Tuesday 28 February 2017

Helen Flanagan to stay on Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Everything is coming up Rosie on the cobbles as Coronation Street today confirmed that Helen Flanagan has had her contract extended to December.

Rosie returned to Weatherfield on Monday night and immediately found herself at the centre of the drama when she and Sophie discovered they had been used as drugs mules.

Helen was originally contracted for three months but ITV have now announced that Rosie will be staying in Weatherfield with her family.

Viewers can expect lots of comedy and some romance for Rosie, she will also find a new unlikely career on the cobbles.

Producer Kate Oates said: “We are thrilled to have Helen back and delighted that she is now going to become a more permanent fixture in Weatherfield. Rosie is a classic Coronation Street comedy character and we are looking forward to seeing more of her antics in the future.”

Helen said: “I am having so much fun being back here playing Rosie again. The writing is hilarious and I am delighted to be staying around. I can’t wait to see what Rosie is going to get up to.”

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Conversation Street Podcast 239

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

This week on the podcast, Rosie Webster is back and as daft as ever. She and Sophie get off on the wrong foot immediately and have to scramble to hide the evidence. Daniel and Sinead get together, much to the amusement of Adam and the fury of Chesney. Kevin's troubles are not over when Luke has an accident. Adam disappoints Ken and loses Todd as his law clerk in the process. Gemma remembers where she knows Shona from but is Shona really telling the truth?

The second half of the "All Star" Conversation Street awards is presented along with feedback as usual.

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

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Monday 27 February 2017

Couples without chemistry on Coronation Street

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

Much as I am loving having Toyah Battersby back on Coronation Street, it's clear there's no chemistry (for this fan, at least) between her and Peter Barlow.  As if having to invest in the storyline where Peter and Toyah somehow just happened to bump into each other months ago off-screen wasn't enough, we're now being forced to believe that these two work together. In my mind at least, they don't.

Toyah is a fantastic character, as is Peter Barlow. Both are extremely watchable and we're invested in their characters and history on the show. But together? Nope. As a couple? Hell, no.

What happened to Toyah's footloose and fancy-free ways, her dreams of becoming a journalist?  Where has the girl gone who slept under the stars with Spider?

The girl who campaigned to save the world and the, er, wrongly spelled "Whorey Ground Wort?"  The girl who joined the Prawn Liberation Front at Frescho and who tried to save the world?

Are we really to believe that someone like Toyah - headstrong, ambitious, intelligent - would take up with womanising Peter Barlow?  It doesn't ring true for me.  Bring back Spider for her - and soon!

Another couple that's been hard to watch as their relationship dragged its way across the cobbles has been Anna and Kev.  If their latest fall-out leads to Anna moving out with FayE this would cheer me up no end.

Zeedan and Rana are another snore-fest in our house. The only saving grace for this whole famly is the wonderful Yasmeen, of whom we see far too little.

Finally, and about time too, Sined and Chesney look set to go their seperate ways. Give Chesney a storyline, he's put the hours in and now deserves to shine. He's never been the same since Schmeichel passed away.

And before I sign off on this blog post, here's a little mention to those Coronation Street couples who do have the spark between them. Those couples with the little bit of magic that makes them watchable on screen, for me, are Jenny and Johnny; Billy and Todd; Sally and Tim; Kirk and Beth; Steve and Michelle; Eileen and Phelan.

Which current Corrie couples do you think work - and which do you dread seeing together on screen?

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Corrie Canada Weekly Awards Feb. 20 - 24

Jenny 1, Alya 0. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Alya is getting more and more horrible. I think her days are numbered.

Superfluous to Requirements award: Sophie.

Lifeboat award: Peter was Toyah's lifeboat while she was drowning under failed IVF and a broken marriage. Not exactly a level playing field for a strong relationship.

Ground Zero award: Peter things his relationship isn't a war zone. His usually end up that way, though. Ken would be right warning Toyah and wishing her good luck.

Mentor Hell: Phelan's going to have Sneaky Seb work for him. Seb doesn't know what he's in for!

False Hope award: Johnny believed Sinead's nervous excuse for working overtime and told Chesney she was saving to take him on holiday.

Tattle Tale award: Did nobody ever teach Daniel that being a tattle tale often means the messenger gets shot as well? Ken didn't shoot the messenger but Adam had his revenge in the end. Leading us to...

Integrity Fail: Adam could have passed the exam even without cheating and that was his downfall with Ken and Todd.

Retro award: Rosie's back and as social media savvy as you would expect. (take that any way you'd like but I'm enjoying her daftness)

Lines of the week:
Nick about Leanne "She loves surprises" (She flaming well doesn't, you know, not today anyway)
Leanne "Well, Yabba dabba flamin' do. Fred and Wilma, I presume"
Tyrone "There's a loophole, all right, and it's right round our neck"
Tyrone "I already owe you a smack, Kev, don't push it" (he was, too, wasn't he?)
Peter "This is a relationship, not a war zone" (ah but your relationships usually are)
Daniel "Even intellectuals like a bit of goss"
Eileen "Is that Rosie Webster? What's she doing here?" David "Time, by the look of it"
Rosie "I thought he was the One. Turns out he was just the one that was using me!"
Daniel to Sinead "Are you thick as well as daft?" (ouch!)
Billy "You're up on your Exodus, are you?" Kirk "No, never took a drug in me life!" (*snort*)
Daniel about Adam "It's like living with a Scottish Tigger bouncing off the walls"
David to Shona "Why are you always so weird?" (I'm wondering that myself)
Adam "Barlow's Solicitors. We keep the bar high and the prices low" (groan)
Rosie about Billy "If he was straight, I'd *so* find religion!"
Todd "I need a job. You're a chancer, Adam. I need a job, not a pipe dream"

