Sunday, 25 June 2017

Roy Barraclough's Funeral Takes Place

The funeral took place last week of Roy Barraclough, the actor who played Alec Gilroy in Coronation Street.

Corrie cast past and present were pictured attending the funeral which was held at Oldham, Manchester.  

Julie Goodyear, who played Roy's on-screen wife Bet Gilroy attended the service, along with Bev Callard, Jennie McAlpine and Helen Worth.  Sherrie Hewson, who played Maureen Holdsworth in Corrie, was also there to pay her respects, along with Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth.

Yesterday brought very sad news that Roy Barraclough has passed away. His Coronation Street co-star Julie Goodyear, who played his wife Bet Gilroy in the show, spoke to The Mirror to pay her respects to Roy.

Julie said: “I have no words to describe how devastated I feel. We were just like a married couple. We kept in close touch and spoke to each other at least two or three times every week.

“I will treasure all the happy times we had working and laughing together. Rest in peace Roy. I will always love you.”

Corrie executive producer Kieran Roberts said: “The fact that Alec Gilroy was at the heart of the show for so many years and was held in such affection by so many fans is a tribute to Roy’s genius, for drama as well as comedy.”

Read our blogger Graeme's wonderful tribute to Roy Barraclough.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Ofcom Investigates Corrie Grooming Story Complaints

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

An Ofcom spokesperson told Digital Spy this week: "We are assessing 25 complaints objecting to violence / sexual tone of child grooming storyline before deciding whether or not to investigate."

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK. The scenes that have been complained about happened in the week of episodes which ran after the 9pm post-watershed slot. Bethany was forced to sleep with three different men in Nathan's flat. 

Although the story aired during the later TV slot and viewers also being warned about the scenes prior to transmission, 25 viewers were still outraged enough to make official complaints to Ofcom.

Read our blogger Ruth's post: In Defence of the Grooming Story

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday Comments June 25

 Three men and a Bethany! Oh dear God/dess. Can this storyline get any darker? Mel wasn't going to let her out, she knows she'd have to take her place. You can see what kind of control Nathan has over Bethany so you know he's got Mel in the same place, control and fear.

Shona managed to warn David, we didn't see everything he told her, but presumably, she told him everything because he summoned Sarah and Gary. David, Sarah, Gary dash off to rescue SArah but I don't think they will be in time to prevent what was happening when we left her. Nope, they weren't. As the police sped in to raid the flat (did one of the Platts call them?) the little band of rescuers found Bethany looking terrible. Yet as the police dragged him away, Bethany was furious about the arrest. She still has her engagement ring and put it back on.

Shona gave her statement. It sounded like she got out before she was sexually used. One of the lucky ones, she says. But it looks like Bethany doesn't feel so lucky and she doesn't see that Nathan did anything wrong. Yet. Shona is still in rough shape and collapsed.

Bethany is still back at home but utterly refusing to take anyone's opinion on Nathan on board, even with Audrey comes right out and asks "Did he share you?" It did seem to take her aback for a minute but she shoved that little alarm bell well and truly away and later, when Nathan got out on bail, she was back in his car and off with him. Bethany will have to talk to the police or Nathan might not be prosecuted and at the moment, it doesn't look like anyone is going to persuade her to do that. Sarah is, as you might expect, frantic with worry.

Nathan and Bethany don't go back to the flat, though. The police mention that he's broken his bail conditions so likely there would be a chance they'd be caught together there. They talk in the car in a remote location. He's pleased she's saying all the right things and assures her there's just been a mistake made. He agrees casually that she shouldn't mention that he and Neil know each other, like it's not a big deal and confirms the lie that Shona's been out to get him for awhile. He also denies being responsible for her being beaten up. Then he looks at her. We need to talk.

The next we see her, she's in tear and angry at her mother, blaming her for Nathan finishing with her! Is it true?? Neil the Constable comes to the house to have a private chat to Bethany, telling Sarah it might help. She's good, though, she keeps her cool and pretends she's never seen him. They chat out in the garden because of course they don't want anyone to know they know each other. And the answer to that other question is no, it isn't true. Bethany is pretending to be split from Nathan, biding her time. Neil tells her to get her passport ready and pack a bag. He'll keep her informed, he'll be the go-between for the time being.

Naturally the whole neighbourhood is gossiping about it and about what happened to Shona who has had to have emergency surgery to have her spleen out. David seems quite worried, which does not go unnoticed by Todd, Billy and Eileen though Todd churlishly continues to be skeptical of her. David does discover that Shona had a baby at some point though Billy did know she had a son and "lost" him. David is thoughtful at that. Gail is reticent about it when David asks her, telling David it's Shona's business not theirs.

