Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Coronation Street on location recce in Blackpool

Lisa Spencer is the Art Director working on Coronation Street and she's tweeted this fab picture of some of the Corrie crew on a recce in Blackpool.  

Ooh, now then, what's to do, Corrie fans?  

Who do we think ITV could be sending to Blackpool this time around? It's been a while since Corrie were on location in Blackpool, I wonder what it could be this time around? 
Lisa's tweeter is @lisaswarbs.

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WIN! Competition to lay the last cobble on new Coronation Street

The Manchester Evening News have teamed up with ITV to offer one lucky reader a money-can't-buy prize. Coronation Street is on the move to join their ITV colleagues already at MediaCityUK. The set is heading towards completion but there is one important thing missing…the final cobble on the main street and that’s where this amazing prize comes in. 

By the way, that fab pic of the present cobbles was taken by our blogger Graeme on his visit to the Street earlier this year.  Read about it here.

Along with an exclusive tour and smorgasbord of goodies, the winner of this competition will get the honour to sign and lay the final cobble and become a part of Corrie history. They will also be giving five runners up a Golden Anniversary box set.

The MEN will be printing three different Coronation street questions each day in the Manchester Evening News on Saturday 3rd, Monday 5th, Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August 2013.

You must read full terms and conditions at as it restricts who can enter (see point 26).  If you win and want to blog about the experience, do please email and let us know!

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CBC reveals Corrie set secrets

I came across this interesting video from CBCtv (Canada's Corrie channel) on Youtube, exposing some juicy set secrets, the video is pretty new too, as it features Barlow's Buys, which hasn't yet opened, even in the UK's episodes.

Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) shows off the inside of the house on the street, which has some interesting features, such as an office upstairs, a wobbly fireplace and probably the least functional kitchen I've ever seen!

Being on the street myself earlier this year, I took a peek into the real Rover's interior and was shocked by how small it looks on the street.

Watch the video above to find out what set secrets the cast know and also for a sneak peek at what Rob and Tracy's new shop will look like.

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Mandy Kamara leaving Coronation Street

Some new just in from Twitter – Pamela Nomvete, who plays Mandy Kamara, has confirmed she is leaving Coronation Street.

It’s one year since Pamela Nomvete and Krissi Bohn started filming on Corrie, in their roles as Mandy and Jenna respectively.

In response to an anniversary message, Pamela tweeted to a fan this morning: “Which for me marks the end of my contract with Coronation Street. It has been a fun year, thank you.”

In recent weeks, we’ve seen Mandy's relationship with Lloyd hit rocky ground during the race row, and Mandy continues to have a strained relationship with daughter Jenna over her career choices.

I, for one, will miss Mandy – I feel she’s never really been given the chance to shine.

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Picture of new Coronation Street set leaked

If I had a job working on the new Coronation Street set, I'd love it, I would, even if all I had to do was clean the windows or sweep the muck.  What I wouldn't do is breach protocol and take pictures to post online in soap forums and twitter. 

Sadly, someone has done just that and some of the magic's been leaked.

This picture has been doing the rounds online for a few days and but now it's in the Mirror so if you want to take a look at it, it's here.

The story that Mr Curry Sauce has wrapped around the picture is that it looks too new.  Well, er, that's because it is.

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Coronation Street spoiler: Karl kidnaps Stella and Dev

There's a Coronation Street spoiler in today's Star that says Karl will kidnap Stella and Dev and take them hostage in the Rovers Return cellar.

The Star says Karl kidnaps them both after "his secrets are exposed" and I wonder if young Craig-me-laddo will have anything to do with those secrets coming out into the open?   Stella tries to escape when she finds out about Karl but he takes her hostage in the Rovers cellar and Dev takes ill while being kept hostage there too.
John Michie, who plays Karl, says he’s happy with his exit: “It’s quite short and intense – a month of Karl ducking and diving, trying not to get caught. I think the writers have got his exit just right. He doesn’t die, which is good. You never know, in a couple of years he might come back.”

