Wednesday 31 August 2016

Corrie sisters aren't doing it for themselves

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

Eva and Leanne are sitting in their flat and Eva is putting her face on. Eva says to Leanne, 'Can you believe Aidan?' She talks about how she would like to throw her make up bag at him with a brick as its contents. 'What a wazzock!' she adds.

Wazzock?! I've not heard this as a term of insult for some considerable time.

Eva is upset because she thought that Aidan was preparing for the two of them to move in together. She was wrong. As a result she is fed up, cross and disappointed. She bemoans her fate and Leanne plays the wiser, older sister.

'I just know fellas Eva. The minute you mention the c word - commitment, they run for the hills. First chink in his armour and you want to move in.'

Eva says she is impulsive and asks why men should call all the shots. Leanne says, 'I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying chill out.' Eva is not satisfied by her sister's response and says, out of Leanne's earshot,  'Thanks for the support babe, long live the sisterhood.'

I wonder if anyone else felt the same as me as a result of this conversation. I was irritated and also, I felt as if such a complaint belonged further back in time, just like the word wazzock. Or maybe you felt the same as Eva and accepted that it is always men who call the shots. BUT - is this how things really are in 2016?  I wanted to reach through the TV and have a word with Eva to tell her to get out there and show her independence and not wait around until some man, in this case Aidan (who is admittedly a vision of male beauty) and live her life. She is beautiful, witty and well-liked. Let him come to you in the full realisation that he is a very lucky man.

Of the current crop of Corrie women, there are a few who are single but, as far as I can see, only Rita who feels quite content about her status. Erica was a good example of a strong, attractive, independent woman, but is now with Dev, though they hardly live in each other's pockets. In fact, I'm not even sure that their relationship is still going on.

Irritating though she is, in her role as a councillor, Sally is pushing forward with her political ambitions. Recently she had the gall to liken herself to the great suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. Though she is indeed married to Tim,  he now seems to come quite far down Sally's pecking order.

In contemporary society there are a good number of single, independent women, who maintain a strong network of similarly placed people. On the cobbles, it would be interesting to see more strong female friendships: women having fun together and not being totally dependent on men for a sense of their own worth. So come on sisters (and writers) let's see more of you doing it for yourselves.

Ruth Owen, twitter @ruth1722

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Pics and video: Coronation Street at Manchester Pride 2016

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

Pic: @JohnnyGForce
Here are just some of the many pictures of this year's Coronation Street float at Manchester Pride. The pride parade took place Saturday 27 August.

Pic: @CelebManchester

On the float from Corrie is Kym Marsh (Michelle McDonald), Daniel Brocklebank (Billy the vicar Mayhew), Faye Brookes (Kate Connor) and Sair Khan (Alya Nazir), Patti Claire (Mary Talor), Mike North (Gary Windass) and Corrie writer Damon Rochefort.

Pic: @CelebManchester

Pic: @DamonCorrie
Here's Debbie Rush (Anna Windass).

Pic: @stephenmhornby
Pic: @StephenMHornby
Pic: Stephenmhornby
Video courtesy of @moogriffiths

Video courtesty of @matlee

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Current frustrations about Coronation Street

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

There's a lot I'm loving about Coronation Street at the moment.

But there are a few loose ends that need tying up...

Last night on Coronation Street in the Rovers Return, Maria and Kate talked about Manchester Pride. Maria reminded everyone that she had a gay ex-boyfriend in Marcus Dent.  She seems to have forgotten that she's still married to a gay man called Pablo.

Since Izzy returned from jail she's not mentioned her chronic pain once, not once. This is the chronic pain that got her into jail in the first place when she chose the medicinal cannabis route to ease her pain.

Since Carla left, Nick's rages and brain injury symptoms have disappeared completely.

And as for Emily... is she ever coming back?  The official line is, we've been told here at the Coronation Street Blog by ITV, that the actress is on "extended leave for family reasons".  As fans, we've invested decades worth of believe-ability into Emily Nugent/Bishop. Will we not get closure, a chance to say a proper goodbye?

But it's not all doom and gloom - have a look at what I'm loving about Corrie right now.

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Tuesday 30 August 2016

Keep It Simple, Stupid

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

My partner's elderly mother lives in the flat below ours.  (We've lived together nearly twenty years and she doesn't know he's gay - there's a whole sitcom waiting to be written).  Every night he goes down to have a cup of tea with her and to watch Emmerdale.  He then comes back upstairs and we watch Corrie.  This is that hedonist lifestyle of the decadent gays your priest warned you about.

