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

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Coronation Street Weekly Update - with a jar full of little acorns

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
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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 

Faye’s carted off to the cop shop this week and has no choice but to grass up Grace.  It isn’t easy for Faye and I think the young actress who plays her is doing a fantastic job. 

If you’ve ever been bullied, you’ll know Faye’s reactions are spot on. She wants to do the right thing, but she’s scared that if she defies Grace or worse, dobs her in, then the bullying Grace meted out to little Simon will be nothing in comparison to what may come Faye’s way.  But Faye finds the strength to tell the cops the truth and reports Grace for the attack on Simon.  Anna’s proud of her for doing the right thing but Faye’s frightened now of what might happen with Grace.

Hayley has her first chemotherapy session this week. It makes her decisive and she drags Roy to visit a funeral director where she wants to start planning her funeral.  Roy’s not happy to be taken along without knowing what Hayley was doing and it’s so sad to see the Cropper’s bickering, but totally understandable too. Roy comes round to Hayley’s way of thinking and they start researching humanist funerals online.   In between choosing caskets, Hayley puts the finishing touches to Carla’s wedding dress and takes it into the factory for Mrs C, who is Mrs B to be.  “Do you like it?” asks Hayley. “No, I don’t like it,” Carla replies. “I don’t like it one bit. I love it!”

Over at the Rovers, Liz warns Tina that she’s playing with fire when she’s flirting with Peter and catches them just about to kiss each other in the romantic environs of the men’s loos.  Liz tut-tuts over Tina as Peter celebrates his stag night with the lads in the pub. Kirk asks Peter: “Weren’t you married to two women at the same time?” and Peter replies “It was bigamy”. Steve doesn’t miss a beat. “It’s big of any fella to be wed to two birds at the same time!”.

And finally this week, Steve’s loving his college course in history but spends all his time talking about his new class mate called Andrea.  It’s Andrea this and Andrea that, and when he gets a text from her in the pub, Lloyd sends a saucy reply while Steve’s not looking.

Steve isn’t best pleased and Michelle won’t be either, when she finds out.   “From little acorns….” says Lloyd, joking to Steve about his growing friendship with Andrea.  “Michelle’ll have my little acorns in a jar if she finds out!” he replies.

And that’s just about that for this week.

This week's writers were Chris Fewtrell, Mark Wadlow, Jonathan Harvey.  Find out more about the Coronation Street writing team at

Glenda Young
Blogging away merrily at

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Corrie Executive Producer Kieran Roberts talks about new set

In all of the excitement of yesterday's visit to the new Coronation Street set, your bloggers Flaming Nora (me in the pink coat) and Sunny Jim (Barry in his red anorak as an homage to Hayley) were caught on camera by ITV Granada News.  

Corrie Executive Producer Kieran Roberts was speaking to reporter Mel Barham about the new Coronation Street set.  He says he hopes Coronation Street fans will love it.  

You can watch the full video here.  Look out for your two roving Rovers reporters in the background from 59 seconds into the video.  It looks like we've tried to soapbomb Mr Roberts, but we didn't even notice him or the cameras, we were so engrossed in figuring out the new addition to Coronation Street - No 16a, next to Roy's Rolls.  And here is the very photo that Barry was taking as Kieran Roberts was being interviewed.

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Weatherfield's winter of woe

With December and Christmas knocking on the door, the time of year sought to remind me of one of the bleakest periods of Corrie's history. A moment's silence please for the winter of 1983. It's startling to think that thirty years have passed since the programme entered a period of seemingly endless exits.

The important thing to remember is that back in 1983, Corrie was a very different animal. The cast was much smaller and therefore the impact of a departure was felt all the more keenly. As much as we 'love' them (or not), the disappearance of a brace of Prices and McIntyres has little effect. Thirty years ago this was not the case.

