Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Guess the mystery Coronation Street star - day 4

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

Every day for the next couple of weeks we're going to be running a series of old pictures of some of the past and present Coronation Street cast.

You may well have seen these pictures before, in which case they'll be easy for you. But for those of you who are new to seeing these pictures, I hope you find them interesting and they give you a smile too.

It's day four and this is such a lovely photo, isn't it?

Leave your guesses as usual in the box below.  There's no prize for getting it right (sadly) and it's just for fun - so don't ring in.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Phelan the Love

(This post was originally posted by Stevie Dawson on the Coronation Street Blog in September 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Corrie fans took to Twitter on Sunday as Pat Phelan struggled to live up to his own bad guy standards in a lovely one hour weekend episode. (Aired Friday and Monday here in Canada) Pat showed glimmers of humanity as Andy struggled with his injuries in the dark, insect ridden cellar he has been keeping him in, and we saw him wrestle with his desperate need to neutralise Andy to avoid the risk of exposing his past crimes, against his desire to be the better man daughter Nicola keeps saying he is. 

One tweet proclaimed Connor McIntyre's Phelan was one of the greatest characters in Coronation Street history.

Another praised Phelan's 'baddie' credentials.

Others commented on Connor’s performances.

Some, as always, disagreed.

There has been much praise for Connor on the CoronationStreet blog, and Corrie producers obviously see the value of his character, giving him his own family and so far, seemingly allowing him to get away with his crimes. That could be about to change of course - nobody gets away with it forever!

It’s really great to see the public engaging with this character and storylines on social media, and it’s encouraging that so many younger viewers are enjoying the show, hopefully securing another 57 years of Britain’s best TV show.

Twitter: @StevieDawson 

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mikey North Interview: What's next for Gary Windass?

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

Gary has been off working in the Ukraine, when he returns this time do we see a different Gary? Is his job starting to take its toll?
I think it’s getting gradually worse, it was clear to see how bad it was from the bruises last time he came home, but you get the impression more things have happened this time. Fresh injuries are appearing from whatever he’s been up to and he’s clearly troubled.

Does Sarah spot this or has he managed to convince her that the job is low risk, it’s good money, and that everything is fine?
She’s probably a little bit wary of it because she knows what’s at stake and it’s a risky job he’s doing but I think he has managed to keep it on the whole away from her mainly, no one really knows what he’s doing and how dangerous it is.

But he can’t keep it away from his mum Anna can he?
He can’t no, he’s brought some presents back for Faye and as he bends over to go in the bag to get them his shirt rides up and his mum spots the injuries on his back. There’s a lot of bruising and so Anna flies of the handle and questions him. Gary sort of comes clean for the first time about what he’s doing, but on the premise that she keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t say anything to Sarah.

So it’s not putting him off carrying on with the work is it?
I think he’d lie to call it a day but it’s hard to go back now he’s done that first job and seen the money. I think his long term plan is to get enough money for a house and then he can move out of Izzy’s to live with Sarah and have all the family under one roof, then he’ll stop.

But as he keeps returning for one more job do you think the stakes will go up?
Yeah things get more dangerous and the inevitable is going to happen I think.

How is Gary’s relationship with Sarah because they want through a rocky patch initially when Sarah didn’t want him to go to the Ukraine?
Gary started drinking a lot when he last came home, probably to block out what he’d been through in the Ukraine. He went out when Sarah was working, which Gary wasn’t too happy about, he was kind of off with her and he was very snappy with her. He went out drinking one night to unwind and that’s when he met Nicola. He confided in her about what had happened in the Ukraine but then he worked out that she was Phelan’s daughter and pulled back, he felt bad that he’d told her a lot, things he hadn’t told Sarah. He felt bad on Sarah so he went and apologised which left things alright between them but he still feels bad that he had opened up to another women. He’s been trying to make it up to Sarah this time but he’s clearly got a lot on his mind and he’s not the same Gary.

So they’re getting back on track but tell us what happens in the Rovers when Gary loses his temper? 
He is on edge the whole time in the Rovers, he snaps at Craig that day as well for no reason, he just starts on him on the street, then he snaps at Tyrone and Kirk in the pub.  Sarah tells him to calm down but he flies off the handle and goes outside. Sarah comes out to see what is wrong with him, he takes offence and he just loses it. He’s really rude to her and storms off.

What do you think is making him feel this way?
For me it’s the PTSD rearing its head from when he was in Afghanistan and I think it’s definitely elements of that coming back, that’s how I have tried to play it, him being very volatile and wanting to start on every lad that walks by. I think the pressures from this work are getting to him and brining a lot of demons back to the fore that he’s worked hard to overcome.

