Saturday, 19 January 2019

Audrey Roberts and the Curse of Grasmere Drive

Last night in Coronation Street, Audrey Roberts mentioned that she'd have to move out of her home in Grasmere Drive because she's got dry rot.

She really is in a right old pickle with that house, it deserves a mini-series of its own. Can you image? Forget Coronation Street, the real action takes place on Grasmere Drive.  That house has seen enough drama, it's a soap opera in itself.

Back in 1998, Roy Cropper and Spider Nugent camped out in Audrey's front garden in protest over developments at the Red Rec.

In 2001 Alma died away in her bedroom at Grasmere Drive where she'd been living with Audrey.

In 2002, Richard Hillman attempted to make Audrey seem mentally ill so he could get his hands on her money. He set fire to the house by leaving a tea towel near a pan on the stove.

In 2005,  Fred Elliot decides to give a statue to Audrey as a present. When Fred's looking for an appropriate spot in Audrey's garden for the statue the ground opens up and Fred falls down a big hole.

In 2006 Fred Elliott passed away in the hallway of the house, I said, he died on her doormat.

In 2013 Audrey announced her house had significant rising damp problems. Owen Armstrong repaired it, but Audrey had to move out and live in the salon flat with Maria. 

In 2018, Lewis dies in her bedroom.

And now, Audrey has dry rot and has to move out of her home. This has caused her to sell half her salon to Claudia, leaving Nick and David to set up the barber shop in competition to Audrey's salon.

Get your house fixed, Audrey! Or move!  Grasmere Drive is a curse!

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When Windsor Davies appeared in Coronation Street

Sad news reaches us today that actor Windsor Davies has passed away at the age of 88.

Windsor Davies was best known as the sergeant major in the TV series It Ain't Half Hot Mum. However he did appear in Coronation Street back in 1966 and also in a spin-off in 1967.

In Coronation Street, Windsor Davies played a Returning Officer at the local council elections, at which Len Fairclough defeated Annie Walker in September 1966.

He also appeared in You Can't Get Out Of The Wood, an episode of Street spin-off Turn out the Lights in 1967.

As well as stage appearances, he had roles in more than 20 films, including two Carry Ons. There's a lovely tribute to Windsor Davies at Carry On Blogging.

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Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

When you can't get silk, settle for rayon.  It's always hard to follow a successful villain.  Star Trek replaced the magnificent Khan with Christopher Lloyd in some pointy shoes; Daniel Craig finished fighting suave supervillain Le Chiffre then in the next film battled a tiny Frenchman who ran an ecotourism business.  Finding a nasty who could replace the fantastic Pat Phelan was always going to be difficult.  Still, I would've thought there were about fourteen thousand other options before you ended up making Nicky Tilsley the new criminal genius.  You remember Nicky - that bowl headed child who spent most of his childhood staring down the camera lens, before transforming into an Action Man with a centre parting?  A man who's spent his whole life basically grimacing at the back of shot while the rest of his family do the proper heavy lifting?  Apparently, now he's pushing 40, Nicky has given up on his life of being a slightly wet irritant and decided to swindle his grandmother and blackmail his brother.  It's a curveball, I can tell you.

They're doing their best, but they're not quite pulling it off.  His "fight" with David was a hilarious slap fest.  And Jack P Shepherd can summon up determined evil without breaking into a sweat; stick a cutthroat razor in his hands, and you worry someone's going to get hurt.  Give the same tool to Nicky and you think he's cutting the skin off an apple because otherwise it's too hard for his toothy-pegs.

Still, he got a nifty facial scar out of it, so that should help his super-evil credentials.  Next stop: the cat's home for a nice white Persian.

The best friendships come from unlikely places.  I've gone on about the brilliance of Mary and Tracy before, but this week I realised something: they're the new Mavis and Rita.  One is a flighty, reticent, romantic, the other a cynical, world-weary businesswoman.  I could watch them talk about baby names and Mary's insane family (Chlamydia!) all day.  I do wish they'd put a heater in that flower shop set, though, because clearly Kate and Patti are freezing.  It must be difficult to do intricate arrangements with nasturtia and pussywillow when you're wearing thick woollen gloves. 

Elsewhere the prison bitches got roaringly drunk in the Rovers and it was an absolute delight.  Abi and Sally as mates is a partnership I didn't know I needed; add in a sniffy Yasmeen trying to pace herself with fizzy water and Gail confessing to her own time doing bird and it couldn't be beaten.  There were so many delights - Abi pouring white wine into red, the singalong to Paul Young, Claudia calling them "something out of Dickens", but the best moment for me was Yasmeen's face when she discovered that both her neighbours had been wrongly imprisoned.

That's the look of a woman wondering exactly how much has been knocked off the value of number six thanks to the crims on either side.

