Thursday, 23 October 2014

Sarah Platt to return in the New Year

ITV today has released the news that Sarah Lou Platt will be returning to Weatherfield in the spring next year.  Tina O'Brien will be reprising her role and is looking forward to returning. Sarah will be bringing her 14 year old daughter, Bethany, with her and by all accounts, Bethany will be a handful. (aren't they all?) Sarah may cause ructions in the family fabric as well.

Sarah has been living in Italy since 2007 so I do hope we see signs that she speaks Italian.  Meanwhile, since her exit, Ms. O'Brien has become a mum twice over, with her newest child, a boy, born earlier this week.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Year in the Life of a Corrie Blogger

It was on the 22nd of October 2013, a year ago today, that I introduced myself on the Coronation Street Blog. The following day, I posted my first episode review in which Roy struggled to come to terms with hospitalised Hayley's difficult decision, Sally tried to convince everyone, not least herself, that she was only with Tim for fun, Dennis felt Rita’s wrath for pawning her engagement ring, Tommy’s departure was confirmed by Tina, and Chesney's lock up was broken into leaving him with no income.

It's hard to believe a year has passed, and yet I'm conscious that so much has happened in between. In addition to the rewarding experience of writing about Corrie over the past year, I embarked on a number of exciting blog related missions. I've had the privilege of travelling to ITV in Manchester to view episode previews and meet several cast members, and while every interview has been unique, I've marvelled each time at the passion these actors share for their craft, their characters and the programme. I also walked the cobbles for the first time, pulled a pint in the Rovers, had lunch in the Bistro and was interviewed about Corrie on BBC radio, and I feel so lucky to have had these wonderful opportunities.

Thanks to the blog I was also able to share a survey I created as part of my MA in Film and Television Studies on Corrie fan engagement and viewership. I'm sure I would never have gotten the 339 completed surveys that made my research so rewarding without it, and it’s a testament to the passion of Corrie fans that so many completed it. You have my eternal gratitude.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the new friends I've made through writing for the blog; kindred Corrie spirits whose passion, enthusiasm and dedication is unwavering. Even if they are unhappy with their beloved soap, their desire to see change is rooted in their commitment to it and the joy it brings them. They've made me laugh, educated me, given me food for thought, inspiration and encouragement, and the interaction is a very welcome part of my life. I'm so grateful to them and to anyone who takes the time to read my pieces.

If it wasn't for the blog’s wonderful editor Glenda giving me this opportunity, I wouldn't have these enriching experiences to look back on, and we wouldn't have this great site, which I am very proud and grateful to be part of, and feel the importance of which cannot be underestimated. Coronation Street’s rich heritage is remarkable and unique, and is not only sustained on screen, but propelled forward by the threads we weave in the spaces which surround the programme. For me to have the opportunity of contributing to this vast tapestry in my own small way is a privilege I’ll always value and never take for granted.

I’m excited by what the future holds; the storylines to come, the conversations we will have about them, the words we will conjure up to give form to our thoughts, feelings and passions, and those half hours, for three evenings a week, where the world stops, and we immerse ourselves in another, so well known to us that it forms part of the very fabric of our lives. Whatever lies ahead for our favourite soap and its characters, we shouldn't forget that sharing it together is a pleasure in itself.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Brooke Vincent and Katie McGlynn get locked up for Halloween

Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) and Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker) will be part of a group of female ghosthunters to gather in the bowels of Manchester’s King Street this Halloween with a double job to do - exposing ghostly goings-on whilst raising cash for charity. 


Brooke and Katie will be joined by Melissa Travis of ITV2’s Girlfriends fame, DJ Hattie Pearson from XFM, Manchester blogger Charlie Hoosen Sykes, and representing the business world, Sam Booth from Pro Manchester.To complete this stunning ensemble will be this year’s Miss Manchester, Codie Hayward,

As Halloween descends, everybody will be leaving mobile phones and all technology ‘above ground’ before they are ceremoniously locked in the original underground vault of the old Lloyds Bank Building on Upper King Street. 

The only way of being released first is to get friends and family to raise as much cash for Forever Manchester before they enter the vault, but totals can change at any time and depending on how much money competitor’s Just Giving pages total throughout the evening – they will either be released and whisked off to Forever Manchester’s Halloween Ball to party the night away - or locked up for even longer, until the last woman standing is solo in the vault, on the eve of all hallows!

Behind the fun and fundraising though there is real purpose - to find out exactly what is going on in the underground location.

The team developing 53 King Street have been sharing stories of screams and bumps when they visit the subterranean space. After nerves got a little too shredded they called in psychic investigator, Stuart Marshall.

To support the brave ladies entering the Lockdown visit for a full listing of how to donate and rescue them from the ghoulish terrors. 

Brooke Vincent's JustGiving website is

Katie McGylnn's JustGiving website is

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Tonight on Coronation Street - Cilla's back!

