Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday Comments, August 30

Lines of the week:

  • Tony "It's Maria I'm thinking about" (yeah, right).
  • Blanche to Peter "You're too busy pickling your liver and feeling sorry for yourself"
  • Sally about Tony "Nice to know he can be a decent human being sometimes"
  • Sally about Fiz "He wouldn't be the first nutter with a female sidekick" (or the first man that lied to his girlfriend really well)
  • Sean about Janice "She may be a wrong'un but she's our wrong'un"
  • Sean to Kelly "What's that dripping sound? Oh it's my heart bleeding for you!"
  • Blanche "I cannot ignore the pull of blood" (meaning family, but Simon isn't her blood, technically)

Aww nice scene between Rosie and Sophie wasn't it? Can't blame Fiz for wanting to see John one last time. How can she make any sense of it all? I can understand how people would assume Fiz might have known but surely Rosie knows now that Fiz wasn't involved. She knows that John isn't mad, just lost and desperate. Tony wasn't long getting over there to find out if Rosie is going to stay quiet about what she knows about Carla and Liam. Tony chucked the phone for safekeeping but Rosie wanted her Sim card for her numbers. I'm betting that's where the video was stored too!

But Rosie kept a copy on her *work* computer in a folder called Rosie's Insurance. Yes. That's a great hiding place. She should have put it on her computer at home. We know she has one because Sophie uses it all the time. Much safer. So how come nobody has found it in the 5 weeks she's been gone? Surely Carla and Tony have both had cause to user her computer to get to the files for work. Anyway, Now Sally knows and she managed to get a copy before Tony caught her. At least they added the correct sound effect for removing a memory stick. But it seems Tony is pretty thick when it comes to computers. All Sally did was copy the file and then delete the folder. It's still in the Recycle bin! *sigh* I hate plot holes. It's too bad because the rest of the story is actually pretty good, Tony killing Liam and now trying to keep it quiet.

Funny for all Sally's accusing Fiz, when Fiz was taken in the police car, Sally looked doubtful and Rosie is now sure Fiz is innocent so Sally seems to have relented too. Maria and Fiz are now best friends. Do you remember when they hated each other back when Fiz was going after Tyrone? Anyway, She's brave, having to face John. As she says, she's got to make sense of it all. Poor Fiz. She's right, you know, there's no guarantee he actually would have let Rosie go that day. It could have been one thing after another that delayed it. Fiz, you were burned once, now twice. You might love the man but you can't trust him and he's weak and will only drag you down. He's calling her constantly. Can't she block his number or just not answer?

Janice has had to face the music for the lottery scam as well. She got community service and a lot of angry coworkers. Speaking of money scams, Tony is "borrowing" from Underworld to pay the interest on his investments and hasn't got enough to pay his staff now! After all that, everyone is now speaking to Janice. Cash flow problem, bank error, he's talking all over the place. He's actually just robbing Peter to pay Paul and having to pay the staff a sub out of his own money. And what's Carla going to say when she sees the bank activity going on? At least it's got them all talking to Janice again even if they still get their little digs in.

Peter really doesn't want to be a full time father. At least, not until he found out there was an inheritance involved as well. And, oddly enough, the betting shop is for sale. Coincidence? Meantime, Simon has a new friend, Joshua and Peter is nursing hangover after hangover and Blanche isn't helping, nagging and mithering Peter who's silently counting to ten. But he does feel sorry for himself. Blanche and Simon make a lovely double act don't they? Lol she was teaching how to spell really hard words! Then Peter put his foot in it with Maria, thinking she was still pining for him and was rescued by Janice and a very pretty and single Leanne. It's interesting seeing Peter struggle with sudden fatherhood and is ready to run at the drop of a hat.

Ken is hollering at him for wanting to abandon his son. Pot or Kettle? The circle comes around, doesnt' it? Simon doesn't quite know what to make of Peter but he's still a stranger to the lad as are Ken, Deirdre and Blanche. Peter is ready to give up and he's called a social worker!!! Blanche isn't so sure it's not the right thing to do but Ken is determined to keep the child when, as Blanche points out, it's not about him, it's about Peter. Ken is all very up on making decisions for him and Deirdre when she's not there to give her opinion. Ken is telling Peter that he'll scar the child for life, that Simon will need a sense of who he is, and not to turn his back on his son. I kept waiting for Peter to throw it back in Ken's face. Instead. Ken used it himself but it didn't do much good. Even Blanche had a stern word with Peter (i love those two together!) but what changed his mind? Finding out he inherits Lucy's estate if he keeps the child. Money talks. and Ken immediately gets all over Peter's ass, how does he know Peter's spent the whole inheritance on the betting shop? And accusing Peter of not loving his child? Maybe he doesn't, but he doesn't know him and has never bonded with him. What Peter needs is his father's approval and support and he has never gotten it, even now when, even if Ken doesn't approve of his choices he could still bite his tongue and hope for the best. It's not the worst thing he could have done with the inheritance, and at least it's keeping him and the lad together. It's all contrived so that Peter can buy the betting shop but i don't mind. I like Peter and i like the actor!

Pam's schemes have dragged Molly in with the posh meal that she's engineered, pretending to be sampling the food for the wedding. Dan doesn't look too keen to be going on holiday with Kelly does he? Oh god Tara's back to try to lure Dev back. Why on earth is she jealous of him having fun with Eileen? She comes across as very immature and demanding. If Dev is trying to keep Tara away, and he lied in the first place to break off with her, why didn't he just lie and say he did go off her? Because, of course, there would be no storyline if he did that. Now they're back together, lip to lip. Bleurgh.

Tony must have invested a huge amount in the new flats if he's concerned about how many of them have sold. He's acting like he's the owner of the whole development. Hayley's back on Monday! Roy's so thoughtful, isn't he? Fiz hasn't been going in to work since the upset but she planned to go back. Except now she has to run off to South Africa. Why? Check out the storyline summary of the South Africa adventures of Chesney, Kirk, Fiz and Cilla. (Point of continuity, Cilla made the phone call to Fiz in the nighttime yet Fiz took the call in the morning. I don't think there's that much of a time difference between the two places, it's not like it's Australia!)

So Fiz is off to South Africa. To find out what happens, check out the episode summary that appears after this in the blog.

So this is Giles the accountant. He looks like a number cruncher. David's back and he was jealous in seconds! Passed his driving test while in London too. Miracle! David's cellmate from the youth prison has turned up, Graeme and he's only been out of jail 5 minutes and he's nicking cars. David couldn't resist taking Tina for a ride and in the meantime, Joe and Gail think they have the house to themselves. Busted!!! Neither David nor Tina are too happy about their parents snogging! (and more!)

Sun factor 5 sunscreen for Chesney! LOL he's right, he'll dry up and blow away under the South African sun. Gail is certainly a lot calmer these days now she's getting laid! Now how secret is their affair if they're taking Streetcars around town? Liz is Brazilian crunching for her new exercise regime.

Episode Review: Out of Africa

Written by Joe Turner and Mark Wadlow, Directed by Duncan Foster

This took place during the week of November 13 to 23, 2008, just after John Stape was arrested for kidnapping Rosie. This is a DVD "spinoff" from the regular Coronation Street storyline.

In a regular Coronation Street episode, we are told that Les and Cilla are in South Africa and have sent Kirk, Ches and Fiz tickets to go visit. Kirk and Chesney go off but Fiz doesn't. After the whole "John Stape kidnaps Rosie Webster" thing blows up in her face, she, too, goes to get away for awhile. Knowing Cilla, you just know there has to be a scam involved and so there is! These are their adventures, Out of Africa.

We start off in Rainy Weatherfield. Chesney is excitedly running around doing his last paper round and telling everyone about his holiday. He tells Rosie that he's going with a responsible adult. Kirk. Um...

Fiz comes out to see them off and we discover that not only is Ches bringing chocolate Garibaldis for his mum but Kirk has a rucksack stuffed full of crisps because they're never any good when you're away, are they! Fiz is worried Chesney will like it so much he won't come back but is reassured. She waves them off and we are transported to a spectacular African sunset and then the credits roll over scenes of the Big Five animals, the fields and mountains and a plan landing.

Kirk and Chesney come out of the airport and a shriek is heard... "CHESNEEEEEEEEE!!!". Yep, it's Gobzilla. Ches runs to hug his mum and then asks where Les is. Cilla turns round and we see, silhouetted in the sun, a tall figure, complete with spear and feathery bits on his arms and legs. He's also the wrong colour, and not gingery in the least. Cilla has hooked up with a South African man who dons the warrior outfit for tourists and who seems besotted with her, her New Les, she calls him. He might not look anything like the old one, but he's carrying a bottle of beer so there's some similarity. And he's crazy about Cilla, so he's probably a bit thick, too! Chesney is clearly disappointed but Cilla brushes it off. She's got new and it involves riches and families! Off they go in a little red convertible that has seen better days, with Les and Cilla signs on the windscreen.

