Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Was Tony Warren inspired to write Coronation Street by an earlier soap?

Well, this is intriguing and full credit goes to

Bill Naughton (1910 - 1992) is a key figure in post World War II English literary life. Naughton's best known works include Alfie (Naughton wrote the screenplay for the original film) and Spring And Port Wine (which was filmed in Bolton). A popular and professional writer, his work reflects significant changes in consciousness and society in 1950s and 1960s Britain.

What's he got to do with Coronation Street? I hear you ask.

Well, Bill Naughton contended that Coronation Street was inspired by his very own serial drama set around a Lancashire street with its own corner shop.

In the Bolton Library and Archives, they say that as Bill Naughton became well known as a writer of plays and short stories which were broadcast both on radio and television, his radio play 'June Evening' was televised in Jul 1960. This is some months before Coronation Street first appeared on our screens in December 1960.

Naughton's show, June Evening was very influential, causing a sensation as one of the first 'kitchen sink' TV plays, nine months before Coronation Street first aired. Naughton contended that Granada lifted his idea, the story being set around one Lancashire Street with a corner shop.

Certainly there are similarities with names of characters. There's a family called Tatlock and it featured Violet Carson, the actress who went on to play Ena Sharples in Coronation Street and Jack Howarth, who played Albert Tatlock.

Here's the programme for an episode of the radio show June Evening from 1958.

I love stuff like this. My Corrie anorak is firmly buttoned up!

This just in from @DaveDuttonUK on Twitter: Also went out as a BBC television play only 5 months b4 start of Coronation Street. Violet Carson played a different part &  David Jones (Ena’s grandson) &Jennifer Moss (Lucille Hewitt) were also in it as was Nan Marriott-Wilson who was offered the part of Ena but turned it down!

More information here.
Glenda Young
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Unknown said...

Wow, sure wish a recording of that show was available!

maggie muggins said...

Awesome! This is like detectorists finding lost ancient coins in a farmer's field!

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