Bethany turns 17 this week. (Isn't Max getting tall?) She's keeping up the pretense that she's been dumped quite well. Sarah feels like she's let her daughter down which seems to alarm Bethany. Craig remembered it was her birthday and gave her a card and voucher. He's still her mate and she apologizes for being mean the other day. Sarah catches her later looking at her passport in the drawer. Now she thinks Bethany could be lying so she cuts the passport in half. Smart move, actually.

Sarah wants Shona to talk to Bethany but I don't think Bethany would take anything she says on board since she believes everything Nathan has told her. Shona promised to try anyway. Audrey is really playing cool with Bethany, not freaking out or having hysterics even though, spotting that burn mark, you know she wanted to. Why on earth was Bethany cozying up to Peter to get a cig off him? Was it to show us that she's got used to flirting with older men or something? That was odd. No, it was to give herself a matching cigarette burn, feeling guilty that she wasn't sticking up for Nathan at times. Peter went straight to Sarah, being rather concerned.

In other news, both David and Gail decide to go see Shona. Gail gets there first as Shona wakes up. She wants to thank her for what she did for Bethany but also wanted to give her the heads up that David knows she's had a baby. But Gail, of course, is even more worried about herself, because it will be just one more way she's let him down if he finds out she knew about Clayton. David gets there so Shona talks to him alone (Gail's hoping she'll lie to him about the baby). She tells him most of the truth except for the fact of who her son is, only lying about his name. David and Shona lock eyes and then lips and Gail is flummoxed to see that through the window. Oh heck. Confronting him, telling him he's too good for Shona. Does she never learn what sends people straight to the person you want them to stay away from?

Interesting that David reached out to Leanne to talk about his feelings for someone new. Leanne certainly does know how it feels, starting over after your partner dies. Surprised that David even cares what anyone else thinks. But David had to tell Leanne that Nick even told David he wasn't coming back and wanted David to send off his stuff. Shona admitted to Billy and Eileen that she's returning the blossoming feelings David as for her. But the elephant in the room, so to speak, is Clayton, isn't it?

David was very surprised to see Shona at Kylie's grave, though. Will she tell him why? The real reason why, I mean? Yes, yes she will. Oh crap. Talk about a kick to the gut.

Brian and Cathy look happy. They'll have to tell Roy, next but will they have the courage? Kate keeps checking up on Johnny who insists he's feeling pretty good. He might be. I'm sure he has good and bad days. Denise, meanwhile, reconnects with a few faces she knew back in the day, Rita and Audrey and Liz. Faye's not coming home yet but Anna seems resigned to it, yet hopeful. It looks like it was a very good party and it looked like Anna is medicated by booze enough to get warm and cozy with Kevin. Unless she falls asleep first. Yep. Out like a light.

Nick left the flat and went to talk to Steve and apologize for that crack about Ruairi. Then he went to see his mother, say goodbye. He says it's for good. It's never permanent, though, not if he hasn't left in a box. They may recast Nick but I predict we'll see him again some day. Nick can be a good man but his paranoia and jealousy made him someone he didn't like. I think Nick is doing the right thing. He does need a fresh start and he needs to get Leanne out from under his skin. He can't do that in Weatherfield. Coward didn't say goodbye to Leanne, though, not as such. He wouldn't leave if he had to do that. Gail is devastated to lose her golden boy. Leanne is in bits.

Leanne is all tears, with Nick gone and nobody knowing where he is. She encounters Gail who is sniffy with her, pretending she knows where Nick is but isn't telling so when Gail asks where she stands with Oliver, Leanne gets sniffy right back. At least Rita still offers comforting cups of tea and a shoulder. You forget that they were good friends back in the day when Leanne was young and worked for Rita.

Robert doesn't know where Nick is, either, and he's ticked off that his business partner has taken off. Leanne wants Robert to try to get hold of Nick. Robert hugs her just in time for Michelle to walk in and see it! Leanne still expects to hear from Nick, though.

We didn't really see any interaction between Michelle and Leanne though Michelle did express a bit of jealousy. Maria seemed to look elsewhere when Michelle remarked that you don't do the dirty on your mate like Leanne did to her. Yes. Well.

See, Maria is still sneaking around with Aidan, making plans to see him even though Michelle invited her on a girly afternoon. Aidan has just come back from a break in Liverpool with Eva but he apparently still has the energy to meet with Maria. Eva is dropping hints left and right about getting engaged but Aidan isn't picking them up so Eva dresses in a vinyl and very sexy number. He's not the first one to see her though. Toyah shows up wanting her to go to see Leanne with her so she hides under a coat and they try to get Leanne to see he's not coming back. She's convinced it's not over. I think she's going to be in for a surprise on that score.

