Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year from the Coronation Street Blog

Wishing all Coronation Street fans the best ever year in 2014.

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Hayley Anne Cropper - This is Your Life

Hayley Anne Cropper (née Hayley Patterson, formerly Harold Patterson) - we are going to miss you. A lot.  We know you're going to die and that it will be:  "Not today, not tomorrow, but soon" and as we bulk buy our tissues and get ready to wave you off to the cobbles in the sky, let's have a look back at your time on Coronation Street.

Sources: and Wikipedia

When Hayley met Roy
Hayley first appeared on Coronation Street on 26 January 1998 with a job at Firman's Freezers. Hayley became firm friends with Alma Baldwin who tried to pair her off with Curly Watts before Hayley became friends with Roy Cropper. Meetings and dates followed and they became close; it was obviously the first relationship for both of them. After a romantic meal, Hayley decides to trust Roy with her greatest secret.

Although she looked like a normal woman, she was not. She still had to undergo the final operation that would transform her into a complete physical female. Roy was initially horrified and rejected Hayley for a while. Hayley then discovered that her father had left her a sizable amount of money - tens of thousands of pounds! She decided to fulfill her dream and went to Amsterdam for the final part of her treatment, the operation. In a touching farewell scene, they said their goodbyes, and Roy gave Hayley a book about "Automotive Engines", but inside was a beautiful silver locket; a token of his true feelings.

Operation Amsterdam
After her operation, Hayley rented a room on a houseboat in Amsterdam, to recuperate, and wrote Roy a letter. Shortly afterwards she was delighted to find him unexpectedly on her doorstep. After spending a few days together, unsuccessfully trying to find out how they felt about each other, Hayley finally got a sign from Roy that he really cared a great deal for her, when he left behind an engraved watch as a present. As a result, she caught him at the airport and accompanied him back to Weatherfield, to Roy's delight.

Secret’s out at Underworld
Hayley then started work at Underworld but when discussing a confusion by the DSS over Hayley's name, Alma accidently told Mike about Hayley's past. He was appalled and unable to come to terms with it, and fired Hayley. When threatened with a possible strike by the factory girls, and constant hostility from Alma over the issue, he relented and rehired her.  But Mike's treatment of Hayley was dreadful and Roy wouldn't stand for it, throwing a pint over Mike in the Rovers after he made more nasty remarks about Hayley.

Hayley then moved into the flat above the café with Roy and he proposed to her - but Hayley had to decline, due to the British legal system not allowing transsexual marriages. She then bought Gail’s share of the cafe and became Roy's sleeping partner in their new café business - Roy's Rolls on Victoria Street.

Wedding No. 1
With her Great Uncle Bert on hand to give the bride away, Alma as matron of honour and Toyah and Sarah-Lou as bridesmaids, Hayley designed and made her own wedding dress. Roy and Hayley made it to the church, only to be foiled by Les Battersby, who had tipped off the press and was keen to see the wedding plastered over the papers. A distraught Roy and Hayley returned to the cafe, thinking the ceremony a washout. Hayley was truly devastated, but was surprised by Roy when she came down from the cafe to find everyone ready to perform the ceremony there. They were wed on April 23, 1999.

Hayley finally broaches the subject of children with Roy and their foster kids include Wayne Hayes, Jackie Mosely and Fiz Brown.

Hayley’s son Christian
Following the death of her aunt Monica in September 2007, Hayley discovers she has an adult son,  Christian Gatley. She hires a private investigator to track him down, and eventually introduces herself as his aunt. Hayley finally reveals the truth that she's his mum, Christian doesn't take it well, lashes out and hits Hayley across the face. 

Hayley leaves the Street in October 2007 to go on volunteer work in Mozambique for a year.

Return to Weatherfield
Hayley returns from Africa in November 2008 with the secret that she’s fallen for Olaf, the project team leader. She decides not to return to Underworld and opts for a new challenge as a social worker. However, her chances are ruined when her police record (for the abduction of foster child Wayne Hayes in 2001), is revealed, ruling her ineligible to work with children. She subsequently continues working in the café and then gets the job of supervisor at Underworld in 2009.

