Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A storm in a Coronation Street teacup

ITV's This Morning had Michelle Collins and Phil Collinson on, er, this morning, to answer some of the stories that have appeared in the press recently.

Firstly, Stella's accent: Nobody at Coronation Street has a problem with it and it won't be changing. Phil thinks it's important that with the Rovers' landlady being such a pivotal role, she should have a northern accent and Michelle defended it as actually being toned down from the strong Bolton accent she was using for a play up there earlier this year. As far as the family is concerned, storylines are already planned through next year and so there will be no hasty rewrites to get rid of them. New families take time to bed in, cf. the Battersbys and the Slaters.

Ratings: As we pointed out on this blog, if anything, the ratings are up. This Morning also did a comparison and found the same thing, year on year, summer on summer, ratings are actually up. The comparison that the late, unlamented News of the World did, compared an episode that had appeared in the Britain's Got Talent week, where you would expect the audience to be higher, against one which was shown at the same time as an Andy Murray match at Wimbledon. Hardly a fair comparison.

Crisis meeting: It didn't happen. What The People got hold of was the notes from a regular progress meeting where the state of the show is discussed openly and honestly between the whole production crew. There is no crisis and everyone at ITV is happy with where the show is and where it's going.

Is Corrie too gay? No it isn't. There are only 2 gay couples, Roy and Hayley don't count. And anyway, audience feedback shows that  Hayley, Sean and Sophie are 3 of the best-loved characters and so of course the producers are going to write stories about them.

So, it's all a storm in a teacup, though that makes me wonder why they've gone to such lengths to defend themselves against criticism in the press when they could just so easily have left it all to be tomorrow's chip wrappings.

53 comments:

Chewy said...

I think they felt they needed to defend themselves, this whole "too gay" crap has been going around for ages and finally came to a head, the ratings thing spread through the papers like wild fire, I think the show defended themselves pretty well.

ste said...

i can understand hayley and sophie being popular characters but sean?? Obviously not asking gay men for feedback then...

Anonymous said...

Yes, people here are so annoying, too quick to moan and moan about how different it is.. Well, make up your mind about recyling storyline, or different stuff.

Anonymous said...

He's in total and utter denial.

Wait till the advertisers pull out due to low ratings and subject matter.

Anonymous said...

Sean is close friends with Phil C I understand

Anonymous said...

"when they could just so easily have left it all to be tomorrow's chip wrappings. "

using newspapers for chip wrapping has been banned for many many years now.

Tvor said...

I think they felt they wanted to defend the show because the media just will not let it go. Summer often is slow for news so i guess they all decided to get on the bandwagon.

personally, i like Sean, Sophie, Stella et all.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not silliness about ratings dropping 2 million in a month, too many gays or Stella's accent. It's that Corrie has clearly been trying to attract new viewers with it's sensationalist storylines and either hasn't or has at the expense of a similar number of regular viewers switching off. The ratings are in steady decline and the producers can't seem to prevent that.

Also there is clearly major dissatisfaction with the show as Jim Shelley's article below indicates.

Anonymous said...

I burst out laughing last night in 'that' bar !

As Stan would have said, "by 'eck, wot's al'this! I'm off down t'Flying Hoss !" Pity us viewers are no longer allowed to see the real Wetherfield ! Just the gays, trannies etc, whither the nuclear family; could the new Barlow be our saviour?!

Anonymous said...

Tvor,

I think you are the only person I have ever come across who likes Sean. I have never known a character get as much flack as he does (with the possible exception of Gwen Loveday in the days of the CSVU site) and I am genuinely mystified as to who ITV are asking when they get their "audience feedback".

Anonymous said...

I like Sean. And, as it has been stated several times, the decline in ratings is utter bullsh*t. Corrie has beaten Eastenders pretty consistently over the past weeks. Can people just admit they dislike Collinson (for whatever reason) and want to see him fail, even when he's actually doing well?

Anonymous said...

Folk are watching Corrie because it is great car-crash viewing, watching a great soap being wrecked with absurd plots, characters and unbelievable situations. James an "apprentice" villian? Leave it out! Corrie is a real crease these days, my sides were sore by the end of last night's episodes? Er...we are meant to be laughing at Aud & Marcia etc aren't we?

