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

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, Apr 6 - 10

Here are the major storylines for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less.

Monday 6 April to Friday 10 April

Note: One episode Mon, Weds, Fri at 7.30pm until further notice.

Horror for the Barlows when Eccles dies!, the scales finally fall from Yasmeen's eyes over Geoff and she contacts police, Gemma leaves the quads on the bus and the women of Weatherfield get arrested.

See the full week's preview with pictures at

Missed last week's Corrie?
Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

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

Winner announced in our Pearl of Pit Lane competition

Congratulations go to Lisa Davies 
who has won a copy of Pearl of Pit Lane in our special blog competition.

Stuck indoors? Want something good and gritty to read? Well, look no further. As well as being editor of the Coronation Street Blog and a huge Coronation Street fan, I'm also a novelist. My gritty sagas are set in 1919, at the end of the first world war and if you like your soaps, you'll love my books. They're full of feisty females, villains, drama and fantastic women, the heroines of each book that you'll fall for from page one.  And with a lifetime of soap-watching behind me, they're action-packed too!

My new novel Pearl of Pit Lane is now out in paperback, published by Headline.  It's set in 1919 in the northeast coalmining village of Ryhope, which is where I was born and bred.

Find out more about my novels and my Coronation Street books here.


Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

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

Blue Rinse - Looking back on the life of actress Jill Summers

Guest blog post from Mark Llewllin
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? 

Mark Llewellin is a friend of us all here on the Coronation Street Blog. He's a man who knows a thing or two about life behind the scenes at our favourite soap. You can find out more about him here.

Mark has very kindly offered to share some of those memories with us here on the Blog. We'll be running a blog post from Mark each day with some of Mark's memories.

And so, here we go with the third of many wonderful blogs from Mark!

Looking back on the life of actress Jill Summers

Honor Margaret Rozelle Santoi Fuller became one of Britain’s most famous grannies – but few of her devoted fans had any idea of her colourful professional past.  For Jill Summers, best known for playing Corrie’s feisty grandma Phyllis Pearce, the sandpaper voiced old lady with the blue rinse, was once known for jokes that were as blue as her hair.

The diminutive Eccles-born actress came from a famous family of travelling players and was practically born in a stage trunk – her mother, Mary Power, only just making it home after a stage performance in time to give birth.  Mary, stage name Marie Santoi, toured for many years with her own theatre company – one of the first women to succeed in what was a man’s world in the 19th century.  She and Jill’s father, who was a wire walker, performed in variety staging romantic scenes with titles such as ‘Night in Japan’, ‘Egypt’ and ‘Pearl of the Orient’.

Coming from such a richly theatrical family it is no surprise that the young Jill, or Honor as she was really called, should enter the profession.  Incidentally, she chose her stage name after her favourite measurement of alcohol, a gill, and her favourite time of year, summer.  She often joked that she could have easily ended up being named ‘Quart Winters’.  Jill later recalled: “Life hadn’t been easy for my mother but if a show fell on difficult times she would sell her furs and jewellery to keep the company going.”

Jill’s half-brother, Tom F. Moss, was soon roped into the family firm and started working in the orchestra pit until their mother heard him sing and he was instantly promoted.  In fact, he went on to achieve fame as a tenor.  Tom was the son of Jill’s mother and Tom Major-Ball who went onto marry one Gwen Coates.  Tom and Gwen had three children – one of whom, John, became British Prime Minister.  With the advent of war Jill signed up with ENSA and in 1942 she and Tom teamed up to tour the halls with a singing act.

Tom would sing romantic ballads dressed in his trademark top hat, white-tie and tails with a  monocle and neat beard – looking quite the part (Jill told me that women often arrived at the stage door clutching babies they claimed were his!).  Jill, considered quite a classical singer, often performed musical parodies and even dressed as a nun to sing Ave Maria.

The double act toured Britain’s biggest theatres for over seven years but it was not without its bust-ups.  When Tom fell ill in 1949 Jill took over the accounts and discovered that Tom had been keeping the bulk of their salary for himself.  She split up the act and went solo.  Again she travelled up and down the country appearing alongside the top acts of the day.  Jill often amused me with tales of some of the odder turns – Mushie the Forest Bred Lion, farting ducks and the like!  At one time she even appeared with a set of real bears until they escaped.

During the late 1940’s Jill became famous for her sketches including ‘The Landlady’, ‘The Bartered Bride’ and ‘The Lady Porteress’ which she performed on stage and radio.  In 1948 she met and married her second husband Dr Clifford Simpson Smith, who took over the management of her career and toured with her whenever he could.  In 1957 she landed her big break – her own television series entitled ‘Summer’s Here’.  She also toured for impresario Paul Raymond in a strip show called ‘Paris after Dark – a tale of sex and sin’.  She didn’t strip – she was the comic!

