Sunday, 30 November 2014

Exclusive! Coronation Street Blog interviews

If you're famous - even just a little bit - and you're a huge Corrie fan with 10 minutes spare to write about your love for our favourite soap, please do get in touch.

All we ask is for you to write a few paragraphs about why you love Corrie so much, your favourite characters and storylines and if you've any snippets you can share from behind the scenes.

We can't pay, sorry, but we will donate £25 to a charity of your choice - and your work will be read by up to half a million Corrie fans worldwide. Yes, that's half a million Corrie fans reading our Coronation Street fan website every month.  We will of course link to and promote you and any website or links, including your chosen charity, you'd like us to include with your blog post. 

If you're interested, please email a couple of paragraphs and your chosen charity for the donation, to me at glenda.young@btinternet.com  Thank you!

Some of our exclusive VIP bloggers and interviews so far include:
Our interviews with some of the Corrie cast, crew and special invited others...

Coronation Street review of 2014 - January

Here we go with our annual review of Coronation Street month-by-month, all wrapped up in a little reminder of the most important storylines of what's gone on in Weatherfield this year.  We'll be running these monthly review blog posts daily and reviewing December at the end of the month.

January 2014

Hayley dies; Michelle thinks she's pregnant; Tina leaves for London; Marcus and Maria go house-hunting; Sinead moves in with Chesney; Leanne and Nick split up.
   
Check out all of our Coronation Street Blog posts from January 2014 and read the Corrie weekly updates here.  

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Corrie Weekly Awards, Nov. 24 - 28

Gooseberry award: Dominic - though he didn't mean to be.

Jumping to conclusions award: Michael thinks Gail must have money in the bank. She's obviously not told him everything about Lewis ripping her off.

Dad's handbook award: Michael had to find out from the internet how to bond with his son.

Shout out to Corrie history award: Emily remembered that Curly was into astronomy.

Bottled it award: Dev was going to tell Julie how he felt, but either the curlers put him off or he just wasn't quite brave enough. Mate, you need to take the curlers with the glam, buddy.

Pants on Fire award: Dev told Dominic and Julie lies about each other. Gavin isn't the real Gavin!

Psychic award: How on earth could Carla know that tablet used to be Rob's? They all look alike, more or less. It didn't look like it had his name on it or had a distinctive case.

Musical ambience award: "Wicked Game" playing when Tracy was giving Beth the cufflinks.

Timey Wimey award: The telescope is from Ramsay. To make amends? But Ramsay died on the plane on the way home. If he sent it before he came to the UK, why didn't he just bring it with him? Unless it was someone who sent it after Ramsay died but they would have included a note to that effect, wouldn't they? I'm confused. Maybe I should just award myself the NitPick Award.

Lines of the week:
David about Gail "I think she had a sense of humour bypass in 1928"
Mary "Why can't a handsome man walk through that door and sweep us off our feet?" (ask and ye shall receive. That Gavin's a bit of alright isn't he?)
Mary to Norris "Tell it to the hand!"
Gail "Do you know what your problem is, David?" David "Dunno. Something genetic?"
David about Michael's rant "Give that bloke some Man Points!"
Liz "There is nothing wrong with a bit of meddling"
Steve about the Milky Way in the sky "Funny how they named it after a chocolate bar"
Julie "You had me at amazing"
Tracy to Todd "Stop being a diva, pull your finger out and get back to work!"
Nick "I've got a brain injury but I hardly make a song and dance about it" Steph "Song and dance? You might as well turn it into a musical!"
Mary "She (mother) developed an irrational fear of the colour yellow so that was it for custard in our house" (Yay! Another one of Mary's Mother stories!)
Dev to Mary "I think we should be reminded every now and then how important it is to count our blessings" (Spot on! Wonderful scene!)



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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Rovers Return replica goes up for sale

There's a replica of the Rovers Return up for sale on eBay. It looks as if a fan has created it and the attention to deail is quite amazing. 

If you'd like to buy it, you need to dig deep, though. The bidding price is £150.  Check it out here.

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The joy of Julie

For a few of the Corrie women, the last week or so has not exactly been vintage. Viewers have had a good old grumble about moaning Michelle and Weatherfield's most unsympathetic mother, Liz. Well, enough of them. The real slice of joy being served up on t'cobbles this week was Miss Julie Carp. She's Doris Day with a buttered barm.