1983 saw several prominent faces disappear from the cobbles and for a variety of reasons. Geoffrey Hughes decided to call time on his portrayal of Eddie Yeats. Hughes later recalled that he realised that with Bernard Youens' failing health, much of the 'Stan Ogden' based storyline had been transferred to Eddie. With less time with his family and increasing fatigue, Hughes quit. He was less than enamoured with his character's shotgun wedding to Marion Willis. The actress who played her, Veronica Doran, was also told that Marion would be axed. In a smart piece of writing though, we saw the newlyweds sneak out of the Ogden's ruby anniversary party and ponder over the arrival on the Street of the police who, unbeknownst to Eddie and Marion, had arrived with news of Len Fairclough's death.

The demise of the Street's resident everyman felt like a punishment meted out to the actor Peter Adamson. During 1983, the tabloids had frothed at the mouth while reporting on Adamson's trial for allegedly assaulting two girls. He was found not guilty but incurred the wrath of Granada by selling his story to a newspaper. Having breached his contract, Adamson was sacked. Len was mentioned for the rest of the year prior to an off-screen death in December. The memory of the character was tarnished by the fact that he had been cheating on Rita, a woman who then ascended to the moral high ground where she has perched ever since. The death of Len was the making of Rita.

Annie Walker's disappearance from the Rovers Return had not been planned. Doris Speed had appeared in the soap as late as October but a mystery stomach illness saw her hospitalised. A muck-raking piece by one national newspaper revealed Doris was not sixty nine years old, as she had maintained, but eighty four. Quite what they expected to achieve by embarrassing an ill, elderly woman is unknown. Convalescing at home, Doris Speed was then left traumatised by a break-in  She announced her immediate retirement an moved to a nursing home in Bury. It was an unhappy end for such a glorious character and the Rovers became a slightly awkward, less friendly place over the next twelve months.

In the midst of this turmoil came the front page news that Pat Phoenix had quit after a total of twenty one years on the cobbles. She claimed boredom and restlessness had driven her from the show. Certainly, recent storylines had seen Elsie Tanner lose her lodgers, receive a demotion at work and save from propping up the Rovers bar, do very little. Pat Phoenix craved love stories for Elsie but even when these did make it to the screen, she was unimpressed with the middle-aged men who were cast. With the decision made, Elsie was given a decent send off as she was paired-off with ancient Bill Gregory and dispatched to Portugal forever. Her final episode in January 1984 included that now famous walk down memory lane, heels clacking across the pavement and her enigmatic "Ah - now there's a question" sign-off.

For viewers, it was difficult to watch popular faces disappear from the screen one after another. With a much smaller company, the focus had to be switched to other characters. The likes of Bet, Rita, Vera and Ivy all shuffled centre-stage which seemed like a good move. The characters were already known and popular. Shoe-horning old faces such as Linda Cheveski and Billy Walker back into the mix jarred horribly, particularly as the returnees were pitched as being quite unpleasant. With Albert Tatlock and Stan Ogden having to be written out during 1984, it would be another year before life on the cobbles truly began to settle down again.

Did the powers-that-be handle Weatherfield's winter of discontent well? On the whole, they probably did. The producer, director and writers had to respond to circumstances that in some cases were well beyond their control. Sad as this period was, it did help to usher in a new front line of characters, many of whom saw out the next decade and beyond. Nowadays, Corrie can afford to lose faces without it being too much of a retrograde step which is perhaps a good thing - the show should and always will be bigger than any of its individual characters.

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Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 29 November

Two big life events wove threadlike through tonight’s episodes as both wedding and funeral preparations took centre stage.

Peter’s focus continues to be Simon as he irritably tells Carla she gives King Kong a run for his money in the Bridezilla stakes; “the sooner we’re on the other side of this wedding the better” he grumbles.

Over at the factory excitement mounts about Carla’s hen. “L plates for Carla?” quips Sean “When it comes to fellas she’s got a HGV license”. Jealous Beth would sooner catch leprosy than her bouquet though. As Carla lets them off early to get ready, Sally notes that some need more time than others with Beth retorting that her face resembles an “upturned hotpot”. Hayley arrives with the completed wedding dress which an emotional Carla adores.

Tina, considering Liz’s warning, tells Peter she can’t look after Simon anymore. Why she chooses to do this within earshot of a child who has been through so much is beyond me, especially when it took minimal pleading to get her to agree to stay.

