Thursday, 21 August 2014

More Corrie news from Stuart Blackburn

As promised yesterday, there was a second part of the interview with Stuart Blackburn on Digital Spy. There were some interesting glimpses into what's in store for several characters including Tim who, in addition to being involved in Faye's storyline, will have something else revealed about him of a less comic nature.  I was also quite happy to hear that a reunion between Kevin and Sally is not on the books. I personally feel they're done and yet another reunion would be tedious.

Regarding the Platts, he assures us Paula Lane will return from her maternity leave and he's also quite chuffed at how well Les Dennis is working out as Michael Rodwell.

Antony Cotton's Sean is going to have a new romance but as always in a soap, there's going to be complications. "It's a really serious love story, as Sean is absolutely going to fall for this person. The only problem is who he falls in love with and what that means for the relationship - can it ever prosper?"

Katy Armstrong is going to take her future into her own hands and there will be someone from her, Izzy and Owen's past coming back into their lives. Could that be Owen's ex-wife? Cilla's coming back and she needs help and maybe we'll find out why Todd has changed so much. When asked, Mr. Blackburn says "At some point yes, but we're not there yet."

He also defends the decision to let Philip Lowrie (Dennis Tanner) go by talking about it being the result of bringing the old Dennis back, the one that schemed and ducked and dived. His fate was a result of that but he doesn't seem to write off ever having him back again if they come up with a good storyline for Dennis. Nice piece of deflection, or as we in Canada say "stick handling". 

Nick's future may not be quite so grim though they're going to be realistic and not make his brain damage vanish without a trace and there might even be a new love interest. Steve's mid-life crisis isn't gone and that may lead to a bumpy road for him and Michelle but it sounds like they will manage to see it through.

All in all, a few interesting bits and pieces in this interview.

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Coronation Street fan of the week - Kenneth in Michigan, USA

It's time to meet another Corrie fan of the week.
Would you like to be our Coronation Street fan of the week? 
Click here to find out more.

Kenneth with his dog Watson, an English Setter
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Kenneth T Morris from Bay City, Michigan and I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology.  

How long have you been watching Corrie?
I started watching Corrie in 1990, when I retired.

Who are your favourite female and male characters - and the reasons why?

My favourite male character is Steve, god bless his addled mind and Becky, who was a real character through and through is my favourite female.

What's been some of your favourite Corrie storylines over the years?
Favourite story line was Hayley's death.  Could there be another?  

And what would your fantasy Corrie storyline be?

I would love a story where Gail meets a man who would be good to and for her.

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?

Being here (in the US) and not there, I have not met any actors.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Stuart Blackburn talks about upcoming storylines

Digital Spy has the first part of a great two part interview with Corrie producer Stuart Blackburn on their site today. Part two will be posted there tomorrow. He's got a lot to say about upcoming and current storylines and characters with hints of things to come

October will be a major storyline month with Peter's trial, Tracy and Rob's wedding. Regarding the upcoming exit for both Peter and Rob, he says "Absolutely. They'll both be very different exits - one will be very high-octane and explosive, while the other one will be a lot sadder. I can't say which is which, though!" (I think I can probably guess)

He comments that Carla will immerse herself in the factory but that her and Roy's friendship will surface again near Christmas. The Platts are apparently going to have a "life-changing" Christmas, too, David in particular. We should see Kylie's ex surface about then.  The season will be rough for Roy and a bit rocky for Steve in the pub.

The New Year will also bring something devastating.

"Yes, coming up in the New Year, there is a real tragedy that's going to affect a dozen or so of our characters. Last year we had David and the car crash and of course that was a stunt, but it genuinely felt like it had come from story. It wasn't us suddenly deciding that we needed to do something spectacular to get the viewers.

"It's the same with what we're planning, because it'll come from a relatively long-running story. It is going to be spectacular and a little bit heartbreaking!"

Blackburn confirms that Faye will indeed become pregnant and we'll see how that affects the Windass Family and Faye herself, who  hasn't had an easy time of it in her short life. He says he's bringing along new characters in a "slow burn" to ease them in and we'll soon be meeting Zeedan Nazir, the last of the Nazir family. The contention between he and his father, Kal, will be explored. It actually sounds like it might be interesting. 

