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Coronation Street (colloquially known as Corrie, Corro, or The Street) is an award-winning prime time soap opera set and produced in Manchestermarker created by Tony Warren. It is the longest running and most watched soap opera on British television.

It was first broadcast on 9 December 1960, made by Granada Television (now ITV Studios) and broadcast in all regions of ITV almost throughout its existence.

Broadcasts

From its 1960 launch, Coronation Street was shown twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 19:30. The weekly episodes were changed to Monday and Wednesday evenings at 19:30 when the programme went fully networked on Monday 6 March 1961, followed by the introduction of a third weekly episode, on Fridays, in 1989.

As of 23 July 2009, Coronation Street is broadcast in five weekly instalments, at 19:30 and 20:30 on Mondays and Fridays, and at 20:30 on Thursday on the national ITV network. The Thursday episode replaces the former Wednesday show.

There have been a few late night Coronation Street episodes starting at 10pm, because of the watershed. Repeat episodes and specials can be seen on ITV and ITV2, with an omnibus edition shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. ITV has offered this sort of catchup since the channel began broadcasting Coronation Street in December 1998. Since January 2008, the omnibus has moved back to the main ITV channel where it currently broadcasts every Sunday morning.

In Irelandmarker, Coronation Street is simulcast on TV3. Although the station is often a few seconds ahead of ITV when the programme is broadcast, due to a difference in advertisement times between the two stations.

In Canada, Coronation Street is broadcast nightly on most CBC Television stations at 6:30 p.m. local time Monday-Friday, with an omnibus on Sundays usually starting at 9:30 a.m. local time. During NHL playoffs, it is broadcast at 3:30 p.m. each weekday afternoon. The Sunday omnibus is broadcast except during the Olympics. Canada is currently 9 months behind Britain.

In the US, it is available only in northern markets where CBC coverage overlaps the border.

In New Zealand, Coronation Street is currently broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday on TV ONE, (TVNZ), at 19:30. New Zealand is currently 14 months behind Britain.

In Australia the show is broadcast on cable networks Foxtel and Austar 6 days a week and is currently 15 months behind Britain. It also airs on Seven's new free-to-air digital channel 7Two weekdays at 2:30pm, where it is broadcasting episodes from 2002.

Characters

Since 1960, Coronation Street has featured many characters whose popularity with viewers and critics has differed. The original cast created by Tony Warren, with the characters of Ena Sharples (Violet Carson), Elsie Tanner (Patricia Phoenix) and Annie Walker (Doris Speed) as central figures. These three women remained with the show for 20 years or more, and became archetypes of British soap opera, often being emulated by other serials, with Ena as the street's busybody, battleaxe and self-proclaimed moral voice; Elsie as the tart with a heart, who was constantly hurt by men in the search for true love; and Annie Walker, landlady of the Rovers Return Inn, who had delusions of grandeur and saw herself as better than other residents of Coronation Street.

Coronation Street became known for the portrayal of strong female characters, with characters like Sharples, Walker and Tanner, and Hilda Ogden, becoming household names during the 1960s. Warren's programme was largely matriarchal, which some commentators put down to the female-dominant environment in which he grew up. Consequently, the show has a long tradition of hen-pecked husbands, most famously Stan Ogden and Jack Duckworth, husbands of Hilda and Vera, respectively.

Only one character from the original episode remains, Ken Barlow (William Roache). He entered the storyline as a young radical, reflecting the youth of 1960s Britain, where figures like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the model Twiggy were to reshape the concept of youthful rebellion. Though the rest of the original Barlow family were killed off, Ken has remained the constant link throughout the entire series of Coronation Street.
Bet Gilroy (née Lynch) from a 1994 episode of Coronation Street


Stan Ogden and Hilda Ogden were introduced in 1964, with Hilda (Jean Alexander) becoming one of the most famous British soap characters of all time. In a 1982 poll, she was voted fourth most recognisable woman in Britain, after Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales. Hilda's best-known attributes were her pinny, hair curlers, and the "muriel" in her living room with three "flying" duck ornaments. Hilda Ogden's final episode on 25 December 1987, remains the highest-rated episode of Coronation Street ever, with nearly 27 million viewers.

Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) first appeared in 1966, before becoming a regular in 1970, and went on to become one of the most famous Corrie characters. Bet stood as the central character of the show from 1985 until departing in 1995, often being dubbed as "Queen of the Street" by the media, and indeed herself.

Coronation Street and its characters often rely heavily on archetypes, with the characterisation of some of its current cast based loosely on past characters. Blanche Hunt (Maggie Jones) embodies the role of the acid-tongued busybody originally held by Ena Sharples, Sally Webster (Sally Whittaker) has grown snobbish, like Annie Walker, and a number of the programme's female characters mirror the vulnerability of Elsie Tanner and Bet Lynch. Other recurring archetypes include the war veteran (Albert Tatlock, Percy Sugden), the bumbling retail manager (Leonard Swindley, Reg Holdsworth, Norris Cole), and the perennial losers (Stan and Hilda Ogden, Jack and Vera Duckworth, and Les Battersby-Brown). However, former archivist and scriptwriter Daran Little cautions against characterising the show as a collection of stereotypes. "Rather, remember that Elsie, Ena and Co. were the first of their kind ever seen on British television. If later characters are stereotypes, it's because they are from the same original mould. It is the hundreds of programmes that have followed which have copied Coronation Street."

History

1960s



The series began on 9 December 1960 and was not initially a critical success. Granada Television commissioned only 13 episodes and some inside the company doubted the show would last its planned production run. Despite the negativity, viewers were immediately drawn to the serial, won over by Coronation Street's 'ordinary' characters. The programme also made use of Northern English language and dialect; affectionate local terms like "eh, chuck?", "nowt" (IPA:/naʊt/, rhymes with out, means nothing), and "by heck!" became widely heard on British television for the first time on British serialised television.

Early episodes told the story of student Kenneth Barlow, who had won a place at university and thus found his background something of an embarrassment. The character is one of the few to have experienced life 'outside' of Coronation Street, and in some ways predicts the growth of globalisation and the decline of similar communities. In a 1961 episode, Barlow declares: "You can't go on just thinking about your own street these days. We're living with people on the other side of the world. There's more to worry about than Elsie Tanner and her boyfriends."

Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner argue in a 1965 episode of Coronation Street.


Also at the centre of many early stories was Ena Sharples, caretaker of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall, and her friends: timid Minnie Caldwell (Margot Bryant) and bespectacled Martha Longhurst (Lynne Carol). The trio were likened to the Greek chorus, and the three witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, as they would sit in the snug bar of the Rovers Return, passing judgement over family, neighbours and frequently each other. Headstrong Ena often clashed with Elsie Tanner, whom she believed espoused a dauntlessly loose set of morals. Elsie resented Ena's interference and gossip, which, most of the time, had little basis in reality.

In April 1961, Jed Stone made his first appearance and returned the following year in 1962. He left in 1963, but returned 3 years later in 1966. He left again and then returned 42 years later in 2008.

On March 1961, Coronation Street reached No.1 in the television ratings and remained there for the rest of the year. Earlier in 1961, a Television Audience Measurement (TAM) showed that 75% of available viewers (15 million) tuned into Corrie and by 1964 the programme had over 20 million regular viewers, with ratings peaking on 2 December 1964, at 21.36 million viewers.

Storylines throughout the decade included: a mystery poison-pen letter received by Elsie Tanner, the 1962 marriage of Ken Barlow and Valerie Tatlock, the death of Martha Longhurst in 1964, the birth of the Barlow twins in 1965, Elsie Tanner's wedding to Steve Tanner as well as a train crashing from the viaduct (both in 1967), the murder of Steve Tanner in 1968, and a coach crash in 1969.

In spite of rising popularity with viewers, Coronation Street was criticised by some for its outdated portrayal of the urban working-class, and its representation of a community that was a nostalgic fantasy. After the first episode in 1960, the Daily Mirror printed: "The programme is doomed from the outset.... For there is little reality in this new serial, which apparently, we have to suffer twice a week." By 1967, critics were suggesting that the programme no longer reflected life in 1960s Britain, but reflected how life was in the 1950s. Granada hurried to update the programme, with the hope of introducing more issue-driven stories, including drugs, sex, homosexuality and out of wedlock pregnancy, but all of these ideas were dropped for fear of upsetting viewers.

1970s

Val Barlow in her final scene mending the plug of a hairdryer before she was electrocuted.
The show's production team was tested when many core cast members left the programme in the early 1970s. When Arthur Leslie died suddenly in 1970, his character, Rovers landlord Jack Walker, died with him. Anne Reid quit as Valerie Barlow, and was killed off in 1971, electrocuting herself with a faulty hairdryer. Ratings reached a low of 8 million in February 1973, Pat Phoenix quit as Elsie Tanner, Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) was written out for most of the year due to illness, and Doris Speed (Annie Walker) took two months’ leave. ITV's other flagship soap opera Crossroads saw a marked increase in viewers at this time, as its established cast, such as Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon), grew in popularity. These sudden departures forced the writing team to quickly develop characters who had previously stood in the background. The roles of Bet Lynch, Ivy Tilsley (Lynne Perrie), Deirdre Hunt (Anne Kirkbride), Rita Littlewood (Barbara Knox) and Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow) were built up between 1972 and 1973 with characters such as Gail Potter (Helen Worth), Blanche Hunt (Patricia Cutts and Maggie Jones) and Vera Duckworth (Elizabeth Dawn) first appearing in 1974. These characters would remain at the centre of the programme for many years.

At the insistence of new producer Bill Podmore who joined in 1976, having worked on Granada comedy productions prior to his appointment, the comic story lines popular in the 1960s but sparse during the early 1970s, were re-introduced. Stan and Hilda Ogden were often at the centre of overtly funny story lines, with other comic characters including Eddie Yeats (Geoffrey Hughes), Fred Gee (Fred Feast) and Jack Duckworth (William Tarmey) all making their first appearances during the decade.
Brian Tilsley marries Gail Potter in a 1979 episode of Coronation Street.
In 1976, Pat Phoenix returned to her role as Elsie Tanner and, after a spate of ill health, Violet Carson returned on a more regular basis as Ena. Coronation Street's stalwart cast slotted back into the programme alongside the newcomers, examining new relationships between characters of different ages and backgrounds: Eddie Yeats became the Ogdens' lodger, Gail Potter and Suzie Birchall moved in with Elsie, Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) arrived in 1976 as the tough factory boss, and Annie Walker reigned at the Rovers with her trio of staff Bet Lynch, Betty Turpin and Fred Gee.

Storylines throughout the decade included: a warehouse fire in 1975, the birth of Tracy Langton in 1977, the murder of Ernest Bishop in 1978, a lorry crashing into the Rovers Return in 1979, and the marriage of Brian Tilsley and Gail Potter (also in 1979).

For eleven weeks, between August and October 1979, industrial action forced Coronation Street and the whole of the ITV network (apart from the Channel Islands) off the air. When ITV did return, its first evening schedule included a special "catch-up" edition of Coronation Street, in which storylines which would have taken place during the strike were explained away in the form of a narrative chat between Len Fairclough and Bet Lynch. For several weeks the channel had very few fresh episodes to show, and episodes of the game show 3-2-1 were screened in its place. Coronation Street returned to ITV screens at a regular time late in 1979.

Coronation Street had little competition within its prime time slot, and certain critics suggested that the programme had grown complacent, moving away from socially-viable story lines and again presenting a dated view of working-class life.

1980s

Between 1980 and 1989, Coronation Street underwent some of the biggest changes since its launch. By May 1984, Ken Barlow stood as the only original cast member, after the departures of Ena Sharples (in 1980), Annie Walker (in 1983), Elsie Tanner (in 1984) and Albert Tatlock (also 1984). In 1983, antihero Len Fairclough (Peter Adamson), one of the show's central male characters since 1961, was killed off, and in 1984, Stan Ogden (Bernard Youens) died. While the press predicted the end of Corrie, H. V. Kershaw reminded viewers that "There are no stars in Coronation Street." Writers drew on the show's many archetypes, with previously established characters stepping into the roles left by the original cast. Phyllis Pearce (Jill Summers) was hailed as the new Ena Sharples in 1982, the Duckworths moved into No.9 in 1983 and slipped into the role once held by the Ogdens, while Percy Sugden (Bill Waddington) appeared in 1983 and took over the grumpy war veteran role from Albert Tatlock. The question of who would take over the Rovers Return after Annie Walker's 1983 exit was answered in 1985 when Bet Lynch (who also mirrored the vulnerability and strength of Elsie Tanner) was installed as landlady. In 1983, Shirley Armitage became the first major black character in her role as machinist at Baldwin's Casuals.



