Thursday, 20 July 2017

Robert's Drug Problem

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

Last night Chesney was stabbed in the shoulder by an out of control drug dealer with a wine bottle.  It was staggeringly unrealistic.  I don't just mean Chesney managing to get a deep tissue wound from a bit of a bump; I don't just mean the way the Bistro emptied in about thirteen seconds (including all the kitchen staff, apparently); I don't just mean Michelle immediately turning into a sniveling hysterical wreck, despite the fact that she could probably wrestle a marauding thug to the ground with one hand and not spill her Babycham.  I don't even mean Daniel saying Back To The Future III was the best of the trilogy, even though no-one with any sense - and certainly not someone with the intellect of Daniel - would ever think that.

My main problem with this storyline was that it was based on a narrative untruth.  Apparently Robert was, at one point in his life, a rampant coke head, and I refuse to believe this is even slightly true.

Robert Preston is the most boring character in Coronation Street and remember, this is a cast that includes Ken Barlow.  I do not believe that Robert has ever done anything as interesting as snort some blow.  I don't believe Robert has done anything as interesting as leaving the immersion on overnight.

Boring can be fine.  He used to be boring in a perfectly acceptable way.  Robert first came into the show as a teenage carpet fitter who fell in love with Tracy Barlow.  This was v3 Tracy, so that wasn't quite as hard to believe as it would be in 2017 (although she was already a kidney thief at that point).  The pair married in 1996, with Tracy wearing a charity shop dress and Doc Martens, because that was what everyone was wearing in 1996.  Even the boys.  Robert, for his part, wore a dull but respectable suit that reflected his personality.  The two of them then moved to London and vanished for years, only returning to Weatherfield for the odd party.  He was nice and reliable and perfectly acceptable as a beau for Miss Barlow.

Finally Tracy - having morphed into her final form, a demon Gorgon intent on wreaking havoc across the cosmos - left Robert and moved back to t'North.  They got a divorce, and he quietly disappeared into Tracy's past, one of those bits of her history that never got mentioned - like the time she ran away to visit Susan Barlow in Newcastle, or the time she murdered her boyfriend in cold blood and then, somehow, got away with it.

Robert made a return for Deirdre's funeral, and he'd had a morph of his own.  Instead of being the ordinary, perfectly pleasant looking young man we'd last seen in 2002, Robert Preston had turned into a "hunk".  Suddenly he was six foot something, dark and brooding and ready to make the ladies swoon.  In theory, anyway.  The truth is that Robert is missing that indefinable spark that makes him actually sexy.  He's undeniably good looking - he looks like an Action Man carved out of granite - but he's not got that oomph.  Peter Barlow and Gary Windass have that oomph, despite being, respectively, a slightly chubby fifty-something and a ginger with a broken nose.  They're sexy.  Robert is just... handsome.  Handsome but dull.

Still, Tracy seemed keen to start all over again with him, despite not showing even the slightest inkling to rekindle their romance in the thirteen years since she dumped him.  They were soon getting hot and heavy on that uncomfortable looking sofa in Ken's back room, and then Robert was moving in with her, abandoning his wife Sarah Harding Joni for a bit of Barlow.  It seemed that since living with Tracy he'd retrained as a highly talented professional chef, despite, as Tracy recalled, not being able to boil an egg when they were together.

Yes, in the 13 years between his two appearances, Robert had discovered a deep and abiding love of food that caused him to carve out an entirely new career.  And what do you know, just as Robert became unemployed from his last job, Leanne and Nick were looking for a new chef for the Bistro.  What are the chances of that happening?

But of course, that wasn't all he was doing in those 13 years.  We now learn that he spent much of that time out of his head on scag.  Remember, we've seen Robert as a young man (when he looked like Julian Kay) and we've seen Robert in middle age (when he looked like Tristan Gemmill).  You can draw a straight line from nice but dull carpet fitter Robert to nice but dull chef Robert.  Apparently, that's all wrong, and for some reason he went mad in his thirties.  This would admittedly explain why he married human lump of wood Sarah Harding, but really?  Try and picture a thirty-something Robert off his nut on Colombian marching powder, bouncing off the walls of a club and speaking nineteen to the dozen.  You can't, can you?

That's because Robert is just so boring.  He's bland.  He's white bread.  I could imagine Robert, perhaps, at one point, having too many pints of Carling (definitely Carling) and vomiting outside a kebab shop, but it would have to be a special occasion.  And the next morning he'd have had a roaring hangover and sworn never to do that again and he'd actually never do it again.  I can't imagine Robert having the hedonistic wild side that would let him abandon his thoughts and emotions to the influence of psychoactive substances.

Rich the drug dealer threatened to tell Michelle about "Catherine" in last night's show; presumably this is some poor moll he got high with who died - I'm imagining something like camp classic Desperate Lives, where Helen Hunt tries drugs for the first time and then immediately throws herself out of a window.  A girlfriend who died in tragic circumstances; another contrived attempt to make Robert something resembling an interesting character.  He'll have to have packed a lot more into those thirteen years away from the Street than a bit of a drug habit to make me even sit up in my chair.  I look forward to future storylines about his time as the bassist in Metallica, his Formula 1 wins, and his year as the sexual plaything of Sharon Stone.  And then I'll shrug and wait for a more interesting character to turn up.

