The iconic British soap opera, Coronation Street, will be celebrating its 60th birthday on Wednesday (December 9) and what a year it has been for the residents of Weatherfield, the fictional suburb of Manchester where the drama is set….
By Suman Bhuchar
THIS LONGEST-RUNNING drama serial has touched the lives of people over six decades and some of the current stories are coming to a head in an eventful week, as we head to the famous cobbles of Weatherfield this coming week (from tomorrow, December 7).
Viewers have been gripped by the domestic abuse storyline, the death of toddler, Oliver, who passed away due to an incurable form of mitochondrial disease and then there’s nasty businessman, Ray Crosby (Mark Frost), who has been buying up many properties in the street because he wants to demolish the current buildings and create a new development.
Another key storyline that has been brewing is the Peter-Carla-Adam triangle after Carla’s (Alison King) has a one night stand with solicitor Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson), and how will Peter (Chris Gascoyne) react when he finds out.
Viewers have already watched some of the trail of ‘Yasmeen Metcalfe’ (Shelley King) for the attempted murder of her husband ‘Geoff Metcalfe’ (Ian Bartholomew) and to date we have seen witnesses for and against the couple and we await the verdict. See here for the background to this story.
At a press webinar hosted by ITV, Sair Khan, who plays ‘Ayla Nazir’ (granddaughter of Yasmeen), dropped some hints about being on the roof with Geoff and we wonder what happens.
Khan revealed: “At the end of quite a tumultuous two years, I am glad they (Geoff and Ayla) get to have one final face off.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have played this particular storyline because you get to see a different side to her. The bond that she has with her grandmother is so strong, that loyalty and that love is fierce.”
Without giving too much away – there is a stunt featured in the episode to be broadcast in this anniversary week and Khan described what happened.
“I fancy myself as the next action woman. I was gutted that we had to have stunt people because I would have been hanging off that roof all week given the opportunity.
“I really, really enjoyed it and it’s not often you get to do these kind of things with the show. When I first started, Ayla was in a coach crash but hanging off the roof was something else.
“They actually gave us this little plank to rest our feet on while we were hanging over the roof, but I refused to use a plank, I mean I had bruises at the end of it, but I just wanted it to be so authentic. It was so much fun.”
The soap which went on air on December 9, 1961 was created by Tony Warren and its iconic theme tune has been the soundtrack to many people’s daily lives.
Actor William Roache MBE who plays Ken Barlow has been with the show since the first episode and holds the Guinness World Record for the ‘longest serving actor in a continuing TV drama’ while ‘Coronation Street’ holds the record for the ‘longest running TV soap’.
HRH Prince Charles graced the screen as himself and Sir Trevor McDonald the newsreader, both appeared in the 40th anniversary episode.
Over the decades many Asians have also visited or lived in the cobbles and www.asianculturevulture.com talked to one of the longest serving members of the cast – businessman, Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin), who settled in Weatherfield and has made 7 Coronation Street his home and has been in ‘Coronation Street’ for 20 years.
The show will be screened on ITV as three one-hour episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm this week.
During this week, fans will also be treated to two new ITV documentaries; ‘Coronation Street 60 Unforgettable years’ and ‘The Road to Coronation Street’ (for listing information, see below please).
BritBox (the new UK streaming service) subscribers can also watch a selection of dramas and episodes celebrating Britain’s favourite and longest-running soap.
This includes ‘The Road to Coronation Street’ (documenting the journey of ‘Coronation Street’ from conception to its first transmission in December 1960); ‘Against The Odds: The Pat Phoenix Story’ (following Pat Phoenix’s ill-fated affair with fellow actor Tony Booth in the 1950s) and ‘Coronation Street: 60 Years in 60 Episodes’ (60 handpicked episodes which showcase the very best Corrie moments).
For further information in real time on Corrie 60, please see/follow ITV Corrie on Twitter
All ITV – https://www.itv.com/hub/itv
‘Coronation Street 60 Unforgettable years’ – tomorrow (December 7) 8.30pm
‘Queens of the Street’ 9pm – Wednesday, (December 9)
ITV 3 – ‘The Road to Coronation Street’ – 10.10pm – Friday (December 11)