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Tuesday 24 April 2012

Why we love Carla Connor and heart Alison King

Now then, I'm a lady of a certain age and have been watching Coronation Street since I was a girl.  I've also been involved in th'internet side of my favourite soap since 1993. In fact, the first two words I ever typed into what passed back then for a search engine (anyone remember Lynx? Mosaic?) were "Coronation Street".  And I've seen, and been part of, Corrie phases and fads online that come and go. My first ever Corrie web-page was "Spider's Web" (ahem!) so I know what it's like to be a huge Corrie fan, wanting to express that online, joining online communities with other fans and sharing the fun.

Anyway, one prominent phase over the last few years has been the online love for Brooke Vincent and Sacha Parkinson who played Corrie's first lesbians, Sophie and Sian.  Hundreds of fan sites, twitter feeds, tumblrs and facebook groups were set up to express in varying degrees - desire, love, lust, gratitude - at giving young girls a voice, young lesbians a voice.

And now, again, the twitter feeds are lighting up again with young girls hearting Carla Connor and loving Alison King. - it's the turn of the Aliettes.  Determined to find out just what it was that made Carla/Alison so special to so many young girls, I put a call out on twitter for Aliettes to have their opinions heard, and a few answered the call, below.  And so, it's over to the Aliettes, with my heartfelt thanks to the ones who responded and emailed in.

"Being an Aliette means so much to me as we're all like one big family, we are able to talk about the same things and some of us even meet one another through being an Aliette. From personal experience Alison is such a down to earth person and she's so loyal, always finds time to stop and speak to fans and tell them how much she appreciates all the support us Aliettes give her, She is always very happy to pose for photos with fans, I have met Alison 3 times and I have to say she is the most nicest and decent person you could ever meet, she's nothing like her character Carla. Back in February I gave Ali her birthday card and present for March and she thanked me and gave me a kiss on the cheek, She really appreciated it. I love her character Carla Connor she brings something exciting to the show, I don't think the show would be the same without Carla or Ali." 
I've watched Coronation Street all my life, but have never enjoyed it as much as I have since Alison King joined, playing Carla Connor in 2006. I am a huge fan of Ali, I think she is a really versatile actress, and has excelled in portraying Carla in the past 5 years. Whether you love or hate the character she plays, I think we can all appreciate the work she puts in, and how much it pays off. To me the brilliant thing about Ali, is her ability to act both serious, sensitive scenes and light hearted and comedic scenes. Along with that, she has this brilliant attention to detail, and can be incredible subtle at times, making her, in my opinion one of, if not, Corrie's best actresses. 
Being an Aliette (the name given to Ali's fans!) is wonderful, I've made friends with a load of other lovely fans, and it's wonderful to be able to share and appreciate the work she has done together, as well as give her all the support she deserves. Although I've never met Ali (I'd love to one day!) I get the impression she is a really lovely, modest and not fame hungry at all, which is one of the reasons I think so many people love her, she seems really down to earth and I doubt she is aware of how brilliant she really is!
I'm really proud and happy that Ali has been nominated for four awards at the BSAs, I really hope she wins them because I think it's high time she got some recognition for the amount of work she has put in over the past five years on Corrie.  I hope Ali stays on our screens for years to come, as with Carla, you can never get bored! 

It started off a few years back after when Ali first appeared on Coronation Street. But I only just set up my twitter last year. Us fans call ourselves many names, one used to be @alisarmy and then a few months back I tweeted shall we call our self Aliettes and I didn't think people would like the idea but they did! All the fan bases love it and it is used a lot and Ali's co-stars call us Aliettes!
It's amazing being an Aliette as all us fans on twitter stick together and support Ali! The reason I am an Aliette is because Alison King is the most amazing and beautiful down to earth person ever! And she is a brilliant actress and has pulled her recent storylines off BRILL and she deserves to win at the BSAS 2012.
I have met Ali 6 times - I know a lot, haha! When stood at the Corrie gates she comes out in her car and sees the fans and stops and takes time to chat and pose for photos with fans which is really nice. One of my recent visits to the gates was back in February on Valentines day and it was the only time I could get down there before her birthday and I gave her a card! She knew I was waiting outside so she came out just for me and my friends she couldn't stop saying thank you for the card and kept on hugging us because we were so cold and she kissed me on the cheeks and she told me to thank everyone on twitter for their amazing support, it means a lot to her and I couldn't get over what she said and the fact she hugged me! It makes me feel like I want to meet her everyday. So being an Aliette means a lot and without everyone I'd be lost. Thanks for reading.