Brace yourself!  Cilla Battersby-Brown returns in tonight's Coronation Street

The ITV preview for tonight says this about her return: "Aware that Roy doesn’t like being alone in his flat, Tyrone and Fiz invite him for dinner with Chesney and Sinead. But when there’s a knock at the door everyone’s stunned as Cilla enters, clutching an overnight bag with her wrist in plaster. How will Fiz and Chesney react?"
I'm right looking forward to seeing her return - and how she'll interact with Beth too. It could be good.

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Kevin Webster's new love will be Jenny Bradley

Sally Ann Matthews, who is returning to our favourite show as Jenny Bradley, has confirmed that Jenny's on screen new love will be grease-monkey Kev Webster.

It's time to hide your chequebook, Rita! says our blogger Graeme. 

Remind yourself about Jenny Bradley with this clip from Christmas Day 1989.

Radio Times says: "Scenes to be shown next year will see Kevin turn to internet dating to find a girlfriend. But he's shocked when he arranges to meet a mystery woman and discovers that it's none other than Jenny, daughter of infamous Corrie villain Alan Bradley.

She in turn admits that she has started internet dating after a nasty divorce and was intrigued to find Kevin online - and confesses she had a bit of a crush on him when they were younger! The pair start dating but how will Jenny’s foster mum Rita (Barbara Knox) react when she finds out about the relationship?

The pair have not spoken since 1993 when Jenny returned briefly to the Street and it became clear that she was after Rita's money to set up a business. Furious Rita wrote her a cheque for £1000 and sent her packing.

Of her return to Coronation Street, Sally Ann Matthews said: "I'm as intrigued as everyone else to find out what Jenny has been up to for the last 21 years! I'm thrilled to be invited back and can't wait to get started."

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Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Weds 22 Oct

Weds October 22nd 2014
JIM’S HOIST BY HIS OWN PETARD. Steve visits Jim and reveals he knows Jim was only using him to get to Liz and how he resorted to blackmail using Peter as his weapon. Furious with his Dad, Steve reports Jim for illegally using a mobile phone to harass Liz. Jim’s incandescent as he’s dragged away by the prison officers. Back on the street Tony and Liz celebrate the fact they’re back together but the mood is broken when Steve arrives home clearly shaken. When Liz then suggests to Tony he should move into the Rovers with her, how will Steve react?
KYLIE CONTINUES TO BURY HER LITTLE SECRET. Feeling terrible, on a come-down from her last drugs hit, Kylie does her best to appear normal in front of David. Alone in the salon she’s about to take her last wrap of speed when Maria arrives with Liam. Kylie quickly hides the drug in her nail box. When Liam opens the box and starts playing with the contents, Kylie goes berserk, making Liam cry. As Maria and Kylie row, David and Audrey return, is Kylie’s habit about to be discovered?
SURPRISE, SURPRISE - CILLA’S BACK. Aware Roy doesn’t like being alone in his flat, Tyrone and Fiz invite him for dinner with Chesney and Sinead. But when there’s a knock at the door everyone’s stunned as Cilla enters, clutching an overnight bag with her wrist in plaster. How will Fiz and Chesney react?
Elsewhere Encouraged by Eileen, Tony finally swallows his pride and apologises to Liz. Will they kiss and make up? Yasmeen, Sharif, Kal and Zeedan put the finishing touches to the new community centre.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Blog interviews with Kate Ford and Alison King

What a treat to see Tracy and Carla sitting together! Before the interview began, Kate Ford and Alison King were chatting and are obviously very good friends. The interview was conducted with Tracy and Carla together as they are both inextricably linked by their love of the same man, Rob Donovan - Carla's brother and Tracy's fiancé. The wedding is soon - Tracy, the bride, Rob the groom and Carla, the Best Woman or Best Bird as she refers to herself as.

The trouble with the these two women is that they loathe each other. In fact it might be fair to say that  Tracy loathes Carla more than Carla detests Tracy. Carla is not in the minority here, whereas most people on The Street are alright with Carla, not that she has been a saint, but lately because of her friendship with Hayley and now Roy, we see that though she may be a keen, cut throat business woman, she is also fundamentally a good woman.

In recent months, Carla has lost her baby, her husband, her 'friend' Tina and now she will lose her brother. She must do the right thing by The Barlows, the law and morality, and so she informs the authorities that it was Rob who killed Tina.

How does Tracy react to the news about Rob?

Tracy is raging! She even sets off after Rob, leaving Amy behind. When things go wrong for Tracy she lashes out, which she does anyway when all is well, but this time she becomes absolutely vicious. What's more, she blames Carla for everything. she doesn't stop to think and rationalise, but lays one hundred per cent of the blame at Carla's door. It was bad enough when she found out that Carla was to be Rob's best woman, but after Rob confessed to Carla, Tracy interprets that as being Carla's plan to ruin things for her. In addition Tracy's business hits the skids.

