Saturday 31 December 2016

Coronation Street review: September 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

September 2016 

Phelan and Vinny start to swindle the Street, Caz moves in with Maria, Jenny shops the factory girls to Johnny, Eva uses her charms to get Aidan to move in, Craig discovers Beth tried to scupper his application to be a copper and moves in with Sally and Tim, Nick pretends he's Leanne's baby daddy, David gives bully Lauren a haircut she'll never forget, David hunts down Kylie's killer online, Sean celebrates his 40th, Craig visits dad Darryl in jail.

Quotes of the month:  

“I’m no Ernest Einstein, but I’m not stupid, you know!” says Kirk
“You know what they say about a man in a tux,” comments Aidan in the Rovers when Luke arrives dolled up to the nines.

See also Coronation Street reviews:
Find out more at: Coronation Street Weekly Updates

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Coronation Street review: August 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

August 2016
Kylie's funeral takes place, Macca threatens Gemma, Eileen visis Jason in Thailand, Phelan invests Jason's inheritance in fake flat scheme with Vinny, Aidan tells Eva that she's his lover number 90 but he doesn't want to move in with her, Gemma enters for a Good Samaritan Award, Sean moves in with Norris, Maria dumps Luke, Gary backs away from Izzy, Sharif's seven year fling with Sonia revealed, Bethany takes diet pills.

Quotes of the month:  
Craig applies to be a special constable and needs to know about any family convinctions.
"Do you want them alphabetically or by year?" asks Beth.

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Coronation Street review: July 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

July 2016

Jason leaves for Thailand, Tracy's in hospital with kidney infection, Kirk moves in with Norris, Izzy's given custodial sentence for drug possesion, Michael moves in with Andy and Steph, Mary and Dev share hotel room, Billy dumps Sean and dates Todd, Kylie's killed, Johnny dates Jenny, Sally throws a soiree, Leanne reveals to Steve that she's pregnant with his baby.

Quotes of the month:  
Beth goes to visit Tracy in th’ospital and when she enters Tracy’s hospital room, she’s speaking to her aunty on the phone: “There’s only three things that tell the truth - kids, drunks and leggings!”

You know I’m trouble, don’t you?” Todd tells Billy.
“I’d heard,” he replies.

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Conversation Street Podcast 230

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

Roy and Cathy's wedding day arrives but will they actually make it down the aisle before Roy's true feelings are discovered by his bride-to-be? Meanwhile, Phelan winds up in hospital after Andy, in a rare show of doing something interesting, whacks him on the back of the head with a brick. Nick's jealousy puts him in a mood, Tim's Christmas present is a bit of a fail, Michelle spends more time with Robert and Maria is trying to distract herself. After Street Talk, Michael and Gemma entertain us with a game of 20 Corrie Questions.

Remember, you can also listen to Conversation Street on iTunes (leave a fab review if you do!)

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The abandoned Barlow Brothers

(Reposted from State of the Street with permission)

Peter Barlow lost his mother to an electrical appliance when he was only a small boy. That's going to affect any child but then his father gave up trying to look after twin children and gave them over to their grandparents who raised them in Scotland. If you watched Corrie through the 70s and early 80s, you will know that Ken rarely visited them and rarely had them back home to visit him. They were mentioned from time to time and I'm sure he sent them birthday cards and Christmas gifts even if it wasn't shown on screen.

Daniel Osbourne's father, Ken Barlow, barely had a look in when he was growing up and his mother went walkabout 6 years ago, with no further sight nor sound. These two men certainly have a lot in common and I think they've kind of bonded over that.

Peter, especially in his Chris Gascoyne incarnation, has shown all the signs of having abandonment issues which have manifested themselves in a fondness for the drink. He's also got his father's "any woman any time" gene and finds it difficult to make a long standing commitment.  He regularly berates his father for dumping him and blames a lot of his failings on his father's non-participation in his life yet has always craved approval from his one remaining parent and yet resented the hell out of him at the same time.

Daniel is very secretive born from having to pretend his mother was not gone while he was too young, really, to be living on his own. Should the authorities have found out, he'd have been taken into care. He obviously had no contact or relationship with his mother's sister (she whose husband Denise had an affair with back in the day) and no other family it seems. He's been on his own for a long time. We don't know if he's got abandonment issues as such but he's bound to when you think of it. We just haven't seen how they've manifested themselves yet.

Children take on so much and learn what they see.  Neither of them ever had a father figure that was ever present in their lives. Peter certainly didn't grow up learning how to be a good father and so has never found it easy being one himself, often at a loss when things get difficult. He grew up seeing or knowing that his father flitted from woman to woman and he mirrored that behaviour. We don't know why his first marriage broke up though he has been known to blame his absences due to being in the navy but I think there's a pretty good chance he had a welcoming bed in every port.

Peter's been a lifelong screw up, or at least as long as he's been an adult from what we know and what we've seen. Just maybe, though, he's starting to take responsibility and grow up. A bit. His father's sudden illness seems to have affected him deeply. It seems like Daniel's reaction has been to  take refuge in books and in his schoolwork and keep his head down.

Daniel was an unplanned child but Ken in his middle age was anxious to do things right this time around. He and Denise were not love's young dream nor were they soul mates in any form. In fact, in the cold harsh reality of the aftermath of the affair, Denise realized she was most definitely unsuited to life with Ken and a baby so she left the baby with Ken initially and walked. Ken tried, he really did but he was a single middle aged man who had no clue how to deal with an infant. He hired a nanny and that helped but he never had the chance to see if he could make a go of this parenting thing. Denise returned and took baby Daniel away, to Scotland because her sister's husband happened to be from that country.

