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Thursday 20 July 2017

Confessions of a Coronation Street Tour Guide (1 of 5)

The old Coronation Street set and the tour for fans have now been demolished and are no more. But we can relive some of the glory moments of the Coronation Street tour with an ex-tour guide, Aussie Pete.

Peter has been kind enough to write down all of his best, favourite memories from his time spent working as a tour guide on the Coronation Street set.  And over the next few days we'll be bringing you his funny and touching memories.

Part 1 is today and I hope you really enjoy reading this.  It's over to Aussie Pete!

How did you get to become a Corrie tour guide?

I must start by saying that if it was not for this Blog, I would not have become a tour guide. I saw the post on Coronation Street Blog advertising the tour was looking for new tour guides for the closing months of the tour.

At this point I’d been in England for a single week and as an Aussie on a working holiday, expecting to do the usual bar work (and that would actually come much later…). Seeing the post, I thought ‘What’s the worst they could do? Say No?’ I hadn’t even looked for a job yet, just planning to have a holiday then get down to it. Just a few short days later I received an email asking me to come down to Manchester to apply! After a group interview, I went back to Edinburgh where I was staying with a friend, two days later the call came in for the phone interview which lasted about 3 minutes before telling me I had the job!

How long were you there and how often did you work - every day?

Most weeks I would work 5 days, though by the end of the tours it was much more than that. The longest stretch I did was 21 days in a row, and I worked 29 out of the last 31 days! The shortest shift was about 3 hours and the longest was 8.30am until 1am!

A day usually included a few different duties for the guides. There were the tours themselves. Which could be upto 6 a day, however it was usually no more than 4 or 5. We had dispatch duty, which was checking people’s tickets and getting the groups ready for their tour and giving them their backstage passes. The last job was street duty, which most of the time was taking photos for the guests, answering question, doing street tours and monitoring everyone was having fun and being safe.

Were you a Corrie fan before you took the job? 
I had been a fan of the show for about 10 years before joining the tour. When I like a show, sometimes I like to find out all I can about it. In Corrie’s case, that was about 40 years’ worth of history, so I jumped onto Corriepedia and read all I could. I knew so much by the time I arrived, I even got nicknamed the ‘Aussie Corricle’ or ‘Aussie Geek!’ There’s one guy we had at the tour, an Uber-fan who knows more about the show than anyone I know, we called him ‘The Corricle,’ though a few times I knew stuff he didn’t know!

What kind of training did you have to do before you got the job?
The main training I needed to do was learn the script. It was about 13 pages long. I did get the script memorised quite quickly. Once we had gotten into a comfortable routine with it, we could deviate from it a little here and there.  You could go a dozen times with a different guide each time and have a completely different experience. Sometimes it was necessary to make changes. An good example is a scripted joke in Wardrobe about getting Roy Cropper’s cardigan from the Northerners version of eBay, e-by-gum! Now if I had said that, I would’ve sounded a fool as I feel you need the accent for it and clearly, I didn’t have that!

Tune in tomorrow for Pete's blog post about some of the funniest things that happened while working as a Corrie tour guide!

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