Lately he's begun complaining about Corrie and, in particular, the lack of excitement.  "There's so much more drama in Emmerdale!  Things are always happening!"  I have to agree with him.  When there are two episodes of the sheep-based soap on a Thursday, I'll inevitably catch the second one with him, and I rarely know what's going on.  Characters that the previous Thursday were friends are now enemies; marriages have broken up; something has exploded.  Status quos are there to be destroyed.

And this is why, I tell him with an exasperated sigh, I prefer Corrie.  I like a soap opera where nothing much happens.  I like the slow, understated pace of storylines.  I don't actually want that much drama in my continuing drama.

Take Monday's episodes.  There were a few storylines going on: Caz's attempts to make up with Kate getting in the way of Maria and Luke.  Nick and Leanne returning to work at the Bistro.  Gary desperately trying to find a way to avoid sleeping with Izzy.  Eva and Aidan arguing.  But the storyline I was most invested in, that I wanted to see more of, was Gemma trying to be a good samaritan to Rita.

That was an interesting storyline.  It came from the characters themselves.  It was humourous.  It was small.  It opened up further avenues - brought Gemma further into the Street, gave the often overlooked Rita something to do.  All the other stories were just various stages of arguments - either building up to one, or coming down from one.  They were part of the show, yes, because all drama is based on conflict, but they weren't what I watched the show for.  I watch Coronation Street for stuff like that, or Sally and Yasmeen sniping over the garden fence, or Steve McDonald's depression, or Craig joining the police.  Stuff that happens to real people that impacts on those around them but they work through.

My partner disagreed.  He was here for the rows and the murders and the car crashes.  He was here for exploding gas cylinders destroying a hovering helicopter and causing it to crash on a fairground, slicing a local hotelier in half with a sheet of glass in the Hall of Mirrors (yes, this is a real thing that happened in Emmerdale).  The Gemma/Rita storyline was "daft."

I want slow and quiet.  Not dragging stuff out - I must make that clear.  Slow doesn't mean every plotline must be extended over three weeks with barely any progress between shows.  I want subtlety and character interaction.  People talking.  People laughing.  People rowing, of course, but not a constant cycle of bust ups and reunifications.  Couples can row all the time without heading for the divorce court.  Trust me.

I want the occasional tram to fall on the Street, don't get me wrong.  But it should be the exception.  The spectacle that they've been saving up for.  One nice big fire a year, say, with an aftermath of people talking to one another.  Talking is good.  As the show ramps up for six episodes a week, and with a former Emmerdale producer now at the helm, I worry that we're going to lose the talking completely.  Ken Barlow machine gunning half the cast might keep my boyfriend happy, but I'm afraid I'd turn off.

Scott @merseytart

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Conversation Street Podcast 212

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

Michael and Gemma went on tour this week, a Corrie related tour that took them to Blackpool and Manchester and they're going to tell you all about it chasing down Corrie locations and shaking hands with some of the actors! They do talk about this week's Corrie as well where the main stories include Robert and Nick's rivalry, Craig's new career, Gemma trying to turn her life around at Rita's expense.

There's a discussion about memorable pregnancies, one night stands, affairs and the like. There's news and listener feedback as always! Tune in!

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Kate Oates first Coronation Street episode to air tonight in Canada

Digital Spy confirms that we'll see the name of Coronation Street's new producer Kate Oates on her first credited episode Mid August.

Kate Oates' name will be in the Coronation Street credits for the first time on Monday, August 15, 2016 (airs tonight in Canada).

The show's new producer has been working on Corrie since April this year. As  episodes are storylined and scripted so far in advance it has taken a while for her first episodes to appear on screen.

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Monday 29 August 2016

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards Aug. 22 - 26

A long one today, folks, we're back with double episodes of Corrie this week!

Demon David award: He's baaaaaaaaack!

Plot device award: Tyrone had problems with the two way radio in the cab. Thus, Eileen managed to overhear Todd and Billy discussing their relationship and the cat was out of the bag.

Throwback award: Love it when they talk Corrie history. This time it was Gail and Audrey talking about how Blanche loved funerals.

Mouths of Babes award: Max. He knows what is appropriate for a funeral, stuff that makes you think of the person that's passed.

Fashion Gemma is nothing if not inventive with her funeral outfits. From a Goth weeping widow look at Callum's to something like an explosion at a crayon factory for Kylie's.

Forerunner award: I hope Norris' eBay rampage clearing out Emily's things doesn't mean she's not coming back!

Suck up award: Pat knew he crossed a line. Big time back pedalling with flowers, an apology and those three little words. It worked.

