Saturday, 10 December 2016

The return of Frankie Stillman to Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

With thanks to our followers on social media for pointing this out to us as it had completely passed me by.

Anyone remember Frankie Stillman, Mike Baldwin's solicitor back in the day? Mike hired her to help free Deirdre from her wrongful imprisonment.

Well, she's returned to Coronation Street. Or rather, the actress who played Frankie, has turned up again on the cobbles. This time, she's playing Rana's mum Saira Habeeb.

Actress Kim Vithana has also been on Corrie in a couple of other small roles too.



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Kate Ford: "Tracy's the best behaved Barlow right now!"

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a good interview with Kate Ford in this week's Inside Soap magazine. She talks about the beefing-up of the Barlow clan in  as she left him years ago and he's been living all alone. Coronation Street as Adam and Daniel return tonight - you can read all about the boys here.

Kate says there'll be a power struggle at No. 1 when the Barlow boys turn up. "There are all these Barlow men around now," she says. "But it's nice for Tracy to have a family unit again - she's missed that since Deirdre passed away. Plus, she's more than a match for the boys!"

She says that Daniel will return with a secret and it's Tracy and Peter who uncover just what's going on. Tracy pinches the keys to Daniel's flat and has a look around but what she finds is that Daniel has been living a very lonely life.

Kate says: "Daniel cracks and reveals that he hasn't been living with his mum Denise."

More secrets and lies will come to light about Daniel, causing all kinds of problems in the Barlow house.

"For now, Tracy's the one member of the family who is not up to her neck in secrets and lies," says Kate. "Tracy is the best behaved Barlow right now - it's quite weird!"



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Friday, 9 December 2016

Family fortunes in Weatherfield

(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2016, reposted with permission.)

No don't worry - this isn't some two thousand word homage to Les Dennis (aka Dead Michael) and his years as host of ITV's plodding quiz show. Although, let's face it, he was arguably more at home in the role than his predecessor Max Bygraves but that's not our concern.

Happy is the family that reunites in the hallowed wards of Weathy General. It took a major stroke for the disparate elements of Ken Barlow's family to come together. There they gathered, the alcoholic, the murderess, an oily businessman and a college scarf on legs. What's not to like? The Barlows are together in a way that they haven't been for many years and interesting to see the pendulum swing away from matriarchal element of the family.

When it comes to family though, Corrie sometimes conveniently forgets those that went before. Or even goes as far as not bothering to even come up with a story. Who exactly then, is missing in action?

Step forward, well she would if she still existed, Debbie Webster, Kevin's long and definitely lost sister. Last seen in 1985, Debbie would now be around the fifty mark. Did she marry? Did she have kids? Has she still got her hair dragged into a ratty pony-tail? Poor old Debbie goes unmentioned and unloved by Kev who, it has to be said, has managed to erase his brother Carl from his timeline too. Remember Carl? No reason why you should. He was the product of Bill's marriage to useless hairdresser Elaine Webster and grew up in Germany. Carl would be thirty years old now. What's he like? Could he do a 'Peter Barlow' and return without so much as German accent?

Kev managed to forget his sister and Sally did the same with hers. The very unlovely Gina tottered around the Street with her hoop ear-rings for a short period in the late 1980s and then was suddenly no more. There have been a few brief mentions but what we want to know is, has she remained chavtastic? Comedy gold could ensue if Sally was suddenly confronted by her sister from the wrong side of the tracks. Let's imagine Gina as a throbbing mass of middle-aged sexuality in leggings, maybe with a couple of nice tattoos. Then again she might be a biology teacher from Macclesfield.

Missing relatives is one thing but other Street residents seem to never have had any. Liz McDonald arrived in Weatherfield with no past whatsoever. There were odd mutterings about her mother Nancy who, despite living nearby in Southport, couldn't rustle up enough interest to visit her daughter. Is Nancy still alive? Did she go into hiding to avoid her daughter's accent? Did she pass on her clothes to Liz? We assume that Liz was an only child. Understandable.

Look around the cobbles and there are non-families everywhere. Remember Dev's mother? If memory serves me right, she was played by Souad Faress (Usha from 'The Archers') and looked about six months older than her son. No mention of her for years. Likewise Dev never speaks of his own daughter Amber or his even older child, the name of whom he has no doubt forgotten. Didn't he have grandchildren too or am I just inventing things? Great-grandchildren?