Held Hostage
Hayley is held hostage with Carla Connor in Underworld by Tony Gordon. Later that same week, Roy proposes to Hayley, which she accepts.


Such is the popularity of the Croppers, Roy and Hayley star in 2009 in a Coronation Street spin-off DVD Romanian Holiday.

Wedding No 2
The Gender Recognition Act was passed in 2004 and and Roy and Hayley plan their official, legal union for 30 August 2010. In Roy's wedding speech he says: "It is 11 years since we last registered to be married and we were informed that we could not. We have remained still and the world has turned to meet us."

The mother in law

Roy’s mum Sylvia arrives for her son's wedding and Tracy Barlow does her worst and blurts that Hayley is transgender. In 2012 Roy and Hayley visit California to visit Sylvia and her companion Milton Fanshaw. Roy returns without Hayley, who stays in the USA caring for an ill Sylvia.

Bad, sad, news...
In 2013, Hayley’s told by her doctor that a blockage in her bile duct may be cancer and a CT scan confirms stage-two pancreatic cancer.  Hayley decides to make the most of the time she has left and heads to Blackpool with Roy, who makes one of Hayley's dreams come true as they dance at the Tower Ballroom.

Christmas 2013 will be the last Christmas that Hayley and Roy share together.

And now, we face dealing with Hayley's death in January 2014...

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Take ITV's Corrie year end quiz

ITV have a fun little quiz on their website today with 12 trivia questions from storylines through this year. They're multiple choice and not really that difficult but have a go anyway and let us know what your score is.

Check out the quiz here.

(psst... I got 100%....just sayin')

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What makes a good Corrie exit? Now there's a question

The end of another year. I must be getting old as I don't know where the time is going. It's been another action packed year in Weatherfield and I'm sure 2014 promises much of the same. For there are many changes afoot in the new year, mostly involving cast departures. As we reach the end of the year, it seems appropriate to look at some happy (or not so happy) endings.

2014 will see several characters leave Coronation Street. Within the space of a few months we'll lose Hayley, Tina, Dennis, Gloria, Stella and Marcus. One or two I'll be really sad to see  go - the rest not so much. I think you will all know my views so I won't specify! All these impending departures have made me wonder whether it is better for well-loved characters to depart quietly in a taxi or in a blaze of glory? I'm sure we'll see a mix of both methods in the months ahead.

We already know that Hayley will have a sad, emotional goodbye while it looks like Tina's departure might spark a "dramatic" whodunnit. Will Stella and Gloria depart in the back of one of Steve's cabs? And what about Dennis and Marcus? Will they leave Weatherfield alone? We recently saw Brian drive out of the street in his van without much ceremony. Earlier this year we lost Sunita in a very explosive manner, however poor Shobna Gulati then had to endure many scenes lying in a hospital bed playing unconscious - hardly the best of both worlds.

I guess at least these actors are lucky, they will get the chance to play out a proper exit storyline, whether it be long or short. Looking back to cast departures in the past, some were not so fortunate. Original characters Annie Walker, Albert Tatlock and Ena Sharples made their final appearances without saying goodbye to the loyal Corrie audience due to the ill health or sad demise of the actors behind these Weatherfield legends. The same fate befell Bert Tilsley due to Peter Dudley's death and Len Fairclough following various revelations about actor Peter Adamson. It will always be a great shame that legendary performers like Doris Speed and Violet Carson were not allowed a final on screen flourish. 

So what are my own favourite exits? If we're going for a dramatic demise, it has to be Alan Bradley. The culmination of his long running storyline with our Rita was and is iconic. My two absolute favourites however are much more low key. I just adored Elsie Tanner's farewell in January 1984. Unlike some of her costars at the time, Pat Phoenix was given a well-rounded, thoughtful final curtain. The return of Bill Gregory, one of Elsie's first on screen loves, completed the circle and gave Elsie a fitting, happy goodbye. I still get the shivers whenever I watch her striding down the darkened Coronation Street for the last time, clutching her photos of Dennis and Linda, while famous scenes are hauntingly touched upon in the background. 

