Tuesday 10 April 2018

Interview with Connor McIntyre: Phelan's dead bodies revealed

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)

How does Phelan feel about going back to the Mill?

Phelan is desperate now. He gets there knowing that he has to move really quick, he has to get this thing done. He is thinking he needs to get the bodies out of there and in to the concrete footings. But the Mill is very symbolic for him for a couple of reasons and this is his one chance to do away with any evidence that these murders link to him. It’s real desperate measures for him, it’s fire-fighting. It’s all starting to fold in.

You’ve said before that Phelan is a narcissist, is he panicked by this?

Phelan is panicked in the sense that he has to do it quickly, he is motivated. If they find those two bodies and identify them then everything is going to start coming back to him. So, panicked? Certainly but again, he thinks eventually everything will work for him. He thinks he has a perfect plan; get them out of the water and get them in to the concrete. No one is going to find them in there, right?

What is his reaction when he sees one of the bodies emerging from the water?

Phelan sees the top of something in the water and, to anybody else that could just be a bit of debris but to him, he knows what it is and he knows he has got to move quick. He has got away from Eileen and thinks he can get this job done and be back in time for the party - he has got a timetable of everything.

Tell us what happens when he tries to get the bodies out of the water.

Phelan gets the bodies out of the water, drags them across planks and across staging to get them in to this footings so it’s a proper night’s work. It’s a real job to get it done but at that point he thinks that the job is done.

How is this Phelan such a jump from the one who kept Andy in the cellar because he couldn’t face to kill him?

We have crossed the rubicon. He thinks that this is a really clear way to sort this. I heard a description of Donald Trump, one of his ex aides said, ‘Donald is the guy who doesn’t care if it is raining outside because he is inside.’ And that’s a pretty good description of our Pat, isn’t it?

What happens when Eileen starts to call Phelan?

Can you believe it?! He has just text her to say he is on his way then puts his phone down for a second but then she phones at that moment and it starts vibrating on the plank. Just as he gets there to it, it drops in. He climbs in because it is not that full by then, not realising that once he is in he actually can’t get out.

Does Phelan believe this is the end?

Yes. To see him in that moment he thinks, wow this could be it. He is incredulous. In the same poetic ways that the bodies are going, he is going to be entombed in the concrete as well?

What were those scenes like to film?

Fantastic. We had absolutely the worst weather, only this time we had rain machines as well as the cold and we even had lightening! So to say it is Shakespearean is not an exaggeration, this is real jeopardy for him.

How was the atmosphere this time in comparison to when you filmed at the Mill last time?

It was remarkably different. It was colder and I don’t just mean that that affects us, the tone out there is colder because Phelan is very clear what he has to do. When he was at the Mill previously, it was a chain of events leading to a double murder. This time this is an actual plan to get to this point. A lot more chilling - literally.

What is the reaction you get from viewers and what do you hope the reaction will be to this storyline this week?

It’s very interesting because I get a lot of positives. On the contrary, they say they hate Phelan but they just don’t want him to go yet. They are really enjoying it and that is a credit to the writers, the storyliners and everybody else.

What makes Phelan such a good baddie?

The writers and the storyliners have done such a great job of walking this very fine line, he’s a dangerous narcissist and psychopath. If you can make a character like that and still have sympathy from large proportions of the viewing public who believe that inside there there is a good man fighting to get out because there are moments of real decency. He’s got a moral compass at some points and his love for Eileen is true but that only exists in it’s own special place because we can see what he is when somebody gets in his way or when he perceives somebody trying to derail his plans.

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Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday 8 April 2018

Why Coronation Street is right to air male rape storyline

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

Guest blog post by Stephen M Hornby You can follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenMHornby and on Instagram @stephenmhornby.

Stephen M. Hornby considers the reaction to one of Corrie’s first big stories of 2018: male rape.

A recent BBC3 documentary, Male Rape: Breaking the Silence, offered a disturbing insight into the levels of sexual offences men suffer.  1 in 6 men in the UK are a victim of rape or sexual assault at some point in their lives.  8 men are sexually assaulted every hour. 90% of men who are raped know the perpetrator.  And, perhaps most shockingly of all, it takes an average of 26 years for a man whose been raped to find the courage to speak out.  

We have a serious problem with male rape, not just with the levels of the offence itself, but with our collective attitude to it.  Stigma, ignorance and shame are the three words that kept on being repeated by the victims brave enough to speak in the programme. 

And perhaps that’s where a soap opera, of all things, can help a little.  

Coronation Street is about to feature a male rape storyline with David Platt as the victim/survivor.  Just the intention to cover such a topic produced newspaper headlines and a wave of responses on social media.  The Mirror talked about a “harrowing storyline” deemed too controversial for Eastenders five years ago (although Hollyoaks dealt with it in 2000).  The Radio Times reported it as a “controversial”, and the Manchester Evening News called it “shocking.”  

With an estimated 12,000 men being raped and 70,000 being sexually assaulted each year, perhaps the shocking thing really ought to be that Corrie hasn’t done it before.  (Just apply the 1 in 6 statistic to the number of male characters the show has featured in 57 years.)

Now, I’m the first to fight for quality comedy moments, to justify scenes just on the basis that they’re nice character piece, and to argue against the constant use of the emergency services to pep up every plot.  But, I also think Corrie has always tackled complex social issues and often tackled them well, sometimes helping to remove some of the stigma around tough topics.  The show is reported to be working with Survivors Manchester, one of the few specialist services dealing with male rape, and is committed to making the portrayal accurate and respectful to the huge number of men who have gone through this ordeal, many of whom will be watching.

