Thursday 31 August 2017

Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide (4 of 5)

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

Here we go with the continuation of Aussie Pete's Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide.

Missed earlier parts of our Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide?
Check them out here - Day 1 and Day 2 and Day 3

What kind of questions did the guests ask you?
At the end of most tours when we arrived on the street, it gave the guests an opportunity to ask us questions we couldn’t answer whilst on the tour itself, due to it being a set time limit with the amount of tours we would have run in a day.

Here is a list of the most common questions we were asked:

  • Are the pigeons’ real? Are they electronic?
  • Do the people get angry with us knocking on their doors?
  • Can we have a photo with (character)?
  • Did Tina really die on this spot?
  • Where is (character) today?
  • Have you met all the cast?
  • Can you drink at the pub?
  • Is the alcohol real?
  • Are the Kabin sweets real and can I have some?

Any tricky moments working as a tour guide?
It was hard sometimes when you had guests who thought they were above other guests and expected to be at the front of every set every stop and would actually push their way through others. Young children could be nightmarish too when they would kick off and start screaming the place down. If it got too much, we would radio for assistance so a parent could take the child away to calm down. One time two friends came, had a argument and nearly had a punch-up at The Platts!!

One of the other difficult moments was when there was a backlog in the studio. The usual tour path was as follows:
  • Introduction which took place at the door to the cast Green Room which also doubled as the entrance to Draper’s Mill Apartments.
  • The Green Room
  • Corridor of Stars/Cast dressing rooms
  • Wardrobe and Makeup Department
  • 5 minute video montage
  • Carla Connor’s Apartment
  • The Platt House
  • The Rovers Return
  • Underworld
  • Props and Artefacts and Martha’s Barge
  • The Duckworths/Dobbs House
  • The Kabin
  • The Production Suite
  • Interior of Nick’s Bistro
  • The Grand Reveal
  • The Street
Tune in tomorrow for the final part of Aussie Pete's Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide.

Missed earlier parts of our Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide?
Check them out here - Day 1 and Day 2 and Day 3

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Video: Pat Phoenix's Final Television Appearance

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

With thanks to @CuriousUKTelly on Twitter for this little gem.

From their blog, with thanks

"Every now and then, an actor or actress strides onto a television show and, backed by quite magnificent writing, manages to not only define the series, but often a genre. And this is never more evident than with Pat Phoenix who played - as we all know - Elsie Tanner way back in the very first episode of Coronation Street.

The original soap siren, Elsie Tanner was fiery, passionate and it was the combination of these two traits which led to achilles heel: a series of doomed relationships with the many men to tread the cobbles of Coronation Street. Away from her romantic dalliances, though, Tanner was a warm hearted and maternal soul which was demonstrated most acutely in the late 1970s as she took Suzie Birchall and Gail Potter (later Platt) under her wing.

Making her final appearance in Coronation Street in 1984, Pat Phoenix left behind a brashy, honest, incredibly Northern and soulful legacy which has yet to be matched in British soaps and, given the dire state of that genre in the modern age, it's unlikely we'll ever see such a performance again. Sadly, just less than three years later, Pat Phoenix had died following a battle with lung cancer.

Several weeks after her untimely death - Phoenix was only 62 - the final chapter in her acting career aired in the form of Hidden Talents, an episode from the anthology series Unnatural Causes which, ironically, had death at the very centre of its narrative."

You can watch Hidden Talents, below, and I would recommend that you read the full blog at UK Curious Television too, for more insider info too.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Canada sneak previews Sept. 4 - 8

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

Will Gary leave town for work? Phelan is sporting scrapes and acting strangely but agrees to help renovate a building for Nicola and her boyfriend. Rana warns Liz of a scam. Shona wins some cash but her plan to spend it on an appeal comes between she and David. Chesney's panic attacks worsen. Jude and his family arrive for the wedding. Jude's wife Angie harbours suspicions and Jude's plans shock and dismay Mary.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Who works where in Coronation Street (2/2)

(This post was originally posted by Michael Adams on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

So this is the last in the series of posts regarding who lives and works where in Coronation Street, and hopefully now there will be less confusion! I'll be covering mainly Victoria Street businesses in this post, and workplaces from outside of the show's set. You can see part one, two and three by clicking on the highlighted numbers. And yes - I'm well aware that this part has taken me months to write, but see my latest tweet for more details on that.

The taxi firm, established in 2000, is owned by Steve McDonald and Tim Metcalfe. Tim's wife Sally bought Lloyd Mullaney's share in the company for Tim last year. Peter Barlow is a driver for the company and Eileen Phelan works on the switchboard, alongside the unseen but often spoken about Fat Brenda.

