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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Corrie Remembered: Episode 1171


The joy of being a Corrie fan is that you can often happen upon episodes that you have never clapped eyes on before. Join me then, for a review of an episode first broadcast on 5 April 1972. Far, far too old for me to remember the first time around, I peered at this one with interest.

We arrive on the Street on an important day - Miss Nugent is getting wed! The lucky man is Ernest Bishop, acquitted pornographer and lay preacher. Emily is preening herself in front of the mirror "in the back" at the Rovers. Her titivations are accompanied by some louche, and indeed loud, jazz music. Is there a combo situated in the kitchen? Is Betty on slide trombone?

Annie sailed into view, decked out in a mint-coloured bed jacket and a different wig, advising Emily to prepare for the worst. Ernie has not made an appearance at the chapel. A slightly spaced out Emily refuses to get worried. Has she been helping herself to Annie's secret stash of absinthe?

Outside Mawdsley Street chapel, a fraught looking Ernie is getting a talking to from Stan Ogden. They are sat in a wedding car with a driver who appears to be dressed as a milkman. Of course, this was all the fashion back in the day but serves to make the scene look like an out-take from A Kind of Loving. I'm half expecting Thora Hird to charge out of the chapel and call Ernie a filthy, disgusting man. Anyway, Bishop and Oggie circle the building once again.

Inside the chapel we encounter Ena, best hat firmly jammed on her head, playing something dreadful on the harmonium. Scanning around, there are some bizarre, almost freakish, fashion statements. Hilda appears to be sporting sideburns and an outsize gardening hat. Mavis, credited here as "Miss Riley" has a floppy brown hairstyle which just looks wrong. Blocking most people's view of the altar though is Elsie's gigantic Captain Pugwash headgear.

Back at the Rovers, an increasingly deranged Emily is waffling on about telepathic messages and sending out a 'pulse' to Ernie. Not sure a plate of mung beans will do the trick but there's no one willing to slap some sense into her. "Are you ready? Here comes the bride . . . " she gibbers.

Also seated in the chapel is Ivy Tilsley, totally unintelligible but delivering every line in the style of Hylda Baker. The bridesmaids for the big event are the unlikely duo of Bet and Lucille. They are dressed like two happy hookers who have crashed into a wagon-load of citrus paint. Both are billowing out industrial clouds of cigarette smoke. Before Bet has chance to upgrade to a cheroot, Emily drifts in on a cloud of insanity. She is given away by Len (was there some kind of raffle?) and drifts up the aisle, accompanied by her nicotine-stained bridesmaids.

By the time we reach the reception in the Community Centre, the happy couple have disappeared behind a wall of smoke. Bet's reached for another Benson & Hedges and has been joined by Lucille (again), Elsie, Stan, Hilda and Jerry. There's an awkward moment when Elsie bellows out "Oh give over Len" a little to loudly and to no response from anyone else. Rather inelegantly, Len refers to love's middle-aged dream as "Ernie and her". I suppose we should be grateful he didn't just point at 'her' or throw a bread roll at her head.

This being a wedding, there are telegrams to be read out and Ken passes on the best wishes of Dave Smith, Jed Stone and Dennis Tanner. I wonder what happened to Jed and Dennis . . .

Apropos of nothing at all, the action switches to a grainy piece of film with accompanying mournful music. Ray Langton and Vicki Bright are mooching around a children's playground, sharing a cigarette. Well, times were hard in the 1970s.

Back at the reception, the newlyweds take to the floor and shake a leg to a Jewish wedding song. Oy vey! A smoke-enshrouded Bet is slumped on the edge of the stage, bemoaning the fact that she has no one to dance with. Lucille takes her lime-coloured companion for a quick waltz before Bet lands herself on the vicar. Presumably the Rabbi had left by this point.

Albert and Minnie discuss the leftover food from the reception and look forward to jamming most of it under Minnie's hat before they leave. Cue Sermon from Mount Ena.

The day is almost over and Emily's grim sister Norah, played by a madly overacting Cynthia Michaelis, takes her leave. Mavis . . . oops, sorry, Miss Riley gets jiggy with Jerry and back in the grainy playground scene, Vicki tells Ray that she is pregnant.

With Albert and Minnie shuffling back along the street, the episode ends with an odd, jaunty, jazz-lite version of the theme tune. Quite fitting for an odd, jaunty episode of our favourite drama.

Quotes of the episode:
Annie: "I have a strong sense of impending catastrophe" (sawn off-shotgun? Arnold Swain?)
Stan: "Ena Sharples should be playing 'here comes the bride, fair, fat and wide"
Ken (to Ernie): "You've just given me the worst half hour of my entire life" (How quickly he forgets Ida, David and his recently deceased wife . . .)
Len: "If ever two people deserved each other . . ."
Minnie: "It were a nice piece of ham"


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4 comments:

Mrs Barton said...

There's loads of old Corrie episodes on youtube, perhaps put on there by some kindly member of our lovely corrie blog family. They're so so so entertaining love watching them

Anonymous said...

Original character Esther Hayes makes a return appearance in this episode but doesn't have a single line of dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Those were the days, when Corrie weddings weren't interrupted by accusations of adultery at the alter and the guests looked like they wore clothes they could afford rather than dressing up as if they were attenting a society wedding in Westminster Abbey.

Anonymous said...

Esther Hayes has a line of dialogue in the scene where Emily and Ernie make their farewells to the party.

GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!

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GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!