So, in celebration of the musical's arrival in Manchester, what is about Coronation Street that keeps us watching in our millions - more than fifty years on? Let's take a look at why I love Corrie.
From Ena Sharples, Annie Walker, Hilda Ogden, Elsie Tanner, Bet Gilroy, Blanche Hunt, Carla Connor and Sally Webster - the one thing these women have in common is their strength of character. Such well written female roles do not appear on TV everyday. Think of the storylines these characters have had - from a lorry crashing into the Rovers, being jilted at the altar, being held at gunpoint in the factory, overcoming cancer, etc. And that's the key point really - these women do not suffer fools gladly, they are survivors and they give talented actresses unforgettable roles due the excellent writing.
Corrie has always provided viewers with great double acts. If you think about today - Hayley and Roy, Steve and Becky, Anna and Eddie are just three perfect examples - as they spar, joke, argue and laugh together. This gives the audience priceless moments. I particularly enjoy watching the Croppers and The Windasses as they often remind me of The Ogdens - as deep down there is true love here. Talking of The Ogdens - remember them? I can still remember when Stan passed away and Jean Alexander delivered a terrific performance which makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it now! But the double act extends itsellf to friends also or work colleagues.
Look no further than Rita and Mavis - the brassy nightclub singer and the mouse, Rita (again) and Norris - these two should not get on but they do and that makes their scenes so much more enjoyable, even Deidre Barlow and Eileen Grimshaw could be classed as a double act as these mates are opposites.
I'm really referring to the humour here but the clever thing about this show is the writers' ability to make you laugh one minute and cry the next. When Blanche Hunt died, I was teary eyed and smiling due to the classic one liners.
Norris: "Speed bumps? Oh no, they are so ugly and unattractive."
Blanche: "So are you, but at least they have some use."
Blanche to Deirdre and Ken: "Good looks are a curse Deirdre. You and Kenneth should count yourselves lucky."
On Roy: "He looks like he should be crayoning summit."
Ashley to Graeme: "Have you used knives?"
Graeme to Ashley: "Oh yeah, lots!"
I could go on as there are so many more quoteable lines, tune in next week.
The best thing about many of the soap's villains is that they remain on the Street. Like JR in Dallas, there is no point continually driving them out of town. Keep 'em so they wind up other residents like a manic Big Brother contestant. Two of the best are still in the show. But let's have a look at the most memorable ones. David Platt - vile, rude, funny and devious. The writers have kept him in the show and it has meant that Jack P. Shepherd almost smiles and sneers at the camera as he pushes his put-upon mother down the stairs. Tracey Barlow - remember when she went upstairs to do her homework and never came back down for a few years? When she did come down - she became a terrific villainess - killing Charlie Slater and is now out again. Tony Gordon - killed Liam and we never forgot it! Richard Hillman - serial killer in Salford! Alan Bradley - killed by a tram. Pesky modes of transport these, as there is about to be another bloodbath via the Met!
Eileen takes Sean in, Emily adopts waifs and strays, Gail seems to have an open house, and Claire looked after everyone's kids. I love this about the street, as it leads to unlikely friendships - eg Becky and Claire - on paper sounded mad. But on screen it just works - magic! Carla and Hayley get on a treat - who knew?
Some might find it wistful and old-fashioned. For me - yes - it's a reminder of my childhood but it's also a signal for me that I am about to watch thirty minutes of pure bliss that runs a gamut of emotions. Now put the kettle on as I am dying for a brew, then book for - hopefully what will be a superb musical production!
Enough from me, what are your best moments?
Street of Dreams is narrated by Coronation Street fan Paul O'Grady and also stars Jodie Prenger and Kym Marsh. It also has special guest stars including Russell Watson and runs at the Manchester Arena from 9- 10 May.
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