Finally, who can forget Hilda Ogden's feel-good farewell on Christmas Day 1987? Poor, downtrodden Hilda had spent years scrimping and saving, coping with Stan's lazy work shy attitudes and loving him fiercely all the same. She finally achieved the status she craved when she went off to Derbyshire to take up the position of Dr Lowther's housekeeper. Hilda's final scenes in the Rovers, complete with community singsong, was a warm touching tribute to both the legendary character and also to Jean Alexander who played her so beautifully for 23 years. 

So those are my favourite endings. What are yours? 

All that remains is for me to wish all our Coronation Street Blog followers, commentators and contributors a very happy and prosperous 2014. Happy New Year!

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Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, January 6 - 10

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 6 January - Friday 10 January

Michelle bans sex and wants Steve to have a vasectomy, Carla sacks Beth, Jason softens towards his dad, Tina leaves after Peter choose Carla.

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 30 December 2013

Coronation Street episode review, Monday 30 December 2013

Rob may perceive himself as the hunk of Weatherfield, but he has serious competition, and anyway, whether he is or not, who wants to see Rob’s pants and Rob himself humming and slapping his thighs first thing in the morning? As Deirdre points out, ‘I’m a very forgiving person Rob, but this is not a nudist colony.’

Rob offers to wear Ken’s kimono but it’s not about kimonos – it’s more about Rob and Tracy behaving inappropriately and  disrespectfully, but they would behave this way, of course they would, they are Rob and Tracy – each one the centre of his/her universe. Quite reasonably, Deirdre does not wish them to parade their sexuality in front of her while she is trying to eat her boiled egg.

Rob, (now fully clothed) who is clearly attracted to Tina, bumps into her and ask her what’s up. Thinking it could only be something to do with the kiss they shared a while ago, he mentions that and wonders  if that is why she appears down in the dumps. Not so, claims Tina but willingly accepts a lift into town from him. On their return Peter, who happens to be in the right place at the right time, is furious as he witnesses the peck on the cheek between Tina and Rob. Peter storms into Barlow’s Bargains and claims he’s angry with Rob for his behaviour with Tina, because he’s looking out for Tracy. As Rob points out Tracy is only Peter’s stepsister, so the blood thicker than water case that Peter is pursuing, doesn't wash.

So Peter has Rob pinned up against the wall when Tracy enters and immediately sides with Rob. Naturally, Peter persists in playing the part of the defending brother but it is clearly his raging jealousy that is the reason he is so ferocious towards Rob. It convinces those around him for now, because Rob and Peter have never got on, so  succeeds in shrouding the real reason. ‘You have terrible taste in men,’ Peter tells Tracy.

Does the terrible taste in men include Steve? In The Rovers the mother of Steve hears Tracy use the word bully. ‘Bully? Run in the family does it?’ asks Liz. Tracy replies, rather oddly, ‘Oh Liz, if looks could kill you’d be choking on your split ends.’ OK – an unpleasant comment in essence, but it just seems odd.  There’s more. Liz accuses Tracy of milking the idea that Rob was attacked and oddly Liz says, ‘I’ll send round a cow; you can milk that too.’ Tracy replies, ‘Cows, you’d know about those.’
Clearly the purpose of this exchange is to show the viewer the persistent and ongoing dislike between the ex-mother and daughter- in-law, but both women are verbally sharper and wittier than that exchange shows them to be, and it felt like a disservice to both. So, so important to get the dialogue absolutely right.

Tracy and Rob, after having been overheard by Deirdre, talking about how much cheaper it would be if they could move in with her, make her a meal with all the marrow trimmings. Deidre uses this opportunity to tell them just how much she would like a new plasma screen TV. Why not put the idea into their selfish heads? She might as well get something out of them.