Llywela said...

I'm enjoying the show thoroughly at the moment and don't know what all the moaning is about.

Sure, it has its weaknesses, like any other show, and goes through its ups and downs, again like any other show, and if I wanted to I could pick holes in plots until the cows come home. But I don't want to. The show entertains me, I feel genuinely attached to most of the characters and can understand why they behave the way they do whether I like them as people or not - to me, that's what matters most. Could it be better? Yes. But it could also be a hell of a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

There were six consecutive scenes last night which opened with someone pointedly sipping from a glass of wine, in the seventh Ken was quaffing his half of bitter. Suitable for family viewing before 9pm, or doesn't wine-drinking count has boozing?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, some of you are really clutching onto straws to make a point why the show is suppoed to be going downhill.

Anonymous said...

You seem suppoed yourself luv, another glass!?

Nemo said...

For goodness sake... "storm in a teacup" does not even begin to describe the situation on this blog with some of these idiotic "Anonymous" comments.

Lighten up people! Corrie is devoid of a couple of things but it is most certainly not as bad as it was during the Crowther reign. *shudders*

Anonymous said...

"storm in a teacup" aye hteirs beenplenty on t'street of late!

Have been told it was Ken Barlow that through the stool through the Rovers window! Anyone know for sure?

Chewy said...

Haha! That would have been amazing xD

Storm in a teacup is the right phrase to all this fuss, at the end of the day, it's a soap, a TV show, sometimes the storylines are a bit off, but people seem to be getting so wound up by it all...I just don't get it

Anonymous said...

I stand to be corrected, but I don't remember any previous producer feeling the need to defend the show. For those not watching through rose tinted glasses, I'm sorry but it's just not very good.

Wasn't David moaning on and on about wanting Kylie to have Max so they could be a family? Now, it's as if Max never existed and they are only interested in moving from Gail's. This is a glaring continuity mistake that would never have been made years ago. Unfortuntely such mistakes are happening all the time. Some people might be able to overlook these errors, but it completely spoils my enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

You spoil your point through bad grammar or spelling, some people.

Paul said...

The issues are not michelle collins, too many gay characters. The issue is about quality and sensationalism.

The quality is severly lacking irrespective of the above points Ive mentioned. Although I do admit some of the humour was creeping back in last night with Norris.(Monday).

Im going to repeat the point that it needs to cut deadwood characters(whom have been mentioned by others in recent posts) and cut back to 3episodes a week to allow for character led rather than short term rating grabbing sensationalist plots.

It's been reported today that Kirk & Tyrone apparently kidnap some drugs gang leader?! Two back street lads without a brain cell between them?! At best desperation, at worst lazy pathetic script writing. Quite ironic this story comes out on the day the producer feels he has to "defend" the show.
This just about sums it up.

maggie muggins said...

I find it curious that people who are criticizing the show most strongly are using the same terminology, whole phrases even, that the media and other bloggers are using. Strange, the talking points phenomenon. Not very original.

As for so-called deadwood characters - I always like Sean and still do. I'm looking forward to the development of his relationship with Marcus and being a Dad. I really don't think he's as camp as he's made out to be. And when he is, so what? I like Sophie too, though I admit hers and Sian's mumbling needs to be addressed, especially Sian. I suppose if they chopped off their hair & got piercings, there'd be complaints that they looked too much like lesbians.

Generally , I see sensational stories, but acted through the lens of ordinary people going through their daily lives. Every time a "viewer" sighs about a leaked storyline, saying the show is ruined - I laugh when it actually airs and turns out to be pretty well done. I really have to wonder if all this hoo-haw would be happening if no gay characters were ever introduced onto the Street. This all kicked up after that dumb article by Brian Sewell. I think it was so horrific, it was right to come out in defense of the show.

Tvor said...

Most of the time, I agree, leaked storylines are blown way out of proportion and they don't always turn out to be as wild and wooly as we are led to believe. Ken being pushed over and left for dead? Hardly. As maggie muggins above put it so well, it's seen through the eyes of ordinary people.

If Ty and Kirk do in fact get involved in the drugs thing, it'll likely be more a case of a lucky accident than any clever planning on their part.

