Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Lessons we have learned from Coronation Street in 2014

Guest blog post from Our_manPLA who blogs over at PauseLiveAction
 
It's been a rollercoaster year in Coronation Street this year has it not but while it entertains us, devastates us and makes us laugh in equal measure, we also learn a few lessons along the way. My 2015 will be richer now that I know not to look at a sheep the wrong way and that there is a specific app for astronomy. So, let's take a look at some of the biggest lessons I have taken away from Corrie in 2014; we could all change our lives dramatically if we take some of these on board. Happy New Year!

1) Trifles do not make good wall art. Deirdre might want to stick to the Wilko canvasses in future as that pudding she threw with great force just left an awfully wobbly and custardy mess.

2) It is not wise to get a new partner, even if you are a grown adult. Alya's decision to make Gary her new baeu led to her dad chucking his fists about while Gazza himself was ostracised from his family and ended up with some cricket bat shaped brusies courtesy of Roy. All for falling in love.

3) Welsh wildlife is dangerous. Ken and Deirdre learned this the hard way on their less than successful camping trip. After a staring match with a sinister Tony Gordon-esque sheep, Deirdre's breakaway got steadily worse as she and her well meaning hubby were chased through a field by cattle.

4) A cut on the eye invalidates all of your previous misdeeds. Todd spent a year getting to grips with Marcus behind Maria's back before treating him like something he trod on. He covered his tracks after leaving Tyrone injured via shoddy building supplies and his constant sniping left his family in despair. Now he has a tiny crescent shaped mark under his eye, all is forgiven! It's like an even easier version of the classic death bed redemption scenario.

5) Vicars have love lives too. If you don't watch Emmerdale where Ashley Thomas has had more female totty than he has held sermons, then we have learned from Sean's new beau that even men of God need a bit of lovin' too.

6) Fun runs are not fun. Okay, we already had our suspicions on this one but Lloyd's dodgy ticker proved it.

7) Never lie about the whereabouts of your new love interest's ghastly sofa. Kevin will never live that one down.

8) Don't leave ladders lying around near scorned (and ever so slightly creepy) ex husbands. Nutty Neil left Tim high and dry (and I mean very high) when he nabbed his window cleaning equipment to scale the Rovers roof in protest at Andrea's love for Lloyd.

9) Don't mug anyone near Beth. In fact, don't cross Beth full stop.

10) Sleeping with a guy who has done nothing but blackmail you up until now is probably going to lead to further blackmail and trouble. Anna was Phelan a bit under the weather after her night of sizzling passion with Corrie's smarmiest character this year.

11) Carla can't keep secrets and nor can Tracy. Rob divulged secrets and his runaway whereabouts to the two closest women in his life and they both dobbed him in it. Bad luck.

12) Les Dennis can't play cricket. He can't burgle very well either or figure out when his long lost son his fake. He can fit in quite nicely to Corrie though.

13) Kim Tate can actually be quite likeable. I love Claire King as Erica in Corrie; one of the strongest additions of the year.

14) If someone is found guilty of murder, then they are pretty much guaranteed to be innocent. We may have already learned this from Fiz and Gail in the past too.

15) Roy makes the perfect BFF. Carla has gotten through her worst ordeals thanks to her new found best pal and vice versa. Is this the best relationship to be produced this year in soap?

16) Depression can affect anyone. I wrote a piece for Metro about why Steve's storyline is the most important TV story of the year and I believe it now more than ever. Simon Gregson has played a blinder and chased away a lot of myths about mental health. Well played Corrie.

17) The Rovers don't do rose wine. According to Sally they just chuck a bit of red and white together in a glass.

18) Getting texts from your abusive ex isn't always as it seems. Look to your local salon for the potential culprit, especially if you have dated one of them several times.

19) If you fall off of a balcony next year don't wind up the person who was there to see it happen. Certainly don't threaten them. It can end quite badly. The cobbles are still stained with blood and fake tan from Tina's unfortunate end.

20) If an eccentric Shakespearean style middle aged woman moves nearby and starts harping on about libraries, community centres and chickens, put your house up for sale. It's just not worth the headache.

Here's to 2015 in Corrie and may we learn just as much next year. Our first lesson will undoubtedly be to always wear a seatbelt in a minibus...

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Heroes and Zeros: Another year on t'cobbles

Come midnight tonight and no doubt we will all be gathering around a piano and toasting the arrival of 2015 with a bottle of milk stout. I really do need to find a better local pub. Like everyone else on Planet Earth, today is a day for looking back as well as looking forward. For us lot, the die hard Corrie fans, it's a chance to ponder on the past twelve months in Weatherfield.

Was it a good year for you? These are my own ramblings - my own take on who I thought was hot and who certainly was not in 2014. Other opinions are available from local retailers.

We got rid of the elder members of the Price family. HURRAH! Having spent years moaning about their every utterance, we finally got to see the back of the bo-ho battleaxe Gloria and M'Lady of the Beige, Stella. I felt sad at the crummy excuse of a character that had been foisted on Sue Johnston. Gloria could have been wonderful and she wasn't. What a waste.

