Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Coronation Street praised for muscular dystrophy storyline

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

Muscular Dystrophy UK has praised Coronation Street for its “sensitive, accurate” storyline about muscular dystrophy.

This week, viewers will see Steve McDonald – played by Simon Gregson – discover that both he and his unborn children could inherit the genetic condition myotonic dystrophy.

The storyline runs from Monday 10 October until 28 October.

ITV approached Muscular Dystrophy UK to advise the scriptwriters and production team about what Steve, Michelle and Leanne may be going through.    

Speaking about the storyline, actor Simon Gregson, who plays Steve McDonald, said: “I’m proud to be part of a storyline that will highlight little-known genetic conditions like myotonic dystrophy and bring them to national attention. As a dad to three boys, it’s reassuring to know there are charities like Muscular Dystrophy UK out there who can explain genetic testing and help families through the process.”

If you would like information or support on muscle-wasting conditions, please call the Muscular Dystrophy UK Information and Support Team on the free helpline: 0800 652 6352 (Mon-Fri, 8.30am-6pm) or email at: info@musculardystrophyuk.org.

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Mikey North's going to be a dad

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

Coronation Street's Mikey North, who plays Gary Windass, tells OK magazine this week that he and wife Rachael are expecting their first child together.

When the pregnancy news was confirmed, Mikey said: 'We were both feeling emotional but, for once, I didn't cry. That makes a change – I must be starting to man up in my old age!'

You can read the full interview in this week's OK magazine, if you'd like to.

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Monday, 24 October 2016

Corrie Canada weekly awards for Oct 17 - 21

Childish award: Tim and Steve fighting over whose friend Tommy Orpington is. (It *is* quite funny, though)

Pants on Fire award: David lies to the police that he wasn't the one that revealed Clayton's name all over town. Vinny lies to Eileen that the "client" who sold him the fake passports is a flat-buyer for Number8, only she found out Rita bought number 8.

Suspicious Minds: Eileen doesn't trust Vinny. He talked his way out of the casino stop off, pretending a client is interested in Flat 8 but later, she found out that Rita bought Flat 8. Someone has some 'splaining to do.

Fast on his Feet award: Todd did do the 'splaining and he came up with a pretty credible story on the fly.

Throwback award: Do they even have internet cafes anymore? I suppose they must but there certainly aren't as many of them littering the streets.

Best Defence is a Good Offence: Phelan knows how to keep Eileen in line. You don't trust me so there's more at risk than the business project.

Troublemaker: Anna stirring things by telling Gail that Sarah has a new boyfriend. And later, she really went over the top on Faye after finding her with her new boyfriend. It was really unnecessary to be that vicious about it.

Backfire award: If Nick hadn't been so officious with Steve, Steve probably wouldn't have dug his heels in and refused to take the test.

Lines of the Week:
Gemma "I'm like an old peoples' carer crossed with RoboCop" (isn't she just!)
Phelan "He went to a casino, not the Swiss Bank"
Norris to Freddie "Straighten your back, Quasimodo"
Audrey to Freddie "C'mon now, the truth. Otherwise it'll be the Chinese Whispers version in 3 days time" (that's the gossip mill version.)
David "My life means nothing now and someone has to pay for it"
Phelan "The things we do for money" Vinny "At least it's a lot of money"
Liz to Steve "You've got a lovely little McDonald growing in there" Michelle "I sincerely hope you're talking about me" Liz and Steve: awkward laugh.
Liz "It looks like you've lost a shoe and found a sock"

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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday Comments October 23

David's next effort is to plaster the neighbourhoods with posters of Clayton's face. Dangerous move, really. Freddie warned David vaguely, that it wasn't a smart move and he believes even murderers deserve a fair trial. I can understand why David wouldn't take that stance. The police suspect it's David doing all these tricks but David lies so well. But the police are right, he could have damaged the case, making it even easier for Clayton to get off by not allowing him a fair trial. But even worse, Macca has been hit by a brick through the window and has a serious head injury and the police think David did it along with everything else. Uh oh.

David managed to keep his cool under interrogation. Even to the point of being flip. Gail seems to have corroborated David's story about a walk though she did lie to the police about David's injuries, that she didn't know how it happened. And a neighbour was seen tossing the brick through Macca's window so David's off the hook. For now.