Ken tried to make an effort  at first but gave it up as a lost cause and thus, Daniel really had no memory of him.  Yet another of Ken's children was lost and cut loose from a paternal influence. We next saw Daniel when he was a boy of about 10. Ken and Deirdre were having difficulties and Ken began to think he'd like to make an effort with his son. His son resented Ken's efforts as too little too late and Ken soon gave up again. We would hear Daniel's name on occasion over the intervening years, usually when Tracy or Peter wanted to call Ken's parenting into question.

But Ken apparently had a contact number for Denise in his address book. After he had the stroke, Peter went through the book to contact family and left a message with Denise, or so the dialogue went. Daniel got the message eventually and came to see his father. Before you think this was a plot hole, it's very possible that telephone number was the landline in the flat where Daniel was living. Since he didn't want people to know he was living alone under aged, he would have left the answering machine message on there that his mother recorded.

And where was his mother? Daniel says they weren't getting along, typical teenage stuff and she became more and more agitated and decided to leave. He thought she was coming back but she never did nor did she ever get in contact. It does seem strange. On comment I've seen suggested she could have been bipolar and could have ended up on the streets. That would be an interesting way to take this. Her abandonment had to have been devastating to him.

He's been keeping secrets so long that it's no wonder he's reluctant to open up now. Peter has taken him in hand and has been very supportive. He's a big brother and he's also old enough to be a father figure, really, and Peter seems to really like his little brother. It really seems like there's a weight finally lifting off Daniel's shoulders, relieved to have told the truth and to have someone that he might actually be able to depend on (he doesn't know Peter well yet!) for once in his life.  He was almost in tears when Peter assured him he would be there, as if Peter was a lifeline to a young man near the end of his rope that sorely needed one.

This chemistry between the two brothers who seem to have bonded quickly, able to relate to what the other has been through over their lives is evident. We've long admired Chris Gascoyne's acting abilities and the young man playing Daniel, Rob Mallard, is really showing his acting chops, too.

It will be interesting to see where they take this.

Tvor, twitter: @tvordlj

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Coronation Street review: June 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

June 2016

Cops hunt for Callum's killer and Todd thinks Sarah's the murderer, Callum's funeral takes place, Roy accepts Cathy's proposal, Chesney's not happy about Sinead's modelling job, Phelan rips off Norris in roof tile scam, Amy moves in with Michelle and Steve, Nick starts working for Robert at the Bistro, Sean's jealous as Billy and Todd grow close, Tim's homebrew explodes, Sally's jealous of Yasmeen's orangery.

Quotes of the month:  
“I think it’s time I went paddling again,” Roy tells Cathy when he accepts her proposal.

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Coronation Street review: May 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

May 2016
Carla and Nick's wedding goes nuts and Carla leaves, Callum's body is found when Gail's grannexe is smashed into by a truck, Caz and Kate and Sophie don't get along, Sarah goes into post-natal meltdown, Jason's left a fortune in Tony's will and sleeps with Gemma, Roy returns from Hastings, Caitlin dumps Craig, Jenny saves Jack from being crushed by Blackpool tram, Tyrone gets his cab license, Izzy's arrested for cannabis possession.

Quotes of the month:  
When Nick heads back into the Bistro to marry Carla and Tracy arrives with what she thinks is bombshell news about Carla sleeping with Robert. Nick already knows and tells Tracy: “Sorry to rain on your grenade.”

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Friday 30 December 2016

Coronation Street review: April 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

April 2016
Steve's in Spain and Michelle meets old flame Will, Todd's suspicious of Phelan, Gary scores drugs for Izzy for pain relief, Kate tries on wedding frocks and snogs Sophie, Freddie flirts with Audrey, Robert dumps Tracy, Liz has head turned by new fella Chris, Sarah's desperate to christen Harry to ward off evil Callum spirits, Maria marries gay Pablo, Phelan moves in at No. 11, Jason's dad Tony dies, Billy's junkie brother kidnaps Sarah, Nick struggles with brain injury symptoms.

Quotes of the month:  

Nick goes out running for the second time in the same day, as a way to vent his frustrations.
“Run like the wind,” Carla tells him. “Run to the top of a mountain and pull me down a star.” 
“I was thinking of five times around the Red Rec.” Nick replies

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Corrie's Ben Price - "I really enjoy Woman's Hour"

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

Coronation Street actor Ben Price, who plays Nick Tilsley tells The Express about his five things he can’t live without.

It's an interesting little read, giving an insight into the actor's private life.  Ben says he enjoys travel to Morocco, running, writing and says he's a team player.

And as he lives in Bath and travels to and from work in Manchester by car, he likes to listen to the radio en route.

He says: "Filming for Coronation Street in Manchester and living in Bath means I spend a fair bit of time in the car as it’s a three-and-ahalf-hour drive between Granada Studios and my home. Not that I mind though, as I enjoy having time just driving by myself. In fact, as long as the traffic isn’t too bad it is actually a pleasure as I tune in to Radio 4 and catch up with the week’s current events.

My favourite programme is the Moral Maze as it really digs deeply into complex ethical questions and often covers issues that I haven’t thought about before.

I also really enjoy Woman’s Hour as it tells the personal stories behind the headlines. For a bit of light relief, I will sometimes flick over to Radio 1Xtra.

