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

Sunday 31 January 2021

The Week In Classic Corrie

MONDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 18th and 20th August 1997

It was Jack and Vera's ruby wedding anniversary and the rest of the Street joined them in the Rovers to celebrate.  They handed out free first drinks but Alec kept a tab on who got one so he could charge the Duckworths for it later.  Gail made up with Sally and invited her to the pub.  She enjoyed herself - until Natalie and Kevin turned up.  Sally lost her temper and called her a hypocrite for celebrating a wedding anniversary when she was a dirty homewrecker; Natalie fought back and told her she'd rescued Kevin from a boring marriage.  Vera capped off the night by presenting herself to Jack in a filthy negligee she'd got off Angie, and he realised he was going to have to have sex with her (Bill Tarmey practically broke the fourth wall as he pulled his horrified faces, pleading with the audience for help).  The police told Les they'd found his car but (a) it was a write off and (b) it was nicked in the first place.  To stop them from suspecting him, he gave them the name of the bloke he bought it off - and threw in the lads who robbed the corner shop as well.  Maud identified them down the police station and gave the Battersbys their shopping for free out of gratitude.  

TUESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 22nd and 24th August 1997

Natalie's ex-husband stopped her money because she was living with a new bloke.  It meant that Kevin couldn't afford to give Sally the same maintenance but he refused to drop the amount.  Natalie took it upon herself to sort it out, and turned up at number 13 to ask Sally to drop her demands.  Kevin was disgusted that she'd gone behind his back and they rowed.  He finally realised he should never have left Sally in the first place and walked out on her.  Good.  Samantha decided to leave Weatherfield and move down to London.  She had a goodbye meal at number 6, and Des begged her to stay.  Alec meanwhile was unhappy to hear Sam was leaving because that meant the pub was lacking a sex bomb.  He told Vera that they needed a younger clientele with a jukebox and fewer old faces behind the bar, but she misunderstood what he was hinting at and thought he wanted rid of Betty.  Betty did her usual outraged act but Alec said she'd be in charge of the catering; in a first, she didn't storm out in a huff, so they must be saving the 1997 version of that storyline for later in the year.  When Vera realised he meant her she was furious and said she'd never leave.  Maureen decided to sell the shop, but Fred had a different idea: marry him and combine the shop with the butcher's.  She agreed but warned him she didn't really love him.  

WEDNESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 25th and 27th August 1997

Zoe got lathered on vodka and smoked a few fags with Leanne because just because she's pregnant doesn't mean she can't have some fun.  In a moment of karmic justice she promptly went into labour.  She was forced to have a Caesarian, but soon gave birth to a little girl.  Judy was there the whole time and was thrilled that she finally had her daughter.  Maud was disgusted to hear that Maureen was engaged to Fred and vented her frustration by dousing him with a fire extinguisher in the shop.  She thought Maureen was being a mug again.  Fred argued with Maud, telling her that she only cared about Maureen as a nursemaid.  Kevin stayed away from Natalie and told Sally it was all over and he wanted to return.  She pretended she didn't care, but was secretly thrilled; when he spent the evening with her and the girls she realised how much she wanted him back.  Unfortunately in the meantime Kev had made up with Natalie.  At the Rovers, Vera decided to take over the catering so they could get rid of Betty.  The only problem was she couldn't cook and she promptly burned Curly's insides with her chili.  On the plus side, Sam agreed to stay, so they still had a saucepot behind the bar.

THURSDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 29th and 31st August 1997

Natalie, lacking basic human decency as usual, took on a job at the Rovers.  She didn't understand why it would be a problem.  Everyone except Alec thought this was a bad idea, with Betty refusing to talk to her and Rita boycotting the pub on principle.  Vera was disgusted and called her a "known trollop".  Alec pointed out that if they barred everyone who'd had a bit on the side the pub would be empty.  Sally tried to get Kevin back, but he told her he was with Natalie now, and she sobbed to Gail about how she wasn't wanted any more.  Judy tried to persuade Gary to put his name down as the father on the birth certificate, but he was wary as it was a legal document.  Also he didn't want everyone to think he was a pervert who had sex with a teenager.  However, yet again, Judy sobbed and begged and he caved.  They called the baby Katie and brought her and Zoe back to the Street.  

FRIDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 1st and 3rd September 1997

The factory girls went in the pub for their lunchtime pints and were horrified to see Natalie.  Sally left, and Janice followed; they decided that they were going to boycott the pub while she was working there.  In a moment that deeply disappointed me, Ida got bored of it and soon wandered back.  Vera took the battle to her marriage, refusing to cook or clean for Jack while Natalie was there.  He finally got up the courage to sack her but she resigned anyway.  Sally got her own back though and told Natalie Kevin had wanted to return to the family and she'd turned him away.  Zoe put on a show for the midwife but she resented the way the Malletts pushed her in the background.  She showed the baby to Leanne, but Judy came back in and disapproved.  It seemed she was starting to bond with Katie whether she liked it or not.  Angie and Chris looked at the flat above the bookies but she wasn't keen.  He realised that she might not be that keen on their relationship either.  Deirdre was excited to be moving in with Jon and showed Liz the outside of his posh house.  As they drove away, the real owner turned up...

@merseytart will never forgive Natalie.  Never.

Classic Corrie is on ITV3 every weekday afternoon and is also on the ITV Hub.

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Saturday 30 January 2021

Coronation Street Episode Review 29 January 2021

Two main stories dominated this evening with Peter getting the programme started by fitting (above) on the floor of Number One to be discovered in the grip of the fit by Ken.  After the obligatory visit to hospital Peter sums up his situation as follows - if he drinks he will die; if he stops drinking suddenly he will die; there are no rehab beds available; they do not want non-covid patients in hospital - so he has to go home and wean himself off the evil drink step by step.  [The good lady wife advises me that Amy Winehouse died because she went "cold turkey" instead of reducing intake gradually.]  Ken asks Roy to hide the whisky bottle and each day Ken will collect Peter's allowed "medicine".  When it is time for Peter to take his medicine Ken has a funny (and I don't mean haha funny) turn.  He cannot remember if he took his blood pressure tablet this morning - but if you ask me Peter's problems are going to give Ken some health problem.

Having mentioned Peter we find that it is Carla's lucky day as Lucas materialises from Devon and in some well constructed scenes over lunch in the Bistro (where Carla is again drinking red wine) we are finally allowed to find out what Carla was doing during her absence - unwise Tinder dates are mentioned; a particular evening when Carla did not get jumped by Lucas - he had a girlfriend Lucy {Lucas and Lucy}, now dead but drug addict during their time together; the Shovels where Carla had given up wine and was drinking Seville Orange flavoured gin.  Lucas is opening boutiques in Yorkshire and wants local supplies - knew Carla was involved in Underworld and has booked a hotel room for the weekend - with a spa plus some magnificent views and a huge bed.  Would Carla like to join him?  She packs a bag, does her face and is heading for the tram stop when Peter catches her and admits his errors and asks Carla to stay and see him through his difficult time, even though he has no right to ask.  She heads onwards to the tram stop where Lucas lays out his offering (above) and whilst telling Lucas she is conflicted with her "its complicated" relationship status she goes in with him and they head off for the weekend together.

Debbie is up to no good according to Kev - she only ever looks after Number One - not Ken's house - herself.  Sorting out the various properties is proving interesting.  Claudia has splashed out on a cruise and Maria cannot afford to buy back Audrey's.  {Wild prediction here - Natasha Blakeman will re-appear shortly from London and the salon will be added to Natasha's empire}.  Tracy has the paperwork for StreetCars and the flat, although as the money was spent it is not clear how Steve will buy them back.  Tracy has decided they are not moving back into the flat as they are staying at Number One.  When she hears David telling Shona that the money they had from Ray has gone on the mortgage and the overdraft and getting a new mortgage is not that easy (well would you lend money on a sinkhole which is going to swallow the house any minute?) and he keeps stalling Debbie.  Tracy asks Debbie for an inspection and says that if David fails to take up first refusal she and Steve would fancy having somewhere larger with a garden - and above we see her peeking over the back gate of Number 8 - the former Platt residence - and looking at the garden of her new mansion.  Tracy then tells David and Debbie she is throwing her towel in the ring (which usually means giving up the fight) when she actually means hat!

