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

Monday, 3 February 2020

Old Friends and Loose Ends: Corrie at 60

Coronation Street celebrates its sixtieth year on air in 2020 and preparations are underway for a memorable but as yet undisclosed marking of the occasion in December. Producer Iain MacLeod teased us via the tabloids this weekend - ruling out a live episode - as they did back in 2010 for the half-century, but suggested the big celebration would be a “time to do something different”.

As reported in the Daily Star, MacLeod elaborated on what he was planning: "We are going to be telling the stories in a slightly different way. It's important when you're celebrating a milestone that you don't purely look back at times past, but also find a way to renew and look to what the next 60 years might be like."

So this suggests there will be a nod to the past sixty years in some way, then with perhaps a focus on the younger generation. I got very excited over the weekend when the Star mischievously slapped a photo of Julie Goodyear on it’s front cover suggesting Bet was heading for a return to the cobbles. There’s no such admission from Iain MacLeod although he didn’t rule it out. 

So at the moment the thing is a complete mystery. And as a result my mind has been working overtime wondering what the most appropriate and fitting tribute to sixty years of Coronation Street would look like. There are a number of loose ends Corrie needs to deal with, and here are some other scenarios I just plucked out of my head if writers are looking for inspiration…

As far as I can remember, following the death of Roy Barraclough in 2017, Alec Gilroy still lives somewhere in the fictional Corrie world. Whilst it’s been decades since he ran the Rovers, he still has several ties to the Street. If news reaches Weatherfield of his passing, surely Rita, Liz and a few others would want to mark the occasion? And perhaps this could be a way of bringing some old friends together one more time? (Yes I’m talking about Bet).

Roy Barraclough, Julie Goodyear and Tony Blair's father-in-law...random
We’ve seen Emma’s mum Fiona make calls from Oz via social media but as yet she’s not bothered to visit her mourning daughter in person. What we know so far, or think we know, is that Steve is Emma’s biological Dad following a fling between him and Fiona back in the late nineties. Something tells me this story isn’t over though. Could Fiona fly in to cause some drama for Liz and Steve?

It breaks my heart to hear that Bev Callard is leaving Corrie again. But a character as iconic as Liz McDonald won’t be going quietly. I secretly hope Bev comes back but thirty years on and off doing the same job would give anyone itchy feet. Maybe she and Jim will finally patch things up and disappear into the sunset together. No I don’t think so either, but stranger things have happened in Soapland.  

Eileen Derbyshire is on an extended break from Corrie but we know fans and producers alike really want her back. Emily Bishop is a strange kind of character. Ever present in our hearts and minds but never really at the centre of a big storyline. To me, quick calls on Skype to remind us she’s still there are unsustainable. I hope Emily is able to return this year. If not, maybe they should kill her off.


I don’t see why not. They are officially an item now and that family needs something nice to look forward to. When Deirdre died it seemed like nobody could ever replace her, but life’s not like that. Ken needs a spoon of an evening just as much as the rest of us.

I’m guessing Claudia’s the big spoon.

Corrie has a habit of putting Rita in physical danger so why make the sixtieth year any different? Coming from Emmerdale I know Iain MacLeod likes to dabble with special effects every now and then, although when I interviewed him a while back he promised he would keep this kind of thing to a minimum on the Street.

That said, if Rita has one too many sherries in the run-up to Christmas, a bump to the head as she stumbles around the flat could have potential for an interesting festive dreamscape. Famously never having kids of her own, Rita has taken many lost souls under her wing. Jenny’s firmly part of the family now, and we’re all happy Sally-Ann Matthews is a permanent fixture in the cast now. But what about some of the others?

Tracie Bennett, from cobbles to curtain-calls
Sharon Bentley nee Gaskell, foster daughter of Rita and Len, left the Street in 1999. Actress Tracie Bennett is a big Broadway and West End star these days so it would be a coup to get her back for the sixtieth anniversary, perhaps in a musical dream sequence.

Yes I know this is getting silly now but bear with me.

And of course Rita is close to Gemma having taken her in during her hour of need. Those quads have an honorary grandmother in Rita. Most of Rita’s time on the Street is behind her, although actress Barbara Knox says she’d like to go on forever. It’s comforting to know despite her lack of luck with men and kids, Rita is surrounded by a lot of love on Coronation Street.

So while she’s out cold, Rita looks back on her time on Coronation Street, and is visited by all the women she’s helped over the years. When she wakes up a familiar face is looking back at her.
It’s Mavis.

Fans have been calling for Curly Watts to come back pretty much since he left at the turn of the century. A quirky, lovable character, Curly was part of a new generation of characters that bridged the good old days with the new millennium. I see today’s Curly with several kids, a well-paid but unfulfilling job, and still gazing up at the stars wondering who’s looking back. In my fantasy storyline, whilst out bat-watching Roy and newly discovered niece and bat-fanatic Nina bump into Curly and his telescope while out in a park somewhere. With the outbreak of Coronavirus a spate of bat murders hits the region and Curly and Roy set out to protect the innocent flappy little devils from persecution.

STARS: Raquel and Curly
Basically, Shona finally gets her memory back but with the full ability to speak also returned, David realises she’s got a German accent.

Again, why not?

So there you have a few educated guesses from me on how Corrie at Sixty might pan out.

What would you like to see happen this year?

I'm on Twitter at @StevieDawson 

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


Louby said...

I'd like to see Curly again too. Maybe he could be the North West area manager for the Co Op, and be visiting the street's branch.

There was a brilliant episode of Frasier when he dreamt about his ex wives coming to see him, as well as his ex girlfriends. This would be great for Steve McDonald!

C in Canada said...

OMG at Louby's last statement! That would be hilarious!
That could be a stand alone episode just on it's own! LOL!

Louby said...

Thanks C in Canada!

I thought of another I'd like to see.... it turns out that compulsive liar Jude wasn't actually Mary's son at all! That was a lie too. The real Jude turns up and is a younger, male version of Mary.

And it turns out that Evelyn is Tyrone's mother, not his gran.

Anonymous said...

Other loose ends/abandoned storylines:

What about all of Dev's other children by the shop assistants in all of his shops? Weren't there about 12 of them in total?

What about Ken's long-lost son and grandson that showed up a few years ago (played by his real life son)? They are never mentioned thesedays.

Anonymous said...

I think Corrie should honour Jean Alexander who died in 2016, and have Hilda pass away peacefully, she would be 96 now. It would be a story that could still involves some of the older cast such as Kevin and Sally, Ken, Rita, Audrey, Gail etc.


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