“This place doesn’t change a bit,” cooed Ken Barlow affectionately, as he disembarked from a (non-Streetcars!) taxi, cloaked in an American style white blazer, and smiling contently.
How wrong could he have been? Quite apart from the fact that the Street physically has changed due to the recent studio move, there has been a lot that has happened in his absence that Ken did not know about. By the end of Monday night’s double, he had ambled miserably and exhausted to bed without supper or wife, having finally been put in the full, sordid picture.
But while Ken ended up being unhappy with his welcome home, it was a treat for viewers who have felt something missing in the absence of Ken, the undisputed King of Coronation Street.
The scenes between Ken and Deirdre were classic Corrie, and comfortably reminiscent of their fiery relationship of yesteryear. Ken’s fury at Deirdre’s level of secret keeping and Deirdre’s devastation as the pressure she’s been under finally hit her allowed William Roache and Anne Kirkbride to do what they’ve been wanting to do for over a year; give stellar performances together once more.
Of course, Ken and Deirdre ham it up; when have the Barlows not been a tongue in cheek married couple? But Ken and Deirdre are as endeared to the British public almost as much as fish and chips and it was surprisingly comforting to see them reunited on screen.
As Ken sauntered to the shop to buy some wine for Deirdre, having realised that a posh bottle of maple syrup wasn’t an adequate gift to compensate for over a year’s absence, he bumped into Carla, which led to a cringingly awkward moment of Ken asking Carla if she had really tried hard enough in her marriage to Peter.
Carla decided it would be best all round to take Ken into the bustling Rovers to inform him of his son’s infidelity and subsequent murder charge, alongside the miscarriage of his grandchild. Ken’s shock and anger later turned to determination and, to Rob’s clear worry, the Barlow Godfather is adamant that he will sort this mess once and for all.
Ken’s back, he means business, he is ready to fight, he doesn’t trust Rob and he’s a vegetarian. Suddenly, all is well in Coronation Street again.
Written By Our Man In The North
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