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Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Weds 31 July

Wednesday 31st July

DAVID HATCHES THE COUP DE GRACE FOR LEANNE AND NICK. As Gail prepares for the family meal, David’s confident he can use it to inflame tensions more. With Nick and Leanne already at loggerheads over the Bistro sabotage, which he’s now accusing Peter of, the evening doesn’t get off to a great start. Will David be able to fuel the discontent as he steps up his secret revenge plan?
PAUL’S CONTRITE AFTER ATTACKING LLOYD. With a public order charge hanging over him and two complaints, Paul’s worried that his career could be over. Eileen’s more worried about the cracks in their relationship. Sensing this will Paul finally apologise to Lloyd?
GARY FEELS INCREASINGLY LEFT OUT. As Gary insists on trying to do things for Jake, Izzy misreads his fears over his lack of bonding time with the baby as him doubting her ability to cope. As a frustrated Izzy confronts him, will Gary finally open up to her about his fears?
ELSEWHERE Fiz suggests a holiday to Roy and Hayley as they struggle with the pressure of her illness. Tracy’s annoyed that Rob seems to be more interested in riling Peter and Carla than he is in her business ideas. Leanne and Eva row over Leanne’s refusal to be a bridesmaid for Stella.

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Corrie fans vote Rita as their favourite mother figure

Coronation Street Blog readers have voted Rita Tanner as their favourite mother figure. 300 of you voted and 110 (36.67%) for Rita, who's been a mother hen to many street residents over the years.
In second place was Hayley Cropper with 75 votes (25%). In third place was Betty Turpin with 31 votes (10.33%).
Audrey Roberts came in fourth place with 22 votes (7.33%) with Emily Bishop close behind with 21 votes (7%). Minnie Caldwell came in sixth place with 16 votes (5.33%).
Elsie Tanner came in seventh place with 10 votes (3.33%) while both Stella Price and Sunita Alahan received 2 votes (0.67%). The following received 1 vote (0.33%): Sylvia Goodwin, Deirdre Barlow, Mary Taylor, Fiz Stape, Eileen Grimshaw, Anna Windass, Frankie Baldwin, Tracy Barlow, Tina McIntyre, Sally Webster and Gail McIntyre.
Happy with the results? Leave your comments!
And if you haven't yet, you can vote for your favourite moment from 1990s Corrie here. Voting closes at midnight on Monday, 5th August.
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Heavy Stuff

Weight is a hot button issue right now.  You can't open a magazine without discovering some celebrity is "celebrating her curves", which is Daily Mail-speak for "get off the eclairs, lard arse."  We're besieged with stories about our portly schoolchildren stuffing their face with Turkey Twizzlers in front of their Nintendo Playbox, never seeing the daylight and having to be airlifted into their Maths lessons.

It's a National Obesity Crisis, the kind of horrific story that gets Bill Turnbull pulling his serious face on BBC Breakfast while stock footage of straining belts and saggy bellies plays.

That's in the real world.  In Weatherfield, fat is good.  Fat is fabulous.  Fat characters are almost immediately clutched to the bosom of the viewers, because they're warmer, they're nicer, they're lived in.  Fred Eliot.  Alf Roberts.  Jack Duckworth.  HRH Betty Turpin.  We like characters to be a bit porky.  This might be because we're people who spend at least two and a half hours a week plonked on a sofa.

Take Molly Compton.  When she arrived on the Street she was chunky.  That heaviness told a story.  She was the daughter of Diggory Compton, a man for whom the answer was always pastry.  She'd been bullied at school.  She was a bit shy.  We instinctively knew that Molly had spend her teens wolfing up the stale iced buns while sobbing into her Smash Hits.  We loved her for it.  We loved it when she hooked up with Tyrone, Coronation Street's version of the Marshmallow Man.  They were bound to have a happy, joyous life together.

And then she lost weight.

Suddenly Molly became annoying.  Thin Molly started wearing tight spandex and crop tops.  Thin Molly turned down a fish supper on a Friday night so she could have rice cakes.  Thin Molly started talking about her GIs and running round the block and she was boring.  Thin Molly looked at chubby, loveable Tyrone inhaling a fried slice and thought, "I can do better than that."  Next thing you know she's bunked up with Kevin in the Bolton Premier Inn, and the audience is cheering when she's crushed under a wayward tram.  All that exercise but you still couldn't outrun that, could you?

Peter Barlow has changed too.  He came back from Los Angeles bronzed and slimmer, his belly gone, a healthy glow about him.  But he's not the same.  When Peter was fat his character was tied up in those extra pounds.  Coal black eyes stared out of a face that carried years of disappointment, years of abuse, years of loss.  His body spoke to us about the fags, and the gambling, and the drinking, definitely the drinking.