The real Corrie enigma though is Rita. Dear old Rio Rita. In over forty years, the poor woman has only managed to notch up one - yes one, relative. Admittedly she's about 150 years old so her parents must be long gone. Her Uncle Sam rolled up on her wedding day but he didn't look much older than Reet. We surmise that she has no siblings, cousins or indeed anyone in this world. No wonder she's spent decades hurling her cheque book at surrogate kids. For pity's sake, let's see her on't th'interweb, attempting to track down another Littlewood. They must be out there somewhere.

A moment of quiet contemplation then for those never seen or those not seen for eons. For Mary's monster of a mother, Erica's ... err, monster of a mother. Fiz's older brother Billy, Sean's mum, Andy McDonald forever languishing in a Spanish bar, Audrey's forgotten son Stephen, Gail's forgotten dad whats-his-name, for all of Beth's family (bring back gran), Steph and Luke's parents (do they ever visit?), Tracy's former in-laws, beige Andy's ma and pa . . . and on it goes. While we don't need all of those mentioned to suddenly pile up on a forty-seater coach yelling 'Surprise!', it might be nice to delve into the forgotten families of Weatherfield now and then.


Clinkers to Riddle, twitter: @bridglondon



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Conversation Street Podcast 227

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the  episodes that aired up to last night's Canadian Corrie can be heard here.

This podcast covers the last eight episodes that aired here in Canada and they were pretty fantastic, you'd probably agree. Lots of drama and intrigue. Michael's death has everyone in shock, with Phelan twisting and turning to try to salvage his own involvement. Not that everyone believes he's innocent. Daniel Osborne's presence is causing more questions than answers and the answers we get are still pretty vague while Adam is proving to be a bit dodgey. Briah Packham has returned, Gemma won her award, and Yasmeen lit up our screens.



Remember, you can also listen to Conversation Street on iTunes (leave a fab review if you do!)




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Carla Connor return rumours - ITV respond

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog December 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

The Sun carried a report today that Alison King was spotted backstage at Coronation Street. This prompted them to chat about her returning to Corrie in her role as Carla Connor.

A Coronation Street spokesperson said today that Alison King is not in talks to come back and there are no current plans for her to return. They said that Alison visited the set to catch up with her friends. 

For everyone missing Carla Connor in Coronation Street, why not treat yourself, or someone you know, to...

The Little Book of Carla Connor - a decade in the life of a soap queen!



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Happy 56th Birthday to Coronation Street

It's Friday, December 9th 1960 and Coronation Street takes to the air for the very first time.  It's broadcast live, bringing a whole new era to television and to British culture.

Picture from @Corriepedia on twitter today:



And here we are, 56 years later, and Coronation Street goes from strength to strength.

Happy 56th birthday, Coronation Street!  And many more (Rovers) returns.



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Thursday, 8 December 2016

What's your Coronation Street name?



Just for fun, so don't ring in but please do leave a comment below and let us know what YOUR Coronation Street name turns out to be!

Me? I'm Dierdre Connor!



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Shayne Ward becomes a dad for the first time

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog December 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Coronation Street's Shayne Ward, who plays Aidan Connor, has announced the birth of his baby daughter.

Shayne announced the news on Twitter, saying:  "Proud to share our incredible news. Me and Sophie had a beautiful baby girl. We are completely besotted and in love with the deepest of hearts."

Shayne also revealed that the couple have named their daughter Willow May Ward.

Many congratulations to them all!



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Coronation Street Blog - The Book!

Our sister site, Coronation Street Blog, recently celebrated its 9th birthday online and we have some very special news.

Drum roll please... as we bring you Coronation Street Blog – The Book! It's an unofficial Coronation Street companion book.

The book is an exciting mix of some of the best writing from our team of writers that have posted to our blog.

Each member of our team has picked their favourite pieces of work and we've put them all together in a great little book.

Written by fans for fans, this book presents some of the most incisive, funny and engaging, writing about Coronation Street from fans that you’ll ever read.

We pay homage to current characters and say goodbye to older ones. We rave about things we love about the show and rant about some of the things that we don’t. In short, it’s a love letter to Coronation Street.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve all enjoyed writing it!

