Tag Archives: Coronation Street

Coronation Street: Hayley’s farewell

roy hayley coronation street“This is why no one watches Coronation Street,” PLA Jr will often (inaccurately) say. By “this,” she means that a lot of the characters are older people, some of them funny, frumpy, dowdy. The drama usually revolves around small-scale, human concerns.

There’s nobody frumpier and more dowdy than Roy and Hayley. Roy is eccentric, introverted and takes life almost painfully literally. Hayley struggled through a gender reassignment to become an odd little woman with a fine range of cardigans, a sly sense of humour and a heart as big as an ocean. They found each other, and the unit of “Roy and Hayley” turned into one of the most solid and realistic partnerships on TV.

And last night, the partnership ended when Hayley deliberately overdosed on her pain medication and slipped off the cast list in the hideously decorated bedroom that she’d happily shared with Roy all of those years. It was perfectly acted, obviously – Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson are both wonderful actors and they made sure that all of the complex, raw emotions of the situation were right there on their faces and in every tender touch. It was also beautifully written, with Hayley saying her goodbyes to the people close to her (with them unaware that it really was for the last time), ironing Roy’s best shirt so he’d look smart for her funeral. The final scene between Roy and Hayley was almost too painful to watch.

It was real and human, and this, in a nutshell, is why people watch Coronation Street.

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Celebrity Big Brother: When one Battersby isn’t enough

janice lesTime was when Bruce “Les Battersby” Jones was the most disliked and disgraced ex-Corrie star, but that was in the good old days before most of the cast had to be suspended or let go for offences alleged or actual.

And now here he is on Celebrity Big Brother, alongside former screen wife Vicky “Janice” Entwistle. I don’t know how recovering alcoholic Bruce is going to settle down in CBB – I caught a glimpse of him being interviewed by Jeremy Kyle once and he seemed like a vulnerable kind of man to me, but perhaps the powers that be are hoping he’ll have a ratings-winning meltdown.

Vicky set to by pouring wine for everyone (I’m not very good at this…”). This is a good move, as early domination of the kitchen has often proved to be a tactically wise decision. I can already hear evicted junior housemates telling Emma Willis, “Vicky was my mum in the house.”

They won’t be saying that about Carol McGiffin, as she set out her stall early doors (as “Big Ron” Atkinson would say – he’s in there too) by informing Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore that she isn’t actually famous, although Ms Crosby clearly thinks she is due to her apparent fondness for not being concerned how, when or upon whom she goes to the toilet (she’s currently favourite to win – *baffled face*). Carol McGiffin is therefore, early doors, my favourite housemate.   Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Baby love

deirdre eileen corrieThey’re having more than their fair share of emotional turmoil in Coronation Street at the moment, with various strands of the aftermath of the Rovers Return fire still playing out (though in most respects you’d never have known there’d been a fire, they’ve so lovingly recreated the outdated ambience of the establishment). Eileen’s descent into sleep-deprived, alcohol-enhanced barminess due to her fear that firefighting boyfriend Paul might not come back from his next shift in one piece has been very amusing, not least when she got drunk with Deirdre Barlow and they had a discussion about Deirdre’s belts, which are purchased online apparently. “I can send you the link,” Deirdre offered. Eileen declined. No one wears a belt quite like Deirdre. Elsewhere, Dev is determined to prove that Sunita (or “Suniiiiiiiita-a-a-a-a!”) didn’t start the fire. His behaviour has become erratic even by his own erratic standards, which is making it easy for Karl, the real culprit, to discredit him as “losing it.”

There’s also been a side plot running about whether Marcus, who identifies himself as gay, can really be in love with Maria, who identifies herself as a hair stylist, while still being gay (Marcus, not Maria).

tina corrieBut the central storyline involves Tina McIntyre acting as a surrogate so that Izzy and Gary can have a baby. This was extremely well set up. Izzy, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, had a miscarriage and felt she couldn’t cope physically and emotionally with the trauma of trying to have another child, although she was desperate to be a mother. Up stepped Tina, who as well as being strapped for cash due to boyfriend Tommy’s stupidity, is quite a vulnerable person herself following the death of her father. Although she gives the impression of being very together and quite feisty, there’s something quite lost about her. She’s also radiantly beautiful.   Continue reading

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Coronation Street: The Rovers burns!

coronation street fireSo the Rovers Return as we know it is no more. Gutted (or “ga’id” as they say on EastEnders) by a fire started by the ghastly Carl, which has claimed the life of expendable only-here-for-the-plot firefighter Toni and is presumably about to claim the life of Sunita (since Shobna Gulati is no longer working for Coronation Street). Presumably it’s also claimed the memorial picture of Betty Williams that used to hang on the wall, too.

The fire scenes were rather exciting and well done, and quite amusingly juxtaposed with the team of “stripping” firefighters over at Nick’s Bistro.