Healthy Peter is all angles now.  He's sharper.  The sad eyes are still there but they don't fit the package any more.

 It feels like he was quietly taken apart in LA and then put back together by a team of crack surgeons, only they forgot some of the parts, like an Ikea coffee table with three extra screws you can't place.  I can imagine some oily American staring at a beer gut incomprehensibly and simply slicing it off.  He's not whole now.

If you're thin, you can seem hard.  It's the way our minds are structured.  Beth and Tracy are both balls of cruelty and spite, but Beth seems adorable when she bellows a coarse insult across the Rovers.  Tracy just seems like a stick of hatred when she spits another offensive remark over the hotpots.

That's another thing: Coronation Street isn't built for thin people.  Where are its principle commercial spaces?  A pub.  A cafe.  A sweetshop. A corner shop that seems to sell nothing except frozen pizzas and tins of beans.  A kebab shop.  A chippy.  No wonder they turned the Graffiti Club into a Medical Centre; they probably have a defibrilator on permanent stand by.  Corrie is the only place in Britain where a group of working women unashamedly knock back pints of lager at lunch and have a daily cake run; in reality all these women would be embarrassed to enjoy their food and drink, and would be having a cheese and onion Snack-a-Jack as a "treat" with their cup of green tea.

It leaves us with a slight suspicion in the back of our minds when a character gets thin without a Molly-style Damascene revelation.  Anna Windass has dropped a hell of a lot of weight since she arrived on the street.  She came into the show squeezed into trackie bottoms, her face and body bearing the brunt of running around after feckless Eddie and out of control Gary.

Her little round body told us about her character - we got it; she bought cheap, carby foods from budget freezer centres, she didn't have time to exercise, she worried over her family and guzzled down half a pack of Party Rings to make herself feel better.

Now she's lost all that weight but she doesn't seem to have changed her lifestyle at all.  She's still serving up enormous meals drowning in gravy and sneaking herself the odd iced bun at the cafe, yet she weighs eight stone three.  It doesn't add up.  And that angularity comes into it again; a rotund Anna clutching Faye to her generous bosom would have been an image of family we'd all ascribe to. Whippet thin-Anna shouting at Tim in the street doesn't seem maternal - she's just kind of a bitch.

No.  If you want to truly succeed on Corrie you need to pile on the pounds.  Think of Steve McDonald.  When he was a twiglet, skag-trained limbs reaching across the prison table, he was horrible.  He was an annoying twerp who really needed to fall under a Weatherfield Wayfarer. Steve McDonald in 2013 carries round an eight month pregnancy belly, and he's adorable.  His jeans strain, he lets out a sigh of satisfaction as he collapses into a chair, and he launches into soliliquys about Penguin biscuits.  In short, he's a joy.  He's actually enjoying himself, and life, and he's making it fun for us to watch.  Stay unhealthy, Steve; keep eating those choccie biccies.  All the best people do.  Just ask Fat Brenda.

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Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, August 5-9

Without any piffle, here's the storyline for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less

Week of Monday 5 - Friday 9 August

Corrie car crash puts Nick in coma, Jenna starts work in cafĂ©, Craig starts work as new Kabin paperboy, Tina’s in turmoil over Jake, Rob and Peter argue again.

The full weekly preview, with loads of pictures is right here on

Missed last week's Corrie? 
Catch up with the Coronation Street Weekly Updates   
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 29 July

It is Monday morning as usual as we join our favourite street, and though Paul is a firefighter he didn't do too well on the fighting of the fire for Eileen's breakfast. What was it that she was singling out for extra mockery? Black pudding? Any suggestions more than gratefully received.

Well Paul was trying, but maybe he should put his efforts into creating a more cheery disposition. He asks Eileen and Jason just what he is required to do to get in Lloyd's good books and makes satirical suggestions, the first one, to place a full page ad in the paper and the second to have the Red Arrows write in the sky by way of apology. 'What does he want?' Brilliantly Jason cuts through all the hyperbole and simply says that Lloyd, 'just wants to know you mean it.' Excellent, Jason. He needs a good woman in his life after the disappointment of Stella and her rather callous rejection. Suggestions? Or maybe someone new...

