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Thursday, 31 July 2008

Coronation Street actors in Celebrity Millionaire

Who wants to be a millionaire? Well, Samia Smith, Jennie McAlpine, Sally Whittaker and Michael Starke do. They're all lined up to take part in a celebrity version of the ITV gameshow and are playing for charities of their choice. The show will be screened on ITV on August 16.

Want to play a Coronation Street quiz? Click here.

Thank you to all the Coronation Street Blog fans

I started this blog as a creative Corrie outlet and that's how it stays. The blog has never gone out, hunted down and shot people to come and visit. And it's not even linked to from any of the big guns. No, it just sits under the radar, enjoying itself nicely while garnering great feedback like this and this.

And so I'd just like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who visits this blog. I also wanted to share with you some gobsmacking news. For the month of July the blog has had over 40,000 hits. Well, I'm gobsmacked anyway. It is, indeed, the little blog that could.

I'm absolutely over the moon that Corrie fans enjoy this blog so much, that the repeat visits are increasing and if anyone has anything they want to share, you know you can email in - to the address on the top right. Thank You to every single Corrie fan who's made the journey here.

And while there will never be any advertising on this blog, I'm happy to support my favourite charity. Perhaps you are too?

Ken Barlow's Dark Knight look-a-like

Went to the flicks last night to see Batman: The Dark Knight and couldn't help noticing the similarity between actor Aaron Eckhart and Coronation Street's Ken Barlow. Anyone else seen the film and spotted Ken's doppelganger on screen?

Want to see more Corrie look-a-likes? Click here

Steve McDonald gurn of the week

The sensational Steve McDonald hasn't been in Coronation Street much this week so there's no gurn to blog. However, let's not be put off by something as simple as that and go for a gurning blast from the past.

Want to see last week's Steve McDonald gurn? Click here.

Want to read the Steve McDonald guide to chatting up birds? Click here.

Corrie gets it spot on with Armistead Maupin and Blanche

An email just in from Coronation Street fan John describes himself as "a Corrie fan by both nature and nurture". What a lovely phrase - and it applies to many of us, I'm sure.

Anyway, John emailed to let the blog know that he was prompted by Blanche's incomparable line about Ken's reading matter this week this week: "...that fella in Chapter 13's certainly supple". John took down from the shelf Armistead Maupin's bright yellow covered Michael Tolliver Lives and re-read Chapter 13.

John says: "You have to admire the accuracy of the queenly writing team at Granada and the props department, because, sure enough, it's the chapter with the threesome... Brilliant! And it wasn't even Jonathan Harvey, of whom such pith might be expected." John also went on to end his email with a very funny line but it was too rude to blog so all I can say is use your imagination and chuckle to yourself.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bid to win Kevin Webster's shirt in Sunderland

It's not often that my twin passions of Coronation Street and Sunderland are mentioned in the same news item. So while I tend to leave the news to the fine ladies at Corrieblog, I couldn't let this one pass.

Actor Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, has donated an outfit he wore on the cobbles to raise funds for a Sunderland housing charity, reports that font of all mackem knowledge, the Sunderland Echo. Good on yer, Michael.

So if you fancy bidding to win Kevin Webster's outfit, the auction takes place in the Black Bull pub in Sunderland city centre on August 12. Other prizes included a weekend in Manchester. Entertainment on the night will be provided by host Miss V and drum band The Bangshees. Doors open at 7.30pm. No ticket is required, just deep pockets for charity please.
PS: Hello to all the mackems flooding in from Ready to Go.net ;-)

National Television Awards 2008 - last chance to vote!

Voting closes in the National Television Awards on Friday August 1st. If you haven't voted for Coronation Street yet, why not pop over to the NTA site and start voting now?

