Sunday 31 December 2017

When Corrie goes 'Colin'

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers(David) on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

For some people, the appointment of Vic Reeves/Jim Moir to the Corrie cast was seen as a bit of a disaster. The character of Colin Whateverhisnamewas didn't gel. I didn't get what he was supposed to be, why he was there and why he suddenly pounced on Helen from The Archers who should have been fermenting her cheese as opposed to propping up a reception desk. One giant misfire for all concerned. Thankfully, Corrie doesn't often lumber us with such non-events as Colin but when they do, they do it in style. Characters so woeful that they stick in the mind for all the wrong reasons. Who didn't work for you? My personal chamber of horrors is open for viewing . . .

Take Amy Burton. No please, take the memory of her away forever. Amy was some sabre-toothed old woman who arrived on the cobbles in 1987. She was Vera's mother and was presumably drafted in to be the new Street battle-axe. Oh dear. Fanny Carby played her not so much to the back row of the theatre, as to Hadrian's Wall. Screeching and snapping, she sallied forth in some bizarre hat that was part tea cosy, part Admiral Nelson. This detestable old trout had little going for her and after a bout of petty thieving, disappeared forever.

Another source of personal annoyance was Sam Tindall. He spent four years trotting around the Street with a dog-in-a-bag called Dougal. We were meant to believe that Sam had the hots for cafe gorgon Phyllis Pearce, despite his somewhat effete persona. The dreary battle with Percy 'gravy under fire' Sugden (and let's not get started on him!) wore us down for years and Sam's only bright spot was when Alf Roberts' arse landed on Tindall's Christmas pud in 1985. We need more storylines of this ilk nowadays, although had it been in 2017, Sam would have confessed to being Alf's long-lost daughter before hurling him from the viaduct. I don't recall Sam having a departure as such and even the redoubtable Phyllis never mentioned him again.

Casting an actor recognisable from another soap can be a tricky move and so it proved to be in 2000 when Gabrielle Glaister arrived in Weatherfield as Natalie Barnes' sister, Debs Brownlow. Gabrielle had spent many years as posh Patricia Farnham in Brookside and now here she was, dropping her h's all over t'place and popping down to th'hairdressers every five minutes. It was distressing to watch and the only hope was that Max Farnham would jump soaps and jam Debs under a hood dryer until she northernised no more. Eventually, having exhausted her 'eeh bah gum' phrasebook, Debs departed with the Geordie cellar man from the Rovers. Or from t'Rovers as she might have attempted.

I for one was agog at the introduction of the very unlovely Lauren Wilson in 2007. Who? Well, remember morose, miserable Violet? She was the Rovers barmaid who always looked as though she was dishing out smallpox to the regulars. Well, they decided to give her a polar opposite sister and - ta-dah! Here's Lauren! From day one she had all the appeal of nails on a blackboard. Played as some sort of thrusting northern doxy from yesteryear, Lauren made Bet Lynch look like Thora Hird. She was so arch that even Sean couldn't compete and eventually he took her on a holiday to Spain from which she never returned. Lauren's probably some over made-up thirty five year old serving drinks on roller skates in Sitges.

There are many whose dull ghosts remain in the Corrie Cupboard. Let's not raise a toast to Henry Wakefield, Hilda's dreary yet somewhat worrying lodger. Join me in not celebrating Kelly Thompson, the woeful nanny who tended to the young Daniel Osbourne twenty years ago and who may have much to answer for. Cheerfully ignore bore-a-thon Xin Proctor with her Children's BBC presenter persona, her collection of hateful Chinese nodding cats and the alarming manner in which she stripped the hapless Graham of any likability. Well done you!

Now we can add Colin Thingy to the Cobbles Collection. Which characters didn't do it for you? Who would you like to remind us of before the mists once again close in and we forget them?