A little later Paul and Lloyd succeed in greeting each other in a civil manner. Paul did say that whatever Lloyd says he, 'will rise above it.' But we know that as soon as a resolution to an issue  appears to be on its way, that there will be a further episode as so it proved tonight. But blimey! The writers are really flogging this situation. Perhaps we should have a collective shout of, 'OK! We get it! We all need to be careful about the words we use and all of us should do our best not to let slip, carelessly, words which may cause offence.' To be fair, there is a bit of something about pride thrown in but when the police get involved and statements are taken, the whole business strains the barriers of credibility somewhat. And now Sophie is involved and Jenna shouts out that it was Sophie who phoned Paul's work, not Lloyd and Paul's boss comes to see Paul then Eileen shouts at Sophie in the street then Sally shouts at Eileen and Mandy spends her time exasperated and disappointed in her family, even though her daughter's interview is at a very nice hotel with a spa, though Mandy thinks that Jenna should be using her qualifications properly and not just to say Have a nice day, all day every day. I know - exhausting!

And so to David, fifty pounds better off, writing poisonous restaurant reviews, watering down the spirits and generally doing all he can to upset his brother's apple-cart  and executing it all with such aplomb. Nick, after several rows with Leanne, turns up at David's, who becomes the great sympathiser and problem solver. 'Come for tea,' he says, where Leanne and Nick can have some relaxation. Terrific work of great malice. Who would expect that the person inviting you to tea, was the one at the root of all your trouble? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

Nick is furious, Leanne is in a permanent rage and two members of staff have already told Nick to stuff his job. Didn't David say to Nick that he shouldn't tiptoe around and that he should lay down the law. He rightly states that he is the victim of a hate campaign. Oh and we have a viewing of Stella and Karl pre-wedding. Leanne claims that she would be hypocritical if she just blithely accepted her mother's invitation to be a bridesmaid. Stella was obviously upset, and so was Leanne, when Nick pointed out that she was being rather harsh.Leanne is obviously angered by Nick's comment, in fact she seems to have been in a permanent rage during both episodes.

Still there were lighter moments tonight, including Steve and his lack of self-discipline on the biscuit front and his telling Eileen to 'Come to Poppa,' which she did, with a nod to Die Hard. Another lighter moment was Deidre telling Rob that she would not be taken in by someone passing off insincerity as charm. And this one isn't really light but it is humorous and that is Jason saying to Paul, 'You've been accused of being a racist then you go and smack a black guy. Sound! And the wonderful Hayley, who arriving towards the end of the explanation Shaun is giving to Peter about the whereabouts of tea and sugar, and says that it is a system handed down from the long dead, notices Hayley, who acts as if she is hurt, but then smiles and makes it known that she was joking.

Finally a word on baby Jake's arrival home, a definite rival to the homecoming of another baby, last week, baby George of course. Now Gary, you have to relax a little. Of course, it's a tense time, but also a joyous one for most people. Babies cry and that's a fact and it is not always the case that you can stop then crying. You do what you can of course and then you just hope they'll stop Was I the only one advising Gary to stand up and lay the baby on his shoulder? Shame he couldn't hear the chorus of advice that was coming his way.  
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Review: Bradley Walsh plays God in Spamalot

It’s hard not to sing along to ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, and sure enough, at 10pm on Thursday evening, the packed Playhouse Theatre in London was on its feet, arms waving to that familiar song.

I was invited by our friends at Spamalot to see the show following the news that former Coronation Street favourite Bradley Walsh was to play God for the week in the Monty Python based hit that has taken the world by storm. 

The story follows King Arthur, played by comedian Joe Pasquale, and his Knights of the Round Table on their hilarious quest to find the Holy Grail. The plot isn’t very testing and a few over-zealous uber-fans in the audience got a bit frustrating at times, but Spamalot is genuinely one of the funniest things you will ever see at the theatre and it’s clear why it now has a cult following.

With references to Justin Bieber and a surprise appearance by the Mayor of London, amongst others, Spamalot is very current despite the theme and feels more like a variety show at times, with some side-splitting comedy sketches and a few moments of genuine chaos where fits of giggles overcame the cast. 

Bradley's role as God was short and sweet and his involvement was to help raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. Soap legend Barbara Windsor is soon due to take over the role, while Joe Pasquale will leave to continue his comedy tour in August. Visit the Spamalot website find out who will replace him and to get your tickets for a night full of music and belly-laughs.

