Now then, I don't have the tenacity of a hack. I'm not a journalist. First, foremost and always, I'm a Coronation Street fan (who can write). I approached the cast members I really admired and spoke to Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper), Steve Huison (Eddie Windass) and Craig Charles (Lloyd Mullaney). I stood in a scrum waiting to speak to David Neilson (Roy Cropper) but couldn't get a word in as the proper journos elbowed me out. It was done nicely, but I was still elbowed out.
As we were leaving at the end of a wonderful day on the Street, Tony Warren was waiting by the exit as we passed. He was on his own, and I have to admit, looking slightly lost. I was within inches of him. I could easily have smiled at him, said hello. But I was too nervous. Speaking to cast members had been one thing, they were actors used to dealing with the press and the public, but approaching Tony Warren? A different thing altogether.
This was a man I was in awe of, and will remain so for the rest of my life. This was a man who single-handedly changed British culture - and who also changed my life. So no, I didn't speak to him, because I didn't dare. I walked past him and turned. I watched him as he looked out onto the Street, the world he created. "Thankyou," I mouthed to the back of his head ... and then I walked away.
Without Tony Warren there would be no Coronation Street. Without Coronation Street I wouldn't have met my wonderful husband and made some great friends. Without Coronation Street I wouldn't have been proposed to while sitting on Maxine's Bench while on a VIP tour of the old set, many years ago. Without Tony Warren I wouldn't have written as many words as I have done for over 20 years.
In short, without Tony Warren, I wouldn't be who I am.
Thankyou, Tony Warren, for everything.
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