Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Sunday 8 December 2019

A decade in Weatherfield

It's time to raise a glass of Freshco Essential Cava and toast the end of the decade. Don't bother pouring one for Michelle though - she's got a taxi waiting and we wouldn't want her to be late. We agreed.

Fear not, this isn't going to be open of those hideously long, year-by-year, scene-by-scene accounts of all things Corrie. How many storylines can you remember from the beginning of the decade? Way back in 2010 we still had the likes of Jack Duckworth, Betty Williams and ... err, Janice Battersby still with us. Not for long though. It's always interesting to see which characters caught on  - and those that didn't.

Anyone remember Trevor Dean? He has the hapless bin man who had the grim Janice letching after him. Janice spent over a decade learning nothing from life and was too dense to put up a fight for Trev when Carla swooped in looking for a bit of rough. She installed him as her new toy in t'faktry but Trev soon realised that he couldn't compete with the sound of her bangles or her love for dead Liam.

The intake of 2010 were a mixed bunch - Chris & Cheryl Gray (a vortex of nothingness), Charlotte Hoyle (started the year as Head of RE and ended it with John Stape tapping out Christmas carols on her skull with a hammer), DS Carr (Tim pretending to be a policeman) Kylie Turner (a pair of hooped earrings with a mouth).

All of these paled into significance in 2011 with the arrival of the ever-so-lovely Price clan. In came Michelle Collins, ee-bah-gumming all the way from Ian Beale's chip shop to t'Weatherfield Viaduct. How readers of Corrie Blog warmed to her. Our Lady of the Back Room soldiered on, sounding like Hylda Baker one minute and Janet Street-Porter the next. Daughter Eva, initially, had all the charm of a wooden spoon but the powers that be suddenly realised that Catherine Tyldesley was gold and so the character was softened. Another newcomer we all spat bile at was the grim Xin Proctor. The unlikely paring of daft Graeme with Tina McIntyre had worked well. Then came Xin. Irritating doesn't even begin to cover it. She was the ruination of the Graeme character and thankfully, by summer, they were history.

Casting a familiar name can be both a blessing and a curse for a soap. Stephanie Cole's arrival as Roy's acidic mother Sylvia was the former. The show had sorely missed an elderly tartar since Blanche Hunt's demise. Sylvia went into battle with most of the Street including Norris (toilets) and Doctor Carter (cannabis). Cole shone brightly for a couple of years and then quit for personal reasons. A memorable character for the right reasons - something that could not be said of Gloria Price. News that Sue Johnston was joining Corrie was greeted with delight. Would Gloria be a strong, resolute presence like Johnston's legendary Brookside character, Sheila Grant? Not a chance. Feckless and stupid, Gloria seemed to embody one daft scheme after another. Seemingly, the writers had no idea what to do with her which was shameful. You don't employ someone like Sue Johnston and then waste the opportunity. Gloria was horrible and eventually left in a mean-spirited attempt to break up Rita's marriage.

By 2013 DS Carr had decided that he'd had enough of policing and so re-emerged as Tim Metcalfe. Initially, Tim was a wee bit creepy and Anna 'hiyaaaaa' Windass did well to be suspicious. Again, you don't squander talent like Joe Duttine and so Tim was softened and humanised into the loveable berk we know today. Other newbies that year included the rays of sunshine that were Steph Britton and Sinead Tinker, the perma-grinning Andrea Beckett and Maddie Heath, the latter receiving the kiss of death by being teamed up with So-feh. Speaking of death, Uncle Evil, Pat Phelan debuted in 2013 too. Little did we know the fun and games that lay ahead and that it would be Anna 'hiyaaaaa' Windass who would eventually take him out.

By 2014 we were welcoming Gemma Winter, Billy Mayhew, Andy Carver and the enigmatic Doctor Gaddas. Or is it Gaddash? Or was it Gaddaffi? The mysterious medic floats around to this day. Where does she live? Does she just spend her life in that poky surgery, hands poised over her keyboard, a diagnosis on the tip of her tongue? Why hasn't she killed anyone yet, or been berated by errant offspring/evil husband/needy partner? Bless her, she's lasted the course along with comedy Gemma and hand-wringing vicar Billy.