Teaming Julie up with Comedy Dev seems to be an inspirational choice. Jules had been floundering a little since she ditched Brian. Despite living on the Street, we've never seen the inside of her flat. You just know it's going to be a sea of gingham throws and Cath Kidston cake stands but we, the viewer, need to be invited in. Julie is obviously in the throes of some sort of community service as she has been charged with the task of rescuing Dev. As well as having to cope with his own loud outburst at INAPPROPRIATE moments, the Dev-ster was also falling under the spell of Weatherfield's own dark lady, the loveably loopy Mary. She used to be Scary Mary of course and had this been a few years ago, she would have had Julie burning to death in a wicker man by now.

Instead we get a touching story of unrequited love and Julie helping Dev to do the right thing by Mary. The latter is now an integral part of the Alahan family, It's been one of those surprising relationships that Corrie often hurls at us. Becky and Clare, Ken and Carla and more recently, Norris and Craig show us that friendships can be formed by the most opposite of people.

Is Julie now entering her Corrie prime? Well, she managed to ditch the doctor from Holby City mid-date and is now cosying up with Dev. We can but hope that she becomes a permanent fixture. Her 'to do' list should include cleansing number 7 of that slightly 'butch' make-under that has festered since Sunita's Baps were in charge. Gingham and polka dots to the fore! Julie also needs to take her rightful position behind the counter at the Corner Shop. She is shopkeeper gold and would offer a warmer welcome than her bellowing beau or the mumbling So-feh. Julie might be more Maureen Holdsworth than Maggie Clegg but to paraphrase Rihanna, she will shine bright like a diamond. Or maybe something diamonique from Barlow's Buys.

Katy Cavanagh is one of the Street's most expressive actors and has the ability to make the viewer care what happens to Julie. Devulie  - Corrie's new golden couple. Yay or nay?


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Coronation Street Weekly Update - November 29 2014

GOT KINDLE? GET CORRIE!
Corrie weekly updates from 1995 - 2013
19 years in 19 e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle
Available in UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenda-Young/e/B0077OXHBQ/
and in Canada and USA at http://www.amazon.com/Glenda-Young/e/B0077OXHBQ  

Also for Kindle! Corrie weekly update writer and Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda Young's novel TRIPLE WHAMMY and her poetry book CANDY FLOSS GIRL NEEDED - APPLY WITHIN
 
Find out more about the Coronation Street Weekly Updates and why they've been written for th'internet since 1995 at http://www.corrie.net/updates/weekly   


Depressed Steve sees his GP, clutching his chest with a panic attack and in a bad state.   It’s awful to see one of our favourite characters in such pain, mental and physical, and dreadful to see the way his mum and girlfriend are treating him too. But as in soap, so in life, and if this storyline, as they say, helps just one person suffering from depression to get the help they need, then it’s done its job. Things move swiftly in soap of course. While depression in real life can go on for months, years even, before a person plucks up the courage to talk to someone, whether a friend, relative or their doctor, with Corrie it’s over and done with in a few weeks. The doc wants Steve to talk with someone, but Steve retreats into himself. For now, anyway.


In Barlow’s Buys, Tracy puts Rob’s bit and bobs up for sale. Tony takes an interest in the shop with one eye on the business bottom line and one eye on Tracy’s. Carla’s incensed to see her brother’s stuff being sold in the shop and when Tracy gives Beth a pair of Rob’s cufflinks that Carla had bought him for his birthday, she snaps. Beth does the decent thing and hands the cufflinks back to Carla.

Norris finally (finally!) receives his parcel this week. It’s a telescope that had been sent to him from his brother Ramsey, before he passed away. Norris is over the moon (and the stars) with the telescope and talk turns to Curly in the Kabin, who was also telescope-obsessed. Young Craig-me-laddo shows Norris how to use an astronomy app on the iPad he’s just bought from Barlow’s Buys.  It’s Rob’s iPad that Norris has bought and has a murderer’s mucky fingerprints all over the screen.