By @merseytart

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Canada Sneak Previews for July 24 - 28

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

Johnny and Jenny work out their differences. Sarah asks Neil to talk to Bethany. Craig wheedles the truth out of Bethany but she makes him promise to keep the secret. Sarah asks Mel to help and then spots Shona at a drop in centre. Rosie is a confidant to both Anna and Kevin. Erica persues Kevin. Will he go for it or will he stay loyal to Anna? The corner shop reopens. Why does Norris have a letter addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Cole? Liz signs over the pub and gets a new job. It's the anniversary of Kylie's death.

For more detail and photos check out the Moosejaw Mercury at

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sam Aston Interview on Chesney's shock stabbing

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

Sam Aston, who plays Coronation Street's Chesney Brown, has been talking about the scenes in which his character gets stabbed next week.

In a robbery that will see the Bistro fall victim to a gang of thugs, Chesney gets caught in the crossfire when he tries to find Daniel and ends up getting slashed in the neck by a broken bottle.

Sam tells The Express that he found the change in pace for his character refreshing, but noted that the scenes were difficult to film.

"It was great fun, I’ve been here for quite a long time and I have never done anything like that. It was a challenge because Chesney is making kebabs most of the time but it was really cool to be involved in something different," he said.

While it has been speculated that the moment Chesney is stabbed could spell the end for the popular character, Sam said that he enjoyed being able to show a different side to the relationship between the long-time rivals.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dan Brocklebank: “Motor Neurone Disease is cruel and evil.”

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

Dan Brocklebank, who plays Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street, has been interviewed in Gay Times magazine where he talks about his grandad who died from motor neurone disease.

It's a very moving interview in which Daniel reveals that he has been working with the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association for the last 14 years.

"It’s an incredible charity that does amazing things to help people and their families who’re affected by MND." he says. "They help with everything from funding for things like chair lifts and wheelchairs, to emotional support – and, of course, research to try to find a cure.

"In the 14 years I’ve been working with the charity I’m endlessly impressed by how hard it works and for the amazing things it does. The charity receives no government funding so it also work tirelessly to keep money coming in."

For more information about MND and the Association please visit and You can also follow the MND Association on Twitter at @mndassoc or follow Dan on Twitter at @dan_brocklebank.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Nazirs?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog June 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!   

When the Nazirs were first introduced three years ago, expectations were high. Not just in terms of Muslim representation in a mainstream soap, but also because the family set-up seemed interesting.

Kal was killed off and that gave the family more drama to contend with. And we witnessed some first class acting from Shelley King, as the matriarch, Yasmeen. Then Marc Anwar was sacked, and since then, there has not been much for this family to do.

So, how do you solve a problem like the Nazirs?

1. Get Alya more involved in Underworld. She has a good job, but we barely see her do it. She has the makings of a cut throat Carla Connor, if we saw her at work.

2. Zeedan has a great sense of humour. Let's see more of it. I like this character, as he has evolved, since he first skulked onto the street. But, if Alya must be the bad girl, Zeedan needs to laugh and joke more.

3. Yasmeen needs more scenes with Roy and a storyline. Shelley King can act, so give the actress something to do. Her scenes with Roy used to be superb. We need more of them, and she needs a challenging story arc.

4. Let's see the family's friends. They would mix with other people outside of the street, so let's see them and how they interact with more than Rita.

5. Give Zee a wandering eye, even if it never comes to fruition. He began the show as a bit of a wide boy. Now, all he does is fret about his chunky chips.

6. Integrate the family more. They are on the street, but not in the street. They need to be immersed. And the only way is to do this, is by developing friendships, to enable this family to interact.

7. Give them some conflict. They need something to play off. Drop the Tracy feud, it's boring; create a new one!

8. Rana has a big storyline coming up. Good job, as she has become like Steph;  a cypher for more interesting characters. I hope this new storyline does her justice.

I know many would rather this family left the cobbles behind. But, I think we have a strong cast here, but they are not being stretched and on paper, these characters could create some fireworks.

Glenn Meads

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Pat Phelan - Yay or Nay?

Pat Phelan is causing a bit of a stir amongst Coronation Street fans right now. Some love him, others hate him and one thing's for sure, there's no middle ground when it comes to what we think of the Corrie villain.

Comments left on the blog and social media prove that Pat Phelan's causing a big divide among Corrie fans. Some want him gone, and some want him on the cobbles causing mischief for as long as he can.  I'm firmly in the latter camp. I think he's great and can't wait to see what he gets up to next.

Bringing in Pat's daughter, I think, is a stroke of genius on the part of Corrie producer Kate Oates. At the recent press day she told us this about Pehan: "I love him dearly and I can’t stop watching him." 

I can only agree.

