Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Will 2020 be a diamond of a year in Weatherfield?

Here we are then. TV ads are urging us to buy last minute sofas or have us cooing over slightly nauseating dragons. Yes, December is hurtling towards us and before we know it, we'll all be slumped on those new bits of furniture, chewing over the Christmas Day Corrie. At this stage, I've no idea what it will entail but I think we can safely say that the day will be wrecked by a shedload of arm folding from the 'will-she-ever-go?' Michelle. Robert will looked startled, again. Elsewhere, Bertie will probably be forced into a festive onesie by Beth, Ken will grimace. Kevin will be hoping to pull more than a wishbone (Abi  - beware) and Carla will make Roy wear a Christmas cracker hat. Roll credits.

Thoughts will then turn to 2020 and the prospect of Corrie's 60th anniversary. Even typing that looks bizarre. It doesn't seem all that long ago since we were saving the cobbles (40th) and pulling Rita out of an avalanche of bonbons (50th). A decade trundles on by, but how will the big gig be celebrated?

Of course, we all know how Corrie works and the storylines for the year ahead will already have been typed up and jammed into Evelyn's handbag for safekeeping. Our festive hopes and wishes for anniversary year may not come true but it doesn't stop us from speculating.

A lesson in birthday celebration has been provided this year by BBC's medical soap Holby City. Having reached the grand old age of twenty, the show decided to spend the entire year popping the corks in a subtle manner. From the first episode of 2019 to the present day, old faces were temporarily introduced back into the show. It worked. Rather than heaping effort into one overblown story, there have been treats along the way. Having seen this, it would be an anticlimax if all Corrie did was one daft storyline next December. What else is there left to do? The Rovers has burned twice, the Corner Shop has risen more times than a bionic phoenix and at this stage, it's difficult to give a tinker's toss about the fak'try.

What kind of dramatic loveliness should we perhaps look out for then? The sixtieth would be the ideal time to kill off a major character - and that would have to be Ken. Someone as pivotal as Mr Barlow would deserve to have the ultimate send-off but maybe dispatching him at Christmas would be a bit grim. Remember when EastEnders killed Pauline Fowler off on Christmas Day? Under the tree? Happy days.

It would also be a good opportunity to settle a few open-ended storylines. Rita is central to three of these. There's her failed friendship with Mavis, her marriage to Dennis and the running feud with Bet. All of these would depend on the availability (and willingness) of the actors in question. Therefore it seems unlikely.

Bringing back a character is always fraught with danger. If it isn't handled correctly (Bet, cock, we're looking at you in 2002) it can leave viewers with a taste nastier than last week's hotpot. A good returnee would arguably be Karen MacDonald. What happened to her after Tracy luv sent her packing? Would she, like Fiona, have any surprises for Steve? Whether or not Suranne Jones would be up for a guest spot at this point in her career is debatable. Likewise Sarah Lancashire, although there would be no obvious reason for Raquel to return - Bet and Curly are long gone and Des died over twenty years ago.

What wouldn't cut the mustard would be heralding the return of someone like Michelle or Cilla. Other characters are also available. Throwing them into the mix for guest appearances during the year might work. How wonderful would it be for Denise Osbourne to pop up or for Gail to get a visit from Tricia Hopkins. Maybe Shelley Unwin, Jim MacDonald (hopefully reformed) or Debbie Webster again? How about Sharon 'kennels' Gaskell pitching up to receive a 'now lady' speech from Reet?

Let's recap then. No exploding buildings, gratuitous murders, over-egged returns of minor characters or people dying on Christmas Day. Instead, how about a few surprises along the way? A little less signposting of every single storyline, something major for the veteran characters, something life-changing for the younger ones which could potentially reverberate down the years.

Personally, I'd be quite happy with an episode where Ken and Rita sit in the Rovers and reminisce until their hotpots skin over. I'd be happy but then again, I'm not the show's target demographic. I'm just one of those viewers who loves a soppy moment.

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Louby said...

I'm with you, I'd love to see a nostalgic episode with Corrie's humour that they are so good at.