David was released but never came home. Where did he go? Flowers to Macca and having to wait for him to go through surgery. Is he going to go down Karl's route and unplug the machines? No, he tried to smother him!!!! Dear heavens, David really has gone over the edge. I suppose he can claim temporary insanity. Even worse, the prosecution isn't going to have David testify at the trial. This could tip him right over the edge he was barely clinging to. He admitted to Nick what he'd done in the hospital. How close it came. You know, David is breaking my heart, all that pain and anger...

David isn't good for much after that. Audrey tries to get him to work to take his mind off things but he pretty much just calls it in and then leaves early. He's casing out the courthouse to see what kind of security there is, and there's a lot, but he does notice the armoured vans and where they enter the courthouse compound. hmmm....When he gets home, Gail finds him a lot more like his "normal" self. What's going on?

Steve and Tim are basking in the afterglow of their encounter with the star footballer, each trying to outdo the other. Tim gets the next leg up, with his own close encounter in the cab office with Tommy and has invited him for a little lads' party at his house. But a kickabout on the street ended up with Tommy getting hurt. I think that little friendship is over, don't you?

Vinny is keeping Eileen out of the loop as much as he can and she doesn't trust him. Nor should she. He said he was interviewing contractors but Tim said he drove him to the casino. He could have been interviewing there or he could have been stopping off. As Phelan said, it's his private life. Suspicious minds. What Vinny was actually doing was paying for new passports for he and Phelan who managed to warn Vinny. He was ready with a story, a buyer for Flat 8 so there's Eileen with egg on her face. It didn't stay there long when she found out that Rita signed a contract for Flat 8.

She really is a liability to the project. Phelan telling her off and threatening their relationship did far more to keep her in line than Vinny's threats. Confronting Todd got her answers but not what she expected. He thought fast on his feet and outlined a sort of scam but sort of not. The poshest flat is the one to get people interested then they can back out of that one and steer them to another one. Eileen is furious. Phelan is very good at thinking on his feet, too.

He knows just when to admit he's in the wrong even when he doesn't mean it, if it keeps Eileen on side. Phelan had to to confess to Rita that the flat was double sold, but played it like she still will get the flat after all and she bought it, hook, line and sinker. Phelan is now starting to have second and third thoughts about continuing the project. It's been far more trouble than he thought it would be but Vinny is insisting he stick with it for two more months and then they're out of there forever. But is that what Phelan wants now? He's found a comfortable life, maybe he doesn't want to be on the run forever. He even put out wine and candles for Eileen and proposed a nice holiday in a few months.

Phelan and Vinny are looking at 2 months to the end of the scam project but Phelan reckons Eileen is going to plague him with her insistent involvement. Vinny suggests that he find something else to occupy her. Phelan is successful in easing Eileen back to Streetcars, saying that it isn't really good for them to be living together and working together all the time. He's delicate about it and plies her with posh holiday brochures, promising they can go in 3 months. She goes back to the cab office but Sally sticks her oar in and Eileen ends up having to interview with Tim to get her old position back. I don't blame her for being offended, since, as she pointed out, she was at Streetcars since the very beginning. I think Tim was enjoying putting Eileen on the spot even if it was Sally that engineered it all.

The lads tease Freddie about a jealous Audrey  but he brags that she wants to go dancing with him. There's only one problem. He can't dance. Luke tried to teach him but he wasn't very good with the ballroom dance moves. Norris to the rescue. But in a garage, full of traps, they ended up with Freddie taking a dive and breaking his arm. He did confess to Audrey how he hurt it and she offered him a room at her house so she could look after him. Tyrone offered as well and Freddie took that up. Mind you, there are two children, and Craig's still kipping there, too.

Bethany might be banned from the gym but she can still run and Gary spotted her going like sixy down the road. Gary questioned her but Bethany seems to have eased his mind though she still seems to be feeling a bit isolated. But Izzy told Sarah about Bethany running and that plus Bethany avoiding food really worries Sarah. It's clear she's developing a disorder and it's clear she needs help. She did admit she just finds all the family troubles overwhelming and she can run so she doesn't have to think about everything. Poor kid. It's back to the gym, at least Gary can keep an eye on her and she can work out properly. And there's definitely a spark between Sarah and Gary. Aw, I think Sarah and Gary make a pretty good couple, actually. And it's about time she found a good guy for a change.

Anna is really being a cow at the idea that Sarah and Gary are making eyes at each other. She overhears Bethany teasing Sarah about a new fella and I'm not sure if Anna realizes it's Gary but she ends up telling Gail about this new fella, name unknown. It doesn't quite have the effect she hoped for i guess because Gail only hopes it's a nice guy and thinks it will perk Sarah up. Meanwhile, Bethany's crush is still evident.