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Should Becky return for Hayley's funeral?

The next few months will see sadness on the Street as we watch Hayley's demise to pancreatic cancer.  And already my thoughts are turning to who might be there to wave her goodbye. 

The most obvious person to this fan, is for Becky McDonald to return for Hayley's funeral.

Actress Katherine Kelly, who played Becky, has gone on to do some wonderful work since leaving the Street and is currently playing s a ruthless newspaper editor in the second series of the acclaimed BBC1 drama The Field Of Blood.

But could Becky return for Hayley's final farewell - and do you think she should?

Maybe Hayley's son could turn up and cause a bit of bother, hoping for some money from her will?  Or could Hayley's Uncle Bert return to say goodbye - or did he pop off, anyone know?

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Coronation Street Weekly Update – cheese on toast and a cuppa

Corrie weekly updates from 1995 - 18 years in 18 e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle
Available in UK at
and in Canada and USA at

Also for Kindle! Corrie weekly update writer and Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda Young's novel TRIPLE WHAMMY and her poetry book CANDY FLOSS GIRL NEEDED - APPLY WITHIN 

Find out more about the Coronation Street Weekly Updates and why they've been written for th'internet since 1995 at

Hayley’s worst fears are confirmed when she’s diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Roy takes refuge in research ont’web and demands Hayley eat organic broccoli to beat the free radicals while trying (and failing) to wrap her up in cotton wool. He doesn’t half get on Hayley’s nerves. And although he’s only got her best intentions at heart, he follows Hayley into the Bistro where she’s celebrating Audrey’s birthday with a drink of bubbly, grabs the glass from her hand and tells her not to drink, announcing loudly to everyone who’ll listen (and most of them do): “You are gravely ill and you could die!”  It’s too much for Hayley and she gives Roy a stern talking to before storming off home. 

News of Hayley’s cancer grows on the gossip grapevine and when Tracy tells Roy she’s sorry to hear the news, Roy gives her short shrift. In a wonderful speech, Roy reminds Tracy of the stress and the anguish she’s caused the Croppers over the years. Let’s not forget she drove Roy to consider suicide over baby Patience/Amy. Roy blames Tracy for the stress that might have led to Hayley’s cancer, to which Tracy spits back that it’s more likely Hayley’s hormone pills have caused it.  Protective of Roy - and speaking for the nation - Fiz stands up and yells at Tracy to leave Roy alone. He makes his way back to the flat and to Hayley where it doesn’t take long for the two of them to make-up over a cuppa and a plate of cheese on toast. Roy holds Hayley and Hayley holds Roy and there wasn’t a dry eye on our sofa when Roy tells Hayley she’s given him the happiest time of his life and Hayley tells her husband: “I don’t want to go. I always thought the best was yet to come for us both.”  Gulp.

Anyway, speaking of Audrey’s birthday, Rita throws a party in the Bistro after Audrey’s family ignore her.  But the fragrant Mrs Roberts has much on her mind after suffering problems from a damp patch in her downstairs area.   

Another one getting a man in to sort her out downstairs is Sally when Faye’s dad Tim comes round to erect a shelf and tighten knobs - which fair puts a smile on Sally’s face.

Carla asks Peter this week to be her partner – in life and in business – as he gives the bookies shop to Rob in exchange for paying his win on the horses.  As Rob and Tracy plan to open a pawnbrokers in the bookies, Carla takes Peter on at the factory where he knows nowt about knickers. Michelle gives Carla what-for over the new appointment while Kirk dispenses advice about scissors to Peter who’s learning the ropes from packing up.  “While you’re on about it,” Carla tells Peter, “make an honest woman of me. You know how Deirdre likes a good wedding.”  They announce their engagement and go shopping for a sparkler. Let’s hope Deirdre will be playing harmonica - if the two of them ever make it up the aisle.

And that's just about that for this week. Remember, you can sign up to get these Corrie weekly updates by email at
This week's writers were Ellen Taylor (two episodes), Carmel Morgan and Chris Fewtrell (two episodes). Find out more about the Coronation Street writing team at
Glenda Young
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Hayley's legacy - sign the Pancreatic Cancer petition

Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper, is urging fans to sign the online petition to make the Government sit up and take notice.  The petition aims to "Provide more Funding & Awareness for Pancreatic Cancer to aid long overdue progress in earlier detection and, ultimately, improved survival rates" and you can sign it here.