Sam Slick award: Oh that Phelan's good, isn't he? Manipulating so that Sean catches Todd and Billy, big bust up, Sean giving Eileen an ultimatum. When it looked like Sean and Todd might have worked through things by talking at Eileen's coaching, he made sure Sean knew that she had prior knowledge. That was the sound of the door slamming behind Sean. One down, one to go but it will be more difficult to get rid of Todd, I think.

Best Uncle Ever: Nick really is a good uncle to the kids, Bethany and he is always good with Simon, too.

Rock, meet hard place: Todd is up against the horns of a dilemma. Keep the secret, protect Sarah, Kylie, David and the kids or tell the secret and put your brother's mind at rest and bring him home.

Good Grief award: I say "good" only because it was a good scene. You don't often get to see the effects of a death on Corrie on other than the immediate family members. It was a nice touch to show us Eva sobbing on the bench, missing her best mate.

Potential couple: Gary and Sarah? Might work.

Stylin' award: Craig in a suit!

Musical ambiance: Phelan singing It's Raining Men in the shower. Loudly and very, very badly.

Continuity Fail (maybe): Tracy says Amy can't be a cop because there's a criminal record in her family. We assume she's referring to herself but I thought that was overturned due to dodgy DNA testimony? Steve does have a conviction but I wonder if Tracy even remembers that.

Lego award: I thought Kevin's new garage was the one next to the Bistro but now this one has wedged itself in between the two. The Bistro must be very tiny inside, the width of the arch outside, though it looks bigger inside.

Save the Day award: Steph called in the posse, Leanne. I still love that woman! (Steph, that is! She's awesome!)

Lines of the week:
Liz to steve "Keep your mouth shut, say nothing, and see how long it lasts. Because trust me, the truth always comes out sooner or later!" (she's been watching soap operas again!)
Michelle to Leanne "We could be going through our pregnancies together!" (I thought Leanne was going to pass out or throw up just at that point!)
Eileen "You're own little radio show, Radio Sordid!"
Todd "It's been Brokeback Mountain meets Romeo and Juliet round here for months"
Todd to Eileen "I'm not sure I can stand the smell of hypocracy"
Sean "Friend in the coffin. Ex on the pulpit. Meltdown City."
Billy "You deserve an explanation" Sean "Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words"
Gail "I thought I'd never say this, but, Poor Eileen"
Sarah "Kylie saved my life. She doesn't deserve to be punished for it" Todd "Neither does my family"
Eileen to Phelan "You turn on people" Phelan "I just don't suffer fools" (that's one way of twisting it)
Steph to Robert "You really think I'm going to manage a control freak who can't add up?" Robert "I'm the creative one" (who is very much out of his depth. His ex-wife must have managed his old restaurant)
Maria "Watching you and me brother throwing pointy sticks at a wall all night? No thanks, I'll give it a miss" (when you put it that way...)
Sean "We've all seen your true colours. And they're garish!"
Steph to Robert "The money's great and all that, but we're not the problem" (short and to the point)
Phelan to Todd "Let battle commence"
Tim "I was re-grouping. I was ready to lead the next attack!" Faye "You were squealing like a pig"
Beth on family convictions "D'you want them alphabetically or by year?"
Craig about his motley crew of a family "If we were on 'Who Do You Think You Are' it would be a Strangeways and Star Prison special"
Leanne "There's nothing wrong with being a good man" Nick "And look where that got me"
Steph "Ok, we're kinda losing the vibe now"

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Coronation Street cast go bowling to launch Manchester Pride

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

Some members of the Coronation Street cast went bowling with fans on Sunday 21 August 2016.  It was all in aid of Manchester Pride, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Corrie favourites including Kym Marsh, Dolly-Rose Campbell, Jennie McAlpine and Mikey North headed to Manchester's Dog Bowl for the event.

The MEN have some good pictures here.  

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Sunday 28 August 2016

Behind-the-scenes video with Corrie's Audrey busting some moves

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

Coronation Street's Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) busts out some serious dance moves in a behind-the-scenes video shared by co-star Shayne Ward on twitter.

The video shows Sue and cast-mates Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor), Liam Bairstow (Alex Warner) and Sally Ann Matthews (Jenny flaming Bradley) dancing to I Can’t Feel My Face.

It's definitely worth a little look and it's here....

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Sunday Comments August 28

We're back with 10 episodes of Corrie to cover this week. How bad did your withdrawal get?

Gemma is in yet another awesome funeral outfit. This time going from Goth widow's weeds for Callum's to all out explosion of a crayon factory for Kylie's. But first, Macca shoves her around a bit, threatening her to try to get her to retract her statement about Clayton (and it turns out Clayton is only 15) but Craig redeems himself by chasing Macca away and insisting on calling the police. The police applauded Craig and so did Gemma. Now Craig decides he's going to be a police officer! Somehow I just can't see that gentle soul in that kind of a job and his mother's not very happy about it.

