Friday, 26 April 2013

Corrie A-Z: C is for Canada

While researching the links between Corrie and Canada, I was amazed at how many there have been over the years. Be it links with characters, cast or crew.
 
Ivan, Linda and Paul Cheveski emigrated to Canada in 1961 when Ivan got a new job there. They stayed there until 1966 before returning to live in Birmingham. While in Canada, their second son Martin was born in 1964 but he wasn’t mentioned until 1980!
 
The residents were shocked in 1965 when Corner Shop owner Florrie Lindley’s husband Norman turned up on the street. Florrie had always maintained she was a widow. In fact, the Lindleys had been estranged for many years and Norman had been working in India. Upon his return, Norman offered Florrie the chance to reunite and move to Canada. While Florrie considered his offer, Norman had a brief fling with Elsie Tanner. In the end, Florrie accepted and the residents bid the Lindleys farewell.
 
Handel Gartside, Minnie Caldwell’s old flame, returned to Weatherfield in 1970 after 33 years of living in Canada. He then moved to Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire where Minnie regularly visited him and went to live with him in 1976.
 
When Irma Barlow left the street for the last time in 1971 she was said to have moved to Llandudno. But by the time of her father Stan’s funeral in 1984, she was said to be living in Canada as she had sent a telegram of condolence to her mum Hilda from there.
 
Then in the late 1980s it was revealed that Audrey Roberts had a son called Stephen living in Canada that she gave up for adoption at the age of 16. It was Malcolm Reid, an old flame and neighbour of Audrey’s that adopted him and later immigrated to Canada where Stephen was brought up as a Canadian. Malcolm visited Audrey in 1988 and the residents speculated who he was until Malcolm innocently told Ivy Brennan about Stephen. Audrey had told Ivy that Malcolm was her brother-in-law! During his visit, Malcolm tried to lure Audrey from Alf but he was having none of it and saw him off. In 1996, Stephen visited Weatherfield to get to know his mother Audrey a bit better and meet half-sister Gail for the first time. During his stay, Audrey’s best mate Alma Baldwin fell for him. Stephen soon returned to Canada and visited again in 2007 en route to Italy where he had moved to expand his business empire. Initially offering nephew David a job, it was niece Sarah and her daughter Bethany who joined him in Milan.
 
During his first stay, Stephen’s nephew Nick went to stay with him and Stephen offered him a job in Canada which he accepted. But within the year Nick was back and married Leanne Battersby. But after a disastrous marriage, Nick left the street again for Canada. He returned for Gail’s wedding to Richard Hillman in 2002 and embarked on a relationship with Maria Sutherland who joined him when he returned to Canada. But Maria soon returned after the relationship soured. Nick returned once more in 2003 and stayed until 2004 before leaving for Canada. Many years later, Nick returned to the UK and settled in Nottingham before moving back home in 2010.
 
Recently, Colin Fishwick (the real one!) immigrated to Canada to escape the wrath of Ben Fielding, the husband of a woman he’d had an affair with. But he soon returned to the UK, only to suffering a beating from Ben which resulted in him suffering a fatal heart attack – and thus began the John Stape and rug saga!!
 
As for members of the cast with links to Canada, Sue Cleaver (Eileen Grimshaw) lived there for a time.
 
And how many of you knew that it was indeed a Canadian that was responsible for the commissioning of Corrie back in 1960? Harry Elton (1930-2004) was the first executive producer of the show and did so until 1963 when he returned to his native Canada. Thinking he’d have as much success in Canada as he did in the UK, Elton was shocked that he to climb the ladder once again. He worked at CBC and the Canadian Museum of Civilisation until his retirement in 1990. He spent his later years visiting China and it was while visiting Tibet that he died from a heart attack. On another note, it was his daughter Victoria who played the first baby, Paul Cheveski, on the programme back in 1961 and 1962.

 
And let’s not forget that Corrie has been broadcast in Canada since the late 1960s on CBC and repeats have been shown on various other Canadian channels. The show has a strong fan base in Canada and many Corrie stars have visited the country over the years to meet fans and plug the show and of course many Canadians contribute and comment on this blog and various other websites dedicated to Corrie. So, to all you Canadians out there: hello!!
 
Do you watch Corrie in Canada? Since when and how did you start watching? Have you ever met any members of cast or crew when they visited Canada?
 
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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because: 1. the first producer of the show was an ex-pat Canadian, 2. outside of the UK, the biggest audience is probably in Canada, 3. it's one of the top-rated shows on the CBC outside of hockey! Go Canada!