Intertwined with the above are Roy, Nina and Asha.  Dev asks Nina if she can suggest any way of helping Asha concentrate on her studies as she is clearly still wound up by the split from Corey and is simply not studying.  Nina suggests she uses a table so that there are people around here and she (Nina) can keep an eye on her working and not playing with her phobile moan.  Dev accepts the offer and we later see Asha in the cafe; Nina suggests that perhaps Asha clears and cleans a couple of tables and so Asha put on an apron and lends a hand.  When Roy returns he is railroaded by Nina into offering Asha a couple of evening shifts (which was rather more successful than a high volume approach by Shona to Daisy demanding five pub shifts a week to help get money in to meet the non-existent mortgage).  Dev feels that if Asha wants to work she should be working in the family businesses but accepts that it may be better for her to work in the cafe.  But does Nina have an ulterior motive?  With Roy gone Asha thanks Nina for the kind things she said - but Nina then adds "And gorgeous with it".  In these days of #MeToo a man saying that to a woman would be sent packing!  No doubt we will see more of this relationship.

Talking of relationships Todd his back to his wily game in attempting to split Billy and Paul.  On Wednesday Billy declared that Ajay's surplus piano would move in with them over his dead body but he is not aware that Todd put Paul up to collecting it and it appears in the middle of Street where Billy cannot resist having a tinkle and Summer is entranced.  I do not even want to contemplate how it arrived in the first floor flat - but I know that my parents had to hire a very large crane and remove a window to enable their piano to be hoisted out of a first floor flat.  It is a magical piano - it has remained in tune despite being moved - an almost amazing failure of the laws of physics based on my experience!  Billy is soon vamping along to "When the Saints go Marching In" as a tribute to my beloved football team.  Todd is totally unimpressed by the solidity of Billy and Paul's relationship so deploys the Willy weapon.  Initially Paul rejects Will's calls and when he finally answers it he gives Will short shrift saying he has to phone the helpline and has to speak to Ajay and his number will be blocked.  Todd is unamused but wants willing (providing he gets his dosh) Willy to do just one more thing.

Why was Roy out of the cafe leaving Nina in charge?  Earlier Carla had departed glammed up to the nines for her business lunch with Lucas and Roy with all the emotional intensity of a robot (Peter's words) felt that Peter should be made aware of his need for Carla and equally her need for him.  He tells Peter that he and Carla have both behaved badly to each other - but Peter needs Carla's support and first, in the same way as he needs to admit and deal with being an alcoholic he is told that it is essential that he admits to himself his need for Carla by his side.  This was what led to Peter's despairing chase after Carla which I mentioned earlier before she headed inside the tram stop to leave all of this behind her.  Or did she?

No of course she didn't - she has just overheard Peter saying that he should have forgiven her, he should not be trying to kill his father and now it is just too late - except of course it isn't and Carla is back by his side - but at least 2m in line with the best physical distancing guidelines!

For those who read my posts you will be aware that I actually believe that the programme is on great form at present - some lovely one-liners; none of the preaching stories which I sometimes find a struggle and tonight there were some longer scenes as Carla and Lucas gave us the lowdown on her time in Devon.  Stories driven by the characters interacting and giving of their best.  If you can please watch - let us get the viewing numbers up to reward good programme making.  Ms Kelstar will be here next week.

Tonight was written by Debbie Oates and directed by Becky Wild.


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Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt.  Tell you what, the next series of Who Do You Think You Are is going to be disappointing.  Instead of Anthony Hopkins or Denise van Outen travelling the world in search of their past, visiting libraries and museums and chatting to expert genealogists and historians, they'll just upload a picture of their nan to the internet.  Twenty-four hours later they'll get names, dates and even long lost relatives presented to them on a plate.  The programme will be about six minutes long.  

