Saturday, 28 July 2012

Corrie Flashback to 1983: Fiction and Reality blurs

The Guardian online has reprinted an article from July 28, 1983. A cast member from Coronation Street had been in a spot of bother and the article talks about how many viewers often mistake the character for the actor. While you might think that, nearly 30 years on, people are more savvy than that, it does still happen.

The actor was  Peter Adamson, who played Len Fairclough on Corrie from the very beginning and he'd been cleared of an indecent assault charge this week in 1983.  The writer for the Guarding speculated that among the 16 million regular viewers, there would be some that thought the charges were actually laid against Len himself and what would Rita do?

Then, as now, the private lives of the actors seemed to be on display for all in the media. Pat Phoenix, who played the infamous Elsie Tanner, once said "We live our lives in a goldfish bowl" and they still do. As for viewers, not so very long ago, I used to answer the email sent in via the website and though there weren't many, there were some people that would send in advice or criticism for a particular character and you could tell from the tone of the email that they weren't really talking about advising the writers to change a particular storyline. I recall in particular when the character of Alma Halliwell died of cancer, that the scenes and makeup were so good that there were dozens of viewers who really thought the actor herself was ill and was dying and several thought it was in bad taste for the storyline to reflect on the actor's real life health situation.

Back in the early 1980s, the triangle on screen between Deirdre, Mike and Ken rivetted the nation and some of you may recall the publicity in the news papers and on talk shows. Apparently "Newspapers consulted psychiatrists, marriage counsellors, computers and agony aunts. Even the parson on the Today programme seemed to wonder if Ken and Deirdre were real people."

We know that Deirdre did the "right" thing at the time and stayed with Ken. These days, as we've seen recently, that isn't always the case when a dutiful wife and mother stays with her husband.Thirty years ago, Corrie was still reflecting good upstanding morals. As the end of the Guardian article says, quoting Granada themselves: "Coronation Street is the top TV show partly because it shuns sex and violence. We tread warily."

How things have changed.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, things have not changed for teh better. The show no longer bears any resemblance to reality and is nothing but sex and violence.

Anonymous said...

That article is exactly 29 years old today then lol

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