I'd always been a fan of Alison King/Carla Connor since she joined Corrie, But it was only in September 2011 that I finally decided It was time to show my support to her properly and start up a Twitter page for her. Even though I'd always loved her work, It was her portrayal of the rape and the love triangle between Carla, Peter and Leanne that finally gave me the push into starting up a page for her and becoming an official Aliette. Alison is truly amazing and inspirational in all of the work that she does, Even when playing drama to its full extent, she adds in her fantastic comedy too. I know the witty one liners that Carla delivers are down to the writers, but they would never even be half as comedic if it wasn't for the way that Alison delivered them with such perfection. She is so versatile as an actress and has the amazing balance between both comedy and drama, I'm always in tears at her performances whether it's her dramatic portrayals or her comedic facial expressions, I'm either crying with emotion or crying with laughter. Another amazing thing about Alison is the fact that she doesn't seek fame, Even if it's not something us Aliettes always like! It just proves how devoted she is to her job, You will rarely see her doing interviews or posing for photographs, let alone appearing on TV in anything other than Corrie, purely because she is 100% about her job and doing the best she can to put effort into her performances instead of trying to boost her fame. Even though a lot of Aliettes would of course love to see more of her, we completely appreciate why we don't and completely respect her for those reasons.
Apart from being an amazing actress, Alison's main devotion is being an incredible mum to her beautiful daughter Daisy-Mae. From the interviews that Alison has done you can clearly tell how much love and devotion that she holds for her daughter and there is no doubt on this earth about how amazing a mother she is. Just from looking at photos they have together you can see the love she holds for her.
Alison has had such a dramatic year playing Carla and she couldn't have done a better job. She does fantastic at splitting her time between work and spending time with Daisy and yet she still continues to do an amazing job at both. Alison is the complete opposite to Carla which just proves her amazing acting ability and It makes Aliettes even more proud to be a supporter of her.
One of the other great perks of being an Aliette is the amazing '#alisarmy' (Ali's fan base on twitter). Everyone gets along and we all love Alison just as much as each other, Being an Aliette wouldn't be half as fun without them. Whether you hate Carla Connor, or you love her, there is no doubt that she is one of the most talked about soap characters there is and that's all down to Alison King's amazing and realistic portrayal of her. She always delivers to her full extent and her performances never let you down, She works so hard and never fails to put every amount of effort possible into delivering her performances with perfection. She has appeared in almost every episode throughout this last year and that fact alone just shows how hardworking and amazing she is. Alison has affected mine and every other Aliettes live's so much, She's a true inspiration and every single Aliette will continue to love and support her throughout whatever she does. She truly is one of the best idols you could possibly ask for and even though I've never met her, it's clear just how appreciative and loyal she is to her fans. She never lets us down and continuously thanks us for our support. The fact that she has had such a massive impact on my life, and I've never even met her both shows and proves just how inspirational she is.
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Rosie said...

I am also a fan of Carla, and particularly a fan of Alison, and i will attempt to articulate my thoughts!

I think that one of the primary reasons that Carla has a large fanbase, particularly among girls and young women, is that when you watch Corrie, many people, myself included, are captivated by her beauty, her style, her wit - this does mean a lot to impressionable teenagers and young adults, and whilst others may gloss over it or suggest that its not that important, you definitely notice her glamour, and want to emulate that, only without the dead lovers and alcoholism that also defines Carla!

Then, once Carla has your attention, which she really does - Alison King does seem to captivate the screen, she really commands it; then you notice her acting, the way she pulls off dramatic scenes with such finesse, the subtle pain etched on her face post-rape, the lustful looks that she shared with Peter Barlow for over a year; and the witty one liners that she has as she lauds herself over the other factory girls. Due to Alison's acting, Carla has certainly had her fair share of amazing storylines, the affair with Liam and Tony; the love square with Peter, Leanne and Nick; and then the trauma with Frank, we have seen a lot of Carla this year, and seen different sides to her, allowing her fans to enjoy her performances even more, and for others to get to know and like Carla, and Alison.

In all, without the baggage, Carla is an idol for a lot of girls - despite being a fictional character, this is someone that is, or certainly used to be, such a strong individual, that has overcome so much, and still looks good, and still is fighting forward, still has good intentions, and is only human - she has flaws like the rest of us, which i think makes her even more appealing. Whilst i'm not for one minute suggesting that young girls idolize her alcholism, or the man stealing that she allegedly 'persists' in, (Carla fans will remind you this has only happened with two men!); it is that fighting instinct, the fact that she does have a heart, and does get hurt an awful lot, that i think resonates with a lot of people: sinned against more than sinned type mentality. She certianly isn't a panto villain, or someone who you can't relate to at all, and i think that definitely adds to the character's appeal.