This all came about because Gail discovered a suspiciously new-looking photo in a pile of her belongings.  Hint for you, prop people; when we wanted stuff to look old in primary school we dunked it in tea then stuck it under the grill.  That way it won't look like you printed it off from the kiosk in Snappy Snaps just before filming.  Gail's delve into her past meant she learned she was distantly related to George the undertaker; on the one hand, what are the chances of that happening, but on the other, it means George gets tied into the Street a little more so I can't complain.  It also meant we got the return of Audrey, swigging G&T's and reminiscing about Archie, which was wonderful.  She seems to have patched everything up with Gail at some point, but sadly, the cessation in hostilities with Eileen that came about when they bonded over their inability to spot a serial killer husband has come to an end.  They spat fire and bullets at one another while Mary pulled an awesome angry face at George.

And no, I am not going to give the many extremely poor Fanny innuendos the oxygen of publicity.

Some wounds run deep.  Do you know how long Debbie Webster lived on Coronation Street in the 80s?  Seven months: June 1984 to January 1985, 34 episodes.  She's been in more episodes since she came back than in her entire time as a resident, yet for some reason, this brief period of living in a backstreet terrace has filled her with deep resentment and anger.  She's carried this anger for nearly forty years and decided to get her revenge by knocking it down.  Let it go, love.  Have a nice camomile tea and a lie down.

Although, actually, she does seem to have got past it, because once the planning permission was revoked Debbie ran round giving everyone their houses back.  Of course, she could've simply resubmitted the application to the new committee and done it all by the book, but apparently that's out.  She handed over the garage to Kevin, she prepared paperwork to give StreetCars and number 8 back, she basically stopped short of standing in the middle of the street and flagellating herself in public to atone for her sins.  This does mean she still owns a massive empty brewery rotting behind the Street.  Hopefully she'll turn out a smaller, more bespoke redevelopment, and then everyone can stop moving into tiny houses that can't accommodate them.  Yes Grace, I mean you.

Home is where the hole is.  Am I the only person who remembers the sinkhole?  Am I the only one who cares?  Because David seems mad keen to move back into number 8, even though the reason he moved out in the first place was there was a gaping maw in his back yard and he couldn't afford to fill it in.  Now he wants to return, even though the sinkhole is still there and will still need to be filled in, only now instead of trying to get a mortgage on a normal house, he's going to try and get a mortgage on a house with a massive structural defect.  Good luck concealing that from the surveyor; maybe you can just keep the back curtains closed, or stick a fountain on the side and pretend it's a water feature.  On top of that Tracy wants to buy the house, even though, as I say, there's a huge hole in the back garden.  There are thousands of other houses in Manchester Trace, and the vast majority of them don't have a portal to the underworld by the rotary washing line.  (Incidentally, happy 44th birthday Tracy.  None of your awful family seemed to remember, even though they all got sad about Val being electrocuted, and she's been gone for fifty years).  I will not rest until we see actual, physical evidence that the sinkhole is being filled in, with a digger and a structural engineer.  I appreciate it's not the most exciting storyline but I need closure.

Now do Chopsticks.  Todd's nefarious plan to break up Billy and Paul reached a new level of evil this week as he encouraged them to... er... get a piano?  I'm not quite sure why he thought a musical instrument would be some great impediment to their relationship; it was a piano, not the bagpipes.  Billy confessed he loved to play and sing, Summer seemed desperate to take lessons, and Paul was happy to join in; the only problem it was slightly too large for their flat. Maybe Todd hoped they'd herniate themselves getting it up the stairs.  They conspicuously failed to show us how they managed to negotiate the tight turns and steep flight - perhaps Billy asked Him Upstairs for a quick favour.  Soon the whole family were gathered round the Old Joanna, having a singalong, presenting us with the delightful sight of Daniel Brocklebank - who is a trained singer - damping down his natural talents so that he didn't blow out the sound equipment with his West End belt.  

Todd was forced to resort to Plan B - bellowing at Will in the ginnel.  The relationship between these two gets creepier and creepier; Will's constant declarations that he'll do anything for money while Todd shouts at him that he needs to act more needy gives it all the air of a pimp berating one of his rent boys.  It's all very nasty and seems like a real hassle.  Is Billy that much of a catch?  That Ajay seems perfectly nice, Todd.  Why not persist with him?