Ken Barlow married Deirdre Langton on 27 July 1981. The episode was watched by over 24 million viewers - more ITV viewers than the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana two days later. The 1980s also saw the cementing of relationships between established characters: Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley) married Audrey Potter (Sue Nicholls) in 1985, Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) married Sally Seddon (Sally Whittaker) in 1986. Bet Lynch married Alec Gilroy in 1987 and the marriages of Ivy Tilsley and Don Brennan, and Derek Wilton and Mavis Riley took place in 1988.

The arrival of Channel 4 and its edgy new soap opera Brookside in 1982 was one of the biggest changes for Coronation Street, after acquiring 'turncoats' like Tony Filer, and Ray Beswick from the cast, as well as the BBC's new prime time soap opera, EastEnders in 1985. While ratings for Coronation Street remained consistent throughout the decade, EastEnders regularly obtained higher viewing figures. With prime time competition, Corrie was again seen as being old fashioned, with the introduction of the 'normal' Clayton family in 1985 being a failure with viewers. Between 1988 and 1989, many aspects of the show were modernised by new producer, David Liddiment. A new exterior set had been built in 1982 and in 1989 it was redeveloped to include new houses and shops. Production techniques were also changed, with a new studio being built and the inclusion of more location filming, which had moved from being shot on film to videotape in 1988. New pressures also saw introduction of the third weekly episode on 20 October 1989, broadcast each Friday at 19:30.

The 1980s featured some of the most prominent storylines in the programme's history, such as Deirdre Barlow's affair with Mike Baldwin in 1983, the first soap storyline to receive widespread media attention. The feud between Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin would continue for many years, with Mike even marrying Ken's daughter, Susan. In 1986, there was a fire at the Rovers Return, and between 1986 and 1989, the story of Rita Fairclough's psychological abuse at the hands of Alan Bradley (Mark Eden), and his subsequent death under the wheels of a Blackpool tram, was played out. The episode where Alan met his death under the tram gave Coronation Street its highest ever viewing figures of 26.9 million, and is still the 9th most watched UK broadcast of all time. Other stories included: the birth of Nicky Tilsley in 1980, Elsie Tanner's departure and Stan Ogden's funeral in 1984, the birth of Sarah-Louise Tilsley in 1987, and Brian Tilsley's murder in 1989.

New characters were introduced, such as Kevin and Sally Webster, Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy), Martin Platt (Sean Wilson), Reg Holdsworth (Ken Morley) and the McDonald family.

1990s

In spite of updated sets and production changes, Coronation Street still received criticism. In 1992, chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Councilmarker, Lord Rees-Mogg, criticised the low-representation of ethnic minorities and the programme's portrayal of the cosy familiarity of a bygone era. Some newspapers ran headlines such as Coronation Street shuts out blacks' (The Times) and 'Put colour in t'Street' (Daily Mirror). Patrick Stoddart of The Times wrote: "The millions who watch Coronation Street – and who will continue to do so despite Lord Rees-Mogg – know real life when they see it [...] in the most confident and accomplished soap opera television has ever seen". Black and Asian characters had appeared, but it wasn't until 1999 that show featured its first regular non-white family, the Desai family.

New characters Des and Steph Barnes moved into one of the new houses in 1990, being dubbed by the media as 'Yuppies'. Raquel Wolstenhulme (Sarah Lancashire) first appeared in 1991 and went on to become one of the most popular characters. The McDonald family were developed and the fiery relationships between Liz, Jim, Steve and Andy interested viewers. Other newcomers were Maud Grimes (Elizabeth Bradley), Roy Cropper (David Neilson), Judy and Gary Mallett, Fred Elliot (John Savident) and Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold). The amount of slapstick and physical humour in storylines increased during the 1990s, with comic characters such as Reg Holdsworth and his water bed.

Storylines in the early part of the decade included: the death of newborn Katie McDonald in 1992, Mike Baldwin's wedding to Alma Sedgewick (Amanda Barrie) in 1992, Tommy Duckworth being sold by his father Terry in 1993, Deirdre Barlow's marriage to Moroccan Samir Rachid, and the rise of Tanya Pooley (Eva Pope) between 1993 and 1994.
Deirdre Rachid being jailed in a 1998 episode of Coronation Street.
In 1997, Brian Park took over as producer, with the idea of promoting young characters as opposed to the older cast. On his first day he axed the characters of Derek Wilton, Don Brennan, Percy Sugden, Bill Webster, Billy Williams and Maureen Holdsworth. Thelma Barlow, who played Derek's wife Mavis, was angered by the sacking of her co-star and resigned, her character moving to Cartmel in Cumbria while the production team also lost some of its key writers when Barry Hill, Adele Rose and Julian Roach all resigned.

In line with Park's suggestion, younger characters were introduced: Nick Tilsley was recast, played by Adam Rickitt, single mother Zoe Tattersall first appeared, and the Battersbys moved into No.5. Storylines focussed on tackling 'issues', such as drug dealers, eco-warriors, religious cults and a transsexual. Park quit in 1998, after deciding that he had done what he intended to do; he maintained that his biggest achievement was the introduction of Hayley Patterson (Julie Hesmondhalgh), the first transsexual character in a British soap.

Viewers were alienated by the new-look Coronation Street, and the media voiced disapproval. Having received criticism of being too out of touch, Corrie now struggled to emulate the more modern Brookside and EastEnders. In the Daily Mirror, Victor Lewis-Smith wrote: "Apparently it doesn't matter that this is a first-class soap opera, superbly scripted and flawlessly performed by a seasoned repertory company."

