I 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
Deirdre 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
Anyone 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
“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
If there is any show capable of adding humour into a heartbreaking situation then it’s Coronation Street when it’s on top form…and top form is the onlyway to describe Friday’s recent double bill.
Despite being the one who is usually spot on with dodgy guys (despite daughter Gail’s insistence that they are ‘good men’ *blink blink*), the shoe was on the other foot for our Auds and she fell hook line and sinker for ‘more smarm than charm’ Lewis. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t? I’m a heterosexual male and he often sent my heart fluttering.
Lewis had just scammed the bookies out of £4000 by distracting dozy Deirdre with a kiss but Peter decided to check the CCTV. In front of Ken obviously. I was cringeing for Deirdre as her idiocy and infidelity was played out on screen but that wasn’t the worst of it. The whole sorry escapade was replayed in front of the Platts, Rita and Rula Lenska at Audrey’s goodbye bash.
I’m not sure who I felt more sorry for. Deirdre as she endured the humiliation of being exposed on screen or Audrey as her teenage like dream shattered so publicly.
What was my favourite moment of the episode? It’s really hard to decide. I loved the fact that Lewis turned out to have a conscience at the end of the day. I love Rosie’s transition from tramp into comedy character recently. I love this brilliant Platt versus Barlow war that’s brewing and all the hilarious snidey comments that were supplied. I loved a drunk Rula Lenska twisting the knife wherever possible. I loved the interaction between Ken and Deirdre afterwards as they gloomily repaired their marriage with great bitterness yet again…while inwardly wishing there was something better like a real Lewis or a lady on the barge pulling up again. I love the development of Natasha’s character…she’s very intriguing and I do wish she hadn’t been given the axe. And of course, I loved Gail splattering Deirdre with a Manchester Cream Tart!
Corrie has been a bit dire the past year but it seems, for me anyway, to be very much on the road to recovery. This was classic Coronation Street: laughter, heartbreak and true human dramas rolled into one. Hats off to the writers and cast for this one…long may it continue.
Posted By Our Man In The North
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.