Aidan enjoyed his afternoon delight but was taken aback to see Eva's get-up. How much energy does that man have? Maria also got her ankle thingy off this week so she's no longer got to be home by 7 p.m. Aidan might very well make every effort to break his lunch date with Eva once he sees she's looking at wedding rings, since Jenny had the jeweller come to the factory to pick her and Johnny's rings out. Aidan didn't catch that performance. The man was besotted with Eva, naturally. Jenny's cleavage can't compete! Eva wanted to go for a drink with the jeweller who though she fancied him. Bless! Then she's coerced him into showing Aidan the rings in the pub somehow. Deer, headlights and caught come to mind.

Daniel did give a statement anyway. He was honest and up front. He admitted he lost control, thinking of his father as a bully, and smashed the book over his head. The police are in a tough spot. The solicitor insists they can't charge him if Ken won't back it up. Denise has a few hard questions to answer, as well. Daniel isn't about to forgive his father and is shocked at the sight of seeing Sinead at Number 5, along with a warning from Chesney.

There are so many topics to gossip about that the conversations whirl like autumn leaves in a gale! Sinead keeps snapping at everyone trying to find out about Daniel. Later, he finds her outside the factory and Denise comes across to join them, shocking Sinead. But he does get a chance to talk to her alone and he tells her he doesn't blame her for calling the police. They hash over why he did it, regarding Ken's emotional involvement in her termination etc. It's an honest talk that they have about their former relationship and what they thought their future would be.

She's shocked when she finds out he's not getting prosecuted. She seems sympathetic but will they get back together? The feelings still seem to be there.

Daniel is walking around with his head in the clouds, unwilling to talk to pretty much anyone though he keeps looking for Sinead out windows and on the street. Sinead is upset, too, but still thinks she did the right thing calling the police. Denise isn't having much luck connecting with her son, either, but I would have been surprised if Daniel had welcomed her with open arms. Adam is out of prison and a bit peeved that Ken would lie for Daniel. Ken is calling a family meeting but is mysterious about what he wants to talk about. They'll all find out soon enough.

Before Ken returned, Daniel tells Peter and Tracy about Denise. Adam follows Ken in and Peter nearly takes his head off because he still thinks Adam was the attacker. But everyone freezes in shock when Daniel admits it was him. So Peter launches himself at Daniel instead and has to be pulled off though Tracy and Adam are equally enraged considering they were both in the nick for the crime and Daniel just stood by. The whole family shout and scream and are highly affronted that Ken is defending Daniel and Ken tells them all that they all have to take some of the blame.

For a man that had a stroke 6 months ago and is told to avoid stress, he's got the constitution of an ox. They seem to have dropped that little issue altogether because it's been non stop high anxiety for Ken ever since and he's fit as a fiddle. He owns his own responsibility in the whole situation and he wants to put it all behind them all and move forward. Everyone needs to forgive everyone else and he'll start by forgiving them. I think they might find it a bit more difficult. Adam, Peter and Tracy then try to run Daniel out of town, wanting to disown him completely. But when Denise comes back to the flat, Daniel's a wreck and he cries in his mother's arms.

Daniel is very down on himself, as you would expect and Denise is walking on eggshells around him. Ken is still speaking to him and tries to be supportive and forgiving but Daniel isn't ready to forgive himself. He wants to turn himself in, with the bloody book as evidence. Ken gets hold of it and makes Daniel burn it which Adam spies through the back fence along with Ken and Daniel making friends again.

Adam is at odds but Peter is supportive. He's letting Adam stay at his flat while he and Toyah are going to Cornwall on holiday. Tracy has to go to court for all that business with Rob. Will she get sentenced? Or will that horseshoe up her backside keep her luck running to the good? Yes, yes she's still lucky. 9 months suspended. Liz was not best pleased. I do like that Denise told off Tracy, Peter and Adam even if it was rather politely and didn't take any guff off any of them. I do hope she does stay for awhile!

Over in the factory, an order has gone walkabout and it might have been Gina's fault. Gina, meanwhile, seems to be worried about finances, and is trying to extend her overdraft at the bank. Later we find her accidentally damaging some items she was trying to pack. She panicked and ran some replacements up herself while everyone was at lunch. Johnny sees her but doesn't realize why until he finds the damaged goods later and she shows him the replacements. Johnny's impressed and gives her a job on the machines!

