Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Monday, 25 October 2010

50 Years Of Corrie In 50 Days – 1966

Day 6 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.

By 1966, Coronation Street wasn’t just being shown in the UK. Australia had been showing the programme since 1963 and by 1966 it was more popular there than back home. Channel 9 sent an invitation for a party from Coronation Street to visit fans in Australia. Granada accepted the invitation and a group was put together consisting of Doris Speed (Annie Walker), Arthur Leslie (Jack Walker) and Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner) from the cast along with producer/writer H.V. Kershaw and Norman Frisby from the press office.

The group visited Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and they were mobbed everywhere they went. They visited several local Coronation Streets, presented awards, appeared on numerous chat shows and even performed a sketch specially written by Kershaw. Driving back to the airport in Adelaide, Doris and Pat wept as 50,000 people turned out to wave them farewell.
For a while Ken Barlow had played the role of devoted husband and father but in 1966 he had his head turned by glamorous reporter Jackie Marsh who he’d met when she interviewed his brother David. He started to meet her behind Valerie’s back but Elsie Tanner saw them kissing and warned him not to throw away his family. He told her to keep her nose out and arranged to go away with Jackie, telling Valerie that he was attending a conference. However, when Valerie packed him a lunch for the journey, he realised he couldn’t betray her and ended the affair.

Ken thought he’d got away with it but two months later Valerie revealed that she’d known all about it and she left him, taking the twins with her to her parents in Scotland. She returned a month later having forgiven him and Ken promised to be more attentive.

Also in 1966: Bet Lynch and Ray Langton join the cast; Sunny Jim returns; Len Fairclough and Annie Walker stand for the council and Len wins on toss of a coin; Ena is fined £2 for shoplifting; Paul Cheveski falls in canal; David and Irma Barlow buy the corner shop.

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