She's got more things to worry about than her crush, though, because Sarah's found her diet pills. Bethany insists she's not taking them anymore but lets slip that Gary knew. Sarah might not have that new boyfriend for long when she tears a strip off him for not telling her even though Bethany made him promise not to.

Someone else has a new boyfriend, too. It's Faye who's engineered a babysitting night at Izzy's and sneaking this new young lad in. His name is Seb. I must say Faye is looking quite grown up these days but of course the actress is a few years older than the character. She got caught with her fella by Anna and Kevin checking up she's ok with Jake. Typical Anna, her nasty valve is wide open and there isn't much left of Faye after Anna was done with her. Ok, I'm sure Anna's worried about pregnancy but she did go over the top.

Gemma is in the short list of the Good Samaritan award but there's very stiff competition. Todd's advice is to pull at the heartstrings but she's really feeling defeatist.

Hmm, Steve has heard from his dad. What was it Steve's Dad had to say? It was bad news. Jim has been diagnosed with a genetic condition called Myotonic Dystrophy and he's called Steve to tell him. That means Steve might be carrying the same gene which also means it could be passed on to his children. He and Michelle go to their first scan and are over the moon but even though everything looks fine according to the technician, Steve knows you can't see genes on a scan screen. He finally manages to tell Michelle the bad knews and naturally she's kind of freaked out. But Steve is feeling so bad and guilty that she tries to be the strong one. Rana is roped in for some advice and when they weed through the plethora of dodgey websites and find a proper medical one, Rana tells them it's a 50/50 chance Steve has the gene and if he has it, the disease isn't curable. Or at least that's what I got from her sober shaking of the head. They need to go to the doctor and Steve needs to be tested.

We all know this is going to affect Leanne, and Leanne finds out the news from Michelle who she's found crying at the bus stop. Leanne of course, is freaked out and can't show it to Michelle, not more than general concern. Nick is going to wade in and start making waves and it's true, they do have a right to know what's going on. Bombard Steve with texts and calls until he has to leave the pub and come over. Nick promise to be sensitive and calm. Right. Not happening, is it? I think Steve would have been more likely to take the test if Nick hadn't stuck his oar in. It's a pissing contest.

Michelle didn't want Leanne to tell Liz or anyone else but Steve caved in about 2 minutes within talking to his mother. But Liz was very good and very supportive. But Steve is putting off telling Leanne. He doesn't know Michelle's already let the cat out of the bag.

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Hilda Ogden: A character that defined Corrie's golden age

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

Over the weekend there have been countless moving tributes to Jean Alexander, the woman who gave us Hilda Ogden and portrayed for 23 wonderful years. Be it on TV, radio or the internet, everyone's tributes have been constant - Hilda was a true soap legend.

Now Hilda had left Corrie 4 years before I was born, but as soon as I took an interest in Corrie, Hilda was one of the first faces I got to know from 'old Corrie'. She was easily identifiable - her curlers and headscarf, her singing, her gossiping, her 'muriel' and her flying ducks. And of course, her marriage to 'my Stan'. It is only through YouTube clips and DVDs that I've grown to appreciate Hilda as a soap legend.

The Ogdens were introduced to the show in 1964. This year was a controversial one in the show's history. It had seen the first mass exodus of cast since it began in 1960 under the 'First Axeman' Tim Aspinall. While the likes of Martha Longhurst and Frank Barlow bid goodbye, enter the Ogdens at No.13. You could say they were the Battersbys of their day.

Hilda secured a job as a cleaner at the Rovers and thus began a wonderful partnership between her and landlady Annie Walker that would last for nearly twenty years. Hilda's admiration for Annie and Annie's contempt and annoyance at Hilda were products of Corrie gold. And what was wonderful was the fact they never addressed each other by forename only - they were Mrs Walker and Mrs Ogden.

Her catfights were also legendary. I've watched clips countless times of Hilda's classic scraps with the likes of Elsie Tanner, Mrs Walker and Bet Lynch. She always gave good as she got. My mum always said when watching those clips that she remembers women doing exactly that in her home village.

When Bill Podmore became producer in 1976 he decided more humour was needed in Corrie and thus began Corrie's golden age for many. The Ogdens were pivotal to the success of the programme at the time, starring in memorable storylines like installing the 'muriel' in 1976, the seance and the second honeymoon in 1977, the chimney debacle in 1978, the hens in 1979 and various storylines involving Eddie Yeats between 1980 and 1983. When the golden age ended in 1984, it was no coincidence that it coincided with Stan's death.

