Sunday, 13 October 2019

The Week In Classic Corrie

MONDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 29th September and 1st October 1993

Liz awoke after a night with Jim understandably confused over what she wanted.  She returned to the Queens to find an angry Colin, who suspected where she'd been, a suspicion confirmed when Jim turned up smugly waving her scarf around.  Colin resigned and told Liz he was heading to Chorlton Street Bus Station for a coach to Hartlepool in the hope she'd chase after him.  When she didn't arrive he got on the coach and left us all broken-hearted, departing the show except for a couple of guest appearances after Des died in the late 90s.  Jim thought he was back in with Liz, but she told him she needed to think about things.  One of those things was Amy, who went round to see her and explain she wasn't leading Andy on.  Sadly, this was the last appearance of actress Louise Duprey; she suffered a nervous breakdown shortly afterwards and had to be written out of the show.  (Amy will be back on Friday, but with a far more famous face...)  Emily and Percy went to Olive's wedding, where Percy was disgusted to discover her new husband was a conscientious objector during the war.  He caused a scene and stormed off, but Emily stayed, got drunk, and flirted with the vicar, the saucy minx.  Tracy snuck out of number 1, leaving a note to say that she was moving in with her 22 year old boyfriend Craig.  You can imagine how well that went down with Ken and Deirdre.  And Mitzi the Japanese show dog was snatched from Derek when he was out walking her on the tough streets of Weatherfield.

TUESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 4th and 6th October 1993

Percy was jealous of Emily's burgeoning relationship with Bernard the vicar, and started hanging out with Phyllis for a bit of company.  She immediately took advantage and got her back to her bungalow in the hope of shenanigans.  Jenny Bradley's New Personality confessed that she'd robbed Mitzi off Robert because the unborn pups were worth £500 each.  She also suggested Rita should sell the shop flat and move with her into Ted's posh house.  Rita twigged she was a heartless gold digger.  Alf was excited to be going back to retailing, though he was less pleased to discover Audrey had backed her car into his shop sign and broken it in two.  Ken went round to see Tracy and her new boyfriend at their flat.  Craig turned out to be sullen and miserable and also that kid Don Brennan belted a few years ago (though he had a different name then).  Ken tried to persuade her to be kind to her mum and not to cut her out of her life.  Tracy however wanted to stand on her own two feet and didn't want Deirdre nagging in her ear.


WEDNESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 8th and 11th October 1993

It was a rum old couple of days for Rita as the people around her let her down in different ways.  Jenny Bradley's New Personality cooked her a slap up meal then asked for thirty thousand pounds so she could set up her own beauty salon.  This reminded Rita of Jenny's dad a little bit too much, so she said no, and Jenny turned on her and spat a load of insults.  Reet handed over a cheque for a thousand pounds and sent her off to come back when she's a nice person again.  I reckon it'll take, ooh, about twenty-two years.  Meanwhile, Alf relaunched the Corner Shop with a few plastic cups of wine and a photographer from the Gazette.  He ended up getting squiffy and told Rita he wished he'd married her, and if she gave him the nod, he'd drop Audrey and run off with her.  Sally and Kevin celebrated their anniversary by going to a restaurant owned by a garage customer who gave them a free meal.  When they got there it turned out be a kebab shop, but the owner laid on some wine and a man with a ba─člama to serenade them and it was actually all very sweet.  Back at home, Joe brought his wife Hazel round because she was going to collect Jonathan while he went away; Sally wondered if this meant they were back together.  And Deirdre went to see Tracy and threatened to drag her back to Coronation Street; Tracy was unimpressed and told her mum to get lost.

THURSDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 13th and 15th October 1993

Do you know, I've been writing these recaps for months, and I still can't get it through my head whether Jonathan is the dad or the little boy?  Anyway, Hazel brought - checks Corriepedia - Jonathan round to be looked after by Sally, and confessed she'd never return to her ex - not least because he was madly in love with some woman from the Lake District.  Sally realised it was her, and rowed with Joe, but he said he'd just said it to look a bit less pathetic.  Emily got closer to Bernard the vicar, bonding over her lost Ernie and helping him when he admitted he was losing his faith.  Alf apologised to Rita for his drunken advances - but also admitted he'd meant every word.  Deirdre and Ken talked about Tracy.  She felt abandoned and useless, but Ken told her to keep going.  She was cheered, but less pleased when Tracy agreed to see him once a week, but not Deirdre.  When Sarah-Lou saw Derek planting a conifer, he told her a story about it being a magic tree, and buried some chocolate coins for her to discover.  Des was watching from next door, and smirked...


FRIDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 18th and 20th October 1993

Liz was horrified to open her post and discover Jim had filed for divorce.  She was especially annoyed to discover she was being blamed for her "unreasonable behaviour".  Jim talked to Denise about the divorce - in 1993 Coronation Street, twice divorced Den is an expert on the subject, while today that would practically make her a commitment-addict - which caught the attention of Don.  Tanya, meanwhile, wasted no time in spreading the news of the divorce round Weatherfield.  Derek was somewhat foxed to discover his magic conifer had shrunk.  When he caught Sarah-Lou digging around in the ground he shouted and upset her, but he was even more upset when he spotted Des replacing the conifer with a smaller plant after dark.  With Louise Duprey permanently out of action, the producers called in a different actress to play Amy for a single scene where she told Andy she was going on holiday.  Enter Melanie Brown, later of the Spice Girls, filmed from behind and in darkness with a different actress dubbing her with a Scouse accent.  She cuddled Andy and that was the end of the character; a shame, as Louise - who passed away a few years later - was a bright and charming presence. 


Derek's magic tree is one of those storylines that is quite good fun right now, but which could very easily outlive its welcome.  If @merseytart is still watching the Wiltons whittering over a conifer on Wednesday, he might have to stop watching.







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Saturday, 12 October 2019

Conversation Street Podcast Episode 385


On our latest podcast, we talk about the episodes of Corrie shown in the UK between the 7th and the 9th October.

Much like Sinead's time on this mortal coil, Corrie's usual schedule was cut short this week, but as usual, we still found plenty to ramble on about, including Ken's 80th birthday and the long overdue return of Emily (if only for a short while), both Debbie and Sophie Webster disappearing into the sunset, and some more thought provoking scenes in the skin lightening story.

That's followed by a segment dedicated to Kevin Webster, who we last profiled way back in 2013. We check out what he's been up to since then - which basically boils down to money woes, online dating, and lots and lots of rants and bants! In the Kabin section, we check out how Coronation Street fared at this week's Inside Soap Awards before finishing off with some of your listener feedback.

Street Talk - 00:08:08
Character Profile Revisit: Kevin Webster - 01:27:48
The Kabin - 01:59:39
Feedback - 02:15:46


You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, stream all our old episodes on our own site here, or click the play button above to give it a listen from the comfort of this very blog!






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Friday, 11 October 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week


Why don't you come on over, Emily?  The marvels of modern technology meant that Emily was able to put in a Skype call to Ken's 80th birthday party from Edinburgh (which is more than Tracy and Peter did, but they're obviously too busy gallivanting on their freebie Venice holiday to care).  At least it was meant to be a video call - it was actually obvious that they'd simply filmed Eileen Derbyshire saying her lines in her front room.  I love that Malcolm Hebden had a heart attack so bad it put him in a coma, and they still make him schlep all the way to MediaCity to film his cameo, but Eileen refused to even get in an Uber and made the cameramen trek out to her house for her scene.  What a diva; obviously I'm a massive fan.  The lack of proper interaction meant that it had the vague air of one of those videos celebrities do for twenty quid where they film themselves saying "happy birthday, Susan!" in portrait mode in the green room between takes.  Still, with any luck they got their money's worth out of the session, and filmed Emily making video calls for a whole load of future events.  It'll be Bertie's fiftieth birthday party and Aunty Emily will pop up on the screen to wish him well, a digital avatar that will outlive us all.


Calm down, calm down.  Ali spent most of his appearances dozing off on various bits of the set; this was apparently a side effect of the drugs he's taking, though I thought that was just normal behaviour for Junior Doctors working 80 hour shifts in A&E without a break.  He was so chilled it meant everyone around him had to hysterically overcompensate.  First he accidentally burnt a pizza; a whole gang of people burst into the flat to rescue Liam from the horrors of charred pepperoni, while Maria clutched him to her bosom, filled with regret that due to Ali's negligence, she was going to have to go to the chippy.  This lead to Ali and Maria breaking up, and in his frustration, Ali broke a glass.


Judging by Ryan's reaction when he opened the door, this was one of the most shocking things he'd ever seen on the floor of that flat, and that includes that dead druggie.  Worse was to come, as Michelle came home:


She was practically hysterical at the sight of broken glass.  You've got a tiled floor, love, it's not going to be difficult to sweep up.  Michelle was forced to go to the Rovers to recover - even though she was going on holiday that evening - where she tried to console a heartbroken Maria in her utterly self-centred way.


Gloriously, Maria turned on her, and pointed out that whether you go down the route of nature or nurture, Michelle's produced two pretty terrible sons.  When is the Exalted Queen of the Universe actually leaving, anyway?  I feel like she announced her departure months ago and yet here she is, still hanging out on the Street, calling in sickies to a job she's had for about six weeks and then going on holiday.  This is the longest farewell tour since Frank Sinatra.


This Bananarama tribute act looks amazing.  Rita, Claudia and Audrey accosted Ken with a birthday sing-song, and it was thrilling.  Don't forget, these are some of the Street's most accomplished chanteuses; Rula Lenska was a Rock Folly in the seventies, while Sue Nicholls had a number 17 hit with Where Will You Be?  And Rita has been Weatherfield's resident songbird for decades, whether she was shimmying onstage at the Graffiti Club or forcing the pub into an involuntary singalong during New Year/a power cut/a Tuesday lunchtime.  We need more from these ladies - perhaps a night at Speed Daal when Ryan isn't wrecking the decks, or a concert tour of the North West, or a week-long residence at the O2.  They could get Jenny Bradley in to do What I Did For Love as support (yes, I'm sharing that video AGAIN) and we could all be there in the audience holding our lighters aloft.  I'm happy to be your Alec Gilroy-style agent ladies; my fees are very reasonable.