We often worry that these sensational stories are bringing Corrie to its knees but I often find, in most cases, the stories are handled well and acted superbly. They are often a lot less "explosive" than the PR machine would have us believe. 

Part two of the interview will be published on Digital Spy tomorrow.

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Corrie cast seniority ranking

I was looking up the name of the actor that plays Neil Beckett on Corrie, using the entertainment bible, IMDB (Internet Movie Database). They have a very good and complete cast list for Coronation Street, including writers and directors but on the main page, they have a listing of most of the current cast members.

But I looked at it a bit closer. First I thought the cast was listed by seniority but it's not. No, it's a list in order of number of appearances and Helen Worth, who plays Gail (multiple last names) is at the top.

Top 10 actors as ranked by number of episodes as of this morning on IMDB:

Helen Worth - Gail McIntyre (1,682 episodes, 1974-2014)
Simon Gregson  - Steve McDonald (1,654 episodes, 1989-2014)
William Roache - Ken Barlow (1,510 episodes, 1960-2014)
Sue Nicholls - Audrey Roberts (1,390 episodes, 1979-2014)
Sally Dynevor - Sally Webster(1,387 episodes, 1986-2014)
Anne Kirkbride - Deirdre Barlow (1,380 episodes, 1972-2014)
Barbara Knox - Rita Sullivan (Tanner) (1,339 episodes, 1964-2014)
Jennie McAlpine - Fiz Stape (1,218 episodes, 2001-2014)
Samia Ghadie - Maria Connor (1,201 episodes, 2000-2014)
Michael Le Vell - Kevin Webster (1,153 episodes, 1981-2014)

The list wasn't completely correct for names of married female characters (i.e. they had Maria listed as Sutherland not Connor and Gail listed as Platt not McIntyre) which I've corrected for this list. I was a bit surprised that Gail was at the top in one way but not in another as she's featured more solidly in a lot of storylines over many years where a longer term character like Ken Barlow has really not had large long term involved storylines in a very long time.

Now, as fellow blogster Graeme N has discovered, Corriepedia has a different list of episode seniority which makes a lot more sense than the above from IMDB. (My heart is broken! I thought they had it right for everything!!) According to this, and resorted by episodes, the top ten by episode ranking are:

William Roache - Ken Barlow        4114
Helen Worth - Gail McIntyre         3813
Barbara Knox -  Rita Tanner         3426
Anne Kirkbride - Deirdre Barlow    3333
Eileen Derbyshire - Emily Bishop   3241
Sue Nicholls  - Audrey Roberts      2741
Sally Dynevor - Sally Webster       2720
Simon Gregson - Steve McDonald 2682
Michael Le Vell -  Kevin Webster   2627
Jack P. Shepherd - David Platt      1822

Of the current cast members by seniority the list looks a bit different. I noticed that Malcom Hebden is listed as 1974 - 2014 but in my mind that doesn't give him seniority as he was, A. A different character in 1974 and B. there was 20 years between his appearance as Spanish Carlos and his introduction as Norris Cole in 1994.

The seniority list for the top handful with dates listed before 1980:
William Roach 1960
Eileen Derbyshire 1961
Barbara Knox 1964
Anne Kirkbride 1972
Helen Worth 1974
(Malcom Hebden 1974)
Sue Nicholls 1979

See the IMDB list here.

So there you have it. I think I shall be consulting the excellent Corriepedia for Corrie stats from now on!

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There's something about Neil

I know fans out there are finding the triangle between Lloyd, Andrea and Neil to be tedious. Andrea has lost her freshness, her spark and we all think Lloyd deserves better and can see more heartbreak coming a mile away.

Neil is seen to be just as Andrea thinks of him, boring and dull but he's also just had his whole world blown apart by something he never saw coming. He sees himself as a dependable bloke, a good provider and a good husband and father. He's probably all of those things but because he's spent most of his life working out of the country and Andrea felt like she married too young, it was never bound to work. He just doesn't accept it.

