kathy was interviewed on The Corrie Years. You can see her in action in the Gail Potter section starting here at 1'.12" via YouTube.

See also: Tricia Hopkins, Corrie pin up of the week circa 1975

See also: Tricia Hopkins - then and now

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Conversation Street Podcast 207

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

This week in Coronation Street, we marked the anniversary of Deirdre Barlow's passing. Tracy has lost everything but maybe she's not lost Amy after all. Todd and Billy fight their feelings but it's no use. Sarah works her way towards recovery. Sean gets dumped, leaving Todd and Billy to work out a relationship. Bethany tries a different way to deal with her troubles with Kylie's support. A couple of old mates appear and give Gemma aggro. Leanne lets Nick back into her life, as a friend. Is he going to be satisfied with "just friends?"

Then Gemma and Michael review some of the major storylines from the first half of 2016 with the highs and lows. There's a spoiler section at the very end, as well, just be warned.

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Friday 22 July 2016

Billy and Todd - Yay or Nay?

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

Tonight on Coronation Street, Todd confronted Billy and suggested he doesn't really love Sean. Billy was defensive at first and railed at Todd for interfering in his love life.  But then Todd finally admited to Billy the depth of his feelings for him.

The official preview for tonight's Coronation Street said that Billy can’t cope with the news. But from the picture above, it looks like he comes to terms with it pretty quickly, even if he does miss Todd's lips by a mile.

Still, a kiss on the chin is better than no kiss at all. But what do we think about Billy dumping Sean for Todd? I'm all for it and say Billy and Todd - Yay!

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Corrie Overload

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

I was rather torn about whether to even write this blog, let alone publish it. I need to get my frustrations out though so here it goes. Yes, I know Coronation Street is merely a television programme, but I still think the powers that be hold a great deal of responsibility in their hands when it comes to the direction Corrie takes. The news yesterday that ITV are upping production to six episodes a week has left me depressed but not totally gobsmacked.

The writing has been on the wall for some time now that production would increase yet again. It has, after all, been the trend since the late 1980s. While ITV claim that the quality of Corrie's output is at the heart of their mission and all they want to do is enhance the nation's favourite soap, I struggle to believe that creating three hours of continuing drama every week of every month throughout the year can maintain the same kind of quality we loyal viewers expect. 

Coronation Street is widely praised for its high production values and its rich history of memorable characters, actors, writers and storylines. It has consistently broken new ground over the best part of sixty years and we should always be proud of that. I can't help but fret that the network are squeezing our beloved Corrie until there is very little left. I understand it makes ITV a lot of money and it remains, in this digital age, one of terrestrial television's gems. It's a reliable workhorse that pulls in a regular audience. Just how much of that loyal audience are going to give over a full three hours of their lives to Corrie every week from next year though?

Three hours is the equivalent of two feature films, produced by ITV each week. That's a hell of a burden on cast and crew. I know a great number of those involved are paid well for their efforts but there surely must be a limit? Before anyone says it, this isn't one of those blogs that dwells on the past and believes everything was better when an entire episode revolved around Stan's chickens or Albert Tatlock's dodgy vegetables. I love the history of Corrie and really do believe a lot of the old stuff is great but I'm equally aware that we can't stand still and things move on. I just don't think this is a move in the right direction. 


I also know that Emmerdale, Corrie's ITV sister soap opera, has been producing six episodes a week for some time now to great success. I've never watched Emmerdale so I can't really comment on that. What I can say is that I think ITV drowning the schedules with six hours of soap each week is a singularly uninspired, unimaginative move. There must be more on offer than that? For me, the rot started to set in when the double episodes on a Monday and a Friday became less event television and more the norm. They were a great gimmick originally which kept the audience hooked when something big was going down. Nowadays I think the gimmick has been overcooked and it seldom works for me. I also dislike Corrie being manipulated to create big blockbuster events which tie in with the final of a talent show. Every year now somebody dies or something is blown up or dug up to coincide with Simon Cowell's 21st Century version of New Faces. It never used to be this way.