For details of last year's NTA winners have a look here. Corrie lost out to EastEnders for best soap and the only prize for our favourite show was Kym Ryder winning Most Popular Newcomer for her role as Michelle Connor. The awards will be shown live on ITV1 in October.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Coronation Street Weekly Update, July 28 2008

Greetings, sun-seekers and welcome to the hot and humid world of the weekly update office. The update’s a bit late this week as I was out on the razzle last night. Tomorrow night it’s Batman and the night after’s the weekly shop, but I’ve kept tonight free just you and I to spend our weekly time together. Come on in, close the door, put your feet up and crack open those biscuits. Yes, dammit, the chocolate ones. And so without any further ado, here we go with this week’s Coronation Street update.

Molly’s Aunty Pam is brilliant and I want one too. In fact, every home should have one. You get the feeling Aunty Pam’s been spirited in from somewhere else, somewhere more fragrant where everyone’s fridge is packed with cheap meats off the market and they’re happier for it. It can only be a matter of time before Aunty Pam wiggles her nose, clicks her heels together three times and chants the mantra “There’s no place like Holby City” and then she’ll be gone, her work in this world done, leaving everyone who met her with a smile on their face and a vacuum pack of minute “give it ten minutes, it’s got history” steak in their hand.

And so it came to pass that Aunty Pam got Tyrone to propose to Molly this week with the help of some knock-off, naff Fabergesque eggs. “There’s not a girl alive who could say no to a talking egg,” muses Pam. And do you know, I think she might be right. The gaudy, plastic eggs had a recording button and Tyrone recorded his proposal to Molly. But when he got down on one knee in the Rovers with everyone watching and he pressed the button on the egg, it was Kirkeh’s voice that floated out after he’d scrambled the egg. “Where do you put the batteries, then?” the egg asked Molly and it’s not a phrase most women want to hear on a proposal, although some women might. Anyway, the joy of the Fabergesque egg is that you can re-record which Tyrone duly did, the egg popped the question in front of a burger van on the cobbles which Aunty Pam decorated with fairy lights that twinkled. She didn’t plug them in, she just wiggled her nose. And Molly replied via an egg of her own. As the two of them kissed to celebrate their engagement and Tyrone slipped Vera’s ring onto Molly’s finger, the camera panned around the cobbles as the spectators took in the scene. Vernon looked across the street, lovingly at Liz who was giving Harry the glad eye as he was watched over like a hawk by soon to be ex-wife Clarissa. John Stape leered at Fiz who looked troubled. And Jack must have got something in his eye because he came over all peculiar and had to look away, memories of his marriage to Vera all too apparent. It was darn good this bit, it really was, and both Sunny Jim and I had tears in our eyes.

In the café, Vernon’s turning the place into a shrine for his lost musical youth. Up goes the framed advert for a Rock Rhythm Rascals gig. Up goes the framed crisp packet touched by the hand of the God that is known to Vernon as Cozy Powell...

...and down Vernon tried to get with the kids when he tried to explain the appeal of ELO. “Who’s PLO?” asks Darryl who’s more of an Arctic Monkey sort of man. Frustrated, Vernon tries to spell it out again. “It’s the Electric - Light - Oh… what’s the point?”

Harry Mason, a man whose dress sense has clearly been informed by the mafia clothing catalogue for men Bada-Bling. Advertising tagline: Yer want it? Yer wear it! Or else! Delivery tagline: We send da boys round witcha oyder. It’s all soft woollen knits worn loose around the shoulders, braces to hold up trousers and glasses on a string round the neck. I bet his socks have got diamonds on them. Or as it’s Bada-Bling, diamonds in them. Anyway, Harry’s socks are included on a list of complaints that his soon to be ex-moll Clarissa passes on to Liz in the Rovers. But is she his soon to be ex? Liz was clearly hoping so but then Clarissa won Harry round with some of Aunty Pam’s cheap steak and a bottle of red and it was left to Harry to break the news to Liz that he and Clarissa were back together again. Liz lost control and yelled at Harry to leave but when he wouldn’t go, Vernon turfed him out and sent Liz to her comfort zone (aka smokers shelter) for a fag to calm down. He followed her outside where he promised her they’d always be friends. Liz pulled Vernon towards her for a hug but he was hoping for a snog and his face crumpled up in despair.