There's always time for coffee.  So you've faked your own death.  The man you love has been hit by a car.  You've flown across the Atlantic to be with him, and immediately been kidnapped by some random girl.  Thinking quickly, you make your escape while she's distracted, and flee the scene.  You absolutely have to get out of there in case the kidnapper or the police catch up with you... but hang on, is that a Costa?  May might have got away with it if she hadn't had a sudden urge for a hazelnut latte.  As it was, Gina was able to swoop in and persuade her to confess all, though sadly we were denied the no doubt hilarious scene where poor Olivia walked in to find her mum alive and well and struggled to form a look of shock from under eight inches of make up.  Gina spent the rest of the week subtly hinting that she was a hero for what she did; Sally rightly told her where to get off.  After all, if Tim had actually fallen for her tricks and invited her into his bed, Gina would've happily let Sally rot in prison until the end of time.

Dev wants to be Peter Barlow.  You'd think he had it all - his own business, a house, two children who aren't entirely awful - but deep down, Devendra wants to be like Peter Barlow: a middle-aged recovering alcoholic who lives with his dad and whose ambitions extend no further than renovating a manky old boat on Gail's driveway.  Such small dreams from our Mr Alahan.  Aim higher.

Babies are having babies.  It is with a deep sigh that I must inform you they're doing the teenage pregnancy storyline again, this time with Amy.  (Why do they never do this story with a boy, by the way?  Why isn't it Max who has to shamefacedly admit he's got uncontrollable genitals?)  Up until now Amy has been the level-headed rock between her two flibbertigibbet parents, dragging them back to earth and disapproving of their wayward underwear.  She really doesn't seem like the type to try a bit of backyard fumbling, and if she did, it's hard to believe she wouldn't insist on protection of some sort.  She's always been a strong-willed girl and wouldn't be easily persuaded.  Hopefully this storyline will resolve itself sensibly with Amy having a termination so her life isn't ruined by an unwanted child, but I realise that's not exactly dramatic, and she'll probably keep it a secret for months and then drop it on the floor of the shop flat.  Oh no, wait, that's what happened the last time we got this storyline.  Whatever happens, it'll be interesting to see how Simon reacts to it all, what with Alex Bains having just become a teenage parent himself.    It could all get very meta.

This week, the author was confused to hear Izzy talk about someone called "Jake" being obsessed with broccoli.  If you know who this "Jake" person was - she talked about him like he was her child, but that can't be right, because he's never onscreen, and Gary only ever talks about his baby with Nicola - let me know on Twitter @merseytart.

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Corrie weekly update – Baby Bertie and the Barlows

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Uncle Albert
Bertie Osbourne was born into the world of Weatherfield this week when Sinead was forced to give birth or die from her tumour. Baby Bertie (named after Ken Barlow’s first wife Valerie’s Uncle Albert who lived with them at No. 1) is a tiny little thing, ill too. At first Daniel keeps the news about Bertie’s illness from Sinead but it’s Tracy who tells him that Sinead has to know.

Sally was freed from jail this week (hurrah!) after Duncan confesses all to the cops in after being hit by the truck last week. What Sally doesn’t know, or won’t acknowledge for now, is that sister Gina was instrumental in bringing down Duncan when Sophie and Tim managed to lose his wife May. Gina found her and got her involved in bringing Duncan down. But Sally doesn’t want anything to do with Gina, blaming her for sending her to jail in the first place. Now that Sally’s back home she’s having trouble settling in. Tim prepares a romantic meal for her with wine and roses and a casserole in the oven. He’s even got his apron on. But Sally’s not for a cosy home life just yet, she wants to let rip and gets roaring drunk in the Rovers with her new best mates Abi, Yasmeen and Gail. A fantastically funny scene.

Audrey’s got problems this week when dry rot sets in at her home in Grasmere Drive. She’s always having problems with that place, it deserves a mini-series of its own. Anyway, she sells half of the salon to Claudia to pay for the repairs on her home. David’s incensed when he finds out what his gran has gone and done. He’s also figured out that brother Nick was the one who stole their gran’s eighty thousand pounds. And in a wonderful scene in the salon, David gives Nick a shave – one slip and Nick could’ve been a goner in a wonderfully menacing scene. Now David knows the truth about his nan’s missing money, he threatens Nick that he’ll tell Audrey what he’s done. But after David finds out that Audrey’s sold half the salon to Claudia, he wants revenge on Audrey - and on Nick too. He tells them both he’s opening a barber shop in Victoria Street and that Nick is investing his cash. It’s a blow to Audrey and a shock to Nick. But David’s plan to become the demon barber of Coronation Street looks set to go ahead.

Elsewhere this week, Steve and Tracy talk babies. Should they have another child or not? Well, as they vacillate (and there’s a word I’ve never used in a weekly update before), there’s going to be a baby in their family whether they want one or not. Amy is pregnant – but who’s the dad?

And that’s just about that for this week.  

Remember, you can sign up to get these Corrie weekly updates by email at

This week’s writers were David Isaac (Monday); Alasdair Morrison and Jan McVerry (Wednesday);  Sam Holdsworth and Damon Alexis-Rochefort (Friday). Find out all about the Coronation Street writing team at Coronation Street Blog: Exclusive: All Current Corrie writers online

Glenda Young
Blogging away merrily at Flaming Nora

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