After refusing to talk to Sarah, Gary again finds himself with Nicola and decides to go back to hers for a drink. Why has he found that he can confide in Nicola? 
I don’t think it’s anything in particular, I think it’s just that she happens to be there at the right time. She’s the only person that he’s told exactly what happened in the Ukraine and what he had to do, which is what has triggered all of this, so that is probably one of the reasons that he feels an attachment to her. When he’s in the ginnel after he storms out of the Rovers following his argument with Sarah, Nicola happens to be there, she finds him bleeding and says she will sort out his injury for him.

They then have a few drinks and one thing starts to lead to another, will he cheat on Sarah because we know he does really love Sarah?
It’s a tricky one, he does love Sarah, things are great between them and they are so good together but I suppose in the heat of the moment he isn’t thinking clearly. This isn’t the Gary that’s been around before he went to the Ukraine, this is someone else and I think it’s taken over his mind almost, he’s gone a bit crazy. His judgment is clouded by drink, he’s just had a row with Sarah and he’s not thinking straight.

How does Gary feel when he goes home?
He feels awful that he’s confided in Nicola again and not Sarah. He goes back to Sarah’s house and while he doesn’t come clean about Nicola, he does about what’s happened in the Ukraine, about how dangerous it is and the fact that he’s not been letting on how bad it really is.

Are you enjoying playing this different side to Gary?
I love it. This storyline ties back in with the old Gary for me, which is why I joined the show in the first place, to play that volatile guy. But I think now that you’ve seen a nicer side to him the audience are more sympathetic with him, he’s not just a violent thug that came in with the Windasses, he has a child, he has responsibilities, we’ve seen him be ther for both Sarah and Bethany. For me as an actor it’s great, I’m loving doing this whole story and it’s enjoyable doing something different.

What do you think of Gary’s relationship with Sarah, do you enjoy working with Tina and the Platts, do you think it could be for the long haul?
Yeah I do, they’ve been together for a year and a half now and it’s been probably my most enjoyable time on the show. I think Tina’s a great actress and I love working with her and Lucy together, I’m blessed to work with two of the best actresses on the show so I can’t complain at all. If it was down to me I’d have them stay together for as long as possible.

Do you think the public like seeing Gary and Sarah together?
It seems they do yes, just picking up on what people have been saying they seem to be really popular so hopefully it’s not the end for them and Gary doesn’t risk his relationship over Nicola.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Guess the mystery Coronation Street star - day 3

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

Every day for the next couple of weeks we're going to be running a series of old pictures of some of the past and present Coronation Street cast.

You may well have seen these pictures before, in which case they'll be easy for you. But for those of you who are new to seeing these pictures, I hope you find them interesting and they give you a smile too.

It's day three and this one, I think, is an easier one than the last two we've had so far. But do you know who it is?

Leave your guesses as usual in the box below.  There's no prize for getting it right (sadly) and it's just for fun - so don't ring in.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Imogen arrives tonight - Interview with Melissa Johns

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

This week, actress and disability campaigner Melissa Johns made her Coronation Street debut as Imogen, a love interest for Kate Connor.
Radio Times online have an interview with Melissa today. She talks about life at Corrie and the visibility of actors with disabilities on TV.

She says that Imogen is "sexy, flirty, feisty and has attitude. Not every disabled person is going to be the same, but I’ve always joked about it. There’s no point crying – the tears aren’t going to fall on my arm and make it grow.

And too often, when someone with a disability gets cast in something, very rarely do they have a personality as well. Usually, it’s a case of ‘having a disability is enough. God forbid there should be something else on top!’

Here, I get to show that I’m at ease with the body I was given. It hasn’t always been that way – I’ve had some really dark moments in my life. It took me a while to feel comfortable with my body. But I now love having one arm."

You can read the full interview here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sue Cleaver Interview: Eileen to discover Phelan's secret?

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

Has Eileen been worried about Phelan’s behaviour in recent weeks?
He has disappeared a couple of times and she confided in Nicola that she thought he was behaving strangely but Nicola put her mind at rest and told her that she had nothing to worry about. He did have the head injury and he has seemed more on edge about work.

Does she think his strange behaviour is just down the Nicola situation?
Yes and she thinks he is worried about work, it isn’t something that is unduly worrying her. She knows he wants to build a relationship with Nicola and she knows they have both found it tricky in the beginning.

After the whole flats debacle do you think she trusts him completely?
She does trust him, her own son was involved in that development so she has no reason to think that Phelan was anything other than another victim of a scam Vinny planned. Eileen has had enough men in her life who turned out to be wrong 'uns that she wouldn’t have married Phelan.