It was also an end to Hilda in 'classic Hilda' mode. The character softened as all her contemporaries had either died or left - Stan, Elsie, Annie, Len and Eddie. Nobody was interested in her tidbit gossip and her tut-tutting of Rita Fairclough living over the brush with Alan Bradley or Sally and Kevin having sex before marriage was seen as old-fashioned.

When Hilda eventually left the street in 1987, it seemed a natural thing. It was indeed an end of an era. An end to an innocent time. When Hilda left, it seemed Corrie was allowed to change to mirror EastEnders and Brookside with sensational storylines like the Alan/Rita saga and Brian Tilsley's murder.

Corrie has never tried to have another Hilda on the street. Maybe a character like her wouldn't fit in anymore. She belonged to a classic Corrie era which we can look back fondly and rightly so.

Rest in peace, Jean Alexander. Thank you for creating not only a Corrie legend, but a TV legend. That's no mean feat and for that we are forever grateful.

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Coronation Street singers - from Betty Driver to Cath Tyldesley

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

Our blogger Graeme does a fantastic job on his own Carry on Blog - have a look here.  Earlier this week Graeme wrote a blog post, based on something I'd heard on the radio, about Carry On Film stars who had branched out into singing.  You can read it here.

Well, it started me thinking about Coronation Street cast members who had put out a song or two, too.
We know that Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) once released an album under her name of Barbara Mullaney. We blogged about it here.

And there's Betty Driver, of course.

Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) released not one, but five albums!

Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) released an EP called 'Sings And Plays For You' in 1961

Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor) rose to fame as a singer on a reality TV show...

...as did Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor).

Keith Duffy (Ciaran McCarthy) was already a member of boyband Boyzone when he joined Coronation Street.
Bruno Langley (Todd Grimshaw) has also been working on releasing his own music. Have a look here.

Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) currently has an album out and a singing gig at the Lowry next month. Have a listen to Rise via the wonders of YouTube below - it's great!

Going back in time, Bill Waddington (Percy Sugden) had a song out at Christmas 1988.
We blogged about it here.

And of course Coronation Street have released various official compilations of the cast singing songs, over the years too.
Coronation Street - The 25th Anniversary Album

  An official album released in 1995
Soundtrack from the ill-fated musical.

And let's not forget that writhing, singing sensation Adam Rickett, who played Nicky Platt.
No need to thank me.

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Listen: Interview with Coronation Street's Simon Gregson

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

With thanks to on twitter for sending us this wonderful interview with Coronation Street's Simon Gregson.

Alex Belfield and Simon Gregson
Simon plays Steve McDonald on Coronation Street. He was today interviewed in the Mirror where he talked about behind-the-scenes pranks played on the show. You can read the interview here.

And now, it's over to Alex and Simon for this wonderful little interview:

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Watch: Sky the Japanese Spitz sings Coronation Street tune

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

We've received an email from a Coronation Street fan in Ireland called Frances.  And Frances has sent us a lovely little video of her dog singing along to the Coronation Street theme tune. I love it when dogs do this!

Frances says: "This is Sky, my foster Japanese Splitz, who just loves Corrie. It's the only
programme that she sings at when the music starts."


And if you liked that version of the Corrie theme tune, you might like all of these too!

Soulful funk version by The Flaming Muchachos
Ska reggae version by Izzy Royal
Coronation Street Jamaican singalong by Top Grant
Rock and funk style
Funkin' it up on Corrie 
Compare the Market - Corrie's sponsor from Nov 2012 - meerkat band plays the theme tune.
Classical version
Dudley the dog sing-along

Songs about Coronation Street
The best known Street in the land 
Every Street's a Coronation Street

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All the Single Ladies

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

There are several single ladies at this moment on the cobbles. Some newly single, others have been single for a while. Let’s start with Liz. At one point something seemed to be happening between Amy’s friend’s dad and Liz but that must have fizzled out though I don’t remember when or why.

Her last significant relationship was with Tony and I thought they went well together. Naturally it had to end because of Tony’s deceit and relationship with Tracy. Remember how well Liz tricked Tony and everyone else into thinking she was going to give him another chance? Sheer class from the landlady of The Rovers.

