Tuesday, 21 November 2017

5 Corrie characters we often take for granted

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

Last week Andy Whyment celebrated 17 years as Kirk Sutherland on Coronation Street. We wrote a celebratory blog post about the milestone and you can read it here.

And the milestone started me off thinking about Kirk, as you do, and how we often forget he's there, despite him actually being an integral part of the show.  It's because Kirk plays a low-key part. He doesn't get blown up or involved in a drugs storyline that makes headline news. He isn't nasty to anyone, he's not a villain or a thief. He's not feckless either, he's just a bit, well, Kirk.  And we often take him for granted. He's a few more of those Corrie characters just like Kirk, who blend into the background too often.

I'm a huge fan of Izzy Armstrong and would love nothing more than for her and Gary to get back together but with the baby bombshell set to explode, there seems little hope of that.  Izzy is too often overlooked, in my opinion.  Like Kirk, she's not nasty or a villain, she's got a heart of gold. But she does need a storyline before we forget that she's there.

FAY(e) Armstrong joined Coronation Street as a troubled girl and she's turning into a troubled young woman. Well, wouldn't you if you had to live with Anna?  And while Faye has had her share of storylines and drama, it's the fact that as we've watched Ellie Leach, grow up on screen, we forget sometimes just what a cracking young actress she is. Corrie have a great actress on their hands with Ellie Leach in my opinion and just because she plays wayward Faye with a nasty streak, let that never overshadow the fact of how good she can be on screen. And let's never take her for granted.

Ken Barlow. He's been at Corrie since the show started in 1960 but doesn't have a great deal to do at the moment. However, Ken was at the centre of one of Corrie's biggest storylines this year in the case of Who Pushed Ken? It's easy to think of Ken, at times, as not relevant any more to the show. After all, the rest of the Barlow clan have enough going on with their fights and double dealings. But let's remember that Ken is the only Corrie original still in the show and that's worth never forgetting about.

And finally, Roy Cropper, who has become as bland as a decaff teabag left behind the counter at Roy's Rolls. Come on, Corrie, let's NEVER take Roy (and David Neilson's great acting skills) for granted. It's easy to forget Roy's a part of the show at the moment, because, quite frankly, he isn't there very often on screen. And when he is, it's a fleeting moment, handing over a barm cake or a coffee in the cafe. Roy is Corrie gold and as such, should sparkle bright.

So, there you have it, my personal five characters I often take for granted but would really like to see more made of in the show. If you had to pick your own five, who would they be?

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Harry Visinoni Interviews: Seb's HIV diganosis

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

When is the first time that Seb is told he could have HIV?

Seb is told when he’s just come round, he’s totally unsuspecting. Abi and Anna come in and Seb picks up that something is not right.

What’s Seb’s first thoughts when he hears that he may have HIV?

Seb thinks, ‘Why? How?’ - he doesn’t think it’s real. He’s in a lot of shock, it’s totally unexpected. It’s probably the last thing he thought they were going to say.

Why does he refuse the test?

He’s scared. One half of Seb is in denial and doesn’t want to find out for sure but the other half of him thinks he probably does have it so there is no point in taking the test, he might as well just resign his fate. His whole life he feels like he has let down his brother and sister, that he is a failure, that his mum hates him. So now how intense he feels in that hospital bed, part of him is questioning whether he wants to even carry on. He’s always felt low but this is the most ready-to-give-up, the most hopeless he’s felt.

What is his reaction when he finds out he is HIV positive?

Confusion, a sense of dread and hopelessness. Growing up as a teenager, he is totally ignorant about everything and so when he has heard about HIV he has heard that you can die from it.

How do Anna, Faye and Abi react?

Abi doesn’t hold it together very well which frustrates Seb but Anna and Faye treat him like their family. But it’s scary for them because Faye possibly has it as well...

Have you seen a different reaction from viewers after we have seen Seb’s home life?