Over at the Rovers, Steve’s “rubbish” college work continues to be the butt of jokes. “You just don’t get it do you?” he snaps at Liz “No, I don’t” she replies, and therein lies the problem; bettering yourself is sneered at on Coronation Street where superiority is found in mocking those who make inevitably doomed attempts at it. As Michelle rings the college to establish the length of his classes, the noose gets ever tighter around Steve’s neck, and their relationship moves further towards that of mother and child.

Speaking of which, Anna blames herself for focusing on her rivalry with Sally rather than what was going on under her own roof, with Faye now cautioned for five years. Anna visits Leanne to make amends, but comes back fuming and ashamed. While Faye has apologised, it’s a relief to hear her say she feels dreadful for Simon. Anna gently tells her they will let everyone know that she’s a good person, one step at a time.

Peter’s stag was set up to be a glib affair, but was the funniest part of the night. The banter between Lloyd and Steve put them on an equal footing which was a relief considering the imbalance of late. As Lloyd downs a pint in 9 seconds, Steve tells him it’d be quicker to let it evaporate. Enthusiastic Kirk is the man you want at the helm. He reminds Peter of the time he married two women. “It was bigamy” Peter tells a confused Lloyd, to which Steve replies, “Big of any man”. He’s on fire tonight, and it only serves to make Michelle’s attitude more detestable. Lloyd didn’t cover himself in glory though when he used Steve’s phone to text college pal Andrea to say he wanted to see her alone. “Little acorns” he tells Steve, thinking he has nudged love in the right direction, but Steve worries what Michelle will do to his little acorns if she finds out. “Jokes are supposed to be funny” says Steve who is both comedian and philosopher tonight, and this would do well to be remembered considering some of the “jokes” he has been subjected to of late.

The stag ends prematurely, for Peter at least, when Rob’s jeers lead to an altercation resulting in Liz throwing him and Tracy out. Tina calms Peter down, but they’re interrupted by Liz at the point where they’re about to kiss. Peter says sorry if he made her feel uncomfortable and, much to her visible frustration, calls it a night.

Carla and Michelle leave her uneventful hen when news of this makes it to the Bistro. On the way home, she makes up with Rob over his past indiscretions, and asks him to give her away. He seems honoured and gives his blessing despite his own feelings about Peter. When Carla arrives home with the news, Peter is furious with her for not consulting him. With Carla’s doubts about Peter’s attitude towards the wedding, and his frustration at her controlling nature, it doesn’t bode well for a long and happy marriage.

For an example of this, we need look no further than Hayley and Roy. While she resorts to well meaning subterfuge to get him to come to the funeral parlour so that she can have a say in the arrangements, she regrets doing so as neither of them were ready. When she returns from Carla’s hen, he gives her a big surprise hug of pure and unconditional love. He agrees that planning is needed now and they consider the options together. The stark reality hits home when preparation of her body is discussed; the body that sits by Roy, full of life and love, and it seems so wrong that two such soulmates should have to plan for a time when they can no longer be together.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Coronation Street set move captured for new ITV documentary

There's been a documentary made by ITV which will cover the new Coronation Street set move, brick by brick and cobble by cobble.

Filmed over two years, Coronation Street - Moving Story, is an hour long documentary for ITV made by Shiver Productions.  It follows Corrie's move from Quay Street to its new home in Trafford.

The programme tells the story of over 50 years of production at Quay Street in Manchester with contributions from cast and crew as they prepare to bid farewell to the old and say hello to the new.  The documentary also uses timelapse photography to show the buildig of the brand new set at MediaCityUK.

As soon as we know when this will be aired on TV, we'll let you know. 

See also: Coronation Street new set - our visit in full

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Kevin Webster's return storyline revealed

The Manchester Evening News says that Corrie producer Stuart Blackburn has confirmed storylines are currently being written to mark the return of actor Michael Le Vell to his role as Kevin Webster.

Kevin was last seen on screen in February, and he's supposed to be in Germany looking after his dad Bill, who's sick.