One of Coronation Street's best known storylines took place in March/April 1998, with Deirdre Rachid being wrongfully imprisoned after a relationship with con-man Jon Lindsay. 19 million viewers watched Deirdre being sent to prison, and 'Free the Weatherfield One' campaigns sprung up in a media frenzy. The then Prime Minister Tony Blair even passed comment on Deirdre’s sentencing in Parliament. Deirdre was freed after three weeks, with Granada stating that they had always intended for her to be released, in spite of the media interest.

2000s

On 8 December 2000, the show celebrated its fortieth year by broadcasting a live, hour-long, episode. The Prince of Wales made a cameo in the episode, appearing in a pre-recorded segment as himself in an ITV News bulletin report, presented by Trevor McDonald. Earlier in the year, 13-year old Sarah-Louise Platt (Tina O'Brien) had fallen pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl, Bethany, on 4 June. The episode where Gail was told of her daughter's pregnancy was watched by 15 million viewers. The year also saw the programme's first two-hander, between Curly and Raquel Watts. In September 2000, Mike Baldwin married Linda Sykes but shortly afterwards his drunken son Mark confessed he and Linda had been having an affair behind his dad's back. The episode attracted an audience of 16.8 million and the following year in the British Soap Awards in 2001 won Best Storyline.

From 1999–2001, Jane MacNaught was Coronation Street's executive producer, and received harsh criticism from both viewers and critics. In an attempt to compete with EastEnders, issue-led story lines were introduced such as Toyah Battersby's rape, Roy and Hayley Cropper abducting their foster child, Sarah Platt's Internet chat room abduction and Alma Halliwell's death of cervical cancer. Such storylines were unpopular with viewers and ratings dropped and in October 2001, Macnaught was abruptly moved to another Granada department and Carolyn Reynolds took over. Corrie continued to struggle in the ratings, with EastEnders introducing some of its strongest stories. In 2002, Kieran Roberts was appointed as producer and aimed to re-introduce "gentle story lines and humour", after deciding that the Street shouldn't try and compete with other soaps.

Karen McDonald and Tracy Barlow feuding at Karen's wedding to Steve in a 2004 episode of Coronation Street.
In 2002, one of Coronation Street's best-known storylines began, which culminated in 2003. Gail Platt married Richard Hillman (Brian Capron), a financial advisor, who would go on to leave Duggie Ferguson to die, murder his ex-wife Patricia, attempt to murder his mother-in-law, Audrey Roberts, murder Maxine Peacock and attempt to murder Emily Bishop. After confessing to the murder of Maxine and his ex-wife, Hillman attempted to kill Gail, her children Sarah and David, and her granddaughter Bethany, by driving them into a canal. The storyline received wide press attention, and viewing figures peaked at 19.4 million, with Hillman dubbed a "serial killer" by the media.

Todd Grimshaw began to question his sexuality in 2003, becoming Corrie's first regular homosexual character, after years of criticism about non-representation. 2003 also saw the introduction of one of the show's most popular characters - Sean Tully played by Antony Cotton.The character of Karen McDonald (Suranne Jones) was developed, with her fiery marriage to Steve and warring with Tracy Barlow.

In 2004, Coronation Street retconned the Baldwin family when Mike's nephew Danny Baldwin and his wife Frankie moved to the area from Essex, with their two sons Jamie and Warren. Until this time, Mike Baldwin had been portrayed as an only child, with his father appearing in the programme between 1980 and 1982 confirming the fact.

During the decade, a range of other storylines featured, such as the bigamy of Peter Barlow, Maya Sharma's revenge on former lover Dev Alahan, Katy Harris murdering her father and subsequently committing suicide, Charlie Stubbs's psychological abuse of Shelley Unwin, and the deaths of Mike Baldwin and Fred Elliott. Two new families were also introduced into the show: The Connors and The Mortons, the latter being not as popular as the Connors when introduced, and being written out by the next year.

Many big names left in 2007. In January, Charlie Stubbs was killed by vengeful girlfriend Tracy Barlow.Tina O'Brien revealed in the British press on 4 April 2007 that she would be leaving Coronation Street before the end of the year. Sarah-Louise, who was involved in some of the decade's most controversial stories, left in December 2007. In summer 2007, 34-year veteran Liz Dawn told producers that she wanted to retire her character Vera Duckworth because her emphysema was restricting her acting and movement. Scriptwriters initially planned an exit for Vera in December 2007, with occasional guest appearances. However, after further discussion, writers, producer Steve Frost, and Liz Dawn agreed to kill off Vera in a tear-jerking story.

In 2007, several groundbreaking storylines took place on Coronation Street, such as Tracy Barlow murdering Charlie Stubbs and claiming it was self defence, as well as the show featuring its second two hander with Tracy Barlow confessing to her mother Deirdre Barlow she had planned to kill Charlie all along. The storyline saw viewing figures peaking at 13.3 million, and the episode on 2 April 2007 where Tracy was found guilty of Charlie's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was watched by 12.6 million viewers. At the 2007 British Soap Awards it won Best Storyline, and Kate Ford was voted Best Actress for her portrayal. Other storylines included Leanne Battersby becoming a prostitute and the show's first bi-sexual love triangle (between Michelle Connor, Sonny Dhillon, and Sean Tully). The Connor family were central to many storylines during 2007 - the accidental death of a Polish worker at Underworld due to overworking, Michelle's discovery that her brothers Paul and Liam were the cause of her husband's death, Paul's use of an escort service, his kidnapping of Leanne and his subsequent death.

In January 2008, whilst entering their house singing a song, Jack Duckworth discovered that Vera had quietly died in her armchair. Jack combed her hair and made her presentable, then sang one of their romantic sweetheart songs. Her final episode was watched by 12.5 million viewers. In May 2008, Jack Duckworth, Tyrone Dobbs and Molly Compton agreed to get rid of the stone cladding on No 9, which Vera put there in 1989 to make the house stand out from the others, but learned the cladding had become embedded in the brick and would be nearly impossible to remove. As in life, Vera had had the last word. Molly and Tyrone began to be speculated on as "the new Jack and Vera", but both Vicky Binns and Alan Halsall disputed the idea.

