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

Saturday, 1 February 2020

William Roache interview: Corrie's 10,000th episode

Next week, on Friday 7th February, an hour long episode marks the 10000th episode of the world’s longest running serial drama. The residents of Coronation Street take a trip down memory lane as they head for Blackpool on a very special mission.

Rita is surprised when a parcel arrives containing Dennis’ ashes and a note requesting she scatter them in Blackpool. Taking in the sad news of Dennis’ death she confides in Ken who agrees to go with her.

Deciding a day trip is something everyone would enjoy Jenny books a coach and invites lots of the residents to join them. Amy, Audrey, Carla, Eileen, Emma, Evelyn, Gail, Jenny, Ken, Mary, Nina, Sean, Tracy, Sally, Yasmeen and Rita, clutching Dennis’s urn, set off for Blackpool.

The trip is not without incident and as it starts to look as though they won’t make it to Blackpool before nightfall tensions rise.

By the end of the trip lives will have changed and one resident realises the time has come to leave the cobbles for pastures new!

Here William Roache talks about Coronation Street’s 10,000th episode and the changes he’s seen to the show and the way episodes are filmed since it began in the December of 1960.

This is a big year for Coronation Street!

It is the 10,000th episode this week and I can’t believe the 60th anniversary is coming up which is amazing.

How have things changed on the show?

Things have changed unbelievably. I mean episode one, 9th December 1960 was a live episode. We’ve done a few of those since, really, really frightening nowadays because we’re not used to it. But in the 60’s a lot of things were live, even some commercials. So that’s how we did it, we used to go out on Friday and Monday at 7pm, and we did the Friday episode live, and then recorded the other as live. That went on for about 3 months, and then a strike knocked that out of sync. After that we then recorded them, but in a way they couldn’t be edited. So it was almost like doing it live.

The change from then till now is unbelievable, it’s totally different. In those days we’d have three days rehearsal, dress rehearsal and then record the episode straight through. Now, we turn up, do a scene, we can do pick ups, retakes, not too many, but we can do a few. And there’s no rehearsal, absolutely none. And no prompting, so we have to turn up knowing it and ready to do it. Which I prefer actually, often you get some wonderful, really wonderful spontaneity with the thoughts coming out.

Did you ever believe the show would go on to reach its 10,000th episode when you started back in 1960?

10,000 episodes, who would have believed that, nobody when it started, if they’d offered me a 60 year contract I probably would have run a mile at the time. It’s amazing, actually it’s not amazing we’re still going, Tony Warren set the heart of the street as a community that cares and you can’t go far wrong.

You can have police dramas, hospital dramas, all sorts of things. We’re about people, so you have all of those, you have the police, you have hospitals, but we’re just about people. And so long as the stories are character based it could go on forever. Well, 60 years in television terms is almost forever isn’t it.

Glenda Young
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