Craig is really serious about it. Tracy reckoned Amy never could be a cop because there is a criminal conviction in her near family. I was going to get hopping mad about continuity since Tracy's conviction was overturned by dodgy DNA evidence but then I remembered that Steve has an old conviction on his record. It might not matter any more as far as getting the licensee of the pub but if his daughter was to apply to the police force, it just might. Beth looks a bit worried at that news. What's she hiding? She keeps evading the question but was about to give him the run down. Turns out, it's only the immediate family that matter and Beth is clean as a whistle.

She says she doesn't know about his father's side but he's clearly touched a nerve and she tried not to post the application. Craig caught her, though, and shamed her into posting it (why didn't he just post it himself?) but she still hasn't told him why she's so upset about all this. Definitely hiding something. But what?

Sarah's home for the afternoon and seems to be ok. She even helped Gail, Audrey and Bethany go through Kylie's things for David who already has Kylie's funeral clothes picked out. They are all still worried he's bottling it all up. Loved that they brought up Blanche, talking about how she loved funerals. Gemma wants to go to the funeral but David very loudly refused permission. Later, he did listen to reason, from Gail and Sarah and conceded that Gemma could come. David consulted Max on what to do for the funeral, Kylie's favourite songs and food and all that sort of thing. I think Gail's hair was curling on its own but really, funerals are for remembering the person as they were and Max seems to get that. Max even wants to do the eulogy. Nobody thinks it's a good thing, i think even David is a bit worried about it but in the end, I think he'll help Max through it.

Sarah's determined to stay out of hospital because her family need her. David certainly does. His heart is filled with revenge and he certainly had that old Demon David look when he was hugging Sarah! Kylie's funeral was upbeat and a little heart warming when Max read his speech. Well done, laddie for getting through it! It was all pop music and burgers and bright colours and it was true to the Kylie we all knew and loved. But things don't go well at weddings and funerals and this was no different.

We heard that Jason was in an accident after being drunk which makes Todd angry that Jason had to leave in the first place. Todd, you will remember, lied to the police and told them that Tony killed Callum because he thought Sarah did it. He gets upset with Sarah who's shocked that he thinks she did it and Todd leaps to another conclusion. He proceeds to tear David a new one at the cemetery and David realizes why Todd accused Tony of the murder. There's no time to deal with Todd because Billy comes to bring David to the graveside and break up the fighting men. The family look on, appalled, Sarah especially because she knows what it's about. David isn't going to tell his mother about the reason behind the fight with Todd, either.

David is angry because Sarah must have said something that made Todd think she killed Callum and now he thinks Todd knows it was Kylie. Todd wasn't direct enough, you see. He was all around it, saying he knew the truth and David took it that Todd felt he was covering for Kylie. Todd showed up to finish having it out with them and revealed he doesn't know the truth, he thinks David did it. He goes on and on at David until Sarah ends up letting the real cat out of the bag, telling him that Kylie was the one that did the deed to stop Todd going to the police. David has a one on one with Todd. The truth isn't going to help anyone, especially not the kids. He points out that if he tells the truth, Jason and Eileen will come down on him hard for the lies he told. Todd doesn't seem at all threatened and tosses David to one side when David tries to stop him leaving.

The Platt family talk about David and how he is or isn't handling his grief while sat in a booth at the wake. Gail admits she'll miss Kylie. As will we all. And wait, Max decided on burgers and chips for the wake, but he wasn't allowed to go and have some and had to get takeaway instead?? Don't you think the pub could have allowed the children there for the wake? Oh well, at least Freddie and Gemma had a dance though Audrey seemed a bit jealous. And it looks very much like Audrey's crush on Ken might be waning in lieu of one on another grieving widower. But it seems that although Freddie likes Audrey very much, he feels like a mate, that's all.

Eileen is not best pleased with Billy but he managed to explain himself adequately. Before Billy and Todd could get away, Billy got called away to help with the church playgroup. Some of the "kids" at the playgroup were rather too old for it, though. In fact, they were old enough to be running the playgroup for the younger kids. I did laugh at Amy who spotted the connection between Billy and Todd in no time. That's her mother's daughter! Todd thinks that once Sean knows, and it's out in the open, things will be ok. I doubt it.

