Good old ‘Corrie ‘– veteran of the soaps Coronation Street this month celebrated 60 years on the small screen. The longest running TV soap not only in the UK but in the world, there is even going to be a commemorative set of stamps, on sale from May 28th, to mark the anniversary.
I well remember ‘Corrie’ way back in its early days. Granada TV took a posse of us – some eight or ten showbiz journalists – up to the set in Manchester by train. First class, no less, and a full cooked breakfast with a glass of bubbly in the dining car.
But the TV company got their money’s worth when we arrived at the studios. Interviews with the cast followed, one after the other, each of us being firmly moved on to the next one when your time was up.
I headed straight for the wonderful Violet Carson, complete with hairnet in her role as the miserable old bat Ena Sharples – she of the jutting jaw and woe betide you if you crossed her. Vi was a gem – a true pro knowing exactly what was wanted. Then it was on to the flame-haired Pat Phoenix, bold, brassy and larger than life on TV as Elsie Tanner. A very different kettle of fish – feisty and fun in real life too. As for the men – William Roache (Ken Barlow in the series), who had his 88th birthday last month, was politeness personified.
I must have done at least six interviews that day. Exhausting – but a great day out!