Yes, it’s gone from comments like ‘pasty little teenager’ to people saying, “you’re doing a good job,” so it’s been nice! It’s great that his background offers an explanation to why he has behaved the way he has. 

Have you done any research into HIV?

When I started to look into HIV, I felt really ignorant myself because, until this storyline was given to me, I didn’t realise that you can live a life with HIV and it not affect your day to day life. And it surprised me to find that out but that there is still such a stigma attached to HIV. It’s such a global disaster, for example the effects that it has had on Africa, it’s really upsetting.

Have you found it challenging to play this storyline?

It has been challenging working out where all the emotion is coming from within myself but I’ve really put time into it. It’s great to be a part of this storyline and doing my bit to help rid the prejudice against HIV.

What do you anticipate the audience reaction to be?

If people don’t know much about HIV, hopefully they will be as surprised as I was to find out that it is something that you can live with. Hopefully they learn more about HIV than they did beforehand.

What has it been like working with Debbie Rush and Ellie Leach?

It’s a pleasure to have scenes with them because you can push each other and test each other. It’s a collaboration and I am really lucky to work with them.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Monday, 20 November 2017

Tony Warren's typewriter and scripts on show at Salford Museum

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

Today is the day that the Tony Warren exhibition opens at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

And those who were there on the press preview day earlier this week have revealed what's in store for fans to see at the exhibition.

The BBC tell us that there's a script for Tony Warren's previously unknown first attempt at a soap opera, called Seven, Bessie Street. His friend David Tucker said it centres on a terraced street but is otherwise very different from Coronation Street.

Tony Warren left his estate to Mr Tucker, a friend of 22 years, with an instruction to destroy all creative works that weren't already in the public domain. But Mr Tucker decided to keep the Seven, Bessie Street - with the proviso that no one else could read it.

The exhibition also traces Warren's early life and career, which included acting in the BBC's Northern Children's Hour and writing for police series Shadow Squad.  The exhibition also includes the typewriter Warren used in his early years.

The exhibition also shows his past as a male model, appearing on the cover of a 1957 edition of Knitters Digest and on the packet for a pullover knitting pattern.

There are many mementos from the Corrie years too, including his MBE, various awards, his red This Is Your Life book and letters from former poet laureate John Betjeman describing it as his "favourite programme".

Betjeman and Laurence Olivier were such fans that they were chairman and president respectively of the British League for Hilda Ogden, established in 1979.

Tony Warren's Coronation Street runs at Salford Museum & Art Gallery until 3 July.

As part of the exhibition there are a lot of events happening connected to Coronation Street and you can find out more here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Corrie legend turns down I'm a Celebrity jungle

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

I'm not a big fan of reality TV shows but there is one show for which I make an exception - and that's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!  

The Mirror reports today that Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear (Bet Gilroy) was approached to join the jungle show this year but turned it down.

She's said before in press interviews that she'd never do the jungle show because she wouldn't be allowed to smoke on the flight to Australia. And the Mirror are running the story again and this time they're quoting an ex-producer of the show called Lisa Mary London, who lifted the lid on the celeb world in her new book Reality Rehab. 
She said: "Soap legend Julie Goodyear frustrated me when she rang in person to say she'd love to do the show if we could get her to Australia by boat!" because of her cigarette addiction.

Corrie cast members who have been in the jungle include Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster) and Antony Cotton (Sean Tully).

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Corrie's Bhavna Limbachia wins Asian TV Award

Congratulations go to Coronation Street actor Bhavna Limbachia, who plays Rana Nazir.

Bhavna last night won an award for the Best TV Character in the Asian Media Awards.

You can watch a video of her collceting her award, below, via Debbie Manley on Twitter @debbiemanley

Read more Corrie news, interviews, gossip and spoilers  

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Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

5 Corrie couples who shouldn't be together

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

There are couples I love on Coronation Street such as Tim and Sally, Johnny and Jenny, Newton and Ridley. And then there are those who, for this fan, just don't work. This doesn't mean that I don't love the individual characters but when they've been put together with, for me, the wrong person, it falls flat and they have no chemistry on screen. You may well disagree and I'd love to hear from you in the comments.  Here then, are my five least favourite couples on Coronation Street.