Tyrone had trouble with the radio in the cab, that's the two way radio, not the music radio. It's all a set up, you see, so that later on Eileen would overhear Todd and Billy talking about their relationship and the secret is out. You can imagine how she took that, especially after having Sean crying down the telephone at her and her radar already being piqued. She's not stupid and the cat's out of the bag. There's a big confrontation but this time, she didn't chuck Todd out for scheming yet again. He is apparently sincere that he genuinely has fallen for Billy and I think he has. Then just a few hours later, Sean's back. Not in a flood of tears like he allegedly was a few hours ago. Eileen gives them their orders. They can't keep it from Sean. Todd managed to convince Eileen he didn't do it on purpose. And waiting until the funeral's over is just a time bomb waiting to go off.

Come the day of the funeral, Billy has to talk Todd down after the fight with David and his clearly affectionate gestures are pretty obvious to Sean who's just arrived. He works it all out in a blink of an eye and confronts Billy afterwards, in the church. Sean was devastated but furious at Billy's lies. Does Billy really think telling Sean that he and Todd aren't yet physical is going to help matters? The fact that they love each other is the betrayal. Sounds like Sean had put Billy on a pedestal due to his being a vicar and he's realized Billy is just like everyone else. Billy didn't break down until after Sean left.

Eileen is about to rush off to Thailand to nurse her baby. Phelan, as we've seen, already worked it so that Sean went to the church when he figured Todd was going as well and he knew darn well Sean didn't know about Billy and Todd yet. Sean comes running to Eileen in tears, heartbroken. Eileen doesn't say she knew even when Sean cries that he was probably the last to know. Phelan tries to badmouth Todd as the villain of the piece only to get knocked back hard by Eileen who tells him, basically, it's none of his business, which it isn't. See that mark? See that man over step it with his boots? He engineered a major suck up and managed to twist the situation to his advantage and won her back with emotional words including I love you which we all know he doesn't mean.

Meanwhile, Todd is really upset about the whole situation and thinks going to the police will sort everything out, even if he has to go to jail, too, for giving a false statement. But he still thinks David killed Callum. Sarah ends up telling him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, reliving the whole incident that pushed her over the edge. A few tears, and a little emotional blackmail on behalf of two young, innocent children, and, against Todd's better judgement, he agrees to stay quiet. Oh, it's going to come out somehow, some day, I'm sure of it, even if it's only to the rest of the families.

Now that crisis is over, Todd will have to deal with the fallout with Sean finding out about he and Billy. The tension is thick inside Number 11 and Sean keeps poking sticks at Todd. Understandable, of course but Phelan isn't very sympathetic and he's being slyly manipulating to try to get Sean out of the way. He's working his way through the family, picking them all off one by one, isn't he? He engineered a big confrontation and when Sean forced Eileen to choose, she went with her son, which was inevitable. So now Sean has lost his boyfriend and his home.

I can understand why he tried to force her hand, because it must be very difficult for him to be under the same roof as Todd and Billy. But here's the thing. When it looked like there might possibly be a reconciliation, Todd and Sean were talking and things could have been patched up, Phelan made sure Sean knew Eileen had prior knowledge and that slammed the door shut firmly being Sean and Todd has his eye on Phelan, knowing full well who was instigating and making the situation miles worse.

A new character, Vinny, a mate of Phelan's. He wants cash to invest. But is it legit? No, No it isn't. Take in non-refundable deposits and scarper with the cash. Phelan is still interested. He has tried to interest Eileen in a business investment for Jason's inheritance and she's not interested, with more important things on her plate but he managed to give her the business plan to peruse on the plane to Thailand where she's going to look after Jason for a bit.

Apparently, Jason has now seen the business plan for Phelan's "scheme" and Todd isn't happy that he's considering it. He also watches as Phelan works his magic sucking up to Sally who has an in with the council planning department, something he needs on his side if they're to move ahead and make it all look legitimate. But Todd is lurking around corners and he's ready and waiting with a warning for Sally, make sure everything is in writing and crystal clear. Sally had a meeting with Phelan and Vinny to go over all the requirements which neither man was too chuffed about.

You don't often get to see other people grieving on Corrie, friends like Eva who's heartbroken. I think it was a nice addition to see her sobbing on the bench in front of the salon, missing her best mate. Then Aidan wants to give her a quiet night in with no interruptions but has a bit of trouble managing it, even using Johnny's flat which was supposed to be empty. But they entered into a minefield. How many people have you slept with? Eva - 9, Aidan - 89. Talk about a mood breaker. They had a difficult time finding a place to be alone and Sean running to Eva was the last straw.

