Monday, 21 January 2013

Time for Emily to have her own Corrie storyline?

As the new Coronation Street producer settles in to the all powerful hot seat he is bound to look at the current cast of Weatherfield characters and make some important decisions for the future. As with all Corrie fans he is sure to have some characters and actors that he prefers to others. It will be interesting to see the changes Stuart Blackburn will put into place over time.

I think we'll all agree that different producers have actors who become flavours of the month, and while Corrie has to evolve and move forward, let's hope the powers that be don't forget some of the old faces. While Bill Roache is always praised for his longevity and years of service as Street original Ken Barlow, and Philip Lowrie's return as Dennis Tanner was also a delight, I think it's time to salute the wonderful Emily Bishop as portrayed by Eileen Derbyshire. 

Eileen has been part of Coronation Street for an amazing 52 years this month making her Corrie's longest serving female cast member. As the actress herself very rarely makes public appearances and never gives interviews I think it can sometimes be easy to overlook her wonderful contribution to the Street. Her character may not be the most dramatic, exciting or explosive the Street has ever known but she has featured in some terrific storylines, from her years with Leonard Swindley at Gamma Garments, her marriage to Ernie Bishop and classic partnerships with the likes of Curly Watts, Percy Sugden and now, Norris Cole. 

I loved Emily's relationship with her nephew, Spider (and I know a certain someone on here who did too!) Sending a protesting Emily up a tree on the Red Rec was a masterstroke and gave the character new life back in the 1990s. However for me Emily was at her best when coping with her grief after her beloved husband Ernest was shot back in 1978. Eileen turned in some tremendous performances and was incredibly believable throughout.

I just wish the powers that be would give Emily a storyline of her own in 2013. Yes, I know the actress is now of a certain age but she is not really that much older than Bill Roache and his character is still fending off amorous advances from Wendy flamin' Crozier! All we've seen Emily do recently is baby sit Ruby and look disapprovingly at Norris and Mary. It was great to see her involved with Norris' long-lost brother Ramsay, but that was a few years ago now. 

So what would be a good story for Emily? Maybe something involving her charity work at the hospital? We haven't seen anything of her relationship with Sophie Webster since she went down the lesbian route (Sophie, not Emily!) so perhaps that could be explored again. Emily does have a sister, Norah, who appeared at both her wedding and Ernest's funeral - maybe she could arrive for a visit? Also, wouldn't it be good if Spider came back to visit his aunty Em? I'm sure there is still the opportunity for one or two adventures there. 

So do you agree that Eileen's contribution to Coronation Street is often overlooked? And would you like to see her carry her own storyline for a change instead of just popping up in other people's? If Emily was given a storyline, what would you like to see her get up to?

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ChiaGwen said...

Love to see Spider return and involve his Auntie Em in some kind of eco protest and perhaps stay on a bit. Emily needs some family connection on the street or a lodger besides Norris she can interact with.

sf67 said...

Perhaps with our relationship with Ruby she is named her god-mother and with all of the issues with Tyronne and Kirsty, she gets more involved as a mediator/protector for the baby. Alternatively, like others, I'd love to see Spider return (or say a brother/sister of his) as Spider 2.0 and get Auntie 'em into all sorts of bother. Bottom line, is Emily has been a great source of subtle humour and I'd love to see that continue as she continues to be one of the shining lights against Norris's dim bulb.

Anonymous said...

I also remember Emily's grief after Ernie's death, whereas there is not much I remember from the last 20 years. Emily is a brilliant character - a christian who actually follows Christ's teachings and doesn't judge or preach.

I would love to see more of Emily, but I think that the infrquency of her appearances are probably at the request of Eileen Derbyshire.

Sunny Jim said...

With her involvement in Weatherfield General and her history of protest, I'd like to see her get involved in a topical campaign to save the NHS. A&E threatened with closure? Movement of the local cardiac unit to nearby Manchester?

Unfortunately, despite the reality of the current attacks on the NHS, it would probably be deemed too 'political'.

