Friday, 28 August 2015

Spot the Corrie prop - August 28th 2015

Congratulations this week go to Joseph Billington who was the first to guess that last week's doggy shopping list pad can be found in the Barlow's kitchen. Well done!

For this week's prop poser just tell us whereabouts on the Coronation Street set you would find this bee mosaic.

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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Friday 28 August

Friday 28th August
TONY FINALLY GETS HIS HANDS ON CALLUM Todd overhears Sean and Billy discussing Jason’s condition and how he might need a kidney transplant. Jason remembers being kicked over and over again, and thinks that the voice that he heard was Callum’s. As Callum approaches his car, Tony grabs him and drags him into the ginnel. Tony gives Callum a beating and demands the names of his two accomplices.
STEVE PUTS LLOYD IN AN IMPOSSIBLE POSITION As Steve, Michelle and Aidan chat over breakfast, Liz looks shifty. Lloyd tries to creep down the Rovers stairs to make his exit but Steve appears and Lloyd beats a hasty retreat. Steve and Michelle realise that Liz is hiding someone upstairs. How will Steve react when a sheepish Lloyd descends down the stairs? And how does Lloyd feel about Liz’s belief that they could have a future together?
CATHY LOSES ART AT THE COMMUNITY CENTRE Mary cajoles Emily, Craig and Tim into signing up for Cathy’s art class. Cathy appears nervous and Roy’s sympathetic.
ELSEWHERE Liz has a change of heart about Rover and so Steve proudly declares himself as the dog’s owner. Unimpressed when again, Carla leaves him to manage a client meeting alone, Aidan confronts her over her gambling problem. Will Carla listen to his calls for her to seek help?

Friday 28th August
ROY SAVES THE DAY AT THE COMMUNITY CENTRE Roy finds Cathy at the bus stop and persuades her to return to the art class. Cathy’s art class proves a huge success and Emily, Tim, Mary and Craig enjoy themselves immensely. Cathy thanks Roy for giving her the confidence to do it. Yasmeen’s delighted when Cathy agrees to take some more art classes.
LLOYD BREAKS ANDREA’S HEART TO PROTECT STEVE Under pressure from Steve, Lloyd invites Liz to dinner at the bistro. Lloyd confesses to Dev that he doesn’t want a relationship with Liz, but knows if he comes clean, she’ll be upset and Steve will be furious. As Lloyd and Liz prepare to leave for their date, Andrea sweeps into the pub and begs him to take her back. Leading Andrea into the back yard, Lloyd admits there’s nothing he’d like more than to start again – will they reconcile?
CALLUM ESCAPES TONY’S CLUTCHES – FOR NOW Liz finds Tony terrorising Callum in the ginnel and orders him to stop, pointing out he’ll be no use to Jason if he ends up in prison. Callum slinks away.
ELSEWHERE A guilty Tracy reluctantly agrees to support Robert at Maddie’s charity evening at the bistro. Aidan and Carla put their differences aside, but Michelle is concerned as Carla knocks back the wine. Carla admits to Michelle and Aidan that she blames herself for the deaths of Maddie and Kal. Todd calls at the hospital and offers to donate a kidney to save Jason. Eileen’s touched when she overhears Todd, will the family be able to bury the hatchet and move forward?

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Coronation Street episode review, Thursday 27 August

Hello, I'm Rachel from That London and I'll be your Thursday reviewer from now until TPTB decide that a Thursday trip to the cobbles is an episode too far. I'm a relative Corrie newbie, having only tuned in fifteen years ago, but I've appeared on the Coronation Street Blog before as guest reviewer of a revival of (my favourite Corrie writer) Jonathan Harvey's play, Beautiful Thing, and as Fan of the Week.

Anyway, enough about me; on with the show....

We start off with Jason and family in the hospital. Tony is stressed by the lack of action from the police and he takes it out on Lloyd in the pub, leading to some sparks flying between Tony and Liz as they argue in the back room. By the end of the ep, Jason has woken up and is starting his recovery, albeit with a swelling on his kidney, presumably where Camp Callum kicked him. Between the claims and counter-claims, the Weatherfield plods must be more confused than ever about whodunnit. Michael suggests that Eileen and Tony "leave it to the police to work it out", but that'd probably mean that Kylie would end up arrested for the attack on Jason.