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Rovers Return tiles raise over £36,000 for Manchester bomb attack charity

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Nick Frank with the tiles he removed to sell for charity
Art Director Nick Franklin has done a wonderful thing.  He removed some of the tiles from the Rovers Return on the old Coronation Street set as it's being demolished.

With donated frames from Ikea, Nick created 22 pieces of artwork from the tiles - representing the 22 people who died in the Manchester bomb attack.  The tiles then went up for auction on ebay as part of a charity initiative to raise funds for the Manchester bomb attack victims.

The ebay auction ended last night, with all of the tiles being sold. The cheapest one went for £650 and the most expensive at £1,850.  The total raised was for the charity from the sale of the tiles was £18,404.55

Nick then announced on twitter that not only was he over the moon to have sold all the tiles for such a great price for the charity, but that Vodaphone had doubled the amount raised to a whopping £36,809.10.

Well done to Nick and to all of the people who bought one of the tiles. I had a reserve of £50 on one of them, but was outbid immediately, and rightly so!

Follow Nick on twitter: @NickFrank2010

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Stars Narrate New Poetry Book For Kids

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Jennie McAlpine and Bruno Langley, who play Fiz and Todd in Coronation Street, are the voices behind a new audio book of poems for children.

The book, called Poems for Cheeky Children has been written by John Langley. It contains 19 hilarious poems for kids aged five to infinity!

These original, humorous, and beautiful poems are perfect for your cheeky children. Poems include "Boris the Fish", "Tom the Train Driver", "Roxy", "Naughty Nigel", and many more!

You can download it from iTunes here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Listen: Brian Capron Reveals Richard Hillman Secrets

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog May 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Brian Capron, who played the wonderful Richard Hillman in Coronation Street, has been interviewed by Matthew Rolland.  It's an excellent interview and Brian reveals a few Coronation Street secrets about playing the murdering Richard Killer Hillman too.

Brian tells Matthew Rolland that he signed up to Coronation Street for only six months at the start. But then a new producer came into the show who saw something special in the character of Richard Hillman and decided to put him into the spotlight.

Richard Hillman's storyline had so many twists and turns in it, Brian says. "He was a complex character and a lovely character to play, he genuinely loved his family, I found him fascinating,"

With Richard Hillman capturing the imagination of the writers and the audience, Corrie's ratings shot up and some of the programmes were seen by 20 million people. "It was a nice little boost to my career," he says. And he said that because Richard Hillman was so well known, when he left the show, he became known as the guy people wanted to put on theatre posters as so many people recognised him from TV.

He said he was delighted to see Tina O'Brien back as Sarah Platt in Corrie, and always calls in to see his ex-colleagues when he's up in Manchester.  But he said that he feels the new street is colder than the old one and he's sad that the old street has been torn down.

Brian is currently starring on stage in a play called Strictly Murder written by Brian Clemens, who wrote Dad's Army
You can listen to the full interview here.  Brian Capron starts speaking at 26 minutes in.

Follow Matt Rolland on twitter: @MattRolland93

And if you'd like to know more about the life of Richard Hillman on Coronation Street, it's all wrapped up in this great book - Norman Bates with a Briefcase.

Brian Capron wrote the foreword to the book.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Friday, 23 June 2017

Who's Maxine Peacock? Here's all you need to know

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Last night on Coronation Street, Bethany and Craig were sitting on Maxine's Bench outside of Audrey's salon.  They wondered who the bench was dedicated to. Bethany dismissed Maxine's name saying something like: "She used to live around here. I think I've heard her name mentioned."

Well, to refresh Bethany's memory as well as anyone else who can't remember, or don't know, Maxine Peacock, here's her life in a nutshell.

She worked as a hairdresser in the salon.

She married Ashley Peacock.

She had an affair with her doctor, Matt Ramsden and gave birth to his son.

She really should have stayed at the party.

In 2003 she was killed by Richard Hillman.  Richard, you'll remember, was married to Gail.  After he killed Maxine and tried to kill Emily, he drove the Platts into the canal in his car and tried to kill them all.

Would Bethany really not know who Maxine was, when Maxine's killer had been married to her gran? Or perhaps Bethany knew only too well and was trying to move the conversation with Craig away from one of her family's dirty secrets?

You can relive all of the Richard Hillman saga with this fab fan book: Norman Bates with a Briefcase

Tracy Shaw reprised the role of the ghost of Maxine Peacock, visiting Norris Cole in a one-off sketch show as part of ITV's Text Santa charity initiative which was broadcast on 21st December 2012. (With thanks to Corriepedia)

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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