Monday, 27 March 2017

There's Something About Pat Phelan

No matter how fond I am of the character, ever since Pat Phelan (played by Connor McIntyre) brutally murdered Andy Carver, his metaphorical clock started ticking. When I read the spoiler about the villainous crook's return to the cobbles in 2015,  I jumped for joy (not literally but you get the picture) because where there's Pat, drama is never far behind.

Phelan began sinking his claws into Jason Grimshaw and his building company, along with his mum, Eileen. Gary Windass was quick to warn Jason's brother Todd about the dodgy Phelan, advising him to pass his pearls of wisdom onto Jason. Being the protective brother he is (sometimes) Todd began his mission to bring down Phelan or at least get some incriminating evidence. 

Todd, Kevin Webster, and Anna and Gary seemed the only ones able to see through Phelan's smarmy charm, until unlikely resident Michael Rodwell no longer allowed Pat to pull the wool over his eyes. Phelan barged his way into Eileen's life through Jason and as always, Eileen fell for anything that meant she wouldn't have to be alone anymore. After binning Michael off, Eileen toppled into Phelan's arms, much to Todd's dismay. Phelan is an intelligent character so he was very quick to recognise the issue within Todd. He was watching Pat's every move, giving him no wiggle room for dodgy dealings. 

Next thing we know, Phelan's old associate Vinny Ashford appears on the scene, announcing he's got a new scam in the works. Obviously, this scam is living and breathing trouble which made me wonder when on earth Eileen became so naive. The scam powered through and it seemed for a while that nothing was going to stop them. However, former criminal himself, Michael, was determined not to become the butt of everyone's jokes anymore and wanted to prove that Phelan was nothing but a fraud. 

Michael met his demise when he pushed Phelan one step too far. We waved goodbye to Michael when Pat left him for dead on the building site, only for none other than Todd to discover him. Obviously by now, Todd was in on the scam and finding a dead body on the site obviously unsettled him, as it would all of us. It was the same day that Vinny ran off with all the money, leaving Phelan well and truly in the lurch. It felt good to see Phelan get his comeuppance, especially when Eileen showed us her best right hook, hitting him right in the face.

However, it wasn't long before Phelan bounced back again. Everyone seemed to forget they were robbed out of £15,000 so he was off the hook there. In this time he even managed to get married, but not before killing Andy Carver in cold blood. I never actually thought Pat had it in him to physically murder someone but it was excellent to watch.

As it stands, I thought Pat was finally calming down a little bit. We hadn't seen him for ages after the wedding so I almost forgot that he'd killed Andy and presumably buried the body. But in the last week and especially tonight (Monday 27th March), Pat's been getting riled up again. Billy Mayhew had to stop him from lamping Todd on Friday but that didn't stop Pat from throwing his son-in-law against a wall, warning him to keep his mouth shut. Phelan is now also a suspect for pushing Ken Barlow down the stairs.We know he's got form and he's got enough motive but in my opinion he's too obvious a suspect.

So could Ken be next on Phelan's victim list? Will Todd finally back off? I doubt it.

Connor McIntyre plays Phelan impeccably, helping to create the villain we all love to hate. I really hope he sticks around for a while yet, there's definitely plenty more drama to come yet.

Written by Sophie Williams- on twitter @sophie_jw26

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Coronation Street Episode Review Monday 27th March

It's a bad mood Monday on Corrie as Ken is angry with Pat, Tracy is cross with Ken, Peter's furious with Chloe, Sinead's fed up of Daniel, Pat's displeased with Todd and everyone's annoyed with Peter.

Sinead is still lying to Daniel, claiming that her abortion was a miscarriage. And it's all in vain as her hope was that without the baby, Daniel would go to Oxford, but he's determined to be with her. That is until Daniel calls the doctor because Sinead's cramping and nauseous and her web of lies is easily torn as she admits to the doc that she hasn't seen anyone about the "miscarriage" as she actually had a termination. The ensuing argument is well-written and acted as, ironically, Sinead gets her way and Daniel dumps her, leading Sinead to hit the brought-back-from-holiday booze.

