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Friday 17 May 2013

My wonderful trip to Weatherfield (Part One)

Yesterday I immersed myself in all things Weatherfield. Yes, I was lucky enough to be on the guest list for a very special day at the Coronation Street studios in Manchester. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It really was a great day.

I last visited Coronation Street back in the mid-1990s in the days when Granada still operated tours. I remember that being pretty exciting, but yesterday was something completely different indeed. We arrived at the studios to be greeted by Corrie’s brilliant Press Officer, Alison Sinclair. After a quick glass of ITV wine I spotted my first Corrie legend – none other than Tyrone himself, the lovely Alan Halsall.

Shortly after this we (me and a gang of journalists) were allowed to run riot on the Street itself. Cue major photo opportunities! Alison Sinclair described it as a school trip let loose and she wasn’t far wrong! I wandered all over the famous cobbled street, one of the highlights was finding myself in Sally Webster’s so-called “Fairy Garden”. Make of that what you will!

It was a truly bizarre experience to find myself right there on Coronation Street. It really is a special place and it has a totally unique feel about it. We were then drafted back in to the viewing room for lunch and a special preview of two upcoming episodes. At this point we were joined by Corrie’s new producer, Stuart Blackburn, the executive producer, Kieran Roberts and six members of the cast. It was a very strange experience to find myself watching an hour of Corrie with Michelle Collins (Stella), John Michie (Karl), Michelle Keegan (Tina), Mikey North (Gary), Cherylee Houston (Izzy) and Chris Fountain (Tommy) all sitting behind us!

The episodes focussed on the re-opening of the Rovers Return and the subsequent premature birth of Tina’s baby. I thought both episodes were pretty good – they will be broadcast over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May, so stay tuned!
The next treat in store was a trip to the studios to visit the new Rovers set. I’ve waited 30 years to get my hands on those Rovers pumps. Yes, dear reader, I am that sad. I never ever thought I would find myself behind the bar of the Rovers, or standing in front of the wonderful photo of the much-missed Betty.

The set itself is very small and was crawling with journalists but I managed to brazen it out and have my photo taken in all the special places – behind the bar, in one of the booths and with my hand on Stella’s bell (as it were). We even made it into the infamous Back Room! I can confirm I have now been on Stella’s couch. Go me...

I’ve got far too much to say to fit into just one blog, so do stay tuned for my next instalment. Find out what Stuart Blackburn had to say when he took to the floor. And come back to see how I faired when let loose on the Corrie cast for the round table interviews...

Special thanks go to Joe for the lovely photos.

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Tvor said...

Excellent! The set and the street really are magical no matter how many times you get to go!

Mary Prankster said...

While waiting with bated breath to read more, the obvious question is "How did you manage to get such an amazing opportunity?" As a regular contributor to this blog, are you now considered "press"? What was the occasion for this press gathering? The re-opening of the Rover's? ?

Chewy said...

Sounds like you had a great time looking around the set, can't wait to read more about it :)

Anonymous said...

Watching the preview episodes with Stella sitting beside you would be uncomfortable. One would have to pretend to like her and her 'acting.' I suppose the whole point of these invites is to sweeten the critics.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you!!

I hope you took the opportunity to take Mr. Blackburn aside to discuss storylines.;-)

Anonymous said...

Oooo! You lucky guy! Thanks for sharing the magic virtually with us. Looking forward to hearing more.


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