The Connor family continued to dominate storylines in 2008 with Michelle learning that Ryan was not her biological son, having been accidentally swapped at birth and her emotional struggle to accept her biological son Alex Neeson. When this story abruptly ended, Michelle's next began when she suspected boyfriend Steve McDonald had cheated on her. She had no idea his fling had been with Becky Granger, a supporting character who slowly rose to more prominent status. Michelle hired her to work at the Rovers, culminating in a slew of real-life publicity over Becky being their 50th barmaid. Michelle became an ever-more prominent part of the Street, with Kym Marsh receiving £100,000 for another year on the soap.

In 2008, Carla Connor turned to Liam for comfort and developed feelings for him. In spite of knowing about her feelings, Liam married Maria Sutherland. Maria and Liam's baby son was stillborn in April 2008, and during an estrangement from Maria upon the death of their baby, Liam had a one night stand with Carla, a story which helped pave the way for his departure.

Much of the decade was spent on the family dramas of Gail Platt. Sarah-Louise occupied much of her time for the first half and in the later half of the decade, Gail's son David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) became increasingly unbalanced, with various plots and schemes culminating in a 2008 episode where he pushed her down the stairs in a fit of anger. Gail stood by him, partly due to her belief that her mother Audrey had not been there for her as a child. Enraged that Gail refused to press charges, David vandalised the Street and was sent to a young offenders' facility for several months. In May 2008, Gail finally met Ted Page, the father she'd never known.

On 6 August 2008, character Jed Stone returned after 42 years, when Tony Gordon was trying to evict him from his property, causing him to have a heart attack. In late 2008 Liam Connor and his ex-sister in law Carla Connor gave into their feelings for each other and began an affair. Carla's fiancee Tony discovered the affair after Rosie Webster showed him video footage on her mobile phone of Carla and Liam kissing after their one night stand in May 2008. He subsequently had Liam killed in a hit-and-run in October 2008, leaving his pregnant widow Maria distraught. Carla struggled to come to terms with Liam's death, but decided she still loved Tony and married him on 3 December 2008, in an episode attracting 10.3 million viewers. Sally Webster showed Maria the footage of Carla and Liam kissing at the wedding reception, and the storylines then focused on her mental breakdown. She rightly believed that Tony had murdered Liam, however, no one believed her, except Tony's enemy Jed Stone, who was lodging with Emily Bishop. Jed then saw Tony with Jimmy Dockerson, the man who Tony had paid to run down Liam, outside the Rovers, and became extremely suspicious. Jed then tried to blackmail Tony, which came to a dramatic conclusion on Christmas Eve 2008 in Underworld when Tony strangled Jed with a pair of lingerie in a fit of rage, just before the Christmas party. Believing Jed to be dead, Tony hid his body in the Christmas hamper during the party. When he returned to the factory on Christmas Day he discovered Jed had just been unconscious, and offered him a free flat in Wiganmarker to buy his silence, which Jed accepted.

In April 2009 it was revealed that Eileen Grimshaw's father, Colin had slept with Eileen's old classmate, Paula Carp while she was still at school, and that Paula's daughter, Julie was in fact also Colin's daughter. Colin later died from a heart attack, before the police could arrest him. In May 2009, Norris Cole received a blast from the past with the reappearance of his estranged brother Ramsay Clegg who wanted a reconciliation. Norris refused to have anything to do with the man whom he blamed for shaming his mother. In a plot twist, Ramsay died on his way home to Australia, leaving a shocked Norris to discover that his mother had actually rejected Ramsay as a child and sent him away. Other significant storylines that year included Peter Barlow's battle against alcoholism, Ken Barlow's affair with actress Martha Fraser, Maria giving birth to Liam's son and her subsequent relationship with Liam's killer Tony, Steve McDonald's marriage to Becky Granger and Kevin Webster's affair with Molly Dobbs.

In late 2009, the long-running storyline involving Tony Gordon came to its conclusion when he suffered a heart attack. Convinced that he was about to die, he confessed to Roy Cropper that he was responsible for Liam's death. Unexpectedly he survived leaving Roy and Hayley fearing for their lives in anticipation of what he could do. After overhearing Hayley telling Maria that he had killed her husband, he confronted Roy down by the canal. A physical confrontation ensued between the pair with Tony pushing Roy into the water.Tony realised he could not simply leave Roy to drown and jumped into the canal, saving Roy. Tony then confessed to Liam's murder to the police.

Gail Platt is due to be married once again, this time to Joe McIntyre. When Gail found out that Joe is in thousands of pounds of debt, she stood by Joe saying she will sell her house in order for him to pay his debts.

Businesses



Production

Broadcast format

Between 9 December 1960 and 3 March 1961, Coronation Street was broadcast twice weekly, on Wednesday and Friday. During this period, the Friday episode was broadcast live, with the Wednesday episode being pre-recorded 15 minutes later. When the programme went fully networked on 6 March 1961, broadcast days changed to Monday and Wednesday. The last regular episode to be shown live was broadcast on 3 February 1961.

Transmitted in black and white for the majority of the 1960s, preparations were made to film episode 923 (transmitted Wednesday 29 October 1969), which featured the street residents on a coach trip to the Lake District, in colour. In the event, suitable colour stock for the film cameras could not be found and the episode was made in black and white. The following episode, transmitted Monday 3 November, was videotaped in colour but featured black and white film inserts and title sequence. Like BBC1, the ITV network was broadcast in black and white at this point so viewers noticed nothing unusual. The reasons why episodes were made in colour for monochrome transmission are not stated in any literature but it is possible that it was for the purposes of testing the look of sets and costumes using the new cameras. Certainly one set (that of the Rovers Return) underwent a subtle change of colours in November 1969 without any on-screen explanation.

Daran Little, for many years the official programme archivist, claims that the first episode to be transmitted in colour was episode 930 shown on 24 November 1969. However, the ITV network, like BBC1, began full colour transmissions on 15 November 1969 and it is therefore possible that the first transmitted colour episode is number 928 shown on 17 November. In October 1970 a long-simmering technician's dispute turned into a work-to-rule when sound staff were denied a pay rise given to camera staff the year before for working with colour recording equipment. The terms of the work-to-rule were that staff refused to work with the new equipment and therefore programmes had to be recorded and transmitted in black and white, including Coronation Street The dispute was resolved in early 1971 and the last black and white episode was broadcast on 8 February 1971.