Who is there for Liz? I had wondered about Vinny, the villain. She is attracted to bad boys, is our Liz. Is he with anyone? Even if he was, I cannot see Vinny being morally troubled by a little adultery. Is there anyone else suitable for Liz amongst the current residents? She needs a new arrival. And I don’t mean Leanne’s baby. Odd how she seems more interested in Leanne’s baby than she does Michelle’s. Is that just the natural reaction of human psychology? The one less available becomes the more tantalising?
Some might say that Maria must have had a moment of insanity when she dumped Luke. After all, what is not to like about the tall, dark handsome man? What is going on in Maria’s head? Does she have her heart set on Aidan, after their night of passion? He has made it clear that it was a mistake but Maria did seem a little put out by his rather ungallant attitude in making it clear that it was indeed just that and nothing more – a mistake. Maybe there will be a follow up after all.
Sarah has been single since her relationship with Callum and has been very delicate mentally since his death and Harry’s birth. She now seems to be getting stronger and there is a certain Gary Windass who may well ask Sarah out. Gary and Izzy’s time is done and they have agreed to take Care of Jake as best they can, despite their not being together. Sarah and Gary? I think that could work. We’ve already seen Izzy watching the 2 of them talking. Will Izzy find someone else too?

Mary now feels that she is nothing short of an expert on broken hearts after her fling with married cheat and ghost hunter Brendan. She has taken on her woman of the world role with great gusto, thereby producing further comedic moments for the massively talented Patti Clare.

But the question is - who will be Mary’s next love object? There has been speculation that a new man will arrive on the cobbles and that love develops after friendship. I hope It’s true. I’d love her to find a decent man but not at the cost of a reduction of eccentricity.
Tracy has been single for a while since her split with Robert. Is it possible that the 2 of them will reconcile? At the moment it seems unlikely, though who knows what set of circumstances the writers will create to put them back together. To be with Tracy is not an experience for the faint hearted and there is no sign of an orderly queue forming at her door.

Since Gary and Alya split over her night with Jason, Alya has not had a romantic attachment. Alya is beautiful, intelligent and ambitious – in short a good catch. However, she may well be enjoying her life as a working single woman and contrary to what many believe it is possible to lead a fulfilling life without a significant other.
Are Rana and Zeedan back on? Why was Rana so cagey as to why she didn’t want her parents to show up for the Nazirs anniversary do?

Gemma, a definite marmite character, had a fling with Jason, and we saw from that Gemma’s lack of confidence, despite her general gobbiness. She did reveal a while ago that she loved Callum, but it wasn’t crystal clear as to her meaning. Was it romantic love she felt or strong friendship?

Caz, Kate and Sophie are all currently single. Caz has clearly developed feelings for Maria, but there’s no chance those 2 would work as Maria is into men. Kate and Sophie, who are also single, appear to enjoy each other’s company so maybe after Brooke Vincent finishes her theatre run, Kate and Sophie will get together.

If Audrey and Ken are going to get together they are taking their time about it. Does she prefer Freddie? And there was that rather elegant looking silver haired woman in the Bistro…

Rita, I believe, is not looking for romance but you can never say never. How satisfying it would be if Queen Rita could meet her king and reign on the cobbles together. If someone did come along, he would have to be worth his weight in gold.

Ruth Owen, twitter @ruth1722

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Friday, 21 October 2016

Exclusive! Judy Matheson on working with Coronation Street icons

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

Judy Matheson as Casualty Nurse in Coronation Street's first ever colour episode
Actress Judy Matheson may best be known as a scream queen to Hammer Horror film fans.  You can read about her work in the horror films here.  After leaving drama school, Judy began her career with the Bristol Old Vic and toured the United States, Europe and Israel.  She also starred in the film Confessions of a Window Cleaner and has appeared in many wonderful telly shows that have gone on to become British institutions. You can check out her IMDB profile here.   In 1981 Judy became a continuity announcer for TVS and in 1990 she was part of the launch team for British Satellite Broadcasting, later to become BSkyB.

But Judy’s claim to TV fame is that her very first telly appearance was on Coronation Street.  And it wasn’t just in any old episode of Corrie that Judy starred in!  It was Corrie’s very first colour episode in 1969.

Left: Judy Matheson as Casualty Nurse in Coronation Street's first ever colour episode
Judy Matheson as Casualty Nurse, tending to Ena Sharples

Judy appeared in that iconic first colour episode of Coronation Street as a nurse, tending to the injuries of some of the most famous characters on TV at the time. Weatherfield regulars had gone on a coach trip to the Lake District but on its way back home, the coach was involved in a crash, and they were taken to hospital.

You can watch a snippet of the coach crash on YouTube here.  The crash episode was filmed in black and white, and then the next episode when they were all taken to hospital, was filmed in colour.  However, the titles and the external scenes in the first colour episode revert to black and white.