Deirdre’s great line tonight, after she had said that Rob and Tracy were like her shadow, was in response to Tracy saying that most parents would be glad of their offspring wanting to spend time with them. ‘Most parents don’t have offspring like you!’ So good! All gone is the ‘Oh Tracy, love,’ of old.     
 And now, over to Sophie, editor of The Times, if Sally could have her way. Sophie is going to write a couple of pieces for the Weatherfield Soup Kitchen magazine, all proceeds to charity, but Sally, ever the social climber, sees her younger daughter as the new Janet Street Porter.

Maddie Heath, the handbag thief, ridicules and mocks the idea of Sophie writing for the magazine, asking Sophie exactly what experience she has of living on the streets.  As we know, and as Maddie knows, she has none. Taking on the character of Sophie, Maddie says, ‘From the comfort of your own centrally heated home…’ Sophie stands her ground and tells Maddie that she only wants to help. When Sophie stands up, she asks Maddie if she would like some vinegar. ‘What for?’ asks Maddie. ‘For that chip on your shoulder,’ comes the thought-provoking reply. ‘When you’re in your big comfy bed tonight, think of me won’t you?’  says Maddie.

Kal is proving to be an excellent addition to the cobbles. He appears as a ball of energy and eager for his clients to do their best, and thus better their lives. He does ask rather a lot of questions though as Leanne discovered, some of them perhaps a bit too personal, but Leanne has no problem telling him to keep his nose out. He asks several probing questions but is very circumspect when it comes to himself and his own personal life. Here’s hoping for some revelations soon.

So Leanne has gone to live with Stella for a while and Stella thinks this is a good idea. Gail is less sure though and maybe feels Nick is being abandoned. Still, Gail has her Alpine Meadow shower gel as consolation and must be pleased that Nick is cutting down his working hours.
Tonight’s star performance came from the brilliant Alison King, playing Carla. When Hayley said  that a few close friends would have to be told just how close to death she is, she wanted Carla to be included. Dutifully Roy calls at Carla’s, totally unprepared for Carla’s reaction. ‘She doesn’t want any visitors,’ says a hapless Roy to which Carla replies, ‘Come on Roy,’and off they go to see Hayley. At the upstairs door in the café, Roy becomes more assertive, but he’s no match for Carla and into the bedroom she goes.

With such sincerity and genuine friendship, Carla tells Hayley that though she cannot see them, all her friends are there with her. ‘If you can’t see us, we’re there.’ It is an unexpected, unusual friendship in that on the surface, at least, Hayley and Carla are two very different women. Each, though, recognises the other’s worth and it is a scene so sweet to see Carla and Hayley hugging each other and crying.
Hayley’s fear of death is evident and each of us must relate to her in thinking of our own mortality. ‘You’ve touched so many lives,’ Carla says, whereas she feels she has touched many pay packets. The fear Hayley expresses is raw and terrifying and she hates that she cannot carry on, rather like the time Hayley and her mum got stuck on a chairlift going down to the beach and her mother was petrified.
What was so brilliant about the Carla, Roy and Hayley scene was the writing got it just right. When asked by Roy if she took sugar, Carla, jokingly affronted, asks him, ‘Do I look like I take sugar?’ Just the right amount of levity, so deftly done.

Meanwhile Tina and Peter give in to their desire for each other, and somehow, it seems all the more ‘wrong’ (trying to avoid moralizing) that Carla is sobbing with her friend while her husband of just a few weeks, decides to betray her.

‘What’ve we done?’ asks Tina. ‘Something rather beautiful,’ says Peter, plumbing the depths of the cliché.

Roy’s bag pulls them up sharp though. As Roy explained, life without his notebook is tricky. He reclaims it, within its bag and Peter virtually shoves him down the stairs.

The final scene of Tina, alone and crying and silent speaks more eloquently than a thousand words.         

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Michelle Keegan in All Star Family Fortunes

Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre)  takes on chef and 2009 King of the Jungle Gino D'Acampo in All Star Family Fortunes on ITV1 on New Year's Eve at 12 noon. 

It's a repeat of the show from October 2010, but we're blogging it incase you missed it the first time around and would like to watch it this time.