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Sunday 26 February 2017

Sisters Reunited: Brooke Vincent reveals her part in Helen Flanagan's return to Corrie

(This post was originally posted by Stevie Dawson on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

During last week's Weatherfield visit Stevie Dawson sat down with a cup of tea and some sandwiches in the Rovers with Brooke Vincent, who is returning to Coronation Street after a short stint in the theatre. Here's what she had to share:

Can you talk us through how Sophie returns?
It’s quite a funny scene actually, she gets out of the car and says hello to everybody and they see all these cases in the road, and then Rosie appears. So I bring her back with me. It’s a surprise for everybody else.

What’s it like having Helen Flanagan back?
It’s good, we’ve been messing about! Even though I was only away for a short time it’s nice to come back with somebody and me and Helen have obviously known each other for a very long time, she’s great, she’s good to have back. We are a bit like how our characters are written, we are very different.

Did you two stay in touch when she was away and what was your reaction when she said she’s coming back?
Well we stayed in touch but we didn’t get chance to see each other very often. As for coming back, I kind of had a conversation with her before I was leaving and she said I’d love to come back so I kind of told Kate (Oates) and then that was the last I heard of it. Then she rang me and I’d heard something so I asked her if she was coming back and she said yes darling Kate rang me and I was like oh that’s good then!

Kevin’s going through a bit of a tough patch at the moment with the garage but the Websters have always seemed to stick together. And Tim hasn’t met Rosie yet, so what’s the new dynamic like and how will that continue?
It’s like my mum having this daughter and then she comes in like a whirlwind, and that’s basically what Rosie is. Tim obviously has Sally who’s completely different to Sophie who’s completely different to Rosie so I think – obviously Joe (Duttine) loves Helen but character-wise I don’t think they know yet where they stand. But it is funny to watch.

What does Helen Flanagan bring to the show, as a person?
I don’t know whether I’m going to describe this very well (everyone laughs) but we had a scene the other day, and because she’s funny, she’s flouncing about and she’s a very ditzy character, and you’ve got me and Sally and Kevin who can be quite serious, it gives it different levels. It’s what families are. I’ve missed having her around, we did grow up together. It’s really nice to see Helen really happy and settled.

We know that Rosie brings trouble with her, how does Sophie react when she realises there’s sh*t going on?
Sophie doesn’t suspect anything, and neither does Rosie. You can tell because of how different the characters are and how differently we react, that the same situation wouldn’t have happened if it was Sophie living in the US. Rosie was always going to be trouble, but she’s away with the faries so doesn’t realise how much trouble we are in.

Photo credit: Metro newspaper
What reason do they give for coming back?
I was always coming back and Rosie misses Weatherfield.

Rachel Newton: I think later we realise for Rosie that life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and things haven’t really worked out that well.

Did you ever think about permanently leaving Corrie?
No. Because of doing it from such a young age, you see this as normal. When it came up for me to do a play, it was nice to be able to do that and come back. This is like my home. Hopefully in a few years I’ll maybe go and do it again.

Do you think doing live theatre has improved you as an actor?
You’d have to ask other people! It’s very different. What I learned is that I actually know quite a lot about TV work, which I never thought I did I thought I just breezed through life. I used to constantly change myself because of a camera being there, or adjust another person or stand in a certain way. So hopefully I am a bit better.

If you did want a change, what would be the first thing you would look at doing?
Ummm, well I really enjoyed radio, because I could be me. I had more input in it. (Brooke guest presented on Key103).

Rosie is probably going to dominate most of the storylines now you are back, do you know what’s coming up for you, in terms of relationships or do you have any inkling of any upcoming storylines?
No I’ve not seen Kate (Oates) yet but I’m quite happy just being with Helen for now. As much as se says I’m her safety blanket she’s kind of mine too. When we were growing up she took a lot of the brunt of fame and I learned from her. I’m not in a rush to say I want my character to be doing ‘this’.

Do you hope they re-explore the Sophie and Kate dynamics?
I didn’t mind that storyline. For me personally, I get very arsey about this, but I think because I’m lesbian in the show, not everything I do should be about being a lesbian. It doesn’t need to be written about every time I do a scene ‘oh she’s a lesbian’ we are moving forward as a generation and you want it to be normal, we’ve said it and that’s that. There’s more to people than their sexuality. Have I said all that correct? (Everyone laughs).

If Sophie leaves the garage, where would you like her to go?
Well we (Rosie and Sophie) start window cleaning. So we’re like the Chuckle Brothers. I stand there doing all the work, obviously. It’s funny so we’re obviously enjoying playing that.