Judy very kindly responded to our request for an interview and in return, we’ve donated £25 to the charity of her choice which is Save the Rhino.

Hello Judy!  First of all - thank you for agreeing to the interview for us!

How did your role on Coronation Street come about?
My then husband, the actor Paul Freeman, was working in the theatre in Liverpool, and, while we were living there, I popped into Granada Television in Manchester to meet the casting department  They were wonderful and gave me work immediately including that part of the Casualty Nurse in Coronation Street. While there, I also worked for the great directors Michael Apted & Mike Newell, who both went on to be Hollywood film directors. Granada was a terrific company for fledgling directors to hone their craft. And actors, of course!

Were you already a fan of Coronation Street before you started work on the show?
YES, I loved it. The writing was always superb, as were the directors and the actors.  I’d previously met Graham Haberfield, who played Jerry Booth. I admired his work enormously and he had become a friend.

I’d also always admired the incomparable Arthur Lowe (Dad’s Army) as Mr Swindley. In fact all the actors were, in my opinion, brilliant, and still are.

What was it like to work with some of the Coronation Street greats like Violet Carson, Pat Phoenix, Jean Alexander and Doris Speed?
Well, being such a huge fan, it was actually overwhelming. It was extraordinary to meet them, and work with them, in such proximity. I was definitely star struck. And very, very nervous…

Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) was not at all like the gossipy battleaxe she portrayed. She was very cultured, and had had a lot of experience of theatre and radio, which she often chatted about to this inexperienced young actress who’d been cast to look after her as a nurse.  And surprisingly, she was very smiley!
Judy Matheson (left) as Casualty Nurse, tending to Ena Sharples

Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner) was definitely a larger than life character on and off screen, quite the jokey extrovert, but she became much more serious, focused and concerned on recording days, and was very much the perfectionist in the make-up room.

Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden) is another actress who was quite different, in reality, from her on-screen persona. She was serious and concentrated, always making sure she had the exact emotional response to the dramatic situation. She was gentle and kind, too.

Judy Matheson as Casualty Nurse with Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden)
Possibly the most alarming to work with, for me, was Doris Speed (Annie Walker), and in retrospect I’m not sure why. She seemed pretty forbidding to me, but also was kind, giving me beauty tips on ‘staying as young and beautiful as you are, dear’. Sadly the only one I can remember is ‘Splash your face every morning with cold water’. And  I follow that advice to this day.

As an interesting post script about the episode I was in, the doctor was played a young Paul Darrow, later to become famous as Avon in Blake’s Seven.  I reminded him of this early encounter working on Coronation Street, when I did an episode of the Sci Fi series some years later.

Paul Darrow in Coronation Street as Doctor Matthews
You were at Coronation Street for just one episode, would you have liked to have returned for more?
Yes, I imagine I would have absolutely loved to have returned. Four years later in 1973, I was being considered for the part of Ken Barlow’s posh girlfriend Elaine Perkins, a part that finally went to Joanna Lumley. It would be an understatement to say I was disappointed.

Perhaps they might ask you to go back after reading this! I think the show is missing a battle-axe, do you think you might be able to fill that role or would you prefer something a bit more glam – maybe Erica’s (slightly) older sister?!
Haha...er no.  I am retired from acting, except for a little voice and narration work.

Judy Matheson as Casualty Nurse tending to Ena Sharples
Do you still watch Coronation Street now?
Yes, I still love Coronation Street, though I don’t get to watch it as often as I would like.

I love the fact that over the years they have consistently used strong female characters, and have also produced some of the best actresses working today. I’m thinking immediately, for example, of Sarah Lancashire and Anne Reid.

And I loved the Hayley Cropper story, which was so sensitively handled. Actually there have been just so many memorable storylines over the years.

I have also really enjoyed the storylines that Daniel Brocklebank has been in, including the recent kissing one that’s caused a little controversy. He is a terrific actor and a lovely man. He recently did ‘An Evening With….’ event in London’s West End, at the wonderful Misty Moon Film Society, of which I am proud to be  an Honorary Patron. He had some truly fascinating stories to tell!

Thankyou so much to Judy for answering our questions! 

You can follow Judy Matheson on twitter @judyjarvis and her Facebook page is here.

With thanks to @crossroadssoap on twitter for the images.

The first colour episode of Coronation Street from 1969 in which Judy Matheson appears is included in the 50th box set of 3 DVDs - The Stars of the Street.

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