Monday, 27 March 2017

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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Keep Fit with Corrie: Week Seven - Salsacise with Tracy Shaw

Gemma and Michael over at Conversation Street, the Corrie podcast, have been keeping fit the Corrie way!  

This week...  "You should have stayed at the party, Maxine..."
With these famous words, serial killer Richard Hillman bashed poor Maxine Peacock's brains in with a crowbar, ending her time on this mortal coil and sending her hurtling into what we imagine to be some kind of disco-themed hell for all eternity. Or, to put it another way, the set of Tracy Shaw's Salsacise.
We jest, of course - the subject of our weekly Keep Fit With Corrie review is actually quite an enjoyable little exercise routine, although there are definitely parts where it takes no prisoners when it comes to the complexity of some of the moves! Seasoned dancers, naturally, will have no problems with even the most complex of steps here, but if you're new to this whole 'dance yourself fit' malarkey(or just generally uncoordinated), there may be a few bits of arm and leg movement where you'll struggle to keep up.
Clad in a variety of sexy outfits accessorised by a large red rose, Tracy certainly looks the part as she shimmies and shakes her Rear of the Year '96 winning booty across the colourful nightclub floor. The bubbly personality and big smile that made her such a well-loved character during her time on the Street shine through here, perfect for encouraging you to keep up with the Latino-inspired moves.
Joining Tracy under the disco ball is her Aussie partner, Michael. This, of course, provided much amusement for us, as Tracy gushes about how wonderful her 'lovely Michael' is, but in the - let's face is, highly likely - event that you're name *isn't* also Michael, this probably won't be so big a selling point for you... Fortunately, though, Tracy's Michael is a pretty decent trainer, encouraging you to keep up all the way through and giving ample warning for when there's a change of step on the way. The chemistry between the pair sizzles - an important factor when it comes to how much we tend to enjoy these DVDs.
As for the workout itself, Salsacise is broken down into six sections, including
ten-minute warm up, a handful of dance routines, ab work and a cool down. Some of the moves learned in the warm up are revisited in later segments, whilst the ab and cool down parts seem rather short (4 and 6 minutes, respectively). Honestly, we should probably dock the DVD a few marks for the latter point, but abs and cool down always our least favourite bits anyway, so we were secretly pretty pleased when the ending credits came along earlier than expected the first time we tried it out!
The main dance segments in the middle (9 minutes each) have you repeating a selection of moves over and over again until you've got yourself a nice little routine going on. They're fun to do, having you constantly moving to the up tempo salsa beats and only feeling slightly repetitive by the end of the segment. What's more, aside from the odd difficulty spike mentioned earlier, they're relatively simple to keep up with, too. Did they get us out of breath? Yeah, a little, but we always say that it's important to enjoy your exercise regime if you've got any chance of sticking to it, and this is always a good one to put on if you know you need to do a workout but are struggling to muster up the motivation.

Tracy Shaw's Salsacise is neither the best nor the worst Corrie-themed exercise DVD on the market. If you love a good dance, though, or if you've been hankering after a bit of Maxine on your telly since her 2003 bludgeoning, we would heartily recommend giving this a go.

To find out more about our podcast, search for Conversation Street on iTunes, or go to If you want to follow Gemma’s blog, all about her fitness journey, and her love of food and fashion, head to

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Preview of tonight's double Coronation Street - Mon 27 March

Monday 27th March 2017
PETER’S WORLD CRUMBLES AROUND HIM Devastated by Peter’s apparent betrayal, Toyah takes comfort from Leanne. Peter begs Leanne and Simon to hear his side of the story and assures them he hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol and the affair with Chloe is pure fantasy on her part but they refuse to believe a word. Peter rails at Ken, accusing him of wrecking his life. Desperate to prove his innocence, Peter begs Chloe to stop playing games and set the record straight. Will Chloe agree? Toyah meets up with Toby and tells him she’s left Peter. As she climbs in Toby’s car, Peter watches, gutted. At his wits’ end, Peter marches into the Rovers’ bar and takes a bottle of whiskey.
DANIEL IS DEVASTATED BY SINEAD’S NEWS When Daniel tries to talk to Sinead about her miscarriage and suggests she should see a doctor, Sinead insists she’s fine and hurries out. Daniel confides in Ken that Sinead’s had a miscarriage and he feels partly to blame because of all the stress he’s caused. Ken masks his guilt.
ARE AMY’S NERVES JUST PERFORMANCE ANXIETY? Tracy rows with Ken, accusing him of putting his real kids before her and Amy. In the community centre, Amy prepares for her violin performance. Telling Tracy she’s forgotten her rosin, Amy slips back home. Amy makes a call and leaves a message saying she’s leaving the money behind the clock, everyone will be at her recital so it’ll be safe to collect it. But as she goes to place the money, she’s thwarted by Ken’s arrival. What is Amy up to?
ELSEWHERE Todd continues to poke fun at Phelan but when he makes a joke about the spirit world, Phelan flips and shoves Todd up against the wall. Is Phelan’s conscience getting the better of him? Ken tears a strip off Phelan for taking so long over the kitchen and points out that he should be grateful for the work when most people wouldn’t give him the time of day.  Phelan seethes.

