Sunday, 28 December 2014

Review: Rita and Me

Rita and Me is a documentary produced to celebrate 50 years since Barbara Mullaney Knox first appeared on Coronation Street as Rita Littlewood Fairclough Sullivan Tanner. We've already told you that it's scheduled to air on ITV at New Year's but in Canada, fans were lucky to see it on Boxing Day night and it was aired again after the Sunday morning Corrie omnibus this weekend, which is when I caught it.

It's a wonderful celebration of all things Barbara and Rita with some of Barbara's background from her origins in Oldham. There are views of the Tower ballroom in Blackpool where her parents danced and views of the Oldham theatre where Barbara got her start.

There are lots of clips from her years on Coronation Street, plus interviews with cast members old and current including both Sue Nicholls and her husband, Mark Eden who played Alan Bradley. He had lots to say regarding their filming of some memorable scenes. Other really interesting details included recollections on how Barbara/Rita fared against the legendary Pat Phoenix/Elsie Tanner. There is a surprise guest near the beginning and they show a group of Canadian tourists that were there in September while the filming was happening.

There was a segment on Rita's fellas and her stormy relationships with many of them. We see Rita in the aftermath of Len's death and relive her relationship with Alan Bradley as well.


One of the best segments, though, was a reunion between Barbara and Thelma Barlow who played long time Kabin-ette, Mavis Riley Wilton. The two women sit together and watch footage of themselves from the beginning of their on screen partnership to the last scene when Mavis left Weatherfield. Wonderful stuff!

All in all, the documentary was one of the best ones they have done on long-term characters. Canadians can watch the documentary online at CBC.ca. Rita and Me airs on ITV on New Year's Eve at 8 p.m. It truly is wonderful!

I've reposted this on State of the Street with lots more screen captures from the documentary. Click here to see them. 
 

Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook


Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

12 comments:

Stevie Dawson said...

Can. Not. Wait.

Tvor said...

Well. Worth. It!

corrierules said...

I am annoyed at the CBC for not promoting the documentary. I just happened to stumble upon it while channel surfing --and so glad I did. I agree, Tvor, it was very good.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Barbara Knox at all but find myself without any interest in Rita anymore... for some time, now, actually.

Defrost Indoors said...

It was glorious to see the young Rita full of zing and confidence! She was certainly a firecracker and I wish they'd bring that side of her a bit more.

BarrieT said...

Lovely to see Thelma Barlow reunited with Barbara. i wonder how much they ever see of each other. If Thelma was still in Corrie now they'd put a big blond wig on her and a cake full of make up. I really wish they could get Thelma to do a one off episode with Rita visiting Mavis in her guesthouse. Next special should be Emily and me.

Llifon said...

I'm so looking forward to this show. :D

Mad Hatter said...

Haven't been able to stand the character for ages. Another limited actress who is only lucky to be in work for the past 40 years. Her attempts at crying is awful, just look at the scenes when Tina died, even Jack P Shephard out-acted her when it came to looking upset.

And the character treated Dennis horribly last year, but I bet we were meant to still root for her because she is apparently one of the Corrie "greats".

Zagg said...

This was a great show, we really enjoyed it. The segment with Rita and Mavis were wonderful. It was great to see the young Rita and past story lines.

Anonymous said...

kind of sad that this character seems to be relegated to popping up in scenes..spouting some sort of Yoda-ish words of wisdom and then...nothing. Too bad they got rid of Dennis. They were a good team but of course had to be destroyed.

Rebecca said...

After watching it all I can do is wonder why they can't attract the quality writers they used to have. Strong and brassy is not the same as pushy and bossy.

Anonymous said...

Why include the cringeworthy "Why do cats have souls?" cannabis cakes story excerpt, and end with her embarrassing flamenco dance and Senorita Rita "song"? Sure they're two storylines Barbara would sooner forget!

You might also like...