Sunday, 28 August 2016

Coronation Street: Bigger than The Olympics?

A guest post written for us by Paul Lanagan - he's on twitter @CorrieArt

Coronation Street fans' dreams came true today, in more ways than one, when ITV threw open the doors to the drama's filming backlot to a lucky selection of visitors as part of the nationwide Team GB event. Meanwhile, in Manchester city centre, other fans were able to watch the colourful Coronation Street float parading as part of the city's Pride celebrations.

The famous cobbles at the new exterior set, which opened in Trafford Park in 2013, were partly covered up with artificial turf as the Street was transformed into a sporting arena with a climbing wall, table tennis tables, hula hoops and portable badminton courts. Fans who applied for the free tickets (and were lucky enough to be chosen in the ballot) rubbed shoulders with Olympians, sportsmen and sportswomen plus a famous face or two from the Corrie cast.

Even the actors joined in with what was billed as 'the country's biggest sports day' with many other similar events taking place around the country. The Corrie cast and crew tried their hands at table tennis, hula hoops, badminton and rock climbing. Indeed it was like watching the Classic Coronation Street episode (Ep 2428 July 9th 1984) when Bet Lynch, Hilda Ogden and Vera Duckworth supported the Rovers Return team against the Flying Horse at the Pub Olympics, with bunting and flags stretching across the Street both then and now.

Corrie actors in attendance today included:

Rhea Bailey (Caz Hammond);
Richard Hawley (Jonny Connor);
Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster);
Dolly-Rose Campbell (Gemma Winter);
Daniel Brocklebank (Rev Billy Mayhew);
and Marc Anwar (Sharif Nazir) who was booed and hissed at for his character's recent infidelities but was still in high demand for photos and autographs.

Following the closure of the highly popular 'Coronation Street: The Tour' at the old Granada Studios backlot in December 2015, the Team GB event offered Coronation Street fans an exclusive opportunity to visit the actual filming location of the soap and while many of those in attendance had clearly come especially for the Corrie element, the sporting aspect was definitely not ignored.  This was demonstrated in the warm atmosphere and excitement around the sporting stars in attendance, which included:

Elinor Barker (Rio Olympic Gold Medalist, women's team pursuit, cycling);
Bianca Walkden (Rio Olympic Bronze Medalist, taekwondo);
Kelly Sibley (London Olympic Bronze Medalist, table tennis);
Ellie Downie (gymnast);
Becky Downie (gymnast) and
Harry Fairchild (table tennis).
Marcus Ellis (Rio Olympic Bronze Medalist, men's doubles).

In fact, unlike at the old Corrie Tour where visitors clamoured to be photographed outside the famous Rovers Return, many were today totally engrossed in trying their hands at the free sporting activities on offer around Coronation, Rosamund and Victoria Streets and ignored the iconic Corrie buildings.

The Team GB event coincided with the Manchester Pride Festival which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life and sees revellers enjoying a 'Big Weekend' of entertainment in and around the Canal Street area of the city. Coronation Street traditionally participates in the Pride Parade with a decorated float and this year was no exception. Corrie's assistant director, Woody Wade, tweeted a hint of the float's theme last week and today it was finally revealed at the Liverpool Road starting point as being fairy tale inspired.

Spectators who lined the route were visually treated to ginger bread versions of the Rovers Return pub and corner shop which were adorned with icing, Bourbon biscuits, wafers, jammy dodgers, candy canes and jelly sweets. The float's tagline was "Once upon a time, a boy called Tony Warren...." in homage to the creator of Corrie who's fairytale struggle to get the show made was dramatised in Daran Little's 'The Road to Coronation Street' in 2010. Kym Marsh (Michelle McDonald) and Faye Brookes (Kate Connor) dressed as princesses while Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker) was pixie-perfect as Tinkerbell and Rhea Bailey (Caz Hammod) was a very mad Mad Hatter.

Other Team Corrie faces supporting the float included:

Daniel Brocklebank (Rev Billy Mayhew)
Sair Khan (Alya Nazir)
Patti Clare (Mary Taylor)
Mickey North (Gary Windass)
Antony Cotton (Sean Tully)
Debbie Rush (Anna Windass)
Martin Sterling (Senior Storyliner)
Damon Rochefort (Scriptwriter)
Peter Eccleston (Props Buyer) and
Johnny Grimshaw (Supporting Artiste).

Today could easily have been renamed 'Coronation Street Day' in Manchester as #TeamCorrie enthusiastically showed its support for the country's Olympians and LGBT community, but as this weekend's festivities in Manchester come to an end, fans now have the new 'Coronation Street on Tour' exhibition to look forward to up in Glasgow.

Paul Lanagan, twitter @CorrieArt

Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Download our free App | Visit

Coronation Street: The Official Colouring Book
Available to pre-order now!

Please read our advice for leaving comments on the Coronation Street Blog

All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

adam barlow aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alexander bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards alma baldwin amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass antony cotton audrey roberts awards baby Oliver barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard bill roache billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brian packham brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans carla connor Cath Tyldesley catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street cherylee houston chesney brown chris gascoyne chris harper claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition connor mcintyre conversation street coronation street coronation street art coronation street babies Coronation Street Blog - the book coronation street cartoons coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street preview coronation street spoilers coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig tinker damon alexis-rochefort damon rochefort daniel brocklebank daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush debbie webster deirdre barlow deirdre hunt denise osbourne derek griffiths dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw Elle Mulvaney ellie leach ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples erica stewart exclusive interview exercise dvds famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda favourite females favourite males faye windass feckless fellas in coronation street filming locations filming mistakes fiz brown fiz stape florizel street flying ducks gail rodwell gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd Jack P. Shepherd jane danson jean alexander jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street joe duttine johnny connor jonathan harvey julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh kabin kate fitzgerald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn ken barlow kev webster kevin webster kieran roberts kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liam bairstow lily platt lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney Lucy Fallon luke britton maggie jones malcolm hebden manchester tart marc baylis maria connor mark llewellin martin sterling mary taylor matriachs maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell mothers on the cobbles music in the rovers nathan curtis new set new zealand newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum oliver battersby on location opening titles original cast our blog is the best blog in the world outside broadcast paper boys paper girls pat phelan pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family plot holes props qasim akhtar quay street returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan rita tanner road to coronation street rob donovan rob mallard romanian holiday rosamund street rosie webster rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roy's rolls roys rolls ryan thomas sair khan sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally dyvenor Sally Metcalfe sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia ghadie samia longchambon sarah platt Sarah-Louise Platt schmeichel sean tully shayne ward shelley king simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker six episodes per week sophie webster special effects speculation spin-off spoilers state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls susan barlow susan oudot sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the Nazirs the newspaper boy the road to coronation street through the years tim metcalfe tina o'bren tina o'brien Tina O’Brien tiricia hopkins todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street toyah battersby tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book unofficial merchandise unseen characters viaduct street victoria court fire vip bloggers walking tours watch coronation street online weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield high Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer websters' autos wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps Yasmeen nazir zeedan nazir