Eva's starting to make noises to Aidan about them moving in together. He is evading the issue as hard as his little legs can pedal though keeping her sweet in the meantime. Jenny has overheard that Carla's flat is empty and has given Johnny the idea that he should move in and he's got it organized in no time. I hope he's got furniture. You may remember Carla left nothing but a bed! Naturally there's going to be some misunderstandings about all this because Kirk took a message about the flat for Mr. Connor and he thought it meant Aidan. I did wonder why Johnny called Nick to find out about the flat. Why didn't he just call his daughter? I'm surprised she didn't offer it to him in the first place.

So Aidan figured the solution was to book them into a cheap spa hotel. He said something like 80 quid each. I hope he wasn't expecting her to pay. Very bad manners, that. We already know that Eva got the wrong message through Kirk and she thinks he wants to surprise her with the flat when it was actually a housewarming for Johnny. She certainly got a let down.

I love that Liz doesn't give Steve any room to wiggle out of things like telling Michelle the truth. She came up one side of him and down the other. I love Liz to bits! Did you see Leanne's face when Michelle told her she wanted a baby too? Talk about someone's flabber being totally ghasted! Michelle thinks a baby will bring her and Steve closer together. That's not the reason you should have a baby. Anyway, Michelle's taking Steve to Ireland for a baby making trip which didn't seem to last all that long. Steve came back before she did. Leanne is still looking for jobs and Nick wants her to go in and open a new restaurant with him. She's got a lot on her plate with the baby, though he doesn't know that yet.

Robert is still snowed under at the Bistro and having a difficult time with it all. He used to run a restaurant, didn't he have any trouble then? Or, wait, he was married at the time so she probably did all the day to day management. He went off on Steph for taking an off-menu order but didn't realize it was for little Max. That took the wind out of his outraged sails. Steph is starting to dig her heels in and good for her. The situation is really getting untenable. The staff isn't happy but at least he apologized.

Robert has turned to the bottle to cope and it's not having a good effect. He's snapping everyone's heads off at work. He's now lost Zeedan as his co-chef and I bet the rest of them are on the verge of mutiny as well. Meanwhile, Nick has decided to open up his new restaurant in the viaduct unit that's just appeared between Kevin's new garage and the Bistro in a spot where the interior of the Bistro should be if you try to work out the logistics. Or else the interior of the Bistro is very tiny and only the width of the big outdoor arch which it could be. And why would Robert continue to call the restaurant Nick's Bistro? I think not.

He went off in the van after drinking and Nick called the police and you know what? That might have been done out of spite but it was also the right thing to do since Robert did test over the limit. Of course he thinks Zeedan dobbed him in. Steph figured out pretty quickly that it was Nick and told Robert so that he wouldn't take it out on Zeedan.

I can't blame Leanne for getting sick and fed up with the both of them, rutting like stags on the mountain top, vying for supremacy. Far too much testosterone. He apologized but when she found out he is trying to get back at Robert and he called the police, that was evidence of further spite and she's washed her hands of the pair of them and gave Nick a right talking to. She's right as well, he has to put the past behind him. Steph gave Robert a talking to from that end. He was having a great, big, fat pity party after losing his license. I think Leanne's attitude is what spurred Nick on to call a truce and Steph's words lead Robert into offering Nick the chance to buy back in but naturally, they weren't going to agree. Steph (and i continue to really like this character a lot) called Leanne who metaphorically knocked their heads together. 50/50 no arguments. And she's agreed to take her job back and Nick's decided he wants to get back together with her but she's keeping him at arms' length and we know why.

Zeedan continues to see Rana around and thinks she's a habitual flirt. Only in the cafe, she wasn't flirting, she was fending off the dollop but he didn't wait to find out. Yasmeen now decides to try to get Zeedan and Rana back together. They had a little heart to heart and it's back on again. Not that I care or anything. Oh dear, sounds like Julie and Brian are split up. Luke is still not too happy that Caz is hanging around.

Izzy is home in a week and anticipating a grand, romantic reunion with Gary but he didn't want her to get that impression and doesn't know how to get out of it. He thinks they can be a family without the romance. But considering how Izzy feels, it wouldn't work, and we all know it even if Gary doesn't. Sean had to work an extra shift because Michelle and Steve are in Ireland. A few hours later, Steve's pulling pints behind the bar. I guess that was their travel-home day. Oh, there's Faye. We haven't seen her in months.

Emily has apparently given Norris the green light to sell a lot of her old stuff on eBay though Rita reckons he's clearing out everything and warns Norris she's going to have her eye on him and his sales. (I hope this isn't a fore runner that she's not coming back!) I'm surprised Norris has only just discovered eBay! She gave Norris a hard time but then he came back with two huge jars of sweets for Max and Lily.