The car breaks down and while "Les" is trying to get it going, Chesney questions his mother as to why they're really there. She avoids the answer, preferring to big up South Africa as being miles better than England. But she snipes at "Les" saying that when they win the competition, they need to buy a new car. Competition? "Les" gets out and leaves her to explain.

We hear how she came to be in SA instead of Vegas. She was a cocktail waitress with a Evil Poison Witch drink named after her and was offered a job by a client so she grabbed at the opportunity. She met Les the first night on the job and the rest is romantic history. She later spied a poster for a competition for the Sunshine Family with a prize of half a million dollars and her eyes lit up. She entered the competition and to give herself an edge, said she had two disabled sons, one having the mental age of an 8 year old. She apologized to Kirk and suggested he just "be himself". Okay! Kirk chirps.

Chesney is horrified but Kirk is up for it. He doesn't mind being Chesney's "brother". He doesn't think anyone will believe it but Cilla reveals they've made it to the finals, which includes a 7 day holiday, all expenses paid, in a posh resort in Sun City. The car is fixed and they drive off, just as Chesney asks what's supposed to be wrong with him as the second disabled son?

We next see the little "family" coming around a bend, Cilla pushing Chesney in a wheelchair!!! Chesney refuses but he doesn't get up and they come into view of the resort. Wow, it's all pillars and domes, fountains and marble and carving. Very swish! They've registered and have got their key to a luxury suite! They rush off and the competition desk woman answers the phone as a man enters the lobby. He's dressed in a casual suit jacket, open neck shirt and glasses. He's middle aged and smiling and saying hello to everyone as he approaches the desk. He's called Alfie Vlok and is the Emcee for the competition. He's apparently a daytime chat host, used to recognition and adulation but the check in clerk has no idea who he is which disconcerts him a bit. Even more upsetting is the fact that he does not in fact have a suite to which he feels entitled, but only a standard room. Oh dear. He demands to speak to a manager and when he does, it's clear the manager doesn't recognize the name either. Further frustration and it's going to become a theme! Seems our Alfie may just be a bit of a has been, a legend in his own mind!

Meanwhile, our little family has arrived at the suite, "Les" pushing the luggage trolley (if it's that posh, why isn't a bellman doing that?). The suite most certainly meets all expectations. it even satisfies Cilla's greedy little mind. It's enormous! Chesney is moaning and griping, arguing with Cilla about the whole scam. Cilla, of course, has little patience for his objections.

Later at night, Les, Cilla and Kirk are all asleep but Chesney is awake and worrying, disappointed and upset about it all. He gets up for a drink, musing at the situation his mother has him in. He sits at the computer and emails Fiz and pours his disappointment out.

The next morning, Cilla wheels Ches down to the hotel breakfast room. It looks like Ches is still going along with the scheme but he's grizzling the whole way through it, pushing his food away. He and Cilla have a tour through the resort, we see her on one of those Segway thingys, sliding down a water park ride, floating in the pool. Chesney is covered from hat to shoes so he won't get sunburned and complaining about the sun. Cilla tries to get him on side, but Chesney has more than enough ammunition. Les and Kirk are now with them and Les's ears perk at a couple of interesting points that Chesney has mentioned, including not seeing his mother more than once in the past year and having been taken into care. Cilla tries to gloss that over and finally allows Chesney to go to his room.

On the other side of the pool, Alfie is conferring with his camera man, Rick, who tells him he must participate in some interviews and footage of all the finalist families. Alfie tries to pull rank but is reminded that his agent has said Alfie would do anything for a large vodka. Alfie, shuffles his newspaper and agrees to do the extra work, for a larger room. Rick agrees to this. They walk off, Rick bringing up some of Alfie's less than shiny history including the tabloid free for all which, it seems, Alfie actually authored, for cash of course. The Battersbys are the first up. Alfie sighs and asks "How big's your room?"

Fiz has obviously received Chesney's email and has called Cilla to find out what's going on. Cilla is hollering over the phone. She is his mum and she knows best and she hangs up on Fiz, turning her temper on Chesney for spilling the beans. They argue at high volume which can be heard out in the hallway where Alfie and his partner are bickering, on their way to the suite. He does make Cilla feel a modicum of guilt for missing his life but she insists, she can't change who she is. Outside the door, Alfie is pumping himself up into performance mode. Chesney ends his argument telling his mother he hates her and he wants to go home. With one last scream, she goes to open the door and the performance beings, not just on Alfie's part.

Cilla, naturally, doesn't know who he is and he's further sent into a jealous tizzy over the size of the suite. Cilla spots the empty wheelchair down a hallway. He is at least appeased that "Les" recognizes him though only from a tv commercial he's seen. Cilla stalls for time and then brightly calls for "Chessssss". Chesney, always unable to say no to his mother in spite of everything, wheels himself into the room with a shy smile on his face. He says what he is supposed to for the camera but when they leave, he gets up and tells her what he wants in return. She's to come back to England with him after. He wants his real family back again. She hugs him and looks him in the eye and sentimentally agrees.

Later she's down by the pool for the first bits of filming for the competition. Alfie takes the stage. They may have had 50,000 entries for the Sunshine Family but the audience sitting in front of him doesn't look to number more than about 100 who applaud, but not overly convincingly. The three families are introduced, the Battersbys being first up, alphabetically. ("Les"'s name, by the way, seems to be Lesedi from which she gets Les). We discover that Cilla's said that Ches lost the use of his legs in a freak earthquake back home and she crawled through the rubble to save him. She puts on a tragic face. Kirk, as the mentally challenged son, plays his part guilessly, waving hello to the crowd, having obviously sucked in some helium from the balloon he's clutching. Les admits his initial attraction to Cilla was her firm backside!

Next up is the Jones family, with 11 little boys all under the age of about 13 it looks like. Cilla makes disparaging remarks under her breath, scolded by Les who seems a pretty good sort, really. I wonder if, seeing the "real" Cilla, he's becoming disillusioned. Third up is a family that's walked 1000 miles over a desert for charity (oh dear, quite a lot to live up to, then!) and they are the Teal family, Ed, Pam and Ellie, a lovely mother, fit father and teenage daughter who instantly catches Chesney's eye! Cilla quickly realizes where the competition lies, especially when the dad tells of the daughter, a violin virtuoso who apparently had her instrument in the Namibian desert on trek and who kept the family's morale up by playing "When the going gets tough" on it to spur them on to finish. Too good to be true? They also have an advantage of being South African but do I spy a crack in the veneer? The mom doesn't seem too happy.

There is a reception by one of the pools for the families. The daughter of the Teal family is making friends with Chesney. Alfie asks after the Battersby sister, Sister Fiona, who works in an orphanage teaching the children to sing. Where is she? Alfie says it would help them if Fiona was there. There's some tough competition. We see Ed and Pam Teal saying Grace while Ellie is stealing a taste of the cake. Cilla rushes her family away from temptation and makes them have an early night where Kirk teases Chesney about Ellie but is warned off fraternizing by Cilla. She figures there's something fishy about the Teals, and probably they're just as manufactured as the Battersbys! Les says that if they don't win it's all down to Cilla for making up another child but he's surprised to find out there is another one, Fiz really is her daughter. Les is annoyed and decides to go to a real bar where he can have a real drink which perks up Kirk they all tag along.

Kirk is delighted to find out the barmaid's name really is Betty. Les and Cilla have a quiet moment. He doesn't understand why she chases around the world looking for a fast buck when she's got a lovely family and everything she could want. She sighs and wonders if it's time she got real. I'll drink to that, Les toasts. Cilla walks away as Kirk and Chesney approach. Les says he thinks Cilla is wondering about her life but Cilla comes marching back. She's a Battersby and they don't just roll over. It's time to bring out the secret weapon!! She calls Fiz with "terrible news". What is it? We don't know yet.

Kirk and Cilla walk across the courtyard wondering what on earth they will do for an upcoming talent competition just as Alfie is filming the Jones children. But, shock and surprised, the Jones family has been disqualified for cheating. The children have actually been borrowed from an under-9 football club! Cilla expresses outrage at the idea of cheating and the contest is now down to the two remaining families.

