Coronation Street Art Director Rosie Mullins-Hoyle explains how she and the design team created the new look Rovers Return.
“The redesign of the Rovers was a massive challenge firstly because it was the first time in 25 years that the set had come out of stage 1! For myself it is an iconic set and perhaps the most famous in the country so there is a lot of pressure to get it right and do it justice.
I was given a brief from Producer Stuart Blackburn that the pub needed to feel like the Rovers - it needed to keep its character, the changes needed to be subtle and people had t notice new things about it after seeing a few episodes. Stella had made a conscious effort to try to make it feel like the same pub. In the back room she has picked out the the same wallpaper she had before as this is her home and she wants it to feel like it did.
A big challenge we had was time as due to tight filming schedules we had just one week to get the Rovers building site set out of studio and the new Rovers in, up, lit, dressed and ready for filming! It was well and truly all hands on deck! It had to be carefully planned and systematically done with a tight deadline and the dedicated construction and dressing teams worked through the night and gave up their Bank Holidays to make it happen.
The wallpaper was picked by the show’s Head of Design Alan Davis and approved by Stuart. The wallpaper was bought in bulk in case it discontinues as it potentially needs to last us for the next 50 years! A couple of gallons of paint were used. The Rovers hallway was given a new look with the continuation of wood panelling from the bar and a change in wallpaper which tied in with the pattern in the Rovers bar. I was careful to make sure that the colours used in the hallway are the same as the colours used in the old hallway bringing splashes of orange in the artwork on the walls. All of the wallpapers were tested on camera prior to filming to see how they looked under studio lights and we checked that we were technically able to shoot with them.
When picking the upholstery with upholsterer Alan Eccleston I must have looked through hundreds of samples to get the perfect one - a traditional gold fabric with repeat flower pattern which colours tied in with the Rovers wallpaper. Once selected it then underwent flame tests to check it was suitable for use on a set. The curtain fabric was sourced from a local company that provided us with upholstery and curtain fabric for the last Rovers redesign.
The dressings were all sourced with the original Rovers in mind and with us not wanting it to look shiny and new. The Buyers sourced across the country to get every detail right - old Salford prints, brassware, hot plates, old pub stools and tables, pictures, establishing a pub poser table and a new juke box.
Look out for the Rovers continuing to change in its first 4 weeks on screen and then subtly in time as it gets its life back. For instance the back room with vintage beer posters and day to day life and memorabilia that will be added to over the years. We have just added a hand painted 'Rovers Return' dartboard. All of these details add to the character and history of the Rovers Return Inn. “
See also: FIRST PICS of new Rovers Return on Coronation Street
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