Paul said...

Ordinary people. Not many "ordinary people" see murder, deceipt, rowing, long lost relatives, people being imprisoned everyday, shops and factories being blown up, kidnappings, trams coming off viaducts etc etc.
Corrie is not and hasnt been for a long time "ordinary" like it was in the 70's and 80's.
That was ordinary hum drum life.
Maybe Im harking back to the "golden era" and I will have to acknowledge it will never come back. Maybe people should listen to what older members of the cast say about the show eg Jean Alexandar (Hilda Ogden) Granted, the show has to move on "if" it wants to reflect real life eg, gay parents and gay liberalisation, but not to the level of sensationalism it has now.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to those two idiots (Kirk and Ty) kidnapping a gang leader/drug dealer. Probably a hoot and will lead to Fiz really seeing that she belongs with Kirk because he's stood right by her through everything..hoping anyway.

Anonymous said...

Well said Paul. The fundamental problem is the number of episodes. Crossroads used to beat Coronation Street in the ratings despite being broadcast five times a week, but is of course no longer with us. Unless the quality of Coronation Street improves, it will go the same way as Crossroads. It seems to me that many of the people pontificating in this thread know nothing about British TV or the life of ordinary people in the North.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Corrie viewer in Australia, we are a few months behind the UK and I don't get the UK press. The show is my favourite of all time, but this past year has been the worst I can recall. The Stape, Tina-Graeme, Beck-Steve and David-Kylie stories have been most unenjoyable, I dislike all the newer charcaters except for Tommy, and it seems that the older charcaters and humour have been largely lost. My favourite charcter is Deirdre - I think Anne Kirkbride a sensational actress and to me the highlight of last year was not the tram crash but Blanche's funeral where Ms Kirkbride gave a really moving performance. She now has virtually nothing to do, and has not been the focus of a proper story in ages, while others dominate story after story. Just my opinion, but what's happening is a real shame.

Beth said...

I just wish that they would get off the gay issue with the show. There are only 4 gay characters, so really what is the problem?! To keep making that the "issue" and the "problem" in his interviews it is skirting round the real issues that the programme is not the quality it was. The continuity of the storylines are justy dreadful. They way they just drop stories mid way through is an insult to the viewer. What about David's epilepsy, Max, Chris wife beating ways etc. And apart from whizzing up stories that are so crazy they should make sure that the actors that they hire are up to the job of carrying them through! Sophie & Sian and the new family at the Rovers to name but two.

Yes, it's just a soap, but it's a bloody good one that's only been handed to Phil Collinson for a short while to look after, as was the case with all the others who have worked on the show. Corrie really belongs to us the viewers who diligently tune in week in week out for years and years. I've watched for donkey's years and not ready to give up on it as it was part of my childhood, call me a sentimental old soul. I could drop EE like a stone, it was easy, it went bad and after all it didn't have history.

As for it being a storm in a teacup and the summer being slow on news - well not quite so, the UK has plenty on it's plate news wise at the moment and the Corrie story could have been buried very quickly what with all that's going on right now.

So, me thinks PC owes us the viewers big time, it's without US the show would be nothing and he should take a bit more notice of what we have to say and not what he wants and thinks is right.(we after all are his ratings and bread and butter) AND I do think he doth protest too much if all is THAT happy at base camp!

Anonymous said...

4 gay characters, 5 surely ?

I mean why did James have to be gay?

I'm afraid PC doesn't seem to understand that he has overloaded Corrie with gays whilst excluding the nuclear family. Odd that it is the gay couple in Mother Hubbards shoe (aka No.11) that seem to show ordinary family values. Odd too that they seem always broke with at least 6 wage-earners there!

If this was a new soap started up with PC it would dead by now. It is only the loyal viewers that keep it going. I too will ride this storm and wait for Corrie to get back into the real world and realistic scenarios of everyday life, which is levened by gay issues NOT dominated by them!!

Tvor said...

James is gay because they wanted to really show the difference between him and his ultra conservative bigotted father Lawrence and more liberal grandfather Ken. I don't find it odd at all that a gay couple has ordinary family values. Having gay people in the neighbourhood *is* realistic and there's just too many people with prejudices that are trying to wind everyone up against gays.