The pair team up with their relatives to guess the answers to surveys of 100 people in a bid to win up to £30,000 for a charity of their choice. Vernon Kay hosts.

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Favourite Corrie couples countdown - tenth poll

Hello all! Now, I hope you've voted in the eighth poll of ten because that is now officially closed. But you have until midnight next Monday to vote for two of your favourite couples in the ninth poll.

So, who's in our final poll?

Sophie Webster and Sian Powers (2010-2011) – Corrie’s first lesbian couple. When Sophie first kissed her, Sian was confused. After a brief time away from the street, Sian returned and they became a proper couple, but in secret. Eventually, Ryan finds out. Soon after, the girls tell Kevin and Sally that they love each other. They have an on/off relationship which includes Sophie accusing Sian of having an affair while Amber Kalirai also plots to split the two. They planned to marry but then Sophie’s doubts about her feelings towards Sian ends their relationship and Sian leaves her.

Danny and Frankie Baldwin (2004-2005) – When they arrived, Frankie had already cheated on Danny while Danny enjoyed a fling with Sunita. While Danny became a business partner at the factory, Frankie got a job in the café. In 2005, Danny had an affair with son Jamie’s girlfriend Leanne and Frankie kicked him out. When his relationship with Leanne soured, he tried to win back Frankie but was shocked that she was now with Jamie, her stepson. Failing to cope, he sold the factory and left.

Kirk Sutherland and Beth Tinker (2012- ) – This relationship began when Kirk chauffeured Beth to meet her online date. However, the date didn’t work out and Beth realised that Kirk was the man for her. Since then they’ve been in a relationship and Kirk has become a father figure to Beth’s son Craig.

Martin Platt and Gail Tilsley/Platt (1989-2001) – Although they’d been friends for a few years, it wasn’t until Brian’s death that they became close. To Ivy’s annoyance, the relationship developed and in 1990, Gail gave birth to David. They married in 1991. In 1993, the marriage was tested when they hired Carmel Finnan as a nanny. She was obsessed with Martin and tried to split the Platts up, but Gail sent her packing. As Martin was ten years Gail’s junior, Martin was tempted by other women and had an affair with Cathy Power in 1994. Gail forgave him but wasn’t as forgiving when he had another affair with Rebecca Hopkins in 2000. They divorced in 2001 and Martin was genuinely happy when Gail remarried Richard in 2002.

Stan and Hilda Ogden (1964-1984) – This classic Corrie couple were a part of the nation’s fabric for 20 years and we witnessed their highs and lows. Despite a backstory of Stan’s neglect and abuse towards Hilda and the kids, by the 1970s they had established themselves as the key to comedy on the cobbles. They, with their flying ducks and ‘muriel’, had become TV icons. Stan was a layabout while Hilda worked day and night to bring in the money, cleaning The Rovers and various houses and was also the chief gossip on the street, although she didn’t like being gossiped about. Although they bickered, they loved each other and were married for 40 years. Despite being the street’s cast-offs, it didn’t stop them mingling with the neighbours. By the early 1980s, Stan’s health was failing and he died in 1984, leaving a heartbroken Hilda alone.

Have you got favourites in this five? Well, vote for two of them and we'll see where they'll be in the countdown! The poll closes at midnight on Monday, 13th January.
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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Monday 30 December

MONDAY 30TH DECEMBER 2013 at 7.30pm
PETER AND TINA PLAY WITH FIRE Agreeing to leave their kiss behind them, Tina gives Rob a friendly peck on the cheek. Peter spots them and later tackles Rob, claiming he is looking out for Tracy. When oblivious Rob accuses him of fancying the babysitter, Peter thumps Rob. But when Tina storms round to Pater’s flat to confront him about the punch, will they be able to resist their passion any longer?
DEVASTATED HAYLEY HIDES FROM THE WORLD Hayley can't face telling people she only has weeks to live and asks Roy to tell her friends instead. A heartbroken Roy breaks the tragic news to Anna, Fiz and Tyrone and asks Carla to visit Hayley but then Roy realises he’s left his shopping bag at Carla’s…
NICK’S DETERMINED TO GET BACK ON TRACK Determined to return to his former self, Nick starts his first training session with Kal. Leanne’s encouraged to see Nick so upbeat.
ELSEWHERE Maddie scoffs at Sophie when she tells her she will be writing for their new magazine and Tracy wants Rob to move into No. 1.