The book is available in paperback and as a Kindle ebook from Amazon.ca (If you don't have a Kindle device, you can install a Kindle app on your computer or smartphone)



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Rita and her girls on Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

This week in Coronation Street, Rita asked Gemma to move in to live with her. An odd couple pairing indeed, and one to look forward to watching on screen.

But speaking of odd couples, is it just me, or is anyone else feeling a bit miffed that we haven't so far seen any scenes of Sean and Norris living together? A missed opportunity, I feel.

Anyway, as Gemma becomes the next young woman to be taken in under Rita's sequinned and perfumed wing, let's have a look at the others who've got cosy on her soft furnishings over the years.

Sharon Gaskell. Rita and Len took in foster child Sharon in 1982.  Sharon returned to Corrie, and to Rita.


Jenny Bradley was another rover who returned to Rita. And, I wonder if Gemma moving in means that Jenny will be moving out - perhaps in with Johnny?



And while Sally never lived with Rita (as far as I know, but do correct me if I'm wrong), Rita was always there as a mother-figure for Sally, especially after Sally's own mother passed away.


Our blogger Tvor reminds me that Rita also took in Tina McIntyre.
 But, by 'eck lady, you don't want to be dipping into Rita's biscuit box without asking first.

So Rita and Gemma might just be a match made in Corrie heaven. We'll have to wait and see!



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Corrie Canada sneak previews Dec. 12 - 16

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.
Aidan and Kate team up to trap Caz. Maria uses Adam to make Aidan jealous. Can Leanne persuade Rana into marrying Zeedan? Sally surprises Tim with an allottment which he then uses to drum up some notoriety and business. Mary has a health scare and seems to have something else on her mind as well. Brian settles in at Number 3. Daniel's stories don't seem to add up. Nessa's arrival doesn't help Roy's stress levels.



For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at Corrie.net.




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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Yay or Nay - should Roy marry Cathy?

Recently in Coronation Street, we saw Roy face his discomfort over marrying Cathy. Roy had a heart to heart with Brian Packham, who made a return to the show.

So, if Roy's having misgivings over marrying Cathy, what do we fans think about it?  I think this has been doing very well as a storyline, showing Roy's insecurity.  His fears about marrying Cathy are our fears. We all still love Hayley, as does Roy.  But we want Roy to be happy too. And yet, is Cathy the person to make Roy as happy as we want him to be?

So, there we have it. Should Roy marry Cathy - Yay or Nay? What do YOU think?



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Blog interview with Rhea Bailey

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2016, reposted with permission.)

On a bright and sunny autumn day, I headed off to the Bistro in Weatherfield. I had been invited by Coronation Street's press team and was really looking forward to the day, We had been encouraged to wear Christmas jumpers - call me miserable if you wish, but they're not my favourite garment even on 25 December. Some willing souls had obliged and one guy had a shirt patterned with polar bears, wearing Christmas hats. Very jolly indeed. The press team were as good as their word and had dutifully dressed up.We were served a range of delicious Christmas snacks and mulled wine! Wonderful! Then it was down to business.

I interviewed Rhea Bailey, who plays Caz, and is currently Maria's nemesis. This is what she had to say.

How are you enjoying playing a Corrie villain?

It definitely comes with a lot more baggage than I anticipated. A lot of people who watch the show have a hard time differentiating between actors and the characters they play and I find that quite difficult to be honest. That wasn’t something I was prepared for.


You sort of think you do your hours at work, and it’s so fun, it’s really exciting, I’m really enjoying all the storylines they’re giving me and then I go home and then I’m like, ‘You guys are still acting like I’m at work but I’ve left work now and I’m just trying to do my supermarket shopping and I don’t know why you’re calling me names in the supermarket!’. I didn’t sign up for this but I’m getting more used to it now.

The general public are also getting more used to Caz and getting more excited about her being conniving and devious whereas before, just because they’re so loyal; the fans were so loyal to Sophie – everywhere I went people were saying, ‘Leave that Sophie alone!’ and I was like, ‘We’re cool [Rhea and Brooke Vincent] We go shopping together. Don’t worry about it!’

I’ve found that quite odd but people are now getting a bit more excited and enthused about her. It does take a while for an audience to accept a new character. And we’re at that stage now…thank goodness.

When you joined did you know you were going to be made into a baddie?