It's a real pity that Lloyd will soon be departing the Street, as he makes a great pairing with any McDonald, whether it be Steve ("If you ever turn up here in a pink dress or a string of pearls, you and me are finished!") or Liz, as they rekindle their romance over spring rolls from Wong's and The Real Housewives of Cheshire on ITVBe, although I do get the impression that it was her earlier fingering of Tony's shirt that leads Liz to a little light Lloyd petting in the back room.

In fashion news, it's good to see the return of the zig-zag necklace.

Talking of returns, Michelle is back from Ireland with "the Blarney stone and several gallons of Irish stout" in her bag. The Connor clan plus Steve celebrate her return with dinner at the Bistro, the purpose of which seems to be to set up some conflict between Aidan and Robert. Hopefully, Robert will stay in the kitchen from now on, rather than trying to garner praise (or ketchup requests) from the punters.

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Aidan so far; he seems like the poor man's Luke Strong and I'm very unsure about the casting. The most endearing and enduring Corrie actors are those who've come up through the Street's Youth Academy, so to speak, such as Jack P. Shepherd and Alan Halsall, or those who were relatively unknown before Corrie (Katherine Kelly, Suranne Jones, Paula Lane), rather than celebs from other fields. Whilst I have gradually warmed to Kym Marsh, I am unconvinced by stunt casting unless it's for a short term role (I enjoyed Paddy McGuinness last week, but he would have been annoying as a long-term, one-note character), and I'm not quite sure which demographic the producer and casting directors are hoping to attract by casting someone who came to fame ten years ago.

Tim chats to Craig in the cafe about The Karate Kid ("my squeegees are my nunchucks" - maybe they will take over the banter from Steve and Lloyd when the latter departs) and then asks Craig if he wants to come with him to pick up baby Miley, but Craig prefers to clean out Daryl's cage (funnily enough, I was just reading about female rats anogenitally licking their pups, but let's not go there), although really he's phoning Caitlin. Perhaps she will return as a character in her own right sans Dougie?

Finally, Cathy is steamrollered by Mary and Yasmee into teaching art classes at the Community Centre. It's good to see Cathy getting to do something other than annoy Roy with her cutlery combining and toast crumbs. Art triumphs once again.

Thanks for reading, and thank you to Glenda and the gang for giving me the opportunity to review my favourite soap!

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Cobbles and coffins - killing off kids in soap

There have been some good comments left on my speculatory blog post about Max being hit by Nick's car in Coronation Street.  Will Max live or die?  My guess is he'll live because Coronation Street wouldn't kill off two kids in one year, would it?

Mind you, we don't know for sure if Hope will live or die. All we know is that Fiz and Tyrone will have a very sad Christmas. Therefore, losing any children on Coronation Street in the future is a matter of pure speculation. But it has prompted us to think about whether Corrie would, could or should kill off little Max.

Corrie's past record suggests that Max won't be killed off because they haven't killed off any children in the past on screen before, as far as we know. Corrie has had baby deaths from still-births, premature births and disease, but never a grown child being killed off.

It's brought a lump to my throat writing this blog post. It's possibly one of the saddest blog posts I've ever written... here's a look back at some of the sad stories when children of the cobbles have passed away. 

After David and Irma Barlow emigrated to Australia in 1969, David was killed in a car crash there in 1970. David and Irma's 18 month son, Darren also died in the crash.  We never saw Darren on screen in Corrie as he was born in Australia.

In 1992 Liz McDonald lost her premature baby Katherine (Katie) soon after she was born on 1 January. The scene is on YouTube here. I remember this storyline vividly and with great sadness. Liz's grand-daughter Amy Barlow has Katherine as her middle name in honour of Liz's baby.

In 1998 Zoe Tattersall lost her daughter Shannon to meningitis.  The grief of her baby's death unhinged Zoe and she kidnapped Fiona Middleton's baby, Morgan. Morgan's dad was Alan McKenna.
In 2000, Jake Webster was born but died from the disease Strep B.  His parents were Kevin and Alison Webster.  This is the storyline which Corrie recently forgot.

In 2004 baby Billy Platt, the prematurely born son of Sarah and Todd Grimshaw passed away.

In 2008 Maria Connor gave birth to a still-born baby son. The baby's dad was Liam Connor and they named their baby Paul.

It remains to be seen if little Hope Stape will survive neuroblastoma, a rare cancer.

And will Max dodge his uncle Nick's car? 
Watch the video trailer here and see what you think.

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Coronation Street live episode - everything you need to know

Here in one handy little blog post is everything you need to know about
Coronation Street's upcoming live episode.