I have complete trust in the professional machine that is Coronation Street. I know that so many people both behind the scenes and in front of the camera work extremely hard and are still really passionate about the show. I hope this continues. I wish Corrie and all involved the very best but for me, this move to three hours a week is just a step too far. I've watched The Street regularly for the past 25 years but I think enough is enough for me now. I haven't tuned in for several weeks, mainly due to the schedule changes inflicted by all sorts of football shenanigans. I'm not quite sure I'll reconnect with Weatherfield life again. I hope Corrie continues to thrive once it goes to six episodes a week, I really do, but I fear the worst.


You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82

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Corrie to air 6 episodes a week

ITV today has announced their intention of producing a sixth episode per week of Coronation Street, likely starting near the end of next year. They are planning to expand the studio to a fifth filming area in addition to the four they have now.

"ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo, said the news reflected the broadcaster’s commitment to high quality soap for its hugely loyal audience."

They're all very excited at ITV, citing "The plan, which was unveiled to the writers, cast and crew today, will create employment opportunities adding a new and exciting dimension to filming the UK’s longest running soap drama."

Many fans have long complained that the quality of the show has actually  suffered for the extra air time it's gained over the past couple of decades. The cast have often said it's a tough job, learning lines and getting ready for scenes when they're trying to fit in so much each week and that's only going to get tougher. I have a lot of respect for the actors under such conditions.

I'm sure some of the fans can't get enough of their favourite show and will be rejoicing.   I wonder if they'll continue the double episodes on Mondays and Fridays or if they'll go to singles from Sunday to Friday. That might make more sense.

I imagine it's a matter of keeping up the competition, but how much is too much?

further to that... This from Flaming Nora

Following the announcement yesterday that Coronation Street is moving to six, yes six, episodes per week in 2017, there's more news on what this will entail.

First off, the Coronation Street set will be expanded. The Guardian reports today that the current eight acre set in Trafford, Manchester, will be expanded to accommodate the extra filming.

In an email to staff, ITV producers said they would be holding a series of face to face meetings with staff to discuss the changes and the extra workload it would entail.

Programme makers said teams would be expanded “right across the board” and said the extra episode would enable a wider variety of storylines encompassing more families and give “space for the comedy of the show to really breathe”.

“The talent and commitment of the Corrie team, writers, cast, and crew will be central to making a sixth episode into reality,” said the email.

“We’ll also have substantial investment in our physical infrastructure, extending the current lot and creating additional studio space. And we’ll be able to strengthen and increase our teams right across the board to support making the additional episodes.

“It will also enable us to enhance all the positive things we currently do and are rightly proud of, such as training, apprenticeships, social inclusion, and sustainability.

“Editorially, moving to six episodes will give room for a larger variety of A stories spread more equally across our character groups and families. It will also help us ensure that our lighter stories don’t get squeezed out, giving space for the comedy of the show to really breathe.

“We’ll be going on air with six episodes in the autumn of 2017. That’s over a year away so it gives us the opportunity to define a bespoke Coronation Street solution for how we’ll achieve six, while carefully maintaining and enhancing the quality of what we do.

“To this end we’re setting up a project team of subject matter experts from across Corrie and the business. The team will pull together detailed plans covering all the editorial and operational elements.

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Thursday 21 July 2016

Falling back in love with Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Chewy on the Coronation Street Blog in July 2016, reposted with permission.)

It's been a long while since I last posted here, but, I think I've started to fall back in love with Corrie, these last few weeks, while not perfect, are luring me back in.

The show really feels like it is starting to pick up pace again, and I'm getting excited for upcoming episodes. Friday's episodes were nothing short of amazing, and were fantastically written, directed and acted.

The strength of some of the more recent story lines can be boiled down to one thing - we're finally not being told what is going to happen next, it's great to finally see some unpredictable twists, I hope those in charge at Corrie keep this up, as it is more satisfying to watch, when you can't predict what happens next!