In my audition I did have to switch, yeah; I went from being a loving fiancé and then I had to show a nasty side too. When I started I was only supposed to be doing six episodes and then they asked me to do a few more, and then they asked me to stay, and so what I thought was just going to be a storyline with an arc where she did go a bit crazy quite quickly, has really panned out and dragged out and got a lot deeper.


A lot crazier. Have you ever thought of getting a t-shirt made that says, ‘I’m just playing a character! I’m not really Caz!’

At one point I was speaking to my friend Micah Balfour who I was in The Bill with and he plays, like, a paedophile in Emmerdale and we were talking about this. He’s had people shouting ‘Oi! Peado!’ at him. That’s a horrible thing to shout to a person who’s just trying to do their job. I said we should get hoodies printed up that say, ‘I’m just an actor!’. I was seriously thinking about it.

But if you are seen to complain too much people will think, ‘Well, what’s she complaining about? She’s on the telly. She must have a great life.

My mum says to me that people are really investing in your character, which shows you’re doing a great job and I say, ‘Yeah, but I need people to know that I’m not actually crazy!’

What would you say is Caz’s frame of mind as she embarks on this creepy plot to frame Maria?

She feels that everything she’s doing is completely justified. In her mind she’s been rejected by everybody; she was rejected by her family growing up, now she’s been rejected by the army, she then fell in love and thought she was going to start a new life with Kate, but then she got rejected by Kate so Maria, unfortunately, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.


She’s thought, ‘I’ve had enough!’ and she’s going to unleash terror on everyone around her because she thinks, ‘You guys have hurt me so badly and now I’m going to hurt you.’ In her head she’s just trying to get justice and she doesn’t see her behaviour as unreasonable. She’s so damaged that to her, this is just what you do when someone has hurt you. You get back at them.

So there’s no guilt about Maria being framed for murder?

I don’t think she feels any guilt at all. In a lot of ways I think she’s just still trying to get attention. I think in her head she still thinks she can make everyone like her somehow at the end of all of this.


Would you say that she’s not necessarily a psychopath, then?

I would say that because I went upstairs and said to the producers, ‘Is she a psychopath’. I’m reading the scripts and I’m like, ‘can you let me know, how am I playing this? Do you want me to play like she’s lost the plot?,’ And they said, ‘No, we genuinely want it to be believable,’ so it’s all coming from a place of brokenness and vulnerability and necessity as far as Caz as concerned. They didn’t want her to be just two-dimensional mental, they wanted her to be somebody that was so broken and so damaged that she thinks everything is justifiable so I’ve tried to keep it as realistic as possible, even if she’s doing completely unreasonable things.


Can you sympathise with her?

As an actor, you’re taught to never judge your character. It is really hard but I’ve got to the point now, because I’ve been acting  for 18 years, that I can watch the telly and step back from it because otherwise you watch it and you say, ‘Oh my Gosh, I look awful!’ or ‘I shouldn’t have done this or that,’ and so now I’ll remove myself and find myself saying, ‘Oh my Gosh! She’s so crazy. Why did she do that?’ I’m also able to shout things at the TV like the audience would such as, ‘Maria! Run!’


I don’t feel sorry for her in any way. I think she deserves whatever’s coming to her but then, as an actress myself, I haven’t been able to judge her because you can’t play it convincingly if you’re constantly saying, ‘But that’s not very nice, is it!’

How has she come up with something so extreme as framing Maria for murder?


Any lies she’s told, even having Maria burgled, got the result she wanted, so she’s decided now she will finally get people’s attention. She’s tried to do positive things, she even tried to help out when the explosion happened but nobody thanked her and said, ‘You were so great. You’re the only woman who helped lift that car.’ So, because of that, she says, ‘I’m going to do the worst things that I can think of doing.’


She’s got time on her hands (She’s not doing anything else; she hasn’t got a job on the Street) so she’s really thought out and plotted and schemed this really extensive plan where she’s going to London to use Maria’s credit card, she’s setting up stuff, she’s starting to manipulate people on the side.

She’s already manipulating Tyrone into thinking, ‘Oh, Maria’s up to her old tricks again, being a bit crazy,’ She’s dropping hints everywhere and making up fake stuff so that when people start to add it up, they’re going to add two and two and make five. so she’s been massively manipulative.


