Monday, 18 March 2013

Corrie characters: Then and now

Here's an interesting idea, I hope. There are certain stereotypical Coronation Street characters that reappear again and again through the decades. Occasionally, a true original will catch us by surprise. I'm thinking of Roy and Hayley Cropper or Graeme Proctor. However I think we'd all agree that the majority of Corrie characters follow stereotypes or caricatures. 

There's the strong, resilient Rovers Return landlady and the brassy, gobby barmaid for a start. What about the nosey gossip, the hard man with the rough edge to him, the battle-axe, the blowsy tart with a heart and the luckless dreamer who never quite achieves personal happiness. 

It's pretty easy to put names to these characteristics from Coronation Street residents in times gone by. Annie Walker was Queen of the Rovers with Bet Lynch as her brassy barmaid. Hilda Ogden was the Street's very own "super nose" and the classic rough-edged brawler was always Len Fairclough. The term battle-axe was almost coined by Violet Carson's Ena Sharples; Elsie Tanner was the legendary good time girl, soft as butter inside and the first in a very long line of shy, unlucky dreamers was very obviously Jerry Booth. 

All classic characters, but which of today's cast of Weatherfield regulars matches up to these legendary icons? And if they do match up today, could we even consider that they are better than what's gone before?

Looking at today's cast of characters, all the roles I've mentioned are filled and still fully functioning. Let's see how they compare.

We all know the current Rovers landlady is Stella Price, but how does she measure up to the regal Annie? And Tina McIntyre is currently the bolshy barmaid, but could she ever out do our Bet? I guess the closest we have to a Hilda-type gossip on today's Corrie is Norris Cole but does he lack that special something Mrs O had in spades?

While most Corrie men are traditionally weak or henpecked, Len was always tough and hard to tame - is Owen Armstrong the 21st Century Fairclough? Rita once commented that she thought along those lines. Do you agree with her? The battle-axe character is a more difficult fit in today's Weatherfield, I guess the late-lamented Blanche Hunt was the best post-Ena Sharples harridan we are ever likely to see. I can't see Gloria Price filling her shoes, but what about the wonderful Sylvia Goodwin?

Pat Phoenix used to tear through the scenery as the marvellous Elsie Tanner - could there ever be another? I doubt it. If you are looking for a deeply flawed Street siren today, I think the closest you're going to get is the feisty Carla Connor. And finally, there have been many characters that have followed in the footsteps of Jerry Booth, Curly Watts being the most familiar. Perhaps the closest we have to him today is Tyrone Dobbs

So what do you make of these comparisons? Do you agree that many of Coronation Street's most typical characters tend to regenerate through the years? And is there any other actor you would like to see in any of these roles? 

For me, Sally Webster is just crying out to be the new Annie Walker! Let's hear your thoughts!

You can follow us on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog and Facebook: CoronationStreetBlog

And you can follow me on Twitter @Edgeof31

Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


njblas said...

Maud Grimes was another great Corrie battleaxe...

Tvor said...

Steve McDonald who loves to duck and dive could be a new age Dennis Tanner. He's certainly cheeky enough at least and he was in jail as a young man just as Dennis was. Brian Packham is similar to Derek Wilton. Gary could possibly be molded into a Ray Langton though he's not really got that womanizer gene that Ray did. Yet.

Anonymous said...

Which every character they seem to be, you can be sure that at one time during their stay on Corrie, they will fall unconscious, be rushed to the hospital with tubes up their noses and spend time in's written in their contract somewhere I think because they've all done it.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Go along with you there, Graeme. Indeed, Sylvia is near as anything to Ena, and I appreciated her telling Michelle about her wayward son. Bring back the moral guardian of the Street! As for Carla Connor, Alison King's a great actress but Pat Phoenix had a hard childhood, and it's that troubled life that seeps through her performance as Elsie Tanner. Elsie was a one-off like Annie, but Sally is definitely on the way to becoming a Corrie icon. Terrific at comedy and drama, and has Annie's social pretensions.

Janice said...

Another archetype of the Corrie formula is the lovelorn spinster. Emily was the original, followed by Mavis and now we have Mary. The disapproving mother-in-law would be another. The bad seed son, Terry, David, Ryan.

Karl said...

Great post!

I would definitely say that Carla Connor is the closest we're going to get to Elsie. She really was a one off but so is Carla!

I also agree about Sylvia. She's wonderful!

Mrs Barton said...

Lets have a think about this one... I agree with Carla as Elsie, Norris as Hilda and Sally as Mrs Walker.

I also think Eva could be a new Bet Type, Fiz and Tyrone the new Vera and Jack (less drama please), and Julie as Mavis to Eileen's Rita.

Not one a carbon copy (which would be bad), but similar types.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

alan halsall alex bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards amy barlow andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass anne kirkbride antony cotton audrey roberts awards barbara knox becky mcdonald behind the scenes bet gilroy bet lynch betty driver betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard blanche hunt brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set canadian coronation street fans carla barlow carla connor carmel morgan catherine tyldesley celebrities on coronation street characters leaving coronation street charlie condou cherylee houston chesney brown chris fewtrell chris gascoyne classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition conversation street coronation street look-a-like coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig charles damon rochefort david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush deirdre barlow Dennis Tanner dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples famous people who have been in corrie faye windass fiz brown fiz stape flaming nora florizel street flying ducks furquan akhtar Gail McIntyre gail platt gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street georgia may foote gloria price granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week hayley cropper Hayley tamaddon helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden how to contact coronation street inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd jane danson jason grimshaw jennie mcalpine jimi mistry jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street julie carp julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh julie jones kabin kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn Katy Cavanagh ken barlow kevin webster khalid kim crowther kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh kym ryder leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney maggie jones malcolm hebden maria connor maria sutherland mark baylis mark llewellin maxine's bench michael le vell michelle collins michelle connor michelle keegan mikey north mikey north minnie caldwell Morrissey museum of science and industry new set newton and ridley nick tilsley nigel havers nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother odd side of the street official coronation street website pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow pets on coronation street phil collinson Philip Lowrie pictures of the coronation street set pigeons props rita sullivan rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return landlady roy cropper roys rolls ryan thomas sally webster sally dynevor sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia smith sean tully simon barlow simon gregson sinead tinker sophie webster stella price steve mcdonald streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin the kabin tina mcintyre todd grimshaw tony warren tours of coronation street tracy barlow tyrone dobbs walking tours weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield wayfarer weekly awards weekly update william roache window cleaners