As for Alison herself, I have had the pleasure of meeting her (and Chris Gascoyne) last October in Manchester, and they were lovely. So so nice. They were on their way to a meeting, but they stopped for photos, signed autographs, and chatted to fans. It was Alison's first day back at work after her holiay following the rape storyline, and when myself and other fans told her how impressed we were, and how good a job she did, she was genuinely grateful for the praise, and really was humble, yet always smiling. This lovelieness is echoed by everyone else who has met Alison, normal civilians, co-stars and journalists, and increases our admiration for someone who works so tirelessly at playing Carla, and yet still is lovely to her fans, and takes the time to respond to them.

I hope that hasn't been too jumbled to read - litearlly from brain to keypad! But I am a proud 'Aliette' and staunch fan of Carla, and long will it continue :)

Rosie (@rosie_angel)

Anna in nz said...

Carla is one of my favourite characters too.

I like Carla as a character for the same reasons as Rosie does...she is resilient. and witty. Glamorous too, I love seeing what she's wearing.

Alison King IS a very good actress. I have seen an interview of her and she's clearly nothing like Carla.

I hope she stays on Corrie for a long time to come because it's more fun to watch when she's on. I love her pairing with Peter and also Liam.

MrsBarton said...

Aren't they mad?! How can you feel so strongly about a person you've never met? Baffling. I do like the character and the actress, but purr-lease!

CoronationStreetFan said...

You don't have to meet someone to love them to an extent? Lots of people do it with singers, Actors, The Queen? Everyones allowed an inspiration and like they said 'Even though they've not met her...' They're saying how much affect she has had on their lives without meeting her, and that's allowed, It just shows how incredible Alison is, and that's exactly what the 'Aliettes' are trying to prove, How incredible Alison is. I think it's incredible that Alison has had this affect on peoples lives and if you don't understand that, what was the point in reading it when the title and the blog is clearly about why they love her and how she is special to their lives?

Humpty Dumpty said...

I admit my first reaction on reading the title was: 'Oh, please' but read on out of interest. I don't know anything about Alison King's life - I'm not that interested. It must be a generation thing. As a mature person, I'm not interested in the lives of people 30 years younger than me. I would say, though, she seems to treat her fans with respect so full marks for that. As for the character, I think that's also a generation thing. Looking at the character from a parent's point of view, Carla seems to have almost no redeeming qualities. She bulldozes people out of the way to get what she wants. She's not flawed; she's bloody minded - and not in a good way. I suspect her motives for letting Leanne see Simon are more to do with having a quiet life than about the boy's development. And, actually, she isn't trying all that hard. Probably, my feelings towards Carla are scripted through Ken, Deidre and Stella. But it's nothing new. When I was young, I loved American sitcoms with 'feisty' single women, and more recently my daughter was obsessed with Jennifer Aniston's character, Rachel, in Friends.

MrsBarton said...


Before I read it I didn't know it would be written by gushing fangirls some of whom have never met the poor woman. If I was Alison King I'd be terrified! I understand how people could be love with the character, we know Carla well and see her in her most private moments. But the actress?

But that's of course what the comments section is for, discussion of different points of view :)

Glenda Young said...

It's no different from people having obsessions or crushes or being fans of film stars, TV stars or musicians. I adore David Bowie but have never met him and don't expect I will but if I could, I would.

CoronationStreetFan said...


Of course:) and I completely respect your views and opinions:)

However I do have to disagree with you saying 'Alison King would be terrified if she read this'. As a member of twitter myself I actually follow a publicity manager from coronation street on there and I actually saw a tweet that she posted saying she loved what they've all put on the blog and she has actually printed it out to show to Alison King because she too thinks Alison will love it. Alot of the Aliettes often give Alison books or cards with messages simular to these in them and Alison loves and is thrilled with them from what I've heard from Corrie cast on twitter, as they help take away the nerves she feels towards things like awards.

I too, don't really know much about Alison King but after seeing twitter pages for her, you really do get to see how much she loves the support they give her and all their kind messages. I do know that Alison King herself doesn't want or have twitter because of her busy life as It Is but I remember her doing a video about a month ago, thanking all the Aliettes for their love and support for her as they really helped with her nerves for the national television awards and helped get her through it which Andrew Lancel posted up for her on his twitter. So I think for her to bother doing that, shows that she does appreciate and love their support and their messages like this:) All of the crew and cast from coronation street who do have twitter are always saying how Alison loves the support and is blown away by it all, but I guess with you not being much of a fan of Alison you wouldn't know this anyway:)

Anonymous said...

I love Alison King. She comes across as lovely in interviews etc. I would love to meet her one day but i wouldn't know what to say and I can't see it happening :( I love Carla as well. She is my favorite soap character and Ali plays her so well,the way she played the rape story line was incredible and I don't think anyone could do it much better tbh. I hope Carla stays in Coronation street for many years to come x


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