Ben Price is a celebrity ambassador for UK development charity CAFOD and is promoting their Christmas World Gifts range.  Visit for more details.

Read the full interview here.

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Coronation Street review: March 2016

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

March 2016
Eva tries to help Marta escape the O'Driscolls,  Erica and Dev get together, Bethany's bullied at school and Sarah threatens bully's mum with her bendy finger, Eileen dumps Michael for Phelan, Gemma starts work at Audrey's salon, Freddie arrives, Sally wins election, Zeedan and Rana date.

Quotes of the month:  

Talk at Sarah's baby shower turns to Gail’s mate Suzie Birchall from back in the day.
“She tried to nick my husband,” Gail cries.
“Which one?” asks Kylie. 

“Is this a vicar and tarts party?” asks Jonny Connor in Underworld as Billy and Eva go on the hunt for missing Marta.
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Coronation Street review: February 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

February 2016

Tyrone and Fiz struggle to pay off his loan, Sally ropes in Ken as campaign manager, Jenny Bradley raises eyebrows, Eva and Aidan schmooze the O'Driscolls while slave girl Marta hides at Underworld, Brendan breaks Mary's heart, Phelan sabotages Kev's garage electrics and threatens Anna, trouble Simon breaks bones at football, Beth comes out in a rash at Audrey's salon, Tracy blackmails Carla over Robert, Sally buys Lloyd's share of Streetcars and puts Tim to work, Rana arrives, Sinead models at Underworld, Izzy buys drugs for pain control.

Quotes of the month: 

“In the scarlet letter book I am a H” Mary says.
 Erica replies wonderfully with “But Whore is spelt with a W!” 
“I meant Harlot!” huffs Mary.

“This is exactly the kick up the tush that I needed to get out of this place,” Carla tells Tracy.
"Oh! So that's what's happened is it? I've done you a favour?" smirks Tracy before going in for the kill. "No. I'll tell you what's happened, shall I? You've become my bitch, babe. Always knew you had it in you".  
See also: Coronation Street review: January 2016

Find out more at: Coronation Street Weekly Updates

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Coronation Street review: January 2016

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

It's almost the end of yet another year on the cobbles. And so, without any further ado, here we go with a round-up of events from Coronation Street month by month - in 100 words or less.

January 2016

Emily leaves for Peru, Carla discovers Johnny's her dad, Hope goes into remission, Ken dumps Nessa and flirts with Audrey, Cathy's house burns down, Preston's Petals opens, Kev and Anna get together, Mary dates Brendan, Steph's caught up in revenge porn, Carla's in hospital after Bistro break in, Roy leaves to look after his poorly mum, Sally decides to stand as a councillor, Alex starts work at Roy's Rolls, Jenny Bradley contacts Rita over th'interweb, Audrey and Ken flirt, Gary threatens Phelan.

Quotes of the month:  
“Sometimes life isn’t very nice,” Audrey tells Gail. 
“You don’t have to tell me that, I was married to a serial killer,” Gail replies. 

Mary opines about her mother, who by all accounts is a bit of a prude.
“There was a time when she wouldn’t even be seen eating a banana in public.”

Find out more at: Coronation Street Weekly Updates

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Thursday 29 December 2016

Corrie Canada sneak preview January 2 - 6

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

Bethany attempts to put a move on Gary but then lies that she has feelings for an older man. Gary makes wrong assumptions and Bethany reaches for the wrong sort of help for her misery. Andy turns to thievery in desperation and Steph ends up accused. Norris turns to social media to find Jude. David confronts Shona. Maria makes a dangerous mistake. Aidan and Adam face off and later, Aidan makes a confession and a promise. Nick continues to clash with Peter. The Barlows hold an early Christmas for Simon. Nick thinks Peter's secret woman is Leanne. Maria finds out her sentence.  Will she spend Christmas in jail?

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Where have all the old Corrie cobbles gone? Find out here

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

Yesterday we posted some of the saddest pictures of the old Coronation Street set. It's been left in an abandoned state with all of the signs and cobbles ripped up. Have a look at the pictures here.

Some fans on social media are asking us if we know what happened to the cobbles. Well, we do, and we blogged about them earlier this year. 

Back in September we visited Corrie on Tour in Glasgow. Juliana Delaney, the chief executive of the Continuum Group who run Corrie on Tour, (it's currently closed for repair) told us - in an exclusive first - what has happened to all of the cobbles from the old Corrie set.

Find out here from our blog post back in September.

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Magnificent - ITV tribute to Jean Alexander

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

What a wonderful tribute it was from CBC (via ITV) last night to the late actress Jean Alexander, who played Hilda Ogden.  Well done to all involved.

The tribute was narrated by Katherine Kelly, who played Coronation Street's Becky McDonald. It included some of the current Corrie cast sharing their memories of working with Jean, and also included Jean's brother and his family sharing their personal memories too. 

With ex-Corrie writer John Stevenson and ex-archivist and writer Daran Little on board for the documentary too, it was quite a magical mix.

Here are some images from the programme which aired on CBC last night.  Keep an eye on CBC Online, you may be able to catch the video there as well.

Hilda and Stan's living room was recreated by the current Corrie crew.

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Wednesday 28 December 2016

Coronation Street as you've never seen it before

(This post was originally posted by Stevie Dawson on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2016.)