Actually, most of the heat generated from the fire episodes will have been from viewers cringing with embarrassment at the sight of the likes of Factory Owner Rob, Jason the Builder and Dr Carter gyrating toplessly (and cluelessly, in most cases). I was especially shocked by Dr Carter’s behaviour. I know he’s meant to be youngish and trendyish and has already been out with Tina McIntyre (who dumped him because he was boring), but would a GP really get involved in stripping in front of his patients? If there isn’t something in the Hippocratic Oath about that, there should be. I can only thank every deity you can name that my GP hasn’t thought of doing it. Ugh.   Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Wedding’s off

leanne coronation streetUnlike EastEnders, no-one died in Christmas Corrie, apart from what was left of Leanne’s self respect. Not content with being betrothed to Catch of the Street Nick Tilsley (marry Nick and you get half a bistro and Gail as your mother-in-law), she was secretly hankering after Peter Barlow, a man formerly known mainly for accidentally setting fire to stuff and falling over bladdered. A recent sojourn in LA has seen him return looking tanned (possibly a bit too tanned), bearded and a bit buff. Like a northern George Clooney, in a certain light. And he still loves Leanne. Of course he does. What’s not to love about the self-righteous, self-centred, always-in-the-right Leanne?

So you can understand her hurtling from the wedding car in her bridal gown and faux fur to have one last go at Peter before she committed herself to becoming Mrs Tilsley. Unfortunately, Peter is in possession of such animal magnetism (it’s genetic – he gets it from Ken) that the radiant Carla Connor had flown all the way back from LA just to be near him, so Leanne was out of luck and trundled off to the high-class wedding venue to get wed to the man she loves second best in the world.

There’s always that moment in a soap wedding where the registrar/vicar asks whether anyone knows a reason why the happy couple shouldn’t be married. Norris (who invited Norris?) was twitching in his seat to have his say, but he had nothing to contribute. Luckily, Leanne’s unloving sister Eva was on hand to save Nick from being married to a woman whose wardrobe consists of nasty cardigans and resentment, by telling everyone about Leanne’s earlier visit to Peter.

Stella was so angry with Eva she threw her out in the street in a terrifyingly plunging neckline. Nick was so miserable he ended up sleeping with his sister-in-law, Kylie Platt. Carla wasn’t best pleased to learn the man she’d forsaken the delights of LA for was still in love with the most miserable woman in Weatherfield.

But at least no-one died.

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Coronation Street news: Compare the Market sponsor Corrie

Meerkats. They’re everywhere. And now they’re getting involved with Coronation Street as well. Compare the Market are taking over the sponsorship of Coronation Street, so those adorable, charming or just plain annoying (delete as applicable) critters will be popping up at either side of every segment of your favourite Manchester-based soap for the foreseeable future.

Watch below as they turn Eric Spear’s famous Corrie theme tune into a bit of a folksy toe-tapper.

#MeerkatBand

Posted by PLA         (more Coronation Street posts here)

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I’m A Celebrity: Poor Helen

I was extremely pleased when I heard that Charlie Brooks and Helen Flanagan were lined up for this new series of I’m a Celebrity. Rosie Webster and Janine Butcher slugging it out in the jungle – what’s not to like?

They aren’t playing their famous characters, obviously, though it turns out two episodes in that Helen might be a bit closer to her soapy alter ego than Charlie is. I like Charlie. She seems sensible, a little bit impatient (I can relate) and quite kind, in an unsentimental way. I would describe her as “motherly,” but the kind of mother who won’t take any nonsense. She also has a really beautiful smile.

Helen, on the other hand, is completely fluffy. From what she’s said, it seems like she can barely function in the real world. She pays someone £25 every other day to do her hair, because she can’t do it herself, and once lived alone for a year and didn’t clean her flat once. When she left it needed an industrial deep clean. This isn’t all that surprising, given that she’s been Rosie Webster since she was a kid, and it’s kind of endearing that she cheerfully admits to it all.

Helen has faced every challenge in the jungle so far head-on – and screamed, cried and trembled her way through it. Scared to go to sleep (rats), to the toilet (spiders and smells) and pretty much terrified of everything else the jungle has to offer, Helen has become this year’s “Let’s pick her for every challenge” person. I wonder if this is also because she looks fabulous in her bikini. Somehow (even despite looking fabulous in a bikini), she’s not annoying me, though. She’s not an attention-seeking wimp like Gillian McKeith. She’ll have a go, though it’ll probably end up with her covered in mascara and snot and/or bailing out ridiculously early.

Less fabulous in a bikini (I assume), but also being picked for every challenge is Nadine Dorries MP. Ant and Dec have been speculating that most of the votes for her are coming from the Prime Minister’s office.