Meanwhile, Nick, Toyah, Leanne and Simon gather in Victoria Court to destroy Peter's character. He in turn visits "psychotic cow" Chloe to try to get her to admit that she was lying to Ken, to no avail. Toyah decides to give Peter the old heave-ho and rings up tedious Toby who is round in a jiffy, or at least an un-vacuumed Ford Sierra. Come on, Toyah, stop bouncing from one man to another. Or at least bounce back to Spider. After witnessing Toyah getting into the car with her ex, Barlow Jnr storms to the pub and attempts to steal a bottle of whisky, only slamming down a twenty when Liz challenges him. Cheaper in Freshco's, Peter! He doesn't drink it though, just sniffs it before breaking it on the kitchen floor. And the Toyah decides to stay with Peter because - she's the only one who can save him? Urgh. I'm as big a Peter fan as the next woman d'un certain age, but that made me roll my eyes like Sean Tully.

Pat's still angry about Todd's ghostbusting adventures, and both Todd and zero hours intern Seb fail to turn up to work, but his day gets worse as Ken chews a strip off him for turning up late. Ken has obviously never employed a builder before. They row about how long the work is taking, with Ken casting aspersions on Pat's character and Barlow Snr being insulted as "a second rate Stephen Fry" by Phelan.

Amy turns up for her violin recital rehearsal, but she's playing something else, hiding money behind the clock after a phone call. At the performance, Amy goes AWOL, and whilst Tracy, Luke and Steve search for her, a mysterious heavy breather lurks in the ginnel and Sinead bangs furiously on the door of number one. A noise is heard at the back door and then Ken is lying in a pool of blood.

So Sinead, Pat, Daniel, Tracy, Peter and (ok I read the previews) Adam, all have a grudge against him - who killed attacked Ken?

Rachel Stevenson - on twitter

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Coronation Street: Interview with William Roache on Ken's attack

How much can Ken remember about his attack?
He can’t remember a thing, he remembers pretty much up to it, he remembers the morning of the day quite clearly beyond that nothing that would give him a hint that he was pushed or who might have done it.

What’s his reaction when the police suggest a family member could have pushed him?
He is horrified, absolutely horrified and very frightened, there is a moment when he looks at them all and is terrified as it could be any one of them because he has had rows with all of them. To find that it could be someone who is very very close to you is very frightening. It really does upset him and he can't remember. He is deeply hurt that a member of his family might want to kill him, that really hurts.

Does he really believe any of them are capable of doing such a thing?
He is put into a position where he does because of events leading up to it, It is very cleverly done with the storyline that he has got everybody’s back up, he is frail and wouldn't be thinking too clearly so he is in a position where he could believe it possible.

Is there anyone in particular that he suspects?
No not straight away, he follows the police inquiry and each time he goes along with what they discover and tries to work out himself if each person could be responsible. That is why he stays with Roy as he is totally confused and extremely upset. As each one is arrested he thinks ‘it could be that person.’

How much does he tell the police about his previous fallings out with his family? Is he honest about what has been going on?
All he tells them is that he doesn’t remember, he doesn’t drop anyone in it or give any indication that there has been any falling out - the police glean that from various other people along the way.

Why does he end up refusing to see any members of his family?
He is so scared, it has been put into his mind that it must be somebody close. If a suspicion is put into your mind and you are a bit frail and sick the paranoia would be huge, he is going through each of them in his mind and with each one there is a possible motive, an argument he has had which could have triggered it.

How does he feel when the doctors discharge him?
He is no longer in the safety of the hospital so when Roy comes to collect him he doesn’t want to go home, he is really genuinely frightened, he is upset paranoid very frail and frightened. He is delighted that Roy offers.

Does he have anyone else around to help and support him?
Roy has come to the rescue and he totally understands how Ken is feeling so Ken is grateful that he has his support.

How will this affect his relationship with his family?
I think he is very ready to try and build bridges. He knows that it is not all of them, if it is a member of the family it is only one of them so more than anything he wants to know who it is. There are of course other people the police are looking at  such as Phelan and of course Sinead has a motive. Ken would love nothing more than it not to be a family member but whilst the suspicion is there it is very difficult for him. He wants clarity, it is the unknown that is frightening him. He actually says although it is painful for him he would like to know sooner rather than later who it is so he can start to build bridges with his family.