Episode 5191, originally broadcast on 7 January 2002, was the first to be broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format, Coronation Street being the last British soap to make the switch (with the exception of Take the High Road which remained in 4:3 until it finished in 2003).

Production staff

Coronation Street's creator, Tony Warren wrote the first 13 episodes of the programme in 1960, and continued to write for the programme intermittently until 1976. He still retains links with Coronation Street, often advising on storylines.

H V Kershaw (Harry Kershaw) was the script editor for Coronation Street when the programme began in 1960, working alongside Tony Warren. Kershaw was also a script writer for the programme and the show's producer between 1962 and 1971. He remains the only person, along with John Finch, to have held the three posts of script editor, writer and producer. Kershaw continued to write for the programme until his retirement in January 1988.

Adele Rose was the longest-serving Coronation Street writer, completing 455 scripts between 1961 and 1998. She went on to create Byker Grove.

Bill Podmore was the show's longest serving producer. By the time he stepped down in 1988 he had completed 13 years at the production helm. Nicknamed the "godfather" by the tabloid press, he was renowned for his tough, uncompromising style and was feared by both crew and cast alike. He is probably most famous for sacking Peter Adamson, the show's Len Fairclough, in 1983.

Michael Apted, best known for the Up! series of documentaries was a director on the programme in the early 1960s. This period of his career marked the first of his many collaborations with writer Jack Rosenthal. Rosenthal, noted for such television plays as Bar Mitzvah Boy, began his career on the show, writing over 150 episodes between 1961 and 1969. Paul Abbott was a story editor on the programme in the 1980s and began writing episodes in 1989, but left in 1993 to produce Cracker, for which he later wrote, before creating his own highly-acclaimed dramas such as Touching Evil and Shameless. Russell T Davies was briefly a storyliner on the programme in the mid-1990s, also writing the script for the direct-to-video special "Viva Las Vegas!" He, too, has become a noted writer of his own high-profile television drama programmes, including Queer as Folk and the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. Jimmy McGovern also wrote some episodes.The current Executive Producer is Kieran Roberts who was once a Producer of "Emmerdale" and the Producer is now Kim Crowther who took over from Steve Frost in February 2008.

Theme music

The show's theme music, a cornet piece, accompanied by a brass band plus clarinet and double bass, reminiscent of northern band music, was written by Eric Spear.

The jazz musician and journalist Ron Simmonds wrote in 1994 in Jazz Professional that the theme was recorded by the Surrey musician Ronnie Hunt his version is still used to this day, and that "an attempt was made in later years to re-record that solo, using Stan Roderick, but it sounded too good, and they reverted to the old one." However, in 2004, the Manchester Evening News published a story that a young musician from Wilmslow called David Browning played the trumpet on both the original recording of the theme in 1960 and the re-recording in 1964. Browning said he received a one-off payment of £36, although he would have received more money in the long run if he had opted for royalty payments, as he did on other television themes. In 2009 the tabloid Mail on Sunday reported that both musicians still claimed the recording, but that Hunt had a letter from the Musicians' Union confirming his role.

Ratings

The show has consistently rated as either one of or the most watched program on British television. It often outrates other soaps in both overnight and official viewing figures. In 2008 an average of 9.3 million people watched each episode, significantly above main rivals EastEnders (8.2m) and Emmerdale (6.4m). However viewership has declined significantly along with the rest of terrestrial viewing in the UK. To contextualise the decline, in 1985 the episode in which Stan Ogden died was watched by 28.5 million people and average episodes would regularly top 20m viewers.

Whilst the soap genre in general has undergone dramatic decline in viewership in the UK it is apparent that Coronation Street has lost significantly more of its audience than any of its counterparts, it is widely held that both a perceived decline in quality and demographic change have contributed to the faster rate of decline. Since the show moved from its customery Wednesday slot in August 2009 it has been consistently outrated by EastEnders on Thursdays whilst sometimes not even maintaining the lead on Monday and Friday nights in which its double bill airs.

The yearly average for Coronation Street in 2009 paints an even worse picture. While both EastEnders and Emmerdale have increased their overall average for the year (mainly down to the fact they no longer clash weekly). Coronation Street has seen a decline for the fourth year in a row. Although, Coronation Street does consistently get the highest ratings out of all of the UK soaps.

Sets

Rosamund Street viaduct as seen in opening credits of Coronation Street.
As befitting the soap-opera genre, Coronation Street is made up of individual housing units, plus communal areas: a newsagents (The Kabin), a cafe (Roy's Rolls), a general grocery shop (D&S Alahan's), a factory (Underworld ) and a public house, the Rovers Return Inn, which is the main meeting place for characters on the programme.
Part of the Coronation Street set.


From 1960–1968, all interactions on the 'outside' street were filmed on a sound stage, with the houses reduced in scale to 3/4 and constructed from wood. In 1968, Granada built an outside set which was not all that different from the interior version previously used, with the wooden façades from the studio simply being erected on the new site initially. These were replaced with brick façades, and back yards were added in the 1970s.

Shot of the Coronation Street exterior set (Oct 2007).


In 1982, a full- street was built in the Granada backlot, constructed from reclaimed Salfordmarker brick. The sets still don't match the exterior exactly, for example, the interior of the Battersby house (No. 5) is quite spacious, but the size of the corner shop is much smaller, yet each dwelling is the same size from the outside. The extension on the back of No. 9 (Jack and Vera's old house) looks small, yet the interior (the new kitchen) is much bigger. The set was updated in 1989, with the construction of a new factory, two shop units and three modern terrace/town houses on the south side of Coronation Street.

Between 1989 and 1999, the Granada Studios Tourmarker allowed members of the public the opportunity to visit the set. The exterior set was extended and updated in 1999, to include more of Rosamund Street, Victoria Street and a new viaduct on Rosamund Street. The majority of interior scenes are shot in the adjoining purpose-built studio.