By Clinkers to Riddle, Twitter @BridgLondon

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday Comments December 31

The insurance company is going to pay up from that fraudulent claim and neither Robert nor Michelle seem to be worried in the least about it. She's not proud but broke the law because she loves him? Oh well, that's all right, then. Kate's enjoying the fact that Michelle hasn't told Robert that she knows Michelle was the burglar and Michelle makes veiled threats against her, rubbing salt in the wound. But in the end, Michelle tells Kate that she and Rana can use her flat when she and Robert aren't there. Would that be blackmail or sucking up?

Robert gets the news that his testicle was cancerous but it hadn't spread. Checkups but no further treatment. Later, he decides to go back to work which worries Michelle to no end but he's determined. She keeps following him around and hovering and can't understand when he makes dark jokes about slicking a small lemon.

Kevin's back from Germany and Gary's got him up to speed but Kevin, ever the tactful little pillock, identifies himself to his girlfriend's mother that he's a single parent. We can see where this is going, can't we? Just charming. It's ok for her to bail him out financially and ok, he stuck with her when she was injured badly though he did whinge a lot because she didn't feel romantic, and now, maybe because she's not there to look after him and Jack? He's had enough. Selfish git.

Gary goes to see Anna who's dosed up to her eyes on pills and he has trouble getting the guards to see that she's had a bad reaction to the meds. They argue with him but he insists there's a problem and he's right. She passes out on the floor! They take her to the hospital for observation and Kevin shows up. As expected, Kevin decides to kick her when she's down and he dumps her. It's too much upheaval for his sprog! (And I thought it was illegal to take your child out of school these days?) Kevin's rejecting her and so is Faye. Now she's really not got anything to lose. When she's told that she is being sent back to prison, she manages to escape.

Back at home, Gary told Faye about Anna but it didn't seem to sink in really. Seb wasn't feeling well so Gary offered to take him to the hospital but he never did, getting sidetracked, first by Kevin. Back at the hospital, Anna is slipping out into the dark night. Gary wasn't too happy with Kevin when he told Gary about he and Anna. I'm glad Gary called him on the money and his flirtation with Erica. But both of them were shocked when the police showed up looking for Anna. Kevin's right, Anna's unstable but only where Phelan's concerned and she should expect support from Kevin.

Tim brought the news to Faye and Phelan had a good chuckle over that. His reaction has touched a nerve with Faye and she confronted Phelan. She's finally decided to ask about his side of the story re Anna's accusations of rape/coerced sex. She won't let him out of it, either. He tries being reasonable and then he slags off Anna. She feels bad for how she treated her mother and now believes that Phelan was lying all along. She can't convince Seb that Anna didn't push him and he's not willing to back down so she finishes with him. Anna's huddled in a dark alley, alone and shivvering.

Anna doesn't get very far and she contacts Gary, overheard by Seb so it's going to go wrong, right? Right. He tells Phelan, Phelan calls the cops and Faye calls Craig. But for his new, upstanding role, can he balance friendship and loyalty with rules and regulations. The plan worked, however, Craig blowing the cover of the undercover officers and Anna saw it and knew what was up. Now what to do? Where to go?

Later in the cafe, Shona gets David to go up to Roy's flat and water the plants (Roy has gone hill walking). Who does he find in the flat? Anna. Now how on earth did she get in there? I know she'd have had the keys when she was working there but she came from the prison to the park to the flat so she wouldn't have had them and Roy wouldn't have left the flat unlocked nor a key accessible. Anyway, he passed on the news to Gary and Faye and let them up into the flat. She's determined to prove her innocence but it's not going to be easy.

With Anna still missing, the neighbours are all abuzz. Phelan remarks to Eileen that her absence proves she's guilty and he, of course, has no good thing to say about the Windass family in general even if they're going to be related to him via Nicola's baby.