David is invited to play darts with Luke and Kirk. Luke worries that he doesn't know what to say around David. Kirk? I think being around someone like Kirk who wouldn't walk on eggshells if he knew how would be just what David needs. Faye and Time went paintballing. Laughed at her telling Tim he was running away, deserting! Aww. It's nice to see Gemma making an effort to change her life. Why shouldn't she set a goal to manage the kebab shop? Give her time, I'm sure she could get there. He's going to encourage Gemma into being a Good Samaritan and the 500 pound prize won her over.

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Samia Ghadie weds Sylvain Longchambon

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

Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor in Coronation Street married her fella Sylvain Longchambon on Saturday.

Samia and Sylvain met when they were paired together in the 2013 series of Dancing on Ice .

The happy couple announced their engagement in May last year and they welcomed their first child together, Yves Joseph, in September. Samia also has a daughter from her previous marriage to property developer Matthew Smith.

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Pics: Corrie's golden couple open Dutch supermarket, 1967

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

One of the very many joys of writing the Coronation Street Blog is when you receive an email from someone you've never met before and he sends you some wonderful Corrie pics that he's found.

Coronation Street fan Paul van der Hart in the Netherlands emailed this week to say that he found these old photographs of Elsie and Dennis Tanner (Pat Phoenix and Philip Lowrie) on a visit to the Netherlands in 1967.
They were there for the opening of a new De Gruyter supermarket, an event that was kicked off by ringing a bell in a British themed pub in Amsterdam. The hatted gent in the photographs is the supermarket's owner, Mr Piet de Gruyter.

Paul tells us that Corrie was broadcast in the Netherlands between 1967 and 1975 with 428 episodes broadcast. Interestingly in 1981 a Dutch actor played a character in Corrie: Lex van Delden played Dirk van der Stek (who dated Deirdre Barlow). 

All I can say to Paul for sending us these pics is Met vriendelijke groet (Kind regards!) 

Corrie connections to Holland continued when Ray Langton naffed off to work there, leaving Deirdre as a single mum to Tracy.  And of course, Roy and Hayley's Amsterdam trip goes down in Corrie legend too.

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Saturday 27 August 2016

Ian Kelsey reveals all about Coronation Street's Vinny Ashford

In this week's TV Times magazine there's an excellent interview with actor Ian Kelsey.

Ian turned up this week in Coronation Street as Pat Phelan's mate Vinny Ashford.

Ian says Vinny is an old-fashioned confidence trickster. "He may be nice to people and buy them a pint, but there's always an ulterior motive."

Vinny, who has been in cahoots with Phelan before, hopes to find investors daft enough to part with their cash for his latest building project.  "They'll probably find the buildings never go up," Ian tells TV Times.

Ian says he's always wanted to be on the cobbles. "There have been a few opportunities in the past, but I couldn't take them, so I was chuffed to bits when this came up. My late mum was a massive Coronation Street fan and I thought of her when I walked on the set. I know she's up there smiling down at me."

And it looks like Vinny is set to stay on the soap for a little while. Ian says: "I'm around for a while, as Vinny's story has a definite arc, but it could lead to more."

It all sounds intrguing and while I was writing this up for the blog, I was thinking who would be gullibe enough to fall for a handsome con-man.

There was just one name who popped straight into my mind...!

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Friday 26 August 2016

Conversation Street podcast 211

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, Kylie was laid to rest but funerals never go smoothly and thanks to Todd having the wrong end of the stick, this one is no different. Sean discovered Todd and Billy's relationship and is heartbroken and homeless by the end of the week. Eileen is flying off to Jason's side with a business plan to peruse, Phelan hoping it will drain Jason's bank account into his. Leanne is still at loose ends, Robert continues to struggle at the Bistro and Nick is making plans.

There's a discussion about memorable pregnancies, one night stands, affairs and the like. There's news and listener feedback as always! Tune in!

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Thursday 25 August 2016

Corrie Canada sneak previews August 29 - Sept. 2

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 this week. Back to a normal schedule next week. 

Luke's error causes ructions. Eva's enthusiasm drives Aidan into someone else's arms. Lies nearly get caught out and Maria dumps Luke. Steve finally confesses to Michelle that he doesn't want a baby but it's too late! Michelle is pregnant. Eva presses Aidan to move in together. Leanne's back at the Bistro and Nick's jealous but when Nick backs down, Leanne's jealous. When she hears Michelle's pregnancy news, she makes plans to leave Weatherfield altogether. Will Nick manage to change her mind?