For me, there is always a band of Street folk who I just don't care about. Fine actors one and all but characters who just make me shrug and think "And?" Step forward Rita and Norris. The latter just seems mired in nastiness for most of the time and has few redeeming qualities. As for Rita, I know that people adore her but I don't. I didn't like her in the seventies. As a kid, I always thought she was a bit nasty and spiteful, a little like one of those vicious teachers that always seemed to surface in primary schools. As far as 2014 goes, Reet got dumped by Dennis (OK, for the hideous Gloria) but it felt more like a lucky escape. Well done that man!

Like many of the bloggers and commenters, I also have issues with Michelle. Why can't they just make her a little bit softer? Maybe staple her arms to her sides and stop giving her eye make-up that resembles Endora from Bewitched? I really want to like 'chelle but it is oh so difficult. Maybe 2015 will be her year to shine?

Anyway, enough of the whinging old nonsense. For me, there were more positives than negatives in 2014. Picking a Character of the Year is far too difficult though. If we were doing it Miss World style, then the final line-up would definitely include Julie, Tim, Steve, Carla, Eva, Sally and Beth. Katy Cavanagh's portrayal of the People's Doris Day has been one big old rollercoaster of joy. She's breathing new life into Dev (see below) and will be running the Corner Shop next year. OK, the latter isn't true but if we all form a circle and collectively hint about it . . .

Likewise, Joe Duttine as Tim has provided us with some fine moments. He has turned what looked like a slightly worrying loser into a bit of a hapless hero. Whether he's balancing on a roof top or bro-mincing with Kev, it's all quality stuff. Tim is the perfect foil for Sally and again, the introduction of one character boosts another.

Congratulations to Simon Gregson for twenty five years as Steve but especially for showing him as never seen before. Confused and vulnerable are two words we would never have associated with Steve but here he is, knee-deep in a shocking storyline, shining a light on an illness that resonates with many of us and our families.

I never expected to admit to enjoying Dev and Tracy this year but surprisingly, I did. Kate Ford gave us a cracking performance as her life with Rob was ripped to shreds. The Dev/Julie match(can we call them Dulie?) is inspired and could be the gift that keeps on giving in 2015.

One of my favourite characters of the year though has been Maddie. Does that come as a surprise? Amy James-Kelly has a great dry delivery and for me, has done a great job in showing Maddie's transformation from surly scruff to burgeoning self-confidence.

Personally, I think there is a lot to be positive about. Admittedly, the Nazirs are a work-in-progress and the Windass-Armstrongs might be a stronger force after their Spring reshuffle. Time will tell.

For me, one of the great joys about being part of the Blog family is reading other people's comments. No doubt there are one or two of you who loved Gloria Price or a few who start grinding their teeth whenever Julie appears. We all have stack of characters we love and loathe. Here's to a Happy 2015!


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Coronation Street Blog's best bits of 2014


It's time for our annual round-up of achievements from the Coronation Street Blog.

Have a look here at Coronation Street Blog's best bits from 2013 and 2012.