Corrie's problems have nothing to do with having gay characters on the show. Inconsistencies, plot holes, dropped plots, a bit too much sensationalism. But i choose to overlook much of that as much as i do pick on some of it as well, but it's more in the vein of poking fun rather than serious criticism. It's a soap. It doesn't have to be like a documentary.

Adam Rekitt said...

Well said Beth. Yet another great rant from you. Collinson should just ignore the homphobes in the tabloids and elsewhere who claim the show is too gay. All the soaps now have gay characters and if people don't like it then don't watch. People with minds narrow enough to be homphobic are hardly going to be persuaded by rational argument.

The idea that Corrie is dominated by gay storylines is absolutely idiotic.

Beth said...

Adam Rekitt - "Blush", ohhh I do tend to get carried away... oops :) must remember it's just a soap and keep my rants small.

Fat Brenda said...

Anonymous wrote: 'I mean why did James have to be gay?"

Do you know, lovey, that's what me friend Bernice said an' all! She said it's a tragedy for us lasses that he's gay. She's got a thing for younger fellas with posh accents - except George Osborne, she thinks he's rancid!

Anonymous said...

I wish something would seriously be done to stop the annoying camera moving about on the cast. Corrie, 11th July 2011 showed the camera going non – stop from one person to another while the camera was going up and down, and this way and well every way you can think of apart from keeping steady. I have been taking notice just who is filming each episode lately, and I find it is quite often different people however, the other week was really bad filmed by Tim Finn, and tonights was almost just as bad by Mark Hornby. The only person I have found who is still bad, but a little better than the two plus others I have mentioned, is Bob Moss whoever he is. Instead of these camera men holding the camera on their shoulders, can they not use a tripod stand with steadier shots used in place? It is worse when I use the Text to follow the words as sometimes I need to do this due to having gangs of youngsters hanging around near my outside window, and I don't want them to hear the TV been too loud. I often find the cast are in one place without moving, and so is my text writing, but the annoying camera is either shaking or moving all over the place and sometimes in annoying angles. I have just took notice of Columbo that was on ITV recently, and the camera work, is much better indeed. Its a pity the Americans like that can't give some training to these Corrie Camera Operator guys. It just totally knocks the feeling of Corries storyline out of the window when the camera is wobbling or moving about like this. Keep the cast and get rid of these camera -men . . . I am sure some amatuer who has been practising on his or her camcorder can do a job better.

Anonymous said...

I knew James was a fraud the moment this story was written. For some reason over the last few weeks, you could tell what the writer's had in mind for the viewers to watch. Maybe they could have come up with something of a better storyline, as I am sure I saw this storyline similar on Taggert sometime ago.If it wasn't that drama, it was something else.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they did do this storyline in Taggart!

And oi!, I'm not homophobic, but 5 gays and NO ordinary family of mum & dad married to each other with 2 kids, faithful and looking after themselves and others around them like er..in society at large! Yes it is too gay then, NO ARGUMENT!!!!!!

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Anonymous said...

Having watched Coronation Street since it started I think it has now descended into pure farce.
The new additions of Michelle Collins and family have totally ruined the show. Sean always has to be the centre of attention, Sophie and her partner are just boring, and Audrey's new friend is just unbelievable. I love the older characters and particularly like Norris and Mary who bring a welcome bit of humour to the show, but we do not see nearly enough of them, but are subjected to the dreariest people in the show. I do hope that things improve, but don't hold out much hope if Phil Collinson is going to continue to be the producer who will not be swayed by viewers opinions.

Anonymous said...

I will be pleased when they bring Corrie back to a Wednesday, and I hope it stays this way after that. However, I do hope they DO NOT put Corrie back on a Sunday, as I like it the way it is. It seems to get in the way for me as I always have company on a Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Terrible photography used during the filming of Corrie, and it spoils the whole cast after all the effort they have put in for filming Corrie.

Anonymous said...

We should have a vote for all Corrie camera operators...they'll not get mine for a start!

Anonymous said...