It’s weird for Maria to realise that, while she’s been in London, someone’s been behind her, seeing what she’s been doing…  

Yeah, I’m like Coronation Street’s friendliest stalker at the moment. We’ve got a lot of jokes on set that I’m just going to pop out from behind somewhere. We filmed an Aidan and Maria scene the other day at night and they didn’t understand the shot and they kept saying, ‘Why are they doing it from this angle?’ and I said, ‘because I’m back here, guys!’


I’ve been doing a lot of weird things that the audience is going to see and there’s a lot of stuff that we’re not going to see Caz do, but that we find out that she’s done. It’s sort of like a treasure trail but it’s not going to lead to anything good! The worst kind of treasure trail.

Will she be redeemed or is Caz only destined to get her comeuppance?

Well, the human side of me wants her to be redeemed but from the executives’ point of view, it’s so much more exciting to just have a baddie out and about. Everybody likes that kind of drama. I think, long term, it would be better if she was redeemed but I don’t think at this point there’s any sign of that happening.


I was like, ‘Can she have a conversation with Billy which leads to her finding Jesus?’ and the producers said, ‘NO!’

Does the character have a sell-by date because often villains are in the show for a specific length of time?

Well I think people get away with murder on this show so I don’t know. It definitely makes the road more rocky but it definitely keeps it interesting. At the moment, she’s already done a lot of coming and going….it just means that we have to keep it interesting so the viewers don’t just see her as a hate figure. That’s why I think she’s tried not to just make her evil in a two-dimensional sense. They’ve tried to show why she’s twisted so people can see why she is the way she is.


Some people on Twitter have been quite sympathetic towards Caz and I worry about those people but everybody sees Caz’s behaviour from a sort of different point of view.


Does she still think there might be a chance of her and Kate getting back together?

In her head she still thinks there’s a chance for everybody in Weatherfield to love her. She\s completely delusional at this point. What you’re going to see coming up over the next few weeks is her asking for Kate’s forgiveness and then as soon as Kate offers to forgive her, Caz is like, ‘Oh, shall we go for a drink, then?’ Caz takes it too far and Kate’s saying, ‘No, I don’t want to go for a drink with you, I don’t want to be friends with you, I’m just saying I will forgive you.’
In Caz’s head, the second anyone is nice to her, because she is so needy, she’s going to try to use that.


Caz is proving to be quite the evil genius. If she were to join forces with Pat Phelan, do you think they’d be able to take over the world? Or at least Weatherfield?

That would be awesome. A lot of people online have suggested that as well. They’ve said, ‘She should do something with Phelan!,’ and I’m like, ‘That would be cool. Conor’s such a nice guy. It would be fun to work with him. I
t’s funny, the reception he gets from the public is very different from the one I get. When you play a female villain, people are a lot happier to hate on you but when you’re a male villain, people just think you’re really, sexy, mysterious and dangerous but when you’re a woman, they just want to damn you and kick you so I feel that we’re quite sexist still in that way. I find that weird because he’s adored by women everywhere he goes…


And Pat’s done some terrible things, hasn’t he? 

Yeah.  And his has been going on far longer, whereas with me it’s just like, ‘Eurghhhh, she’s horrible, she’s evil!’ And with him it’s like, ‘Ooooohhhhhhh, he’s so sexy when he’s that evil,’ and that is just weird. I find it really odd.


What’s the worst thing a member of the public has said to you in the Street. Has anyone been particularly nasty?


I’ve said it a few times now in interview but somebody shouted at the top of their voice that I was a bitch the other day. I was a bit like, ‘Are you talking to me?’ and then she walked over to me, she came at me and I looked at the friend I was with and said, ‘Is this okay? Am I supposed to just stand for this? I can take care of myself and I don’t think you can give people abuse for no reason; I don’t think that’s okay but, apparently, because we’re on a TV show, they have permission to give us abuse in the street and I’m supposed to be really polite and nice about it because it’s my job.

So instead of me giving a normal reaction which would be, ‘Who do you think you’re talking to?’ I have to go (affects patient, friendly voice) ‘Oh, are you talking about my character? Oh, I see.’ You have to be really nice to these people and treat them with kid gloves when actually you want to say, ‘You can’t talk to me like that!’

Get out of my personal space…

Exactly but you know if you did that, it’s going to escalate and then one of you guys is going to write about it and it’s going to be a big deal so you have to treat these people with kid gloves because they’re not necessarily the full ticket. If they think it’s real…I had a group of old ladies boo me the other day. They must have seen me before I saw them and they collectively, as I turned a corner, booed me. And it’s funny now but at the time, I was like, ‘what the heck is going on?’