During the sixties she continued with her stage appearances as well as pursuing a TV career.  Jill played the London Palladium, appeared in pantomimes and took part in the legendary ‘Thanks for the Memory’ shows with a host of top variety acts including Hetty King and George Lacey.  With theatres starting to close and variety of the wain Jill re-invented herself and launched on the club scene with an act featuring songs and comedy – and often some very blue material.  In fact, when Jill died I inherited a lot of her scripts, contracts and so on – including a whole file of complaint letters from working men’s clubs.  The complaint usually being that she was too rude for the working men!

In 1969 the newly formed Yorkshire Television launched its first soap opera ‘Castle Haven’ written by Kevin Laffan (who would later create ‘Emmerdale’) and starring Kathy Staff, Roy Barraclough - and Jill as the pub landlady.  The series lasted just over a year and then it was back to cabaret and TV cameo parts.  In 1982 she landed the role of Phyllis Pearce (it was her second Corrie role) and at the age of 72 she created another masterpiece and the nation soon took to the blue rinsed busybody.  She appeared in over 500 episodes.

In 1997 Jill died in her sleep aged 86.  I was privileged to be asked to write the eulogy for the funeral and I used this phrase to sum her up: “For Jill, laughter was the oxygen of life itself.  We are all the richer for having known and loved her.  Her warmth, affection, generosity and humour were an ever-present light in some of our darker moments.  Jill was the laughter in our lives.”   And that was true – I still miss her every day.

Stay tuned for more from Mark tomorrow!
Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

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

Sam Aston interview: Chesney begs Gemma to seek help

Has Chesney noticed how much Gemma is struggling?

He knows she hasn’t been doing too well but he has also been under pressure so he hasn't really thought it is anything more than just the stress of having all the children to deal with. Bernie and Gemma didn't tell him about the doctor’s appointment so he is in the dark. He is also a bit annoyed about the fact that Bernie has moved back in and that the two of them are rowing.

Do things look more positive when Aled gets his hearing aid?

Chesney and Gemma both feel as though this has massively improved the situation. When Aled finally hears their voices it is a huge moment and Gemma feels that she can cope on her own without Bernie’s help.

Is Chesney pleased to get rid of Bernie?

To be honest, he is a bit baffled that she is leaving, he does think they need the help, even though she is a bit of a pain to have around she is an extra pair of hands. Bernie tells him to keep an eye on Gemma but the real problem is that Gemma doesn’t want to open up to Chesney, she is in denial and as Bernie hasn't told him about the nature of her concerns he doesn't push it.

What happens when Gemma leaves the babies on the bus?

All Chesney sees is Gemma get on the bus with the quads and then suddenly get off leaving them on board. He is horrified and has to run after the bus to rescue the babies. He is out of his depth and calls Bernie.

What happens when he tries to talk to Gemma?

He and Bernie try to talk to her but she gets upset and refuses to speak to them both and storms out of the house. Chesney is worried sick but when she returns having spoken to Rita she finally tells him just how bad things have got and that she is a terrible mother. Chesney is horrified to realise she has been feeling like this and he realises she needs to see the doctor.

What has it been like filming this storyline?

Chesney and Gemma are more known for their comedy storylines so it has been interesting to explore a serious issue and to be able to highlight the difficulties that new parents can face. Hopefully we might be able to help someone else recognise if they are going through something similar and maybe encourage them to seek help.
Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

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

Monday 30 March 2020

Coronation Street Episode Review Monday 30th March

Hello and welcome to the first Corrieona episode, i.e. only a 7.30 ep tonight. I wonder what'll happen when the writing catches up with the ongoing situation? Social distancing and self-isolation isn't going to work in a soap where everyone's in the pub/cafe/Bistro/community centre all day long.

Anyway, first out of the traps is the ongoing Ghastly Geoff and yummu Yasmeen storyline. Geoff is over 65; he must be at risk, can't we put him into isolation for, like, the next 5 years? He tells Alya that he can't remember the name of the hotel in Spain that he and Yas have booked for Zeedan's wedding and anyway it was full. And it goes to a different school, you wouldn't know it. He then fakes a heart attack, but the paramedics tell him nothing's wrong. Think of the NHS, you monster! He refuses to go to hospital, which sets Alya's spidey-sense tingling, but she's already lost this battle, Yasmeen announces that they're not going off to sunny Spain.

In other toxic love storylines, David finds out that you have to be married a year before you can get divorced. Shona'll be back by then! His day gets worse as Gail finds out The Dreadful Truth that Dave had a bit of a fumble with Alina Pop. He goes out for a walk and runs into a ginnel gang, who a little bit randomly demand his phone and wallet and then pull a knife on him.

Meanwhile Alina has a pop at Seb in the cafe as he tells her she should move out of the flat. Emma overhears and tells Seb she's had enough.

And in my current favourite storyline, we're back to Stillwaters, where Ken discovers that the normal cleaner is doing the dog stain with a j-cloth, rather than the professional outside firm steam clean that poor old Ken has paid for. Ken discusses with Norris, who reiterates that Charles is ripping them off left, right and centre, and probably front and backwards as well.

Oh, and Gemma finds out that Aled's hearing aid has arrived but I guess you'll have to wait 'til Wednesday for more on that.

Rachel Stevenson - on twitter

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


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