Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Exclusive inteview with Conversation Street - the Corrie podcast

Today we have an interview with Gemma and Michael, the lovely people behind Conversation Street - the Coronation Street podcast.  As with all great fan sites their podcast is a real labour of love. I asked Gemma and Michael all about their podcast and here's what they said!

Why did you start the podcast - and how long has it been going?
We'd both been listening to a variety of podcasts for a few years. Michael started listening to podcasts about the TV show Lost, which made us wonder whether there was one for Coronation Street - turns out there wasn't any more (although there had been one at The Soap Show for many years called Word on the Street which Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda contributed to weekly).

After many of our own conversations that we thought could have made it onto a podcast, we decided to start one for real. It all came together during the summer holidays of 2012, after a long trip back from Cornwall where we bashed out all our ideas, including the perfect podcast name, and it's been going ever since!

Gemma from Conversation Street having a conversation in the, er, Street
How long does the podcast take you to do each week?
It takes both of us the duration of each episode for one thing, as we need to take notes. With lots of pausing and rewinding to catch things, that can take up to 40 minutes per Corrie sometimes. Each episode also has a large amount of prep to do beforehand too, including browsing Corriepedia for the weekly 'This week in Corrie history' segment; researching for whichever character profile or feature discussion we'll be having; looking around the web for the latest Corrie news (most of which is thankfully collated by the Coronation Street Blog!) and gathering listener feedback from emails, Facebook messages and tweets. When we come to record, each episode usually takes between one and a half and three hours, then it's onto the editing and uploading process - maybe another hour or so. All in all, we guess that adds up to around ten hours a week - certainly not a small job!

Which Corrie cast members and those behind the scenes have you interviewed so far?

We've had a number of interviews over the years with fans, including Corrie expert Mark Llewellyn, fan artist Paul Lanagan, Jack 'Lego Corrie' Lewin and of course, the Coronation Street Blog's own Glenda Young. When we went up to see the Coronation Street Tour at the old studios, we were also lucky enough to be able to chat with some of the tour guides there. Our biggest coup, though, has been being able to have the lovely Sally-Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, onto the show for two interviews. She was incredibly generous with her time, and we were so excited to be able to chat with one of our favourite actors on the podcast!

Michael from Conversation Street looking very shifty by the builders' yard

Have you ever been told secrets and spoilers you've had to cut out from the podcast?
We've spoken, off the record, to one or two actors and staff members at Corrie who've told us things we've had to keep secret! We've even got a whole interview with one person that's full of juicy details that we were eventually unable to share. It's hard to keep some things a secret, but you'll never get us to spill!

Your annual Coronation Street Awards are great fun, is there a good fan reaction to them online?

There certainly is! We like to open the voting up to Corrie fans, as we feel the final results shouldn't be down to us, and there have been some people who've been quite vocal in campaigning for their favourite characters! We also try to tag in as many of the actors as we can on Twitter when we publicise each award, so they can get their fans involved too. We like to think that the awards' cheeky names and trophy pictures help give them the edge over other soap awards, too! The response to this year's results in particular has been overwhelming - the bulk of it came while we were trying to take notes for an episode of Coronation Street, and our Twitter notifications were going crazy! (What a taste of fame!)
If you had one wish for the podcast, what would it be for 2017?
We're waiting by the phone for Kate Oates to invite us to the writers' room to heckle everybody in person! (In all honesty, the chance to visit the studios themselves would be incredible!)

Running a fan site is a labour of love and a great deal of hard work. Do you ever feel like putting your feet up and wallowing when Corrie comes on instead of taking notes and reporting on it every week? (I know I do!)

Absolutely! As much as we love Corrie, writing down everything that everybody says and does can get quite tedious; however, we're so proud of everything we've achieved with the podcast, so we guess it's worth it in the end!

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Gail in Canada said...

I absolutely love Gemma and Michael's podcast! It is clearly a labour of love!

abbyk said...

My favorite podcast on my favorite blog!

I use it as my bedtime story. I set the podcast app to play for 15 minutes, it lasts about a week. A few minutes of cheerful banter about my favorite subject and it's lights out. I'm behind on all my other podcast subscriptions but never this one. (And no matter what, I never ever listen to it while I'm driving. Just in case...)

L.D. Stuart said...

Hands down my favorite podcast. Thank you for interviewing them. They do a great job and all the listeners appreciate their hard work. Love you Gemma and Michael.

Conversation Street said...

Thanks for the lovely comments, you three! :)

Thanks too to Glenda for inviting us to be interviewed - it was a pleasure to do! Fun too to look through old pics to find some we could include in the feature. Michael looks like he could be about to be whacked on the back of the head with another of Andy's bricks if he's not careful...

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