Julie goes out on a date with Dev’s mate Dom. But Dev’s jealous and scuppers the date by telling Julie that Dom’s in an acrimonious divorce and tells Dom that Julie’s a mad cat lady.  Julie confronts Dev who admits that he’s jealous and wants to date her himself. Julie swoons and falls into Dev’s arms, onto his sofa and into his life. As easy as that. Mary’s put out, of course, as you’d expect, she was cornering Dev for herself. Julie tells Dev he has to put Mary out of her misery and in a lovely touching scene, he pours Mary a glass of the strong stuff and they sit and have a chat. He tells her how much he wants her in his life – although it’s not in the way that Mary had dreamed.  A lovely scene.


Michael collapses in the Bistro this week, clutching his heart.  Son Gavin continues to look dodgy and nervous and seems to show an interest in Gail and Audrey’s financial situations. Oh no, it’s Richard Hillman all over again!  Anyway, Gavin turns out not to be Michael’s son after all.  We know this – but Gail and Michael don’t - after pseudo-Gav gets on the phone to talk to the real Gavin, and for now he’s passing himself off as Michael’s son.  But if Gavin isn’t Gavin, who’s Gavin?

And that's just about that for this week. Remember, you can sign up to get these Corrie weekly updates by email at http://www.corrie.net/updates/weekly/subscribe.htm

This week’s writers were Jonathan Harvey (double Monday), Jayne Hollinson (Wednesday), Damon Rochefort (double Friday).  Find out all about the Coronation Street writing team at http://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.com/2008/11/exclusive-all-current-corrie-writers.html

Glenda Young
--
Blogging away merrily at http://flamingnora.blogspot.com




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Who is Gavin? Is Gavin Dr Who?

With thanks to Gemma Melling on twitter who spotted an error on Coronation Street.

Or... is it an error? 

As we all know now, Gavin isn't Gavin.  But if Gavin isn't Gavin, who's Gavin?  Is there a Gavin?  Well, it looks like there might be a Gavin, he must exist because his name is on the front of this envelope, one of the bills that Gavin (who isn't Gavin) was looking at the other night in Coronation Street.

Look closely however, and you'll see that the postmark on Gavin (who isn't Gavin)'s letter is January 2015.  That's in the future, people, the future.  Proof, it it were needed, that not only is Gavin not Gavin (and we still don't know who Gavin is) but that Gavin is clearly a time-travelling Time Lord.

I rest my case.

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Is Gavin a Corrie good guy or a bad'un?

This was posted on The State of the Street and is reposted here with permission.

It was pretty clear that Gavin Rodwell  was going to be a wrong'un of some sort. Soaps are not produced to have happy reunions and happily ever after, especially for a family like the Platts. Yes, at the moment, I'm including Michael in that family.  Here on the Coronation Street blog, a couple of people have made comments guessing that Gavin isn't really Michael's son.

They were right.

Not only is he not of Michael's DNA, as in, Michael's ex had an unfortunately timed affair, but  this man that calls himself Gavin Rodwell is someone else entirely. That is a brilliant twist! Has it been done before? Of course it has. But I still like the idea. And thinking about it, there had already been signs.

"Gavin", when questioned about his mother, was very cagey, changing the subject. Obviously, if he wasn't the real Gavin, he wouldn't know much or anything at all about Michael's ex. Gavin was touted by his ex-girlfriend, the manager of the wine bar, as being a dab hand with cocktails but the man we saw on our screens didn't know his martinis from his cosmopolitans.

He seemed reluctant to get too close to Michael. On the surface, that could have been attributed to a son, long abandoned by a father, who wasn't so sure he was ready to forgive but in reality, it's actually a man who doesn't want anyone to get to close lest they discover he's not who he says he is.

We know he's not Gavin, now. Gavin's travelling and out of touch somewhere. Could this man be a roommate, a good friend, a cousin or half brother perhaps, or even a partner? He seems to live at the flat and Gavin's mail is arriving there because we saw the man looking at it the other night. This man is unemployed and it sounded like he was looking for money but then he looked embarassed to take Michael and Gail's offering.

He even seems like a nice bloke, so far. There's been none of those private sneers or satisfied smirks when nobody's looking.

Here's what I think: Maybe he's been scoping Michael out on behalf of Gavin, perhaps trying to protect his friend from someone that he thought might have been insincere or out to fleece Gavin and now realizes that Michael is the real thing and maybe not the monster that Gavin has always thought he was.  He actually seemed quite worried when he found out about the heart condition and tried anxiously to get hold of Gavin. That felt like the concern of someone who is close.

