November 2, 2012 Leave a comment
Coronation Street fans were treated to not only the first live episode in ten years (more about that later) but the first ever crossover with EastEnders. Mini-crossover would be a better term for it. The said production was only 15-minutes long; however, 15-minutes of Weatherfield meets Walford was certainly a treat.
The EastEnders cast who took part were Laurie Brett, Charlie G. Hawkins, Kylie Babbington, Nina Wadia, John Partridge, Diane Parish, Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie, Ricky Norwood, Nitin Ganatra, Shona McGarty, and Jamie Borthwick.
Callard, Marsh, Worth, Harkishin and Thomas visited the EastEnders set. Partridge, Hawkins, Brett, Wadia and Babbington visited the Coronation Street set, while the other cast members remained on their respective usual sets.
Mark Jefferies, a staff writer with the Mirror, wrote:
Do not adjust your TV set – that really is hunky Corrie builder Jason in the Queen Vic getting served by EastEnders’ brassy landlady Kat. … It is one of the bizarre scenes from East Street, in which the rival hit soaps merge for Friday’s Children In Need on BBC1.
Katie Byrne, a staff writer with the Herald, wrote:
The BBC pulled out all the stops to entice viewers last night and the best moment was undoubtedly the merging of Coronation Street and EastEnders as the Weatherfield and Walford casts paid each other a visit in ‘East Street’.
In 2010, Coronation Street celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. If you recall from the anniversary ten years earlier, Coronation Street gave its fans something really special. A live one hour episode. Since then, there has not been a live episode of the soap opera. The fiftieth anniversary changed that. It was once again time for the Coronation Street cast to perform a live episode. Having a live episode was not going to be enough for the fiftieth anniversary. There needed to be much much more. Several days of episodes, including the live episode, were produced to create the right atmosphere. Nothing was left to chance. Every angle was covered.
The fiftieth anniversary of anything deserves to be celebrated properly. This is what Granada did with Coronation Street. Granada collaborated with ITN News to produce several ITN style news bulletins / news flashes. These productions successfully heightened the level of suspense Coronation Street’s viewers experienced. The presence of ITN News Anchorman Sir Alastair Stewart, OBE gave the said news bulletins / news flashes an increased degree of authenticity; a degree of authenticity that draws viewers not only deeper into the story, but the characters lives.
Coronation Street has always been about families. There is no denying that. Marriages, births, deaths, and various scandals but not necessarily in that particular order. Gail Platt, no stranger to walking down the isle, gets married for the fourth time. This time the groom is Joe McIntyre, who, due to heavy debts, planned to fake his own drowning. When Gail refused to go along with the plan, Joe sailed away and in the attempt, drowned for real, leaving Gail to be charged with his murder.
The answer to the question you are thinking of asking is provided for us in the fiftieth anniversary live episode of the soap opera.
Molly reconciled with Tyrone and nearly lost her life after a crash in a car which had not been properly repaired by Kevin.
After an absence of three years, Tracy Barlow returned on 7 May 2010, in a plot to reduce her sentence by convincing cellmate Gail to confess to Joe’s murder.
Another first for the soap opera came in 2010. Coronation Street viewers were introduced to the street’s first lesbian storyline as Sophie Webster develops an attraction towards her best friend Sian Powers.
May 2010 also saw the funeral of Coronation Street favourite Blanche Hunt, who was written out after the death of her portrayer Maggie Jones on 2 December 2009. ITV honoured Blanche and Maggie with a half-hour special, Goodbye Blanche, which was aired after the funeral.
On 31 May 2010, the Coronation Street opening sequence was given a revamp. From that date all episodes of the series would be transmitted in High Definition. The change coincided with a week of dramatic storylines known as “Siege Week”, being shown on five consecutive nights following Britain’s Got Talent. In the story Tony Gordon escapes from prison to seek vengeance on his enemies, culminating in the dramatic explosion of Underworld. Meanwhile, Gail Platt’s murder trial kicks into high gear. Two separate endings for Gail’s verdict were shown online.
On 2 June 2010 an episode featuring a gun siege was postponed following the similar Cumbria shootings earlier that day. It was left unannounced whether Coronation Street would return the following day, but it was later announced that it would not be returning that week, and return the following Monday as a result of what had happened.