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Sunday Comments Feb 26

Leanne went back to the flat instead of to the Bistro after making the connection between Toyah and Peter's pet names for each other. Sure enough, they'd made up and were canoodling when Leanne got back. No denying it now. Leanne was furious and betrayed and let them have it with both barrels. Nothing she could say was going to help. One good thing came out of it, Peter has reassured Toyah that he'll go along with her quest for a baby. He doesn't want to lose her. Toyah may have lost her sister on the other hand. Leanne's making her choose. Leanne has a lot of unresolved baggage where Peter is concerned, it seems like and even though she doesn't love him anymore, I suppose it's difficult to see her sister with someone that meant so much to her and who hurt her so much. I don't think it's jealousy, just a rush of old feelings.

Nick got disappointed when Leanne didn't show up. Eva was happy that he's going to propose and Nick thinks Leanne likes a surprise. She got one that day but it wasn't the kind she likes, that's for sure. Leanne and Toyah took the fight to the Bistro. Nobody's going to propose today and Eva filled Nick in. It looked like Leanne and Toyah were making peace but when Lee found out that Eva and Simon also knew before she did, it all kicked off again. Now both sisters are in the doghouse.

Now that the secret's out, Toyah can move in with Peter and she's going to be working behind the bar where everyone can gawp at her. Peter has to tell his father he's seeing the sister of his ex-wife. Adam finds it amusing that Peter's had sisters. Ken just sighs. "Peter!" the way he does. Ken knows darn well Peter's relationships usually end in flames. Meanwhile, that Chloe from the taxi the other week has come looking for Peter to drive her somewhere and then pick her up and take her somewhere else. She's very flattering though. Peter likes it but seems to be keeping it on a professional basis.

And with Leanne still in an uproar, poor Simon is worried. Nick make him smile by telling him he's going to propose when the time is right and told him where the ring was hidden (sweaty gym bag). Toyah and Eva tried to make peace and show a united front but Leanne wasn't having it. None of it. Simon wasn't happy. He thinks she's jealous when she's got a great bloke, Nick, and he wants to marry her. Simon even finds the ring where Nick hid it and showed her. Doh! She took the ring to the Bistro and encouraged him to propose even if it was in the kitchen and she didn't even let him actually ask the question. She says yes. She should have said Yes Again!

They celebrated in the pub where Toyah and Peter had come in as well but things are pretty awkward. Sean let on that there's a celebration and Nick encouraged Leanne to make up with Toyah but she stayed put.

The mastectomy bra went over really well. One of the women is a reporter, as well, and could help with the publicity. Johnny and his client returned and Alya stood there smug, thinking it would all come down on Jenny's head but the clients were impressed once Jenny had the chance to explain and the women backed her up. Jenny 1, Alya 0. Johnny was impressed, too, with Jenny and how she handled the client. Jenny also agreed to sign the pre-nup and intends on having more do to with the business if he'll let her. He will and that'll put Alya's nose further out of joint.

Over at the cafe, Shona found a stuffed toy under the table where David and the kids were. Why did she throw it out? She must have realized who it belonged to. She found it only minutes after he and the children left. David brought Lily back to look for it and Shona said she hadn't seen it but of course she had. Later she found it when she was binning the garbage and acted like she's forgotten all about it. Strange. Anyway, she gave it a good wash and brought it to the pub to give to David after knocking at Number 8 and NOT leaving the bunny there for Lily. Weird. What's going on with this chick? Is she clueless or does she have some sort of agenda?

Lily made a thank you card for Shona and David, to his credit, did give it to her but though the card really seemed to touch her she threw it out. Why? Nothing this woman is doing makes any sense. David seems to agree with me. She's still living at Number 11 as well and Todd continues to be snarky at her. He doesn't trust her and neither do I. There's more there that we don't know yet. Gemma still seems to recognize her from somewhere, the Dog and Gun but she's denying it strenuously. Too strenuously.

Kate has quite the factory to work at the Bistro. The factory never was her thing. Johnny was fine with it, he just wants her to be happy. Bethany is still making videos, also with her phone since she doesn't have access to Nathan's fancy camera. She's also getting packages from him. Mr. Curb Crawler is trying to lure her into skipping school. Almost didn't work but she couldn't resist. Her ideas for a split screen didn't go over well with Nathan's employee but Nathan put Mel on to the Like button to bolster Bethany's ego.

Anna tore Kevin a new one for keeping the secret about Sally's money and in the ensuing argument, the secret about the insurance company not paying came out for Tyrone to hear. She's right, even after a bit of a financial break, he would have let Anna go through the court case. Tyrone is furious, too and so he should be. Tyrone has decided that Sophie has to get the sack, that's going to cause even more aggro between the two men but he's got a point. Sophie was there to help run the new business which is in ashes and they have got along ok while she was gone. She's superfluous to requirements. Kevin wasn't happy about it, thinking Freddie was last in and first out but Tyrone is going to win this battle.

Anna is still not too happy with Kevin and Kevin is getting bad news upon bad news with Tyrone considering retracting his statement to the police that gave Kevin an alibi for the fire. Anna thinks Kevin needs to keep from winding Tyrone up but he just can't help himself. Kevin refuses to sack Sophie but he's right about one thing, if Tyrone retracts his statement, he would get into trouble as well for lying. Tyrone wasn't happy that Kevin didn't tell Sophie she was sacked but Freddie's right. She's only just got home but it looks like Tyrone is taking matters into his own hands. Or he said something like it but it didn't get followed up, I don't think.