When is it on?
Read here!

Are there any spoilers and news?
Read here!

Which two characters will be leaving during the live show?

Why won't Jane Danson (Leanne) be in it?
Read here!

Why won't Samia Ghadie (Maria) be in it?
Read here!

Why did William Roache (Ken Barlow) say he won't enjoy it?
Read here!

Why are Corrie doing a live episode, anyway?
Read here!
After the live Corrie episode ends, Coronation Street Live: Uncovered,
presented by Stephen Mulhern will air on ITV2

Will Coronation Street feature in any more ITV 60th Anniversary shows?
Read here!

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Corrie features in ITV's 60th anniversary programmes

As part of ITV's 60th anniversary programmes during September, there'll be a Coronation Street live episode. This will be followed by Coronation Street Live: Uncovered on ITV2.

Two more Corrie connections will be explored in the anniversary programmes.

You Saw Them Here First will air on Wednesday 2 September at 8pm on ITV.  It's a trip down memory lane where telly legends get to watch old clips of themselves on TV.  Corrie's Rita and Mavis (Barbara Knox and Thelma Barlow) are shown watching their first Coronation Street scene together in The Kabin.

ITV Changed My Life will air on Tuesday 9th September.  It will feature people whose lives have been changed by ITV's programmes. The programme will include two Coronation Street extras who are married. These are Maureen and Joel Seaberg. Find out more about them here in their interview with Christine Warren's Canadian Corrie fun page.

Should be interesting to watch!

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Coronation Street fan of the week - Aaron in Ireland

It's time to meet our Coronation Street fan of the week.
Would you like to be our Coronation Street fan of the week? 
Find out more here!

I'm delighted that we are getting some of the new generation of Coronation Street fans of the week featured (with their parental consent, of course).  If you're a big Corrie fan and you're off school with time on your hands, email in to us and you could be our fan of the week too. If you're 16 or under, please ask a parent or guardian to email us too with consent for us to use your photo on the website!

Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Aaron Fleming, I am almost 17 years old. I live in County Offaly in Ireland.

How long have you been watching Corrie? 

 I've watched Corrie since I was about 6 so around 2004.
Who are your favourite female and male characters - and the reasons why?
My favourite characters are David Platt and Leanne Battersby. David's my favourite because when he was younger he was always getting into trouble. I like Leanne because she is trying to do everything to help Simon but he is having none of it. Also Craig is one of my favourites too especially after the camping week.   

What's been some of your favourite Corrie storylines over the years? 
My favourite storyline of all time would have to be the 50th anniversary tram crash. There was so much drama in one week and I just loved it. I was sad that Ashley Peacock had to die he was one of my favourites at that time. 

And what would your fantasy Corrie storyline be? 
I have had a lot of ideas of storylines for Corrie. My favourite would be if David torched Callum's place or his car. I would think that would make it worse but it could rise the tension even more.

Have you any snippets or news about meeting any of the Corrie cast, or trips to the set, etc., that you'd like to share?
I have never been to Manchester before and I would always want to meet some of the cast but I never got the chance to go. But some day I will and then I will be happy.

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Fan review: Manchester Pride Transcript event

Guest blog post from Tommy Cowell.  
Follow him on twitter and have a look at his website.
Would you like to write a guest blog post? Details here.

Tommy Cowell attended the Manchester Pride Transcript event on Tuesday 25 August in Manchester.  Here, he gives us his report from the evening along with his own pictures too. Tommy, we salute you!
Tommy with Daniel Brocklebank (Billy the vicar) and Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw)
“I came into contact with a lot of gay vicars,” said actor Daniel Brocklebank, when talking about researching real life gay vicars for the role of Billy in Corrie.

“We’ve heard,” chipped in Damon Rochefort, scriptwriter and host of the Manchester Pride TRANScript event. The room erupts with laughter. 

Dan: “No, no… we met up for tea and Scones. And lots of sex.”

It’s Tuesday 25th August, and we’re at Manchester’s Black Dog Ballroom for a very special evening. The cast and crew of Coronation Street have teamed up with the stars of Cucumber to discuss LGBT characters in both shows. It was sort of like a Northern Drama version of Comic Con. The night was full of hilarious banter between the cast members and the writers, and it was a joy to behold.

“When I came out, my Mum said ‘you’re not gay, you’re just showing off!’” Damon recalls. With moments like this to draw inspiration from, you can see why he writes some of the funniest Corrie episodes. Almost everybody on the panel covered the L, B, G and T aspect of society.  