On 7 July 2010 it was announced that Coronation Street was working with The Mill and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (responsible for the operation ofManchester Metrolink) to film a spectacular and realistic tram crash. This crash would use the viaduct at the end of the Street. Reports stated that series producer Phil Collinson was distributing alternative scripts, that much loved characters would be killed, and that none of the cast would be told which characters would die. The events of the night of the crash were to be aired over a week’s worth of episodes, similar to the Siege Week storyline. Survivors would take refuge in The Rovers Return, with the effects lasting well into 2011.
It was originally believed that a live episode had not been planned for the anniversary, but actor Keith Duffy confirmed on 29 August 2010 that one would be aired focussing on the aftermath of the upcoming tram crash. The live episode took place on 9 December 2010.
On 17 September 2010 Coronation Street entered the Guinness World Records book as the world’s longest-running television soap opera after the American soap opera As the World Turns had its final episode. Roache was listed as the world’s longest-running soap actor.
Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary week was celebrated by broadcasting seven consecutive episodes, along with a special one hour live episode, from 6–10 December. The anniversary was also constructed by a number of ITV specials and news broadcasts. Producer Phil Collinson marked the event with a sensational storyline in which the residents had to deal with a tragic accident and its aftermath. In the storyline, Nick Tilsley and Leanne Battersby‘s bar—The Joinery—exploded during Peter Barlow‘s stag party. As a result, the viaduct was destroyed, sending a tram careering onto the street, destroying D&S Alahan’s Corner Shop and The Kabin. Two characters, Ashley Peacock and Molly Dobbs, along with an unknown taxi driver, were killed as a result of the disaster. Rita Sullivan survived, despite being trapped under the rubble of her destroyed shop. Fiz Stapeprematurely gave birth to a baby girl, Hope, after her husband, John, struck his stalker Charlotte Hoyle with a hammer to silence her. He later attempted to turn off Charlotte’s life support machine, having gained access to her bedside by allowing her parents to believe he was her fiancé. They later made the decision turn off her life support, with John’s agreement. Peter Barlow married Leanne Battersby in an emergency hospital ceremony, shortly before going into cardiac arrest, although he later rallied and made a slow recovery.
The episode of EastEnders broadcast on the same day as Coronation Street‘s 50th anniversary episode included a tribute, with the character Dot Branning saying that she never missed Coronation Street. At the same time Granada bosses commissioned trailers depicting famous Coronation Street fans, including former Brookside actress Sue Johnston (Sheila Grant).
In January 2011, it was announced that one of Coronation Street‘s original characters Dennis Tanner would make a return after 43 years off screen. The year would also see the departures of long-running cast members Beverley Callard and Vicky Entwistle who play Liz McDonald and Janice Battersby, respectively.
In 2011, the major story line of John Stape and his murder spree came to an end in May after he jumped off a hospital roof but left before he could be arrested. He returned in October before Fiz Stape was imprisoned for the murders. Following a car crash, John revealed the details about the murders and how Fiz was not involved. He later died from his injuries on 28 October.
Frank Foster arrived in 2011. Foster was most definitely a sexual predator, the first flash of malevolence we see is when Maria Connor visits his home to finalise a deal. After a bit of flirting Frank thinks Maria is playing hard to get and decides he is getting what he wants there and then, Maria is frightened by this and manages to escape. After Maria tells Carla Connor, Carla is furious and tries to get Maria to go to the police, however Maria wants to forget all about it and tells Carla to continue doing business with Frank to save the factory. Frank later starts a relationship with Carla, who now believes that Maria misinterpreted what happened on the night she claims she was attacked, and they get engaged. However after falling in love with Peter Barlow, despite doing nothing about it, Carla calls off their wedding. Frank then rapes Carla, sparking one of the soaps most talked about storylines.
Frank was later murdered in a “whodunit” storyline. Guljeet Samra, a staff writer with the Mirror, wrote:
Who killed Frank Foster? Our sofa supersleuth examines the evidence.
Samra article is certainly worth reading. Especially if you happen to be a Coronation Street fan.
After three weeks of speculation it was revealed that the killer was in fact Frank’s own mother (Anne Foster).