You felt like you were in a pantomime?Yeah, yeah and I think that’s what we have to remember. To a lot of the viewers, it’s like a panto. They’re booing a character, they’re not booing me.

And they would probably be heartbroken to think they’d actually upset you by booing you…

Yeah but in that respect they don’t necessarily see us as real people because people will talk about you as if the screen is still there. You can be stood right next to them in a queue and they’ll be going, ‘Oh look, it’s definitely her and she does look fatter on the telly,’ And I’m stood right there and my ears are burning but you just have to let it flow over you.


Does this make you quite anxious about what the public’s reaction is going to be when this story does come to a head?





Because it’s been bedding in for a while, I’m no longer anxious about it. If it had happened quite quickly with the whole Sophie, if it had come to a head with that storyline, I was getting quite anxious when I was out and about in public. But now, the sort of reaction I’m getting from people is one of excitement because they are enjoying the drama. It was affecting me a little bit personally…

Were there any moments when you broke down over it?

I didn’t break down but I definitely spoke to my mum about it. I’ve definitely spoken to people  here about it. I’ve spoken to other actors here such as Kate Ford because she obviously gets abuse from people on a regular basis and she’s used to it now! So I had a chat with her and I had a chat with Conor and I was surprised to learn that he has such a different response from people.
I’ve had to ask people in the building not to refer to me as being evil in the building because we’re at work and if I’m getting it out on the Street, I don’t want people joking about it at work because it does bother me so…


Has it given you a thicker skin?

Somebody said to me that you have to develop a thicker skin and I said, ‘I don’t want to. I don’t want to be a person who has to put up a guard and be ready and armed to be rude back to people on the street.’ That’s not who I am as a person. I don’t want it to affect my personal life. Rather than have a thicker skin, I’ve decided to let it flow over me and just embrace the fact that people are getting a lot out of the drama and I must be doing my job properly.


When you said you talked to people here, what advice did they give you?

Well, the press office said, ‘Do let us know if there’s anything online that’s been particularly nasty,’ and they’d investigate that but it hasn’t gone that far at all. There’s been a few people I’ve blocked making unkind comments but I think that happens to everybody, regardless of your job – that’s the nature of the beast with social media.


Kate’s really good. She’s a really good, honest and genuine person. She said you have to get to the point where you don’t really care what people think of you and, because she’s been dealing with it for so long, she doesn’t really care if that one person in the supermarket does think she’s a bitch in real life because if she’s in a hurry, and she’s trying to deal with her son, and she’s got to be somewhere, and she doesn’t want to listen while somebody is rude to her, she’s just going to be, like, ‘whatever!’. It doesn’t affect her.


I’m finding myself being very patient with these people in the supermarket, I’m being nicer than I normally would be because I want them to go away knowing that I really am a nice person really and not like Caz! It’s just a learning curve that you embark on when you’re in a show as huge as this.

Aside from the abuse you’ve received, have you enjoyed playing a villain?


I love opening the scripts and going, ‘Oh my gosh – what is Caz doing now?’ I love how engaging it is. It’s challenging for me; when we do a take, I’ll always be saying, ‘Was that dirty look good enough,’  It’s definitely been more challenging than it would have been…if I was just playing a normal character, I wouldn’t have found it challenging because it would have just been a normal acting job but, at the beginning, I was lying about lying. I’d hurt my ankle in a fight but I was saying that I had hurt my ankle so I’m acting that I’ve got a fake broken ankle but then I’m also pretending that the reason I broke it was a completely different reason so there’s a lot of layers to it that made it a bit more challenging to me because the directors would be like, ‘Oh, can you make it more obvious’ and I’d be like, ‘I don’t want it to be too obvious because Kate’s got to believe it but the audience will know it’s fake. ‘



With this storyline you’ve worked with prosthetics, haven’t you?

That’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy anything like that. I’ve also used fake blood which I’ve also found exciting.

Would the fans’ reaction to Caz make you think twice about taking another role where the character is defined by their villainy.

I am enjoying how much the audience is investing in Caz but it’s [the adverse reaction from certain fans] something I’ll learn from. I definitely now have learned to deal with people better and not take it as personally and accept it as part of the job and know how to respond going forward.


