Friday, 18 August 2017

Where are they now? Corrie Icons of the 80s - Kevin Kennedy

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

This week were taking a look back at some of the Coronation Street icons from the 1980s. Let's find out what they've been up to since they left the show.

Kevin Kennedy who played Curly Watts

Kevin Kennedy played Curly Watts from 1983 to 2003.

Since leaving the show, Kevin has carved out a very successful stage musical career starring in The Commitments, We Will Rock You, Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

He also signed up for the ill-fated Coronation Street musical, Street of Dreams.

He's also appeared on TV in Holby City and Doctors.

In 2014 Kevin released his autobiography The Street to Recovery in which he talks about his addiction to alcohol and recovery from the addiction too.

There are rumours, often, in the press that Curly may one day make a return to Weatherfield but as yet this has not happened.

You can follow Kevin on twitter: @MrKevKennedy

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Summer's grandmother - the biggest bigot to walk the cobbles?

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Geraldine is the embodiment of all the bigotry that should have been consigned to the 1950s. She espouses the senseless, ignorant attitudes which were, I thought, already left behind in the 1950s.

But no, here is Geraldine Moffat – a mother and a grandmother, who holds onto those heinous, cruel, abhorrent attitudes, even though her own son, her own flesh and blood was a gay man.

It almost feels as if she is pleased, or at least relieved, that Drew, her son, is now dead, as the embarrassment that he has caused his mother is no more. Her son’s heartfelt, final wishes she chose to ignore.  Drew is an ex of Billy, and a man who clearly has sound judgement when it comes to selecting an adoptive father for his daughter, Summer. His choice is Billy - Billy is the man Drew wants his 13-year-old daughter brought up by, along with Todd. And I can see exactly why he would want that. Billy is the absolute opposite of Geraldine – he is the embodiment of goodness.

Before Drew died, it was a joy to see how well Billy, Todd and Summer got along together. Despite Todd’s initial doubts, it was undeniable that the 3 of them had a connection and a certain alchemy was taking place. But, Geraldine refused to allow Summer to be brought up by Billy and Todd, clearly believing that, as gay men they would be a detrimental influence on Summer. Geraldine’s vehemence in this matter was profoundly troubling.

She banned Todd and Billy from the funeral, but Todd persuaded Billy that they most definitely should and would attend. And to Geraldine’s utmost outrage, they did. Even the vicar had been put on alert to prevent them coming in.

In conversation with Todd and Billy, concerning Summer, Geraldine said, ‘This is becoming tiresome. For the final time, Summer is none of your concern.’

In response, Billy says, ‘We want what’s best for her.’

‘For a so-called man of the cloth, your arrogance is mind-boggling. How dare you claim you want what’s best for my granddaughter. You have spent a handful of hours with her and you presume to know what’s best for her,’ replies Geraldine.

Billy continues, ‘Drew wanted me to be part of Summer’s life for a reason. Can’t you respect that?’

Geraldine fires back, ‘You speak of respect, yet you have no respect for God or your own soul! Whatever my son said, there will be no access, no visitation. I will not let you drag this innocent girl into the filthy cesspit you inhabit.’

Billy tells her he pities her for all that she has missed, which is the saddest part of it all. And Billy is absolutely right.

Silent throughout this exchange, Hero Angus, Drew’s dad, says, ‘I denied my son in life, I will not deny him in death.’ He fetches the will.

I cannot imagine for one second that Geraldine will not appear again, and try to reclaim her granddaughter. I just hope, principally for Summer’s sake, that Geraldine does not succeed.

By @Ruth1722

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Tristan Gemmill reveals what's next for the Bistro

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Tristan Gemmill, who plays Robert Preston, was interviewed in Soaplife this week. By way of What's On TV we can share his interview with you.

Tristan talks about the current storyline at the Bistro and who he thinks is behind the damage that's being caused.

“Robert feels totally responsible for the nightmare that’s unfolding. And being the hands-on guy that he is, he decides he has to fix it his way… and it sort of spirals out of control because of that.’

So, Robert believes Rich is responsible for the attacks on the Bistro?
“Yes, but Rich has a strong alibi. Robert, though, is convinced Rich is responsible and he can’t get this out of his head.”