In 2008, Victoria Court, an apartment building full of luxury flats, was started on Victoria Street.

The Granada backlot is situated in an area between Quay Street and Liverpool Road in Manchester.

In July 2009, Google visited the street for Google Streetview, making it the only show in the world to be on Google Maps (joint with streetview), it isn't on streetview maps just now because the images are still processing.

Scheduling

United Kingdom

For 48 years, Coronation Street has remained at the centre of ITV's prime time schedule. The programme is currently shown in Great Britain in five episodes, over three evenings a week on the ITV Network.

From Friday 9 December 1960 until Friday 3 March 1961, the programme was shown in two episodes broadcast Wednesday and Friday at 19:00. Schedules were changed and from Monday 6 March 1961 until Wednesday 18 October 1989, the programme was shown in two episodes broadcast Monday and Wednesday at 19:30. The third weekly episode was introduced on Friday 20 October 1989, broadcast at 19:30. From 1996, an extra episode was broadcast at 19:30 on Sunday nights.

Aside from Granada, the programme originally appeared on the following stations of the ITV network:



From Episode 14 on Wednesday 25 January 1961, Tyne Tees Television broadcast the programme. That left ATV in the Midlands as the only ITV station not carrying the show. When they decided to broadcast the programme, national transmission was changed from Wednesday and Friday at 19:00 to Monday and Wednesday at 19:30 and the programme became fully networked under this new arrangement from Episode 25 on Monday 6 March 1961.

As the ITV network grew over the next few years, the programme was transmitted by these new stations on these dates onward:



At this point, the ITV network became complete and the programme was broadcast almost continuously across the country at 19:30 on Monday and Wednesday for the next twenty-seven years.

From Episode 2981 on Friday 20 October 1989 at 19:30, a third weekly episode was introduced and this increased to four episodes a week from Episode 4096 on Sunday 24 November 1996, again at 19:30. The second Monday episode was introduced in 2002 and was broadcast at 20:30 to usher in the return of Bet Lynch. The Monday 20:30 episode was used intermittently during the popular Richard Hillman story line but has become fully-scheduled since Episode 5568 on Monday 25 August 2003. Additional episodes have been broadcast during the weekly schedule of ITV at certain times, notably in 2004 when, between 22 November and 26 November, eight episodes were shown.

Older episodes had been broadcast by satellite and cable channel Granada Plus from launch in 1996. The first episodes shown were from episode 1588 (Originally transmitted on Monday 5 April 1976) onwards. Originally listed and promoted as Classic Coronation Street, the "classic" was dropped in early 2002, at which stage the episodes were from late 1989. By the time of the channel's closure in 2004, the repeats had reached January 1994.

In addition to this, "specials" were broadcast on Saturday afternoons in the early years of the channel with several episodes based around a particular theme or character(s) were shown. The latest episode shown in these specials was from 1991. In addition, on 27 & 28 December 2003, several Christmas Day editions of the show were broadcast.

In early 2008, ITV announced that during 2008 the Sunday episode would be dropped and replaced on Fridays, thus having two half hour episodes on both Monday and Friday (at 19:30 and 20:30) and maintaining a single episode on Wednesdays (at 19:30). However there is also discussion about creating an hour-long episode on Monday instead of two separate episodes. This seems unlikely because it would conflict with rival soap EastEnders. On Seldom occasions has the soap been shown on a Sunday since the slot was removed in 2008. However, these episodes are only put in place to make-up for episodes that were not played earlier on that week because of sporting events such as football. The most recent example of this was on Sunday 12 April 2009, as a football match had pre-empted the slot on Wednesday 1 April 2009. On 23 July 2009, Wednesday night's 7:30pm episode was moved to Thursday nights at 8.30pm.

Viewers in Northern Ireland can watch Coronation Street on UTV (a regional company of ITV) and TV3, because the domestic population of Northern Ireland have access to view both the British Channels (BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Five) and Irish Channels (RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3 and TG4). Northern Irish viewers can see the soap opera on at the same time by tuning between UTV and TV3. Coronation Street is broadcast on TV3 approximately 2 minutes behind of its broadcast on UTV. It is rumoured that due to the Paul O'Grady Show returning to ITV1 on Friday nights it could air from 8.30pm - 10pm and that would mean Coronation Street airing four times a week, meaning airing on Monday 7.30pm/8.30pm, Thursday 8.30pm and Friday at 7.30pm.

Overseas

Coronation Street is also shown in many countries worldwide.
  • In the Republic of Irelandmarker it is broadcast on TV3. The show is TV3's most watched programme with an average of 365,000 people watching each night. The show was so popular that an omnibus is also shown on weekends. For a number of months in 2009 TV3 provided repeats of the nights episode on sister channel 3e at 9pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday nights, this has since stopped. From 1978 to 1992 it was broadcast on RTÉ Two and from 1992 to 2001 it was broadcast on RTÉ One. In 2001 Granada TV bought 45% TV3, which resulted in TV3 broadcasting series since 2001. In 2006 ITV sold its share of the channel but TV3 and ITV have since agreed to allow the programme remain on TV3.
  • In Canadamarker, episodes of Coronation Street are shown on CBC Television. As of 2009, episodes appear on CBC about ten months after their UK broadcast date. As an example, and episode aired in the UK on Christmas Eve 2008 where the locals celebrate the festive holidays was broadcast on 26 October 2009 in Canada. It moved from a daytime slot on CBC to prime time in 2004. The 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of Records recognises the 1,144 episodes sold to CBC-owned Saskatoonmarker, Saskatchewanmarker, TV station CBKSTmarker by Granada TV on 31 May 1971 to be the largest number of TV shows ever purchased in one transaction. Episodes currently showing in Canada were originally aired in January 2009. Current episodes airing in the UK November 2009 will air in Canada in September 2010. The reason why the episodes have been pushed further behind is because when CBC aired Olympic coverage until August 2008, the network decided to continue the series from where it was left off until the conclusion of the Olympics, so the viewers would not miss an episode.
  • The programme started to be shown in Australia in 1963 on TCN 9 Sydney, GTV 9 Melbourne and NWS 9 Adelaide, and by 1966 Corrie was more popular in Australia than in the UK. The show eventually left free-to-air television in Australia in the 1970s. It briefly returned to the Nine Network in a daytime slot during 1994–95. In 2005 Channel Nine in Perth began to show episodes before the 6pm news for to improve the lead in to Nine news perth,this did not work and the show was cancelled a few months later
. In 1996 Pay-TV began and Arena began screening the series in one-hour instalments on Saturday and Sundays at 6:30pm. The series was later moved to Pay-TV channel UK.TV where it is still shown Sunday to Friday at 6pm. Episodes on UK.TV are about 11 months behind the UK.. In Australia, it is shown at 2.30pm weekdays starting from November 4, 2009 on the new free - to -air- digital channel 7Two. Episodes will be broadcast starting from 2002 episodes The series is also currently shown in New Zealandmarker, on Television New Zealand's TV One. In New Zealand, where "Coro" is one of the commoner abbreviations, the show consistently rates in the top ten programmes nationally. Hour-long episodes are shown at 19:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Episodes are around fourteen months behind those broadcast in the UK.
  • Dutch broadcaster VARA showed 428 sub-titled episodes on Netherlandsmarker TV between 1967 and 1975.
  • In 2006, the small network Vitaya started broadcasting Coronation Street for viewers in Belgiummarker, with episodes broadcast roughly two years behind the UK.
  • In the U.A.E.marker, episodes of Coronation Street are broadcast one month after their UK showing.
  • In Swedenmarker Coronation Street was shown in the country's largest broadcaster TV4 during daytime between in the early 2000.


