50 years of ‘the Street’

Coronation Street has always been my preferred soap. I even remember, as a seven-year old, watching the very first black and white episode!

It caught the public imagination from the outset. The iconic hair netted dragon Ena Sharples, sipping milk stout and trading gossip with Minnie Caldwell and Martha Longhurst in the Rovers’ snug, and the brassy Elsie Tanner with whom Ena enjoyed many a stand off on the cobbles, soon became the talk of the school playground.

I’ve maintained an interest in Corrie, on and off, ever since but admit to having become a lapsed devotee over the last three years or so.

The main reason being that I thought it had started to take itself too seriously, trying to emulate the depressing storylines and grittiness of its London-based rival Eastenders rather than playing to its own strengths, low-key humour delivered with a sharp northern wit.    

On my return from Rwanda I walked straight back into the 50th year celebrations with all the attendant hype and found myself tuning in to watch this TV landmark unfold.

To be honest I was disappointed to find that Corrie had resorted to the Emmerdale school of script writing, a tragic disaster visited on the whole community resulting in the deaths of a few characters who have out grown their usefulness.

Despite that, there can be no argument that the explosion and subsequent tram crash were very convincingly staged. The tempo of proceedings leading up to the inevitable mayhem was impressive and, as someone who has not watched the show for three years, I have to take my hat off to the script writers because I was able to pick up on all the storylines within a single episode!           

Hopefully as the dust settles and the residents slowly come to terms with events the Street will return to relative normality and hopefully a few more of those light comedy moments that set it apart from all other contenders.

What ever way you look at it 50 years for a TV soap is an amazing achievement.

I’m not sure whether it has done enough to hook me back in. Only time will tell.  Now maybe if the tram had taken out Sally and Gail…

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