MONDAY 30TH DECEMBER 2013 at 8.30pmPETER AND TINA’S PASSION ERUPTS Peter and Tina get carried away as they tear at each other’s clothes but panic when they hear Roy coming up the stairs. Scrambling to get her clothes on, Tina hides in the bedroom but will Roy have caught them in the act?
CARLA’S REALITY CHECK GIVES HAYLEY PERSPECTIVE Having told Roy that she doesn’t want to see anyone,Hayley’s shocked when Carla barges into her bedroom. However, she’s soon cheered up as Carla chats away to her and decides she’s needs to have a no-nonsense conversation with Roy about her death. But is this something Roy wants to talk about?
NICK COPES IN LEANNE’S ABSENCE Gail worries Nick will struggle now Leanne’s moved out but Stella defends her daughter’s decision and Nick’s determined to protect Leanne until he recovers.
ELSEWHERE Sally’s pleased that Sophie is branching out into journalism and Tracy tries to butter up Deirdre but receives short shrift.

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Sunday 29 December 2013

Coronation Street weekly updates 2013, available for Kindle

If you're a fan of my Coronation Street weekly updates - which have been going strong since 1995 - then you'll be happy to hear that all of my 2013 Corrie weekly updates are now available for Kindle.

2013 Corrie weekly updates for Kindle. Buy it here.  Or if you're in the UK, here.

Unofficial Coronation Street weekly updates from 1995 to 2013
19 years in 19 lovely, fan written, e-books
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield, none of the waffle

Written by Coronation Street Blog editor, Flaming Nora.

Available from and

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Pic: Coronation Street's Jimi Mistry weds Flavia Cacace

Many congratulations go to Coronation Street newcomer Jimi Mistry, who plays Kal, as he's just been married to his fiancee, the Strictly Come Dancing dancer Flavia Cacace.  Both Jimi and Flavia have posted the picture below to twitter today with the same message: "Had the most amazing day with family & friends ❤️xxx"

Flavia has also updated her name on her twitter account from Flavia Cacace to Flavia Cacace-Mistry.

Congratulations from all of us here at the Coronation Street Blog.

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Corrie weekly awards for December 22 - 27

Fashion flare: Tyrone's sweater. Loved it!

Fashion shout outs: Norris' snorkel anorak. Might be appropriate for Canada's winters but probably overkill for Weatherfield. Lloyd's got a snowflake jumper as well. Michelle's new green top really was nice.

Tradition award: The McDonald Christmas dinner sounds dire. Nobody likes anything but they'll choke it down because it's tradition.

Cat's out of the bag award: Kylie's at it again.

Hypocrite award: Peter nobbing on to Tina about Rob not being available. Pot? Kettle?

Dad of the year award (tarnished): Tim handed Faye cash right out of his wallet on the day. She didn't even get a card to put it in.

If looks could kill award: Liz and Michelle, after meeting Andrea.

Bromance award: Tyrone and Jason! Love that the writers have finally remembered that they're good mates.

Pants on Fire:
Steve made out he found Michelle's top when Andrea actually picked it out.

One Hit Wonder award: Leanne said she'd always leave if anyone hit her just once. Now she knows it's not as simple as all that, under these circumstances.

