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

Thursday 8 December 2022

Precinct Chat - Antony Cotton

What do you think of the new set?

I like that we’ve built, well, it’s a new set, but is it, or has it always been here? Some people would say, “Why haven’t you used this space to build a modern building?” Like the Weatherfield Community Hub is there. Well, no, I like the fact we are a 63-year-old show, and we’ve built a street that was here 63 years ago and that’s really fascinating because the shops will have changed over the years, but I bet the bakery’s always been here. I’ve got a bakers like that in my little village, so I like the fact that that’s where Hilda Ogden and Elsie Tanner would come and get their loaves of bread. That’s fascinating to me. 

Characters are always saying, “I’m going down to the precinct,” so now viewers can actually see it. 

We’ve seen precincts, we’ve done bits. I’ve done bits over the years at the precinct, and the Red Rec. What people don’t know is there’s about three Red Recs, it just depends what we’re filming and what space we need. We come and find a version of the Red Rec, whereas now, this is the precinct. We’ve got it here. It’s onsite, we don’t need to go out, and it’ll be here forever. It’s exciting. 

What do you think Sean’s favourite shop here would be? 

Definitely Rutlands the bakers. We get our cakes from Roy’s, but I think that’s where we go for our sandwiches. So, me and Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe, we decided that this is where we would come for our butties. 

I’d love to see some gossip going on outside the bakery. 

Outside Rutlands. Rutlands has been here donkeys years, so that’s definitely a fave. Not interested in [Sweety Nuff]. Don’t like sweet stuff. This is also fascinating. Do you know why this is fascinating? Because what’s an outlet? It’s the village, Cheshire Oaks, and shops sell surplus stuff in an outlet cheaper. So we have found a pound shop that is so cheap it actually has an outlet. So this to me is where they couldn’t sell the stuff in a pound shop, they’ve now put in an outlet pound shop, and I think that’s genius. 

In Coronation Street now, we’ve seen Sean rekindle his romance with Laurence. Does he think this is it for him?

I don’t think Sean ever thinks that. Sean is always on the shelf and looking up at the stars and thinking Mr Right is just around the corner, even when he’s there. So I think he’s always suspicious. That’s his problem - he always thinks it’s going to go wrong, so sometimes, he self-sabotages. This time seems a little bit different. Although, I am filming something at the moment which isn’t plain-sailing. Depending on how that goes, we’ll see. 

Nothing’s ever plain-sailing in Coronation Street, is it?

Nothing’s plain-sailing because otherwise, you know, it’d be boring. Two people just make a cup of tea and go upstairs and go to sleep, but that’s not a story, is it? So, we’re filming something at the moment, but Laurence is going to be around for a while. 

I’m glad because he’s such a great character. 

The lad who plays him is called Rob, and me and him get along really well, although he is a dirty Leeds fan and a Man United fan. It’s been a very nice time. We get along famously outside and inside the show, so it’s been a really nice time, and I’m hoping he’ll stay around for a long, long time. But we’ll see - nothing’s plain-sailing. 

What we’ve just seen on the show, Sean’s very suspicious of Todd, and Todd says he’s doing a good deed, but does Sean trust him?

Sean never trusts Todd. No-one should ever trust Todd or his motives. I think that’s all going to be all right. That’s their history - it’s always been… I like the idea that Todd and Sean are like the Bet and Joan feud that’s a continuing thing that bubbles down, but it’s always bubbling under. So that’s the way I see Todd and Sean, but ultimately, they love each other because they’re like brothers, but, yeah, who knows? 

You’ve been on the show for 20 years next year - if you could, what would you say your favourite storyline has been for Sean?

I love the fun stuff. I loved it when Fiz and Sean went spying on Kirk, and they had a big, giant poodle that got loose, and it was pink. I loved that. It was all the high camp Corrie humour that I love.

I think that’s what’s at the heart of this show, and it goes through serious moments - shows like this always have that element - but our thing that makes us unique is the women of Coronation Street, to be honest. I love Jodie Prenger’s character because she’s big and bold, and you know she’s on screen. I love working with Jodie as well.

To me, Coronation Street is about busy houses and the Grimshaws… nobody ever really thinks about who’s in that house. They always say, “There’s not enough room.” There is enough room. There’s three bedrooms upstairs,  and there’s a parlour room downstairs. Eileen and George are in one, Todd is in the second bedroom, Mary’s in the third bedroom, Sean and Dylan are in the bedroom downstairs. That’s how it works.

That’s what I like about the Grimshaws. The Grimshaws was always designed to be filled with people. When there’s all of us, you’ll see that at Christmas. We’re all in the house at Christmas, and it all goes wrong. That to me is what Coronation Street is about. I’m not interested in a house with one or two people in it. I want a house with eight people in it, and they’re all rowing about something. 

Sophie Williams

Find me on Twitter @sophie_writer1

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