The next day, Chesney goes off with Ellie to an animal park while the rest hang out by the pool. She wheels him through the park and he wonders why. She's offended that he thinks she's only spending time with him for how it looks when really, she's just getting away from all the pressure. Chesney apologizes. She mentions how difficult it all is and starts to say something that her dad is always on at her about but stops short and doesn't finish what she was going to say. When they get back, they say a shy good bye and then Cilla wheels him off to find out if he's got any gossip that will help their chances. As if he would! But she encourages him to spy on the family for them.

Later, by the pool, a familiar face! It's Fiz! She's horrified to see Ches in a wheelchair but relieved it's not for real. Then alternately horrified again when, up in the suite, she's told the whole story of the competition. She's furious that Cilla told her that Chesney had an accident and has spent all her savings on a ticket (Wait, what happened to the ticket Cilla sent her last week? Not changeable maybe?) Chesney, now buying into the scheme because he thinks he'll get his mom and family back, tells the same to Fiz though Cilla's face seems to tell another story. They all plead and she can't resist Chesney so agrees to do the minimum required.

Oh. And there is one other thing.

We see Fiz come round the corner in a full head to toe nun's habit and feeling like a pillock.

She's also pegged for the talent competition, singing Ave Maria. Not bad but not her strong suit. Ellie plays the violin and, naturally, is the real talent star. Les throws circus knives at Cilla and misses, thankfully and Kirk ineptly kicks around a football. Yep. Talent seems in short supply in that camp. Later, Ches refuses to spy. She wheels him to the Teal suite and hands him a video camera to use just in case. Ellie answers the door and has clearly been crying. She feels she's let herself down. Chesney reassures her, saying she's beautiful, clever and talented. She jumps up as she hears her parents return and wheels Ches out to the balcony because her parents wouldn't approve of the "enemy" being there.

Ellie's father lays straight into her for missing two notes in her performance. The parents argue, with the mother defending her chick. Outside, Chesney actually does pick up the camera and films through the window blinds. There's some good stuff recorded, too. Daddy has had plastic surgery, he drinks from a bottle of booze and he makes his daughter play the violin for him.

Fiz and Cilla are arguing. Cilla wants her to come on a safari tour with them but she out and out refuses. She stalks out, still in costume. Chesney says there was no gossip to report. Alfie arrives for another visit and has brought the passes for the safari. Fiz makes Fiona's excuses but Fiona happens to be in a casino. Yes, in the nun's habit, which concerts the croupier at the table but pleases on of the other customers who wants to touch her for good luck. When he won't back off, Fiz decks him one. A security chap comes over and ushers the idiot off, apologizing. He does say he had been asked to suggest she leave as a nun puts the punters off but he defended her. It's a free world. But Fiz decides she probably shouldn't be there and gathers up her chips and leaves.

Now we're in the Land Rover, on the way to the safari park. Chesney is being interviewed by Alfie, and unheard by Cilla, he's confessed that Cilla's dream is to swim with crocodiles!! This could be interesting!

Back at the resort, Fiz has thrown off her habit and is wearing a nice black and white dress, with sunglasses and a head scarf for a disguise. It doesn't fool the casino security bloke, who we later discover is called Alex. She confesses she's not a nun and has got roped into her mother's lies. He's not interested in spilling the beans but he is interested in spending time with her and showing her around.

Back at the park, Chesney is watching with satisfaction as his mother sits on the edge of a pool, scared to jump in where the crocodiles roam. One comes swimming towards her (not moving it's arms and legs at all. Clearly fake!) Alfie hollers down that Chesney confessed her dream and they made it happen. Don't be angry!. No. Really. Don't because it makes the croc hungry! *snork* Later, the Teals, the camera man, Kirk and Alfie are laughing around a bonfire as Les pulls leeches the size of dill pickles off Cilla's back.

And the end of the day, under a full moon, Fiz and Alex are sipping champagne. Fiz wishes life could be simple. Alex tells her his sob story. He came to South Africa to get married but discovered his fiancee had been having an affair. He's been here ever since, but isn't attached. He reckons Fiz is lucky nothing like that has ever happened to her. Funny you should say that, she grimaces!

In a tent, Cilla is itching from the leeches and a bit nervous at the various animal sounds coming from outside. In another tent, Kirk is chattering to Chesney about animals. They hear the roar of a lion outside and are alarmed.

Fiz and Alex are getting even cozier. The flirting is heavy and Fiz, though she's not that sort of girl really, does want things to go further. He asks where her room is and when he's told where, says he can do even better. He takes her to what must be the Shangri-La suite, or the penthouse at the very least. Amazing! They kiss under the candelabra.

Dawn has broken over the safari camp. Les helps Kirk set his video cam on the right setting. He realizes Kirk really is as thick as two planks and reminds him not to forget to call him Dad. And if it helps, he likens the situation to Star Wars where Luke discovers Darth Vader is his real father. Oooh, Kirk likes that and decides Ches can be R2D2 and Cilla can be Chewbacca! Les scolds him for disrespecting his "mother". Chewbacca sees Ellie and Chesney chatting. Ellie says she wants the Battersbys to win so her family will ease up. Cilla approaches and steals Chesney away and reminds him they're in it to win it.

Elsewhere, Alfie is ascertaining whether anyone else has an en suite tent. Rick scoffs but the driver says he's got a bidet. Alfie goes off in a huff. All he's got is a hole in the ground.

The morning after in the VIP suite, Fiz seems happy. She wakes up Alex who then answers the phone and leaps out of bed. Seems there are guests downstairs waiting for the room. He lets in the cleaning staff and kisses her goodbye. Typical.

On safari, the Teals are lucky to seen all kinds of great views with animals but the Battersby luck holds and all they get are empty fields and waterholes.

Fiz spends more time in the casino. She chats to the croupier about calling security, that would be Alex. Alex comes by just then and they flirt. He arranges to meet her in an hour.

Back out at a rest stop, the Teals are talking excitedly about their morning. All the others saw was one dusty chicken. The Battersbys take off to see if they can find some lions that were spotted. Kirk is determined. When they're out of range, Chesney gets out of the chair and walks. Back at the camp, Alfie brags he's got a tent upgrade. Oh dear, he's just discovered that the Battersbys have gone off into the bush on their own. One of the guides says he reckons that they've got an hour before something happens to them. Oh great! That's all they need! Alfie is beside himself. Make sure they've signed their waivers! He is NOT going to be sued for the accidental death of game show contestants AGAIN! (Really, Alfie has been one of the stars of this!!)

Out in the bush, the Battersbys have found the pride of lions and are watching from a safe distance, filming and enjoying themselves.

Alex brings Fiz back to his flat/suite. Fiz asks Alex if last night was just a one off, ships passing in the night. Be honest. He admits to being smitten. Fiz smiles and says if her mother hadn't been a money grabbing scheming cow, she'd never have met him! Kissing again, we know how that's going to end.

It's night now, and still the Battersbys haven't returned to the camp. Alfie is advised that a search party at night is too dangerous. He's more upset at the effect a dead family would have on his comeback! The leader of the Teal family is smug, hopeful that the competition has been eaten by lions. The women of the family are more upset. Out in the dark bush, the Battersbys are still alive and lost. They're still pushing Chesney around in the chair, which seems daft but he's not long getting out when they hear the snarl of a lion nearby.

Alex and Fiz are cuddling on the sofa. She laughs because she's doing the same thing half way around the world as she does at home, sitting on the sofa, having a lager and cheese sarnie in front of the telly. He asks her to stay. Really stay. Forever. They could have a good life there. She's a bit reluctant, though highly flattered. She can't though, what about Chesney? Although..... if Cilla *were* to keep her promise and return to look after Chesney, if they win the contest....

Our hapless contestants are still banging around in the dark. THey are stopped in their tracks by the hiss of a snake. Les thinks they'll be safe if it can't see the white of their eyes. All don their sunglasses. Les really isn't much help after all. He admits he's never been in the bush and only knows about snakes from books. Cilla urges him to tap into his native heritage and get them out of there!!! No idea! Kirk reckons he's got a good sense of direction (yeah, right). He takes off in a direction. Everyone decides to follow him for lack of any other plan.

Fiz reckons her "family" don't have a chance and suggests Alex comes to England. He says he can't apply for a passport, he'll get arrested. Turns out he deserted the army when he came to Africa and stayed. She thinks she'll just have to stay and hope for the best, then.