Be more Roy.  I know we shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but Hayley really went down in my estimation this week.  It seems Roy arranges his knives in order of size - which is correct - and Hayley never paid attention to this, simply whacking them back in the block willy-nilly.  That is not on and it shows what a saint Roy is, because if she'd tried that in my house, she'd have ended up with a bread knife in her larynx.  He also cooked a quiche, complete with home-made coleslaw, volunteered to be a whisky delivery service for Ken, and gave Peter a lengthy talking to that genuinely connected with his soul.  Frankly if there were more Royston Croppers around the world would be a much better place.

This blog post was written with the help of a big bottle of vodka because Peter's alcoholism is driving me to drink.  Send details of my nearest Group via Twtter @merseytart please.

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Glen Wallace interview- Can newcomer Lucas win Carla's affections?

A face from Carla's past has arrived on Coronation Street in the form of savvy businessman Lucas. Determined to win Carla's affections, Lucas has already tried to persuade her to go for a weekend away, but will he return to try again? Actor Glen Wallace told us about who Lucas is, and what part he played in Carla's life previously. 

"[Lucas] is a very successful businessman, he's very alpha-male," said Glen. "I think he's on the front foot, he's very proactive and I think this whole move up to Manchester and coming to meet Carla is very decisive. It's not with any malicious undertones, it's a case of he's no longer willing to miss out on life's opportunities, and I think he sees Carla as one of life's opportunities that he's definitely not going to let go." 

Carla and Lucas first met on a night-out in Devon, not long after Carla moved there after her failed marriage with Nick Tilsley. "I think Lucas would look upon it as twin flames, a soulmate, someone who he's had an instant connection with," said Glen. While the specifics of their relationship in Devon remains unclear, the chemistry between them told us that they were extremely close. 

Upon his return, Lucas has jumped the gun and booked a hotel for him and Carla to spend the weekend together. However, last night's episode showed Carla have a change of heart as she decided not to go with him. This doesn't put Lucas off though, and he will return with a different approach. "I think it's dented his ego that she didn't come, but I think it's given him the time of going, 'No, hold on a second, I'm not going to let this go', and then he goes in with a slightly softer approach," Glen told us. 

"It's funny because you obviously shoot your first couple of episodes and then you don't pick up your next set of scripts and I've had to go to [Alison King], 'So did you come with me or did you not?' I didn't know for a week or two whether we had gone off!" 

Viewers also learnt last night that Lucas's girlfriend, Lucy, passed away from a drugs overdose. Glen said: "There's parallels between [Carla's] relationship with Peter and Lucas's with Lucy. He's gone through that relationship of being a caring partner and looking after someone who is addicted to something. He's saying, 'Look, I've been there, I don't want you to do what I did'. Business or personal life, I don't think he takes no for an answer. I think he can see a real future with Carla. He can see it and he knows it." 

Of course, Carla does have Peter to think about, and their history together is sure to complicate Carla's decision on who she wants to be with. However, Lucas is unaware of their history, and so just sees Peter as an obstacle. Glen said: "The fans and I may know the backstory, [but] Lucas isn't going to know that, Lucas doesn't care. There's no love lost between him and Peter."

It's no secret that Carla and Peter are one of Coronation Street's most loved couples, but is there a possibility that Lucas is better suited for Carla? "Lucas has the capacity to ask Carla the questions about herself and about relationships that maybe she hasn't been asked before, or that people didn't want to ask. He's going, 'I'm a clean slate, I want this to work'."

Lucas will return to Weatherfield on a recurring basis, and Glen explained that Lucas certainly has the potential to stick around long-term. "I think there's legs in the character, but I also think there's legs in the relationship with Carla. Even with Peter, I think he has the capacity to maybe get under his skin a little bit." 

Talking about any characters Glen would love to share screen time with, he said: "I wouldn't mind having a wee pint with Ken in the Rovers. I don't know if he'd welcome me with the amount of trouble that I may or may not be about to cause, but I think he'd have some great stories." 

With Carla's relationship with Peter hanging in the balance, will Lucas be successful in winning Carla's heart? 

Sophie Williams 

I'm on Twitter @soph_writer 

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