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

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Fifty Fun Facts That May Or May Not Be True

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, here is some rarely mentioned trivia about our favourite soap.

  1. Ena Sharples was originally named “Princess Margaret Windsor” until Buckingham Palace objected.
  2. Plans for a spin off revolving around the robots that operated Alma Baldwin from inside her skull were shelved after the pilot due to the escalating costs.
  3. Laurence Olivier asked to appear on the show, but was turned down because Bill Roache thought his Oscar-winning version of Hamlet was “rubbish”.
  4. There is an exact replica of Coronation Street built on the other side of the viaduct.  It was constructed because Bill Podmore wanted the set to be symmetrical through that vertice.
  5. Bet Lynch’s hairpieces were constructed out of leftover asbestos.
  6. There is a hatch in the back garden of Gail’s house that leads to a small underground chamber.  This was specially constructed so that Helen Worth would have somewhere to rest between scenes.  Inside is an ashtray, a sofa, and three copies of the Sporting Life.
  7. Other suggestions for the name of the pub were “The Rotten Ferret”, “The Smashed Vase”, and “Judi Dench’s Stolen Codpiece”.
  8. There have been 138 deaths on the Street, 67 births, and one regression to an egg (Fred Gee in 1984).
  9. There are words to the Coronation Street theme, but they have never been broadcast because they are anti-Semitic.
  10. Peter Barlow has been played by 28 actors, including Bill Roache’s real life son, his nephew, a midget, two men in a pantomime horse, Dame Edith Evans, and a chiropodist (for three weeks in 1974).
  11. The beer in the Rovers isn’t real, but the sherry is.  This is because Eileen Derbyshire refuses to work until she’s had at least half a bottle of Pale Irish Cream.
  12. Actress Doreen Keough (Concepta Hewitt) was born with eight toes on her left foot.
  13. Hayley Cropper was not the first transsexual on the show; Len Fairclough was.  It was thought rude to mention it.
  14. A regeneration sequence for Nicky Tilsley was filmed, but cut for time.
  15. Ian McKellen’s appearance on the show was part of an exchange scheme with the Royal National Theatre.  In return, Nikki “Candice” Sanderson played Othello for the Winter Season 2008.
  16. If you pasted all the videotape from every episode of Corrie end to end, you could construct a Boeing 727.  It wouldn’t fly, though.
  17. Mike Baldwin was conceived as a Russian (Mikhail Baldovski).  He only became Cockney when it turned out Johnny Briggs had lied when he said he could do the accent.
  18. The Kabin is spelt with a K because Barbara Cnox has a morbid fear of the letter C.
  19. Famous faces who’ve cameoed on the Street include Pete Burns, Cardinal Richelieu, and Fred & Rosemary West (who almost bought the corner shop from Alf Roberts in 1993).
  20. To celebrate the transition to colour television in 1970, all the cast had their faces painted.  Annie Walker came as a lion.
  21. The Glad Tidings Mission Hall was demolished after it was realised it had been built on an ancient Indian burial ground.  The set was razed and the land exorcised. 
  22. Lynne Perrie’s collagen lip surgery was originally going to be explained as the result of a massive wasp sting.
  23. Each of the bricks in the stone cladding on number 9 was hand crafted by artisans in Bologna and cost £12,000.
  24. Percy Sugden often did scenes without any trousers on, claiming that it was integral to his characterisation.
  25. The Umbeck people of Tanzania have adopted the phrase kenbarlow into their language.  It signifies a particularly pained grimace used in times of stress.
  26. Pat Phoenix had her red hair insured for £28,000.  She was forced to claim in 1978 when a trainee hairdresser accidentally put Russet Wash on it instead of Autumn Flames.
  27. For the ITV Telethon in 1987, Phyllis Pearce and Hilda Ogden wrestled in a vat of jelly in the yard of the Rovers.  Phyllis won with a technical knock out.
  28. Other names considered for the show included Florizel Street, Cobbled Street, Stock Northern Types, and Eee Up!
  29. Curly Watts was so called after Emily Bishop saw him naked in the shower.
  30. Kevin Webster’s moustache is now preserved in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas.
  31. Before they agreed to cameo, Status Quo demanded a rider of a tin of butter beans, drained, and piled in a pyramid in their dressing room.
  32. Writers on the show who have gone on to greater fame have included Jack Rosenthal, Russell T Davies, Dame Shirley Porter, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, and Cher.