Some rather apocalyptic scenes from Weatherfield today as the Manchester Evening News releases photos of the old Coronation Street set off Quay Street in Manchester, looking a little worse for wear.

Courtesy: Manchester Evening News
Almost a year after the tours of the old set finished, and three years after the completion of the new purpose built set at Salford Quays, the cobble-less wasteland is now a far cry from the Street we know and love. Windows and doors have been removed from the famous terrace, the nameless pub at the end of the row is now an empty shell with the sign removed, and overgrown weeds have started taking over – it’s as if the residents of Coronation Street fled some kind of disaster 'Day of the Triffids' style.

An 'Urban Explorer' supplied the photographs to the Manchester Evening News, who have contacted ITV for comment on the site.

Courtesy: Manchester Evening News

Courtesy: Manchester Evening News
The old Granada Studios site is to be redeveloped as part of the St John’s Quarter project, which will include apartments, shops and a theatre, as well as a luxury hotel.
Looking at these photos, they have a lot of work to do!


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The return of the poison pen to Coronation Street

The current Coronation Street storyline with the poison pen letter sent to Eileen and Phelan isn't the first time that poison pen has dripped through the letterbox of Number 11 Coronation Street.

Back in November 1961 Elsie Tanner received a poison pen letter when she lived in Number 11.  Elsie accused Ena Sharples of writing the letter and had a stand-up row in the middle of the Street with Ena.
However, it wasn't Ena who wrote the letter and Elsie had wrongly accused Ena. The letter was actually written by Norah Dawson. Norah sent the letter to Elsie when she was having an affair with Bill Gregory, reminding her that she was not yet divorced.

Oh the scandal!

And now, the poison pen letter returns to Number 11 Coronation Street.

I wonder if Eileen and Anna will have a fight in the Street a la Ena and Elsie when Eileen finds out who's been sending the letters?

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Tonight: Hilda Ogden's last ta-ra, a tribute to Jean Alexander

Don't miss this tonight, it's on CBC at 8pm. Hilda Ogden's last ta-ra, a tribute to Jean Alexander celebrates the unforgettable contribution that actress Jean Alexander made to Coronation Street.

Corrie's Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe) and William Roache (Ken Barlow) along with other cast members pictured below pay homage to Jean and Hilda and share their memories of her. 
There will also be some scenes of Hilda's most memorable moments.  Should be a lovely thing to watch.

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Tuesday 27 December 2016

Coronation Street's on-again off-again wedding

Roy and Cathy's road to the altar was paved with much rockier material than a few cobbles. Roy promised his late wife, Hayley, that he would move on and find someone to love and Cathy seemed to be the one. We viewers were pretty sure he didn't love her, not like he loved Hayley in any case but they did seem suited. When they got closer, when the proposal finally came, it felt rushed to me, and probably to all of you, too. It felt like Roy was backed into a corner and he seemed to bend to Cathy's wishes a lot.

Then the wedding planning began and Roy's stress levels rose higher and higher. Still, Cathy couldn't see the obvious, so wrapped up in her own happiness and enthusiasm over the wedding of her dreams. But the bride had a few wobbles and thought they should call it all off. She didn't mean it, she wanted him to reassure her but he snapped at the chance only to find himself rebooking wedding arrangements that he hastily cancelled.

So the wedding day dawns and while the bride is on top of the world, the groom looks like he wants the bottom of the world to swallow him up. He kind of got his wish because the bride discovered recorded proof that he didn't want to get married and was only going through with it because he's an honourable man. She did the right thing and released him from that promise though I think she was hoping he'd persuade her to marry him. Roy being Roy didn't pick up on that, or didn't want to. They are not wed and it doesn't look like they will be.

Roy had taken his old wedding band off earlier in the day but it's back firmly in place in that comfortable, familiar spot. There will be no new Mrs. Cropper. The old Mrs. Cropper still has his heart.

For pictures of the wedding day events, check out State of the Street, here.

Tvor: Twitter: @Tvordlj

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Vicky Entwistle - from Corrie to Carabosse in a perfect panto

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

There are two kinds of people in this world - those who love pantomime and those who don't. I fall firmly into the first category. I adore pantomime and go every year to my local theatre, the Sunderland Empire.  And what could be better than seeing a pantomime at my favourite theatre? Seeing a pantomime that stars an ex-Coronation Street actor. 

Last year's panto at the Sunderland Empire was Aladdin and it starred Terence Maynard, better known to Corrie fans as Tony Stewart.  Terence was wonderful in his panto role and he hammed it up in perfect panto style - my review of last year's panto is here.

This year's panto is Sleeping Beauty with Corrie's Janice Battersby - actress Vicky Entwistle - playing the part of the evil Carabosse.  What joy it was to boo and hiss every time she came on stage. She really was wonderful in the role, it's the first time I've seen Vicky in anything outside of Coronation Street and she looked as if she was enjoying playing the panto baddie a great deal.  She absolutely stole the show during Carabosse's song and dance routine, singing the song "I'm a bad fairy"... wonderful stuff.

Since leaving Coronation Street as Janice Battersby, Vicky has appeared in numerous stage productions including the UK tours of Funny Peculiar, The Vagina Monologues, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and made her West End debut playing Madame Thernardier in Les Miserables.  She has recently played the role of Francis Whittaker in Father Brown series five for the BBC. 

I do wonder, now that Toyah is returning to Coronation Street this Christmas, whether this might herald the return of Janice as Toyah's mum some time in the future? Let's hope so.