Meanwhile, Kevin is taking on a much work as he can though Sophie's trying to make sure they take breaks for safety but that's ignored and it sure ends up biting him on the backside. He got Luke to help with something under a car and went off to see if he could help a client of David's. The car ended up slipping off it's moorings onto Luke!

Anna's in a very bad mood at work too, snapping at Shona and hollering at Faye for lingering, hoping Seb would show up and surprise her. Oh how I remember teenage love/crushes! Seb seems to be dangling her on a string, doesn't he? He even eyes up other women when he's standing right beside Faye. Seb then decides it's a good idea to steal a power tool from the back yard of Number 11, Phelan's tools. Oh dear. He's crossed the wrong psychopath this time.

Phelan caught up with them quickish. The stupid lad tried running. Then the stupid lad stopped. Why didn't he just keep going? Phelan wasn't running after him. He's going to put Seb to work and he's making out to Eileen that he's taking the lad under his wing so he won't go bad. I think that ship has sailed but if it was anyone else, say, Roy, I'd say the kid had a chance at turning his life around. With Phelan as his mentor it's going to be like Fagin and the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist.

He's got the job to completely renovate Ken Barlow's kitchen and put the kid to work. He wasted no time rifling through the sideboard for something to steal. Did you see Phelan smirk when he spotted Seb steal one of Uncle Albert's medals? He didn't let him get away with it or any of his lip.

At least, for now, David's off Anna's hook and Kevin has a distraction. Not only is Sophie back, but Rosie has come with her. (take notice of that leopard print bag that the taxi driver forgot to unload, it'll be important though not in this episode) Rosie's full on, isn't she? Just as shallow as she ever was, nice to see some things don't change. Still, her homecoming turned out to be quite eventful with the arrival of the police who were looking for drugs they thought she brought with her from America. I don't know. You fly internationally these days and your luggage is examined, xrayed and sniffed by a dog both when it's loaded on and when you're standing there in Customs waiting so why did the police have to come to the house? They're looking for drugs.

And it's a tip off. But why? The girls have just flown in from the US and they'd have been through customs where there are sniffer dogs and xrays for the luggage and surely they would have shown up already? It makes no sense. They found a powdery substance in a bag but she said it was sweetener. They got taken away in the police car and Kevin blames Tyrone for the tip off. In the cop shop, Sophie is sarcastic about Rosie's crowd and denies being asked to bring anything for anyone else. Rosie was as bimbo-ish as ever. But in the end, they were released because it really was sweetener.

Guess what? Remember that forgotten bag? Turns out her boyfriend Anton put some treats in it for his "mate" and those treats are illegal Class A drugs! AND the mate apparently knows where they live. Sophie is furious but you know, as dozy and Rosie is, it could happen easily to someone besotted with a person who uses them in such a way. Anyway, Rosie's plan is to pass it on to the person they were meant to and that will be an end to it. Sophie wouldn't let her go alone but it turns out the guy got arrested the day before so they're stuck with the gear.

Now what do they do? Save them in an urn? They're in a biscuit tin at the moment bit Sally's mention of Tim's allottment gave Rosie her next idea, bury the tin at the allottment but they find Brian beavering away at the next one which must be Roy's, I assume.

Chesney's trendy haircut isn't going to patch up the problems, unfortunately and Daniel is there to listen to her. Sinead thinks she should make the effort but it very much looks like Daniel is winning her over or at least making her realize she has to end things with Chesney.

Sinead is sleeping on the sofa but she's being civil to Chesney who's begging and pleading for her to come back to him. I would think if she's split with him, she should be finding somewhere else to stay. Maybe she can rent Maria's flat for a bit? Poor Chesney. Nothing can cheer him up, not even a big hug from Gemma. Gemma thinks playing hard to get will do the trick and Fiz takes it upon herself to lay a guilt trip on Sinead to make sure she doesn't give up on Chesney until they've given it their best try. But Sinead unloads on Daniel who wants to help her make her decision. Seems like he's never been much of a ladies' man like his brother and father.

Daniel and Adam are still bickering. It must be a war zone in that flat between the two of them on at each other all the time. Adam's not having much luck studying for his exam to transfer his law qualifications and he's not trying very hard either, he's trying to get someone to get hold of the exam so he can cheat! But Adam's method of "studying" is too noisy for Daniel who's trying to study as well. All he wants is a quiet place to study but Sinead says she can help him there.

She's made an excuse to work late at the factory and she was that nervous when asking Johnny you knew it *was* an excuse but he didn't. He told Chesney she was working OT to take him on holiday, giving him false hope. But in reality, a nice quiet factory for Daniel to go to study while they later get to spend a little private time together. Maybe the scent of silk is an aphrodisiac because it sure seemed to have that effect on the two of them though Sinead backed off before Daniel could kiss her. He's kind of shy and didn't seize the moment.

Sinead is very up beat the next day, singing and dobbing on makeup but everyone in the house thinks she's thinking kinder of Chesney. Daniel isn't having a good day though, with Adam having sussed out that he's a virgin and isn't going to let him forget it. At least Peter scolded him for it when Adam took great pleasure in telling him later. Have I said lately that I really dislike Adam? What an asshat. So to speak. (you can translate that anyway you like) He took out his embarassment on Sinead so it seems she's decided to agree to a date with Chesney. Daniel was going to run away but Peter's caring talk settled him down.