I'm also to see what changes the upcoming producer, Kate Oates will be bringing into the show, I hope we will be seeing some new and interesting story lines and characters!

David (Chewy)

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Corrie Canada sneak previews July 25 to 29

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

Leanne gets some unexpected news and pushes Nick away.  Todd impresses the Bishop but agrees to take things slowly with Billy. Kylie plays matchmaker with Gail and Michael. Freddie notes Audrey's interest in Ken and tries to play matchmaker. It doesn't go as planned. Macca and Clayton put Gemma at risk to lose her job. Kylie discovers that Bethany is still being bullied. Feeling guilty, she suggests a new life and a fresh start for her and David. Caz's lies are uncovered.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Wednesday 20 July 2016

CBC Corrie Schedule change during the Olympics

It's that time of year again, folks. The Olympics are back on our screens and CBC has announced the schedule changes for Coronation Street

For the week of August 1 - 5, there will be DOUBLE EPISODES aired. There doesn't appear to be an omnibus on Sunday, August 7 but you can catch up online. 

NO CORONATION STREET for the week of August 8 - 12 and August 15 - 19.

For the next two weeks, August 22 - 26 and August 29 - September 2, DOUBLE EPISODES of Coronation Street will be aired and we'll be back up to date. 

The double episodes will be starting at 7 p.m. your local time EXCEPT for Friday, August 5 when Corrie will air early at 5 p.m. (but as always, check your local schedule to be sure)

Corrie is back to it's regular schedule the week of September 5 EXCEPT Wednesday, September 7, when Corrie airs LATE  at 11:30 p.m. ONLY due to the Paralympic programming. 

Refer to this post by CBC for any other detail.

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Sean Tully - On the Path to Heartbreak Hotel

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

Sean Tully is perhaps as unlucky in love as Bet Lynch was before him. Of course, this state of affairs  begs the question -why? Is it that he is too needy and just too dependent? Sean gives his all to his relationships and he gives it early on. Playing it cool is simply not present in his DNA. This is not to suggest that mature relationships should be about game playing, but in the early stages, it would be better for Sean if he was less effusive, less delighted in his new found love and just held back a little. Easy to say, I know, but very hard for Sean to do.

For some of the time, I did believe in the Billy/Sean pairing, but always felt that Sean was the keener of the two, by a good margin. Sean was the moany one, the gripey one, a bit spoilt childish when Billy had to deal with demands from his boss, the bishop or the boss of bosses - God. In contrast, Billy was fine with Sean's work demands, though I suppose Liz and Carla don't quite have the  power of Billy's ultimate boss.

Many a time we have seen Sean and Billy embrace. Sean appears deliriously happy, but then the camera pans on to Billy's facial expression and it is apparent that he is not reciprocating Sean's joy.

Has he, for a while now, been trying to let Sean down gradually? Having now confessed his feelings for Todd to Todd, is it not now hypocritical for him to continue the relationship with Sean?

Initially, after Billy had revealed his feelings for Todd, Todd actually rediscovered his moral compass, which he had previously abandoned in London, and ranted at Billy, worried about how Sean would feel if Billy dumped him, only to discover that the love of his life, had fallen in love with Todd.

There is no doubt that Sean will be heartbroken when he discovers that Todd and Billy have strong feelings for each other. Might Sean catch them in an embrace? What a terrible betrayal he will experience - his lover and an old friend with whom he has lived for many years.- pretty hard to bear for anyone, but particularly so for someone who is as emotionally fragile as Sean.

On a practical level, how will Sean be able to stay at Eileen's with Todd there too? And it would be impossible for Billy to visit at number 11 wouldn't it?

Credit card at the ready Sean - now check in to Heartbreak Hotel.

Ruth Owen - twitter @Ruth1722

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Wall of Death

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in July 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There was an important anniversary recently on Corrie.  On the 3rd July 2006, Charlie Stubbs bought number 6 Coronation Street as a home for him and his fragrant girlfriend, the delightful Tracy Barlow.  Yes, ten years ago today.