What was your reaction when you first heard that somebody would try to bump off Ken?
Haha well my first thought was ‘are they trying to write me out’ that was my question to Kate. But once I knew Ken would recover I was thrilled with the storyline. Strong stories are great to do, as an actor they are very enjoyable . I have always liked the idea of having this strong family, one of the oldest families all together again and when i did that first scene with the boys and Peter after the stroke I felt this power of a male family. Almost mafia like. It occurred to me that I wanted to remain head of the family and have great stories and this is what is happening.

Were you told from the start who it would be? Or have you been left to guess like the rest of us?
No we didn’t know and only now, some weeks on from filming a lot of the story and as we get closer to finding out in scripts, have we been made aware. It was great to play it like that and all of the suspects were told to behave as though they were guilty or hiding something and they didn’t know. It was fun to be part of the secrecy and to act out the story not knowing the truth. I hope the viewers enjoy trying to work out who it could be in the same way that we all did. It is very cleverly done and I am thrilled to bits with it.

What’s it been like for you having so many members of the Barlow clan around you?
Wonderful, a whole new dynamic for Ken. His stories have always been female orientated, about his relationship with different women now he is right in the middle of this very powerful family feeling. To be masterminding a little gang of the boys and Tracy. A very complex group of individuals each with their own issues and foibles. 

How does it feel to still be very much at the heart of the action after all these years on the cobbles?
It is a great compliment and I do appreciate it very much, I want to be able to do it justice and to be able to continue to be part of the action. The boys who came back immediately fitted in, it could have been something that could make an older actor concerned having all these new younger actors around but for me it has meant I have been given some amazing storylines and out be back at the centre.

What would you like to see happen to Ken next?
I would like him to become the natural wise leader the patriarch of his new family a respected elder statesmen who wouldn’t do the footwork or physical work of anything but would be the mastermind behind the family. They will still infight but if anyone attacks them from the outside they will close ranks and woe betide them.

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Coronation Street: List of suspects in Ken attack

Here we take a look at the suspects, their movements on the night and their possible motive for wanting Ken dead.

Adam Barlow
Motive: Adam feels marginalized and pushed out by Ken who he believes favours his children over him, seeing him more as the son of his arch enemy Mike Baldwin, than his grandson and his own flesh and blood. In the weeks leading up to attack on Ken the pair have become completely estranged. Ken discovered Adam’s stash of cash and burned it leaving Adam as a sitting duck for drug dealer Ronan who had demanded the money back. When Adam was beaten half to death, for not having the money to hand over, Ken visited his grandson his hospital. However far from being a caring grandfather he told Adam it would be better if he left Weatherfield and went back to Canada. Ken subsequently told the family Adam had left to follow up a job opportunity

Whereabouts: As far as the family are concerned Adam is in Canada but he was seen by viewers skulking around by the salon before boarding a bus out of town without being seen by anyone. Was he back in Weatherfield to seek revenge for Ken washing his hands of him?

Daniel Osbourne
Motive: Daniel arrived in Weatherfield at the back end of last year with abandonment issues and a whole host of secrets. Since then there has been nothing but trouble on the cobbles for the prodigal son, more recently with Ken mounting the pressure on Daniel over his future and meddling in his affairs of the heart. When Sinead and Daniel decide to keep their baby, Daniel pushes his Oxford place to the back of his mind meanwhile Ken arranges a celebratory meal in the Bistro for his son. As Daniel’s two worlds collide, the storm begins but Daniel is adamant that he will turn down his university offer for love. So Daniel is devastated when he discovers Sinead has had a miscarriage but her lies unravel further and it is revealed she got rid of the baby alone. With a black cloud looming over him, Daniel attempts to find solace in a book Ken gave him but reading the inscription inside
his mood darkens and he leaves Sinead an urgent phone message before heading out - has the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks tipped Daniel over the edge?

Whereabouts: Daniel was licking his wounds alone in the shop flat before letting himself in to No.1 where he finds a flustered Phelan standing over his father. Although he was the one to call the ambulance, could his all consuming fury put him in the frame?