Merchandise

Several classic episodes were released on VHS video in the 1980s and 1990s in different sets, while a number of specially recorded feature-length episodes were released exclusively to video (see Coronation Street VHS and DVD releases).

The Street, a magazine dedicated to the show, was launched in 1989. Edited by Bill Hill, the magazine contained a summary of recent storylines, interviews, articles about classic episodes, and stories that occurred from before 1960. The format was initially A5 size, expanding to A4 from the seventh issue. The magazine folded after issue 23 in 1993 when the publisher's contract with Granada Studios Tour expired and Granada wanted to produce their very own magazine.

On 22 March 2010, a video game of the show will be released on Nintendo DS, no other information has been released about the game.

Spin-offs

Granada launched one spin-off in 1965, Pardon the Expression, following the story of clothing store manager Leonard Swindley (Arthur Lowe) after he left Weatherfield. Swindley's management experience was tested when he was appointed assistant manager at a fictional department store, Dobson and Hawks. Granada produced two series of the spin-off, which ended in 1966.

In 1968, Arthur Lowe returned as Leonard Swindley in Turn Out The Lights, a sequel to Pardon the Expression. It ran for just six episodes before it was cancelled.

In 1995, Coronation Street - The Cruise was released on VHS to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the show. However it proved controversial as only a few months after it was released on video, it was shown on ITV on Sunday 24 March 1996, provoking many complaints.

In 1997, following the controversial cruise spin-off, Coronation Street: Viva Las Vegas! was released on VHS, featuring Jack Duckworth, Vera Duckworth, Fiona Middleton and Maxine Peacock on a trip to Las Vegas. Unlike the cruise spin-off, this was never shown on ITV.

In 1999, six special episodes of Coronation Street were produced, following the story of Steve McDonald, Vicky McDonald, Vikram Desai, Bet Gilroy and Reg Holdsworth in Brighton. This spin-off was subtitled The Rover Returns and released on VHS tape.

In 2008, ITV announced filming was to get underway for a new special DVD episode, "Coronation Street: Out of Africa", following the Battersby-Brown family, which saw the temporary return of Cilla Battersby-Brown.

On 21 December 2008, a miniseries was launched on itv.com, called Corrie Confidential the first episode featured the characters Rosie and Sophie Webster in Underworld.

In 2009, another DVD special was announced following the success of Out of Africa. The new feature-length spin-off will follow Roy, Hayley and Becky as they travel to Romaniamarker for the wedding of a face from their past.

Sponsorship

Harveys Publicity stunt.
Cadburys was the first sponsor of Coronation Street beginning in July 1996. The original sponsorship had a chocolate-like version of the street (which can be seen in place at the Cadbury World museum in Bournville, West Midlands) with chocolate characters resembling some of the actual Coronation Street characters. In the summer of 2006, Cadbury Trebor Bassetts had to recall over one million chocolate bars, due to suspected salmonella contamination, and Coronation Street stopped the sponsorship for several months. In late 2006, Cadbury did not renew their contract, but agreed to sponsor the show until Coronation Street found a new sponsor. On 16 September 2007, the Cadbury sponsor adverts were broadcast for the last time.

In July 2007, an ITV press release announced that Harveys was the new sponsor of Coronation Street on the ITV Network. Harveys' sponsorship began on 30 September 2007.

Awards

The show has won three Television BAFTAs for 'Best Continuing Drama', four British Soap Awards for 'Best Soap', four National Television Awards for 'Most Popular Serial Drama', five TV Quick and Choice Awards for 'Best Soap', six Royal Television Society Awards for 'Best Serial Drama', five TRIC Awards for 'Best Soap' however was notably snubbed from the BAFTA shortlist for two consecutive years in 2008 and 2009.

Producers

See List of Coronation Street producers
The first producer was Stuart Latham, from December 1960 to July 1961. In the 1960s and 1970s, most producers did stints of about one year. Longer-running producers included Eric Prytherch (May 1972 – April 1974); Bill Podmore (September 1977 – July 1982); Carolyn Reynolds (1991–1993); and Sue Pritchard (1993–1996). Since 2008, the soap has been produced by Kim Crowther. Ex-Doctor Who producer Phil Collinson will be taking over in summer 2010.

See also



Footnotes

Print references



Video and DVD references

  • This Is Coronation Street. Dir. John Black. DVD. Acorn Media Publishing, 2003.
  • Coronation Street: Secrets. Dir. John Black. DVD. Morningstar Entertainment, 2004.
  • Coronation Street: Early Days. Video. Granada Media Group, 2001.


External links




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