I applaud The Powers That Be for revealing this straight away rather than letting us stew for a couple of months. Now we get to watch the oncoming train knowing the bridge is out and there's nothing we can do to stop the derailment. Let's just hope this doesn't deal Michael that heart attack he's got floating around the edges before he gets his heart  condition sorted!


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Fab Photo Friday - November 28th 2014

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo.I'm not sure what's going on here but it's a fab photo of Hilda, Stan and Ken.



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Listen: Coronation Street Blog on the radio

Our blogger Emma was interviewed this week on BBC Radio Tees, talking about Steve McDonald's depression storyline on Coronation Street.

You can listen to Emma on the BBC Player here at 1 hr, 19 minutes.



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Peter’s Pompey Paradise


People of Portsmouth – lock up your daughters, sisters, wives and mothers; beers, wines and spirits – because Peter Barlow is in town.

Actually, it’s probably too late, such is the havoc the renowned imbiber of women and alcohol is likely to have already wreaked on the South Coast.

What is it about The Waterfront City that always lures Peter back? As Carla astutely observes, “he always goes down there… he licks his wounds and then he comes back with his tail between his legs”. A fine analogy for the dirty dog that he is.

A quick glance at Peter’s Weatherfield-Portsmouth migration patterns on Corriepedia throws up the following timeline:

• 2003 – with his life in ruins after being busted for bigamy, Peter moved to Portsmouth and set up a business there.

• 2007 – Peter returned to Coronation Street worried about Tracy's relationship with Charlie Stubbs. When Tracy went down for Charlie’s murder, Peter returned to his life in Portsmouth.

• 2009 – Peter entered rehab in Portsmouth and whilst battling the booze was unable to kick his other habit – he had a fling, cheating on Leanne (not for the last time, obviously).

• 2014 (May) – before her death, Peter gave Tina his credit card and told her to buy train tickets so that they could run away together and start a new life in… Portsmouth. It’s not surprising that Peter Barlow is irresistible to women with those kind of promises!

• 2014 (November) – to avoid the judgement of Weatherfield residents and constant reminders of the past, Peter abandons his son (again) to seek solace in Portsmouth (again).


Now, I’ve been to Portsmouth – many times. It has heritage and a lot more besides but it has never had the spiritually healing effect on me that it seemingly does on Peter Barlow. That said, last time I was in Southsea, the Honest Politician were offering selected pints and j├Ągerbombs for £2.50 – a price that must compare favourably even to The Rovers. To use Pompey parlance, you’d have to be a right dinlow to miss out on a deal like THAT.

Portsmouth has a pub on every corner, a fact that could seriously scupper Peter’s desire to “sort (his) head out”. After a menacing medley of pints and j├Ągerbombs, I boarded a bus decked out in amazing facts from Britain’s naval history. I remember thinking it’s no wonder that Peter Barlow is so enamoured with the home of the Royal Navy, with whom he served for 20 years.

And you know what they say about sailors having a girl in every port? Well, maybe Peter has an old squeeze down there – perhaps the same woman he bunked up with after that stint in rehab. Ah – women, wine and song – the perennial pursuits of Peter Barlow. Will he ever really change?

I know it’s been a fortnight now since Peter’s departure but it’s taken me that long to reflect on the exit of my favourite ever Corrie character. It feels good to break my silence.

I’ve always been drawn to the duality within Peter Barlow – the Jekyll and Hyde conflict between the good friend, father and husband he is capable of being; and the selfish and destructive alcoholic womaniser he seems powerless to resist turning into.

At his best, Peter is a man that other men aspire to be like (charming, cool, charismatic) but at his worst he is someone we all fear becoming (reckless, ratty, reprehensible). He is a brilliantly complex character played with great skill and sincerity over many years by Chris Gascoyne. And as I always say when defending Peter Barlow – it’s all Ken’s fault.


Peter will be missed but as noted on Emma’s excellent exit blog (link here), it feels the time is right, somehow, for the character to be rested and I doubt he has ‘gone to Portsmouth’ for the last time. He will return rejuvenated at some point, I’m sure.