What happens when she arrives at the house he’s renovating and he acts oddly?
She discovers from Liz that he has been to the medical centre so alarm bells start ringing. Nicola calms her down and tells her to visit the house he is renovating and gives her the address. When she turns up he is shocked to see her and she demands answers. She wants to know why he hasn’t told her about the house and why he has been to the doctors.

Does it occur to Eileen that he’s in too deep with something dodgy?
She is angry that he has kept a secret from her and that coupled with his slightly strange behaviour of light does make her wonder but he is very good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes and talking himself out of a situation and he does seem to be trying to do this with Eileen.

How does he explain having to get anti-biotics?
As ever he has a good explanation and one that Eileen has no reason to disbelieve.

Does Eileen buy his story? Does she notice anything odd about the house, or see any trace of Andy?
Eileen doesn’t really see any reason to not believe what Phelan is telling her, remember she has no idea he is a compulsive liar and conman, as Andy is in the cellar there are no tell tale signs anywhere else at the house. It does simply look like a house that is being developed.

How do you think Eileen would react if she found out what has happened to Andy and Pat’s part in it?
She would of course be horrified, it is completely unimaginable to think that he has kept this secret for so any months and has got on with his life as if everything was normal whilst all the while keeping someone prisoner and going to visit his prisoner behind Eileen’s back. He is taking food, medicine, basically leading a double life.

Obviously, he hasn’t actually killed anyone by his own hands, so do you think Pat might still be redeemable?
The viewers love having a baddie around so I guess that is possible but not if anyone else on the street finds out. Eileen would not keep this a secret if she knew, at some point he will have to get his comeuppance but it doesn’t look like being any time soon.

Would you like to see Eileen be the one to take Pat down?
Eileen has always been very moral, she knows right from wrong. She isn’t holier than thou and she has covered up and helped her sons over the years but this is another level altogether so it will be interesting to see what exactly Eileen does if she finds out.

There have been so many twists and turns, how have the public reacted when they’ve seen you out and about?
They all try to warn me, it’s great that the storyline has got everyone talking and fantastic that we managed to keep the secret of Andy being held captive. The audience seem to love surprises.

Are you as hooked as the viewers on finding out what it going to happen?
Yes we all want to know when and if Phelan is going to be found out. We film about eight weeks ahead and at the moment he is still up to no good. He is getting more and more desperate though as the net is closing in a bit and he has made a couple of mistakes which is not like him.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Things We Want from Corrie's New 6th Episode

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

Guest blog post by Glenn Meads who is on Twitter and LinkedIn
You can read all of Glenn's guest blog posts here.
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here! 

With an additional episode, soon to be unveiled, bringing the total to six – this means three hours of Corrie a week! The set has been expanded to accommodate more characters, and storylines, and means characters can step off the street and enter another Truman show world, around the corner. Not quite, but anyone who visited the old Coronation Street will tell you, they “needed a bigger boat”, and now they have one and they're gonna use it.

So, what would you like to see from the additional episode long term? Massive changes or small tweaks to the tried and tested formula? Here’s some of my must-haves:

More comedy

I love Jonathan Harvey’s writing. Whenever I hear a laugh-out-loud piece of dialogue, which refers to something in the 1980s or is a double entendre, I look at the writing credits, and there is the brilliant Beautiful Thing writer’s name. With grim but headline grabbing plots, such as kidnapping, Phelan seemingly getting away with murder and grooming, we need more laughs. Steve's cringe-worthy proposal was classic Corrie. And as soon as we glimpsed Oliver’s proposal outfit, I was in! Sight gags work just as well as funny dialogue. More, please!

Kitchen Sink Drama

Remember when Hilda Ogden finally went through Stan’s personal belongings, or when Hayley died in her own home? I want more of this personal, intimate drama, as this is how Corrie began. Some might say it’s not contemporary in a world of Netflix. But, when do you see a character glued to their phone for 30 mins, just because we are? (Gary’s badly choreographed fall, last night aside?) So, more drama in the home, or in the backroom of the pub, please?

Breathe life into neglected characters

The Nazir Family; please do something with them. Alya was introduced to us via Gary’s bed, remember? So, I’m not saying turn her into a minx, I’m merely pointing out, that we need to see them develop. I love the matriarch, Yasmeen - get her on an anti-austerity march with Roy, please! And, can we have Kate do something more than serve chunky chips and replace the empty Pinot for hen party tables, in the Bistro? She is turning into a really boring character, and she entered the street as a feisty one. so, let's give neglected folk the kiss of life, or in the case of Brian Packham, can we just get rid? 