There were a couple of Corrie-related references thrown in to the pantomime from Vicky's character. But the best was when the story had to move 100 years into the future, after which the King asked: "I wonder if Ken Barlow is still in Coronation Street?"

The panto this year at the Sunderland Empire was one of the best I've seen there in the last few years. Trying to pin down what makes it so special is a little like trying to say what's magical about Christmas. I just can't quite put my finger on what made it so good. The whole panto cast were magnificient, and it was a very strong performance from all of them.

However, for me, Bobby Crush as panto dame Nurse Nelly was an abolute delight. I grew up watching Bobby on telly playing his piano and as a panto dame he's one of the best I've seen. Faye Tozer as the Good Fairy puts in a great performance with the kids (and me) in the audience going wild when she did a Steps-medley including Tragedy!

And I have to give full credit to Andrew Agnew who played Silly Billy (and also directed the panto). I've never watched Balamory for which Andrew is most well-known, but his presence on stage is magical and I was clapping and singing along with him everytime he appeared - and doing the jazz hands too. What a treat he was.

In short - this is one of the best pantos I've seen in recent years at the Sunderland Empire.  Vicky Entwistle is definitely worth watching on stage and I'd be very keen to see more of her in different productions on stage after having seen her in panto.

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Monday 26 December 2016

Corrie Canada weekly awards for Dec. 19 - 21

BridesmaidZilla award: Nessa.

Throwback Thursday awards: 1. Peter found all of Tracy's old cassette tapes, the ones she used to run upstairs and listen to and disappear for weeks!
2. Peter noted that he and Leanne got married 6 years ago (which would have been the 50th anniversary live episode, this Thursday episode airing on the 56th anniversary of Coronation Street's first episode)
3. Not only does Cathy have a dictaphone, she has eight!

Green Eyed Monster award: Aidan who didn't want Maria spending time with Adam but doesn't want her himself other than as a bit on the side.

Bending Time and Space award: The acoustics in the pub are very strange. You can overhear something clearly from the other side of the room yet not hear a thing standing less than 5 feet from someone else.

Shoot Yourself in the Foot award: Cathy told Roy they ought to call off the wedding. She shouldn't have been surprised when he went along with what he thought she wanted. He's not that good at subtleties. She only wanted to be reassured.

Vanity, Thy Name is Ken: He won't wear a hat because it would ruin his hair for the rest of the day. I totally agree with him. I hate wearing them, too!

Pants on Fire award: Aidan told his father he doesn't fancy Maria.

Lines of the week:
Norris "I know I have a reputation for being a bit, you know, inquisitive (ya think?) but Mary's my friend" (and in between hissy fits and opinionated rants, he *can* be a good friend)
Nessa "It wouldn't be the first time a man felt the urge to visit me in the middle of the night" (oh please)
Maria to Eva "You make me sound like a Disney princess"
Nessa "They're all the same. Liars and Cheaters" Alex, joking "Lions and Cheetahs?" (nice one!)
Nessa about Roy "Don't be fooled by that face. Beneath that innocent exterior lies the beating heart of a love rat" (Not Roy, not ever!)
Aidan to Eva "What are you doing?" (dressed in very little) Eva "Well, I'm hardly waiting for the Number 8 bus, am I?"
Billy "Imagine a world without faith" Daniel "Then all we'd have to do is eradicate climate change"
Peter to Nick "How do you spell Rebound again?" ("L E A N N E")

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Sunday 25 December 2016

Sunday Comments December 25

We wish all of you out there the very best of the season! Christmas on Coronation Street won't hit Canadian screens for another couple of weeks (but it's better than 10 months away like we used to be!)

This week, there's something about Mary. Erica still thinks Mary's papers, the ones she burned, has to do with her mother but it wasn't. Norris is quite concerned so Erica passed on the woman's name and Norris came to see her. Mary tried not talking about it but Norris wouldn't let it go. She blurted out that she was trying to find her son. Her son????

In powerful scenes, Mary told Norris what happened. A minister, the father of children she babysat and he raped her in the car when she was 14. We always heard that Mary's mother was very judgemental and from the story she told, I can see that's true and we can understand clearly why Mary has always had a huge dose of resentment towards her mother. Her son is called Jude. She told Norris she won't look for him. She's had a lovely fantasy about finding him and it being a wonderful reunion but she's scared it will be exactly the opposite. She has so much guilt and regret and I imagine that's not unusual in her situation. Mary is usually portrayed as a querky nutter most of the time but we always knew there must be something else behind the funny stories.

Norris won't leave it alone, though. He is hovering over Mary who just wants to forget it all. His poking his nose in trying to help is only upsetting her more. Mary accepted that Jude is not part of her life, she just has moments of melancholy. She asks Norris to back off. Will he? He will not. Norris has no intention of backing off from Mary's problem. He's diving into ancestry websites.

Oh and it turns out her son is 32 which makes Mary 46, a tad older than I thought but not overly. You know that makes her just a shade older than Tracy and Steve and not much younger than Sally. She and Beth might even be the same age. Brian is making up buzz words as if we don't have enough of them already. Cathy and Nessa made a peace treaty. No idea how long that will last but there it is. Do you believe Eva is sending out 150 cards?? She did have adequate compensation, though, presenting herself in slinky lingerie. Clearly, his infatuation with Maria hasn't eroded his lust for the lushious Eva!