Anna is taking advantage of Roy's flat by having lots of showers. Gary is making her breakfast. He's told the cafe staff he's doing some decorating for Roy as an excuse for him being there. Anna is dismayed to find out that Gary told Faye about what Phelan had done to her in the past. She wants to find proof that Phelan is lying about where he was the day Seb fell. Later, Faye comes to see her mother. They discuss how Faye's dealing with the truth about Phelan and Faye pledges to support her mother no matter what. Anna is determined to find the proof she needs. She wants Faye to stay in Roy's flat for a bit, it would be safer for her.

Gary tells Phelan there's something wrong with Nicola's baby. They need to find which hospital she's gone to. That gets Phelan up out of the chair quickly, he locks up and he and Gary get in his van, leaving Anna to break the chain off the lock with boltcutters so she can go into the office and start searching. She rifles through the files and ledgers to no avail. Meanwhile, Gary has been leading Phelan around on a wild goose chase, which he finally figures out. Phelan takes off in the van and Gary has no way to contact Anna to warn her because she'd taken his phone.

Looks like Anna might be having a bit of luck. She's contacted a client who says he did work for them on a date that seems to please her but they put her on hold to find out the time of day. Outside, Eileen notices the yard's gates unlocked and goes in to investigate. Desperate, Anna picks up the bolt cutters and swings at the person coming up the stairs, probably thinking it would be Phelan but is shocked to see Eileen come crashing down at her feet.

She gets away and over to Roy's flat unseen and tells Faye they have to get away now, suggesting Scotland. Faye doesn't understand, of course, and Anna loses her temper trying to get her to shift. Faye insists on going home to get some things. Seb sees Faye slip out and she makes him promise not to tell anyone he's seen her. Anna and Faye are ready to go in Gary's car but Anna has to run back to the yard to see how Eileen is and freaks out when she sees there's blood on the floor under Eileen's head. Naturally she gets caught by Phelan but she runs out when he rushes to his wife's body. He's furious and calls the police and ambulance on his mobile. Anna runs to the car and they drive off around the corner.

The next scene we see after a break is the police and ambulance. Eileen is brought out on a stretcher and Phelan is screaming accusations at Gary, having seen Anna with Eileen's blood on her hands. The police are very interested to speak to Gary about all this. Anna is sitting in traffic and they hear police reports on the radio about the incident. The traffic light changes and they proceed. Anna pulls the car into an empty car park and gets Faye to duck down in the seats. The car, sticking out like a sore thumb, is immediately surrounded by police cars. I don't know what she thought would happen parking there. The police order her out of the car. Anna knows it's over and sends Faye out first as per orders. Anna is taken away and arrested for assault and I suppose she'll accept that. So even if she does manage to prove her innocense on the charges against Seb, she'll get sent to prison for allasing Eilee.

Faye is brought home to Gary. Faye tells Gary what her mother did. Todd comes over, really angry at what Anna did and seems intent on taking it out on Gary. Faye tries to blame Phelan but he wasn't the one that swung the lead, literally, and Todd reckons Anna will be convicted for this.

Eileen looks a bit worse for wear with stitches across her forehead but she's going to be ok. Phelan seems genuinely upset and they seem to know it was Anna that did it though I wasn't sure Eileen had seen who did it. Todd apparently found her so presumably he might have seen Anna running off. Phelan's out for blood but Eileen doesn't want further trouble. Anna will be punished.

Gary's right. Anna's case against Seb has been very much damaged by her escape and assault on Eileen. Going to be more difficult to prove she didn't push Seb off the ladder now. And her solicitor tells her just that.
Now Fiz is worried maybe someone is trying to scare them or maybe it's Kirsty! Gemma's tales of people faking their deaths and returning to commit crimes didn't help! But they did confirm that Kirsty was out of the country so it couldn't have been her. The only problem is, Fiz found a lighter in a box that has Ruby's name on it. But Ruby didn't like being confronted about where she got it from. At least Beth and Fiz have finally made up. Kirk and Tyrone will be pleased. They can be friends in public again. Fiz is really worried that it could be Kirsty's genes coming out in Ruby. I guess she's forgotten about how John Stape's genes might be coming out in Hope.