I agree with an earlier post, that 'The idea that Corrie is dominated by gay storylines is absolutely idiotic'. I don't see the fascination, and I did think an awful lot about sean as I thought his character was great at first, but possibly a year or two maybe longer, I did not like the way he was snogging especially at an early time when younger viewers would be watching. I do not want him to leave and I don't mind seeing Marcus, but seeing them both without any kissing or holding hands would be appreciated. I am not against gays as it is up to a person what they wish to be, but I do not think that too much about gays should be emphasized at an early time - slot.

Anonymous said...

To promote better health, why doesn't Corrie swap the selling of all their alcohol drinks, for NON - ALCOHOL booze instead. This may also lower alcohol related deaths, alcohol related diseases, alcohol related dementia, alcohol related crime, alcohol related illnesses.

Anonymous said...

You are against gays anonymous by saying that there should not be too much about gays at an early time slot. Just replace gays by blacks in that sentence.

It's fine for Jim McDonald to smash a chair over a young guy, for Frank to attempt to rape Maria and for an ever increasing collection of criminal activity including murder. But it's a big no to signs of affection between two men like holding hands. There may be young children watching and they might catch being gay!!!

I am sure that many other people are tired of reading this bigoted drivel.

Cobblestone said...

Will people PLEASE stop drivelling on about the cameramen using TRIPODS, for goodness sake! Have you people ANY idea how BIG the cameras are that are used on these shows. They're enormous and very heavy. You cannot mount them on a tripod. Whether you like it or not, the art of cimematography has evolved. Instead of static one-shots and two-shots, the director (please note - the episode DIRECTOR, not the cameraman) may decide to use other techniques to enhance the drama, immediacy or intimacy of a scene. In the old days all of Corrie was shot in a studio, and static shots were the norm, but nowadays more and more scenes are shot on location. Episodes like the tram crash made use of Steadycams because that is what the drama required immagine how dramatic the tram scenes would have been if every shot was a static shot?

Anonymous said...

Never mind the bigoted drivel, what about the similiar gay propaganda drivel! EG: The girls from the factory cooing and ahhing at Sean & lover entering the Rovers, come off it, these are factory lasses!!! Two hetero lovers maybe, but, and I write from ACTUAL experiences in this case, the girls would have been indulging in light-hearted and well-meant cynicism which would probably be construed by those not in the know as homophobia. I'm sorry it is being laid on with a trowel - we get the message and, let's face it, you will NEVER convert those against you !!! And please, if you want to do this kissy-kissy stuff to yuck-yuck proportions than can we also have a married loving couple doing these things to each other on the sofa, (no tongues) after they have put the kids to bed? Sorry we don't have this ordinary family unit on the street since Stape turned into the mad axe-man !!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding chair smashing etc, the big question is WHO threw that stool into t'street via the Rovers front window. Well it wasn't Ken, okay it might have bounced off his quiff on the way, but it was I who threw it. I am the token shaven-headed black geezer seen propping up the backdrop in the Rovers. I am in fact the new Kelly's dad but the script-writers have yet to use me. You may ask why I am only seen in the Rovers and never queuing for the bus, just leaving the cabin or Dev's when someone enters, or seen with a bag of chips from Wongs passing by on the other side and flicking a passing kick at the pigeons? So do I, I just get told take this glass and stand there in! Still I'm all action compared with James' acting!

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is too much boozing in Corrie. they were certainly knocking it back Monday night, I bet that was Ken's nth half! And yes it is right there WERE six scenes in a row starting with a glass of wine, I counted them! Bring on the Vimto!!!!

gab said...

not tat im trying to stick the knife in but sorry sean and sophie arent the most loved characters at all-ised to like sean but now anthony thinks hes the best thing since sliced bread and it comes ove rin his performance

and sophie is just a whiney little doo gooder who shouts all the time so please phil dont go saying things that just arent true

most people i know feel the same about those two-but yes the proportion of gay people living in one street is higher than normal-but this isnt real is it after all

Anonymous said...

I have just left a comment on the other part of Corry re; the sceeching and arguing of the younger cast.
Please cast some slightly older actors to make the Street as it should be. and also inject "again" some subtle humor. At the moment it is an indurance to watch it.
Shouting and more shouting!
One gay couple, Sean and his friend would be nice but please get RID of the two girls. aarrggg.

ANON
It only can get better.

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