Coronation Street

The Secret of Soaps: The Story Behind the Stories

No one could accuse Coronation Street of taking it easy, even though this would be understandable for a middle-aged British telly institution. Over the last couple of years the ITV soap has given viewers multiple murders, deaths and suicides; explosions and a minibus crash; a pre-teen pregnancy; and even a gay vicar.

Audiences have been lapping up the drama, which regularly attracts more than 7 million viewers. Corrie remains the nation’s favourite soap.

Ten things you might not know about Coronation Street

Helen Worth as Gail Platt (Credit: ITV)

 

1. The Rovers by numbers

Everyone's favourite local watering hole the Rovers Return Inn may seem like a fake pub, but staff still pull a hefty number of pints each week, and Betty's famous hotpot lives on long after actress Betty Driver passed away in 2011. Weekly, The Rovers serves up 1,440 pints, 100 gin and tonics, and 84 hotpots - as well as 2,500 bags of crisps per year. The beer served is actually very weak - and very sweet - shandy, and the gin and tonics are just fizzy water and lime.

 

Working Lives: Fight director

What does the job involve?

I choreograph the physical action in the story, whether it’s with swords, a punch up or just a slap, ensuring that the motivation for the action lies in the story and the characters. It’s not about being fancy or funky: it’s about making the action the vehicle for the story, not the other way around.

 

So you must work closely with the director?

Who’s who in Dancing on Ice 2021?

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby will once again host the proceedings, with John Barrowman joining the judging panel of Christopher Dean, Jayne Torvill and Ashley Banjo.

Here are the confirmed contestants.

Goodbye to all that: Peter Bazalgette looks back on 2020

JANUARY

“Great fears of the Sicknesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all.” The very first mention of the plague in The Diary of Samuel Pepys, on 30 April 1665. Fast forward 355 years and there’s this on 11 January on the ITV News site: “Health authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan are reporting the first death from a new type of coronavirus.”

Working in continuing drama: Coronation Street and Emmerdale

The four panellists, who are all in the early stages of their careers, discussed their jobs at two of the country’s premier soaps.

Joseph Hart switches between the roles of second and third assistant director (AD) on Emmerdale. “ADs are logistical, organisational roles, but the third AD does have a creative outlet – it’s really good fun,” he explained. “A third AD is based on the floor… and does the background action. You tell the extras when and where to go.”

TV executives discuss how to produce television in a socially distanced environment

“The biggest issue when we started gearing up to re-start production about six weeks ago was fear,” said John Whiston, who as ITV’s managing director of continuing drama is responsible for running flagship soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

He said that production staff and talent needed reassuring after being isolated at home watching news coverage of the pandemic every night for weeks.