John what’s the point Stape has been really creepy this week. He bought Chesney a bike for his birthday but as soon as Ches found out who the present was from, he dumped the bike on the street. His mum hadn’t forgotten his birthday and had sent tickets to join her in Vegas. Chesney was off like a shot to see Cilla in the city of sin, leaving Fiz to fend off John Stape as best she can, but she’s folding, you can tell. Norris, bless him, refused to serve John in the Kabin. I say Good On Yer! - that’s Norris, not John - and everyone’s bemused by the fact he’s now a driver for Streetcars - that’s John, not Norris.

David turns paranoid when Tina giggles as she’s typing and she won’t tell him who she’s emailing or what she’s doing online. He doesn’t understand the concept of friends, never mind virtual ones called PIXOCUTIE! and DUFF_37. I don’t know if they’re called that, it’s just a guess on my part.

I have no problem with the gays…” Blanche tells Deirdre but when people start a sentence like that, you know their problem is a big one, “… and I’d walk over hot coals for that Paul O’Grady”, but it doesn’t look like she’d do the same for her own son-in-law. Not that Ken’s gay, at least we don’t think so, but Blanche thinks he is when he goes to an art auction with Ted and starts reading Armistead Maupin. Deirdre took the news with her usual exasperation and Ken exploded in a camp sort of way: “I am not a homosexual,” by the dining room table. Anyway, his night out with Ted has fired Ken up to reignite the inner flames of passion that made him want to be a writer. He dusts off his old novel that’s been fermenting in the loft and sits down with a pencil in his hand and an idea in his head of becoming the famous novelist he always wanted to be. I think I could do with a night out with Ted.

Five things we learned in Corrie this week.
1. Aunty Pam can down a sweet sherry in one single gulp. What a woman.
2. Becky and Jason enjoyed happy doubles hour on their jollies. Or was it double happy hour?
3. Rita has got fabulous skin.
4. Liz is short for lizard.
5. There is at least one girl alive that can’t say no to a talking egg.

And that’s just about that for this week.

Coronation Street writers this week were Stephen Bennett, Chris Fewtrell, Carmel Morgan, Debbie Oates.

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

Ken Barlow, gay icon

Deirdre might have found the thought ridiculous, but with a look like this, Ken Barlow might just make it into the running as the next gay icon of Coronation Street.

For more camp Ken pictures, have a look here.

Corrie's Streetcars switch isn't plugged in

For those who like Coronation Street techy trivia, you're going to love this.

An email just in points out that the telephone system box in the Streetcars office is a Panasonic 206. Ah, but what's so special about that? I hear you cry. Well, apparantly, Pete the engineer says (and he knows about such things) that the box should have a mains lead coming out of the left hand side of it going into a mains plug, and it doesn't.

Perhaps that's why things have been mighty quiet in the Streetcars office lately. It's no wonder Eileen has taken up the Rubik's cube.

Get your Coronation Street programme web widget

Counting down the minutes until the next episode of Corrie? Well, you can get this handy web widget to do the counting for you. It's from LocateTV.com and you can get one for every UK programme.

Coronation Street at LocateTV.com

If you're outside of the UK and want to know how to watch Corrie online, here are some suggestions.

Coronation Street podcast now live

The most recent Coronation Street podcast 'Word on the Street' is now up and running over at The Soap Show. This time the podcast comes at you in two parts. The first part is online now and the second part will go live on Monday August 4th. You can listen to the first part right now, right here. Go on, you know you want to.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Molly Compton's autographed top for sale on eBay

As well as the Coronation Street cook-book with Betty Turpin's recipe for hot-pot, you can buy all sorts of good Corrie stuff on eBay.

One of the items up for sale today is Molly Compton's autographed top.

You can also buy the Harveys ad rag doll that looks like Fiz Brown and a top worn by Wendi Peters as Cilla Battersby-Brown.