Neil is starting to creep me out with his single minded obsession to getting Andrea back. Where do I see this going? How much does he remind me of another former Corrie character? Read about it here on State of the Street.

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Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Weds 20 August

Wednesday 20th August
KEN DESPAIRS AS PETER GOES COLD TURKEY. Suffering from alcohol withdrawal, Peter begs Jim for
more booze. Jim informs Peter there’s a price to pay and he’ll find out what it is soon. As Peter
promises to do whatever he wants, Jim’s satisfied he’s got him where he wants him. Meanwhile Ken is
shocked to see the state Peter is in and fearing he’ll drink himself to death debates reporting him to the
prison so he can get help. Tracy advises against it claiming it won’t look good in court, will Ken relent?
NEIL’S ACTIONS START TO SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL.As Neil continues to watch Andrea he ups his
nuisance campaign by sending her a barrage of texts and ordering a stack of pizzas to the cab office.
Steve advises Lloyd it’s time to play Neil at his own game.
SMUG NICK ENJOYS CONFIRMING LEANNE’S SUSPICIONS. Eva and Kal offer Nick their support but
convinced Nick is faking his seizures Leanne accuses Nick of hoodwinking Eva. Will Nick drop the act?
ELSEWHERE Sophie suggests Maddie needs another job and asks Carla about a packing job at the
factory. But will she drop the attitude for long enough to let Carla see the person underneath?

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Pics: Coronation Street Triathlon team

The move of Coronation Street to MediaCityUK at the start of this year brought an altogether different challenge for the cast and crew as over 30 of them took part in the Nuffield Health Salford Triathlon on Sunday 17 August.

Cast members Krissi Bohn (Jenna Kamara), Ian Puleston Davies (Owen Armstrong) and Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw) were joined by the crew and production team to tackle their own 'wave' in one of the toughest sporting events the north west has to offer.

Krissi swam 750 metres alongside nearly 1,000 novice and more experienced triathletes in the clean waters of dock 9 in the heart of MediaCityUK...

...while team mate Ian Puleston Davies ran 5km along the iconic waterfront...

 ...and Ryan Thomas completed the Coronation Street sprint relay race with a 20km bike ride.

Photos copyright David Nelson and/or ITV.
Team Corrie raised funds for the St Mary’s Hospital Charity (Newborn Intensive Care Unit).
You can see a video of last year’s event here.

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Is Andrea the one for Corrie's Lloyd?

I don't know what it is, but the whole Lloyd, Andrea, Neil storyline just isn't working for me. I hate to admit it, but I did begin to fast forward through all their scenes last night.

I've always loved Lloyd. Craig Charles is brilliant in Corrie. His double act with Simon Gregson is a joy. It's a shame they didn't spend more time developing the Lloyd and Jenna relationship onscreen, instead preferring to focus on Lloyd and Andrea. 

The whole story is just a big snooze to me and it's such a pity. Lloyd is crying out for a decent story to get his teeth into and I'm afraid this really isn't it. The actor playing Neil is great although I'm really not sure what this character's game is! I'm sure all will become clear in time, hopefully fairly soon though as it feels like this is being drawn out.

I do have a bit of a problem with the way both Lloyd and Andrea have dealt with Neil. Yes he is being painted as a big wet blanket who won't take the hint, but they are treating him cruelly at times. Given that Andrea in particular has cheated on Neil and broken up their marriage I feel like she should have a bit more respect for her husband. 

Lloyd too has been rather harsh and less than understanding. As he acknowledged briefly last night, he knows what it is like to be messed about and dumped by a partner, so even though he was an unwitting accomplice in this mess, he should really be more sympathetic towards Neil. 

I'm not sure what I make of Andrea. At first she was a breath of fresh air, mainly because she highlighted how atrociously Michelle treats Steve. Then things got complicated and her motives became unclear. I don't think she's a baddie in the traditional sense, she's flawed and human like the rest of us. At the end of the day though she basically just irritates me and I can't seem to get past that. 

So what do we all make of this storyline? Are you enjoying it or do you wish we could move on to something new? Do you think Andrea is the one for Lloyd? 

Follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82

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