Anonymous said...

Emily does not just have Norah as a sister - she has four other siblings. It would be great if they could make an appearance, perhaps one of her brothers or sisters could pass away or just arrive for a visit?

When you think about it, despite having spent a lifetime on the Street we don't really know Emily's family at all. It would be great if it could be explored in further detail.

Llifon said...

Emily needs a storyline, but maybe
Eileen Derbyshire likes to be a recurrent actress.

Here in Wales there has been a threat to local hospitals so maybe a storyline involving Weatherfield General can be done with Emily leading the protests?

Unlike many characters who have no family, Emily has got sisters Norah, Brenda, Joan, Marjorie and brother Edgar. And there's Spider and Freda as well.

Many forget that Emily has had big stories since Ernie's death: marrying bigamis Arnold Swain, becoming Mike Baldwin's wages clerk, having a nervous breakdown, being Hillman's victim, coming face to face with Ernie's killer and falling for Ramsay.

Graeme N said...

I remember the nervous breakdown story. Wasn't it Percy that helped her through that? Maybe we need something else with Emily so we can see a different side to Norris!

I liked Freda when she first appeared but when they brought her back she wasn't as nice. Somehow it didnt work as well.

How many of Emily's siblings have we actually met?

Janice said...

Yes Emily is one of the few decent and compassionate characters on Corrie. I would like to see her cope with financial hardship that many seniors are forced to. Didn't Richard Hillman con her of her home equity? I believe she gave the money to Spider so he could set up in London. Does need the annoying Norris to help pay her bills? I thought I heard Eileen Derbyshire has health issues and that is the reason Emily is a background character now.

Anonymous said...

Emily and Spider - - the best!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Perhaps Eileen Derbyshire prefers only a small involvement these days though that doesn't stop her being the subject of a major storyline with other characters taking the acting load. Emily, like all of us, is getting older and one of the joys of Corrie is that we have seen characters through many stages of their lives. Emily is 83 and, though her faculties are fine (please, no more dementia stories), she may be looking towards down-sizing, care homes, sheltered accommodation. Norris could be terrified at the thought of losing his digs, Rita anxious not to see a dear friend leave the Street etc etc. Care for the elderly is such a big issue at the moment - financing care, dodgy care homes - that this could surely be a very relevant, meaty storyline.

Flaming Nora said...

Bring back Spider! Bring back Spider! Bring back Spider! Oh, sorry, the blog post was about Emily wasn't it? Err.... bring back Spider!

Graeme N said...

What was that, dear? You want the lovely new Coronation Street producer to bring back Spider? I'm shocked and stunned to hear you say that! no, really i am!

Anonymous said...

I think out of her five siblings we've only met two of the sisters, Norah appeared a couple of times until the late 1970s and Joan appeared once in the 1960s.

The others are a blank canvas, I would particularly like to see Spider's father Edgar Nugent. The interesting thing about Emily's relationship with her siblings is that she doesn't get on with them! They landed her with the responsibility of caring for her ailing father after their mother's death. It would be a great opportunity to see another side of Emily as I don't think she would be as nice to her own family as she is to her friends...

Anonymous said...

More of Emily'd family would be good, I suppose Edgar Nugent is Spider's father?? maybe he could come back with Spider, or maybe spider could come back and he has a baby of his own now , a great nephew for Emily to coo over !!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Emily could follow in Alf Roberts footsteps and gets nominated for an OBE for her years of hospital and charity work

Or I would like to see Emily involved in a story where for a few episodes she is taken away from the street setting, maybe with Rita and Dennis , to visit Mavis in Cartmel... she meets a new gentleman friend

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm in the minority, but I don't want to see Spider come back and another eco storyline. It's interesting that we're struggling to come up with storylines for Emily, and I think it's because we've only seen her as a sweet, Christian, charitable elderly lady for such a long time.

How about pairing her up with Roy's mum? These sort of friendships between opposite personalities can work well.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Emily get really drunk and start a fight in the Rovers, throwing punches and swearing!

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