But what of his exit? Blog readers may have picked up on the scathing write-up in The Metro (read it here) which described Peter’s departure as “a dull cop out” arguing that even Peter wouldn’t walk out on Simon, especially not since the thought of being reunited with his son is exactly what kept him going while inside. It makes the point that a character as fascinating as Peter deserved more fanfare. What do you think? Was Peter’s departure a damp squib?

Perhaps it was – a bit – but moving to Portsmouth in times of trouble is hardly out of character. And we all know that Peter’s character, while fascinating, is also deeply flawed.

Flawed though he may be (and who isn’t?) I still think Portsmouth’s Visitor Information Service should update their marketing strategy. I’m no PR guru but I’ve got an idea for their next tourism drive…


By Martin Leay
Twitter: @mpleay


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Spot the Corrie prop - November 28th 2014

Congratulations this week go to one of our Anonymous contributors who was first to guess that last week's portable music system can be found in The Platt's kitchen.

For this week's prop puzzle, all you have to do is tell us whereabouts on Coronation Street you would find these cute china cherubs.



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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Friday 28 Nov

Friday 28th November
MICHAEL’S SECRET IS EXPOSED. When Nick complains he’s short-staffed at the bistro, Michael offers Gavin services, explaining he’s a professional cocktail waiter. Gavin is forced to agree and although he’s clearly clueless about cocktails, there’s an instant attraction between he and Steph  as she shows him the ropes. Michael calls at the bistro to lend Gavin his support but suffers a dizzy spell and collapses. Having helped Michael home, Gavin and Gail fuss round him. Under pressure from Gail, will Michael finally confess to Gavin that he has an hereditary heart condition?
THE CUFFS ARE OFF FOR TRACY AND CARLA. Tracy’s despondent when the bank reject her loan request, worried she’ll have to fold the business. When Carla then storms into the shop and demands to buy all Rob’s possessions, appalled that Tracy could be so callous as to sell them, Tracy lets rip.
DEV FINDS HIMSELF BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. As Julie excitedly tells Sophie she’s got a date with Dominic, Dev warns her that Dominic hasn’t got over his bitter divorce. During lunch Julie and Dominic soon realise that Dev has been telling them both scurrilous stories about the other.  Julie confronts Dev and demands to know why he’s been telling lies but she’s stunned by his response.
ELSEWHERE Tracy calls at No.11 and orders Todd back to work. Todd explains he’s embarrassed about  his face and doesn’t want to leave the house but Tracy pulls no punches, pointing out he can’t hide away forever. Will she get through to Todd?

Friday 28th November
MICHAEL’S SON HAS SECRETS OF HIS OWN. Michael’s worried that having given Gavin the awful news about his health, he’s scared him away. At the Rovers, Gavin confides in Steph how confused he feels about Michael. Steph assures him the Platts are a lovely family and that if he walks away now it’ll break Michael’s heart. Feeling guilty, Gavin calls at No.8 and assures Michael he just needed time to think. Thrilled to have his son back in his life, Michael urges Gavin to see a doctor and get his heart checked out. Gavin agrees but picking up his phone we discover Gavin’s hiding a secret of his own!
TRACY’S ATTEMPT TO HURT CARLA BACKFIRES. When Beth buys a birthday present for Craig in Barlow’s Buys, Tracy gives her Rob’s cufflinks for free, telling her they’re a wedding present for Kirk. Calling Tracy’s bluff, Carla thanks her for giving the cufflinks to a friend rather than selling them on. Realising Tracy was only using her to score points off Carla, Beth hands the cufflinks back to Carla.
MARY’S PERTURBED BY DEV AND JULIE’S NEWS. Dev plans an evening out with Julie, asking Mary to come round. Getting the wrong end of the stick Mary arrives with a DVD and is stunned to see Dev and Julie in a passionate embrace. As Dev proudly announces he and Julie are going on their first date, Mary realises she’s nothing more than the babysitter. Will Julie and Dev clock her disappointment?

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Coronation Street special All Star Family Fortunes

The Nazir family will be representing Coronation Street as they take on Emmerdale in a special episode of All Star Famly Fortunes this Christmas.  The episode will be shown on Sunday 28 December on ITV1.

In a festive special, Team Coronation Street, headed by Jimi Mistry who plays Kal, battle it out against Team Emmerdale, headed by Natalie J Robb who plays Moira, for the chance to win thousands of pounds for charity.  Up to £30,000 is up for grabs, but which team will second guess the British public best and make it through to Big Money?

