The Corrie Years

Friday, 28 December 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

Over the decades Coronation Street has become a much-loved part of the nation’s festive fare. In this special Yuletide edition of The Corrie Years, these are the stories behind some of the most memorable plots from Christmas on the cobbles.

From the sad departure of Alf Roberts to the wedding of Claire and Ashley and the recent twist on the greatest story ever told.

Narrated by Katherine Kelly, the documentary features interviews with cast past and present including William Roache, Thelma Barlow, Sam Aston, Jennie McAlpine, Steven Arnold, Helen Worth and Sue Nicholls.

Thursday, 11 October 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

After The Street

Over the past 50 years, we’ve watched many of our favourite Coronation Street characters depart Weatherfield for pastures new.

In the final part of this documentary series, we’ll hear how real life changed for some of its actors once they left the famous cobbles behind.

Narrated by Katherine Kelly, the programme includes interviews with former Corrie stars including Adam Rickitt, Tracy Shaw and Charlie Lawson.

Thursday, 4 October 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

The Stunts:

Ever since Coronation Street began, special effects and jaw-dropping stunts have provided a spectacular backdrop to some of its most gripping storylines

In the penultimate episode of this documentary series narrated by Katherine Kelly, we take a look behind the scenes of Corrie’s most explosive stunts – from Maya’s Mad Monday to the tram crash disaster which took place during the show’s 50th anniversary week. ]With interviews from current and past cast members including William Roache, Wendi Peters and Jimmi Harkishin.

Thursday, 27 September 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

The Kids:

Ever since 11-year-old Lucille Hewitt arrived on the cobbles in 1960, children have remained at the heart of Weatherfield.

In this fourth instalment of the Coronation Street history series narrated by Katherine Kelly, we hear about the kids who’ve grown up on our screens and reveal how they coped with life under the spotlight.

Includes interviews with Coronation Street stars past and present, including Jack P Shepherd, Simon Gregson and Sam Aston.

Thursday, 20 September 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

Weatherfield may be the home of the nation’s favourite street, but what happens when the cast and crew leave the comfort of the cobbles behind for some sun, sea and sand?

The third episode of this six-part series recalls some of Coronation Street’s most popular storylines filmed on location.

These include some early excursions that only got as far as Blackpool in the 60s, although one of the most dramatic scenes ever was filmed there in 1989 when baddie Alan Bradley was knocked down by a tram while pursuing Rita Fairclough (pictured).

Gail and Joe McIntyre had an ill-fated trip to the Lake District in 2010, which ended with his body being fished out of Windermere and Gail arrested, charged with his murder and nearly convicted when the evil Tracy Barlow saw an opportunity.

Steve McDonald and Eileen Grimshaw made an unlikely pair of holidaymakers on their last-minute jaunt to Malta in 2007, prompting much speculation over whether they might find romance together on the island. They didn’t, but the location shooting is said to have provided a significant boost for Malta’s tourist industry.

Narrated by Katherine Kelly, the programme includes interviews with past and present Coronation Street stars including Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch), Helen Worth (Gail McIntyre) and Sherrie Hewson (Maureen Webster).

Thursday, 13 September 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

Feuds:

Emotions can run high when you live on Britain’s most famous street, so it’s no surprise that what starts as a small quarrel can often end in full-on fisticuffs.

From neighbourhood niggles to family fall-outs, this second instalment of Coronation Street history narrated by Katherine Kelly tells the stories behind some of Corrie’s biggest conflicts over the last fifty years – from Ken Barlow and rival Mike Baldwin, to Derek Wilton and Des Barnes, to Gail Tilsley and mother-in-law Ivy.

Featuring interviews with current and past cast members including William Roache, Helen Worth and Vicky Entwistle.

Thursday, 6 September 2012, 8:30PM – 9:00PM

The Corrie Years returns for a second series, bringing viewers the untold stories behind some of the most unforgettable Coronation Street storylines of the last five decades.

This series the soap’s best-loved actors talk to the programme about Coronation Street scandals, feuds, stunts and kids. Plus the series looks at the special on-location episodes that took the characters away from the street and what happens to the actors after they say goodbye to the Weatherfield cobbles.

Narrated by Katherine Kelly, the series features interviews from a host of Coronation Street stars past and present, including William Roache, Julie Goodyear, Helen Worth and Simon Gregson.

Episode One – Scandals

The first episode of the second series looks at some of the scandals the Weatherfield residents have endured – from prostitutes to conmen and from illegitimate children to schoolgirl seductresses.

In 2007, Coronation Street saw the return of Leanne Battersby, who claimed to be running a lucrative property business. But her step-mum, Janice, was in for a shock when she visited her at work and discovered she was actually earning her money as a call-girl.

Actress Jane Danson tells The Corrie Years: “They asked me how I felt about Leanne becoming a prostitute and my jaw couldn’t fall to the floor quick enough. I was really surprised. It was almost like the hair, make-up and clothes turned her into something she wasn’t, and that’s how she dealt with it.”