Pat Phelan
Motive: Phelan is fuming with Ken after he accused him of doing a botched job on the Barlows kitchen, claiming Phelan should be grateful for the work when most people wouldn’t give him the time of day. Seething, Phelan was heard venting his spleen in the Rovers, shocking Todd and Billy with the strength of his anger. Phelan hates being criticised by anyone, has he seen red and pushed Ken?

Whereabouts: Phelan was found by Daniel standing over an unconscious, lifeless Ken in the Barlows hallway. He claimed he’d just walked in but was Phelan there minutes earlier to deliver the deadly blow? With no alibi Phelan could be top of the police’s suspect list.

Peter Barlow
Motive: Peter has always had a fractious relationship with his father and the two have rarely seen eye to eye. Growing up Peter felt abandoned by Ken and felt he was a disappointment to him. Despite Peter turning over a new leaf and cleaning up his act before his return to Weatherfield last year it seems Ken is still all too ready to believe the worst of his eldest child. In recent weeks viewers have seen Ken horrified by Peter’s plans to buy the Rovers leaving Peter feeling belittled by his father. Things reached a head when Ken believed Chloe’s lies about Peter and her being together and him being back on the bottle. Ken told Toyah what he had learned which resulted in her dumping Peter and going back to husband Toby. Left with nothing has Ken pushed Peter to the brink?

Whereabouts: Having accused Ken of wrecking his life Peter helped himself to a bottle of whiskey from the Rovers and headed back to his flat where he stared temptation in the eye. Having reached a decision he smashed the bottle to smithereens before slamming out of the flat. Did Peter attack Ken before then packing his bags and preparing to leave Weatherfield just as Toyah returned?

Tracy Barlow
Motive: Tracy has got more than one motive for wanting to kill Ken and let’s face it she’s got form, having previously murdered Charlie Stubbs. Tracy was appalled when she overheard Ken ranting at Sinead about his wasted life with her mum Deirdre. When Ken then refused to lend her the money to buy the flower shop premises she was fuming and rowed with Ken, accusing him of putting his real kids before her and daughter Amy. Tracy also found Ken’s will at the Barlows. Tracy’s always at her worst when she feels the world is against her, has this cocktail of disappointment served by Ken pushed a vengeful Tracy to want to kill once more?

Whereabouts: Tracy was at the Community Centre talent show with boyfriend Luke, all set to watch her daughter Amy perform her violin recital. But when Amy went missing just before her performance Luke and Tracy left to search the street for Amy. Did Tracy sneak away for a few minutes in order to have it out with her father, resulting in them coming to blows.

Sinead Tinker
Motive: Heartache has been at the centre of Sinead and Daniel’s relationship and the course of love has been a rocky road of disapproval from family and neighbours amid a baby bombshell. Sinead was preparing to play happy families with Daniel until she bore the brunt of Ken’s rage after the Oxford Uni celebration party at the Bistro. Accusing her of stifling Daniel’s university dream, Ken insisted that she was nothing more than a factory girl. Weatherfield’s Romeo and Juliet failed to get their happy ending when Sinead confessed to Daniel that she went ahead with an abortion in a bid to give him his golden Oxford opportunity, much to his disgust. Later, through tears, Sinead revealed to Beth that it was Ken’s wrath that prompted her final decision. With her heart in tatters and her head a whirlpool of Ken’s wicked words, could Sinead be the guilty one?

Whereabouts: A heartbroken Sinead was drunk and devastated as she hammered on the door of No.1, looking for Daniel. Getting no answer, did Sinead get in another way and come face to face with the man who she blames for forcing her to abort her child?

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Coronation Street: Did Ken fall or was he pushed?

The Barlow clan are set to find themselves at the centre of a dramatic whodunnit when it is revealed that Ken did not fall down the stairs of number one - he was pushed!

Millions of viewers were shocked tonight when Ken was discovered unconscious at the bottom of the stairs and the presumption was he had suffered another stroke.

But as his family gather round his hospital bedside in Wednesday night’s episode they are given the shock news that the police are launching an attempted murder investigation, after discovering evidence that Ken was hit on the head and pushed down the stairs.

So who did try to kill Ken? The police have a list of suspects which includes a murderer, a drug dealer, a former alcoholic and a student with a history of violence, and that’s just his family! Add in a builder with a grudge and a young girl who blames Ken for her aborting her baby and the cops are going to have their work cut out.