Sinead was going to swerve the overtime and meet Chesney but Daniel came to apologize and he admitted that he really really likes her. Next thing you know, that silk is working its magic and this time they're snogging their faces off and more. AND MORE!! While Chesney waits in vain at the Bistro, poor lad. Daniel isn't a virgin anymore but Sinead seems to be full of guilt and ready to talk but Chesney doesn't realize that talk is a breakup talk. And poor Kirk is really worried. He can see the inevitable even if he's hoping for the best.

Daniel is cheerful the morning after and Adam ends up figuring it out though Daniel doesn't outright admit it. But he also finds the exam answers that Adam carelessly left in the trash. Daniel couldn't resist telling tales, maybe because Adam is getting a loan off Ken for his business which was based on him passing the exam. But finding out Adam cheated means Ken isn't giving him the money, it's more to do with his integrity than the exam, especially since Ken knows Adam could have passed without cheating. Doesn't matter, unless someone reports him, which they probably won't, he will still be qualified but he's lost Todd as his clerk. Todd has realized that Adam is a loose cannon. Adam gets his revenge on Daniel by telling Chesney about Sinead and Daniel.

Good news is that the factory is going to be making mastectomy bras. The Bad news is that Chesney brought his dirty laundry with Sinead into the factory for all the gossip lovers to hear. She admitted it. She did get the better of Adam later, though, accusing him of being jealous of Daniel and pointing out he can't be very smart if he had to cheat on the exam. Chesney took his anger and pain out on Daniel, though, not Sinead. And Daniel, having found out that Adam spread the word that he had been a virgin, took a knock to the pride and when Chesney threw it in his face, he hit back, too. It isn't the first time Daniel's shown evidence of a very strong and possibly violent temper. I wonder if that's going somewhere storyline-wise?

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Saturday 25 February 2017

Rosie's back! Helen Flanagan speaks to the Blog about her big comeback

(This post was originally posted by Stevie Dawson on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Last week I sat down in the Rovers with actress Helen Flanagan and a throng of media people to discuss Rosie Webster's big return to Coronation Street. Whilst she and Rachel Newton were tight-lipped on the details of Rosie's storylines, Helen revealed what is was like returning to Weatherfield after five years away, during which time she starred on I'm a Celebrity and had a baby with partner Scott:

Welcome back. It’s been a while, you’re probably a different person now to the one that left, there’s a brand new set, new characters – is it like coming back to the old Rosie or is it a completely new job to you?
It’s completely different – I left when I was 21 and I’m 26 now so obviously I’ve matured loads and obviously now I’ve got a little girl. I see it completely different now I’ve come back and I think when I was younger I enjoyed it but I probably didn’t really appreciate what a good job I had. I think when you go away for a while it can make you appreciate it.

What made you decide to come back?
I’ve wanted to come back for quite a while and it was just nice because they emailed me and asked if I wanted to come back. So I was just really excited!

Brooke Vincent said that she mentioned to Kate Oates about you wanting to come back. Does she get to take the credit for your return?
She did. We were texting and I was sending her pictures of Matilda and I just mentioned it to her. I get on really, really well with Brooke I absolutely love her to bits and it’s nice that I get to come to work and work with one of my best friends.

Have you enjoyed getting glammed up again?
Yes I think I have the longest makeup time! I think it’s because I have extensions in my hair. But I love going into work and feeling glamorous because when I’m at home with Matilda I do not look glamorous at all because you’ve got no time to put your makeup on, so I love that I get to work and actually get to look glamorous.

You're only back for a little while, you sound like you’re really enjoying it, is there any chance you might extend it?
Yeah I would love to stay for a little bit longer because yeah I am really really enjoying it. Se well just see…

How long are you back for?
Quite a while and then we’ll see how it goes.

Has Rosie changed?
I much prefer playing Rosie with a good heart, I didn’t like it when they made my character a little bit too catty. I like playing the comedy I think…

How has it been coming back into full time acting?
Well when I left I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do so I brushed up on my acting with my acting coach just to kind of refresh really, and then I just fell back into it. It’s like a family here.

What can you tell is about this boyfriend of Rosie’s?
There’s not a lot of background on him but she’s really na├»ve and innocent about it and doesn’t really realise that she’s been set up, which I’ve enjoyed playing.

Rosie was always seen as a man-eater – who would you like to see her get together with in the Street? Adam Barlow?
(Laughs) Yes I think that might be something that happens…but he’s a bit of a lady’s man so I can’t see her having an actual relationship with him…he chats her up and I think he’s Rosie’s type but he’s not very nice is he, so it basically doesn’t work out.

How do the other Street residents react to her coming back?
Well they see police cars so…they probably think oh god! I don’t know what they’ll think of her being a window cleaner because Sally’s always going on about her daughter being a model!

You’re coming back at a time when there are some really serious storylines happening, such as Michelle and Steve’s – if you are here longer term, would you like to try some harder hitting storylines?
I think maybe down the line, but I do enjoy playing the comedy and the fun – it takes a massive toll on you doing the difficult storylines so I’m just enjoying doing the light hearted stuff at the moment.

WHAT WE KNOW: Rosie has been involved in some kind of set up involving her boyfriend and drugs which are eventually stashed at the allotment, she has a short fling with Adam Barlow, her and Sophie become window cleaners!?

See also my blog interview with Brooke Vincent.


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There's something about Shona...

