Tuesday, 31 December 2013

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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13 comments:

Flaming Nora said...

Wonderful!!

Anonymous said...

My favorite exit has yet to happen and probably never will - the departure of Tracy Barlow feet first.
I also doubt that if Gloria and Stella were never to appear in another episode, they'd be missed.

Diane LaPointe said...

LOL at Tracy Barlow's would be perfect departure. My favourite departure was Jack Duckworth...seeing the vision of his predeceased precious Vera before he joined her. I thought that was so beautifully done.

Tvor said...

Yes, Jack's was a lovely exit. I liked Karen McDonald's too, after a bitter feud with Tracy ending in a fight atop the factory and Tracy trying to run her down, she then was shocked to the core when Steve had had enough and told her to leave. She walked down the cobbles with her suitcase, but she still had her head up.

abbyk said...

I liked Jack's as well. A few days of extraordinary kindness, and then falling into a pleasant dream at home in his comfy chair. It was a little OTT, but the way we'd all want to be able to go.

abbyk said...

I liked Becky's as well. She was pushed into outrageous behavior, thanks in part to very stupid story lines and our good friend Tracy, but then she met Mr. Right, got her revenge on Steve and instead of a cab on the cobbles, got a first class flight to a sunny new life.

Ping Pong Poon said...

For me it was Lewis Archer's exit done with such aplomb. I wish Michelle Connor would have an ecit and pretty sharpish, my ears cannot stand her nails down a blackboard voice having a go at Steve for much longer!!

Llifon said...

Agree with you Graeme about Elsie and Hilda, and yes Lewis.

Dramatic exits? Ernie Bishop, Alan Bradley, Maxine and Richard.

Diane LaPointe said...

Oh how could I forget Becky? Abbyk, you're right, she was a wasted talent. I was thrilled to see her playing a great role in Mr Selfridge. I'm also surprised that Roy and Hayley never told her about Hayley dying.

njblas said...

Minnie Caldwell was another character who made an unheralded departure - due to the ill health of actress Margot Bryant. I agree, the exits of Lewis and Becky have been the best of the recent lot...

Catherine Sinclair said...

Audrey scattering Alma's ashes and saying, "Goodbye, my friend". Simple, touching, fitting and perfect.

Anonymous said...

It is the 30th Anniversary of Elsie Tanner leaving the street this week, is coronation street blog going to do an article on it?, now there's a question ( request really haha)

Anonymous said...

Elsi's departure was classic Corrieblog - poignant, reflective but always looking forward. I don't think that there have been many to rival it

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