Why does Robert offer Chesney Brown £5000?
“Robert notices Chesney jump when a plate smashes and he worries Chesney may have psychological scars after the Bistro attack. Adam Barlow’s threatening legal action on Chesney’s behalf, but Robert offers Chesney a pay-off he can’t afford to try to avoid more trouble.”

Michelle offers to bail him out financially. How does he feel about that?
“Robert’s independent and he wants to sort out his own problems and he doesn’t want money to get in the way of their relationship. So he goes to the casino. He thinks it helps him unwind, plus he could win some money.”

Does it help him unwind?
“No. Michelle is furious when she finds out and they have a big argument. Robert says he got them into this mess and he’ll get them out of it, but this doesn’t hold water. Michelle points out this will count for nothing if the Bistro goes bankrupt because he loses more money. There are some icy moments between them and Michelle insists that from now on they tell each other the truth about everything.”

Then Michelle’s car is vandalised…
“Michelle clearly doesn’t know about it, so Robert goes into protection mode and he gets it fixed without telling her. When she finds out, they fall out again. These attacks are starting to unravel Michelle and Robert’s relationship.”

Michelle’s clearly in serious danger…
“And Robert will do anything to protect her… We will see just how far he’s prepared to go. This turns out to be quite a significant departure for him.”

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Thursday, 17 August 2017

CBC to air Six Coronation Street episodes weekly

ITV in the UK is going to be airing 6 episodes of Coronation Street and Canadians have been wondering if CBC would keep pace. Wonder no longer. CBC today has announced that as of September 18, it will air Corrie six times a week, adding a second episode on Monday nights.

Now, there's a bit of confusion as to whether we will be caught up completely or not because from various sources, I've heard that the UK will be airing the sixth episode starting later this fall but I've also heard that it won't be until spring. If it isn't going to be until spring, CBC would end up catching up so that we'd have no delay or not much more than one episode delay on par with the UK broadcasts. I can't really see that, can you? It seems too good to be true. Perhaps the correct rumour is the one about the autumn start to ITV's sixth episode. We'll keep you up to date as we hear the news.

Edited to add: CBC replied to my tweet indicating that they will keep the 2 week delay due to distribution timelines. That says to me that ITV will start airing 6 episodes a week around the same time in September. I wonder if Ms. Oates' interview wasn't misconstrued with that major storyline she was talking about that will be aired next year. I guess we'll know closer to the date. 

Here's CBC's press release: 

Beginning September 18, CBC brings you 6 episodes of Corrie every week, with a brand-new episode Mondays at 7 (7:30 NT).

Here's your new Corrie weeknight schedule: Mondays at 7 & 7:30 pm (7:30 & 8 NT), Tuesdays to Fridays at 7:30 (8 NT).

The Sunday morning omnibus of the week's episodes airs 8:00-11:00 a.m. (8:30-11:30 a.m. NT) beginning September 24.

You can keep up with the news on their Facebook page, Coronation Street on CBC.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Robert the robot

(This post was originally posted by David (Clinkers) on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

It's only natural. There are characters in Weatherfield that mean more to me than others. I've always had a soft spot for 'Munch's Scream in an M&S mac' (Leanne) and Audrey's Noise. I find myself concerned about Rio Rita heading for a possible dementia storyline, despite never being able to forgive her for serving Len a dry dinner in the 1980s (no gravy?)

However, there are a few Street folk whose appearance on screen causes me to glaze over. My shoulders sag, my mouth droops and the scenes roll by without much interest. This tends to happen whenever the Bistro enters stage left. There is just something woefully depressing about the entire set, from its dowdy colours to its perpetually moody staff. If it isn't Zee glowering at an amuse bouche, then it's Daniel gloomily handing someone a menu.

Currently, the dullness has flowered even more courtesy of hurling the unappetising combo of Robert and Michelle into the mix. The whole concept of Robert is a mystery. Carpet fitter turned chef who, apropos of nothing, once enjoyed a spell on the Bolivian Marching Powder and mixed in dodgy circles. Was this post his 1990s charity shop wedding frock Tracy period? Who cares? Robert's woes are many and in true Corrie style, he doesn't appear to be much of a strong man. Instead we see him being propelled by Our Harridan of the Miseries, Michelle. Haven't we suffered enough? Having drained the life out of many scenes in the Rovers (how we loved those moments of violent arm-folding and death stares), she's now camped out in the festering joylessness of the Bistro set. Give it a few more weeks and she'll be approaching every table with a scythe.

