Tag Archives: anne kirkbride

Coronation Street in mourning: Anne Kirkbride 1954-2015

UK News 7-2I didn’t for a moment expect that this would be something I’d have to write anytime soon; like the rest of the UK and the fans of Coronation Street worldwide, I remain reeling with shock and despair at the passing of Anne Kirkbride after the news broke yesterday evening.

Anne, renowned for creating and portraying one of Coronation Street’s most endearing, iconic and popular characters of all time, has passed away at the young age of 60, after a short illness. Her final, now poignant appearance was in October 2014, when she took a 3 month break. We all expected to see Deirdre back sometime soon; how awful then that the unthinkable is now the case: we will never see Deirdre Barlow on Coronation Street again.  Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Deirdre is a trifle upset

Coronation-Street-WK41Deirdre doesn’t have much luck with desserts does she? I still have fond memories of Gail giving her a faceful of Manchester tart (I’m referring to the cream filled delicacy here; not Leanne) but last night, it was her famous trifle that was creating a mess, as recent pressures took their toll and she pulverised her pudding against the Barlow front room wall.

At first, I thought Deirdre’s fit of temper was a result of her anguish at the state of recent Corrie storylines such as Tyrone falling through his attic floor and Neil and Tim getting stuck on roofs. But it turns out that this whole Peter business has affected Deirdre more than anyone realised and as Tracy, Rob, Carla and Ken bickered over the imminent trial across the dinner table, unset jelly and a lack of hundreds and thousands sprinkles pushed Deirdre over the edge. In a cataclysmic pandemonium of watery jelly, wobbly custard (unsprinkled) and soggy sponge, the evening’s dessert was thrown against the wall and Ken finally realised just how stressed his poor wife had become.   Continue reading

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UK Soaps: A year where being a beautiful young woman meant death

EmmerdaleAnyone who is anyone in the UK British soap magazine world knows that today, the results of the Inside Soap Awards 2014 are revealed, about half a year since they were launched. I call them the Inside Soap Awards 2014, but I prefer to know them as ‘The ‘Which Soap has the most dedicated multi-voting fans awards 2014.’

Either way, it’s got me thinking (dangerous stuff, I know) about the last year in the world of soap. Here, I reflect on a year of underwater escapades, murders of beautiful young women, collapsing attic floors, rooftop death dramas, dramatic house fires and Steve McDonald.

I know, given the fact that I write here about all soaps, that I should display some degree of impartiality, but I’ll openly declare that I have mostly voted Emmerdale this year. So, that’s as good a place to start as any. It’s been a blockbuster year in Britain’s most eventful village and not a leek show in sight. Instead of village fetes and sheep shearing, we’ve seen armed sieges, rooftop plunges and Charity Macey getting slapped about the chops with her husband’s meat tenderiser.   Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Murder and vegetarian double shocker as Ken returns

“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.  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 old home town looks the same. Apart from…

Liz McDonald has been away in Spain for ages. Since well before Christmas. She arrived back in the Street this week with a particularly unpleasant hairdo, but otherwise looking all perky and refreshed, and looking forward to catching up with all her friends and relatives, as you do.

Rather than the happy homecoming she expected, it’s been more like stumbling into The Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Things in Weatherfield are most definitely not how they used to be.

The most obvious thing to most people would be that a tram has crashed into the street, necessitating a total rebuild of those Weatherfield institutions, The Corner Shop and The Kabin. Liz, however, is a family woman first and foremost, and is most keen to see her granddaughter, Our Amy, and ply her with straw donkeys and inflammable Spanish leisurewear. Shock number one: Our Amy has moved! Not very far, mind. She’s only the other side of the wall at the Barlows, with (shock number two!) her mum, Tracy. That’s Tracy Barlow, convicted murderer but released on a technicality (the technicality being that Weatherfield was short of a villain, with Tony Gordon gone. There’s only so much evil that Owen the Builder can manage in a half-hour episode).

Shock number three is that Tracy is working behind the bar at the Rovers. “My two favourite women behind the same bar!” beamed Deirdre, oblivious to the fact that Liz hates Tracy and the feeling is bound to be mutual because Tracy hates almost everybody.

The fourth shock is that Steve and Becky seem quite relaxed about this state of affairs. This is because of something which Liz doesn’t know yet, which will come as the biggest shock of all – Steve and Becky can’t defy Tracy, because if they do, Tracy will tell the authorities that Steve and Becky bought Becky’s nephew Our Little Maxie from Becky’s sister with cold, hard cash. Frankly this was a complete waste of money anyway because they hardly ever see him, what with him being stored in some secret annexe of the Rovers for most of the time.

Another thing Liz doesn’t know is about Becky looting the cash to pay for Our Little Maxie from Dev and Sunita’s safe, while Sunita lay wounded in the rubble of the shop following the tram crash (it doesn’t sound very good when you put it like that, does it?). Liz almost found out about this when she experienced shock number five: the previously sunny Sunita was definitely a bit frosty to Liz when she went to buy Jammy Dodgers. It’s not because Sunita disapproves of the jam-filled treats, it’s because she disapproves of the entire McDonald family these days.

Shock number six is that Becky’s sister, Kylie, is now engaged to David Platt. Liz is right to be totally outraged by this one – it is truly one of the most implausible and contrived storylines ever to besmirch the cobbles of Coronation Street.

Poor Liz. No wonder it’s all got her reaching for the Silk Cut. She’s going to need a holiday after all this lot.

Posted by PLA           (more Corrie posts here)

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Coronation Street legend Maggie Jones dies

Corrie will never be the same. Maggie Jones, who played the gloriously grumpy Blanche Hunt, has passed away.  She was 75.

There are some lovely tributes to her on ITV.com – her co-star William Roache (Ken Barlow) says, “She was a tower of strength, physically frail but mentally strong as an ox and sharp as someone half her age. She had an amazing dry wit and was as funny, if not funnier than Blanche.”

Maggie appeared in over 800 episodes of Coronation Street, and, with Anne Kirkbride as  her long-suffering daughter Deirdre, she formed one of the classic comedy partnerships in soap history. Her one-liners were legendary, but she also brought great heart to the show and was truly an actress who could make you laugh and cry.

She’ll be missed.

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