Nessa woke up to find Roy sitting on the bed. Sound asleep with his eyes wide open. Roy's done that before, sleepwalk, when he was over stressed about his father you may remember. Roy had no memory of sleepwalking and it's distressing him even more. Cathy's not un-stressed herself, with the spectre of Alan and Nessa's affair and his parentage of Alex hanging over her. She has never really discussed that last aspect with her sister. Not in any detail, at least. A brush off and an insincere Sorry doesn't really lay it to rest. Yasmeen keeps urging her to get it out of the way. Nessa is there for the wedding but of course is making it all about her.

Roy is still doing the last minute planning. But wow, didn't Yasmeen go off on Nessa for flirting with Freddie right under Audrey's nose! Nessa really is shameless, isn't she? Flirting, double entendres, the lot. Cathy finally did take a strip off her and threw her out for awhile. There's so much rivalry between the sisters and Cathy still has trouble dealing with it. She doesn't have the confidence that she can keep the relationship going and told Roy she thought they should cancel the wedding. Not quite sure what she was getting at but she didn't get the response from Roy that she was after. You could tell, when he went along with it because it was what she wanted, that she really wanted him to insist they would be ok and not to worry. Poor Roy can't read signals very well.

Roy didn't waste any time cancelling wedding plans. It was obvious that it wasn't what Cathy really wanted. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. She noticed Roy's rash was gone and that should have been a pretty clear signal. I guess she's not any better at picking up subtleties. Well, Nessa might have taken out her frustration over men on Cathy but Alex was angry at her for it. Roy overheard Alex remarking on how he made a promise to Cathy but Nessa has clumped Roy in with every man that ever let her down.

Roy finally got a clue and she confirmed it. She only wanted reassurance and even realizing he cancelled the plans so fast there was not a trace afterwards, still didn't make her realize that Roy really doesn't want to get married. But he talked her around and the wedding is back on. I think Roy hates to go back on a promise and his honour is more important than his better judgement. Cathy immediately started to memorize her vows. Billy suggested using a dictaphone. Cathy has eight. Roy rushed around everywhere uncancelling things and telling people it was back on and landed in the Bistro with a panic attack. That's as big an alarm bell as you can get.

Steph helped Roy with his panic attack but Tyrone saw it and was very concerned. We know Roy does care for Cathy but it doesn't really seem like he's ready to take that step and Tyrone and Brian confronted him on it later in a little intervention. Roy tried to brush it off but in the end, with the rash back on his neck, he's insisting he's keeping his promise. Tyrone and Brian keep haranguing Roy. Cathy heads out leaving the men in the flat right after Cathy was recording in the dictaphone. Roy as much as admitted it might not be what he wants but he's not letting Cathy down. One camera show of the dictaphone, red light on and still recording.

Peter didn't tell Ken about Denise but he insisted that Daniel report her as a missing person to the police. Didn't it look like Daniel was relieved when Peter said he'd go with him? Just that little look and a sigh made me feel like Daniel was very glad to have someone take over and look after him for a change, after many years of being alone and taking care of himself. He probably missed that parental/big brother figure in his life more than he even realized. Daniel found it difficult going over all that old ground. All that rejection bubbled to the surface and he went right back to being a kid again.

Because he was so wrapped up with Daniel, Peter missed the appointment with Simon's last council session and Leanne ripped him a new one on the street. But she did back down in sympathy when he told Leanne the reason at least but Nick wasn't too keen to see them friendly again after she did ease up. But since she couldn't really tell Nick what Peter told her about Daniel as it was kind of in confidence, Nick doesn't know what to think. Peter, meanwhile, was fielding flirtation from a very nice looking blonde, who looked to be exactly his type but he didn't really seem interested, did he? He told Daniel there was only one woman he was interested in.

Just then, Nick comes in. Probably overhears even though he was at the other side of the bar but you know the acoustics in the Rovers are strange like that. You can stand next to someone and not hear a dicky bird but hear them clearly from the other side of the room. Nick started grilling Peter about his women, and likely thinking Peter still has a thing for Leanne.

Now Leanne wants to go to Toyah's in Liverpool for Christmas but isn't sure how Nick is going to take it and is very sure their families will be upset. I think Nick agreed because it would put Peter's nose out of joint not to see Simon. In a way it backfired, though because Leanne ended up going Christmas shopping with Peter. Then the car was clamped for them parking in a disabled spot, the sign which was flipped up and hidden. They could probably make a case for using it given Leanne's pregnancy. Anyway, they had to wait for the company to come and unclamp them for a fine and they got on really well and put a lot of old demons to bed, I think. Being late home didn't help Nick's attitude.

Peter had an idea, have an early Christmas so he can see Simon open his presents from the Barlows and his dad. Leanne likes the idea. They set December 23 as the date. Nick ranting at Robert only got one thing, advise to have it out with Peter and so he did, insisting Ken vacate as well. It was the cliche "stay away from her!" I'd like to know how many times Nick has told that to Peter over the years. Being heavy handed only makes Nick look like the prize prat he is. Peter said what I've felt all along, Leanne is Nick's rebound from Carla. Peter did well. Didn't lose his temper and even got a parting shot in, mentioning his and Leanne's wedding anniversary but Nick's accusations of being jobless did give him pause for thought. Peter's told Anna he wants to move back into his flat so she'll have to leave. That sets things up for her to move in with Kevin, I'm sure. Surely he has to give her a certain amount of notice, in writing, not just a verbal "I need me flat back". Guess not. Apparently, there never was a contract so he can get away with it.