Izzy comes home and Gary feels trapped and finally admits he doesn't want to get back together with her.  Gemma becomes a Good Neighbour, as only Gemma can. Gail and Michael's reconciliation hits a rocky patch, with partial thanks to Phelan. Sean looks for a new home. An Anniversary party is planned for the Nazirs with an unexpected guest who turns out to have a big secret. The fallout from the bullies has Bethany taking desperate measures but someone unexpected is on her side. Kylie and Lily's birthdays are quietly celebrated.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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In Pics: Gemma Winter - Coronation Street's new fashion queen

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

Last night on Coronation Street, Gemma Winter stole the show - once again. In her wonderful funeral attire she set twitter ablaze. She knows how to dress, does Gemma, especially for a funeral. 

Here's a reminder of what she wore for Callum's funeral...

After Kylie's funeral our blogger Emma pointed out on twitter "When you're so street, your outfit matches the local graffiti" 

Yes, Gemma's really that street.

Photo from our blogger Emma on twitter @elhynes
Now then, here's the part where I put on my Corrie anorak and fasten it tight.  A week or so ago, I noticed something in a scene after Kylie's death when David was in the hair salon on his own.  He was having a bit of a moment as Kylie's death hit him hard. On the chair in the salon was Kylie's pink hoodie. David pulled it to him and breathed in Kylie's scent from the pink hoodie, one of Kylie's favourite items of clothing...

And then the camera panned to the bus stop, where Gemma was sitting waiting for the Weatherfield Wayfarer. Gemma too was wearing a pink hoodie under her jacket.

It was as if the mantle of the pink hoodie had been passed on.

But there is one outfit in which Gemma always looks smart, if not totally comfortable...

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Wednesday 24 August 2016

Taking The Fun Out Of A Funeral

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

Kylie's funeral in last night's Corrie was very affecting.  Even my cynical heart - formed out of concrete and razor blades - had a slight crack when Max was wheeled on to talk about how great his mother was before she died.  It was a moving and appropriate tribute.

A shame, then, that the good work on the funeral was undercut by the deserted wake.  They'd made such a fuss about it - booking the venue, letting Max choose the food - and then when it happened, it turned out the producers had decided to do it on the cheap.

Literally everyone who attended could fit in a single booth at the Rovers.  There was Gail, Audrey, Rita, Bethany, Michael, Derek Griffiths (I believe his character has a name, but I'm a child of Play School, so I will only ever call him Derek Griffiths and sit cross legged waiting for him to do a song about balloons).  Eva perched on a stool.  Norris floated in at the end with some bonbons.  Tim wandered around talking about antimacassars.  And that was it.

Really?  So Nick and Roy - who carried Kylie's coffin - couldn't make it to the actual wake?  Nick couldn't get out of his busy schedule of standing around being useless? (And even though Roy was at the funeral, there was no sign of Cathy in support).

It was more than that.  Tim and Rita behind the bar was utterly illogical - chattering about being "roped in to help" would make sense if, at any point, we saw Steve, Liz or Michelle busying themselves with other arrangements.  Not a sign.  Maria (who was attending without Luke, for some reason) took the kids away from the actual burial.  Fair enough.  But after Max deciding on burger and chips for everyone, wouldn't it be nice to let him actually eat some?  (In fact, I didn't see anyone eat anything all episode).  It's actually quite life-affirming to have children at a wake - everyone talking about the deceased in glowing terms, while kids play.  That's the part of the funeral they should attend, instead of being trapped in Maria's tiny flat.

There was a half-hearted stab at explaining Sally's absence, but it was still ridiculous.  She's been mates with Gail for twenty odd years - she'd be there.  And Kevin and Sophie, as long-standing friends of the Platt family, should have been there too.  There's no chance that Beth, having actually been at the funeral, would then pass up the opportunity for free food and drink - she'd have taken a carrier bag.  She would probably have called Kirk and told him to fill his boots, but again, he was conspicuous by his absence.

Given that she was stabbed as the result of a robbery at his kebab shop, wouldn't Dev have wanted to attend as a mark of respect?  How about Chesney, supporting his friend Gemma?  How about Leanne, who was actually related to Kylie and the rest of the Platts for a while?  Hell, just pay a few extras to fill the space in the background - pretend they were Kylie's nail clients or something.

I get it: there are filming conflicts, costings, holidays.  From a production point of view, where actors are paid by the episode, it makes no sense to pay a lot of fees so that actors can have a single line or loiter in the background.  But the practicalities of production shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the drama onscreen.  Make savings elsewhere; film inserts on a different date that can be dropped in later.  Kylie's wake was sparse and miserable, and it destroyed the goodwill of the funeral in the first half of the show.  It took me out of the moment.  The Rovers looked like a ghost town, and surely, that's not what she would have wanted.

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