Have more surprises

When Ken had a stroke, it shocked viewers and yesterday when Will was the one who almost sold Michelle at a car boot sale (I’m joking, as this current Bistro under Siege storyline is boring me, sorry!) – the twittersphere was alive, so more surprises will remind us of Who Shot JR and when soaps were the kings and queens of TV. I know there are spoilers all over twitter. But, when you are shocked by a plot development, it does remind you of reading a brilliant book on holiday, you keep coming back for more. 

Lastly, can we have some small story arcs, please?

The kidnappings, cars exploding, tram crashes and all this stuff, are good at getting new folk on board and suit the BGT timeslot, but now we are going six episodes a week, you cannot have this all the time. So, a story involving Audrey feeling out in the cold, because she is single and stood in front of the mirror, crying offer audience’s genuine drama that they can relate to. And it need not be dragged on and on to have a huge impact.

What would you like to see, following the arrival of the additional episode?

Guest blog post by Glenn Meads who is on Twitter and LinkedIn

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for Sept. 11 - 15

 Ironic Sign: No Smoking. I think it's a bit late for that.

Flip Flop award: Sarah finished with Gary for the umpteenth time and now she's taken him back for the umpteenth time.

Delusional award: Gina fancies Dev. She's convinced Dev fancies her. He doesn't.

Wedding fashion fail: All three of those bridesmaids dressed really are dire, aren't they?

Centre of the World award: Dev knows Gina fancies him but he doesn't seem to mind the admiration. It could backfire spectacularly. Just sayin'.

Too Good to be True award: Gary says it's the easiest money he's ever made and Sarah's right, if something sounds too good to be true it usually is. But he's been battered for it, and all.

Wolverine award: What on earth made that pattern of cuts on Gary's ribs? Was he tangling with the X-Men?

Frenemy award: Yep, Summer and Amy, probably not BFFs. And Summer instigates as much as Amy, I think. Could be fun to watch.

Harpy Award: Anna taking her dislike out on Nicola was unnecessary and uncalled for.

Favourite Couple Ever: Tim and Sally. Not just because he backed down and supported her campaign, either. They're just so good together.

Lines of the week:
Gail "I'm not saying a word" David "No, but your eyes are kicking me in the wotsis"
Gail about David "All the sensitivity of a grapefruit"
Tim "Give them an inch, they'll take a foot. Give them a foot, they'll chew your chuffing leg off"
Shona to David "You need to decide whether you can look at me without seeing him"
 Jude to Mary "You really are a one off"

Sally "Your illness doesn't prevent you from knowing the difference between right and wrong"
Gemma "I've got more bounce-back than a pig on a trampoline"
Rosie "There are two things I never do. One, eat carbs after 7 and Two, bluff" (brilliant!)
Gemma "Little Miss Sunshine, that's me!" (I agree!)
Rana to Kate "You could be the bridesmaid in a really bad frock. Oh wait, you are!"
Kirk "D'you have to be an idiot or can anyone apply?" (I think you've got both covered, dear)
Phelan "Every day's special for someone" (especially if he's planning on it being your last day on earth)
Phelan to Andy "You need to die so I can live"

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Consumed by Coronation Street

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

We're all excited for the impending sixth episode of Coronation Street later in the Autumn, not only because it'll bring more action, characters and storylines but also because there's to be an exciting set expansion alongside it. The last time we were given the opportunity to see more of Weatherfield was back in 1999 - the year of my birth, when us viewers saw the exterior of Victoria Street for the first time. Given I was yet to be born I don't know how Corrie watchers of the time felt about this new addition but I for one am very excited to see what the next few months brings in terms of businesses, houses and other recreational areas such as a small park which has been teased by Kate Oates.

The exploits of Hilda Ogden amazed viewers for 23 years
Anyway, onto the main point of my blog. This sixth episode will bring a whole extra half an hour a week of Coronation Street to us and whilst that doesn't seem a lot per week, in the long run we'll be spending a whole lot more time watching our favourite soap.

Over the past year, not including extended or extra episodes, or any times that an episode has been cancelled due to that god awful football, we've spent approximately five and a half days watching Corrie. That's nearly a whole week of a year that we spend dedicated to the lives of other people.

If you think that's a lot, just wait until this time next year, when we could have spent another whole day watching Corrie once the sixth episode is added to the weekly schedules.

But what makes us so transfixed by soap operas, and especially Coronation Street? Why are we so consumed by the daily goings on of a bunch of fictional characters? Just a few things worth thinking about as I conclude this small but important post. And who knows where we might be in ten years time? Could we see a 7th weekly episode?

You can find me on Twitter, @MichaelAdamsUk.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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