January 2014
 
  • Our free Android App was launched. Download it here.
  • We donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Charity in exchange for a blog post from Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh.  Read it here.
  • Exclusive! Interview with the actress who plays Hayley's humanist funeral celebrant, Susie. Read it here.
  • Exclusive! Blog post with the real-life transsexual advisor to Coronation Street for Hayley Cropper's character.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Graeme was invited to ITV for a screening of Hayley's final scenes.  Read about his visit here
  • Working with The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, we offered Corrie fans discount tickets for their pantomime starring ex-Corrie actress Amanda Barrie. Read it here.
February 2014
  • We raised £53 for the charity Dog Aid (Assistance in Disability).  Read it here.
  • We ran a competition to win 10 Coronation Street Blog fridge magnets designed by @pickledjo.  Read it here
  • Exclusive! First look at the new meerkat ident videos from Coronation Street's sponsor.  Read it here. 
March 2014
  • We ran a competition to win Michelle Collins' autobiography.  Read it here.
  • We ran a competition to win a baby meerkat Oleg.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth was invited to ITV to interview Les Dennis. Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth has her novel published.  Read it here.
April 2014
  • Our blogger Ruth was invited on a VIP tour of the Coronation Street set before it opened to the public.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Emma was invited on a VIP tour of the Coronation Street set before it opened to the public and flew in specially from Ireland.  Read it here 
  • Our Canadian blogger Tvor is associated with the Downeast Streeters Corrie fan club there,  and they hosted Corrie actor Jimmi Harkishin on a fan night.  Read it here.
  • Our bloggers Tvor and Llifon visited the Coronation Street set when it was open to the public.  Read Tvor's post here and read Llifon's post here.
  • We ran a competition to win Coronation Street art from @bearprintdesign. Read it here.
  • Blog editor Glenda Young has a book published:  A Perfect Duet. The Diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper". With a foreword by Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper).  It is an unofficial Coronation Street companion book. Read it here.
  • Exclusive!  We reveal Nigel Pivaro will be appearing in panto this year. Oh yes he will.  Read it here
  • Blog editor Glenda Young cycles 20 miles to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Read it here (and there's still time to sponsor me, please!). 
  • Our blogger Tvor travels from Canada to the UK and visits the Corrie exhibition at Daisy Nook and meets a Corrie legend.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Tvor met up with Coronation Street podcasters Conversation Street while in the UK and was interviewed by them.  Read it here
  • Our blogger Emma, a MA student in film and television, devised a survey of Corrie fans for her dissertation.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Emma is interviewed on BBC Tees about her visit to the Coronation Street set tour.  Read it here.
  • Exclusive! First look at the new ident videos of the meerkats from Coronation Street's sponsor.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Craig met Michelle Collins (Stella Price) at her book launch. Read it here.  
May 2014
  • Exclusive interview with Corrie scriptwriter Susan Oudot.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth visits ITV to interview Terence Maynard, who plays Tony Stewart. Read it here.
June 2014
  • We donated to charity in exchange for an exclusive interview with TV critic Caroline Corcaron. Read it here. 
July 2014
  • Our blogger Martin interviews Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz Stape, at her restaurant in Manchester.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth visits ITV to interview Charlie Lawson, who plays Jim McDonald. Read it here.
  • Our blogger Stevie interviews Princess Jordan, who played Corrie's transsexual in Malta. Read it here.
August 2014
  • Krissi Bohn, who played Jenna Kamara, gave the Coronation Street Blog her only interview after leaving the show. Read it here.  In the interview she says this about our website: "Thank you to the Coronation Street Blog for this interview. Since day one I have thought this was an amazing site and a great resource for Corrie fans."
  • Our blog makes news at the BBC website on hearing that the Coronation Street set is to be demolished. Read it here. 
September 2014
  • We donate to charity in exchange for a blog post from the Bishop of Jarrow. Read it here.  News of the Bishop's blog post reaches regional newspapers in the north-east where the story is reported widely and he also speaks to BBC Radio Tees, giving us a mention too.  Thankyou!
  • Guest blogger Martyn Hett meets Corrie creator Tony Warren at the Script to Screen event in Manchester.  Read it here 
  • Our blogger Emma Hynes travels to ITV Manchester to interview Paula Lane, who plays Kylie Platt.  Read it here 
  • Competition to win two tickets to the Coronation Street tour and meet Sherrie Hewson.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Emma Hynes travels to Mill Theatre in Dublin to watch Mikey North and Ian Puleston-Davis (Gary and Owen) in their Men at Work stage show.  She also interviewed them both! Read it here 
  • Competition to see Mikey North and Ian Puleston-Davis in their Men at Work show in Dublin.  Read it here.
 October 2014
  • Our blogger Emma Hynes is invited to ITV to interview Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow).  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Martin is invited to ITV to interview Sean Ward (Callum Logan).  Read it here.
  • Competition to win a Halloween tour of the Coronation Street set with actor Brian Capron (Richard Hillman).  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth is invited to ITV to interview Kate Ford (Tracy Barlow) and Alison King (Carla Connor).  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth is invited to ITV to interview Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw). Read it here.
November 2014
  • Our blogger Ruth is invited to ITV to interview Simon Gregson and Kym Marsh (Steve and Michelle).  Read it here.
  • Competition to win 5 copies of the Inside Soap Yearbook 2015. Read it here.
  • Competition to win 3 copies of the 2015 Coronation Street calendar.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Emma is interviewed on BBC Tees radio about Steve's depression storyline. Read it here.
  • Our blogger Ruth is invited to ITV to interview Antony Cotton (Sean Tully).  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Emma is invited to see a preview of Christmas on the Coronation Street tour. Read it here.
December
  • Our blogger Ruth s invited to ITV to interview Claire King (Erica Holroyd).Read it here.
  • Our blogger Martin meets and interview's Joe Duttine (Tim Metcalfe). Read it here
  • Blog editor Glenda Young has a book published on Kindle:  Norman Bates with a Briefcase - the Richard Hillman story. With a foreword by Brian Capron, who played Richard Hillman.  It is an unofficial Coronation Street companion book. Read it here.
None of the above would be possible without your support. Yes, you reading this, you Corrie fan, you.  Thankyou for popping by, for coming back, for reading us and tweeting us and you know, thanks for it all. 
  

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Why I love Gary Windass

Our blogger Tvor wrote a compelling blog post recently about the demonisation of Gary Windass. In it, she admitted that Gary has never been a favourite character of hers. Now then, it's my turn to admit that I like Gary Windass a lot. In fact, I think I might have an old lady crush on him. But it's not just his ginger locks and steely looks that I admire, it's the core of Gary himself.  He's a belter and here's why.

He's a bad lad, but not so bad that we hate him. He's complex. He's been mentally wounded by his stint in the army and the death of his mate Quinny. His breakdown came in the form of kidnapping Izzy, and then lusting after Tina McIntyre. And then there was all that carry on with baby Joe/Jake and now he doesn't know whether he's coming or going, poor lad, after splitting up with his soulmate, Izzy.


The lad needs some proper mental health care. While Steve McDonald's depression will be headline-grabbing with the upcoming bus crash, Gary suffers in silence, battling Owen in the Windstrong flat and trying to come to terms with stooping so low to try to steal from Roy's Rolls.

Give the lad a break. Give the lad some help.  Gary, pop round to mine anytime, chuck, the kettle will be on and we can roast crumpets on the gas fire together as we put the world to rights and a smile on your face.

