Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Monday 23 November 2009

Blog Exclusive! Inside Soap reveals all

I've been blogging about Coronation Street since 2007 and in all that time, Inside Soap magazine has proved to be the best soaps mag you can buy. It's got interviews, spoilers, pictures, the works. And now, we've been lucky enough to have an exclusive interview with Mr Inside Soap himself - the editor, Steven Murphy!

Q: How long have you been editor at Inside Soap and when did the magazine begin? 
I've been editor here for over nine years now. Blimey, that's a long time! But I did my first work on the mag as a freelance writer back in 1996. The magazine began in 1992 as a monthly, then it went fortnightly in 1996. I took it weekly in 2003, which was a really scary time!, and luckily it paid off. I think that's it now. I don't see a daily Inside Soap any time soon!

Q: How, why and when did your interest in soaps begin? 
Well, my mum is a soap viewer. My brother is actually named after a Crossroads character she liked, and no, he's not called Benny! So the shows were always on in the house. Also, I was brought up in South West Scotland where it rains a lot. An awful lot. So as a kid, I was sat in watching a lot of telly! I began working in magazines after I left Uni, and always did entertainment stuff, but slowly soap became my specialist area.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job as Inside Soap editor? 
All of it! It's great to work in a subject area you love. I love the process of making a magazine, coming up with the ideas and working with my great team. Plus the fact at the end of every week you get a present, a brand-new issue of Inside Soap. And, of course, I get to know the soap plots before other people!

Q: Why do you think soaps have such an international, lasting appeal? 
I think it's human nature to want to look into other people's lives. Let's face it, anyone who says they're not nosey and don't like a gossip is basically a liar! I think we enjoy the fact we can associate with a lot of the characters' dilemmas, and see a bit of ourselves or people we know in the characters. Plus, soaps are something that you can talk to anyone (well, almost anyone) about. It's something we all have in common. We all want to know when Tony will get his comeuppance or want to talk about what a bitch Rosie is. And I also think, especially with UK soaps, it's because they are really, really good drama. Some people look down on them, but they are probably the kind of people who look down on anything that's popular.

Q: Who are your top three favourite soap characters of all time either in the UK or abroad? 
Oh. That's a hard question. JR Ewing, I'm a big Dallas fan and I think Larry Hagman's portrayal of him is a work of sheer genius. Sharon Watts. I love a tragic heroine, and Sharon the the ultimate of those. I wish she'd come back to Walford. And then Steve McDonald. I think he's one of the most realistic portrayals of modern man ever. Steve is just so real. He's basically a bit rubbish at everything and a huge coward, like most men.

Q: Thinking of Corrie in particular now, what do you think is its enduring appeal? 
I think the richness of the characters, and the fantastic dialogue. It can be just as entertaining when the plot is about an argument over who owns a bit of cheese as it can be when there's a serial killer stalking the cobbles and that's because we love and believe in the characters so much, and because the writing is so good. I also think it's to do with its history. It has such a solid foundation with families like the Barlows, the McDonalds and the Websters that no matter how many changes the show goes through and it has gone through a lot over the years, it always seems familiar. Whereas other soaps have been through so many set-ups and cast changes that sometimes the viewer feels like it's a completely different show.

Q: What's been your favourite Corrie storylines over the years? 
Oh, so many. I love anything with the Barlows. Most recently I really loved the Ken and Martha storyline. I thought it was beautifully written and wonderfully played. Going back, Richard Hillman was obviously unmissable and I loved Kevin's affair with Natalie because it was the first time he or Sally had cheated I just thought it had a real impact, the catfight between the two women was brilliant.

Q: Who are your all-time favourite male and female Corrie characters and why? 
Male, as I said, I love Steve McDonald. I also am really fond of Roy. Female, there's so many, but my all-time favourite is Deirdre. I just adore her.

Q: In your job you get to meet and interview many soap actors, but which ones from Corrie have you never met that you'd really like to? Anne Kirkbride I've never met. When I do my life would be complete! I'd really love to have a chat with Barbara Knox (Rita) and Eileen Derbyshire (Emily) as they never do any interviews, and they must have so many stories from over the years.

Q: Are there any snippets you'd like to share about the ones you've met? 
Well, one well-known actress did once do the splits in my hotel room! But I promised I'd never tell. And I did once beat Andy Whyment (Kirk) and Sam Aston (Chesney) at tennis when they were filming the South Africa DVD, although they then beat me for about the next five games!

Q: Are there any of the classic Corrie actors from the 1960s onwards who are no longer with us that you would have loved to have met? 
Well, I think everone would love to meet the women behind Ena Sharples and Annie Walker, as those characters were such legends.

Q: Can you tease readers with any plans that Inside Soap might have to celebrate Corrie's 50th next year? 
Well, we're just starting to think about it now, but there will be some very special treats for Corrie fans, I promise.

Q: And finally, do you know any Corrie spoilers you can tease us with, or is it more than your job's worth?! ;-) 
It is more than my job's worth, there are some very scary people in the Corrie press office who will come and knock me round the head if I say too much! But I have just read the storylines for January, and there's a couple of shock love splits on the cards. But other than that, my lips are sealed!

With thanks to Steven Murphy and all the lovely people at Inside Soap Magazine. Visit their website here.

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