I don't blame Tyrone for being angry at Fiz for even suggesting it. Kirsty was the way she was due to years of her father's physical abuse and torment and unrealistic expectations. She wasn't born that way either. I'm glad Tyrone pointed out John Stape's genes could just as easily be to blame. Food for thought, Fiz, food for thought.
Fiz has the girls home making mince pies and they seem to be getting on ok. Tyrone comes home, upset that he and Fiz had fallen out. They're all made up and looking forward to Christmas together. But later we find Fiz packing. Turns out Cilla has had a bad fall and she's going to have to go look after her mother. She asks Chesney to keep an eye on the kids but not to tell Tyrone she asked. Tyrone is gutted she will be away for Christmas. Later he asks the girls how they can cheer Mummy up. They do a homemade nativity and sing Little Donkey for Fiz. Tyrone has done up a Christmas dinner of turkey nuggets and Fiz thinks it's the best ever!

Chesney has a ring for Sinead finally. In his conversation with Fiz, Ruby's mother Kirsty was mentioned as a head case. We all hope Ruby isn't taking after her mother! I doubt very much that's the problem and may we just point out that Hope's father was a serial killer? Anyway, Chesney is going to propose to Sinead in the Bistro. She's worried about Daniel but he insists he's fine with Daniel and he's not going to be working anyway which virtually guarantees that he will be. Yep. There's Daniel just as Sinead and Chesney arrive and Michelle sets Daniel up as their waiter because it couldn't possibly occur to her there might be a conflict of interest there, could it?

The happy couple decide to pretend it doesn't matter. They'll just concentrate on each other. He slips the ring into the champers to surprise her. Daniel sure got a surprise. Chesney has even booked the registry office for January 12. Not quite sure most women would want their wedding date sprung on them like that. Daniel tries to bunk off work, poor lad, he's still wearing his heart on his sleeve and well Chesney knows it but he's not quite sure if she's still harbouring feelings for Daniel in return. Desperate times and desperate measures. He comes down with "food poisoning" and ran out, leaving her to pay the bill, I might add. Then he cast aspersions and implied Daniel put something in his food.

Tracy stirred the pot and told Beth Daniel poisoned Chesney knowing she'd go to the Bistro and cause more trouble. But Robert decided to cover his bases and go see Chesney and then realized that Chesney is in a twist over Sinead and Daniel and Chesney took advantage and told Robert to sack Daniel! He won't but he insists that Daniel sort out his mess so Daniel goes all guns blazing to call Chesney out. He finds Chesney in the back yard and the Daniel temper shouts out again. But Daniel realizes that Chesney is jealous and taunts him with the idea that Sinead still loves him. Chesney loses control and it looks like he's going to attack him with a brick but he actually hits himself with it instead, obviously to stitch Daniel up and Sinead believes Chesney! Can you get fingerprints off a brick?

It kind of had the required effect though, because Robert was irritated by Daniel's absence even though he's the one that ordered it and wasn't believing of the tale of the brick injury so Daniel's walked out on his job, too. Or it looks like it. Sinead is determined to put an end to it so it's her turn to confront Daniel. Except she doesn't go to Daniel, she tattletales to his father and he is leaning towards Sinead's version of events though Tracy suspects otherwise but even she thinks he's gone a bit too far. He's not backing down, though.

He's got Sinead where he wants her because she feels guilty that she was with Daniel when Joseph nearly got hit by a car. She pledges her loyalty and love to Chesney. Down the road, Ken apologizes to Daniel because he clocked Tracy coming out of Chesney's and realized Tracy might have been manipulating him. Ken encourages Daniel to fight for Sinead and Daniel put Chesney on a warning and Chesney is just paranoid enough to believe him.