Monday 27th March 2017
WILL KEN PUSH PETER OFF THE WAGON? As Peter eyes the bottle of whiskey longingly he reaches a decision. Will Peter return to the bottle? Toyah ruefully admits to Toby that Leanne was right about Peter. But as he drives her home to collect her belongings, Toyah has a sudden change of heart and decides Peter needs her. Can Toby convince her otherwise?
AMY DITCHES HER RECITAL FOR A SECRET MISSION As the recital starts at the community centre Amy slips away. Luke and Tracy search for Amy in the ginnel, unaware of a figure watching them from the shadows. Adam skulks outside in a baseball cap, his eyes fixed on No.1. In the street, Tracy’s relieved to locate Amy, who claims to have suffered stage fright but glances shiftily towards No.1.
ELSEWHERE Ken’s in turmoil after rows with Peter and Tracy, and dealing with the weight of Daniel’s pain over the loss of Sinead’s pregnancy. Meanwhile Sinead insists that Daniel should now take his opportunity at Oxford.

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Bill Roache: Worried Ken was being written out

Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, was speaking at a fundraiser for Rainbows children’s hospices reently.

In his speech, he referred to Ken's stroke storyline and said: “When Ken had a stroke it made me think about his mortality. I got a bit worried they might be writing him out. Fortunately his recovery was quite quick.

“I always get the doom and the gloom. I’d like a happy storyline. I used to get a bit of comedy with Blanche quite a lot, but the Barlows tend to be the misery people. Ours are ­always horrible to make everybody else’s seem better.

“I have a heavy story at the moment and it’s getting more challenging. We film sometimes 12 hours a day and then learn lines at night. I’ve a lot to do."

And long may he reign!

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Iconic Coronation Street hotel goes up for sale

The Stand Hotel in Blackpool was at the centre of one of Coronation Street's most dramatic storylines  - and it's gone up for sale.

The hotel has its own “blue plaque” outside to commemorate it as the place that Rita Fairclough was staying when evil Alan Bradley came to drag her back to Coronation Street after stealing from her and victimising her.

Famously he chased Rita down the prom but was hit and killed by a tram. The episode in December 1989 was watched by almost 27 million viewers and remains one of the iconic in the programme’s history.

The Strand Hotel's owner Jane Long has put it on the market with a guide price of £825,000. 

Jane told the Blackpool Gazette: “The Coronation Street episode is so well known. We still get people staying here wanting to stay in Rita’s room and we have the memorabilia. The plaque was put on in 2009 and it was unveiled by actor Mark Eden who played Alan Bradley and we raised £1,500 for Donna’s Dreamhouse.

Last summer Alan Bradley’s Coronation Street daughter Jenny came back to Blackpool to visit the place where he died and they filmed a bit outside the hotel.”

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Happy Mothers Day! Coronation Street mothers from hell

It's Mother's Day in the UK and our blogger Llifon has done a wonderful blog post paying homage to some of the mums in Coronation Street.

But what about those who are less than loving?  Here's my favourite 'mums from hell', have I missed any of your favourite nasties out?

Cilla Battersby-Brown
Abandoned her kids many times over the years. The woman's so evil she even had the mark of the devil on her head on her wedding day.

Tracy Barlow
Sold her baby to the Croppers after pretending she was pregnant with Roy's child when it was Steve's all along.

Kylie Platt
Ran away with a druggie leaving her two kids.

Jackie Dobbs.
Poor Tyrone. 'nuff said.

Linda Armstrong
Abandons her husband and two children, one of whom is disabled, and runs off without a backwards glance. Turns up decades later, the Sue Ellen of Corrie, to cause torment on the cobbles.

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