Monday, 17 June 2013

Corrie A-Z: F is for Famous Faces

Corrie has had many famous faces making an appearance on the show over the years. While some have appeared before achieving true stardom, others have made guest appearances because it is their dream to appear on the cobbles. While Corrie has had its spin-off A Knight’s Tale, many knights of the realm have appeared on the show – Ben Kingsley (1966-67), Norman Wisdom (2004), Patrick Stewart (1967) and Ian McKellen (2005). Cliff Richard appeared as an extra in the Rovers in 1997 while Trevor McDonald made a cameo appearance during the 40th anniversary live episode in 2000. HRH Prince Charles also made a cameo in the same episode while John Russell, the 13th Duke of Bedford made one in 1973.
Many well-known actresses have made appearances on the show as well. Joanna Lumley appeared as Ken Barlow’s beau Elaine Perkins in 1973 while Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham played another of his conquests Martha Fraser in 2009. Former Bond girl Honor Blackman guest appeared as Rula Romanoff who was an old friend of Rita’s in 2005 and Maureen Lipman appeared as snobbish Rovers manager Lillian Spencer in 2002. Are You Being Served? star Mollie Sugden played Laughing Donkey landlady and Annie Walker’s rival Nellie Harvey between 1965 and 1976 while her husband William Moore, of Ronnie Corbett sitcom Sorry! fame, played Betty’s hubby Cyril Turpin between 1969 and 1972. Other actresses include Prunella Scales, June Whitfield, Kathy Staff, Beryl Bainbridge and Lynda Baron.
‘Allo ‘Allo! star Gorden Kaye played Elsie Tanner’s nephew Bernard Butler between 1969 and 1970 while The Wombles star Bernard Cribbins starred as Blanche’s boyfriend Wally Bannister in 2003. Keeping Up Appearances stars Patricia Routledge, Judy Cornwell, Josephine Tewson and of course Geoffrey Hughes made appearances in Corrie over the years. Future and former soap stars also made appearances like Peter Dean (EastEnders’ Pete Beale), Arthur Pentelow (Emmerdale’s Henry Wilks), Frazer Hines (Emmerdale’s Joe Sugden), John Bardon (EastEnders’ Jim Branning), June Brown (EastEnders’ Dot Cotton) and Sue Johnston (Brookside’s Sheila Grant). Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) made her debut in 1979 and was known for her role as Marilyn Gates in Crossroads between 1964 and 1968. Singers and musicians have also made appearances over the years including The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Herman Hermits’ Peter Noone, Slade’s Noddy Holder and West End star Michael Ball. Rock band Status Quo guest appeared at Les and Cilla’s wedding in 2004.
Other famous faces have enjoyed a regular stint on the cobbles. Dad’s Army’s Arthur Lowe was draper Leonard Swindley between 1960 and 1965, Nigel Havers has played charming escort Lewis Archer since 2009, Roy Hudd played undertaker Archie Shuttleworth between 2002 and 2003 (with guest appearances in 2006 and 2010), Bradley Walsh played factory tycoon Danny Baldwin between 2004 and 2006, Rula Lenska played crimper Claudia Colby between 2009 and 2011, Keith Duffy played barman Ciaran McCarthy on and off between 2002 and 2011, Kym Marsh has played Michelle Connor since 2006 and Stephanie Cole has played Sylvia Goodwin since 2011.
Other famous faces who’ve appeared include Robert Vaughn, Bill Maynard, Keith Barron, Tony Booth, Geoffrey Palmer, Peter Postlethwaite, Peter Kay, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, Last of the Summer Wine’s Bill Owen, Brian Wilde and Frank Thornton, Fawlty Towers’ Andrew Sachs and Only Fools and Horses’ John Challis.
Who’s been your favourite famous face to appear on the show? Vote below! The choices include stars who were already famous before their Corrie debut, so the likes of Arthur Lowe and Mollie Sugden aren't included.
Mine has to be Ian McKellen as con artist Mel Hutchwright. He had brilliant lines and provided wonderful light relief and had great chemistry with all the senior cast members. One expects him to appear in Emmerdale conning the villagers over there!

And if you haven't yet you can vote for your favourite Corrie family here. Voting closes at midnight.


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Tvor said...

Tough choice between Ian McKellan and Maureen Lipman but in the end, Maureen Lipman as Lillian was superb!

Janice. said...

Stephanie Cole as Sylvia Cropper

Janice. said...

May I point out one omission here? Saeed Jaffrey had a far more impressive CV than many on your list when he signed on as Ravi Desai, having appeared in Gandhi, A Game of Chess( by Stayajit Ray) and My Beautiful Launderette among many other notable films.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Elisabeth Sladen fall into the same category as Arthur Lowe and Mollie Sugden?

abbyk said...

A lot of good choices, but Rula Lenska got my vote because I really liked Aud & Claud and wish she'd come back for a (some!) guest appearances.

Rowan Mayfaire said...

@Janice not to mention my favourite film, a Man Who Would Be King alongside Sean Connery and Michael Caine! Love him !

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