Leanne is back from France where apparently Stella is. Leanne has decided to move into her own place. She's also signed up for a dating app and has already had some luck, so she thinks but he later turns out to be a dud. Too bad Aidan is lurking around being nasty to Eva. He needs sorting out. He has no right to blame her for ruining his life when it was his infidelity in the first place that started her off! Then again, Eva set out to destroy him. She shouldn't be so surprised she succeeded and now feels sorry for him. She's going to sell the flat and the car and divide the proceeds with him.

It's sister time. Leanne is moaning about the dates she's finding from the online site. Eva's putting the flat on the market and Toyah's hosting B&B guests, the most recent which has arrived early but Peter offers to sort that out. Toyah offers to set up a blind date for Leanne with an old mate of hers. In the pub later, all three plus Steve are moaning about the poor choices available on the dating sites.

Eva and Adam have a little flirt over the bar as she tells him about selling the flat with no particular plans on where she's going after that, not yet. Behind the bar, Peter mentions the overnight guest whom we haven't yet seen and Toyah finally convinces Leanne to meet her friend for a drink.

Eva and Adam exchange a few more words later in the pub which does not go unnoticed by Billy (who has been told by Peter that they have a hearing on Thursday, Peter having drafted a victim impact statement which will be a positive rendering for Billy. Adam is heading to the Bistro to see Matthew Singh but when Aidan comes in, Adam realizes Aidan doesn't know about the Bistro meeting and makes sure he hears about it.

After getting all dressed up, Leanne is not happy to find out that Toyah's friend has cancelled the date. Eva has a brainwave, (yes, just the one.) She thinks it would be a good idea to put Leanne in the path of Matthew Singh, Adam's client and takes her reluctantly to the Bistro where they're meeting. In the pub, the lodger has finally appeared and Toyah is surprised to see how good looking he is.

Adam and Matthew are both bemused to be introduced to Leanne by Eva. It starts off awkwardly when Eva finds out that Matthew doesn't drink and she mentions that's a good think considering Leanne has an alkie as one of her exes. Later they all seem to be getting on well but Aidan, worse for wear from the alcohol he's consumed in the pub, crashes the party and makes a right idiot of himself. Matthew decides to leave as well, apologetically, citing a probably complicated conflict of interest. Leanne is pragmatic about it though Eva's a bit dismayed things didn't work out. The two sisters muse about losing their touch. Leanne offers Eva a room to rent in the house she's thinking of buying and all is well again.

They arrive back in the pub where the lodger, Chris, is propping up the bar talking to Peter who seems to be trying to get him out the door to no avail. Chris claps eyes on Eva and Leanne and decides to stay pub. Toyah introduces Chris to the women and Eva pushes Leanne forward. The B&B guest, Chris, seems to be nice enough but Peter doesn't seem keen. Leanne certainly does. Chris offers to help her sort through house listings etc. Peter seems suspicious. Quite a coincidence he being in "the property game", perhaps that's why.

Steve is meeting someone from a dating app later though it seems that both he and the potential date were using very out of date photos on their profiles and the date was a no-go. He brings Oliver to Leanne at the pub just as she's heading out with the lodger who seems quite forward, reaching out to take Oliver's stroller. Steve holds back, this is a complete stranger! But Leanne is fine with it and off they go. Oh, yes, and Leanne doesn't have her mail in her purse like she thought. Inconsequential? Never on a soap. Steve wants Liz to check up on that Chris. Liz thinks he's being paranoid. But is he?

Well, paranoid enough to ask Tracy to dinner in the pub so he could keep an eye on Leanne and Chris. Is that paranoid enough for you? He also doesn't drink alcohol and admits he won't be around long and the name on his payment card appears to be Paul, not Chris. Looks like Steve is right to be suspicious especially once Sarah alerted them to his name being something else. Meanwhile, Chris/Paul is stealing Leanne's phone at the Bistro. If it's her phone along with her organizer that he nicked earlier, it would have ID and possibly online banking details in it. This won't end well, will it?