Nuttall's Brewery
There's changes at the brewery - signs around the construction works on site say that they're refreshing their premises for the future, and we know from planning applications submitted to Salford Council that there will be some sort of new shopfront here in the not too distant future. I wonder if we'll see someone working at the brewery?

Prima Doner Kebab Shop
Another business in Dev's empire, the shop at the end of Victoria Street is managed by Chesney Brown (or atleast was, though I have a feeling he'll come back soon), and Gemma Winter and Cathy Matthews work here. The shop was previously Jerry's takeaway, and before that it operated as a bakery under management of Diggory Compton, and a hardware shop owned by Sally Webster and Danny Hargreaves.

Roy's Rolls
Roy's Rolls is probably the most famous cafe in Britain and is owned by the legendary Roy Cropper. Yasmeen Nazir, Alex Warner and Shona Ramsay work alongside Roy, who always runs a tight ship. He bought the original cafe on Rosamund Street back in 1998 and alongside former co-owner Gail Rodwell, oversaw a move to Victoria Street the following year.

Jamila House Community Centre
The community centre is a small business run by Yasmeen Nazir in the premises formerly occupied by Fred Elliott's vacant butcher shop. It is named after her late daughter-in-law Jamila.

Barlow-Grimshaw Solicitors
Cunning Adam Barlow roped friend Todd Grimshaw into becoming business partner in his latest venture, a solicitors office, which opened within the former residential property 10 Victoria Street. Ditsy Rosie Webster just wormed herself a job here as PA.

Jason's Construction
Jason's Construction is the builders yard owned by Jason Grimshaw and managed by his step-father Pat Phelan who uses it to mask his devious behaviour. Pat even gave his wife Eileen a job there as administrator just to stop her suspicions. Troubled teen Seb Franklin works here as part of his rehabilitation scheme.

V Court Fitness
So apparently someone just bought this big old useless building from owner Dev Alahan, who was thrown into a whole load of debt by former co-owner Sharif Nazir when he..ahem..disappeared. I wonder what the old gym will turn into? It was last seen as a hiding place for Rob Donovan when he escaped from prison.

Weatherfield Council
Brian Packham is the recycling czar and litter enforcement officer at the council. Sounds boring? It probably is. But it suits Brian just fine.

Metcalfe & Son Window Cleaning
Owned by Tim Metcalfe, his wife Sally thought that adding '& Son' to the name of his new window cleaning venture would make it more professional to potential new clients. He now owns half of Streetcars and is far too busy to clean windows himself, so Sophie Webster does the job for him. Glamorous Rosie has just quit the business to work at Barlow-Grimshaw.

So there you have it. If you can think of any other workplaces, let me know and I'll add them to the list. I was going to add Weathy High, Gazette and Bessie St School but there's not a lot you can say when nobody on screen works there currently. There's one thing for sure though, this list is gonna need a lot of updating when the new set is finished and on-screen next year!

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelAdamsUk

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Coronation Street and the Power of Three Women

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

It hasn't gone unnoticed by Coronation Street fans on social media (and on our sofa) that the trio of Leanne, Toyah and Eva in the back room of the Rovers Return last week was comedy gold. More please, Corrie.

And this current trio of Coronation Street women has been likened to the first, original set of three - Minne Caldwell, Ena Sharples and Martha Longhurst.

It also harks back to more recent times, when we still had the fantastic Deirdre before she sadly passed away.  Deirdre, Liz and Eileen on karaoke in the Rovers, having a girls' night in the back room and moaning over men. What a combination.

And here's another of my favourite threesomes  - Rita, Bet and Mavis, shown here on location in Blackpool.

And of course, Elsie Tanner with her lodgers Suzie Birchall and Gail Potter back in the day, too.

I think that one of the reasons that the power of three works so well in soap is that two characters can be friends, best friends even. But three is always a crowd and so that added extra friction will always bring about a little more drama than two ever could.

Let's hope we see more of Eva, Toyah and Leanne in future - and I'm still hoping for a Steve and Leanne reunion too.  Or do you think Steve should get back with Tracy?

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide (3 of 5)

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

Here we go with the continuation of Aussie Pete's Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide.

Missed Day 1 and Day 2 of our Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide?
Check them out here - Day 1 and Day 2

Can you tell us any funny stories from behind the scenes as a tour guide?