The Connors arrived in 2015, having never been mentioned before. Suddenly they were everywhere. Aiden in his nasty coat, Johnny in his pinstripe Burtons number and Kate . . . no sorry, I'e forgotten her already. Hard to believe that it's less than a year since her and Rana's nuptials brought the house down. A death scene that lingered so long that everyone gave up the will to live. Remember Ali just shrugging and shuffling off over the wreckage? Many viewers are still upset and saddened by the shocking scenes where Sean survived. It took many by surprise and there was a real sadness that he'd made it. As did Kate but by autumn she was engulfed by her own dullness and disappeared somewhere.

The Appletons descended on Weatherfield in 2016 and 2017. Jude was Mary's long-lost son and within a few months, we were wishing that he'd stayed lost. Wife Angie soon had the lifeblood sucked out of her and the entire family spent a year dithering around amongst Emily's knick-knacks despite the fact that not only was she long gone but so was Norris. It was an uncomfortable, dreary storyline and the whole shebang seems to have now been conveniently forgotten.

In the last couple of years there, arguably, have been several welcome additions to the cobbles. Abi Franklin is the latest in a long line of Corrie women who have turned their lives around. Is she on course to be the next Mrs Webster? Emma Brooker has been a slice of joy too. It's important that we have 'nice' characters and linking her to the McDonald clan was a stroke of genius. Three cheers too for the casting of Maureen Lipman as Evelyn Plummer, picking up the battle-axe baton from Ena, Blanche and Sylvia. Another welcome addition was Peter Ash as Paul Foreman - what an incredible 2019 for him. The arrival of the Baileys at number three has also been handled well. They are nice people and must have special skills too, navigating their way around the remains of Emily's house with its random staircases and doors that lead nowhere. Bravo!

How about a few more random names to finish off with? James Cunningham, Geoff Metcalfe (all shades of vile), Frank Foster, Erica Holroyd, Nessa Warner, Mandy Kamara, Kirsty Soames, Paul Kershaw, Luke Britton, Rob Donovan - they all came and went. All of them added something to the rich tapestry of Weatherfield life. What we all want to know now is - who's waiting in the wings for the 2020s?

By Clinkers to Riddle

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


popcorn said...

Who on earth was James Cunningham? And what about lovely Wayne, Roy's ward? (and could we have him back, please?)

fairycake said...

@popcorn...James Cunningham was Ken's grandson from his son, Lionel (played by his real life son, Linus Roache). James was also played by Ken's real life son, James Roache (half brother to Linus who was playing his father). Lionel was Ken's son he knew nothing about from Susan Cunningham, a girl Ken was dating when Corrie first began.
Any road, James...who was also gay...turned out to be a bad 'un! He was a con artist...Hope this helps...X

Louby said...

Brilliant post, so many names that I hadn't thought about for so long. Do you remember when they promoted Corrie with 5 new make characters? Zeedan was one, Andy, possibly Luke, does anyone remember?

For me, the biggest waste of opportunity for a character was Dennis Tanner. Writers, there's still time to make this right!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Eva became a ruined character with her revenge scheme against Aidan [which Michelle is now doing to Robert] even using their daughter as a pawn when with her 'baby giveaway'to Toyah and initally denying Johnny the existence of his granddaughter who grieving the death of his son.

fairycake said...

@Louby... Yes! I remember the promotion with the five new male characters! All 5 of them standing together in suits in the promo shot. I also was horrified by the way they treated the return of Dennis Tanner! I wanted him and Rita to move in to number 11 some how so that he would be back where he was when the programme began 59 years ago tomorrow! Lots of memories in that house for him, not to mention his carved initials in the cement below the front window! X

Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon): The five hot new male characters were Zeedan, Luke B., Andy, Rob D. and ???maybe Aidan. Says a bit about Corrie dynamics and priorities that none of these characters ever really took hold and all left after a few years. The show has much better luck bringing in single female characters. Young male characters seem to work better when they come in younger or as part of a strong family grouping.

Louby said...

I think the missing one was Callum Logan.

Roni said...

It was the Ryan before this current one.

Unknown said...

I want both Eileen's sons back....Ryan Grimshaw was punished unreasonably.

Anonymous said...

Geoff metcalfe may stay in the first few months of 2020 as he hasn’t gone even yet. Also Callum Logan only lasted 11 months sadly by only Kylie killing him with a sledgehammer and then being buried under the annexe after David said it was a good idea rather than talking to the police and then in which was put to a extension for Gail Platt before Callum was killed off...


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