Oh, Ant and Dec. The main reason I love I’m A Celebrity. If someone told me the two of them hate each other in real life, I don’t think I could cope. They have such brilliant chemistry and comic timing, and they make what they do seem effortless.

If only it was that easy for poor Helen Flanagan.

Posted by PLA          (More I’m A Celebrity posts here)

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Coronation Street: Just say no

Education’s not all it’s cracked up to be, is it? Michelle sent Our Ryan away to university thinking he would come back all educated and ready to earn an honest living and that, but what’s happened? His appearance has totally changed – indeed, one might even think he wasn’t the same person any more – and he’s been thrown out of college and has taken up a cocaine habit.

The morphing into a new actor bit is a considerable improvement. Our Ryan Mark 1 bore an unfortunate resemblance to a Playmobil character and he had the acting talents to match. Ryan Mark 2 (Sol Heras) is somewhat easier on the eye and has presumably been chosen because of that and because he can handle “adult” storylines.

On the subject of which, are the Street’s citizens all so naive that nobody noticed he kept disappearing to the toilet at regular intervals and always came back with rather more of a spring in his step than when he went in? The ghastly truth of his descent into drugs hell was revealed last night when Michelle caught him at it, hoovering white powder off a toilet seat in the Rovers. The Rovers! There’s been no Class A activity in there since Becky got framed by a corrupt copper. At least we can rely on Stella to keep her surfaces clean. Who knows what he’d have inhaled in the Flying Horse? It’s all such a shock it’s no wonder poor, innocent Kylie Platt practically had a fit of the vapours when he offered her a line. The former cage dancer has apparently never been exposed to such corruption and decadence.

Elsewhere, poor Izzy has had to contend with the double trouble of a miscarriage and all the men in her life being a tad intense. It can’t be easy to find Gary looming just inches from your face at any given time.

I expect Carl is starting to feel the same about Sunita, who is trying her hardest to ignore the fact that he’s obviously not that bothered about her or her Beautiful Children and is trying to pretend she has found True Love. Really, Sunita. We know Dev has his drawbacks – a tendency to yodel in times of high emotion, a hairstyle from the 70′s and a strange enthusiasm for golf, but these are not reasons to dump him in favour of a gambling-addicted Len Fairclough lookalike who’d rather be with another woman and/or in the bookies than be with you. Have some self respect, woman.

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Coronation Street: Toast, Tragedy and Terry versus Tommy, Tina and Tirrone

Toasted cheese mishaps, community flower wars, heads banged on concrete, copious close-up buttock squeezing, coppers packing underwear instead of heat and the Platts at war…another standard week was had by all in Coronation Street.

The main item on the menu in Corrie’s big week (aside from toasted cheese and toasted Lesley) was the culmination of the ‘Terry ImageDuckworth is still a rogue’ plot twist. As he ambled around the Street trying to get his podgy paws onto Tirrone’s 9-grand, the only person with enough intelligence to see through him was, rather worryingly, Tina, which says a lot for the mentality of the other players in the storyline. With pantomime villain glares at the end of every scene and his usual unpleasant charm on show throughout, it wasn’t really difficult to figure out that Terry was less interested in a relationship with his son than Sunita is in monogamy.

Nevertheless, braindead Tommy spent his week faithfully taking on loan sharks that wouldn’t look out of place in a retirement home and pilfering money from his equally idiotic friends to pay off his devilish dad. This led to a rather painful experience (and an even more painfully executed stunt) for Tina as she fell over and bumped her head lightly, before falling asleep. This led to another trip to what must surely be a purpose built hospital set for Corrie, seeing as it has had to accommodate so many storylines recently.  Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Becky leaves in style

The traditional ways to leave Weatherfield (apart from being murdered by Tony Gordon or John Stape) are by taxi or Weatherfield Hopper, that curious little bus that only appears when someone needs it and has a driver who is happy to wait as long as you want while you have an argument or tearful goodbye with a loved one.

I doubt whether anyone ever in the history of Coronation Street has uttered their final lines on the show while drinking champagne in the first class section of a flight to Barbados. But that’s exactly the way Becky McDonald (Katherine Kelly) left the show last night, and it was brilliant.

Since her early appearances as a chain smoking, back stabbing petty criminal in 2006, Becky has morphed into one of the most loved characters in the show. I’ve not always been a fan of her tendency to go over the top (eg the drunken hysteria of her wedding to “Stevie” and the way she used to convey passion for the poor lad by applying herself to the front of him like the alien creature sticking itself to John Hurt’s face in Alien), but she’s always been quirky, vulnerable, feisty, loveable and infuriating in equal measure. Her relationship with the Croppers, no strangers to quirkiness themselves, has formed one of the most touching and convincing “families” ever seen on a soap, and I had a huge lump in my throat when she kissed them goodbye in last night’s episode.  Continue reading

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