Aidan's happy. Showcase liked his bid. He had a last minute meeting with them the day before, again behind Alya's back and she's not happy. Aidan seems to think these guys prefer to deal with men and of course he doesn't care if he can get a contract. Alya is rightly angry. Aidan's all excuses but he's also desperate to make things right with the factory workers. It looks like these people might go for an order. He's upset that he can't compete with Matthew Singh to buy into the factory. Eva tells him later that the flat might have a buyer and he's pleased to hear that.

Craig and Bethany are making a date and I think all Craig's birthdays have come at once at least they will once he finds his lucky shirt. Chesney advises that Craig create the right moment to tell Bethany how he feels. He showed up at Platt Towers and is nervous as all get out. Bethany's treating him like the friend she always considered him. He finally grabbed opportunity and told her how he feels about her. She freaked out and threw him out.

Bethany thought Craig was only after one thing but both Audrey and David think that's the last thing Craig would push on her. And I agree, he is a sort of Alf Roberts character isn't he? Steady, loyal, would adore her and treat her like a queen. She realized the truth of it and apologized to him. That's one happy Craig!

Adam teases Daniel for being outmaneuvered by Chesney, he with the brick-shaped dent in his face. When he mentions Tracy's possible involvement, Adam wouldn't put it past her to be coaching Chesney. Daniel lets himself into Number 1 later to talk to her but of course she's her usual spiky self. He confronts her with the idea that she's helping Chesney turn Sinead against him. She plays the innocent and catches on that he's trying to record their conversation. She finds it highly amusing that he's playing detective.

He tells Adam later that he can't let Chesney win, as he follows Sinead down the street with puppy dog eyes. Chesney tells Sinead about Fiz's news but Daniel arrives. Joseph is sent upstairs. Daniel apologizes sincerely and tells them he's getting help for his temper. He promises it won't happen again. He says all the right words but his sincerity doesn't quite make it to his eyes. Chesney later tells Sinead that something isn't right with Daniel and he doesn't want her to see him again.

Daniel admits to Adam that he's messing with Chesney's head and then moans that the Barlows seem to be doing a Secret Santa and he's got Peter's name. He doesn't know what to get and wants it to be something Peter will like, perhaps to mend a few fences. Billy shows up and needs a spare elf for the Community Centre grotto. Why is he asking Adam you say? Because Eva's the other elf, complete with skimpy costume, or so Billy says, and he's still trying to matchmake! It always seems to work but then it never lasts!

Zeedan is distracted, worried that Rana's alibi won't hold up to the police scrutiny. He's also irritated that Robert dropped him in it in the first place but him being sacked *is* something the police would have found out anyway. Rana's brother Imram has shown up and is a good distraction because it's his turn to disappoint the parents. He's breaking up with his wife! Turns out he's a lawyer.

Rana checks with Kate later and it's all sweet nothings under Michelle's nose. Her brother's news seems to have made a deeper effect on her than expected, probably because if he's going to upset her parents, imagine how they'd react if they knew what she was up to! Now that Rana and Kate have a little nest to hide out in (Michelle and Robert's flat)

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Coronation Street Review Of The Year 2017

(This post was originally posted by Rachel Stevenson on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

As I did last year, I've compiled my (subjective) awards for the year, sort of based on the Inside Soap Awards, sort of based on what's in my head. Please feel free to disagree in the comments!

Best Actor - Jack P Shepherd (David Platt). I love David, even now he's got that beard and did.....did Audrey give him a perm?!

Best Actress - Patti Clare (Mary Taylor-Cole). I love what the writers have done with Mary this year and Patti C can do it all - comedy, pathos, tragedy, anger, shame, and so forth. Long may her storylines continue.

Best Villain - Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre). Even Nasty Nathan and Evil Clark Kent (Michelle's stalker Will) were no competition.

Funniest Male - Brian Packham (Peter Gunn). Stiff competition from Steve and Tim, but Brian always brings the hilarity.