(This post was originally posted by Sophie Williams on the Coronation Street Blog February 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Sophie recently wrote a guest blog psot for us all about Todd and Billy - you can read it here.

Today, Sophie writes about cobbles newcomer Shona.

One of the new faces on the cobbles is Shona Ramsey, played by Julia Goulding. Taken in by Billy Mayhew, the newcomer has been living at number 11 with the Grimshaws, despite Todd's warnings against her. However, in the past month or so, Shona has been seen to be proving that she isn't as bad as she may have first seemed ever since viewers saw her nab David Platt's wallet.

We saw that she shows signs of having a conscience after she looked thoughtfully at the photo of Kylie before returning David's wallet with more money than was originally in it. Once Shona had righted her wrong and been given a place to stay, next on the agenda was a job. Landing one at Roy's Rolls, it seems that she may be getting her life back on track after what seems to be years of hardship.

Not all is as it seems however as we know that Nathan, the older man currently grooming Bethany Platt, is her ex-boyfriend, or so she told Billy. Whenever it's revealed what exactly happened between the two of them is sure to be a cracking storyline, which I expect will tie in with Bethany somehow.

Shona has also caught the eye of Gemma Winter who couldn't seem to register where she'd seen Shona before. If viewers of Christmas Day 2016 cast their minds back, Shona's face dropped when Billy announced they were at Coronation Street and her first question was asking if there was a kebab shop nearby. Kylie was stabbed outside Prima Doner so is this just a coincidence or were the writers setting something up?

From what we've seen of Shona so far, she seems to be connected to David or Kylie in one way or another. Many theories have been floating around among fans. Some claim that Shona is related to Kylie, a long-lost sister for example. Other theories suggest that she is related to Clayton, Kylie's murderer. Whatever her relations, I am personally looking forward to see how Shona and David continue to behave round each other and will be looking to see how their fractious relationship develops.

Julia Goulding is doing a fabulous job with Shona and I'm really enjoying watching her so far. Obviously a character with a tragic past and many depths, I hope she remains a regular on our screens.

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Friday 24 February 2017

Adam & Todd - The New Dynamic Duo

(This post was originally posted by Sophie Williams on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Who'd have thought it? Adam Barlow and Todd Grimshaw working together. Whoever came up with the idea to open Black Sheep Solicitors deserves a medal.

Last week, viewers saw Adam and Todd put their minds together and formulate a plan to open their own law firm. Adam revealed that he was retaking his exams which prompted Todd to remind us that he too was training to become a solicitor when he lived in London. After more drinks were consumed, words started to become quite unpleasant when a rather angry and slightly drunk Adam confided in Todd about Ken's supposed punishment for being the son of Mike Baldwin.

Long standing audience members will remember the unforgettable feud between Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin, sparking of course, when it was revealed that Mike and Deirdre were having an affair. Adam is the son of Baldwin and Susan Barlow, who was Ken's daughter, thus his connection to the Barlows.

Everyone knows that Todd isn't whiter than white and his involvement in this law firm could be quite similar to his behaviour at the builder's yard. Working with Tony, Todd scammed customers and overcharged them. However, this almost cost Jason his business when Todd cut corners on Tyrone Dobbs' loft conversion. Will he have learned from these mistakes or just use his bad experiences to not get found out?

Ever since Adam's return, we've also seen him taking part in dodgy dealings. Let us not forget the lies he told to convince everyone his flashy rental car had been stolen when in actual fact he'd sold it on and kept the cash for himself. In addition, we know that Adam will soon get wrapped up in Sophie and Rosie Webster's drugs predicament.

But what exactly was that look Todd gave Adam after he declared that Ken can "go to hell"?

I see this as a look of compassion and here's why. From what we've seen so far, Adam is an incredibly bitter character with revenge being the only thing on his mind. Sound familiar? This was the definition of Todd a couple of years ago following his violent attack which left him with his permanent facial scar. He became so obsessed with revenge that he lost his entire family and any friends that he'd started to make (apart from Tracy). Once he was welcomed back into the Grimshaw family, he reminded Jason time and time again that revenge really isn't worth it. After Adam's short outburst in the Rovers, I think that Todd recognised that part of himself within Adam.

Therefore, if this law firm goes ahead (which I sincerely hope it does) I would like to see Todd's softer side emerge again and take Adam under his wing, to show him that the world isn't out to get him. Although, I also hope that Todd isn't as good as gold because that's part of what gives him his edge. I can see a budding friendship appear with the foundations that have already been laid out and I am optimistic that Corrie will continue to develop this.

Written by Sophie Williams

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The Wet Blanket

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Poor Daniel.  His first time with a lady and it's a swift bunk up after hours in the stock room of a knicker factory.  It's not exactly romantic, is it?  Not exactly conducive to unbridled pleasure, naked up against a box of size 14 hip thongs, trying not to topple over onto a stack of knackered sewing machines and a mop.  You don't get that in Fifty Shades of Grey.

And worse, he's experiencing his first shared orgasm with Sinead.  What exactly is the point of Sinead?  I've been wondering it for weeks.  She mopes around the street, downtrodden, whinging, complaining that she's hard done by.  I can't see why Daniel is suddenly swept off his feet by her personality and charm; she's like Droopy with a pony tail.

