Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

David Hutchinson's Column

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

David Hutchinson's Column

Article excerpt

The last time This Column watched Coronation Street as a paying customer, everything was black and white and the ads extolled the virtues of Watney's Red Barrel or promised the yellow went when you brushed your teeth with Pepsodent.

Ena Sharples, Martha Longhurst and Minnie Caldwell ruled the roost in the Rover's Return snug; Annie and Jack Walker were behind the bar and Elsie Tanner was the femme fatale of those permissive days to Len Fairclough, among others.

That doesn't mean to say I have not followed the events in Weatherfield over the years. As a journalist you must by necessity have a wide interest in many matters.

As a television page compiler for many years on the Evening Gazette I had to have much knowledge on the characters and story lines. Often these were gained from studio handouts, press releases, telephone interviews and even the odd visit.

In the mid-Sixties I even visited the set - before it became permanent. I met and was photographed with the real Elsie Tanner, aka Pat Phoenix, and Ena Sharples, aka Violet Carson.

There is a simple explanation, by the way. The Lancashire newspaper I was working on at the time, had printed a mock-up of the Weatherfield Gazette to be shown in the programme and as a young reporter, I was sent down to Manchester to write a story about it.

So I was fascinated the other day to discover that Corrie, first shown back in 1960, is to feature Sir Norman Wisdom.

He is not booked in for a long run - at 89 producers have engaged him for the one episode so far.

And Sir Norm is not alone. Such eminences as Roy Hudd and Bernard Cribbins went north to Granadaland, while Barabara Windsor, Ian Lavender and even Dudley Sutton have cropped up down in Walford.

Comic Bobby Knutt and now Patsy Kensit went rural in Yorkshire, and funnyman Stan Stennett, once booked into Crossroads.

Wendy Richard, EastEnders stalwart now, was already established when she

appeared in episode one. …

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