Gary Windass is played excellently by the wonderful Mikey North, whom I admire a lot as an actor. For Mikey / Gary to be given his own online spin-off shown in Gary's Army Diaries, it shows that his work as an actor and his appeal as a character have not gone unnoticed by the Coronation Street powers-that-be.  Here's to a happy 2015 for both actor and character alike.

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What is Norris Cole's red badge on Coronation Street?

Does anyone know what the badge is which Norris Cole wears in Coronation Street? It's the red triangle shaped badge he wears in his lapel.

It's been bugging me for ages and I'd love to know what it is - any ideas? I'm guessing it's not this.

It looks as if it might be a cycling proficiency test badge, but it doesn't seem to fit that Norris would wear such a thing, does it?  Anyone know what it might be?

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Coronation Street spoilers for New Year 2015

In this week's Inside Soap magazine, of which I'm rather fond (as regular readers of the Blog will know) there are some storyline hints and teases for the coming months in Coronation Street.  Some of these we already know but there's more information on some of the spoilers we've seen already.

Firstly, there's the bus crash which will happen early in 2015. Steve will have to face up to causing the crash and he finally seeks help for his depression.

Then there's Faye's pregnancy storyline. Katy catches Faye smoking in a park and that's the start of that storyline.

February will see Owen's ex-wife Linda arrive. Inside Soap say that Linda will "light up the cobbles".

Interestingly, I'd not read this one before, but Todd seeks revenge and Eva bears the brunt of it. Also, there's a picture in Inside Soap of Eva and Tony heading off to a hotel together.  The mag says "Todd is out for revenge, and sadly it will have devestating consequences for Eva".  Oh dear.

Elsewhere, David has a battle on his hands as he fights Callum for little Max.

The revealation of Gavin's secret will have devestating consequences for the Platt family.

And Jenny Bradley returns!  Can't wait for this one!

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Katy Armstrong: Career Girl

Back in the Sixties, they used to make career novels for young ladies to encourage them into suitable areas of employment.  Things like Air Hostess Ann and Fanny in Floristry.  These books existed to get schoolgirls enthused about the world of work, right up until they got married and devoted their lives to their husbands instead.  They don't print them any more, because they'd have to be called things like Call Centre Clara and Zero Hours Zoe and everyone would get terribly depressed.

It's a shame Weatherfield Library has closed because Katy Armstrong could do with a couple of these books; Yasmeen doesn't strike me as the kind of woman who'd update her stock very regularly so I'm sure there would have been some floating around.  Katy's been wandering around like a lost soul ever since her heartfelt desire to be a paramedic - a heartfelt desire prompted by nothing more than a chat from a slightly fit bloke - was destroyed by her hatred for blood.  One would have thought that an intelligent person might have realised that paramedics would occasionally see a drop of the red stuff, but as I said, this is Katy.  She seemingly thought paramedics just turned up and stuck a plaster on an owie.

Katy has never struck me as a particularly entrepreneurial soul.  She arrived in the Street for Chesney's birthday party and immediately agreed to go out with him.  This was despite the fact that she looked like a gymslip Lolita and Chesney looked like... well, Chesney.  No matter how much iron he pumps he always looks like he was put together out of plasticine by Aardman.


After Katy and Chesney had been together for about eighteen seconds, they took the extremely mature decision to have a baby together.  Baby Joseph was born during the school nativity; their choice of name makes me think Katy and Chesney misunderstood the Christmas story.  Normally two teenagers having a child would cause all sorts of tragedies, with their lives sadly devastated by the effort of taking care of a new human being.  Luckily for them Joseph is Weatherfield's equivalent of the Cheshire Cat; he only fades into existence when he's needed.  Most of the time he's... somewhere.  I'm not sure where - a parallel universe?  Brigadoon?  Certainly his parents seem to have better things to do than look after him.

Katy soon got bored of Chesney and turned to Ryan for excitement, which is like abandoning a Big Mac in favour of a Quarter Pounder.  It's all the same really.  Ryan was just a different kind of dull, one with rock hard abs, yes, but even less going on between his ears than an Easter Island statue.  Even a nostril full of cocaine couldn't make him interesting.  Their affair was brief and passionless; it's hard to get properly aroused when you're pressed up against a rotisserie of kebab meat.  It was too much for Chesney though and she left to move into the Windass-Armstrong Tardis across the way.

Since then she's sort of floated around the Street, mainly standing next to Izzy and looking irate when Gary does something stupid.  She's got a job at the gym on reception, a job which she seems to think can be a springboard to literally anything.  It's how Karren Brady started, isn't it, folding up sweaty towels and demanding to see membership cards?  Someone needs to sit Katy down and explain that her terrible career prospects might be down to her dropping out of school to have a baby.  It might actually remind her he exists.

Still, she'll soon be leaving, off to follow whatever her career dream is that week.  I'm hoping the writers really go for broke and give her an absolutely ludicrous job - after all, if Michelle Connor can go from being a barmaid to a top knicker saleswoman and from there to a wedding planner, anything seems possible.  Perhaps Katy could become the new head of the Bank of England?  An astronaut?  One of the Three Tenors?  The world is your oyster, Katy; don't let those opportunities pass you by.


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Tonight at 8pm: Rita and Me

The Coronation Street documentary Rita and Me will air on New Year's Eve on ITV at 8pm for one hour.  It'll be repeated on New Year's Day at 6.45pm on ITV.