In the long term, what would you like to see happen to Caz?

I said to the producers,  ‘Can’t she just work as a mechanic with Kevin and Sophie?’ but no, that’s not happening! But long term, I don’t know I really think this could go on and on and it could take a lot more dark twists and turns. She could go from putting it all on to Maria to causing trouble for Aidan. He’s rubbed her up the wrong way recently so I think that could be an interesting storyline.


She could have a hitlist…

Yes, she could have a hitlist which she could work her way through. It’s getting quite long. Poor Audrey was quite mean to her in the pub the other day and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m adding her to the list!’ She’s a lovely lady but…


When Caz first joined was always going to be in it for a while or was it a short contract that was extended?

It was only supposed to be for six episodes. At the beginning it was just her and Kate were going to be together, then there was going to be a big fight and then she was going to leave and it was mainly going to be a storyline for Kate but I think the producers saw an opportunity to develop something a bit more exciting than that. So they asked me to stay and I’ve been willing to and happy to as long as they’ll write for me because it’s quite exciting.


I don’t know if it’s on the cards but if Caz were to end up in prison, how would she survive?

I actually think, sadly - because the only place she’s ever been happy was an institution – the army, that Caz would thrive if she ended up in prison. I had a conversation with one of the writers who had spoken to someone who had come out of the army and was really struggling. They call it being back on Civvy Street and it can be a real issue for people coming out of the army.


They’ve become institutionalised…

Yeah, they struggle to get back into the day-to-day, organising yourself and arranging for yourself to be somewhere, especially when for years you’ve known when to get up, when to have breakfast, where to be at any given time of the day. I’ve heard that can be a massive issue for people coming out the army but also for people coming out of prison.


Having that structure in her life again, she would feel safe. The writer spoke to that person and they said they were struggling with life after the army so we had a brief storyline, just an episode where Caz was in tears just because she had missed a bus. The writer had to explain to me how important that actually was because when I read it myself I was thinking, ‘She’s just missed a bus…get over it!’ but to Caz, she felt completely useless, she couldn’t even get to a bus on time. But then it was the bus’s fault for being early. So I think if she were to go to prison she’d probably feel a lot more comfortable and not as vulnerable as being out in the world.

I imagine she’s be able to look after herself. She probably wouldn’t get bullied…

Yeah and then she could get another girlfriend. She’d be cool. She’d be happy. Kate would offer to visit and Caz would say, ‘I don’t need you to visit me!’ I think Caz should join Orange Is The New Black!


Ruth Owen, twitter: @ruth1722


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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Les Dennis - from the Platt family to the Addams family

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Les Dennis will be starring in the Addams Family musical comedy as Uncle Fester when the show goes on tour next year.

Samantha Womack, who is leaving EastEnders after almost a decade playing Ronnie Mitchell, has been cast as matriarch Morticia in the show.

Les,  whose final Coronation Street scenes as Michael Rodwell aired recently, has been cast as Uncle Fester in the musical comedy.



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Monday, 5 December 2016

Why new Daniel has old Coronation Street charm

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog November 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Anyone else loving the new Daniel Osbourne on Coronation Street?

Actor Rob Mallard is, I feel, playing this character to perfection. The actor has a quiet confidence about him, which brings to life perfectly the role of Daniel as Ken's son.  Quiet, studious, a bit geeky, it's a new one for Corrie. And he's got secrets too. What's that all about? Well, we'll find out soon enough.


I'm also enjoying Daniel's interaction with the other members of the Barlow clan as they try to figure him out. Daniel perhaps knows he's in many respects better (a nicer person?) than Adam, Peter and Tracy, but he's leaving them to find out that truth in their own way.



And there's something else about Daniel.  Yes, the character has been styled to resemble a young Ken Barlow but in the way he speaks it harks back to an older, more true Weatherfield from a different time.



And having seen comments on social media I know I'm not the only Corrie fan to have spotted that Daniel bears a resemblance in both looks and speech to the actor David Dawson, who portrayed Tony Warren in The Road to Coronation Street.

So far, so good with Daniel. It's a thumbs-up from this Corrie fan.  And as for those secrets of his? It's always the quiet ones you have to watch.

Read our blogger Emma's interview with Rob Mallard, who plays Daniel.



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