Ultimately, Coronation Street is a soap opera seeking viewers to support advertising revenue, but it can seek them in an educational and responsible way.  The recent grooming and rape storyline of Bethany Platt has proved what the Street can do when it allows stories to simmer and build and when it shows the immediate and on-going implications of sexual abuse.

David Platt can be a bit of bore, a monotone moaner with a nasty edge to him.  Jack P Shepherd plays what he’s given well.  And when he was given the death of Kylie in his arms following a knife attack, he gave a sensational, gut-wrenching performance that made you feel each moment of David’s rage and pain.  If he gets material of that quality in this storyline, I have every faith in his ability to deliver and to make this one of the most memorable stories of 2018.

Stephen is a playwright and theatre reviewer. 
You find him on Twitter @StephenMHornby and on Instagram @stephenmhornby.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday 7 April 2018

Video: The many loves of Martin Platt in Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Here's a wonderful - albeit far too short - little video recounting some of the many women that Martin Platt loved and lost in Coronation Street.

As we know, Sean Wilson is returning to Coronation Street in the role of Martin Platt.  Sean has already started filming on the show and his scenes should be on screen later this spring.  Martin's return will tie in with the male rape storyline, which will see David Platt attached by newcomer Josh.  Martin returns to help David after his ordeal.

And it's also been revealed that Martin will not be returning to the street alone. Find out who he's bring with him.

Enjoy the video, below...

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Friday 6 April 2018

Corrie's Nicola Thorp to sleep rough for Blackpool charity

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Nicola Thorp, who plays Nicola Rubinstein in Coronation Street, is to spend a night on the cobbles, not in Wetherfield but in Blackpool, to support  a homeless charity. 

Nicola will be joining Streetlife’s Big Sleepout fund-raiser on March 23. The Buchanan Street charity’s chief executive Jane Hugo said they were delighted to get the support from Nicola, along with 200 others who will be taking part on the night. 

She said:  “Nicola told us she wanted to help raise awareness of the homelessness crisis in the country and support her home town charity.” 

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Thursday 5 April 2018

Julia Goulding on why Corrie is right to air male rape storyline

(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog January 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Julia Goulding, who plays Shona Ramsey on Coronation Street, was interviewed today on ITV's Lorraine. She was there to talk about the show's male rape storyline and says that she hopes talking about it will make the issue less taboo and those who have been abused can come forward for help.

Coronation Street has already revealed that the storyline will see David Platt drugged and raped by newcomer Josh.

Julia said that Corrie will be handling the story “really, really sensitively”. She said it was important to tell the hard-hitting story “to highlight it and get it out there and make it less taboo. And to give people the opportunity to speak out if they need to."

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday 1 April 2018

Cooking with Coronation Street - Manchester Tart

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Greetings! Here we go with the fifth of our Cooking with Coronation Street blog posts in which we take recipes from this little gem of a book from 1992 and see what they turn out like when cooked at home by Corrie fans.  

Our friends from the Coronation Street podcast - Conversation Street, Gemma and Michael have taken up the cookery challenge again, this time to make Guinness casserole.

You can follow Conversation Street on Twitter @ConversationStr and Facebook

Michael and Gemma chose to cook Manchester Tart from the Corrie recipe book this time and now, it's over to them both... 

What do Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch and Liz McDonald all have in common with our Cooking with Coronation Street recipe this week? Manchester tarts, the lot of ‘em – and very tasty too! 

For our third attempt at preparing a dish from The Coronation Street Cookbook, we’ve gone for a classic pudding that’s probably very familiar to the residents of Weatherfield, but truth be told, Manchester tart isn’t something we’d ever actually tried ourselves before. In fact, the only real knowledge we had of the dish came from the time Deirdre ended up with her face covered in the stuff after having a secret snog with Audrey’s fella, lothario Lewis Archer.

When we were ready to start, we got together the ingredients required for the recipe – pastry, jam, egg, milk, sugar and salt and nutmeg to taste – and set to following the steps. To be honest, the instructions couldn’t have been simpler. Like most of the dishes we’ve cooked from this book before, we got the impression that this was definitely a no-frills version of a pudding that could easily have been made more complex. Indeed, we’ve seen versions that use cream, whole raspberries, vanilla extract, banana, and even desiccated coconut, but this was a recipe that even a stranger to cooking like Carla Connor could handle. As proof of that, it was Michael who took the lead in preparing this pud, albeit under the watchful eye of house chef Gemma.

First off, the ready rolled shortcrust pastry was taken out of the pack and flattened out on our kitchen worktop. Don’t fall into the same trap we did and try this straight from the fridge, which can lead to the pastry cracking; instead, leave it 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Next up, we greased a 9-inch baking dish with butter, before lining it with the pastry. Be gentle with this part, as again, you don’t want the pastry to crack.

Once the dish was lined and excess pastry removed with a sharp knife, we dolloped and spread on a layer of jam (raspberry is traditional, though we preferred to use strawberry). On top of this, we poured on a mixture of milk (1/2 pint) and an egg, then grated a small amount of nutmeg over the surface.

The dish was then placed in the oven, preheated to 200 degrees, and cooked for just over half an hour. Be careful where you put it: the pastry can burn easily at such high temperatures, so keep the dish on a lower or central shelf. After thirty minutes, we checked the consistency of the mixture; it seemed a little liquidy still, so we kept it in the oven until it was a little more solid. Once it was ready, the tart was removed from the oven, sprinkled with caster sugar and left to cool.

So what were our first impressions of Manchester tart? Overall, pretty good! You can’t really go wrong with a bit of pastry, jam and egg custard – proper school dinner food. It’s certainly something we’d try again, and would love the opportunity to taste a more authentic version on our next trip up to Manchester.

May be served with cream, or for the full Coronation Street experience…


Keep your eyes peeled for the next of our Cooking with Coronation Street blog posts coming very soon.

See also: 

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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