That's not the anniversary I'm talking about though.  No, what's far more important is that it will mean it's almost ten years since Tracy Barlow put up that awful wallpaper in the living room of number 6.

Of course you know the one I'm talking about.  Pastel blue and white, a mix that swims round the back of your eyeballs like you're experiencing an extremely polite LSD trip.  Perhaps it was a good choice in 2006.  Sandi Thom had got to number one with "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)" in June of that year, so there was clearly something weird going on in the national psyche.  In 2016, that wallpaper is a cause of revulsion, frustration and anger.  For me, anyway.

I realise some people don't redecorate very often.  Emily Bishop has had the same wallpaper in her front room since the Cretaceous Period and that's fine.  In fact, I'd be a bit annoyed if Linda Barker suddenly turned up and told Emily how to brighten her nooks with some stenciling.  My point is, there have been three families living in that house since 2006, and none of them have thought "maybe a splash of magnolia would cheer the place up and distract us from the fact that a man was clubbed to death in this very room".  They've all been so lacklustre about changing the decor, I wouldn't be surprised if there's still a bit of Charlie's brain on the bordered Axminster.

First came Jerry Morton, better known as Sinbad from Brookside, who found enough money to have a crane lower a summerhouse into the back garden, but couldn't be bothered to nip to Homebase.  Mind you, he bought a three bedroom house despite having five children so clearly he wasn't the homemaking type.  The hideousness of the Morton family, with their many disparate children of random ages and their haunted grandfather, actually proved an effective distraction from that nasty blue and white pattern on the wall.  For a year they bellowed at one another, trying to summon us some kind of familial chemistry, before they were dismissed as a bad lot and shipped off to Spain.

Admittedly, the Windasses were initially tenants at number 6.  Most landlords don't like you blu-tacking posters to the walls, never mind a comprehensive redecoration, so you could understand why Anna didn't rush to do the place up.  But in 2011, Owen bought the house, and soon he moved in with Anna.  Owen was an actual builder.  He could have put up some cheery striped vinyl in a couple of hours with very little fuss - or at least, he'd know a man who could.  And yet that wallpaper carried on,  Anna mithered him about many things over the course of their relationship, but she never once demanded that he get busy with a scraper and some sugar soap.

Remember, during the same period, Ashley and Claire redecorated number 4 so comprehensively they actually moved a staircase.  But no-one had even the slightest inclination to pull down the pastel covered migraine at number 6.  I mean, look at that sofa: it doesn't match the walls at all, and everyone just lives with it.

The house was finally bought by the Nazir family, and I thought, "hurray!"  Surely there would be a radical change under the new owners?  After all, this was a family who clearly had a bit of money, a bit of class.  They wouldn't want to carry on with someone else's decorating mistakes.

Nope.  Yasmeen is clearly a woman who knows what she wants and frequently gets it, but all she seems to have bothered doing is chucking up a few paintings and getting a "summerhouse" built out the back.  And here we are, ten years later, still staring at that turquoise nightmare.  I'm starting to pray for a horrible fire - not because I have anything against the Nazirs, but because that might actually make them redecorate.  Surely Sally would see this as an easy win in her fabulous war of snobbery with Yasmeen?  "I never thought a respectable lady like you would take interior design tips from a convicted murderer."  Speaking as someone who has mercilessly judged my neighbours for crimes as minor as putting the toilet roll on the holder the wrong way round, I can't believe Weatherfield's own Margo Leadbetter wouldn't leap at the opportunity to get one over Mrs Nazir.

Perhaps it's a trick on us, the viewers?  Perhaps, like Nicky Tilsley's on-off brain injury and the continuing existence of Robert Preston, this is a test of our loyalty.  "Let's see how much of that wallpaper they can take before they start switching off."  Well, you've broken me, Corrie producers.  Never mind a sixth episode.  All I want from the Street in 2017 is two coats of Farrow and Ball.

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