Adam spent the night with Maria. Eva and Aidan saw them on the doorstep. Eva was chuffed and rather fizzy with excitement over the developments while the knot in Aidan's face grew into a tangle. So when Eva attempted to babysit Liam so Maria could have another session with Adam, Aidan made up plans to take Eva out as a "surprise" which would mean Liam goes back home which in turn, meant that Liam saw his Christmas present, a bike, not a strange man in the house like Aidan thought. I'm glad she gave him a hard time over his obvious jealousy. Then he pretended he was in a bad mood because he was responsible for Liam seeing his present before Christmas. It's so tedious.

Oh Todd and Billy are back on screen. I guess Billy was on a sort of leave of absence because he's set to get back in his vestments. Todd seems to be accepting of it even though he wishes it was a different way. The Bishop was understanding but Billy decided he really wasn't in the right frame of mind to do the job anymore. He needs to be himself and not have to hide his life from his parisioners. Todd was pretty happy about it. Let's hope Billy can find some other way to help people because that's what he's good at. Todd is going to try to get a job at a solicitor's office like he used to do. Todd didn't have much luck looking for a job but Billy did, he's got a job interview. These letters that Eileen and Phelan are getting are upsetting but even more, there was another letter that really threw Eileen for a loop. What's that all about?

Eileen and Phelan are getting letters from shafted clients now. Todd's looking for a job but I suppose Phelan can still run the building site though will have to hustle for work now. Someone else who is upset is Andy who is shooting daggers every time he spies Phelan out and about. Anna is still hiding away from people but seemed pleased that Eileen and Phelan were fielding legal letters.

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Happy Festive Season

From the Bluenose CorrieBlog to all of you wonderful Corrie fans, Enjoy the peace of the season and all the best for 2017!!

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Saturday 24 December 2016

Interest and Intrigue in Weatherfield - excellent storylines

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

So, where to begin? It probably has to be with the revelation of Mary Taylor's baby son. Baby Jude was born when Mary was just 14 years old. The father was a minister, a pillar of the community, someone for whom Mary baby sat. Driving her home one night he stopped the car and raped her. She told no one, but then, inevitably, her pregnancy began to show. Her mother never once asked if her pregnant daughter, at the tender age of 14, was alright. Instead, her mother wept with disappointment and Mary wept too, for causing her mother distress. What a terrible secret for Mary to harbour. And though it was possible that something of this order may descend into melodrama, in Patti Clare's capable hands, there was no suggestion of it.

There was a surprise too, by the way in which Norris appeared genuinely concerned. Aware of his reputation for inquisitiveness, this sincere concern is of a different order to his general day to day meddling. Mary is his friend and he does care about her. Norris asks 'Why now,' and Mary's answer is as quick as a flash. 'Ken.' she states. This reaction is psychologically convincing. She has observed Ken's family gather round and recognises with great sadness that the same would not happen for her in similar circumstances.

And now to Peter and the question we would all like answering - Who exactly is his mystery woman?
Could it possibly be Leanne? He says it's complicated, which, if Leanne was the mystery woman, that would indeed be the case. Let us remind ourselves that she is pregnant with Steve Macdonald's baby, but people believe it is Nick's baby. Nick and Leanne are back together for the third or fourth time. Has Peter realised that, after all, it is Leanne he wants? Out shopping, weren't they getting on well! Leanne was laughing and reminiscing about her and Toyah and their adoration of Bros. Very cosy, it seemed,  and they didn't even seem to mind too much that the car was clamped. While waiting to be unclamped Peter and Leanne were relaxed and contented. Must make a nice change for Leanne after Nick's dark, brooding expressions when ever Peter is near. Is Nick paranoid? Or does he have good reason to be wary of Peter's motives. Certainly if he had seen Peter reach over to Leanne when they were in the car, he would have been furious but perhaps grateful too, to the unclamper for arriving just at the point where Peter reached across.

Is this all ridiculous speculation? Maniacal conjecture? Maybe, but where women and Peter are concerned, nothing is impossible. There may well be a woman we've never met, just
 waiting in the wings...

Further intrigue concerns Daniel and his mother Denise. Why did she leave? Why did Daniel lie about the last time he saw her? Why did Denise, according to Daniel, shout a lot? Was Daniel really relieved, as he claimed he was, that as a result of  her departure, their home was now calm. Where is she now?

Have I missed something or is Roy still bothered by a rash? And just when will Nessa behave in an age appropriate manner? No, scrap that. When will she learn to behave in a reasonable way for someone of any age? And who will she throw her cap at? Mature (and maybe not so mature) gentlemen of Weatherfield, beware.

And then there's Adam. What does he do exactly? We've witnessed him engaged in what seemed to be a dodgy phone call. He's annoyed his family members, he's keen on Maria and he is even keener on himself.

The recent storylines, creating interest and intrigue throughout Weatherfield are first class. Thank you to Kate Oates and the writing team for upping their game.

Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722

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1996: A Corrie Christmas to forget

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

Given the number of episodes we currently have to juggle in a week, there isn't often much time left for settling down with a slice of Corrie Gold - an episode from yesteryear. With the proliferation of boxsets available, when time permits, I usually haul a DVD from the 1970s or 80s out of the box. However, it struck me the other day that I've given the 1990s, in particular the late nineties, a wide berth? Why? I was around at the time and watched Corrie as vigorously as I do now, yet my memory of the show at that time seems a little vague. To remedy this, I decided to re-watch an episode from twenty years ago. 1996 - the year of Three Lions, Gina G and the emergence of the Spice Girls. All etched on my memory. Of Weatherfield though, nothing. Nada. Nowt.