Anonymous said...

oh yes, I almost forgot to add that Thomas Craig, who played the late Tommy Harris on Corrie, is now on the very popular Canadian TV show Murdoch Mysteries. He plays Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (always a Tom?)Yorkshire accent and all.
--a loyal Canadian viewer.

Anonymous said...

Another Canada connection: When Gail was still hoping to cover up Sarah Louise's first pregnancy, she proposed moving the family to Canada and pretending the child was hers and Martin's. The plan was foiled when Sarah Louise told Candice and the gossip began to spread along the Street.

Anonymous said...

And Gail and Richard Hillman took a trip to Canada (I think to visit Nick or Stephen). They brought back a Vancouver Canucks hockey sweater for David. It was never seen again. I would like to think it was because of the association with Hillman and not because of the Canucks.

Anonymous said...

Jim MacDonald was often seen wearing a Toronto Blue Jays shirt when he was working in the garage. I don't know what the association was.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that a Canadian fan had sent Charles Lawson the shirt.

Anonymous said...

I don't know when I technically started watching Corrie, but I believe I caught it once in awhile while I was in my teens. I became a full-time viewer when I was on mat leave with my first child in 1995. I love the ability to escape for a half hour and occasionally stories have not only captured my interest (made me sad, angry, etc.) but at times my family has been there to sneer or cheer! My second child, now 14, loves watching Corrie with me and loves the current story line. Watching in Canada for the last 20 years has been frustrating that we were so far behind, but it's great to be "caught up" with the original series!

Anonymous said...

I started watching in 1966 in Canada so it must have been mid 60's the CBC started broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

Story references flattering Corrie's biggest market?

Gee, whodathunkit?

Tvor said...

I think Charlie Lawson had bought the Blue Jays shirt himself when he was in Toronto working. Not sure about that, though.

Rita used to have a Canadian flag sticker on the cash register for years.

Anonymous said...

I'm 36 and have been watching the Sunday morning omnibus on CBC for as long as I can remember. In fact, that's still how I watch Corrie! I think Jim MacDonald's Blus Jays shirt was the first time I noticed anything Canadian on the show as a child -- they are my favourite baseball team after all. I loved seeing that! My least favourite Canadian connection is Stephen and his horrible accent. It was more of a parody than a serious attempt at getting it right.

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Didn't they hire an American actor to play Stephen? Oot and aboot?

Anonymous said...

I think I did read somewhere (probably here) that the actor was American. His accent always made me think that he learned "Canadian" by watching old SCTV reruns and copying Bob and Doug MacKenzie. I was sure he was going to look at Sarah Lou and say, "Take off, eh you hoser."

Rebecca

Justine said...

I watch Corrie in Canada! Except I watch the episodes on Youtube so I can keep up with you all :) I am going to be meeting Roy and Hayley when they come to Calgary this June. So very excited :)

Defrost Indoors said...

Speaking as a Canadian, Stephen's accent made me wince, turn to the boyfriend and say "Please kill me if I actually sound like that."

Anonymous said...

We watch Corrie in Canada! My Dad started watching 5 years ago. I've been watching for about four years now. It's great because we can have a gossip about the Corrie shenanigans.
However, he just mentioned to me that the pace needs to be sped up.

Anonymous said...

I'm a long time viewer and started watching in 1974. When my husband and I moved to the U.S. in 1999 my Mother or sister taped it every week and shipped it down for eleven years straight. Never missed an episode. So, you could say we were huge fans.

We gave up watching about 18 months before we moved back to Canada and it was over the Windasses. I literally could not stand that family, the father drove me crazy and Gary was horrid. When we moved home in 2011 we started watching again, the father was gone and Gary had improved somewhat.

The show has changed considerably over the years and it's not nearly as funny as it was. I still miss Hilda, Stan, Eddie Yates, and of course Blanche. The Baldwins were good too.

Not wild on scrunched-up Gloria at all, Stella is so-so and they are on way too much. Just started watching Emmerdale on YouTube after the recommendations of a few on this blog.

kib said...

When I was a kid in the sixties I didn't watch Coronation Street as it was set in a pub and I just knew it couldn't possibly be wholesome viewing! I started watching in the early ninties when I was laid off and my husband wanted to keep up. Fortunately another station was showing old shows and I caught up a bit there. My husband was a broadcaster with CBC and was able to interview Harry Elton (sp?), Thelma Barlow, Peter Baldwin and Bruce Jones. He wears a baseball cap with the slogan 'Real Men Watch Coronation Street'.

corriefan said...

Paul Maxwell who played American soldier Steve Tanner (Elsie Tanner's husband) was actually a Canadian.

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