She was far more interesting when she arrived, quirky and distinctive, Beth's sensible niece.  She made her own soaps, she went to craft fairs, she was teetotal.  That's a personality.  It was a refreshing change to have a young woman in the show who wasn't a vamp, or a bimbo, or a thief.  She was a nice, ordinary girl, happy with herself and her place in the world.

It was easy to see why Chesney would be drawn to her.  He has, and this is often glossed over by the show, had a terrible childhood.  In and out of foster homes, only around his mother when she could use him to scrounge some cash, regularly separated from his sister Fiz.  Things got so bad that he looked up to Les Battersby as a father figure and role model.

It's not surprising, therefore, that Chesney likes comfortable, homely, family life.  Katie wanted a baby and a boyfriend and a nice quiet existence.  That's all Chesney wants.  Unfortunately she got bored and left; the fact that she was tempted away by the absolutely awful Ryan (v.2.0) should tell you just how desperate to leave she really was.  Chesney thought he would have better luck with Sinead: a nice bit of normality, a settled, comfortable existence with a down-to-earth girl.  But apparently she got bored too, though it seems to have come out of nowhere.  Apparently life with Chesney is just such a drain on her, but then everything is a drain on Sinead, because she lets everything be a drain on her.

She is an incredibly passive character.  When she broke her back in the bus crash in 2015, I was surprised they could even find a spine. Sinead whines that she wants more but doesn't do anything about it. She was virtually forced into a second career as a model, moaning about how difficult it was, dropping it as soon as possible.  Poor Raquel Wolstenhulme spent six years on the show desperately trying to be a model; she'd have killed to be the face and body of an underwear line, but apparently it was all just too much effort for Sinead.  Similarly, she worked as a junior in Alya's plan for high fashion underwear, then acted all hurt when Alya took it to the next level.  Alya (a trained fashion graduate and junior management) came up with the plan and the designs, invested £14,000 in the scheme and became a partner; Sinead's contribution was to roll her eyes, say "that bra's a bit over the top" and stitch a prototype, but for some reason, she expected a cut of the profits.

She can't even get up the effort to dump Chesney.  Sleeping on the sofa, talking vaguely to Kirk and Fizz about how she likes Chesney but she's not sure if she loves Chesney, now telling some bloke she's unattached before she even tells the boyfriend.  She managed to complain about not making her soaps any more in last night's episode, yet somehow this was Chesney's fault, because she can't take responsibility for anything.  Sinead is hoping that if she acts passive aggressive around him long enough he'll take the hint and end the relationship.  Then no doubt she'll complain that he took the decision away from her.

Now, if the rumours are to be believed, she's going to get pregnant and consider an abortion.  The baby will be going to school before she finally makes a decision on whether to have a termination or not.  Chesney's too good for her, Daniel's too good for her; at this moment in time, even the hateful ball of unpalatable spite and bile that is Adam Barlow is too good for her.  Maybe some time on her own would give Sinead a bit of backbone, but until then, I'll continue to reach for the vodka every time her mithering fills my screen.

Scott Willison (@merseytart)

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Thursday 23 February 2017

Sisters are doing it for themselves

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

What a tangled web those Battersby sisters weave. Leanne and Toyah have never opted to live a straight forward existence and twenty years on from their first appearance in Weatherfield, they don't seem to have learned from past mistakes. At present both sisters are mired deep down in lies, deception, babies and blokes. It does make for entertaining viewing though and gives Jane Danson and the returning Georgia Taylor something to get their dramatic teeth stuck right into.

While I'm enjoying the new Battersby storyline there are certain aspects which don't quite add up and that's mainly down to a degree of artistic license to ensure as much drama as possible. In the real world, if Leanne had found herself pregnant by the local bad lad turned publican she might have packed her bags and moved away. Not our Leanne Anika Battersby. She insists on living on opposite Steve and Michelle even though it tears her apart and tears her up every time she bumps (now quite literally) into Michelle. I know it creates dramatic peaks and moments of real poignancy but you really wouldn't do that to yourself would you? 


And yes Leanne has been honest with Nick but I'm not sure how far that's really going to get her. Nick is and always has been a petty, childish, grudge-bearing mummy's boy with an alarming tendency towards unnecessary unpleasantness. Above all that, let's remember he's the son of Brian Tilsley and therefore directly descended from peroxide, cardigan wearing, God fearing Ivy. You just wouldn't go there, would you? Yet she has and he's committed to her and bringing up another man's child even though he's doing a lot of quiet, unhinged seething in a business suit. Nothing will go wrong there I'm sure. 

Enter Toyah on Christmas Day, bringing into the mix a festive Battersby massacre of the kind not seen since the short-lived reign of Theresa the Turkey. Yes Toyah decides to pitch up on Leanne's doorstep safe in the knowledge that she's having an affair with Leanne's  all-round straight up, no-nonsense, completely uncontroversial ex, Peter Barlow. Now Toyah's an educated woman so why hasn't even she asked Peter during one of their bouts of pillow talk why he came back from Scotland without so much as a hint of a Scottish accent? 


I can understand that Toyah's been in a difficult place. The recent scenes explaining her IVF journey and desperate need for her own baby have been beautifully played by Taylor and you can't help but be moved by this story. You can almost forgive her for falling into the arms of Mr Barlow. Almost, but not quite. Given the tumultuous time he gave her sister, she's not exactly wandering into this relationship without knowing the facts. The two sisters must have talked about it surely? Also, it's one thing to start dating your sister's ex, but you wouldn't suddenly turn up on her doorstep and carry on the affair right under her nose, would you? You would explain it all away from a safe distance. Toyah must have read some counselling books before actually becoming a therapist. She should know this isn't cool.