It would be easy to say that Michelle is robbing Robert of any spark of joy he had. Sadly, he's never possessed one. It's been one long round of vacant middle-distance stares, moping and self-pity. Shape up or ship out! Yes, this is a drama series and yes, there has to be a plentiful helping of misery for us all to enjoy. However, the unpalatable mix of the Robot, 'chelle and the gloom of the Bistro does not make for an appetising snack.

By Clinkers to Riddle

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Canada Sneak Previews for August 21 - 25

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.

Steve tries to persuade Leanne that marriage to him would be a good thing. Michelle goes missing. Robert blames Rich...with violence. Gina targets Dev but is he ready to drop Erica? Toyah discovers Eva's revenge plan. Gary's on the job injury causes financial complications. Rosie tries to prove she can succeed in a new job. Chesney panicks on his first day back at work. Rita's memory lapse is worrying her.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How do you solve a problem like Moira, the Health Centre Manager

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Why, exactly, may I ask, is everyone so frightened of Moira?

Yes, she is the manager, so, fair enough, she is in charge of the admin staff, such as Liz, whose role is to answer the phone and make appointments for patients. But why is she so fearsome?

Now, if ever there was someone with people skills on the cobbles, it would have to be Liz – and she’s no pushover either - at least she wasn’t before the advent of Megalomaniac Moira, the power-crazed, tyrannical control freak who has taken charge at the health centre.

At one point, I thought there had been a breakthrough and that Moira was being complimentary. In Moira’s presence, Liz is a little nervous and says that she is all fingers and thumbs today. ‘Nonsense,’ replies Moira, ‘You’re doing very well, all things considered.’

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ asks Liz, justifiably. ‘Well’, replies the delightful Moira, ‘your lack of experience and your limited skills set – stick at it.’

Last week we saw the lovely Doctor Susan Gaddas and Liz having a chat during their break. That was soon put paid to by the arrival of Moira, clearly put out by seeing ‘her’ staff chatting together. Moira addresses the doctor as Susan, and is asked by Moira for her paperwork. Moira’s tone is patronising and even rather aggressive. Doctor Susan Gaddas scurries off obediently, promising her paper work will be done.

Liz is outraged by the exchange and lets Moira know her feelings. She tells Moira that it was wrong to use the doctor’s first name. If she, Liz, had studied for all those years, she would want some respect and no doubt would expect to be addressed as Doctor Gaddas.  Moira’s reply to Liz is as follows, ‘Respect is earned – when she gets up to date with her paperwork, maybe I’ll give her some.’  How does anyone respond to that without using several expletives? Moira adds, somewhat bizarrely, that, ‘ Friendship is no substitute for a tight ship,’ which leads us to wonder if Moira has ever had a friend.

What will the future bring for Liz’s life in her new job? Will the staff remain cowed and obedient or will there be a rebellion and a subsequent removal of ‘The snarling beast of Rosamund Street?’ as Steve calls her. I hope we get to know more about Moira and why she is as she is.

But oh - beige! You have to be kidding, Moira! Our Liz in beige? Please, no!

By @Ruth1722

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Robert's Rags to Riches

We all know that Michelle went running to Robert on the rebound from Steve. I wonder if that decision isn't starting to look a bit shaky for her.

At first, I wondered about the introduction of drug dealer Rich to the canvas. After the whole accidental stabbing incident with Chesney, I thought it was just an elaborate ruse to get Chesney and Sinead firmly back together. Daniel saved Chesney life but Sinead thought he'd been the attacker, further pushing Daniel away from her. But, no. That doesn't seem to be the reason Rich is lurking about on our screens.

It seems to be bringing up Robert's murky past. By 'eck, he's squeezed a lot into the nearly 13 years between Tracy walking out on him at the end of 2002 and him reappearing for Deirdre's funeral in  2015, hasn't he? He's changed his career from carpet fitter to fully qualified chef, been married again (and divorced soon after he returned to Weatherfield, at least I assume so), owned a restaurant before he returned as well as developing and kicking a drug habit that also involved yet a different girlfriend than the one he married. A drug habit that has also made an enemy of his former dealer, rich.

Rich rocked up in the Bistro, not knowing it was Robert's restaurant and it wasn't the happy reunion you might expect. Robert seemed quite unsettled. Then there was the incident with Daniel's overdose and later, Chesney's stabbing. Robert managed to set Rich up and he got arrested but has threatened Robert.