It's half a century since Barbara Knox first brought Coronation Street's red-haired Rita so vividly to life and she's been one of the most popular characters ever since. She's certainly my favourite female on Corrie.  Barbara looks back on her career as well as the role that has brought her such acclaim.

In the programme, Barbara is given a surprise by Paul O'Grady on the Corrie set.

The programme has already aired in Canada. Read our Canadian blogger Tvor's review of it here.

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Preview of New Year's Eve on Coronation Street

Wednesday 31st December at 7.30pm for one episode only.
Followed at 8pm by Rita and Me - documentary about Barbara Knox

BIG BEN RINGS CHANGES FOR THE STREET’S RESIDENTS. Ken offers to help Roy clean the graffiti off the café windows but Roy insists he’d rather be alone. Gary arrives back from hospital and calls in the café to see Roy. Gary tells Roy how sorry he is for breaking into the café and how he deserves to be punished. Roy feels guiltier than ever. Meanwhile Alya calls on Gary and wishes him a happy new year and a new beginning. Will the couple reconcile?
DAVID CONTEMPLATES A NEW YEAR WITHOUT KYLIE. Realising that Michael’s been evicted from his flat (he was unable to pay his rent due to not receiving his Streetcars wages), David allows him to move into No.8 until he sorts himself out.
STEVE DREADS ANOTHER YEAR OF MISERY. Worried about Steve’s financial predicament, Liz tells him he can borrow the funds from the Rovers’ account to pay his staff. Steve’s grateful. But as he plucks up the courage to present Michelle with the bracelet he bought her, he overhears her telling Tony how Steve is her past and she’s looking to the future now. How will Steve react to what he’s heard?
ELSEWHERE Erica confides in Liz that she only ever wanted a holiday fling with Nick and she’s worried that he expects more. But how does Nick really feel about Erica? In the bistro, Steph texts Katy, telling her how cute Gavin is and how she’s hoping for a New Year’s Eve snog. Steph’s mortified to realise she’s accidentally sent the text to Gavin and grabs his phone to delete the message. Snatching his phone back, how will Gavin respond?

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Victims of circumstance


I've made it clear that I hope the Wind-strongs will be rested in the months ahead. We know Owen and Katy are leaving in 2015 and I'm not sorry. While the Pat Phelan storyline had its moments (mainly Phelan and his gob on a stick wife), they have dominated for too long now.

That said, I have found Gary's recent altercation with Roy to be an interesting development. Yes, I know there is only so much Windass angst and misery we can stand, but I think the reactions to Gary's run in with Roy have been illuminating. They have certainly provoked strong debate in our house.

As much as I love Roy and appreciate that he's had a truly dreadful year, there is no excuse for his attack on Gary. That said, I can't really blame him. As well as Hayley's sad demise, Roy's delicate hold on life has been rocked by the persistent, unpleasant bullying from a bunch of thugs. Given his recent troubles, he was in a heightened state of anxiety and that must have played its part when he found Gary in the cafe. 

I also feel sympathy for Gary. When you are told often enough that you are rubbish and a complete waste of space, sometimes you can't help but fill that role. He has been put in a desperate position. He has no money, no job, no support from those around him. He has been humiliated and treated like the lowest of the low. While Gary's main problem is controlling his temper, he has been repeatedly goaded by the deeply unpleasant Owen for such a long time now. It is very uncomfortable viewing.

Yes, Gary should not have punched Phelan, but he was just defending his mother. However Owen is wrong to blame Gary for all their misfortunes. It was Owen's greed that brought them to Phelan's door in the first place. Also, the family has ganged up on Gary after they got it into their collective brain cell that he wanted to get back with Izzy. Izzy and particularly Katy (has she not learned anything?) have judged and treated Gary really harshly. At no point did he suggest he wanted to reunite with Izzy, as i frequently scream at my television!

I must also take Anna to task over her treatment of Roy. I do like Anna, the character has developed nicely over the years. I can understand her shock at what Roy has done to Gary and her primary instinct is to defend her son. However, it would also have been appropriate for Anna to at least reference that Gary was at fault in his attempt to rob from the cafe. Anna may soften in her stance towards Roy when she realises how much she needs her job.

i also think it is interesting how Roy's attack on Gary has divided the Corrie community. It is probably true to life that older characters like Norris and Rita would defend Roy's right to defend his property, while younger characters like Sinead struggle to see past the violence of Roy's attack on Gary.

While I often moan that Corrie is too depressing or the drama is too heightened or extreme, I do think the issues raised from this recent storyline are thought provoking and important. As far as the performances are concerned, anything involving David Neilson and Mikey North is bound to be extremely watchable.

As for Owen, I can only hope Pat Phelan makes a return to the street and plays some part in Owen's exit. That would at least make it more interesting. 




Follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 



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My Corrie predictions for 2015

(This was posted on State of the Street. Posted here with permission)

I love to speculate on what might happen on Corrie. Some of it is based on standard soap plots but some speculation is based on pure, off the wall predictions. So, just for fun, here's what *could* happen on Coronation Street in 2015:

Nick and Carla get together and surprisingly, it's a really good match. After all, he's not a rapist, he's not a murderer, he's not cheating on anyone else (that is, if Erica is out of the picture. I don't think that's going to be anything long term). I think Nick has enough of both arrogance and sympathy to work well with Carla's personality.