Liz and Tracy have also got a fractious relationship which is about to become even more fractious. Tracy and Tony have an affair which was hinted at a while ago in the advertisement where Liz's reflection becomes the reflection of Tracy, as Tony stands by looking into the mirror. So that will further damage the relationship between Tracy and Liz. Poor Amy!

How about Carla, how does she react to the truth about Tina's murder?

Carla is devastated. She needs time to take stock and understand what has happened since Hayley's death. Her child, her husband and now her brother - all lost to her. Carla does what Carla does when life lashes out - she launches herself body and soul into her business and unlike Tracy's, Carla's business is doing very well indeed. Her business is her saviour.

There will not be a man waiting in the wings for Carla. She needs a break!

She is also blessed in her friendship with Michelle, one of the few really strong female friendships amongst the younger women. Michelle has been a rock and continues to be so. When, in her turn, Michelle experiences problems, it is guaranteed that Carla will be a great support for her. They have had their spats, as do people in life, but essentially they are solid.

Is there any future for Peter and Carla? 

It is very unlikely that there will be any relationship now or in the future for Peter and Carla. Does she still love him? Difficult to say after all that has happened. Carla is numb.

Carla is anxious about Simon. Before Tina's death and after a shaky start, Carla and Simon began to hit it off. She knows for certain that Peter, Simon's dad is not Tina's murderer, but Peter is the one who has been found guilty in a court of law, even though Ken, was almost certain that Peter would be coming home. No doubt about it - neither Simon nor Amy are going to grow up unscathed.

What was your favourite scene during the filming of all these dramatic scenes?

The favourite scene was out on the balcony with Rob, as the hen night clattered away at the other side of the street at The Rovers, including for our delectation a rendition of Gloria Gaynor's anthem, I will survive.

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Blog interview with Marc Baylis about Rob's confession

Last night Peter was found guilty. He was thrown back into his cell and his future looks much more than just bleak. Beyond bleak because, he is not guilty - Rob is the guilty one. Although he was there when the verdict was passed, it would have been madness to have expected Rob to confess. Carla certainly noticed her brother's desire to get away from the court room as swiftly as possible. How hard it must be to face the fact that another man, your sister's husband, your brother in law, in fact, has been sent down for - we will find out exactly on Friday - many years.

So what now? How long will it take the Soap Gods of justice to put things right?

Rob has a wedding to attend - his own, and never was there a bride more insistent on looking the best that she can be than Tracy Barlow and though it is hard to give anything to Tracy she does indeed look stunning. Amy looks very sweet and is swift becoming Tracy's 'mini- me' in her attitudes and self-absorption.

Tracy arrives in a beautiful horse drawn carriage at her wedding venue. Rob is there a lll scrubbed up very nicely as is his best woman, his sister Carla.

BUT, unbeknown to Tracy, as her hen night is in full swing,that not far away, in Carla's flat, something mind boggling is taking place.

Carla and Rob have endured much to gather and have always helped and supported each other. They know each other very well too and their difficult childhood together helps them to interpret the slightest raise of an eyebrow.

So, Carla realises that Rob must be the killer. She probes and prods until his alibi is in ruins and he actually admits that he killed Tina. It is a mesmerising scene and we were lucky enough to have a preview of what will be screened next week.

I put some questions to the very charming actor, Marc Baylis, who plays Rob with such brilliance.

Why does Rob finally confess?

The burden of his guilt is too much to endure and he has lied so much that Carla's questions make him realise the game is up. Carla backs him into a corner from which there is no escape.

What does Rob believe Carla will do now she knows the truth? 

It seems that he thinks that his confession will remain a secret between him and his sister so is shocked when he realises that Carla has every intention of phoning the police. To prevent her from doing this, he grabs hold of her phone and keys, locking them both in. They can hear the hen night in the Rovers, which forms the back drop to the emotional events unfolding in Carla's flat. Carla is numb for a while when her suspicions are confirmed. A sense of right then kicks in and she has to dowhat is right, even though she knows that her relationship with her brother will be over. She also feels that for Ken and the Barlows, she must speak the truth, no matter what.

How does Rob cope with the wedding, knowing that his sister knows he killed Tina and doesn't intend to keep quiet about it?

He is profoundly troubled, not only because his sister now knows that he is a murderer but also because he genuinely loves Tracy and she loves him and they really do want to get married.

We know now that Rob is leaving The Street, so how does the wedding go?

Not smoothly! You'll see very soon...It has though been an absolute blast being partnered with Tracy. Kate Ford and I live near each other in London, so hopefully we'll keep in touch. I'll miss Ali King, Carla, too. Two fabulous women to work with!

What now for Marc Baylis?

Well, I'm in Sleeping Beauty as Prince Charming over Christmas and I can say that the phone is ringing.

Will you come back to Coronation Street? 

Never say never!

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