I don't know why she would return, but I would love to see Shelley come back with mini Charlie (wh I'll must be about 12 by now), which would freak Tracy out no end. Peter too! Shelley was a fantastic character.

Anonymous said...

I'm not keen on older characters returning as Toyah's was a disappointment and the 'baby giveaway' storyline with Eva ruined Toyah for me as I can never forgot the smirk on her face when Johnny trying to come to grips with Aidan's suicide was asking her questions about him and she lied to his face while his granddaughter was sleeping upstairs.
If Eva hadn't developed a conscience and wanted her daughter back,Johnny would still be unwittingly watching his granddaughter grow up as 'Susie Barlow'
I would like to see less issue storylines and more gentle humor.

Humpty Dumpty said...

It's very hit-and-miss when characters return. They gave Toyah a ridiculous return storyline with Peter which should have lasted all of two weeks before they went their separate ways. Oth, the biggest return success is Jenny but that didn't happen straightaway. Pairing her up with Johnny has worked brilliantly. I wouldn't mind seeing Janice back; she has two daughters and some grandchildren on the Street. It would give back some bite to Leanne, and Toyah might perk up.

Anonymous said...

Sarah also had a good return?

PoidaPete said...

I would love a few things to happen(majority unlikely):

1. The 60th year to have no deaths. The last year to have no on or off screens deaths was 1979!

2. Multiple guest returns for small storyline’s. Debbie Webster returning this year shows it can be done, and done well. Maybe Eva making a visit with toddler Susie? Dennis Tanner to return and win Rita back, and Philip Lowrie to get the respect he should’ve been given when he was dumped a few years ago.

3. A birth on the December 9, 60th Anniversary episode. To mark that although the shows has been running 60 years, it always has new life in it.

4. Throughout the year, more mentions of long gone or iconic characters, as an homage of those who’ve tread the cobbles before them or with them.

Sharon Boothroyd said...

I'd love to see Debbie Webster back as a permanent resident and Shelley, too. Bringing back Toyah wasn't a great success.
After the baby story with Peter, they now don't know what to do with her. I'd like to see Ken start a new life somewhere in the sun with Claudia.
I think Maria needs marrying off and I'll be glad to see the back of Gary - but then we'd need another baddie to replace him.
I'm fed- up of Ali and Ryan hanging about as well.
I feel there's only so much you can do with mature characters such as Roy,Audrey,Evelyn and Rita. Romance is probably out, so it's either long lost relatives popping up or providing money or a listening ear to troubled family/ friends.

SuzInToronno said...

Don't forget Dennis Tanner. His return was great fun! One of my favourite characters, I still don't know why they ousted him. He and Rita were great together.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea, and yes it is similar to what Neighbours did for there 20th Anniversary..( stay with it !!) - the idea would be a character such as Ken for arguments sake,would be researching past residents of Coronation Street ( maybe its the anniversary of when the street was built!) and produces an online video where past characters are tracked down and reminisce or reflect on there time on the street. I think it would work having little cameos and it means a whole wealth of actors and actresses could take part briefly, Characters for me that come to mind would be:- Emily Bishop, Spider Nugent, Billy Walker, Irma Barlow, Raquel Watts, Curly Watts, Bet Lynch, Mavis Wilton, Janice Battersby, Maureen Holdsworth, Tricia Hopkins, Suzie Birchall, Dennis Tanner, Linda Cheveski.

Another idea would be for Hilda Ogden to be kill her off in the show and for Coronation street to pay a proper tribute to Jean Alexander. Ken, Rita, Gail, Audrey, Sally and Kevin could be involved with it.

Lewis said...

All I want is a standalone 2 hander between Ken and Rita, or even a 3 hander with Emily for a one off appearance. Just the 2/3 of them looking at old photographs and reminiscing. That would be a real treat, can just be for the half an hour, away from the current dramas. I doubt they'll do it, but I think they should as there won't be many more opportunities to do this given the age of Bill Roache and Barbara Knox (unless they live to 100!)

No doubt summat will explode or there'll be another serial killer to look forward to.


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