Kylie gets her life back together, perhaps after a rehab stint or a stay with Becky to get her head and body straight. I think someone will find her working in a run down caff or pub somewhere, maybe in Weatherfield or maybe somewhere else like Liverpool or Sheffield or Leeds, perhaps Eva or even David himself. She'll be pregnant with David's child, she'd have left on Christmas Day not realizing she was pregnant so will be about 6 months along, depending on how long Paula Lane's maternity leave is. She will eventually prove to him that she's left the old life behind. David will take her back for the children's sake and the new baby, a boy.

Julie and Dev marry, with Mary's blessing, having gone through a rough patch of adjustment with Julie and Mary at odds. Mary moves into the corner shop flat, finally getting a home and Julie works in the corner shop which puts Sophie's nose out of joint.

Maddy decides to go back to school to make something of her life. Sally approves. Sophie gets jealous and stroppy when Maddy makes new friends and finds out she's really good at her classwork. Sophie spends all her time sulking. No change there, then.

If Sean can keep control of his jealousy and insecurity, he and Billy might just have a chance at happiness but it won't be smooth sailing. Billy's church will have objections and it will be difficult for Sean to accept that Billy's committment to the church will be at least as important as his personal life, probably moreso. Emily will be Billy and Sean's champion in spite of her own personal misgivings because she still believes everyone has a right to love whom they choose. Instead of a tree, Auntie Em climbs the church bell tower in protest, hanging a rainbow banner off the belfry.

The real Gavin is either already dead from the heart ailment or will show up and be a real wrong'un, full of resentment and contempt for his father. The Gavin we have now will admit he pretended at first as a joke but got tangled up in the situation and grew to really like the Platt family, and Michael's heart condition is making it even harder to admit he was an imposter. Either situation causes Michael to collapse but luckily, he's able to get a heart transplant. He survives and marries Gail. The real Gavin will try to push out the fake one and will treat Michael and Gail badly, perhaps trying to rip them off but the fake Gavin will prove to be the real hero.

Sarah Lou and Bethany will return from Italy. Bethany will be as all the young teens are that are new to the street and be a real handful, spoiled and contemptuous of this little back street neighbourhood after the glamourous life in Milan. She's going to be 15 this year so is just the right age to have the boys drooling. Craig has a crush but she makes a beeline for Zeedan, who, in spite of her not being Muslim, finds himself in the same boat as his father and sister.

Sarah will cut a swath through a lot of men and will be a Tracy Barlow clone. She'll set her sights on Luke, Gavin, Gary (probably just a one night stand), and will be entangled in one love triangle after another. Maria will be yet again dumped after Sarah and Luke have a go.

Tracy will continue to pull Tony's chain and end up in a full affair. When Liz finds out, there will be hell to pay. Deirdre will return and will finally stand up to Tracy and not make excuses for her anymore. Ken will sigh and retreat to the library.

Katy leaves the Street, looking for a life. Alya's knicker designs are a huge hit and she and Carla become very successful partners. Yasmeen becomes a good friend to Roy, offering a supportive shoulder. Roy starts to pick up the pieces of his life and even, finally, gets his driving license as Hayley always wanted.

Fiz returns and we find out that looking after Cilla has driven her to drink. She struggles with booze addiction until one of the children is injured because she was drunk and neglectful. This finally pulls her up and she admits she has a problem.


Mary will meet a rather odd binman, a tall, thin men who keeps muttering about how things keep coming around full circle. He has a particular fondness for hanging around outside Freshcos, looking longingly in through the windows, that is, when he's not looking up at the stars. He and Mary have a connection, based on their eccentric outlook on life and fondness for trivia. She lets him live in her campervan since she's now living in the shop flat. She finally convinces him to come into the pub one night and he's recognized by a number of people. It's Curly!

Steve hits bottom after the van crash and finally starts getting help. Michelle is so ashamed at how she treated Steve that she runs away to Ireland (we can only hope!). Chesney and Sinead die of boredom. So do Lloyd and Andrea. Unless Andrea and Steve have a fling, Andrea being much more fun than Michelle but far less unstable than Becky.

How about you, dear readers? Let us know what you think will happen in the coming year!


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Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, Jan 5 - 9

Without any piffle, here's the storyline for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less.

Week of Monday 5 to Friday 9 January

The Tinker family arrive for Beth and Kirk's wedding, Callum threatens David, Kylie goes missing, Michelle meets Hamish, Liz needs help with Steve.

The full weekly preview, with pictures is right here on Corrie.net
Missed last week's Corrie?

Catch up with the Coronation Street Weekly Updates
 


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A Corrie Blogging New Year


Season’s greetings to all Coronation Street Blog readers and contributors – I hope you had a much happier Christmas than most Weatherfield residents!

As Christmas is a time for reflection, I would like to say that it has been a pleasure and a privilege to contribute to this Blog since the beginning of the year. I have realised, though, that I never introduced myself. I just turned up back in February and started wittering on. With a few days left in this season of goodwill, I hope you’ll forgive me and allow me this opportunity to say ‘hello’ properly and explain why I’m here.

