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

Sunday, 28 February 2021

The Week In Classic Corrie

MONDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 27th and 29th October 1997

Liz was feeling her age as her 40th birthday loomed.  Jim suggested that she come round to for dinner with him and the twins and they started talking about the old times.  Of course they ended up kissing.  Mike told Angie they'd got the deal with the pervy buyer so there was no need for her to leave Underworld.  She stuck to her guns - though she was pleased he wanted her around.  Les won on the horses, but couldn't find the slip.  He realised he must have left it at Emily's and let himself in through the attic to retrieve it.  However, Emily came back with Ken, and he pursued Les into the roof, only to end up falling through the ceiling into number 5 - and right on top of a snogging Leanne and Nicky.  Les accused Ken of being a peeping tom and soon spread it round the neighbours, though Ken retaliated by telling everyone about his habit of letting himself in through the loft.  Janice, meanwhile, disgusted that he'd scared her with all the talk about a ghost, claimed the winnings to repair the roof.  Perhaps the most significant part of all this was we got our first gratuitous shot of Adam Rickitt shirtless.  He was brought in to attract teenage girls and soon he'd find it difficult to wear a shirt onscreen at all.  I'm therefore introducing a new recurring feature: the Nicky Tilsley Shirtless Count, or NTSC.  Let's count it together!

TUESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 31st October and 2nd November 1997

Deirdre and Jon planned their new life together.  They'd been looking at huge detached houses and she worried about where the money was going to come from.  He said that he would pay the mortgage and all the bills and she wouldn't have to worry about it at all.  Oh dear.  Deirdre got a shock when she saw Liz and Jim kissing on the doorstep, but Fiona, watching from across the road, was thrilled, because it meant Jim would get off her back.  Chris and Sally went out for dinner together and he admitted he found her attractive.  He thought he should tell Kevin but she urged him to keep it a secret.  Meanwhile Kev and Natalie were having much less fun, with him going out on a breakdown to avoid going to dinner with her and her friends.  Elsewhere, Gail was horrified to learn Nicky and Leanne were still seeing one another, Alec and Jack decided to let Betty go from the Rovers, and Angie adjusted Fiona's wedding dress to accomodate her growing pregnancy belly.  When Alan came home unexpectedly, Maxine refused to let him into the hairdresser flat because it was bad luck - making him react angrily, convinced that Fi was actually with another man.  His fury frightened Maxine.

WEDNESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 3rd and 5th November 1997

Betty didn't turn up for work so they couldn't sack her.  Alec wrote her a letter and got the Duckworths to co-sign it then stuck it through her letterbox.  However, Betty called in, upset; Billy had died of a heart attack.  Fortunately Alec managed to retrieve the letter before she saw it.  He said they'd give her time to get over her loss... and then they'd sack her.  Heart of flint, that man, and we love him for it.  At the funeral, though, Vera told Betty she had a job at the Rovers for life (which turned out to be true).  Deirdre gave Jon some money for their house deposit, only for him to say they'd lost the house.  He said he'd keep the money in his account while they carried on looking, but his wife saw the deposit, and he had to pretend it was a bonus.  Liz turned 40 and the boys gave her some cash; Steve joked about getting her a facelift but she said that wasn't her kind of thing.  Ahem.  She threw herself into her new relationship with Jim but he seemed less keen.  Natalie invited Chris round to meet her niece Lorraine, but he stayed aloof because he had Sally on the go.  Lorraine chucked herself at him though because apparently all the Horrocks women have very loose knicker elastic.  Fiona and Alan had their hen and stag dos, with his policeman mates making racist comments about her brother Lee.  Steve and Jim were both upset about her wedding, and Jim confessed that he'd slept with her.  Steve was understandably nauseated.  But the best news was Alf was back.  In real life Brian Moseley had suffered a heart attack so he'd been out of the show for months.  He'd lost a lot of weight (which Gail obliquely referred to in the episode - he claimed to be dieting), and he would be sickly for the remainder of his time on the programme, but it was good to see him and his trilby again.

THURSDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 7th and 9th November 1997

Steve stormed into Fiona's and demanded to know if what his dad said was true.  He couldn't believe it any more than the rest of us.  He turned up at the church, making her worry he was going to make a scene, but it turned out she was fretting about the wrong McDonald.  As they said their vows Jim drunkenly stormed down the aisle and demanded she tell him the truth.  In the vestry, Fiona confessed to Alan about their night together.  Alan was disgusted and confused and he announced that they wouldn't be marrying.  His dad said he was best off out of it, not least because Fiona was black, and Alan turned on him, reminding him of his abusive childhood.  (Incidentally, it's great the way the show is actually dealing with the issues around race in this way - it feels like something Corrie wouldn't do today).  Alan arrived at the hairdresser flat as Maxine was telling Fiona she was better off without him.  He said that he still loved her and they could still get married... but first they'd have a blood test and make sure it was his baby.  He said if it turned out to be Jim's they'd get an abortion.  Fiona was disturbed that he was so casual about getting rid of the child and said it was her child and her decision.  He became angry and went to punch her - proving that he was a horrible person.  He left, saying his dad was right - no kid of hers could ever be a kid of his.  It was all very well done and acted and brilliant to watch.

FRIDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 10th and 12th November 1997

Fred was desperate to get his hands on the Corner Shop.  He'd sent in a mate to put in a ridiculous offer so that his bid of eight grand under the asking price would seem attractive.  Maud was still unconvinced.  When the estate agents sent round another viewer Fred managed to get in there and put him off, so Maud decided to sell it to him.  Fred should've been keeping an eye on the vacant number 4, because Leanne and Nicky realised it was unlocked and decided to use it for illicit rendezvous.  Alan collected his stuff from the flat and handed over his keys.  On his way out he bumped into Liz, who was frustrated that nobody would tell her why Jim interrupted the wedding, and he told her that Fiona was having Jim's baby.  She went to Jim and he confessed that he loved Fiona; Liz was incredibly hurt, unsurprisingly.  She announced what he'd done to everyone in the Rovers.  Andy was embarrassed by her breakdown, and by his dad, and by generally everyone in his family.  He apologised to Fiona on their behalf then packed his bags; he was off to Spain forever.  And there went another couple of Brian Park's victims, part of his plan to cull the dead wood in the cast.  Don't feel too sorry for them.  Glenn Hugill (Alan) went on to be a producer and the voice of the Banker on Deal or No Deal, which made him a millionaire, while Nick Cochrane would continue to nip back whenever Steve or Liz got married again.  

As I was writing this the news came through that Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin for thirty years, had passed away.  Mike was a legend of the Street, a bastard and a rogue, but always full of sparkle and charm.  He could be a villain and a hero and every degree inbetween.  Luckily we've still got another decade of him on Classic Corrie to enjoy.  Join me on Twitter @merseytart to raise a glass of single malt to his memory.

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

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Jo said...

R.I.P Johnny. My sympathies to family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Superb episodes this week - made me realise how much the show has changed and not, usually, for the better.

popcorn said...

I'm sure we all miss Mike Baldwin. Condolences to the family of Johnny Briggs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Frank Mills (who played Betty's husband) died this week as well.


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