And just the thing to cool you down in this heatwave, an ice-bucket from the Rovers Return. Happy bidding!

Julia Haworth has a lickle baby

Coronation Street's Julia Haworth, who plays Claire Peacock, has given birth to a baby girl today and hearty congratulations go her way.

I wonder if she'll sell pictures of the newborn to Hello Magazine like this ex-Corrie actress did? Well, Julia did sell her wedding to OK magazine and sold pictures of her baby bump to Hello magazine so the odds are high. Doesn't anyone want to live a life in private any more or is the media pay-out too high to refuse?

Did you know that Julia Haworth is one of only a few Coronation Street actors who have their own, official website? For a complete list, click here.

Deborah McAndrew, from Corrie's Angie Freeman to successful playwright

Coronation Street's Angie Freeman was one of my favourite Corrie women. She was feisty, ambitious and was the first woman to drink pints in the Rovers. She also broke Curly's heart when she left the Street to find her fame and fortune but I think we can forgive her after all these years.

Anyway, actress Deborah McAndrew, who played Angie Freeman, is now carving out a successful career for herself as a playwright. Her latest play is called Flamingoland and is playing at the New Victoria Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme. It sounds brilliant and a little subverse. If you're in the area, catch Deborah's new play if you can. You can read more on this story here. As always, I credit my sources.

Isn't it about time Curly returned to the cobbles?

Nikki Sanderson, Sally Lindsay, Shobna Gulati in The Vagina Monologues



Three ex-Coronation Street actresses are taking part in the 10th anniversary of The Vagina Monologues. And that's a word I've never used on the blog before - do you know how hard it can be using the word monologue in a blog post? Full details of their performances are available at The Vagina Monologue's website right here. Sadly, they're not all performing in the same show although Sally Lindsay, who played Shelley Unwin, and Nikki Sanderson, who played Candice Stowe, will be together for one show in Glasgow. Shobna Gulati, who played Sunita Alahan, will be on stage with Linda Robson and Kellie Shirley in Wolverhampton. Catch 'em while you can, if that's your cuppa tea.

And if you missed Sally Lindsay in the BBC's Scallywagga, you missed a real treat, she was brill. Chillimondo!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Kym Marsh has got specs appeal

Kym Marsh, who plays Coronation Street's Michelle Connor, looks right smart in her specs, I reckon.

Anyway, tenuous link time...

...if you know a celebrity who looks good in specs, you can vote for them to win Celebrity Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2008. I know, thrilling stuff, eh?

Steve McDonald gurn of the week

Want to see last week's gurn of the week from Steve McDonald on Coronation Street? Click here.

Coronation Street's secret garden

If you thought that the garden lawns on Corrie looked lush and green, think again. It's all fake - and supplied by this company here. A lush, green (artificial) lawn might just be the perfect spot to place your very own Maxine's bench too.

Why is Deirdre Barlow never at work?

Isn't Deirdre Barlow supposed to have a PA job at Weatherfield Council? Then why's she never there? And while I'm asking, where's the Coronation Street Post Office gone from The Kabin? And where's Eccles gone? And Schmeicel? Are they with Doreen Fenwick? Enquiring minds need to know.


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Can you help update Coronation Street's fan history?

I've had a nice email from Laura who's started a fan history of Coronation Street online and she's asking Coronation Street fans to help update it.

If you can help to document the history of Coronation Street fandom (UK and overseas), then have a look here: http://fanhistory.com/wiki/Coronation_Street

Monday, 21 July 2008

Coronation Street Weekly Update, July 21 2008

Here we go again, another week, another update, another load of washing in and another page of the diary turned as we all hurtle towards impending doom and only if we’re lucky, without any pain. Oh, I know, I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’ve just had to do the worst google of my life. No, I’m not telling you, it’s too horrible. I’m only in my early forties. Yes, really I am. When we first met, back in 1995 when I started writing these Corrie weekly updates I was a firm, young spring chicken aged just 31. It’s almost 13 years on and I’ve started having days when I feel the age I’m at. And as for that google search? Oh all right, I’ll tell you as long as you don’t laugh. You promise? Here it goes. I typed into a search engine for the first time in my life: “bingo wings” + “how to get rid of”. Oh stop it, right now, you promised you wouldn’t laugh. Well, if you’re going to take that attitude, I’m off. And so, without any further ado here we go with this week’s Coronation Street update.