Funniest Female - Gemma Winter (Dolly Rose Campbell). Everything Gemma does is amazing.

Best Newcomer - Daniel Osborne (Rob Mallard). OK, he technically arrived at the end of last year, but I love Daniel with his longing looks from under lashes, his languid limbs, his shortlived romance with Billy The Vicar Sinead, although I hope the storyliners have other things up their collective sleeves than him mooning after Sinead and her soap.

Runner Up - Nicola Rubenstein. An interesting character whom I hope stays on after Phelan is banged up.

Best Young Actor - Fay(e) Windass (Ellie Leach). I do love Blanche-a-like Amy Barlow but Faye's teenage eye-rolls always make me laugh.

Sexiest Male - Andy Carver (Oliver Farnworth). Even with the kidnap stubble and the crusty denim shirt.

Sexiest Female - Eva Price (Cath Tyldesley)
Runner up - Rosie Webster

Best Partnership - Norris and Mary.
Runner Up  - Todd and Billy (sob!)

Most On/Off/On/Off/On/Off/On/Off Couple - Gary and Sarah
Runner up - Faye and Seb

Best Storyline - The Evengeance of Ms Price

Mystery Storyline - Who Clobbered Ken?
Runner Up - Who's Leanne's Baby Daddy?

Most Upsetting Storyline - Bethany's grooming by Nathan
Runner up - Michelle's miscarriage

Best Return - Carla!
Runner up - Rob Donovan 

Worst Exit - Moo(i)ra with Vic Reeves to Stoke On Trent (the horror!). At least there's a way back for our titian queen of the medical centre.
Runner Up - Mr Tilsley in the Nicksand (or, slightly after anyway).

Worst Dressed - Kate gives Toyah a run for her money with her ensembles from the 1978 edition of the Clothkits catalogue, but Ms Battersby's high necked Edwardian blouses make me reach for the sickbag.

Onto 2018!

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday 30 December 2017

Connie Hyde on Gina, Dev and setting fire to Christmas

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

In this week's fab Inside Soap magazine, there's a good interview with Connie Hyde, who plays Sally's sister Gina Seddon in Coronation Street.

Connie answers questions from fans in the interview and reveals that she loves playing Gina as she's so complex.  She says that her secret skill is that she used to be very good at arm wrestling in real life too. See, the things you learn from Inside Soap magazine!  She's also of Dutch descent in real life too and celebrates Christmas the Dutch way, dancing around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. She even admits to having accidentally set fire to the tree once or twice too.

Speaking about her character Gina, Connie says she loves working with Jimmi Harkishin, who plays Dev, and she hopes that Gina and Dev can find happiness together in the show.

She's also a big friend of Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper and says that Corrie is part of her DNA.   It's a nice, friendly interview and you can read it all in the magazine this week.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Thursday 28 December 2017

Coronation Street Blog Interview with Debbie Rush

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I had the pleasure of recently meeting and interviewing Debbie Rush, who plays Anna Windass in Coronation Street.

Debbie first of all gave away a few details first about her upcoming storyline in which she becomes ensnared in Phelan’s web. She collapses and is taken to hospital. Kevin visits her there, and adds to her woes by telling her that it is over between them and that he must prioritise Jack. Anna is devastated and it feels to her as if her support system is slipping away. She’s preparing to return to prison when she spots an overcoat. She puts it on and furtively heads towards an open door. Anna goes on the run.

Then, Tim tells Faye about her mum’s escape and it is now that Faye sees the gleeful expression on Phelan’s face. She then confronts him about what really happened between him and Anna. Faye is now finally convinced that Phelan is a liar and tells Seb that Phelan is a liar and that Anna did not push the ladder. However, Seb doesn’t believe her and as a result, Faye dumps him. At the same time, Anna cowers in a deserted building – terrified and alone. When in prison she can’t get anyone to believe what Phelan has done.