The Battersbys realize they can smell something. It's the camp! Cilla stops them and orders Les to carry Chesney out and she puts on a brave face for the cameras. At the camp, Alfie is on the booze. The family firms their story up. Les saved them, right? They arrive at safety, nearly. Alfie grabs the gun from the guide and shoots into the bush for the camera's effect. He doesn't hit anything and the Battersbys come into the light. They are hollered at for leaving without a guide but it's all ok. Les is applauded as the hero and they all make nice for the cameras. The Teals gnash their teeth. Ellie is pleased to see Chesney. Cilla gets Alfie to one side and he admits that it's anyone's game for the winner. In the tent, Kirk is looking at the footage and stumbles on the stuff Chesney has recorded when the Teals were arguing. Chesney says he doesn't want to show the recording because it would get Ellie in trouble. Kirk doesn't know what to do though he could ask Les or Fiz. Chesney looks confused and worried. He's good at that.

In the morning, Fiz is back in her nun's gear and singing joyfully as she irons. The rest return. Cilla is stunned at Fiz's about face, enthusiastic about their chances of winning including a mother-praising poem she's written. Who are you and what have you done with Fiz? Later, Cilla thinks Fiz is up to summat. Fiz is now nowhere to be found. Chesney is excited that they could win. They could even buy their house! Cilla is still unsure as to their real chances, though. That gives Chesney pause for thought and he retrieves the camera. Should he? Yes he does. He shows the incriminating footage to his mother who crows in triumph.

Fiz had gone to find Alex who seems to be wrestling with a mate or something. She tells him she thinks they have a good chance of winning.

Cilla leaves a note under Alfie's door and Fiz sneaks back but is caught by Cilla who confronts her. Fiz doesn't give the game away though reckons for once, she and Cilla both want the same thing. She goes inside and Alfie comes to see Cilla. He's received the evidence and slyly tells her it's in the bag! She slaps that Cilla greedy grin on her face, that one we know so well! She hurries inside and spreads the good news. Kirk asks if there's a fix but she says no, the best family won. Chesney hugs her and Kirk says good night to his "mum" and "dad".

In her bedroom, Fiz is all dreamy and smiley. There's a knock on her window and it's Alex. He's sneaked in for a kiss! She's delighted! He pulls off his coat and they fall onto the bed.

Les and Cilla are cuddling, too and Chesney overhears her admit she's not going to go back to England after all. No surprise there but he's feeling betrayed. Tears roll down his face.

The next morning, everyone is anxious except Cilla who's lounging in a big bubble bath with a glass of champagne. Kirk is ironing and Fiz is running around with a face mask on while Les is polishing up a snazzy new blue wheelie. But where's Chesney?

The contest final begins. Alfie does his patter on stage and introduces the Battersbys where a dejected looking Chesney is there, Fiz is in full habit and Les is wearing his tribal gear. Cilla is in loud red, white and blue in the British flag and Kirk just looks like he always does. Alfie asks Chesney what his favourite thing was and Chesney just gripes about the heat and being stuck in the chair so Cilla interrupts and says he liked the lions best. Cilla puts on her good mother-happy families act for the camera while Chesney just shakes his head and sighs. Ed Teal puts on his OTT act for the camera, too. Ellie tells that she's learned a lot about families, trust, honesty and love but she's talking about Chesney, isn't she?

Time for the judging. Who will win! Unanimous decision give the win to the Battersbys!!!! Wahey! The Teals look stunned amid all the cheering audience. Cilla is triumphant. But when Chesney is asked how he feels, he lets every cat out of the bag. He's disgusted and ashamed!!! He reveals that he can walk and tells the truth about his "family" and he tells how his mum never wanted or cared for him. She's the biggest liar of all. Cilla is ready to run for it before it gets nasty. Security arrives and the Battersbys are stripped of their title. Ed Teal tries to wrestle the oversize cheque away from Cilla who then announces that he's a drunk and a bully. But it turns out the judges have decided to abandon the competition. To Ed's objections, Alfie warns him not to go there. They have footage and it's ugly! Security removes both families from the stage.

The next time we see Cilla, she's dragging her suitcase and half the torn cheque on the road, hitching for a ride. Who should stop for her but Alfie. He offers her a ride.

Back at the resort, Ches, Kirk and Fiz are downcast. Chesney runs over to see Ellie who is resentful. She says her parents are divorcing. She accuses him of lying to her. She really liked him and trusted him and says he's just like his mother, a liar. Ouch! Kirk hugs Chesney. Fiz sees Alex approaching and knows they can't be together. She has to go back to look after Chesney and he can't come back with her. No regrets, they promise. She makes him go back to work because she doesn't' want him to see her cry. They kiss goodbye.

Les comes to say good bye and thank them for allowing him to be their father for a week. Chesney tells him that his mother doesn't deserve him. He agrees. He says he doesn't know where Cilla is and doesn't care. Chesney still cares, he hopes she's ok.

Behind them as they leave we see a video screen with what is probably a glimpse into the future. It shows Alfie coming onto a television set, glad to be back! His special guest is someone that's writing a book with Hollywood knocking on her door. She's bold and brash and the world's worst mother, meet Cilla Battersby!! (She always lands on her feet). The telly switches off and we are at an end to the adventure!

Back on Coronation Street, Fiz and Chesney vow never to say what really happened on the holiday.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Don't touch that dial! Schedule changes alert!

Don't forget that starting Monday, August 31, Coronation Street will be airing on weekdays starting at 6:30 in most regions. There's now been a change to the Sunday omnibus as well, apparently, as noted on the Corrie Canuck blog. It's a bit odd for them to show something at different times in the various time zones but presumably they're handing the control over to one central button pusher instead of having it sent out from the various regional centres. I don't mind, for myself. My start time, at 9:30 is much more convenient than the former 7:30 a.m. And don't forget, the week's episodes are put online after the Sunday omnibus shows in all regions if you miss it or don't record it.

Starting Sunday, September 6 – the new times for the Sunday omnibus are:

1) In the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba 9:30 am
2) Newfoundland – 10 am
3) Saskatchewan and Alberta – 8:30 am
4) BC/PTN the on air time will remain the same, 7:30.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday Comments, August 23

Lines of the week:
  • Kirk "Sun, sea, safari... what's the down side?" Fiz "Me mam will be there!"
  • Eileen "Exterminate...Exterminate" (Playing with the microphone, Dalek style)
  • John "If you think i'm capable of that... (molesting Rosie)" (Well it didnt' stop you from "molesting" her the first time around!)
  • John "I'm not a kidnapper, it was a moment of madness!" (uh huh)
  • Maria to the dog "C'mon stud, let's get you a drinkie" Tom "Cuppa tea'd be nice!"
  • Becky to Hooch "Bitter?" Hooch "For now"
  • Michelle about JD "He's got more hair on his head than on his comb"
Maria is putting the pieces together. There are texts and calls and receipts that aren't all easily explainable. Tony doesn't want her to know the truth because then he's got a reason to want Maria dead. Also, i think he does feel guilty because it's left Maria pregnant and alone, something he didn't plan on. Uh oh, did you see how Tom was gazing at Maria? Has he got a crush?

So now, Rosie's got a hole in the roof letting in the cold and rain and a bit bruise on her head. Did you see the rifles on the wall behind the bed? She should have just shot the window out and that might have alerted someone. Fiz and John are back and he's edgy to get back to the cat but he got sidetracked by a taxi job and that was his undoing. Fiz found out that Lloyd wasn't feeding any cats and when she decided to do it, she discovered evidence of what she thought was a fancy woman stashed away. Fiz found Rosie! John was hot on her heels, dragging the anniversary couple around, horrified!

Rosie heard the door but she didn't hear Fiz hollering for the cat? Rosie must have heard Fiz hollering at John but she didn't holler down? Oh, i suppose maybe she did think Fiz knew all about it. Logical assumption i suppose since Rosie did do the dirty on Fiz. John was nicked and guess what? He's STILL blaming Rosie and everyone else but himself. "I did it for us... you think this is all me?...don't hate me...I'm not a kidnapper" I gotta say the whole storyline was pretty implausible and full of holes. John couldn't have got Rosie into that cab again nor into the house and up all those stairs. She'd have fought him like a wildcat.

Fiz was hollering for the cat but didn't see any evidence like a cat dish or a litter box. Cat? What cat? Fiz stayed in Gran's house for a few days. She'd have seen the cat *and* seen John feed it. He didn't start having to feed the cat for a good 2 weeks after Granny's death. Holes? We got holes! And didn't they drag it out painfully! Fiz on the steps, John stopping her to "explain" before she finally got that door open. Sheesh!!! Give me strength! Now he's nicked and Rosie's home! I wonder if he's going to charge Rosie with assault!