My name is Martin and I’m 32 years old. Coronation Street has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was born in the North-West of England (Wirral – 40 miles from Manchester) but spent most of my childhood just outside of London. Corrie was never missed in our house, wherever we lived.

I have vague memories of Brian Tilsley’s death in ’89 but a more vivid recollection of the McDonalds arriving on The Street later that year. I have a particular fondness for 90s Corrie – even when it got a bit crap. I’m looking at you, Derek Wilton. I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I have a replica garden gnome in my flat.


Arthur is one of many pieces of Coronation Street memorabilia bought for me over the years. Perhaps I’m looking back through the rose-tinted Deirdre glasses of my youth but I have a Free The Weatherfield One T-shirt which takes pride of place in my collection.


I was moved by Stevie’s recent blog about the bond he shares with his Grandma, which is strengthened by their mutual love of Coronation Street. It was exactly the same for me growing up. Whenever we visited my grandparents up north, we would watch Corrie together. Coronation Street is therefore ingrained in my DNA and wrapped up in the memories I have of relatives who are no longer here.

If I ever felt homesick at University, I’d turn Corrie on and be comforted instantly by that warm feeling of familiarity. Whatever is happening in my own life, Corrie is always present – a faithful friend that has been there for me through thick and thin. Whatever mood I’m in, I’ll feel better after escaping to Weatherfield for half an hour.

So, that’s why I love Coronation Street. But how did I end up here? Well, a few years ago I started writing about Corrie on Facebook, much to the bewilderment of 95% of my friends. I would do silly statuses on the trials and tribulations of Corrie characters simply because I enjoyed doing so. An example from February 2013 (and a blast from the past):


“Lewis Archer (the man, the legend, the hair) left Weatherfield in a blaze of glory on Friday night, with Gail McIntyre's life savings sitting pretty in his offshore bank account. It wasn't his most elaborate ruse because, let's face it, seducing and fleecing Gail is like stealing candy from a particularly placid baby. But as revenge missions go, it was exquisite, executed with the elegance one would expect from the debonair conman, cad, fraudster, thief, lothario and gigolo (whose CV also includes some recent front-of-house experience at a HIGH-END BISTRO). The sad thing is that he genuinely loved Audrey, actualleh. But then Gail had to go and ruin it all. Gail may have been left heartbroken and penniless, as a result of her meddling, but at least she won't go hungry. Not with those 500 jars of olives stacked up in the kitchen, which Audrey no doubt hopes she chokes on. To quote Lewis Archer (if that IS his real name), "chi cento ne fa, una ne aspetti" - WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.”

Is Gail still making her way through those olives?!! I don’t know but these ridiculous ramblings proved quite popular despite the fact most people I know don't watch Corrie (or at least, claim not to).

Less popular was my version of Vernon Tomlin’s seminal 2008 pop hit “(Don’t Fall Into) The Mason’s Arms” which goes to show that you can’t win ’em all. But if you fancy a laugh, get your lugholes round this:

                                                

I still think Ian Reddington should have released it as a Christmas single and told him as much when I bumped into him at Glastonbury one year.

I have long admired the great work that Glenda, Diane and all the other bloggers do here but didn’t think there would be room for little old me. However, my fiancée persuaded me to give it a go so that people who actually know what I’m going on about might read my stuff.

I was delighted when my first blog, “HayleyCropper - more than just a character in a soap”, went live on 9 February. I am still the New Kid on the Blog but absolutely love being part of the team.

I’ve been sporadic in my posts so far (14 blogs in 11 months) but have been fortunate enough to interview some members of cast and crew, visit the new set and have enjoyed writing pieces whenever I’ve been inspired to put fingers to keyboard.

I am excited about getting stuck in during the New Year. My main Corrie Blogging resolutions are to up my blog rate and get more involved in commenting on the site. And I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow bloggers for the first time.

Sadly, not many of my friends are into Coronation Street despite my attempts to extol its virtues (“gritty drama juxtaposed by the very best of northern wit” is my standard line). It is therefore fantastic to have this site where all of us who share a love of Corrie can come together to discuss our favourite soap.

I would like to thank Glenda for giving me the opportunity to join the team and to wish everyone who posts and comments on the Coronation Street Blog all the best for the New Year. I am confident it will be another vintage year for the Blog and hope it will be a good year on screen too.

By Martin Leay
Twitter: @mpleay 


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Monday, 29 December 2014

Coronation Street weekly updates 2014, available for Kindle

If you're a fan of my Coronation Street weekly updates - which have been going strong since 1995 - then you'll be happy to hear that all of my 2014 Corrie weekly updates are now available for Kindle.

2014 Corrie weekly updates for Kindle. Buy it here.  Or if you're in the UK, here.



Unofficial Coronation Street weekly updates from 1995 to 2013
20 years in 20 lovely, fan written, e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle

Written by Coronation Street Blog editor, Flaming Nora.

 
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Corrie's Callum to stay on cobbles for another year

Sean Ward, who plays Callum Logan, has had his time on Coronation Street extended for another year.