Stuart says: “At the point when Kevin was forced to leave for Germany, he was actually looking to get back together with Sally. So when he returns, it’s to a very different world in Coronation Street. He comes back to find Sally’s relationship with Tim, while his daughter Sophie’s world will have changed as well, and in Sally’s eyes, not necessarily for the better.

"We’re just delighted to have Michael back with us, and we’re hoping he’ll be back on screen in March/April.”

So, it looks like Kevin's going to have to fight for Sally with Tim and I wonder how much of a fight Tim will put up and how willing Sally will be to get back with Kev.  Could be interesting!

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Video: Coronation Street over the years

At yesterday's press reveal of the new Coronation Street set, this amazing and quite moving montage was shown.  You can now watch it here via the wonders of YouTube on the Coronation Street Blog.

See also: Coronation Street new set - our visit in full

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Coronation Street new set – our visit in full

It was a proper privilege to be invited to the reveal of the new Coronation Street set yesterday in Manchester. Armed with notebooks and camera, we set off from Sunderland at 6.30am to arrive by train at the new set just as the heavens opened and the rain chucked down. Typical Weatherfield weather!

Flaming Nora!  It's Weatherfield weather!
All of our pictures are here from the day, and the official ITV time-lapse photos from the big build are here.  The press were out in force and you can read lots of good stuff from proper journalists at The Guardian and The Mirror and the Manchester Evening News and of course, the official Coronation Street website.

But how did it feel for us, as bloggers and fans, to be allowed to see the new set and what did we think about it?  Well, it felt as fantastic as you’d expect, and a real privilege. Thank you from the bottom of our Corrie hearts to ITV for inviting us in.

So, without any further ado and with some of our own pictures from yesterday’s visit, here we go with our write-up of yesterday’s big trip.

The first thing you notice when you see the new set is... 

It looks exactly like the old one.  I was worried it was going to look too clean, too tidy, too new. It doesn’t.  It looks exactly as it should. And because of that, it positions you right at the heart of our favourite show - and that’s when I got the goosebumps.  It’s a new set, with new cobbles, new windows, new doors, new paintwork, a new tree. But that newness brings with it the old magic. For bricks and mortar to create such a strength and depth of emotion and feeling that I got goosebumps and a lump in my throat was incredible, and it took me completely by surprise.

Things that are obviously different and new on this set...
It’s wider, so that two cars can pass on Coronation Street and on Viaduct Street. It’s longer and this means there’s an extra window upstairs in the Rovers Return. There’s an additional door called 16a next to Roy’s Rolls.  Lamp posts have been pushed to the back of pavements and kerbs have been dropped (for ease of production).

There’s now a path behind the gardens of the houses to allow the cameras more access than they had before. Mawdsley Street is now visible as a 3D backdrop that can be lit.

Things that are the same as the old set…

The magic  - and I can’t stress that enough. The new cobbles are as difficult to walk on as they are on the current set (and I had flat boots on).

Items of note…
The attention to detail is incredible to make the new set look as old as possible. It’s a new set but already looks suitably and rightly worn down by generations of Weatherfield worry.

The best bits of our day…
Being given permission to graffiti the garage door.

Watching raffle winning, Salford legend Mike Sweeney put up the new Coronation Street sign.

Listening to Clint Boon from The Inspiral Carpets’ DJ set in the press tent while swigging champagne, eating mince pies and wondering how much 54,000 cobbles cost to buy.  Seeing Corrie creator Tony Warren giving interviews to the press.

Things we learned from the press pack...
The new bus stop has been specially designed by JC Decaux for Coronation Street with a higher and shorter roof to allow for boom mics and a hinged glass sidescreen for better camera angles.  The tree outside of Audrey's salon is 25 years old and is called an Alnus Icana (if you squint a lot, it looks like the tree's called Almas Incarnation).  Interior filming done in Underworld and Streetcars will now be done inside the cab office and factory on the new set rather than in the studio.

Our overall feelings about the new set...
More than anything it was relief that it’s not changed – too much.  Will we notice the changes when we see it on TV? It’s hard to say because they’ll do such a fantastic job with the camera angles.