This is either going to change her or make her even more insufferable! And Sally thinks Fiz knew all along as well. Oh come on. If Stape can carry on a secret affair without Fiz knowing, he's a damn good liar, it's not so unbelievable that she wouldn't know what he was up to. And besides, Fiz would never do that sort of thing. She's not that vindictive. And seeing Rosie and Sally snugged up on the bed at the end actually brought a tear to my eye. Poor Sally, it's got to be the worst nightmare. You're supposed to protect your kids and when something like this happens and you get them back unharmed, you must want to wrap your arms around them like Sally did and never let them go.

Laughed at Pam and Rita singing Love is Like a Butterfly while Norris was trying to work out a winning entry to a competition. A year's supply of soup is nothing to be sneezed at. Now, why didn't Emily bring the book over to the Kabin? She had no problem bringing a heavy box over last week. Peter isn't quite sure how to be a dad, and no wonder, he's not got a great example. He seems to be drinking a lot lately, too. Leave it to Ken to tell a 5 year old all about the history of Bonfire night when all he wants to do is see the fireworks. (continuity? Rosie arrived home in broad daylight and the next scene is after dark when Simon should have been in his jimjams and fireworks were heard) Why didn't they just take Simon to the Red Rec to see the fireworks when Peter didn't show up? They were exploding all around so why the pathetic sparklers in the back yard?

you'll have heard that "Les and Cilla" are in South Africa and have sent tickets for Fiz, Kirk and Ches to go. This is a preclude to a spinoff DVD. I have it and will watch it again this weekend and put up a review of it next weekend. It's a separate storyline isolated on its own but it's briefly refered to later so it'll be nice to know what actually happened. (With pics of course!)

Lies, lies and more lies web around Steve and Becky. Dan has his suspicions and he's not that keen on Steve so maybe there's something to worry about there.

D'you know what, i think that Ozzie is as good an actor as any! You know, there wouldn't have been any "fireworks" sounds when they were filming him sitting with Maria, that would have been added in later yet that dog was looking around right in time with the added in sound effects!!!! Someone must have been off screen snapping their fingers or something to get his attention.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday Comments, August 16

Lines of the week:
  • Tyrone "I haven't got an imagination" Pam "Do you want me to get you one? Not new, like, but in good working condition"
  • John to Rosie "It wasn't all your fault" (Hurray! He finally admitted it!)
  • Rosie to John "You got any other secrets you're keeping from me?" (oh if you only knew)
  • Teresa about Dev "You think i couldn't take him in a fight?" (no doubts there)
  • Dev "What do I tell Tara?" Prem "You're a good liar, Alahan, you'll t hink of something"
  • Deirdre to Blanche "You can't go round accusing people of being the devil!"
  • Peter "Let's give grandma and grandad the surprise of their lives"
Boy Tony's really laying it on thick isn't he? Sucking up to Michelle over Ryan. Poor Carla really is broken up over Liam's death and wanted to go see his body. Of course his parents wouldn't want her there. They felt it was an intrusion because she's not really "family" anymore and they never liked her anyway. It probably was a bit inappropriate under the circumstances but i felt poor Carla's pain just the same. Liam's mother is a bit of a harridan isn't she? Trying to force Maria to go view the body. Maria has to do what she feels she can have the strength to do. It is a dreadful memory to have to have. She railed at Carla because a stranger had to carry Liam out of the church but Tony wasn't exactly family was he? Still, Mammy Connor apologized but Carla more or less threw it back in her face. I guess that's one off the Christmas card list for them both.

The funeral was sad, as they all are. Nice little touch having Leanne gaze at the hearse so we will remember that she, too, once loved Liam. Begorrah they even found an Irish priest for the Irish Connor wedding and Maria brought Ozzie along. Not only did Ryan and Liam's father get to be pallbearers and i cannot imagine anything worse than carrying the coffin of your son, but Tony did too! He has absolutely no shame! Even Ozzie was upset, that was actually one of the saddest things of the whole funeral. Carla couldn't face it but why would anyone be upset with her, accusing her of taking the attention away, taking Tony away from carrying out the coffin? Seems unreasonable to me.

I also want to know why half the population of Ireland (i.e. all the relatives) weren't there? It did seem a bit over the top but it was a funeral mass. Not really very "Liam" was it? Ryan's talk was really sweet, very Ryan and it was more "Liam" than anything else. I was waiting for Tony to eulogize Liam, too, but i guess they can't do that as they did that when Richard Hillman eulogized Maxine, his victim.

And Carla, she looked dreadful all week. Couldn't go through with the wedding, not now anyway and she hi-tailed it out. Tony's plans were all for nothing! he pushed and pushed and pushed her too far. He was determined to "win the prize" and it blew up in his face. Now he doesn't know if she's going to come back or not! After everything he did, he didn't get the girl. Yet. Oh... i'm watching this show and every time Tony comes out with another patronizing platitude, i cringe, i swear at the screen, i can't believe the utter nerve of the b@st@rd and I LOVE THIS SHOW! :)))) Boy when it's good, it's the best, isnt' it?

You may have noticed the flower spelling of Liam's name and remember it's been in Corrie at funerals in the past. Someone emailed and asked me if it was a Northern tradition. From what i can gather from various friends, it seems to be a working class thing but not always so, and not necessarily a regional tradition. Some i heard from thought it tacky and some thought it was over dramatic.

Now John knows that Rosie's bank account hasn't been touched. He hadn't thought of that, had he? Engineering it so someone finds it was sly. I wonder if he thought whoever found it would have got arrested, though? I wonder if that will mean anything. It's only raised more questions for Kev and Sally. Gosh i hate Stape SO MUCH!!! If i was Rosie i'd have found something heavy to whack him over the head with. Her wailing and going on was a bit much really. Talk about over acting. Then she figures a pout and a shag will get her out of the room but for once he didn't fall for that but he did nearly fall for Rosie's persuading, so much so that she nearly got away! Why didn't she fight harder or break a window or something? She could have pushed him down the stairs when he was making her go back into the attic. Honest to god. It's not as if he had a gun on her or a knife or something. I can't figure out how he actually got her in there in the first place!

Oh dear. Peter's ex-wife Lucy has died and landed Peter with the baby! Except nobody knew that Peter had been given Simon until he showed up on the Barlow doorstep. Peter had wanted to be a dad back when Lucy had Simon but he never got to be. I wonder how he's going to handle it as a single parent. With the example Peter's had, I'm guessing it will be a steep uphill struggle seeing as right now, he seems very reluctant about the whole business. Already the little boy that plays Simon is looking good. He's animated and interacts with the others, something many of the little ones, like Amy for instance, doesn't do.

Tyrone has already booked Molly's dream wedding dress and Pam still has him working hard selling her dodgey gear. Molly's not going to like that when she finds out. David's learning to drive? that's scary. So Deirdre is going to France with Blanche. Deirdre thought it was a holiday but it was to act as a carer for all the old women!! Becky didn't get charged and the cop isn't happy about it. Hayley's coming home!!

Why on earth would Emily carry a heavy package all the way over to the Kabin for Norris? He lives at her house. If she thought it was important, that's what the telephone is for! Third package that week and this one was a fizzy drink maker. Doesn't sound like something Norris would buy for himself.

Dev really freaked out didn't he? Daddy's little girl is a woman now ! Then he tells Nina that he's tried staying away from Nina though she just caught him on the phone groveling to her. Nina means business, she is threatening to tell Prem. Dev thinks she won't but couldn't take the chance. I think she would but i don't think she was planning to. I think it was a bluff, judging from her face. I doubt this is the first time she's done this and Prem probably just looks the other way. Obviously, that must be the case because when Prem found out about Dev and Nina, thought we didn't see the actual admission, he didn't really seem all that surprised, just angry that his friend would betray him. What a gentleman. He didn't thump Dev, he slapped him. Hard. So he's lost Nina because he can't tell her the real truth. She thinks he's shallow and a game player. that's actually not far off the truth is it! Now he's crying into his beer and hollering at Amber. Sympathy? You got yourself into this mess, Dev, i have no sympathy for you. Should have followed the "Just Say No" rule. Like Prem pointed out, nobody forced him.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sunday Comments, August 9

Lines of the week:
  • The Gold Star line of the week: Tony "Son... brother... husband...lover... ROADKILL!!! Looks like the best man lost!"
  • Sean 'The stripper is not a sex object!' (no?)
  • Gail wishing she could teach David to drive "left at the lights and straight on to the canal" (and straight into it! Doh!)
  • Pam about the expression "Peeing in the wind"... "Now to most people that's just a metaphor. But to me that's an awful, awful memory" (don't want to know!)
  • Carla about Tony "I'll marry him and we'll live... ever after"
  • Carla to Deirdre "Nothing a bit of lippy wouldn't sort out" Deidre "Now there is something to live your life by"
  • Audrey about the male stripper "It's not like we get a cheap thrill out of it"
  • Steve "It was an accident" (with Tony tossing Liam's wallet into the canal at the same time! Robbery in case it's found)
  • Tony "I just feel responsible" (you ARE!!!)
  • Stape to Rosie "You're not in any danger. And i will let you go" (someday)

OH. MY. GOD. He's dead! Liam, wearing a bullseye on his bright yellow, unmissable jacket, went rolling over a car that sped off, and he's dead and Tony had him killed!!!!!!! Man, that was some good stunt work wasn't it??? Really made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Talk about instant sober-up for the lads! And Maria! Samia Smith played a blinder, I thought. The men were all shocked and when they heard she was pregnant three of them turned around in unison, almost like they were going to be sick. It did look a bit funny, though because they did it at the same time, like the Pips behind Gladys Knight. Kirk is a bit of a pip so i guess that fits ;) Anyway, Tony sure looked shocked too, when he realized Maria was pregnant. I guess it's ok to have someone killed but when there's a baby on the way, that's different? I don't know how both Carla and Michelle could stand it, having both lost husbands to car accidents, Michelle losing both brothers and a husband.