Debbie Rush tells us that many people come up to her to express their loathing of Pat Phelan from old ladies to teenage boys, showing how unanimously, Phelan is loathed. Naturally there would be a sense of justice if it was Anna who finally brought Phelan down, but there was no confirmation nor denial of this.

Debbie said that she had found the whole experience of acting out the scenes with Phelan exhausting, but even more so she has found it exhilarating. She is, she says, someone who throws herself into her acting and so does Connor McIntyre, so it’s great to play the cat and mouse game with someone who is just as keen as she is to get it all absolutely right.

When Phelan left the cobbles the first time, Anna was well aware that there existed unfinished business between them. Since then, their dislike of each other has been bubbling under the surface and for a while they stayed out of each other’s way.

In other storylines, Debbie told us that when Owen left, Anna was devastated – he was the love of her life. Then, of course, Anna was badly burnt and her legs were in a terrible state. She felt ugly and undesirable, which got in the way of Kevin and Anna’s relationship, as well as affecting her confidence generally. 

Debbie spoke passionately about the rape of Anna by Phelan. She is keen to put over her belief that Phelan raped her and that she was abused and that therefore her story is on a par with the Bethany grooming story, in that both were coerced against their will.

After Debbie and Connor have finished a scene, Debbie said that they always have a cuddle, which is a relief from the dark areas into with both actors must travel. Debbie spoke of how the two of them arrive on set in a jovial mood. Then, when the time approaches for action, each actor distances themselves from each other in readiness for their role, as they transform into their respective characters. Anna admits that the dark places they go to can be terrifying.

Debbie has been on the cobbles for nine years and says it feels it’s time for a change and wants to seek work elsewhere, though she is very grateful for the fantastic storylines she’s been involved in. She’s very excited about new opening and potential opportunities. When asked if the door to the cobbles would remain open, Debbie claims that she’s not sure. She had nothing but praise too for all the people she’s worked with at Corrie and admits she’ll miss them dearly.

So Anna leaves at the end of January 2018 and wanted to make the point that she thinks the snobbery that once dogged soap operas, has now seriously diminished. I think she may be right.

By Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

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

Gail has been welcomed into the secret Platt society.  Last week I pointed out Sarah-Lou and David were sporting all-black Platt Family uniform.  It looks like Gail's got her outfit from the warehouse now; her leather jacket must be in the hall.  Perhaps they're ninjas.

Rosie Webster takes her intimate hygiene very seriously.  She casually inquired if Sinead had a soap for her "frou-frou", which I initially thought was a poodle, but she clarified that she was after a "downstairs perfume".  Rosie, the vagina is self-cleaning; shoving a bar of soap up there can be more harm than good.  Besides, who really wants a lavender-scented tuppence?

Michelle has a skewed moral compass.  Robert had barely finished telling her about the lost ten grand before she started planning a little insurance fraud.  She then expanded this to blackmail (of her cousin, no less), before relenting a slightly and making her apartment available for some lesbian-based adultery.  I hope she remembers all this the next time she sanctimoniously lectures someone about their failings (spoiler: she won't).

Sinead won't be invited back to the Jim Henson Workshop.  It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?  If I had to guess which of the cast would murder a load of Muppets and then turn their pelts into a coat I'd have gone with Tracy Barlow.  Look closely and you can still see Fozzie's bow tie dangling off the back.  Still, if it stops them from making any more films with Ricky Gervais it's a price worth paying.

Chesney's head must be made out of concrete.  Obviously it's harder to cause yourself an injury, but shouldn't Ches have had that wound looked at by a medical professional?  He was literally smashed in the face with a brick.  I wouldn't want to draw conclusions from this, but if you can take a head injury like that and not even black out, maybe there's not much brain in there to get damaged.  I'm surprised the show passed up the opportunity to send someone to hospital; this week we had both Anna and Seb going to Weatherfield General for the flimsiest of reasons.  Perhaps the set's being repainted.

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