And finally, the new set is...
It's truly fantastic. It’s magical. It’s Coronation Street.

We've been caught on camera too - have a look at this!

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Coronation Street's new set - time lapse photos of the big build

Yesterday, we visited the new Coronation Street set and you can see our own pictures here.

Below are the official ITV pictures showing how the new set was built.  To see a bigger version of each picture, just click on them.

November 2011: The build begins

July 2012: The footprint of the new Street takes place.

3rd September 2012: The Medical Centre and Bonded Warehouse.
November 2012: The viaduct behind the Rovers is clearly identifiable.

February 2013: The roofs of the modern terraces and the Kabin takes shape.

April 2013: Brickwork nears completion on the main terrace and the roofs are on

April 2013: Coronation Street is clearly visible from the air.

April 2013: Brickwork races on and the Corner Shop awaits its main windows.

July 2013: The famous cobbles are laid.

October 2013: The ginnel is almost complete.

November 2013: Coronation Street Trafford, first official picture.

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Coronation Street Blog pictures from new Street set reveal

Guess where we've been today? 

Yes, to see the new Coronation Street set!  What an amazing day it's been.

We'll be doing a full write up tomorrow for the website but for now, you can see some of our own pictures from the set here.

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Facts about the Rovers Return

Here's a few interesting facts about the Rovers Return and the new set, according to the ITV website

The current set is the fifth version of Coronation Street.

The new Street set is a bit bigger, closer to real life dimensions. The previous set was about a third smaller than normal streets would be. This new set also has the light standards set back a bit and the kerbs dropped to make it easier for the production staff and cameras to move around.

The tree in front of Audrey's Salon has been replanted. ITV says "The tree outside Audrey's salon is an Alnus Icana, delivered from Holland it weighs six tonnes and stands 40 feet high. It is around 25 years old and is one of the largest trees ever planted in the UK"

About a quarter of the bricks used were reclaimed from Salford de-constructions and most of the cobbles are reclaimed as well.

Both Streetcars and Underworld sets will no longer be housed in the large indoor studios, they will be behind the doors on the outdoor sets. (I hope they have installed heating. That was one of the complaints when Underworld was in the same place in the old set so they finally moved it indoors).

And yes, the Rovers has a second upstairs window and not before time. With living areas and kitchens and bedrooms for all and sundry up there, it wasn't very realistic looking. It still doesn't seem like the building is big enough to house everything and everyone but that's television for you. At least we're back downstairs in the pub living quarters instead of in the upstairs pseudo flat we saw when Steve and Becky were married. 

There's a good book now out by Tim Randall about the Rovers Return. Read our book review of it here. It's a great Christmas gift for any Corrie fan!

Photo from the ITV Corrie website.

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First Photos from the new Corrie set

Today's the day that the new outdoor set at MediaCity is being presented to the media. Our Flaming Nora and Sunny Jim are there and will report back tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a few photos gleaned from @itvcorrie 's twitter feed.  There is also a gallery on the website of Manchester Evening News here.

As you can see, they've replanted a tree in front of Audrey's Salon. This is apparently a 40 foot tree and the largest ever to be replanted in the U.K.

The new Rovers has a second window upstairs. Makes it look somewhat less of a Tardis when you hear about all the bedrooms and living arrangements in there.

They've used reclaimed cobbles to pave the Street and they do look suitably old and worn.

Tony Warren approves and says they're all his favourite houses.

This one is from the MEN and it shows a detail from the Rovers' window with the new required food rating notice in accordance to a new UK law.

Here's a tweet from @itvcorrie on the new Mawdsley Street as well.

See our Fab Photo for an aerial view taken during construction

There's also loads of great links on the MEN site all about the Coronation Street set over the years over here.

ITV have updated their website with more photos and a time lapse video of the construction site and it's got a good montage video and if you aren't in the UK, you can see the montage video via the Manchester Evening News site through this blog post.

Here's a video tour from the Mirror's website. And unless I'm very much mistaken, the couple walking down the street from Audrey's salon, she in a purple coat and he in red, is our very own Flaming Nora and Sunny Jim.

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