Just to step back a bit though, to the hen party in the Rovers before it all kicked off... Boy you could tell Carla's heart wasn't in it, couldn't you, barely a shell sat there while the stripper undulated in her face even though the older women loved it! Nice little scene outside with her and Deirdre, too. The lads in the pub talking about boxers and Kirk pipes up with Mr. Showmanship, Liberace! Lol! When the men were talking about who's girlfriend would you sleep with, Tony said nobody mentioned Carla, looking straight at Liam and i wonder if Liam finally realized there's an undercurrent there. He seemed clueless all day up to that point. He's getting bladdered and Tony's rubbing it in every chance he gets. Did you catch that bit with the cigarette? Liam said he'd not had one in 13 years and it was only half, then Carla said she'd not had one in 13 years and it was shared. With each other, has to be!

So creepy with them all wearing Tony masks. Really. I thought Tony was going to pay for the club yet he asked Liam for the kitty and then Tony diverted Tom from going back into the road so that Liam would be in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, Maria is eagerly approaching by taxi, playing the very hopeful "Downtown" Oh god. It was really painful though, going back and forth between the tragedy and the jubilancy in the pub. I don't mind telling you, i was in tears too and i saw it already, last fall in the UK timeline, both when Liam died and when Michelle, or rather Steve told Ryan. Tom, of course, made it all about him, thinking it could have been him. After, Tony still drove the knife in a bit more with Carla and then went to throw Liam's wallet into the drink, taking the money out so if it's found it'll look like a robbery. He took it in the pub so that Liam would have to go back for it! Then he made her go see the grieving widow and listen while he talked to Maria about Liam and her's "love story". AND he pretended he was upset because Liam died in his arms. That is one cold faced rat B@st@rd! I think he has surpassed Richard Hillman, don't you? Now Carla has to make a life with Tony and right now it's the last thing she wants to do. Tony figures it's all over bar the funeral now but yet he followed Carla and Leanne to the spot where Liam died and heard her heart break.

Aw, you know, as much as Maria leans on her friends, there's still nothing like your own family. Kirk has been right there, to hold her when she was shocked and when she cried. Now, Maria's parents managed to come home! They didn't come to the wedding, they didn't come to the funeral of her baby and Maria let them have a good piece of her mind before telling them all about Liam and collapsing in tears in her mum's arms. Samia Smith realy did a good job this week!

Then the other big breaking news of the week, Stape is the one that kidnapped Rosie and what's she doing? Stropping because Stape hasn't bought her the right biscuits. That little kitten has claws and has marked Stape's face.Well that's why he's had to feed the cat that Fiz doesn't seem to have known existed even though she spent a couple of days there after the funeral. You know, Back when he was sleeping with Rosie, his attitude really was "I'ts not my fault, miss, she made me" and he's STILL doing it isn't he? He kidnapped Rosie and yet he won't face that word. Sophie fessed up about the postcards finally, after Stape cornered her. She just wanted attention. She might be 14 but .... she's only 14. Meanwhile, Stape related the whole story for Rosie and us, how he was upset that Fiz dumped him and he blamed it all on Rosie. What did i tell you? It's not my fault, miss. It really is torture you know, no gossip magazines, no television, no mobile and no hair products or makeup! They keep focusing on the window in the roof over the bed. Is she going to escape that way?

John promised to tell Fiz but he bottled it of course. Can't turn down a bit of bedroom olympics when it's offered and anyway. It's not his fault! It's just sickening seeing Fiz swoon all over Stape knowing what a shock she's in for when all this comes out, and it will because it just does. And you know, the discovery of Rosie in John's Gran's attic was the worst part of this storyline. This is as tedious as an extremely tedious thing, listening to John blather on his excuses and Rosie whining about biscuits and celebrity magazines. Now Fiz is taking John away for a week! Good think he brought some supplies that day but she's going to be pretty hungry!

David successfully derailed Amber's plans to um... break the ice as it were but at least Darryl was a gentleman about it. She made up with for it a few days later. But Tina is starting to suspect that her dad is looking cozy with Gail. Pam realizes that Tyrone is the perfect fortune-seller!

Nice little reminiscing with Kevin telling how he met Sally and what she used to be like. And nice scene with Kevin drinking whiskey and singing to the old Cars song Drive, worried about his daughter and probably wondering what his life has become.

You may notice, the actresses that play Carla and Leanne are both pregnant in real life. And the bloke that plays Tony's hit man, Jimmy Dockerson, the mechanic, he's married to Leanne in real life.

Then Dev nearly swallowed his tongue when Prem wanted to talk about something in private...No, he's not found out about Nina shagging his friend, he wants Dev to know it's ok to date his daughter. I'd say his daughter has a bit more of her mother in her than she realizes. Can someone please smack Norris?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Meet Canada's Number One Corrie Fan

I thought I was a pretty major Coronation Street fan, and, indeed, I'm certainly up there at the top of the fan fanatics but there's one woman that beats me by a mile and CBC agreed. CBC held a contest to find the Number One Coronation Street fan this spring. There were over 1000 fans that submitted photos and told CBC why they should win the contest. The winner is Deborah Cyr, from Oshawa, Ontario and though I have never met her face to face, I've "known" her from the online Coronation Street communities for awhile now and she agreed to answer some questions for me.

Deborah! You won!!! How does it feel!?
Very exciting. I'm still on cloud nine!!! I can't believe all of the posts, messages and emails I've received from other Corrie fans. Its been amazing.

When CBC announced the contest, why did you decide to enter? Did you think you had a pretty good shot at winning or did someone talk you into entering?
I was on the CBC website and happened to see the ad 'are you Canada's # 1 Corrie fan?' I said yes to myself, then clicked on the link. In 1000 characters, I had to tell them why it was me. I read the judges were looking for 3 things- passion, creativity and personal relationship/history with the show. I knew I had a lot of history and passion. I was hoping my photo would be creative enough. I figured I had a good chance, but also knew there are a lot of other big fans out there.

I was happy when I read the winner would be announced the week of July 27th. My birthday was the 26th and last year I had been very lucky on my bday. I thought that was a good sign. I did have a few friends tell me I had to enter or when I told them about the contest they'd say 'that's you!'

You won a trip to Manchester to see Granada Studios, didn't you? Are you going to get a chance to meet any of the actors?
I did which I am very excited about!!! WOOHOOO I haven't heard about meeting any of the cast, but I'm hoping I will..

I know you've been on the set before, as have I. What was that first step onto the cobbles like for you?
The first time I stepped on the cobbles was in 1995. I'd only watched the show for two weeks so didn't appreciate it like I should have. It wasn't till a few years later when the public tours closed and I was a die hard fan that I realized how huge of a deal it had been to walk on those cobbles. I just hoped that somehow I would be given another chance to experience it as a huge fan. When I did, it was amazing!!!

I know you've met a lot of the actors in the past and have quite a few autographs. You've written to the actors and you've also visited Manchester and waited outside the studio parking lot gates and have met some of the actors that way as well. What are your favourite memories of actor encounters?
I've been lucky and met 46 of the actors now. Most of the times it is just a quick hello,autograph photo etc. The majority of them are down to earth people that love their job and appreciate their fans. I did have a wonderful day in 2007 where I met Jayne Tunnicliffe who played Yana. We spent an hour with her. She is such a lovely lady, very talented too.