Sean told Daily Star Sunday: “The reaction I’ve had from the public has been unbelievable. I still take public transport in Manchester and I see a lot of people double-taking me on the tram. Then I’ll forget and get paranoid and wonder if I’ve got something on my head. And then I remember, oh yeah I was on Coronation Street last night.”

Ward also revealed that Callum will "find love" with Katy Armstrong, played by Georgia May Foote.


I think Callum staying on the cobbles after Kylie has left, is an interesting twist. What does he want - Max, I wonder?
 
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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Mon 29 Dec

Monday 29th December
STEVE’S AWFUL SECRET IS DISCOVERED. When Michelle reminds Steve they’re taking Amy to the panto this afternoon, he does his best to appear enthusiastic, but Liz can see his heart isn’t in it and whilst nobody’s looking Steve slinks off back to bed. Meanwhile Eileen and Michael are concerned to discover they’ve not been paid. When they can’t get hold of Steve, Andrea phones Lloyd in Spain who assures her it must be a bank glitch and gives her the account details. But as Andrea accesses the Street Cars bank account online, she’s horrified to see that the business is £10k overdrawn!
ANNA NEEDS ANSWERS FROM GARY AND ROY. Roy is interviewed by the police. Full of self-loathing, he describes how he thought Gary was one of the teenagers who’s been hounding him. He admits that he hit Gary repeatedly with a cricket bat and deserves to be punished. In the hospital, Anna’s shocked by the extent of Gary’s bruises and further appalled when he confesses to trying to steal from the café till. In an attempt to protect Roy, Gary lies to the police, telling them that Roy only hit him once. The police officer is sceptical. Will Roy pay the price for his unreasonable force?
GAVIN FEARS LEANNE MIGHT EXPOSE HIM. Leanne returns to the bistro as manager. When Gavin suggests they should put some modern art on the walls, Leanne’s impressed and Gavin’s pleased to have won her over. But when Leanne demands a reference from Gavin’s previous employer and his national insurance number, inwardly Gavin panics.
ELSEWHERE Norris shows Ken, Rita and Emily his new satellite map on his tablet. As he zooms in on Coronation Street, they notice a cloud of strange white smoke outside No.1. Having checked the date the photo was taken, the day Blanche died, Norris wonders if the white apparition is Blanche’s ghost! Nick treats Erica to a Spanish lunch in the bistro followed by a Spanish siesta in his flat.

Monday 29th December
STEVE IS FORCED TO FACE THE MUSIC. Eileen, Michael and Andrea study the Street Cars bank account, flabbergasted by Steve’s apparent spending spree with the firm’s money. In his bedroom, Steve listens to his messages, knowing he’s let Amy down over the panto and that his financial mess has finally caught up with him. Liz finds Steve hiding in his bedroom and demands to know what’s going on. Steve drags himself downstairs and tries to bluff his way out, telling Eileen and Andrea it’s just a cock-up at the bank and he’ll sort it out. But when Eileen and Andrea start listing all the transactions Steve’s made on the account, Steve feels the pressure building. How will he respond?
THE TIDE TURNS AGAINST ROY. Roy admits to Anna how he repeatedly hit Gary with the cricket bat, even as he tried to escape. Shocked, can Anna forgive Roy? Meanwhile Kal breaks the news to Alya that Gary’s in hospital after trying to break into the café. He warns her that Gary’s nothing but trouble. Will Alya heed her family’s warning to stay away from Gary or are her feelings too strong?
GAVIN’S IDENTITY REMAINS A SECRET. Gavin steals the real Gavin’s national insurance details and hands them to Leanne. Will he get away with his deception?
ELSEWHERE Erica explains to Nick that she’ll no longer be returning to Spain as she has to stay and look after her mother. How will Nick react to her news?

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First look pictures: Beth and Kirk's Coronation Street wedding





As the New year gets underway in Weatherfield wedding bells are ringing for Corrie’s Kirk as he and bride-to-be Beth Tinker prepare to walk down the aisle - 80s style!

As these fantastic pictures show the couple decide on an 80s theme for their big day with the bride and groom leading the way with their outrageous outfits.

The decade that gave us neon, leg warmers and big hair doesn’t disappoint. Beth styles herself on Madonna from her Like A Virgin years, while Kirky chooses Adam Ant as his inspiration.

The wedding party are given the 80s treatment too with bridesmaids Maria, Sinead and Tracy styled as pop group Bananarama, best man and usher Chesney and Craig dress as the Blues Brothers.

The guests are also invited to dress up and viewers will be given the following visual treats; Sally & Tim styled as pop duo Dollar, Sean as George Michael, Dev from Ghostbusters, Julie as Molly Ringwald, and Sophie and Maddie as Vogue style Madonna tributes, much to Beth’s annoyance!

But while the guests gather for the ceremony will the wedding go without a hitch? As Beth waits at the registry office her Prince Charming is nowhere in sight. Kirk is suffering from a classic case of pre wedding nerves, brought on by the arrival of Beth’s family, who clearly think Kirk isn’t good enough to join the Tinker clan.


Kirk’s left doubting whether he’s worthy of his beloved Beth. Can Chesney talk sense into his pal or is Kirk about to let the love of his life slip through his fingers?

Viewers will find out if the pair tie the knot when the wedding episodes air on Friday 9th January.

See also: Beth's family arrive for her wedding to Kirk.

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