Recently, I'm beginning to see the hopeless drug baron as something of a guilty pleasure. His very wrong-ness has become his greatest asset. Take last week when he was called to storm across the cobbles to threaten Sarah. He may as well have swooshed across in a Vera Wang gown. Lots of laughs in my household and Callum, job well done. He is a fantastically terrible character but is he the worst? In my ever-so-humble opinion, Callum may have a way to go before he eclipses any of the following . . .
Poor old Corrie was in a bit of a pickle, harridan-wise, following the departure of Ena Sharples in 1980. Phyllis Pearce had been wheeled in as a potential replacement gorgon during 1982 and though much-heralded in the tabloids as being the new Ena, she never really reached those dizzy heights. Fast-forward to 1987 and the introduction of Vera Duckworth's mother, Amy Burton. Oh dear. This was a disaster from the off. Fanny Carby, much like the early performances of Shelly King, decided that the only way to deliver the lines was to the back row of the theatre. More importantly though, Amy was an unlovely old trout. Sly, thieving and hectoring, she was shoe-horned into Hilda Ogden's old char-lady job at the Rovers. The comparisons were unfavourable. The producers had her perform every scene dressed in some daft turban. By March 1988 enough was enough and the old drear disappeared forever.
Towards the end of 2007, an attempt was made to brighten up the life of eternal dull-fest Violet Wilson by providing her with a 'fun' younger sister. Enter the incredibly annoying Lauren, a thick-skinned trollette who, we were assured, had been a big hit in the bars of Ayia Napa. She had a grand total of zero redeeming qualities as she blagged free digs from Eileen, used Darryl Morton as her personal ATM and strong-armed Sean into taking her on holiday. He returned from Spain alone and one can only surmise that an unclaimed baggage is still travelling the carousel at Malaga International.
Awful, lecherous old goat who took over the Corner Shop in early 1999 and was gone by the end of summer. Another 'booming' performance brought numerous scenes with women being addressed as 'dear lady'. Ravi seemed to alienate his worthy if dull daughter Nita and clashed with son Vik over his dalliance with Leanne Tilsley. Thankfully Ravi sold the shop on to his shy and retiring nephew, Dev Alahan.
Three cheers for Weatherfield's weariest teen, Andrea Clayton. The achingly boring Claytons took up residence at number 11 in early 1985. It soon became apparent to the viewer that we would be treated to many months of Andrea agonising about her forthcoming exams. On she droned as days turned into weeks that seemingly turned into millennia. By summer, the UK crossed its collective fingers and prayed for three straight fails. Sadly Andrea got her three A-levels plus a little something extra from Terry Duckworth. Not that we cared.
As unlikely a character you could ever meet. Supposedly Greg was the long, lost son of Street ne'er-do-well Les Battersby. He apparently hailed from somewhere in the north west although his accent hovered between Watford Gap and Brighton Pride. Greg was an unlikely . . . make that 'totally unbelievable' ladies man who dallied with Maxine Heavey before moving on to gullible Sally Webster and her £50K inheritance. Greg also inherited 'the girls' aka Roseh and Sopheh who he pouted at and ignored.His life seemed to be lived in a state of dull hysteria, a fair bit of flouncing and barely disguised moments of camp. Which brings us nicely back to . ..
Callum. Compared to the selection of mediocrity listed above, maybe our Cal isn't quite so bad. He at least has a loyal companion in the form of
By David Bridgman
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