The party animals have been put down.  Shona and Sarah-Lou got all dressed up for a wild night to celebrate Shona's birthday.  They put on their glad-rags, did their hair, got Faye into babysit and then went out to paint the town, if not red, then a nice pink.


And then the next thing Shona was scrubbing Max's school shoes in the kitchen.  Admittedly, their first port of call had been the Rovers, where Sinead had wrecked everybody's night by announcing that she was on her way out, but still: the best way to get past that depressing news is to drown those sorrows girls!  Get down to the Northern Quarter and start necking the tequila shots!  It's not even dark yet!  I hope they at least paid Faye for the whole night.


Mind you, that's a far more humane reaction to Sinead's revelation than Sean and Eileen's.  Neither of them bothered turning up for Ken's 80th, but the minute they heard there was a horrible tragedy on the cards, they were straight round the Rovers to revel in the misery.  What a pair of absolute ghouls.


Three is a magic number.  Sophie finally went on her maternity leave, which I'm sure was a relief for everyone on the show, as she was looking so pregnant I was genuinely starting to worry the baby was going to drop mid-scene.  She was written out via a dispatch to Cambodia with Auntie Vi's money; I'm not sure it clears that quickly, what with her having only just been put in the ground, but clearly Soph was possessed with the urge as she went from having the idea on Wednesday morning to being on a flight Wednesday evening.  Now that's keen.  Sally mused on her own past, wishing she'd had the opportunity to indulge her "European bent" instead of being tied down to boring Kevin and her awful children (she didn't say the last bit out loud but it was pretty clear), but I wasn't really paying attention because Tim and Kev were snuggling together on the sofa.


Adorable.  Corrie has been very proud of its modern, issue-based storylines of late; can I suggest they become the first soap to introduce a throuple?  Kev and Tim and Sally can all share a super king size and spend their evenings rattling round number 4 as a sexy middle-aged modern relationship who doesn't care about society's judgement and who also has a really nice sofa.  You just know the writers have "Kevin and Sally sleep together" as a possibility on their noticeboard at all times; this way they could get the storyline without having to break up the Metcalfes.  It'd certainly be a lot more cheery than the usual "if you've been affected by this episode..." stories.
 
This blog has arrived on a Sunday the last couple of weeks, and now it's here on a Friday.  Am I wildly inconsistent, or thrillingly spontaneous?  Let me know over on Twitter @merseytart.






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Coronation Street Episode Review; Weds 9th Oct 8.30 pm



Sinead's friends and family are in utter shock at the discovery of her announcement; those gathered are aghast, emotionally numbed, and ashen-faced.

Following the news, Ken heads back inside and informs his other party guests of Sinead's diagnosis.

It seems a shame that Ken's celebrations are being marred with such sadness, or is that just me?



In the beer garden, Ken sits down with Liz and delivers an impassioned monologue, which in turn is a profound paean to his love of Sinead. Whilst Ken delivers this prose, a dark montage of the residents in catatonic shock is played out on screen, for us viewers. Bill Roache gives a masterclass in acting, his 60 years in the show is clear, but I can't help feeling that is slightly similar to Gail's (TV award-winning) monologue when Aidan died?

That said, it was as equally and as beautifully delivered, and a total treat in having an actor of that brevity and skill, orate a script so wonderfully.


In prison, David's cellmate passes him a contraband mobile phone to hide, but he refuses. I imagine inevitable repercussions to be forthcoming for David?
Max also seems to be following in his father's footsteps and is hiding secret text messages from Shona.

At The Bistro, Martine is keen to see Kevin again, but the moany mechanic just isn't interested. Could Kev find love with a current street resident instead, perhaps?



Meanwhile, Paula tells Sophie that she isn't going to follow her to Singapore, and it looks like this relationship is over. I know this couple had an online fanbase but I agree with Sally, it's the best for all concerned. Parting on amicable terms, Sophie also waves goodbye to her parents and heads off in the back of a taxi. Is this the last we've seen of Paula?



As the sadness continues to spread around the street, Chesney visits Daniel. Struggling to hide his heartache, Chez breaks down and cries. Daniel tells him to pull himself together and decides that its best he doesn't see Sinead, whilst in such a 'state'. I think this is suggesting that Daniel may well have trouble handling Sinead's' demise and the subsequent emotional fall-out...

Following the visit, Sinead tells Daniel that she overheard their conversation, and offers him some words of advice.

Due to some sport or other, Corrie is off now screen until next Wednesday the 16th of October.

During the break, keep your eyes on this blog for all the latest news, reviews, and opinion pieces.

You can follow me @rybazoxo over on twitter, your self-styled 'Cobbles Connoisseur'.





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