Also present was Annie Wallace, who came onto the show as a researcher in 1998, working at Granada as somebody who could provide the writers with an insight into what life as a Transsexual was like. She recorded her thoughts onto a cassette tape, which was then used as a ‘bible’ for the writers to refer to. “1997 was a different time, politically,” says Julie Hesmondhalgh, who acts as the bridge between Corrie and Cucumber, starring in both as Hayley Cropper and Cleo respectively. “Hayley was introduced as a bit of a joke. Roy had been on a series of bad dates, and then he was to meet up with Hayley and hit it off with her, only to find out she used to be a man.” However, when the audience took Hayley to their hearts, the production team quickly rewrote scripts that were in development, reintroducing Hayley as a permanent cast member. The rest, as they say, was history. 

“You know things are changing, that views are changing, when old women in Accrington Asda come up to you and ask when Roy is going to marry Hayley,” commented Hesmondhalgh.

Dan Brocklebank was the resident gay. Damon, on the other hand, says of his sexuality: “I’m bisexual. If I can’t get it, I buy it.”

Ben Tagoe (scriptwriter) and Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) were also present, to provide the straight perspective.

Annie, who was a researcher on the show, took part in guiding the production team with such stories as Roy and Hayley’s first wedding. “Me and Jules could have clashed,” said Annie. “But we’re best friends.” Despite her role, which was to bring “authenticity” to the Hayley storyline, she did this all anonymously, because as Annie admitted, she wasn’t out at the time. She obviously told Julie, who was extremely supportive, but it wasn’t until her 50th Birthday that Annie told all her friends at a meal. To this news, they reacted “fabulously”. Annie’s story was genuinely touching, and you could see that a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She appeared in the soap as a supporting artist, but it was only recently - in 2015 – when she got her first lead role in a BBC sitcom pilot. She hinted towards something very exciting being announced later this year, to which Damon asked, “Are you Darth Vader in the new Star Wars film?” Annie, doing her best Darth impression, then said, “Luke, I am your mother”. The room cheered.

Bethany said she remembers Annie’s letter to the Radio Times, in 1997 about Hayley’s introduction, which got her the research role at Corrie. It’s fascinating that one member on the panel inspired and encouraged another to embrace who they were. “Visibility is key,” Black noted at the panel.

After five years, Hayley and Roy became “quite a conservative couple” in some ways, and they were as important to Corrie as the cobbles. However, the gays were “still waiting” for their representation on the soap.

Enter Bruno Langley. “I’d just finished High School. I remember on the last day, I took off my uniform, and was so happy. I hated it. Shortly after, I started at Corrie, and the first costume they put me in was a school uniform.” Todd wasn’t originally intended to be gay, but he was taken aside by the producer, who told him their plans. “They took one look at me, and said, ‘yep, he’s gay’”, joked Langley. “It was daunting, but then I just knew I had to do my job as an actor to do this storyline justice.” On the subject of writing for gay characters, Ben Tagoe said, “I never think I’m writing a gay character, just a character. It’s all about emotions, empathy.” It was also hinted that a new Lesbian character was to be introduced onto the show.

Before Dan was in Corrie, he was also in Emmerdale as Ivan. He shared a kiss with Paul Flynn ten years ago, which “received more complaints than the kiss he shared with Sean – as a vicar – in 2015,” showing how much things have changed for the better in such a short amount of time.

As a wannabe Corrie writer, I was very keen to hear what Damon and Ben had to say. Their opinion that a coming out story just isn’t interesting unless there’s a story involved was a good point, but they also recognised that coming out stories are still important for viewers at home, who may still be in the closet themselves. When discussing the character of Todd, who was the first gay character in Corrie, they said, “nobody sees him as a gay character, they just think he’s a bastard.” This, I think it’s fair to say, is a testament to the Corrie writing team.

Overall, it was a beautiful night. Uplifting, hilarious, and full of gossip. After last year’s successful pride event, it was great to see Corrie team up with Cucumber for a similar panel. “Corrie is the campest show on telly,” said Damon. “It came from gay man’s heart and brain and creativity: Tony Warren.”

It may have taken almost forty-five years for our favourite soap to introduce a gay character, but in spirit, Coronation Street has always – and will always be – the gayest show on television. In every sense of the word.

All the best,
Follow him on twitter and have a look at his website.

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