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Goliath the Bodybuilder joins Coronation Street


Matt Bowd, of Chadderton, was crowned winner of the Mr Athletic category at the NAC-UK Open British Championships and he'll be representing the country after winning his debut competition.

Matt, a father of six, retired from the Army a year ago and now works as a personal trainer at Absolution Gym, in Stockfield Mill, Chadderton, and runs his own fitness company Elite Military Fitness.

And Matt will soon be spotted on the small screen too – as a gym instructor called Goliath in Coronation Street.

Follow his progress at mattbowd_train2be on Instagram.

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Coronation Street film bus crash scenes

There are paparazzi pictures online of Coronation Street filming in the bus crash scenes this week.  

Corrie producer Stuart Blackburn has already teased the crash, which will be shown early in the new year.

He said: "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!"

There will be an Underworld Works outing in the New Year. They all head out in a mini-van driven by Steve McDonald but there's a crash and some of the factory workers will end up in hospital with one person in critical condition.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Preview of tonight's Coronation Street, Weds 26 Nov

Wednesday 26th November
STEVE’S OBSESSION WITH HIS CAR ACCELERATES. Frustrated at Steve’s attitude, Liz continues to hound him telling him it’s time he started pulling his weight and did some work but Steve’s unresponsive. Lloyd tries to talk to Steve, concerned that he’s throwing his life away. But Steve’s only interested in his sports car and when Tyrone breaks the news to him that it needs £2k’s worth of repairs, more than the value of the car, Tyrone’s stunned when Steve tells him to go ahead with the work. Meanwhile Liz dupes Steve and Michelle into working the same shift, hoping it’ll give them a chance to talk. Will her efforts be rewarded?
ALL IS NOT AS IT SEEMS WITH MICHAEL’S SON. When Gavin fails to turn up for his appointment at the salon, Michael gives him a call. At first Gavin shouts at Michael to leave him alone but later calls at No.8 apologising for snapping and suggesting it might be better if they didn’t see each other again. Michael’s gutted and begs Gavin to reconsider. Will he agree?
DEV HAS A CASE OF THE GREEN EYED MONSTER. Dev does his best to sabotage Dominic’s date with Julie by warning him that she’s already got him pegged for marriage and sleeps with 9 cats on her bed.
ELSEWHERE Craig gives Norris his first lesson on his tablet computer and shows him how to download the astronomy app.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Manic Depressive Writes

It's rare that I find a connection between Corrie and my own life.  Weatherfield is a heightened world that exists outside the norm; I have no long-lost relatives, I've never had a baby or been divorced, and a tram has never fallen on my head.  Admittedly, I did once club an ex-boyfriend to death with a tacky statuette, but that was ages ago.

Steve's current battle with depression has hit home quite badly.  I'm suddenly seeing parts of my life on screen.  The doctor's questionnaire, the resigned looks, the fear of madness.  The sheer terror of that first panic attack.  I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety five years ago, and since then I've had it infiltrate every part of my existence.  Watching Steve go through the same symptoms as I did is strange; like seeing myself from the outside.

Depression is different for every person.  The way Steve feels though - the absence of joy, the lack of engagement, the constant desire to crawl under the bed clothes and stay there - it's really familiar.  Depression doesn't make you "sad"; it makes you nothing.  It hollows you out and leaves you empty.  The happiest experiences of your life become irrelevant, and you can't understand why people want to spend time with someone like you.  You're worthless.  Nothing.


I got help.  Thank goodness for the NHS.  I got regular doses of anti-depressants, and I saw a psychiatrist and a counsellor.  I had to give up work but luckily I had a caring partner who helped and supported me.

Which is where Steve's been let down, of course.  Michelle's complete lack of sympathy for Steve is heartbreaking for him and revolting for us as viewers.  Right from the start it's all been about her.  "Steve's not very talkative - it must be because he's going off me!"  She's motoring along in Michelle world and doesn't spot that there is something significantly wrong with the man she supposedly loves; she's not even suggested that he see a doctor.  No, as far as Michelle is concerned, Steve's just doing all this to annoy her.  I hope she stays kipping on Carla's sofa or, better yet, gets a job on another cruise ship.  That sinks.