Back then to December 1996 and what appears to have been a grim old Christmas on t'cobbles. It's the aftermath of a Don Brennan suicide attempt.  I always think of DON in capital letters, his name being spat out by hatchet-faced Ivy. We encounter DON in the sea of beige that was number 5, stewing in maudlin malevolence. Martin arrives, dressed in a dreadful turquoise coat (which remains with him for the rest of the episode) to give DON a pep talk. It fails. Enter Ashley, minus his trademark squeaky voice (when did that arrive?) and Fred Elliott bellowing and blathering. A more unprepossessing quartet of characters you couldn't wish to meet.

Cut to the Rovers where Liz is rooted to the spot and sporting a Halloween fright wig. She's chatting to loopy old Anne Malone, another character thankfully forgotten. There's some chit-chat about Steve having gone missing but no one seems bothered, least of all Vera, Maxine and Tracy Brabin MP, or Tricia as she was back then. Neither is anyone all that fussed about Curly's impending departure. Vera comes out with some nonsense about having to go to church in order to put Curly off the scent - there's going to be a farewell party. It has to be said, the atmosphere in the pub is very muted and the set seems to have been lit with a 20 watt bulb. Plus it's very beige indeed.

Next we're at Curly's house where he's erected a tent in his living room which dreary old Anne Malone is creeping into. She wants a slice of Watts but Curly's not tempted. "Let's have it in here" she suggests and we can only surmise that she's referring to Curly's offer of a Mellow Birds. Otherwise we're all hurling into any available Santa sacks.

Over at the Platt household, the original versions of Sarah and David are present, together with Gail and quite possibly the nastiest piece of knitwear known to man. Imagine someone attempting to create a garment on a knitting machine, hating the end product and then hurling it at a passing Gail. The Platt house looks a bit odd too as there seemed to be an extra bit of wall and kitchen was possibly a different shape. There again, the kids changed overnight without question so Gail's hardly likely to start banging on about the brickwork.

Ooh look, it's part two and horror of horror, it isn't Anne's fine ankles that come backing out of the Curly tent but those of Emily. I know he's off on his travels but surely . . . Anyway, we get a chance to see another horribly beige living room. No wonder he's so downbeat. The rest of the nation was slapping Dulux "Pastiche" on its walls whereas Weatherfield seemed to get inspiration from a moist digestive biscuit.

We return to the Rovers where Liz is still thrilling the crowds with her Ronald McDonald weave. Jim's propping up the bar, so he is, with a face like an eight day clock. What the hell is wrong with these people? In the dim light of the Rovers, we can just about see Curly making an entrance and engaging in some desperate looks with Maureen from t'shop. You see, it would appear that Curly had given Mo something special for Christmas, unbeknownst to Bill 'tache' Webster. All roads led to Mr Watts back in 1996.

Maxine Heavey appears with a straw, slurping the remains of other people's drinks. How much was Fiona paying her at the salon? Eight pence an hour and as much hair as she could eat? Maxine wasn't likely to wake up with a hangover the next day but give it a few years and she would be on the receiving end of the mother of all headaches.

Is that Norris over there? Yes it is, still looking old but less camp and not quite so vindictive. A case of old Nozzer not having once been nice but simply less awful. He's lumbered with Fred who, apropos of nothing whatsoever, is bouncing up and down on the spot.

By now, we're desperate to get shut of Curly so Jack calls for 'a spot of hush' in the eerily quite pub. It's like something from Acorn Antiques. Resembling a  Greek chorus, Alma, Mike and Des appear from nowhere. Again, soon all three would be exiting stage left. Curly takes a bunch of pictures with his new camera, although given the paucity of light in the Rovers, he'll need a flash bulb the size of Jodrell Bank to make any impact. There's some old nonsense with Tracy Brabin MP having a row with Mike Baldwin who has fired her from t'faktry. Not sure which one though.

Maureen seemingly leaves the pub with a different hairdo to the one she arrived with. Either Audrey's doing perms in the lav or the lighting is so bad that we've mistaken a beehive for a brush cut. Outside on the Street, Fred is still attempting to trampoline on concrete whilst Norris is trying to drag him away. The record shows that neither character appeared on the show until the following April so presumably they were both sedated and jammed in the Corrie cupboard for the duration.

The end is nigh and Curly calls a cab on his mobile phone, complete with aerial, to take him to pastures new. Or pastures anywhere by this stage. A shame he didn't call DON who might have driven him into the canal. Maxine is also shuffling along the pavement three paces behind confused Curly, eventually asking him "Will you be nice to me?" She may has well have been doing a fan dance, although on the slave wage being doled out by thrifty Fiona, Maxine would have been lucky to  stretch to chicken feathers. Anyway, a rampant Curly having already gone three rounds with Maureen, embarked in a Carry on Camping romp with frosty Anne and Emily, now decides to enjoy himself to the Max.

We are so used to the cut and thrust of the Corrie of 2016 that the ambling episodes of 1996 seem quite foreign. This one in particular seems quite poor and no doubt contributed to the revamp of 1997. While we don't need every episode to be thirty minutes of edge-of-the-seat action, this episode courtesy of the Ghost of Christmas past, reminds us that taking it at a snail's pace can also be very, very wrong.

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