Toyah and Peter. I've written before about how much I love Georgia Taylor as an actress and how much I enjoy Toyah on screen.  But where's the feisty, fighting Toyah that we knew and loved from back in the Battersby days? Where's the drive and determination gone? Remember when she wanted to be a journalist, an eco-warrier with Spider? Now, that drive and determination has gone into her IVF and baby-making plans, she is consumed by it and it's become dull.  She and Peter have zero chemistry and neither of them look comfortable behind the Rovers bar. Bring back Spider for Toyah. Carla's coming back - will she take up with Peter again? And finally, bring back Liz to the Rovers for us all.

The only good thing about Anna and Kevin together is that Debbie Rush is leaving the show and their relationship will soon be over. Kevin's a Corrie legend, king of the bomber jacket. Anna's the required Street harpie. Apart they're fantastic. Together? Dull as ditchwater.

Oh, please don't hate me when I say that Billy and Todd shouldn't be together. I love watching these two as a couple, I really love it. But I want them to split up before Todd breaks Billy's heart, which he surely will one of these days.  That's the only reason I don't think they should be together because with these two, pain and heartbreak is just an episode away.

I'm going to say it and I'm going to say it loud. I LOVE Kym Marsh in Coronation Street. She's a fantastic actress and her character has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. She deserves every award going for the baby Ruari storyline which broke my heart in a million pieces. Michelle divorcing Steve made sense but putting her together with Robert Preston was a mistake of the highest order. The man is far too boring for someone as bright and sparky as Michelle. He dulls her light, split them up, please Corrie, and let her sparkle again.

And finally, Zeedan and Rana Nazir. She likes girls, Zee, and she's just not that into you. Dump her, get into your Speed Dahl van and drive far, far away.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Friday, 17 November 2017

Rob Mallard signs to Corrie for another year

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

Good news for fans of Rob Mallard, who plays Coronation Street's Daniel Osbourne.  Rob has signed up to Coronation Street for another year.

Speaking to The Sun Online, Rob said: "Well I've just signed my second year so as far as it comes for the next year or so I think I'm quite safe for now but who knows at the end of that?"

And he also said that his character Daniel might get back together with Sinead, even though she's now engaged to Chesney.

He said: "Yeah - absolutely there's a way back because the only reason she isn't still with Daniel is because when they first got together the drama erupted with the Barlows that she obviously got pulled into. Aside from that they had everything going for them. They were both a little bit left of centre, not really part of any crowd - they didn't have an in-group, they found an in-group with each other, and I think they will always have that."

I'm really pleased Rob is staying on the Street. Daniel is a complex, troubled young man, proving that he's more, much more, than his dad Ken's mini-me.  And I really would like to see his mum Denise Osbourne return too.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Harry Visinoni interview on Seb's HIV diagnosis

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

Last night on Coronation Street, Seb Franklin was given the news that he is HIV positive.  Harry Visinoni, who plays Seb, has given an interview to Digital Spy about playing Seb and the HIV storyline.  It's a good read.

In a nutshell, Harry says that producer Kate Oates told him about the storyline in advance and asked if he'd be OK with it.  He says: "Corrie trusting me with this was a great surprise and I was very grateful. It motivated me to hopefully do it well." and "It's the biggest thing I've done in my career by a mile, really."

And he also says that after so many scenes with Phelan, he would love to be involved in Phelan's comeuppance.

"Oh, that'd be the cherry on top to be involved in that storyline. Phelan's comeuppance is bound to be very dramatic. If I had a little role in that, that would definitely be one for the showreel, wouldn't it?"

You can read the full interview here.

Terrence Higgins Trust

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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