Julie is calling for fans to sign the petiton as "Hayley's legacy"  so let's do our bit and get 20,000 signatures on the petition.  And for the duration of this harrowing storyline on Coronation Street, we're supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK with a banner at the bottom of the blog which links directly to their website for anyone who needs further information.

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Corrie A-Z: N is for the Nineties

In 1990, we saw for the first time the even side of the street in its updated form after the demolition of Baldwin’s Casuals and the community centre. Three houses (Nos.4, 6 and 8), three shop units, a few flats, a garage and a factory unit were built. The layout has stayed unchanged for over 20 years and is the longest lasting set-up on the even side of the street. See here for an account of the history of the comings and goings of the even side of the street during the 1990s.
But despite a modernised setting and indeed in its production, Corrie still received criticism. In 1992, William Rees-Mogg criticised the fact that the show didn’t represent ethnic minorities (although Shirley Armitage had appeared between 1984 and 1989) and that it was old fashioned. Corrie has always been said to be behind the times, even in the 1960s. Many said that 1960s Corrie was in fact set in the 1950s! The show didn’t respond to Lord Rees-Mogg’s complaints immediately. Indeed, it would be in 1999 that the first Asian family would be introduced. Ravi Desai and his children Nina and Vikram would come into the show as the new proprietors of the Corner Shop. Out of those three, Vikram would stay the longest and that being only three years! Ravi’s nephew Dev Alahan was introduced in 1999 as taking over the shop from his uncle and has been in the show ever since.
The 1990s also saw an increase in the number of members in the Corrie cast. With the introduction of a third episode in 1989, more characters were needed. In 1996, a fourth episode was commissioned, broadcast on Sunday nights. Corrie was now weekend viewing! During the decade, new and popular characters were introduced. Newly-weds Des and Steph Barnes moved into the street in 1990. While Steph only lasted a year as a regular, Des would become the latest in a long line of Corrie Lotharios. His many relationships provided storylines during the decade. But soon after marrying Natalie Horrocks in 1998, Des died as a consequence of being injured by thugs. Another popular character was ditzy barmaid Raquel Wolstenhulme. Played brilliantly by Sarah Lancashire, Raquel provided many classic Corrie moments and one-liners. But while she lacked the brassiness of Bet Lynch, they shared the same kind of love life. Raquel was let down by many a man (mainly Des Barnes) and she ended up marrying someone she didn’t love but who loved her very much – Curly Watts. Their wedding in 1995 became central to the first hour-long episode of Corrie. The Watts marriage didn’t last and Raquel left the street in 1996.
The McDonald family also provided much storylines during the decade after moving into the street in 1989. I do believe that the McDonalds and the Battersbys are the only families to ever succeed in Corrie as a family unit. Supermarket manager and later Corner Shop owner Reg Holdsworth also became more established as a comic character, forming double acts with assistant Curly Watts and later wife Maureen. Other characters that were introduced during the decade include Maud Grimes, Fred Elliott, Gary and Judy Mallett, Fiona Middleton, Ashley Peacock, Maxine Heavey, Roy Cropper, Norris Cole and Tyrone Dobbs. And let’s not forget family from hell the Battersbys – Les, Janice, Leanne and Toyah, who caused mayhem when they moved into the street, upsetting the neighbours. But in time they injected some freshness into the cast and the show and they became well-liked and stayed for a number of years with Leanne still in the cast. Hayley Cropper became a significant character in 1998 when it was revealed she was a transsexual – a Corrie first and the show received much praise for her introduction and became a well-loved character.
During the 1990s, the show lost three of its veterans. Bet Gilroy left in 1995, after a 25 year association with the Rovers Return – first as barmaid and then landlady. While some were saddened about Bet’s departure, others felt that if the show could survive without Elsie and Hilda, it could also survive without Bet. And as many stars of the show have stated, the star of the show is the street itself. After Bet’s departure, the Rovers had many owners that included Jack and Vera, Alec Gilroy and Natalie Barnes. In 1997, Mavis Wilton left her post as Kabin assistant after 24 years for Cartmel, although Mavis first appeared in 1971. And in 1999, we lost good old Alf Roberts. It had been an end of an era in 1994 when Alf finally sold the Corner Shop. He’d been the owner since 1980 but his links with the shop harked back to the early 70s. It seemed that the increasingly ill health of Bryan Mosley (who played Alf) contributed to the decision for Alf to sell up as it meant that he didn’t have to appear as much in episodes. With Alf’s departure from the shop, it seemed the golden age of the Corner Shop had come to an end. Over the next few years, the shop, it seemed, didn’t have a part to play in stories like it did before in the days of Florrie Lindley, Maggie Clegg and Alf. By the end of the decade Alf’s appearances became sporadic and the decision was made, for the sake of Bryan, that Alf should be written out. Alf died of a stroke in the early hours of the New Year. Six weeks after Alf’s death, Bryan Mosley himself died.
As well as the exits of iconic characters, there were other more controversial exits, and you can read about them here.
As for storylines, there was yet again that balance of drama and humour. The humour included Reg Holdsworth and his waterbed, Derek Wilton and his gnomes, and Fred Elliott’s proposals to various women. As for dramatic stories there was the death of new-born Katie McDonald; Mike Baldwin’s marriage to Alma Sedgewick and his business dealings; Terry Duckworth selling his son Tommy; Rita Fairclough marrying a dying Ted Sullivan; Emily Bishop suffering a breakdown; the destruction of Don Brennan; Kevin Webster having an affair with Natalie Horrocks; and various other love triangles. The headline maker of the decade was when Deirdre Rachid was imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit thanks to the evil deeds of boyfriend Jon Lindsay. While she gained the support of her friends and neighbours, she also gained support from an unlikely source – the Prime Minister Tony Blair. She became known as ‘The Weatherfield One’. After Bet’s departure, the Rovers had many owners that included Jack and Vera, Alec Gilroy and Natalie Barnes.
By the end of the decade, much emphasis was put on the younger members of the cast with characters like Nick Tilsley, Leanne Battersby, Steve McDonald, the Websters, Maxine Heavey, Ashley Peacock, Samantha Failsworth, Zoe Tattersall, the Malletts, Spider Nugent and Toyah Battersby leading storylines replacing the likes of the Wiltons, Don Brennan and Percy Sugden. Corrie had to think about its future audience as it entered the Millennium and reached its 40th anniversary.

