The week begins with an epic clear-out of my extremely messy home office in time for a makeover. Marie Kondo I am not. What does spark joy, though, is a small brass plaque inside one of the fitted cupboards. It reads: “Specially installed for Lynne Perrie.” This is a reminder that soap history is literally in the walls here.
The actor, who has won two RTS North West awards for her performances in ITV soap Coronation Street and BBC Two factual drama Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, was giving this year’s Anthony H Wilson Memorial Lecture.
During the course of a conversation with actor and director Noreen Kershaw, Hesmondhalgh proved to be the embodiment of the words of the late Granada Reports anchor and music impresario, Wilson, who memorably summed up his city: “This is Manchester: we do things differently here.”
The RTS Programme Awards, chaired by Wayne Garvie, honours excellence across all genres of television programming and recognise exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams, as well as the programmes themselves.
The BBC scooped 17 awards for its programmes and talent, and also won the coveted RTS Channel of the Year award.
Each brand will also open a shop, with the facades due to open for business this spring. Cups, bags, posters and other products will also be integrated into an extended Weatherfield set.
Mark Trinder, Sales Director, ITV said: “Incorporating product placement on this scale is something we have wanted to do for some time and we’re delighted with this exciting opportunity.
EastEnders: The Queen Vic Fire
British soaps have made huge strides in portraying the lives and loves of gay characters since the genre’s first on-screen kiss in EastEnders three decades ago.
But, argued the actors, writers and producers on the panel at an RTS event in mid-July – “LGBTQ in soap: job done?” – the fight against prejudice is not yet won.
“Soaps are incredibly powerful in terms of being able to get a message out and in changing people’s perceptions,” said Daniel Brocklebank, who plays gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street.
The screenwriter received the Judges’ Award among others at the RTS Programme Awards 2017 for her “outstanding contribution to the UK’s television and media industry.”
“I feel very lucky that I have been able to achieve my ambitions and been able to do the things that I want to do,” she says humbly.
She is humble too about her past achievements: Baftas, RTS Awards, TV Choice Awards, Broadcast awards and more litter the shelves of her study in her Cotswold home.
“It’s nice to be recognised,” she says.
British TV institution Coronation Street celebrated its 55th birthday in December. After some 8,800 episodes, you might expect the old girl to be a bit doddery on her pins, but the ITV soap is in rude health.
Over the past couple of years, Corrie has fed its viewers a rich diet of murder, death and suicide.