Vicky Entwistle, who played Janice, tells the programme that Janice was broken hearted when she discovered the truth. Vicky says: “It still makes me cry when I watch it.”

It was 1970 when Bet Lynch became a permanent resident on Coronation Street and revealed that she had given birth to a son when she was just 16 and had given him up for adoption.

Actress Julie Goodyear reveals that she was shocked when she read the script. She says: “I couldn’t believe it when I read it because I was in that position. I know how she felt, but I had wonderful parents, so I could keep my son, Bet couldn’t.”

Julie talks about the emotional scenes when Bet discovered that her son was dead and almost committed suicide.

On Christmas Day 2007, Coronation Street was rocked by the news that teacher John Stape had been having an affair with his 16-year-old pupil Rosie Webster after she seduced him.

Actor Graeme Hawley tells The Corrie Years about the moment Rosie’s dad, Kevin found out and punched him on the street. He says: “We filmed it in November, it was freezing and I was down on the cobbles for about two hours.”

Nigel Havers fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he joined the Coronation Street cast as smooth-talking Lewis Archer. Lewis soon had the women of Weatherfield eating out of the palm of his hand, before he fleeced Peter Barlow’s bookies of £4000 and fled into the night, leaving Audrey Roberts broken-hearted.

Nigel talks to the programme about playing Lewis and admits: “I did get the odd pair of knickers sent through the post.”

And, The Corrie Years looks at one of the most shocking revelations ever made on the street when Maggie Clegg told her son, Gordon, that his real mother was Betty Turpin.

The Corrie Years explains that Betty had an affair with a married man, resulting in a pregnancy. To cover the scandal, her sister, Maggie, who was married but had no children, agreed to raise the little boy. But when his birth certificate turned up down the back of an old chest of drawers, the secret was out.

Bill Kenwright, who played Gordon, talks about the moment his character discovered who his real mum was, and the relationship he then formed with actress Betty Driver. He says: “It was a scandal when it came out. We had that kind of relationship off set – it was a whole new part of my life. We understood each other. It was an extraordinary event in my life that storyline.”

Wednesday, 3 August 2011, 7:30PM – 8:00PM

New three part series, The Corrie Years, focuses on 50 years of storylines which have been national talking points throughout its history. It touches on the plots and characters that have made headlines and courted controversy, broken new ground in television drama, challenged taboos and reflected the seismic changes in society which have occurred since the very beginning of the soap in 1960. Narrated by David Morrissey, the programmes will exclusively feature previously unseen footage, cast interviews both past and present and classic highlights from the show. This series celebrates Britain’s longest running TV soap and provides a closer look at how the show has continually produced some of the most talked-about storylines ever seen. 

Ep 3: The Corrie Years: The Changing Face Of Britain 

In the final episode we see how events in the outside world played a part in creating some key moments in Weatherfield’s history, and tell the stories about the impact they had. 

1981 – Ken and Deirdre Get Married: Britain was preparing itself for two weddings of the year in 1981 – both falling within the same week in July. Two days after Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton became man and wife in Weatherfield, Prince Charles and Lady Diana tied the knot in a slightly more lavish ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Anne Kirkbride who plays Deirdre says “There were an awful lot of viewers for that episode and it was amazing to think that we were actually attracting as much attention as the royal wedding.” 

1978 – Strike on Coronation Street: When Mike Baldwin sacked cleaner Hilda Ogden over the small matter of a new brush, Ivy Tilsley led the workers of his factory out to the picket line in protest. Just one year later however, a real-life strike by technicians at ITV meant that Corrie was off the air for two and a half months until matters were resolved.

1960 – Revolution at the Barlows: Ken Barlow represented the typical 1960s student movement seen growing on the streets of Britain – much to the annoyance of his father, Frank. When Ken followed his fellow campaigners on a Ban the Bomb march in 1961, he echoed the feelings of many protesters in this country at that time, who fought against the introduction of nuclear weapons. William Roache who plays Ken Barlow says “Coronation Street is not a documentary, it’s a drama, however we need to be as truthful as possible and it reflected the worries and concerns of the day… Ken doing that was very much representing the feeling of the time.” 

1995 – Tracy’s Drug Shame: Britain’s drug crisis worsened in the mid-nineties thanks to a huge rise in the use of Ecstasy – and in Weatherfield, Tracey Barlow also found herself in grave danger as a consequence of this, when her wild child days took a darker turn. 

1997 – Emily’s Eco Protest: Emily Bishop’s nephew Spider turned up on her doorstep in as an archetypal eco warrior, straight from the Swampy school of environmentalism – but it was his Aunty Emily’s tree top protest during the battle to save Weatherfield’s Red Rec that really gave the campaign the publicity it needed. 

The Corrie Years is series produced and directed by Kerry Allison and executive produced by Mark Robinson. 

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1