Did you start watching Corrie in the 1990s?
What’s your favourite moment from the 1990s? Vote in the poll below. And if you haven't yet, you can vote for your favourite Corrie mother figure here.

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Preview of tonight's double Coronation Street - Monday 29 July

Monday 29th July at 7.30pm

PAUL’S NEW OPTIMISM IS SHORT-LIVED. Paul’s determined to be civil to Lloyd and focus on his wedding to Eileen. Under pressure from Jenna and Mandy, Lloyd also agrees to let sleeping dogs lie. So when Sophie confesses that she rang Paul’s boss and made a complaint about his racist language how will Jenna react? And when Paul’s boss calls him in for a chat, how will Paul respond to the complaint?
IZZY AND GARY FINALLY BRING BABY JAKE HOME. Gary’s nervous as they bring the baby home; having spent limited time at the hospital with him. But are his fears deeper rooted than that? 
DAVID’S PLAN TAKES ITS TOLL ON NICK & LEANNE. Following the debacle with the watered down spirits and now a scathing review on Trip Advisor, Nick convinces himself that a member of his staff has a vendetta against him and calls a meeting to get to the truth. How will the staff react as David enjoys watching his brother start to fall to pieces?
ELSEWHERE Hayley appreciates Carla’s no-nonsense support as she returns to work. Rob and Tracy prepare their shop. Peter starts work at Underworld.

Monday 29th July at 8.30pm

PAUL ATTACKS LLOYD – AND FACES EILEEN’S WRATH. Believing Lloyd made the complaint to his boss Paul storms into the pub and confronts a clueless Lloyd. As Karl bundles the men outside, Paul punches Lloyd just as the police arrive. As they grab Paul, Jenna reveals it was Sophie who made the call. Paul’s stunned as the police step in to investigate what’s been going on between the two men. Will Paul be charged and how will the latest turn of events affect his already strained relationship with Eileen?
IZZY AND GARY FACE THE REALITIES OF PARENTHOOD. Gary’s withdrawn as he worries baby Jake hasn’t bonded with him, jealous that Izzy seems to be a natural. Will Izzy pick up on his fears?
DAVID ENTERS ANOTHER PHASE OF HIS MASTERPLAN. Nick’s called the police claiming he’s the victim of a vendetta, much to Leanne’s dismay. Sensing her reluctance to believe Nick’s story David’s quick to whip up more tension between the pair and suggests a family meal.
ELSEWHERE Roy feels the pressure as he tries to support Hayley. Saddened by the rift with her brother Carla offers Rob an olive branch, wishing him luck with his new shop, will Rob accept? Leanne declines being bridesmaid for Stella, still refusing to accept Karl.