  33. The cat in the title sequence died after its first appearance.  Producers were forced to scour Manchester’s pet shops in search of an identical looking cat for Wednesday’s episode.  The replacement – known as “Boots” – held the position for thirty six years.
  34. The show has been adapted for German television, where it is known as Die Strasse auf Funmichpersona (“Street of People”).  An American version was also attempted starring Lynda Gray as Ena Sharples and Don Johnson as Albert Tatlock, but it never made it past the pilot stage.
  35. The Rovers Return is larger than it appears.  Besides the bar, it features a parlour, a downstairs kitchen, an upstairs kitchen, a lounge, four bedrooms, a tanning salon, a gift wrapping room, and a hunting lodge.  There is no toilet other than the one in the bar.
  36. A writer’s strike in 1972 meant that the actors had to improvise six weeks of plot.  During this period, Billy Walker was revealed to be a werewolf, Albert Tatlock married Elsie Tanner, then left her for Harry Hewitt – who had returned from the dead – and Maggie Clegg murdered Ken Barlow.  After the strike ended, Annie Walker said “that’s quite enough of that” and it was never mentioned again.
  37. There have been two crossovers with other tv shows.  In 1987, Jimmy Corkhill from Brookside attempted to sell Gloria Todd some heroin.  And in 1977, the Graffiti Club was blown up by the Liberator from Blakes 7.
  38. Due to the actress’ advancing age, in some scenes Minnie Caldwell was replaced by Bungle from Rainbow.
  39. Censors were forced to intervene over Alan Bradley’s death.  In the originally filmed version, he was sliced in half by the tram.
  40. Kym Marsh Ryder Marsh washes her hair in boot polish to maintain that shiny black sheen.
  41. Since the show began, over 45 million pints have been pulled in the Rovers.  Plus one Screaming Orgasm (for Norris Cole in 2007).
  42. Ken Barlow has a shrine devoted to TV-am weathergirl Wincey WIllis under the stairs.
  43. During the live episode for the 40th Anniversary, Sue “Audrey” Nicholls accidentally called Prince Charles a “w------r”.  She has therefore been banned from the next live episode.
  44. Albert Tatlock had to have all his lines written on boards, which grew progressively larger as the years went on.  For his last episode they wrote it on a tarpaulin suspended from a helicopter.
  45. Tyrone Dobbs has to visit a farm to be shaved on a weekly basis.
  46. Number 6 was built with the ability to split apart to reveal a hidden rocket silo underneath.  Phil Middlemass left before his character could be revealed as a secret arms dealer, however.
  47. Tracy Barlow’s tapes included Bros, Brother Beyond, Jason Donovan, and Fields of the Nephilim.
  48. Monica the greyhound was actually a Chihuahua wearing a specially made suit.
  49. David Beckham has a tattoo of Maureen Holdsworth on his left buttock.  “I thought the scene where her waterbed leaked was the funniest thing I ever saw,” he said at a press conference.
  50. Plotlines for the 100th anniversary, leaked to the press, include an Andorian Space Cruiser crashing onto the street, Rosie Webster being hospitalised after her robot hip turns on her, a war between two slaves in the pit underneath the Rovers, and Ken Barlow trying to write another novel before sucking his teeth and running a hand through his hair in frustration.


Fat Brenda said...

All flamin' true! That is some exhaustive research that is lovey.


Nemo said...

Wonderful stuff! ;D

Rachel said...

I think I laughed at all of them. Now are you going to get in trouble with ITV for revealing these facts? I'm off to wipe the tears from my eyes!

Glenda Young said...

By eck lad, you don't blog much but when you do, they're gems. Brilliant!

Tvor said...

"It signifies a particularly pained grimace used in times of stress."
You know, that's not really a stretch lol I always thought Roache's "Deer in the headlights" approach to acting was pretty lame ;)))))))

Sea Penguin said...

Very funny! I definitely believe the one about Gail's underground chamber.

Ange said...

This just made my day! Especially impressed with Ken's full head of hair for the 100th anniversary.

Clinkers (David) said...

Hilarious! Love he one about Rosemary West running the corner shop. There was a touch of the Renee Bradshaws about her . . .

Anonymous said...

Don johnson as Albert tatlock - inspired!!

IisReallyCalledRitaSullivan said...

....Barbara Knox has a morbid fear of the letter C?.....
Ha ha.

That one made me laugh.


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