Now those threats seem to be a reality. In 24 hours, the Bistro has had graffiti sprayed on the inside wall, a Molotov Cocktail thrown on the movable sign outside the Bistro, Robert has been mugged and the flat was broken into. All warnings, all threats, nothing that can proved Rich had any hand in it. Michelle is frightened and she's right to be. There will be further incidents, if the spoilers hold true.

And you know what? I don't care. There, I said it. I am absolutely not invested in this storyline one bit. I find it tedious and over-sensationalized. Why is that, I wondered to myself. Myself answered, because you have no interest in Michelle or Robert, that's why. Oh sure, I had a lot of sympathy for Michelle when she lost her baby and found out Steve had a child with Leanne. But I lost it again when she started being bitchy to Leanne, even as recent as this week when she tore up the registered letter. I do know where she's coming from and I do realize that resentment and hurt doesn't go away quickly. Her reactions are perfectly within the realms of reality. Look at what Eva's doing to love rat Aidan!

But with Michelle, I just want to tell her to suck it up and move on with your life. Which is not really fair because what she went through was a much higher level of betrayal than what Eva discovered about Aidan. The difference is that I like Eva and I don't like Michelle. It's not reasonable but it is what it is.

I don't like Robert much, either. He's got a nasty edge to him these days with a temper that has probably got him into a lot of trouble in the past and isn't about to stop. He apparently likes to gamble and that could end up being a major problem. This isn't the first time he's gone off to the casino in a strop. The last time he did, he ended up drunk and in a hotel room with Carla!  Some might say Robert is just passionate. I say that Robert has a dark side to him and I wouldn't want to get on it. Michelle is starting to see that, too. He does keep leaving her alone where she ends up facing all this trauma by herself with no support from him, the man who keeps saying he'll look after her. That's going to erode that relationship fast. I don't think they'll make it to the end of the year at this rate.

Wherever this storyline is going, whatever Rich thinks up to terrorize Robert and Michelle with next (and it does seem like Rich is behind it unless Zeedan's gone completely psychotic after Robert shouted at him one too many times over the spice rack), I have no interest and will take the opportunity to make another cuppa while those scenes are on.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

State of the Street - July 2017

I'd say August was an interesting month in Corrie. Bethany's story reached a milestone when she overcame Neil's intimidation thanks to Craig's faith in her and his detective work, goading and then recording Neil's confession. It was enough for Bethany to finally make a full statement to the police who then got enough evidence to charge Neil and Nathan. That was probably the best storyline of the month.

In the worst one, Robert's former mate, Rich the drug dealer and now sniffing around and allegedly terrorizing him and Michelle. I thought making Robert into a former drug addict was a bit hard to take and thought Rich's introduction and Chesney's stabbing injury was only there to ensure Ches and Sinead got back together but there seems to be more to it than that because there's no prizes for guessing who's now at the center of that storyline. I am absolutely not invested in this one, folks. Let's move on.

The comedy of Mary and and Norris with a great number of excellent lines from Mary has been the brighter side of the show this month. The oafish Brian is probably supposed to be funny but he's not.

The Rovers Return Inn has changed hands for the first time in a decade and it's been quite an adjustment for Liz and Steve, much less we viewers.

There's more to tell and more to read over at State of the Street including thoughts on the Eva/Aidan/Maria triangle and the other almost-triangle of Kevin/Anna/Erica.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Georgia Taylor interview on Toyah in the Rovers Return

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog July 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Georgia Taylor, who plays Toyah Battersby in Coronation Street, is interviewed this week in Inside Soap magazine. She talks about her character's new job as landlady behind the bar at the Rovers Return - and her dream of having a baby.

Georgia says that Liz McDonald is her favourite Corrie landlady of the Rovers. But could Toyah ever hope to match up that matriach? Well, it remains to be seen.  I'm secretly hoping it won't be long before Liz is back behind the bar where she belongs.

Georgia says that Toyah is still desperate to have a baby and that she genuinely loves Peter. "She believes that they can be a proper family," she says. "I think they have a lot to offer a child."

But could it be Leanne who offers her step-sister a helping hand with the IVF treatment? When Leanne cashes in after receiving a cheque from Nick for her share of the sale of his flat, she offers the money to Toyah to help fund her baby dreams. Will it all come crashing down as a nightmare?

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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