I'll never forget the first time I saw William Roache walking towards me, I was shaking. All I could think of was 'it's Ken, he's been on the show from day one.' Next thing we were talking about his dentist appointment he was off to. I loved meeting David Neilson who plays Roy Cropper. He is a wonderful man, he took the time to listen to what we had to say and took a real interest, was very chatty. I've met Steven Arnold, 'my Ashley' three times now. I still remember that first time he was driving into the studios and said 'hiya love'. I instantly became his number one fan.

Here's a funny story. One year I was at the British Isles show and a number of people had thought I was Janice Battersby. I didn't see it, but they did. So did a few more fans the year after. Last year I met Vicky Entwistle. I told her how people had thought I was Janice. She looked at me and replied 'I can see the resemblance'. I think she was just being nice.

Usually when I write to the actors, I get an autographed cast card back.
Occassionally I've had letters with the photo. The first letter I ever
received was a few years back from Jack P Shepherd who plays David Platt. I was very impressed by what he said and found him to be very mature for his age. Even from when he was little I've always thought he was a great actor- remember when he was little, those scenes in the garden with Barney. (Whatever happened to that young boy?) Since the letter I've always wanted to meet him. I had been in Manchester in 2007, but didn't see him. Next time a friend of mine was at the studios he saw him and told him about me. Jack did a video message to me saying hello. It was only 11 seconds long, but made my day!! I've had a video message from Rob James-Collier, Liam saying hello and Merry Christmas!

Who was the first actor from Corrie that you've met?
I met Denise Black at the British Isles show in Toronto. I think it was
1997. I remember telling her we had been to the studios in 95. She told me she had done the tour too before she got the job and who knows, maybe one day I'd end up on the show. How I'd love one scene just sitting in the Rovers or Roy's Rolls!

Judging from the photo, you have an extensive memorabilia collection. What was your first item? Where do you get most of your items? What is your favourite piece?
The very first items I got were a tea towel and a half pint glass from the gift shop at the studios. The majority of my items have been gifts. The rest were brought at British shops in Ontario and a few purchases on ebay. My favourite Corrie item is a tshirt I made up with a photo of Al and I at the Rovers which I get the actors to sign when I meet them. It has 43 signatures now. I'm trying to decide whether to squeeze more signatures on or start a new shirt. There are a lot of new cast members I'm hoping to meet! After that it would be my alarm clock that plays the theme and my teapots. Oh I love my Corrie monopoly too. We play, I don't believe in keeping it wrapped in the packaging.

Now a bit about you. How long have you been watching and what got you started?
I started watching about 15 years ago. Al and I had just got married and we were going to the UK so Al could meet my relatives. I was born there, but he'd never been. Two weeks before going, Al was flicking the channels on TV and stopped at Coronation Street. He wanted to see what England was like so kept it on. The week after we watched again. When we landed in the UK my uncle asked what we wanted to do during our holiday and Al jokingly said 'go to Coronation Street'. We didn't know they did tours, but the next day we were there. Al's first pub and pint in the UK was at the Rovers. After walking on those cobbles we were hooked and haven't missed a show since.

I keep watching because of the stories, characters, the writing and the history. These characters could be your neighbours. It isn't like the American soaps. They don't all wake up with perfect hair and make-up. They aren't all size 2's and rich. Corrie characters have a history and you become involved with their lives. You find yourselves wanting to know what they'll get up to next.

The show has a good combination of drama and comedy. One minute you
can be upset and the next your laughing. The show has been around for almost 50 years, they are doing something right. I hope it is around for many years to come!!

Who are your top three favourite characters ever?
Oh that is a tough question. They all bring something to the street. Since I can only pick 3, I'd say:
Steve McDonald- gotta love Steve!
Blanche- I just love the lines she gets and the way she delivers them
Jack & Vera- my favourite Corrie couple
Honorable mentions to Becky, Danny, Karen, Curly, Sally, Tony, David and Ashley.

What are your top three storylines ever?
Another tough question as there have been so many. I'd say the Hillman storyline, the Carla/Tony/Maria/Liam storyline (especially after reading some of the spoilers) and the free Deirdre storyline. I want to add nobody does weddings or funerals like Coronation Street.

Since Canada is about 9 months behind the UK, do you follow the UK storyline and check out the spoilers? Do you download episodes or do you read the written episode, weekly or ITV updates (or all three!)
I love spoilers!!! On Weatherfieldweb I post a lot of the spoilers, so go looking for them. Years ago I used to phone my UK relatives on Christmas day, say hello and Merry Christmas to 14 of them, then the last person I'd say 'what's happening on Corrie?" Now they ask me online what's coming up.

I don't download the episodes. I can wait 9 months to watch them. I do read the official ITV spoilers, so know what's coming up. If it's an extra special episode, I'll go to the ITV updates so I can see photos too.

Aside from yours and Susan's Corrie site, Weatherfield Web, and the Guestbook where you are a regular contributor, where else on the internet do you go for Corrie news or to have cyber chats with fans?
I love Glenda's blog, Corriespace and facebook. I do check out the official ITV site, plus digitalspy. On Sundays I always read your weekly Canadian update. I also love Christine's Corrie fun page. If I find a new Corrie site, I'll join and check it out.

And finally, Has Coronation Street changed your life and if so, how?
Most definitely!! When I attended my very first ping, (Corrie get togethers) I was a very shy, quiet person. For 5 years now, I've been organinizing pings. Newer fans often find it hard to believe I was shy. The regulars have seen the change. I can stand in front of a large group chat away, make jokes and am much more confidant.

I have met a lot of fans over the years, some from online Corrie sites,
British shows and of course the pings I organize. A lot of these 'Corrie friends' have become very special and I'm positive they will be lifetime friends. We meet for bbq's, meals, go to hockey games (go Oshawa Generals), shopping, trips to the zoo or baseball games. You start off with Corrie in common, but find you have so many more common interests. I treasure these friendships.

It often amazes me how one TV show that started almost 50 years ago can affect my life so much, but it has. The Corrie community is a special one. Corrie fans are the best!

Deborah, you really do deserve the title of Canada's Number One Coronation Street Fan. Thanks so much for answering my questions! Congratulations and I know you'll have a fabulous trip!

You can see all Deborah's photos of her trips to Manchester and photos of her with various Corrie stars here. Read about her surprise VIP trip by clicking on the first photo in this collection.

Friday, 7 August 2009

So how was it for you?

*note, I wrote this originally on last year after this episode aired in the UK.

Wow! I gotta say I'm impressed! I can be fairly cynical watching television and I am very good at nit picking and finding continuity fluff but if it makes me cry, and it did, it's a good, no...a great show. Of course there were bits last night that had me shaking my head but overall, it was a fitting end to the week's build up. Over hyped? Definitely, because that's tv and that's ratings. But in my opinion, all that bollocks about filming three endings put aside, it was mostly all worth it so I'm jumping in with my thoughts about last night's show as well.

The performance that really blew me away last night was that by Gray O'Brien. All week, Tony was glaring at Liam, uttering veiled and subtle threats and pointed remarks, I don't know why it didn't dawn on Liam eventually that Tony knew about him and Carla but it didn't. If you were having a go with someone's fiance, you'd be looking for signs that the partner had discovered it, and if you were on the verge of telling him, I'd think you would be even more aware. But, no. Anyway. That doesn't matter really. Tony's reaction when Liam was hit...

Even Tony looked shocked even though he did put on an act, being the first one to Liam's body and shouting "No! Liam!" etc. But look at his face! Triumphant, cold, yet really, you could also tell he was truly shocked and struck by what happened, especially when he saw Maria's raw grief minutes after it happened and discovered she was pregnant. A stab of guilt? A super-rush of adrenaline? Definitely. Emotion, certainly. You could tell his heart really was jumping out of his chest. "I can't believe he's dead, and I'm responsible! I killed someone!" (well, arranged for it, at least) In a way, for me at least, Tony actually showed a human side, just flashes of one, but it's there. It didn't last, though, and the normal mask-Tony took over. (How appropriate *were* those Tony masks, anyway? Consider...Tony usually is so controlled and he really does put on whatever exterior he thinks people want or need to see)

It was a bit reminiscent Richard Hillman, as well. Richard really did try to kill people but when he did do it, he, too, wasn't quite the stone cold killer in the immediate aftermath but recovered his composure quickly. I think it will take Tony a bit longer to lose his rag and come apart, but I do think it will happen.Tony's more of a true villain than Richard, really. Tony is far more demented than Richard, who's motivation was financial desperation. Tony is a controlling and possessive person. He's ruthless and unemotional. Does he love Carla, or is it the possession he loves. Once something is his, nobody is allowed to take it away. What he doesn't realize is, he never had her, not emotionally. She was always Liam's. Tony recovered his composure and the fact that he had Liam's wallet makes it pretty clear he had something to do with Liam's death.

