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.


This Morning to air on Sundays

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford (Credit: ITV)

This Morning on Sunday will review the funniest, most touching and enjoyable moments from the week and will also feature new and exclusive content.

The hour-long show will see guest interviews, advice from experts and unbelievable real-life stories, as well as showcasing delicious recipes and fun competitions.

Airing on ITV from January 20th at 10.30am, it will be hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

The pair will tell funny stories from behind the scenes and provide a small preview of the following week’s show.

RTS gets festive with a look at Christmas TV past, present and future

Anita Singh, Lord Grade, Kate Phillips, Kate Russell (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Over nearly four decades, Michael, now Lord, Grade walked the corridors of power at London Weekend Television, the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV – no one is more qualified to discuss the enduring appeal of Christmas telly.

Lord Grade commissioned many of the nation’s most memorable festive programmes, including the 1986 Christmas Day EastEnders when Den issued Angie with divorce papers. Ratings topped 30 million, although that figure includes viewers of a repeat showing.

Sarah Parish to return for second series of ITV’s Bancroft

(Credit: ITV)

Filmed in Greater Manchester, Parish reprises her role as the ruthless Elizabeth Bancroft in four new episodes of the series.

The drama follows Elizabeth Bancroft as she tries to protect her estranged son Joe (Adam Long) against a double murder charge.

Bancroft is also under pressure from crime boss Daanish Kamara (Ryan McKen), and superintendent Cliff Walker (Adrian Edmondson), who suspects her of being corrupt.

Joining the cast is Charlotte Hope (Game of Thrones), David Avery (The Night Manager) and Adrian Edmondson (War & Peace).  

Julie Hesmondhalgh discusses social campaigning: "This artist's life can be for you"

Julie Hesmondhalgh with Noreen Kershaw (Credit: Jess Boulton)

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.”

Freeview announces launch of new mobile app

The free app will provide viewers with the chance to watch on-demand content and live stream channels BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on mobile devices.

On-demand services BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 and UKTV Play will allow audiences to catch up on their favourite shows on the go, with a ‘Recommendations’ feature to help users discover new programmes.