Will DS MacKinnon discover that Ken has fallen out with every member of his family in the weeks preceding the attack? Will she find out about the row with Phelan over the new kitchen he is fitting at number one and will Sinead be able to keep her recent meeting with Ken a secret.

As the police investigation progresses MacKinnon soon realises that the Barlow clan have many skeletons in their closet and any one of them could be responsible for the attempted murder. But with Phelan being the person found stood over Ken could he in fact be the attacker? Meanwhile Beth is growingly increasingly concerned at the behaviour of niece Sinead who is very outspoken about her hatred of Ken.

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Collecting Coronation Street: Props

It seems like an absolute age since my first instalment in my Collecting Coronation Street posts, where I spoke about cast autographs and how they make up a bulk of my Coronation Street memorabilia collection. As I said before, the majority of you are probably unaware of my Coronation Street Collection, which is the collective name for what started as a few small bits and pieces from across the show's history and has since morphed into a whole house full of archive Corrie props, costumes and more.

For me, the closure of Granada Studios was an absolute blessing, as there was a sudden influx of items being flogged on eBay that had been left behind by the Coronation Street crew as they were now considered worthless to be kept in the prop store at the new MediaCity Studios. It's always a shame to think that many props are probably discarded on a regular basis, but always rest assuring if they fall into my hands!

One of my favourite pieces - Blanche's funeral plaque
Another time when props show up on eBay is when they've been donated to charity auctions by the production team. Often pricey, but always worth it (as the money is going to a good cause), that's how I've obtained some of my best pieces, such as a painting of Nick Tilsley drawn in show by Hayley, and signed by Julie Hesmondhalgh. I've also bought a copy of The Weatherfield Gazette, from the time when Ken was opposing Peter's plans to open The Joinery (déjà vu?) which is signed by both Bill Roache and Chris Gasgoine.

I'd wanted a Roys Rolls table mat for a while, when suddenly one signed
by David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh appeared on eBay and I
snapped it up!
When it comes to obtaining props, there's always a few difficulties regarding authenticity. I've found on a number of occasions that people try and sell the replica props that were included in the Coronation Street Treasures book (which is a great read none the less and definitely worth picking up). Whilst these replicas all look authentic and include letters from Richard Hillman, Roy's passport photos and a card from Des Barnes' funeral flowers, they were made in mass numbers for purposes of the book. I've seen many eBay users claim these are real, and sell them on for ridiculous prices!

I absolutely adore this painting of Nick Tisley that I purchased
in a charity auction on eBay, but can't find the episode anywhere!
Props that I buy tend to come in all shapes and sizes, from as small as a Rovers beermat to as big as Carla and Frank's wedding seating plan, but always a worthy part of my collection. They're often so personal and each have their own little story behind them. It's just a shame more props didn't show up on eBay as I'd love to add more to my collection. Perhaps a sofa? 

You can follow me on Twitter @MichaelAdamsUk, and also on my collection Twitter account @CStCollection.

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Corrie's Nathan: "I auditioned to play Mary's son"

There's a good interview online with Chris Harper, who plays nasty Nathan in Coronation Street.  He talks about the current Corrie grooming storyline and reveals that he originally auditioned to play Mary's son.

Chris says: "I was invited to audition for Mary's son but then the casting team thought I had a nasty glint in my eye."

On the grooming storyline, Chris says: "Can't give anything away, but in terms of Nathan's plans, we're just at the tip of the iceberg"

He also says that fans should keep their eyes on Mel and Shona.

You can read the full interview here.

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Corrie stars in Disney's Beauty and the Beast

This afternoon I went to the cinema to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It's an enjoyable film and I recommend it heartily.

And there were two Coronation Street surprises in the film too!

First off, there was Coronation Street garage mechanic Nathan Cooper.

Actor Ray Fearon, who played garage hunk in obligatory vest Nathan, starred in Beauty and the Beast as Père Robert. Here he is on the right hand side of this picture from the film.

And actor Sir Ian McKellen also starred in the film.  We know him better as Mel Hutchwright in Coronation Street.
And here he is as the man and talking clock Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast.

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