I've never been quite sure why so many women fall for Peter Barlow. Even this past week he had cab passenger Chloe paying him extra to share a flat white with her. I just don't get it. Leanne's taste was always in question as she's plonked herself with the spawn of Gail not once, not twice but (I think) three times now. Toyah on the other hand has previously faired much better. First of all there was kind hearted eco-warrior Spider and more recently there's been the lovely Toby. Yes I know Toby was quite unpleasant on his last appearance but he's been dragged through the IVF process too and has found himself dumped for a Barlow. I feel sorry for the poor man and hope we see the character again. 

What I've loved about reuniting the Battersby sisters is that it allows Coronation Street to revisit one of its most popular periods from recent times. When the Battersby family arrived in 1997, times were certainly a changing and Corrie was dragged kicking and screaming towards the new millennium. The sisters were always gobby trouble and thankfully they still are but their relationship has matured as you'd expect and this is evident on screen in 2017. It's recognisably them but it has clearly also moved on. Jane Danson and Georgia Taylor are a joy to watch and the addition of Catherine Tyldesley as Eva provides an interesting new dimension and Eva and Toyah size each other up. Whatever happens next, it certainly won't be dull.

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82

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Corrie Canada sneak previews for Feb. 27 - March 3

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

Chesney confronts Daniel who loses control. Sinead moves out and in with Daniel, much to Ken's dismay. Adam gets drawn into Sophie and Rosie's drugs dilemma. Bethany is drawn more and more to Nathan who is arrested on an old suspicion. There seems to be a connection between Shona and Kylie. Sophie and Rosie find a new way to make some money. Zeedan and Alya finally make peace. Luke is still hoping to punish Andy. Simon takes Leanne's health in hand.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at Corrie.net.

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Wednesday 22 February 2017

Jennie McAlpine on getting wed and Corrie Scotch eggs

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

Jennie McAlpine is really lovely, as anyone who has met her will vouch.  And the Coronation Street actress recently wed her financee Chris Farr in private away from the media, because, she says, she didn't want all the fuss. And who can blame her?

Jennie was interviewed on ITV's Loose Women this week. She explained that she and Chris Farr were married at at Trafford town hall with just two witnesses because she ‘didn’t want to be the centre of attention’

'In the registry office in Manchester, our name was there and it was there for 28 days and nobody saw,' Jennie said. 'People have said to me, "weren’t your friends really annoyed?" and I thought that’s a really odd thing to say. But no, I haven’t got any friends that are annoyed at me. I love a good wedding and I hope I’m invited to lots of them, I hope this doesn’t mean I don’t get invited!'

Jennie also revealed some behind-the-scenes gossip about being filmed when eating. She said that Mikey North, who plays Gary Windass had a scene where he had to eat a Scotch egg and they did 16 takes - so he had to eat 16 Scotch Eggs, poor lad. 

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State of the Street - January 2017

I'm a few days late this month with the State of the Street, the days just seemed to get away from me, as they do sometimes, right?

January was a month of loss. Steve and Michelle lost their baby son, born too early. It was gut wrenching and horribly sad. We saw the two ends of grief, with Michelle at the point of suicide and Steve trying with all he was worth to act normally, do day to day things and keeping it all bottled up inside. Losing a child can very easily break a marriage because the grief is so deep and difficult that each parent doesn't know how to comfort the other one. Even if this hasn't put cracks in the marriage, when the inevitable revelation about Steve and Leanne's baby comes out, it will knock it out in no time.

We lost Andy as well, at the hands of Phelan who has now crossed the line. I reckon it will come to a "Who Killed Phelan" mystery at some point and there will be any number of possibly guilty parties. The one arrested won't be the one that did it, of course, and the one that did will likely be an "expendable" cast member. If it happens, may I just state here that my guess is that Vinny returns and will be the one that engineer's Phelan's demise.

It looks very much like loss of another kind as we see Chesney and Sinead's relationship limp to an end and even a trendy new hairdo isn't going to save it. Ken is making plans for the end of his life, too, with a new will and a DNR order if the worst happens. I felt bad for Tracy. Her mother's death hit her quite hard and that makes it more difficult to think about her father's inevitable death.

Adam lost his claim on the factory altogether with a great scam by the Connor's and Alya. He only wanted the money anyway which makes me wonder why he's so broke. Now that he's whining about Ken behind his back I can see he's got a whopping big chip on his shoulder. Maybe Adam is the new Peter with a big grievance against Ken.

There's more January round up over at State of the Street. 

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Tuesday 21 February 2017

Conversation Street Podcast 238

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

This week's podcast covers a variety of stories including Adam's reaction to Ken's will. Johnny wants Jenny to sign a contract of a different kind while Kevin wants Anna to sue David even after Sally offered to help with Sophie's expenses. Leanne finds out about Peter and Toyah and isn't happy at all when she finds out that she's the last to know.

Later, Michael and Gemma look at the past five years of Conversation Street awards and try to pick all time champs in each category.  There's lots of listener feedback, too!

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

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