The early tours were filled with nerves, hoping I didn’t make a mistake and be corrected by a fan of the show. Many fans know the most minute of details and were quick to correct if the wrong thing was said, however being the Corrie Fan I am, I didn’t have this problem… though a few did try to correct me with their incorrect facts! Being the only Aussie there (we did briefly have another Aussie in the shop, however she didn’t stay long), I couldn’t help but playing up the Aussie language. That’s where my nickname came from, ‘Aussie Pete.’ I used it a few times as a laugh and it stuck! Many a time I had guests asking me what an Aussie was doing in the cobbles and shouldn’t I be doing tours of the ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Home and Away’ sets. The amount of times I was asked to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ was madness! Besides, we call the prawns!

On another tour, there was a woman who looked strikingly familiar. She was with a group of people and in the end, I asked if she realised how much she looked like …Sally Dynevor aka Sally Metcalfe! Her family burst out laughing and told me that they say it to her all the time! We even had a photo together!

One other hilarious moment came not on the tour, but at another well-known Corrie-related place, sadly now closed too. That’s The Old Grapes pub, formerly owned by Our Vera, Liz Dawn. We’d had a staff meeting earlier in the day and headed there afterwards for a few drinks. Little did we know that Bruno Langley and a guy from that other southern show were at the venue too! Heading off to go home after a nice evening, my housemate and I (she was also a Tour Guide) began walking to the corner when we heard a woman start screaming!

We looked at each other and laughed, she’d just seen Bruno, and kept walking. The woman screamed again, so we stopped, turned around to see the commotion and we were greeted with the woman running… at us! She was screaming “Aussie Pete! Aussie Pete!” I was floored! The woman and her husband came up to us and said ‘You were my tour guide a few weeks ago! Oh my God my Mum would be so jealous!” The husband hid his face, he was really embarrassed. She then asked could I have a photo with her and a hug? How could I say no?!? The only time I’ve ever felt like a celebrity! I certainly went home with a big grin on my face that couldn’t be removed for days!

Tune in tomorrow for Day 4 with more memories from Aussie Pete.

Missed Day 1 and Day 2 of our Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide?
Check them out here - Day 1 and Day 2

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie's Bill Roache writes new book

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

Bill Roache, who plays Coronation Street's Ken Barlow, is writing a new book. He's already written three autobiographies: Ken and Me (1994) Soul on the Street (2008) and  50 Years on the Street (2010) - and now he's writing a book all about his spiritual beliefs.

The Sun reports that Bill is a member of the Pure Love spiritual movement and believes in reincarnation and angels.

Mr Curry Sauce tells The Sun: “This is not just another soap autobiography. Bill wants to share with fans his tips for living a balanced, happy life. He is genuinely hoping that by sharing his thoughts, he can help others. And of course, it is another opportunity for him to reach out to anyone who may be interested in the teachings of the Pure Love Movement.”

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Tuesday 29 August 2017

5 Things We Learned in Corrie This Week

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

It's been another busy week in Coronation Street this week. Time then, to look back at 5 things we learned that we didn't know this time last ...

1. Rosie is just, so, forgetful, you know?
Applying for a PA job with Adam and Todd's new solicitor practice, she could have mentioned her prior experience working as a PA to Carla at Underworld. Maybe all of those soap bubbles from her window-cleaning round have gone to her head and rinsed that part of her life away?

2. SmudgesApp needs to be A Thing
Forget the PA job, forget the window cleaning round, make Rosie the face of SmudgesApp, available for download now

3. Amy's a Bananarama fan
And Steve was ear-wormed by his daughter's choice of muzak.

4. Where there's a Will there's a way
... to stop him from taking his glasses off and putting them back on again in the same scene?

5. Baby Oliver is the cutest Corrie baby, ever.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Where are they now? Corrie Icons of the 80s - Sean Wilson

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

Here we go with a look back at some of the Coronation Street icons from the 1980s. Let's find out what they've been up to since they left the show.

Sean Wilson played Martin Platt

Sean Wilson played Martin Platt in Coronation Street for over 20 years.

Martin married Gail and is dad to David Platt. On-screen Martin lives in Liverpool and hasn't been killed off. David sometimes goes to stay with his dad, so there's always the chance that Martin could make a return, although it may have to be with another actor, as Sean Wilson seems to be a very busy chap these days away from acting.

After leaving Coronation Street, Sean appeared on TV in Doctors, The Royal, Waterloo Road, Casualty and Silent Witness.

After a year working in a Michelin-starred kitchen, Sean went on to set up The Saddleworth Cheese Company and is now an award-making cheese maker.

Sean released The Great Northern Cookbook, which is definitely worth a read. I've got the book and use if often.

You can follow Sean on twitter: @SeanWilsonChef

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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