More upsetting is Liz's attitude, which seems to come out of plot contrivance rather than actual characterisation.  I find it hard to believe that Liz wouldn't be more sensitive to her son's change in personality.  I'd be interested to hear what Beverley Callard - who's suffered from mental health issues herself - would have to say on the matter.

It's good to see Corrie deal with an issue that affects people across the country, but doesn't get the same levels of sympathy that other illnesses get.  "Pull yourself together" is most people's idea of how to deal with it and let me tell you, it's not that easy.  I'm getting better, and I hope Steve does too.

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Coronation Street Blog interview with Antony Cotton




Sean Tully has been unlucky in love to say the least, but there will soon be a new man on the scene. The new man is a man of the cloth, a man of God - in short he’s a vicar.

I was privileged to meet Antony Cotton at Media City as he talked about his new storyline. Sean hasn’t had a meaty story for some time, but it really is his turn now.

Asked why Sean is unlucky in love, Antony gave quite an amazing answer. Sean came into Coronation Street, just as Raquel, played by Sarah Lancashire, left. It is Antony’s theory that the writers carried on writing for Raquel, who they seemed to think had metamorphosised into Sean. Never having written for an openly gay man, they basically wrote Sean as Raquel. So, it stands to reason that Sean is always unlucky in love because Raquel was.

Antony knew that he had to hit the ground running when he first appeared on screen. He said that at first, he would have been happy with three months, but then decided that he had to get himself, as an actor, noticed so that he could extend his time on the cobbles. So, 13 years later – well, something went right.

Antony pointed out that Sean has not really had a story for a year now, other than being at The Rovers, the factory and at the Grimshaw’s. As long as he’s there present in the show, he’s happy though. Antony enjoys very much living with the Grimshaw’s and working with Sue Cleaver, Eileen, Bruno Langley, Todd and Ryan Thomas, Jason. He says that the writers have the ‘family voice’ exactly right as they do with the Platts.

  ‘I am the older brother they never wanted,’ laughed Antony but actually he is like their older brother and they have simply forgotten that they are not related. In the Grimshaw household Sean was originally a lodger but is now most definitely part of the family. He is Eileen’s rock and someone she could not manage without.

Sean is more than that too. Sean, uniquely, amongst the cast has no enemies in Weatherfield. He is its moral voice and compass. If Sean says it’s wrong, then it’s wrong. 

Who then is the new man in Sean’s life?  Well, Underworld has planned an outing, but gradually everyone drops out except for Sean and Sinead. Sinead is a strange dancer, apparently, but she does manage to get Billy, who is leading his congregation the next day, and Sean, talking. The actor who plays Billy is in the show initially for 6 months. It could be more, but Antony doesn’t know what the writers have in store for Sean and Billy. What Antony does know is that Billy is a very hardworking vicar because his work is a vocation rather than just a job. Billy is also a modernizer, which may well cause conflict with the more traditional members of the congregation.

Interestingly, Antony says that he never watches himself playing Sean. He fast forwards to avoid himself, though he does enjoy watching the rest of the cast.

Asked if there were any downsides to playing Sean, Antony spoke of the vile abuse he receives on social media. He wasn’t specific about the insults but did say that they consisted of the vilest, nastiest insults that anyone could possibly throw at someone. It is then most admirable, under such provocation, that Antony has never once retaliated – in fact he makes a point of never ‘slagging anyone else off.’

On the plus side, and because he is in the show, Antony has several achievements to his name. He is an ambassador for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. He has met the queen, he has been twice to Number 10, under 2 governments, and his mum, Edna, is very pleased by this.

Antony has also done considerable work for LGBT support. Sean has never apologized on the cobbles for who he is and nor has Antony, the character reflecting the person and the person reflecting the character.

Antony’s mum, as mentioned, is called Edna and that is what Antony has called her all his life. His mum would have loved him to call her mum, but it wasn’t to be.

There is a gentle, but solid self confidence in Antony Cotton, which seems to have been with him for some time. As a five-year old, just starting school, he said to the teacher, ‘I have come here to learn how to read and write, no to colour in.’


Asked if he would like to stay in the show until he’s as old as Norris and Rita, there was a definite yes. He envisages himself and Fiz as the future Norris and Rita. Though of course, Sean would be a much more likeable person. 

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