But what do you think? Have you had enough of his evil and do you want him gone?  But if he goes, who's going to take up the mantle of the villain? Every soap needs one and I think we've got the perfect one in Phelan.

So, Pat Phelan - Yay or Nay? I say a big fat YAY.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Nicola Thorp celebrates Corrie role with Rovers Return cake

Pic: Nicola Thorp on Twitter
Nicola Thorp, who plays Nichola Rubinstein on Coronation Street, celebrated her first episodes airing last night on Coronation Street - and in some style too.

Nicola wrote on Twitter: Watching my first eps on with the Thorp clan...and our very own Rovers Return cake made by mum!!

Corrie producer Kate Oates told us recently that Nicola will turn out to be Pat Phelan's daughter. It's going to be a huge shock for him as he didn't even know that he had a daughter. 

Kate said: "Phelan’s daughter will be the light to his shade. I love him dearly and I can’t stop watching him. We may discover that all is not as it seems to be. Bringing in Phelan's daughter will be the light to his darkness, he doesn’t know she exists. Phelan falls in love with the daughter he didn’t know he had, and wants to be a better man because of it."

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Monday, 17 July 2017

Coronation Street Blog Interview with Catherine Tyldesley

(This post was originally posted by Jordan Lloyd Beck on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

“She wants to take him for everything he’s got. She wants him to hurt”
Cath Tyldesley on Eva’s reaction to Aidan’s affair
Hiya! It’s just Jordan with another Corrie cast interview from the recent press day. This time, it’s with the fabulous Catherine Tyldesley who plays Eva Price. As one of my favourite characters currently treading the cobbles, I was very much looking forward to listening to the lady who brings her to life so well.
The interview centred upon the current love triangle. Unlike Eva, we all know that her fiancĂ© Aidan is having an affair with that salon slapper Maria. However, time is ticking and pretty soon the fiery blonde will find out just what Aidan has been up to when she’s not been looking. Viewers should expect explosions and Cath wasted no time in teasing what’s to come when Eva the Diva is unleashed:
“It’s quite extreme…! She very much reverts back to Eva the Diva, which is great because when I first came into Coronation Street, she was a very fiery person. It’s nice to see her come back to that. She is quite extreme with the way she reacts. I don’t think I would have done those things personally but for me as an actor, it’s brilliant to play!”
Cath went on to explain that Eva is, naturally, upset and angry and the fact that Maria is her first best friend after the death of Kylie just rubs salt in the wound. Cath herself is hoping for her first proper Corrie catfight to come out of this. Interestingly, Eva finds out about the affair some time before taking any action. She doesn’t do the age-old thing of yelling, screaming and throwing clothes out of an upstairs window. It’s a proper revenge plot and according to Cath, Maria should be scared.
When teasing exactly how Eva will find out about naughty Aidan, Cath kept her cards very close to her chest. But she did enthusiastically promise that it’s a good reveal:
“It’s the best find-out ever!”
However, Eva will get through this bunny boiler stage, with the help of Toyah and Leanne – a dynamic Cath described as lovely. Interestingly, Cath also mentioned that Adam Barlow is to become a supportive face for Eva. However, don’t be misled into thinking that Adam will be Eva’s new squeeze; Eva will have very little time for men during her mad revenge plot.
“When I’m reading scripts, I’m cringing at what she’s doing. But it’s wonderful. Very Eva”
“She’s gonna come out of this stronger. It’s what Corrie do best – writing strong, feisty women”
But in typical Corrie style, Eva will suffer yet another blow only a week after finding out that Aidan is having an affair.
She’s pregnant.
This will have obvious emotional ramifications for the bubbly blonde, but as the conversation soon moved to how Eva will rock maternity wear – and how Cath will rock the bump – it would seem that Eva, like Madonna, is keeping her baby.
Veering away from the love triangle gossip, Cath began to spoke of Eva’s career potential. She pointed out that Eva’s focus in life has always been to have a boyfriend, not a career. Maybe now is the time to change that. Cath can see Eva having a business venture; something like a mobile tanning salon. What do you think? I think that’s a fantastic idea! However, my favourite little titbit to come out of this interview was the origin of Eva’s laugh:
“A girl that I went to drama school with was an opera singer and she had a laugh that was quite similar. Eva’s is like a very heightened version of that”
A very interesting chat and I for one cannot wait to see Eva the Diva unleashed on the cobbles once again.
As always,
Thanks for reading!
Twitter: @JordanLloyd39

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Congratulations to Sam Aston on his engagement

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

Congratulations go to Coronation Street's Sam Aston, who plays Chesney Battersby-Brown.  Sam has just announced his engagement to girlfriend Briony Gardner.

The proposal came when Sam hosted his annual charity golf event with Corrie pals Andy Whyment and Alan Halsall.

Briony shared a video of the magic moment on her Instagram page

She said: “2 hearts have now become 1 as Sam and I are... ENGAGED!! (How is it possible I can even say that out loud?!)”

And Sam posted to instagram and twitter too, with a picture saying Me and my beautiful bride to be...

Many congratulations to them both!

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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