Liz might have kicked him out and his paradiddle might have lost its oomph but there’s a place behind the counter at Roy’s Rolls where Vernon fits in perfect. Roy takes him on as he’s short staffed in the caff and needs an extra pair of hands, even a pair that keeps belting out a five bar rhythm section on the table tops every half hour, on the hour, come rain, come shine. It's just that this time, he's doing it in a pinny.

Over at the factory, Rosie wheedles her way in with Tony Gordon and gets Sean his job back. Well, it’s the least that Tony can do after Rosie nicked her dad’s customer files from the garage last week. Sean’s been great this week. He walked into the café (see para 1 above) with the girls’ cake order (and it wasn’t even Wicked Wednesday) while George Michael’s Faith was playing on Roy’s wireless. Sean sang along in style: ‘Cos I gotta have cake, cake, cake.’ He should've started at the top really with "Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your barm cake, you know not everybody has got a barm cake like you."

Anyway, there’s more than cake, there’s hot gossip at the factory when John Stape turns up in his little blue car. He tells Fiz he still loves her and he wants her back. He also wants her front, the side bits and the bits that stick out. Ah, but would he love her if she had bingo wings? Sigh. She gives John what for and slaps him across the chops but he’s not put off. News spreads that “John’s back on the Street” and it’s Chinese whispers a-go-go as his return hits the factory floor and goes from Sally to Rosie to Kev in the garage who finally hears: “John’s snake’s bagged and asleep.” Kevin plays to his strengths and brandishes his spanner. And then right, then, John only goes and gets himself a job as the new driver at Streetcars. Well, they were kind of desperate after their interviews produced two no-shows, one manic depressive and a woman who crashed her car on the way there. I say bring in Big Brenda from Levenshulme, she’s the only woman for the job.

In the Rovers, Blanche isn’t best pleased to hear that Ken’s going to see a play with Gail’s dad Ted. I’d love to go out for an evening with Ted. Along with Molly’s Aunty Pam (of whom more later) I think Ted’s the best thing to hit Corrie in a long time. Anyway, Blanche pursed her lips and spilled out some thinly disguised homophobic vile. Gail returned from the land of sun dried tomatoes and multi-coloured ice-cream (you can tell I’ve never been) to find her living room redecorated and her son with a new hairdo.

Anyway, this Aunty Pam of Molly’s (see para 4 above) turned up selling knock-off ham in the Rovers. She can get anyone anything knock-off, can Pam. Whadda ya want? Slabs of baked ham? A crate of foreign beer with no questions asked? Trident Cruise Missile with the sell-by date erased? Anything. She’s fab, is Pam. She’s like a breath of fresh air and she’s turned up just in time to see Molly and Tyrone get engaged this coming week. Tyrone tries, bless him, he’s all ready to pop the question with Vera’s engagement ring (this bit brought tears to my eyes, I’m such a sad muppet). But at the chi-chi La-La Lounge, as recommended by de-de-desperate Dev, Tyrone’s planned sparkler and cake failed to compete with another guy’s proposal to his girlfriend which included fireworks and a marching band. Never mind Tyrone, there’s always next week. Tyrone’s engagement sparked memories for Jack of asking Vera to marry him way back in the day. Apparently, Vera was up the stick. And that’s not a phrase you hear enough of these days.

Someone who’s having less luck in the lady love department is Steve McDonald. Michelle throws the £7,500 engagement ring back at him and he has to search in a skip until he recoups his investment. She knows he’s been up to no good and throws him out of his own home and pub, which I found a bit odd. Steve takes to sleeping in the Streetcars office, whiling away the hours with the Rubik’s cube.

