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Monday 19 February 2018

Five Things we Learned from Classic Coronation Street this week


Weatherfield's very own Fanny

Cradock that is. Bet, taking offence at some less than flattering comments from an unknowing Mavis in the Corner Shop, set out to prove that she was capable of becoming the world's best housewife. Alec was appalled at the thought of Bet ditching her gleaming pumps for a life of pinny-clad servitude even if she does "grill a decent chop". Mrs Gilroy wasn't listening though as she sent off a convoluted shopping list to Alf's (she even bought some of Sally's garlic croutons, proving our Sal was always a bit above herself). Bet spent the morning on her table setting, struggling to make swans out of napkins and burning her toast corners. 

Sadly, all Bet's guests dropped out and Emily and Mavis (or Hinge and Bracket as Alec had nicknamed them earlier in the week) were forced to endure Bet's lumpy casserole and flacid meringue. Our Rovers landlady definitely put the cock in coq au vin. The Gilroy pair sitting round the dinner table with Mave and the Bish was a delicious comedy of errors and Thelma Barlow shone as the twittery Mavis, suffering from endless coq in mouth syndrome as Bet's facade crumbled. Julie Goodyear and Roy Barraclough brought such vim and vigour to the Rovers Return and they are a constant, comedic joy. There was real heart and love in their relationship and that balanced out the comedy oh so nicely.

French Farce


I guess we forget in these modern cosmopolitan days that not so long ago French France seemed a million miles away. In those far off, pre-Brexit days, people didn't just swan off to la belle France at the drop of a beret. Unless you're Jenny flamin' Bradley that is. Good lord but she's an irritating little ginger madam. Taking advantage of innocent young Martin Platt once more (after trapping him upside down in Reet's Fiesta not so long ago) Jen conned herself a ride to a life of sunburn and soggy grapes in the south of France. Selfish little feather-headed Bradley didn't return with Martin though, after swanning off with some French piece by the name of Patrice Podevin. Cue as many dubious French stereotypical references as you could shake an 'Allo 'Allo shaped stick at. I was waiting for Alan Bradders to drop in a mention of the fallen Madonna with the big boobies.

Jenny eventually drifted back to Rita and Alan, who had spent the week beside themselves; Alan threatening to thump anything with male genitalia and Rita sniping at Mavis as if she'd just caused a Weatherfield aniseed ball shortage. PATrice (as Jenny kept addressing him) soon charmed Alan and Reet with cheap wine and some form of worryingly described lace frillies. I just hope the wine was for Alan. Jenny spent the rest of the week's episodes prancing around the street, ring first, shoving it under everyone's nose. We all know it ain't going to end well, after all PATrice has already endured bed and breakfast at the Rovers at £20 a night. I can only hope he wasn't offered the leftovers from Bet's beanfeast for brekkie. 

Glossop calling Susan


Mike Baldwin was over the moon this week, resplendent in a rather dashing grey pleather sports jacket. What's not to love? After weeks of Susan slumping herself through those kitchen swing doors at St Mary's Place, she finally confirmed she was pregnant with MVB's baby. Scottish wines and cigars all round! Except poor little bitch girl Sue isn't exactly over the moon at the thought of being (as someone delightfully put it) "up the stick" with the fruit of Mike's loins. Shudder. Susan keeps bleating on about having a life, having a career before settling down to motherhood. To be honest, even if she was a decent actress, that would be as much a possibility as Jack Duckworth managing to clean his own chimney without getting soot in Vera's bottom denture.

There was a glimmer of hope for 1987 viewers when Mike whisked Susan away to a remote farmhouse in Glossop - the ideal place to bring up a family. And the best place for Susan, away from those pesky Granada camera and acting stuff. Fear not, this dreary little tale will soon be at an end as Sue hops off back to Newcastle in her bought and paid for Austin Metro, boot rammed with man-made fibres. Bill Podmore's decision to dispense with the services of Susan Baldwin could not come a moment too soon. Sadly, we'd have to wait a few more years before she'd return one last time, complete with a head transplant and a secret son, before she'd be axed forever at the hands of Billy Gurny Gums. But, hey, I'm straying into Oates territory here so I'll stop.

The Germaine Greer of the Gazette


Ken Barlow was once again delivering in spades this week. Despite the fact he's endured on our screens for nigh on sixty years and that he's got a head of hair a man half his age would kill for, we are often remiss in recalling just what a big-headed, ego-centric, pompous old windbag Kenneth is. After pushing poor old Alf into heart attack territory (therefore denying Audrey her oats for the month of May) Ken shoehorned Deirdre through a dodgy demi-wave and a move to even bigger bins and into the council. Ken managed to be a proud husband for all of five minutes until Deirdre started to develop a brain away from the potato peeler and the tumble dryer and actually started to enjoy council work. 

Ken's outdated, Victorian, patriarchal attitudes led me, in a moment of madness, to label him a bell**d on Twitter this week and for that I will never apologise. Deirdre, sick of Ken's moaning, trotted off to Bournemouth with Alf Ventress from Heartbeat for a week on waste disposal. Yes Ken, your wife would rather talk turds in the conference suite of a Ramada Inn than spend time with you. Stick that in your Gazette and choke on it. 

Sally's Supermarket Sweep


Finally this week, I must mention dear little Sally Webster, already exhibiting signs of the social climbing snob we all know and love today. Cosy in her new job working with Alf at the mini market, Sally is a bright ray of sunshine, energetically trying to flog the aforementioned garlic croutons to Emily Bishop, spreading gossip with Audrey and moaning about Kevin's lack of get up and go. Just you wait, luvey. What I did notice though on several occasions was Sal's inability to work the till, add up and deliver her lines all at once. Now Renee Roberts might have been a bit dull and more suited to anything starring Hylda Baker (one for the teenagers there) and Maggie Clegg might have legged it to Zaire in the middle of pricing up the tinned pears but at least they could operate a till a good deal less vicious that Arkright's. It seemed that everything anyone ever bought always amounted to 38p. I guess when you've got young Kevin's be-jeaned buttocks pressed up against the dairy counter, your coordination is bound to go right out the window.

And I leave you with my pic of the week - Bet had popped in to the Corner Shop for a packet of Alec's favourite beef burgers and picked up more than she bargained for from Mavis Riley. If looks could kill...

Until next time...

I'm on Twitter @GraemeN82 if you fancy a natter.

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Anonymous said...

My daily delight is watching these episodes. In fact I've now stopped watching the evening ITV ones - I much prefer the old days. Bet and Alec are a joy to watch and show, to me, just how poor the dynamic in the Rovers is today.

Carry On Blogging! said...

You're quite right! I'm in total agreement

Anonymous said...

Spot on. Sums it up perfectly absolute love the classic corrie episodes

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