Sourpuss award aka Who peed in your cornflakes? Michelle

Lines of the week:

Hayley to Roy: "Stop being so Bah Humbug about everything. It's Christmas with friends and family and if that includes a visit to a fat man with a white beard then so be it!"
Rita about Dennis: "I just hope now he's got it out of his system" (I think this is just the beginning)
Anna: "It's one thing being his front man but I don't want you being his fall guy"
Gail about Kylie: "She made her sister look like Kate Middleton" and "She's not fit for purpose" and to David "And I thought *you* were bad" (Oh come now, she's nowhere near as bad as David was!)
Kylie: "You're all frightened of the truth"
Kylie: "Listen to you all, purer than the driven snow!"
Peter: "I've already got a wife, I don't need you being in a mood with me as well"
Peter: "World's over rated"
Jason: "Does Santa have a wife?" (of course. Mrs. Claus is legendary!)
Deirdre :"Heat kills germs. Just watch out for the teeth marks, we'll just have to carve round them!"
Rob to Lloyd re the jumper: "Respect for the knitwear, mate!"
Rob about Deirdre: "She's making a halo out of mistletoe" Steve "Oohhhh that's someone that could make mistletoe into a weapon of mass destruction"
Mary after singing an inappropriate carol: "Why didn't I go for Bing?"
Deirdre: "Come to Deirdre" (shudder)
Hayley: "I want to book it before we go while I still believe I can (go)"
Nick:"You don't want to upset the Beast of Weatherfield"
Leanne to Kylie: "Don't let your temper or your pride make the wrong call. Trust me. I speak from bitter experience" (and she does)

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Saturday 28 December 2013

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 27 December 2013

Leanne is unhappy at Nick’s decision to tell Norris the truth about her injury. With Gloria and Stella afraid to leave her alone with him, Nick agrees that nobody can be sure he won’t hurt her again, not least himself. He suggests he move out, but they agree that Leanne will move in with Stella instead.

Fresh from the slammer, Kylie apologises to Tina, but after overhearing Max tell David he’d rather play than look for her, she spends the day wandering. As she argues with Anna in the café, she gets a powerful dose of perspective from Hayley who demands to know what she wants from life. “If it’s a cry for attention, then take it from me, nobody cares” she tells her, and reminds her of how blessed she is. “I could weep”, Hayley cries, at the time she has wasted. The fact that this seems to have had little impact on Kylie makes her intensely less likeable. When she finally goes home, she tells David she doesn’t give a toss if he stays or goes.

Jealous Michelle looks on as Andrea wows the lads with her darting skills at the Rovers. Andrea’s lovely personality makes Steve’s worse half come across even more repellent than she has in recent times. She knows Michelle doesn’t like her despite Steve trying to convince her otherwise.

Even though Maddie admits to stealing Sally’s bag, Sophie irritatingly tells her incredulous mother to give her a break. Tardy Tim’s bargain chocolates fail to appease Sally who remarks, “Christmas just gets better”.

While everyone in Weatherfield has a wish, Hayley’s is the simplest of all, and puts the rest in perspective; to see daffodils blooming in spring. “The things my brain is dredging up these days” she tells Roy. It’s poignant that the most beautiful and ultimately important thoughts are buried in favour of those which are inane or insignificant in the wider scheme of things, and we feel privileged to witness Roy reading Wordsworth’s poem to her. After a perfect Christmas, she runs to the window, childlike, in the hope that the snowmen are still standing, but the symbols of her and Roy’s togetherness, have sadly disappeared.

She wants to book a trip where there are dancing flowers, “tossing their heads in a spritely dance”, and the simplicity of such a wish, and the ease of its achievement for others, inspires reflection. Despite her optimism, Hayley and Roy are sadly told she only has weeks to live. The measure of her character is found in the dignity of her response, and the heartbreaking humbleness of her parting words at the doctor’s office; “we’ve taken up enough of your time.”

Christmas becomes a metaphor for life as she observes, “Pity it has to end. I suppose if it went on forever it wouldn’t be so special. We wouldn’t cherish it so much. Still, it’s not twelfth night yet”. She insists on going to the pantomime, but breaks down in the lobby. Roy, a pillar of strength for her throughout, takes her home. As her anger comes to the fore, first with Kylie, and then in the apartment as she knocks the Christmas tree to the ground, she offers a dark commentary on the futility of life’s concerns; “The stuff that’s supposed to matter, it’s just all of us whistling in the dark so loud you can’t think, you can’t stop, just keep treading water until you can’t and then it’s like you were never here in the first place”. Roy reminds her of how much she’s loved, and she dissolves in his arms as she cries, “I’m not even 50, it’s not fair, I’m not ready”. It’s an extremely powerful scene with tremendous performances from Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson, and a wonderful script by Chris Fewtrell.