Elsewhere this week, Dev and Vernon went golfing together. Dev was in his Pringle jumper and sensible trousers, Vernon was rock and roll with his hat on back to front. The whole point of this set up was for Dev to bump into Prem Mandal, another Asian businessman who’s big in floor covering and carpets, a bit like shag pile. The actor who plays Prem once played Dev’s dad but he didn’t seem to recognise him, which is just as well as Dev’s going to end up adding Prem’s wife to his own shag pile.

And finally this week, Jerry came over all peculiar in the kebab shop and Mother Theresa took it upon herself to look after the afflicted. Poor soul.

Five things we learned in Corrie this week.
1. Steve McDonald’s feet smell and he can’t spell. Are these two things connected?
2. Roy Cropper’s favourite train is the Mallard.
3. Janice, Sean and Sally reckon that Nigel from the the loading bay at Underworld is hot.
4. So is the new extra in Roy’s Rolls.
5. John Stape was forced out of his teaching job by a “cynically orchestrated campaign on YouTube”. I wonder if he means this?

And that’s just about that for this week.

Coronation Street writers this week were Joe Turner, Mark Wadlow, Damon Rochefort and Simon Crowther.

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

Holy cobbles! Fiz Brown turns into a nun

With thanks to my Canadian pal tvor for alerting me to this picture.

Holy cobbles! Why on earth is Fiz Brown dressed as a nun? It's all to do with filming for the new Coronation Street DVD set in South Africa that'll be released later this year. But I'm jiggered if I understand the simple sum of Coronation Street + South Africa = Fiz Brown in a nun's habit. Are the hills alive with the sound of a malfunction in the costume department?

Behind the scenes at the next Corrie Cat Fight

Liz McDonald had better watch out, she's got competition for the attention of bookie Larry Grayson - whoops, sorry - Harry Mason.

Harry's soon to be ex-wife Clarissa Mason, played by Alexandra Boyd, spoke to ITV's Loose Women about fighting Liz McDonald on screen in Coronation Street and you can watch her interview right here.

And although she's a red haired temptress on screen, actress Alexandra is a green goddess in real life. Want to find out more? Click here.

New interactive soap from Manchester

Ok, this isn't strictly Coronation Street-related although it does contain an ex-Corrie actresss but a new online soap launched today at Spinning Jenny.

The producers have emailed to tell me: "We hope Spinning Jenny will be as ground-breaking as Manchester's classic was in the 1950s, and we even have a connection with the Street. One of our main actors, Casey-Lee Jolleys, played Fred Elliot's Thai bride. Spinning Jenny also has a daily blog at http://spinningjennytv.blogspot.com/ and producers are looking for fans to interact - even act! - with the characters in a way never before seen, or attempted in a broadcast drama, whether online or on television. They will help create the story line, or even appear on screen as part of the plot!"

So there you have it. If the sound of it grabs you, have a look at it online.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Corrie's Clarissa real life blog

Actress Alexandra Boyd is doing a grand job on Coronation Street as flame haired Clarissa Mason, soon to be ex-wife of Harry the bookie.

And Alexandra has her own blog right here, it's excellent and well worth a read. She's turning up on ITV1's Loose Women on Monday 21st July and you can find out more about her on her blog here.

To have a look at more Corrie actors' official websites, click here for a list.

Steve McDonald gurn of the week

Want to see more of Coronation Street's Steve's funny faces? Click here.

Coronation Street to get its first lesbian

Coronation Street has its fair share of gay men in it now and a transsexual too so featuring a lesbian has been long overdue.

According to the News of the World, Corrie's first lesbian will turn up on the cobbles soon. You can read the full story here although my money's still on Gail and Eileen getting putting their differences to one side and getting along, um, just a bit better.

Want to read more about the representation of homosexuality in Corrie? Click here

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