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Corrie weekly awards for July 22 - 26

High Noon award: Ok. This feud is getting a bit ridiculous now. It's gone from a misspoken phrase to a clash of pride to a quagmire of misunderstandings and everyone's judging and taking sides.

Fashion Fail award: I love Hayley's anorak. But it's July!!!

A bit previous award: Audrey thinks David's "moments" are all behind him. It's only been a week or so since the peanut incident.

Birthday Fail award: Roy doesn't know how the Happy Birthday song goes!

Nero Award: Roy is griddling while Rome burns!  Brilliant line!

Quest award: Roy has thrown himself into research. But he is supportive when it counts.

Banshee award: Yes, Sally does have that quality sometimes, doesn't she?

Taking the bull by the horns award: Carla was the one doing the proposing.

A Rose by any other Name award: Yes. It *is* a Pawnbrokers. They just made it politically correct with a different name.

Callback to Corrie History: Loved the mention of the collapse of Number 7 in the 60s.

Musical Ambiance award: Ashes to Ashes playing while Tina comes to terms with Jake coming home from hospital, but not with her.

Lines of the week
Roy "Know Thine Enemy"
Tracy "Mam, change the record" Deirdre "No. I won't"
Roy re the Tango "To me it's an exhausting blur of legs and feathers but to my wife, it's poetry in motion" (Awww isn't he lovely?)
Deirdre "Me pottery teacher said it was a one-off" (certainly!)
Carla "Sometimes you get too used to being the strong one" Hayley "Roy sees the world through a strange lens"
Leanne to Nick "Has anyone got a grudge against you?" (you don't have to look too far)
Eileen to Paul "Why don't you try playing the grownup"
Peter "Richard Branson I ain't, baby"
Carla "Deirdre, they should bottle you"
Peter to Tracy "You're showing signs of a heart, you want to get that checked out"
Peter "What was it that attracted you to the skint bigamist bookie?" Carla "His black leather jacket, actually" (Yep, that would do it for me, too!)
Hayley "I don't want my life to be on long conversation about cancer"
Tracy to Deirdre "Instead of listening to my dad, why not splash out on a few opinions of your own?"
Carla "Buy me some bling!"

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

"I don't want to go . . ."

Just one line uttered by Hayley last night probably caused a collective gulp across the nation. After the bluster of chocolate on the Red Rec and champagne at the Bistro, Hayley finally voiced her fears. For viewers, the long goodbye begins and if the last few episodes are anything to go by, it's going to be handled well. An emotional few months are ahead for the Corrie writing team and the excellent Julie Hesmondhalgh as they bring Hayley's story to a close.

Portraying illness on a drama series always calls for a studied approach. Most soaps seem to get it right and many will remember the way in which Alma Halliwell's story was handled over a decade ago. In the hands of an actress like Amanda Barrie, this was always going to provide the right balance between sadness, anger and resignation. It feels like it will be much the same for Hayley, with Julie taking us all on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Also important are the reaction of those around her and already we are seeing Roy and Sylvia providing fierce protection. We can expect this kind of level-headed but caring approach from the likes of Fiz and Carla too.

Not everyone can deal with illness and last night we witnessed the crass mutterings of Beth and well-meant but useless gibbering from Rita, Emily and Norris. It's a natural reaction to reach for inanity when we don't really know what else to say.

Hayley doesn't want to go, we don't want her to go but go she must. Her swansong is essential viewing for the rest of the year. It's going to be a red-eyed, snotty-nosed winter for the viewer so with a bumper supply of teabags and Kleenex at the ready, we raise a toast to Julie Hesmondhalgh and the Corrie team.


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Vote for your favourite Corrie mother figure

If you haven't yet, you can vote for your favourite Corrie mother figure here. Voting closes on Monday, 29th June.
Who's your favourite? Minnie Caldwell? Rita? Hayley?

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