The reactions of those that loved Liam were spot on, too. Carla sank to her knees in shock. I was waiting for either she or Michelle to wail "Not again!", both of them having lost spouses in virtually the same way. I would have thought Michelle would have been in worse shape than even Maria was, having lost her husband and other brother by car accident. But all three women were believable in their reactions. Maria fell completely apart, Michelle was teary eyed but strong, Carla put her mask back on and downed whiskey. Tom's reaction was a bit "it's all about me", squawking about how it was almost him rather than saying "it should have been me". In this case, "could have been" and "should have been" made that statement very different.

The rest of the lads, shocked, didn't even move at first, rooted to pavement in disbelief. Several of them turned away when Maria gasped the news about the baby. In fact, all three turned round almost in sync which was a bit weird looking. As men typically try not to show their emotions, yet they were all stunned. Kind of interesting to see it was Jason that was the one that called for the ambulance, not the older men like Lloyd or Dev. It's not the first time Jason's come through in a crisis. He was the one that found Toyah battered and raped and managed to get her home.

Maria's reaction was so totally "Maria". Crying and begging Liam not to go, putting his hand on her stomach so the baby might remember it's father. Maria is sentimental and emotional and doesn't hold anything back in sharp contrast to Carla, Liam's lover. Samia Smith really immersed herself in those scenes. She's given interviews and said how she was crying for real and you could tell. I thought she did a very good job. When it happened in the UK, I read one comment and agreed with it, that it did seem odd that Kirk wasn't with Maria at the hospital. He was right by her side the whole time at the scene of the accident and he's usually very protective.

And, just to add to that, the stunt people performing the hit and the production was fantastic. I know i certainly cringed when that body flew over the roof of the car, arms and limbs going every which way. Shooting it from above really showed you that they did that stunt for real, not just pretending to hit someone and them pretending and flinging themselves onto the ground. It happened too fast to tell for sure if it was a crash dummy but the arms and legs sure looked real and controlled to me, not quite as floppy as a dummy would have been.

Another really good touch, all week but in particular, last night was having everyone wearing theTony masks on the street just before the accident. It really did creep me out!

Along with all this tragedy, Coronation Street always mixes in comedy to balance out the show which catches you laughing through your tears.

The rowdy part of the hen night was underway at the pub, with the women salivating over Zorro the stripper. All except Carla, of course. She was going through the motions but very clearly dead inside after dumping Liam and only Leanne knew it.

Pam and Tyrone were involved in another scheme selling shirts and the funniest line of the night came from Pam "for most people, peeing in the wind is just a metaphor. For me, it's an awful memory" I don't think I want to know but it was totally unexpected and that sound you heard was a loud guffaw from me! Win for writer Simon Crowther!

David and Tina and Darryl and Amber were just filler though we now know that Tina is starting to suspect Gail and Joe's relationship.

Kevin and Sophie had some lovely father-daughter scenes and I also thought the scene where Kevin was alone, pouring himself a drink and singing along to "Ride' by the Cars from his younger days was very real.

Corrie really does have the touch, tragedy, comedy and quiet, lovely, little scenes, all in one night. It doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

CBC is up to it's tricks again

CBC, Coronation Street's Canadian broadcast station, in all it's infinite "wisdom", is messing around with it's schedule starting August 31. They'll be broadcasting an 90 minute supper-hour news marathon starting at 5 p.m. in all local time zones and Coronation Street is going to be pushed up to a 6:30 p.m. start, instead of it's current 7:00 p.m. slot. Heads up for those of you that watch or record it. The Sunday morning omnibus is not changing as far as we know.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday Comments, August 2

Lines of the week:
  • Dev to Nina "I'm a single man. Therefore I am free to ogle"
  • Carla about Michelle "She spends more time in the mirror than Simon Cowell" (doesn't want to be upstaged by the bridesmaid!)
  • Michelle to Steve and Becky "You pair of skivers" (says she who is hardly ever behind the bar doing the job she's paid to do)
  • Tony to Carla "If i'm going to spend the rest of my life with you, i'm going to have to learn to embrace chaos"
  • Carla to Michelle about Paul "You didn't have to live with him" (um. brother...sister... they do tend to live together at least when young)
  • Michelle to Carla "I know you loved my brother" (both of them!)
  • Liam "At least we'll feel alive" (*choke*)

This week, Tony seems to have a plan of revenge in the lead up to his and Carla's wedding. Rosie is still missing, and Becky's lies snare Steve well and truly.

Liam really is coming onto Carla big time. She turned on the tap and he's not about to shut it off. But she let him in again, didn't she? A few days before she is supposed to marry Tony and that wedding dress hit the floor after all, with Liam's help. Tony nearly caught Liam and Carla too, but though they barely got their clothes back on, you'd think the bed will look, um, used and everyone all sweaty and stuff.

So the stag do. Didn't you find everyone in Tony mask creepy? As filled with rage as Tony is, i think he was actually looking forward to a day with the lads, drinking and playing paintball. (and putting a revenge plan in place). He could pretend he actually had friends! Almost every one of the attendees could not be considered a friend and some of them were downright baffling. Steve? Lloyd? Ryan? KIRK??? Tom's a hanger-on because of Liam. Jason was Tony's lacky. Dev??? Cause... he bought a flat from the building Tony invested in? A fellow business owner? I dunno. With Tony and Liam throwing veiled threats and implications at each other all day, did Liam really not catch on? Laughed at Kirk having a tiger painted on his face as opposed to flag themes like everyone else. I bet Tony wishes there had been something more powerful in that gun other than paint when he shot a run of splatters over Liam's chest. No matter. There are other ways. By the end of the paintball it was sure obvious that Liam just didn't want to be there. The last showdown didn't last long either, they spent so much time bickering the lads caught up and spattered them!

So on to the drinking and the curry. It's disturbing that Liam has a target on the yellow hoodie he was wearing. Poor Kirk, what a lightweight. Face down in the curry before they even got out of the restaurant and to the club!

And Carla... She's not got friends either. Leanne is the closest thing to one and she and Maria have no love lost. Michelle is or was family but i never thought they had much of a rapport either. And nobody noticed Carla and Liama kept running out to moon over each other? Carla's shell cracked, and she confided in Leanne and Leanne, pragmatic as ever, says go for it, since happiness is a fleeting thing, bugger what anyone else thinks. And Carla was convinced too until she found out Maria was pregnant. Rightly so, she knew Liam wouldn't walk away from that no matter what. She told him it was over even though her heart was breaking, with a soundtrack from a tragic opera in the background. You got to hand it to Carla. She's a good liar. So how will this all end? Monday and Tuesday are NOT to be missed!

Becky's escapades only served to get her into trouble with the cops and the cop in charge knows her from days gone by. What does she do? Well she *did* say Steve saved her life so she just picked that up and ran with it. Just when Steve and Michelle are getting back on track, Becky puts him in a very awkward spot by saying she was with him and they're having an affair. Oh crap. And the cop isn't going to let it go either, he keeps putting them both on the spot.

Pam cracked me up! Bemoaning the smoking ban in pubs which would disguise the fire-damaged shirt packaging and then making a cryptic remark about peeing into the wind. She's still badgering Tyrone to help her sell her dodgey gear and working on his guilt to save up for a nice wedding for Molly.

Ok, Teresa wants to work in the kebab shop, and get rid of Tina and Tina needs a new job. Convenient, eh? Actually, i liked it when Rita worked with Leanne all those years ago, a young woman under her wing and Tina is every bit as sparky as Leanne was at her age. John's still banging on about that damn cat.

Rosie's sending postcards???? That gets Sally out of the way for a bit, searching for Rosie. In the meantime, Sophie is getting more and more ticked off because Rosie has thrown the whole family into an uproar and she's getting even less of a look in than usual. And lo and behold, there's a postcard threatening Sophie. But I have a funny feeling it really is a hoax, designed to give Sophie a little more attention.

Now Janice has to contend with her legal troubles too. She kept Leanne's name out of it, but you know Leanne is just an ungrateful cow. I don't think Janice's friends are going to forgive her quite as soon as they usually do this time. Dan certainly put two and two together and came up with four as well and that's another relationship down the tube.

Dev flirting hard with Tara and Nina doesn't like it one little bit. I don't blame Amber for being a bit weirded out though. Tara isn't all that much older than she is. And Dev has a daughter older than Tara, doesn't he?

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