As the tears subside and the tree is restored, a calm Hayley reneges on what she considers harsh words, and tells Roy that loving him has made her life worthwhile. Roy, with his relatively new found and sublime ability to articulate his feelings, tells her “you have turned an apology of an existence into a life fuller and more joyous than I could ever hope” and cites her as his reason to believe in angels. Hayley painfully describes how she could drown out the ticking clock up to now, and breaks down when she tells how every heartbeat is taking her further away from Roy and everything she knows. Roy's words are themselves poetry as he assures her, “I’ll always be here at your side. It’s the only place I can be, where I’ve ever belonged. We shall face this together.”

Such scenes are demonstrative of Coronation Street at its very best. Characters such as Hayley and Roy are sadly not often found on our television screens, and this episode shows their immeasurable value, and clear need for them. Hayley, the embodiment of honesty, goodness, integrity and kindness, speaks of her heart, each beat of which not only brings her closer to her departure from Roy, but from our lives too, and she will leave a huge void that must be filled if this heart is to continue beating at the core of the street.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Coronation Street Blog's best bits of 2013

As we head towards the end of this year, it's time to take stock and blow our own trumpet with our achievements from the Coronation Street Blog during 2013. 

January 2013

February 2013
March 2013
 April 2013
May 2013
July 2013
  •  Exclusive interview with Edna Walker, the original Coronation Street wardrobe lady
  • Our blogger Stevie's dog featured on ITV's This Morning as a Corrie look-a-like
August 2013
  • We donate to charity in exchange for interview with Ian Kershaw - TV writer and husband of Corrie's Julie Hesmondhalgh.
  • Exclusive interview with the stunt men behind the Coronation Street van crash, Rapid Fire Cover.
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013 
Find out more about the Coronation Street Blog.

 In addition to all of the above, our stats have gone sky-high and continue to rise. 

We remain the only Coronation Street fan site to offer exclusive news, reviews and competitions and are very proud indeed of all we achieve. We also now run the fan website

It's a team effort and with a great team of Corrie fans and writers, we have been able to produce some of the best quality, funniest, most incisive comment on Coronation Street anywhere in the world - online, offline, in print and in press.

Onwards to 2014!

See also: Coronation Street Blog's best bits of 2012

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Corrie fans vote to see Fat Brenda on screen

Earlier this month we ran a poll to ask Coronation Street fans which unseen Corrie character they would most like to see turn up on the soap.

The results are in. 298 votes were counted and the results are as follows.

Which unseen Corrie character should we see?

Fat Brenda won with a whopping 252  votes, or 84.56%          
Little Shane Dooley, the paper boy came second with 20 votes, or 6.71%    
Big Garth off the market
was in third place with 10 votes, or 3.36%     
Omar from the fridge shop
was in joint fourth place with  Nobby and Nolene off the market who scored  8 votes each, or 2.68%      

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Review: Coronation Street 2013 - deaths, births, snogs and Blackpool

Relive the Coronation Street year of 2013 through our fun, fan blog posts. 

What were your own highs and lows of Corrie this year? 

Find out what happened this year in:
January 2013, February 2013, March 2013, April 2013, May 2013, June 2013, July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, November 2013, December 2013

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Fancy a Cab, Pop Pickers?

BBC Four's fine repeats of Top of the Pops from 1978 reached their climax over the festive season with the Christmas edition. 

Fascinatingly, it turns out that before he was a DJ and box opening cosmic orderer, Noel Edmonds used to work in StreetCars.  He presented the whole episode from what looked suspiciously like Fat Brenda's lair.

Sadly, there was no appearance by Bren's beloved Cliff.  Which was probably for the best.

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