Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sponsor Richard Hawley's run for Alzheimer's

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Actor Richard Hawley, who plays Coronation Street's Johnny Connor, is running the Manchester 10K in May this year. He's raising funds for the Alzheimer's Society too.

Richard will be running with his two daughters and says that the 10K is "not far but a giant step for me!"

Richard says: "We are running with the Alzheimer's Society team raising money and awareness for research. My dad lived with Alzheimer's for some years and it's a terrible disease. I know we are asked for money all the time so I'm not asking for big donations. Just a little something if you can but mainly keep us in your hearts on the day. And check out Dementia Friends- an amazing project educating us in how to support people with Dementia and helping to build a caring and Dementia friendly world. Thanks friends! Richard, Rosie and Beth x"

If you'd like to, you can sponsor Richard at his JustGiving page here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday Comments April 30

Steve is hoping that Michelle's little holiday away will give her perspective and she might not want the divorce after all, so he might not have to sell his half of the pub. But there are photos online of her all over some bloke so it's not looking hopeful. Steve takes heart in the fact that she's still wearing her wedding ring, at least. I do hope they don't put them back together. Big mistake, I think.

And back she comes out of a taxi, all tanned and happy after a break, happy until she sees Steve at least. Oh and that man in the photos? Carla's new gay bezzie mate apparently. Michelle and Robert made up, he's still clearly got it bad for her, though. Michelle feels a bit down in the dumps about what to do next and Robert's idea....hire Michelle though he ran it past Leanne first. More of a warning than an ask. Nick's not happy about it. Feeling a bit awkward, are we? Robert offered her the job, though I didn't hear him say it was only to cover the maternity leave. I suppose they need waitresses, too but when Leanne comes back it will not be a good idea to have them both under the same roof every day.

Steve wants her to go to a marriage guidance councilor, one last chance. She's not really open to the idea but she starts thinking about it. Robert thinks she should go and as he's a fairly decent bloke, even defends Steve a bit in spite of how he feels about her. She didn't go to the appointment. I guess she has bigger fish to fry. Steve's not it. She's decided to reach out to Robert instead. Can you say "rebound"?

Daniel is running, he thinks he's a suspect even though he insists he didn't do it. She's right, running looks bad. He's only ever had to rely on himself. I guess he didn't get very far and had thought about what she said. It comes down to him not wanting to be on his own anymore.

Peter's defense: He says he went back to Chloe's and she took his rejection badly, trashing her house and hurt herself when he pushed her away. If she did, then we didn't see it happen. Seems to me Peter walked out on her so if she did, it was after that and off screen. Chloe threatened to call the police but she couldn't have. He didn't tell the police all this because you know Chloe wouldn't tell the truth, would she? Nick thinks he should go to the police anyway but what's Peter's solution? go back to Chloe, of course. Why on earth would she agree to help him, though. And why would she leave her house trashed for nearly 2 weeks?

She tried to get him to open a bottle of wine. Oh don't put your fingerprints on that bottle, Peter. I forsee that as another nail in his coffin if he does. She seemed shocked at Ken's accident but I still suspect that she might be behind it. Well, Leanne and Nick took the phone to the police after all. And Chloe went to the police, too, to "tell the truth". Of course she didn't tell the truth and she didn't give him an alibi, either. She put all her lies about Peter assaulting her as happening the night before. Even if it was true, it still begs the question why she waited so long. The end result?

Peter and Toyah are about to get to the business end of the IVF but Peter is arrested for assaulting Chloe first. He's shocked when he finds out that Chloe lied about the date of what happened which means he doens't have an alibi for the night Ken was attacked. Exactly Chloe's plan. And the phone with the damning message. The police feel the message is more to do with attacking his father than it was Chloe. The police are not going to give him any leeway on this. IVF is not a reason to let him leave.

Ken has heard about the arrest and is mired in self pity and regret over what a crap father he'd been. Too little, too late, maybe. Toyah decided to put a few good words in on Peter's behalf.

Toyah went to the clinic alone, well, with Leanne. Peter did get home, they didn't keep him. I suppose there wasn't enough evidence to keep him for Ken's assault. He did come home via the clinic to deposit a sample, that's something I guess. He tells her the bad news about what the police believe. Toyah is determined to go through with the IVF and positive in Peter's innocence.

Bethany is upset over the row but Sarah isn't sad to hear it's probably over. But Bethany overheard her mother gloating to Gary. She won't be inclined to pour her heart out to her mother after that. Will that send her back to Nathan? Like a shot. Meanwhile, Nathan catches Mel about to clean out the cash till so he jams her hand in it and it's clear he has a lot of control over her.

Kevin had the grace to thank Erica for the groceries. It *is* hard to accept help, that's for sure. Kevin cleaned up her car as a thank you. Kevin's finances are suffering with no end in sight aside from probably bankruptcy. Anna's really good idea is to sell off some of her clothes though I can't imagine that drab wardrobe will bring much more than the price of a kebab takeaway. Freddie decides he should retire but Kevin won't hear of it. He says the payroll saving isn't going to do much but I beg to differ. It will help a little and anyway, Freddie was already retired before he started work at the garage which was only something to do to get him out of the house after his wife died. Freddie is determined to retire, not just for Kevin's sake, I think. Tyrone's horrified that Kevin might lose the garage.I wonder how that works with partner? Kevin's debt is personal, not professional but his share of the garage is an asset. If he sells his share, Tyrone will still have his half. It could work out ok.

David and Maria are still having fun winding up Gail but have gone a little too far when they tell Gail that Maria is pregnant and they're going to get married. Earlier they were laughing in the cafe and in the pub and it looked like Aidan was jealous. Maria picked up on that. But David picked up on something between Aidan and Maria and she admitted she'd had a fling with him. I did laugh at David saying Maria didn't make a habit of going after other people's blokes. She does, you know. This is at least the third time I can think of and I think she got Tyrone away from Fiz back in the day as well, at one point.

Now Gail isn't so sure Maria and David are a good thing as a couple, she thinks they're getting married and having a baby but Audrey pointed out that the lovey dovey act ends the minute Gail leaves. Right, then. Gail certainly isn't one to pick up on the obvious, is she? Now she feels foolish. Her idea of revenge is to bring her wedding dress to Martin over and gushed about the wedding. It worked. Bazinga!

There might be a light at the end of the tunnel for Kevin, though. David's had a long time client die and leave him a little dog called David. She also left David a packet of cash. 20 grand! Sarah's all for spending David's inheritance on a family holiday but David might just have other plans. Gary wasn't too keen to hear about David's winfall, not after what his mother went through because of David and because she's now in financial straits with Kevin.

I wonder how much patience Phelan has to teaching Eileen to drive? Eileen thinks straight out of the street and onto the roads is the best way to start learning, in the deep end, so to speak. I don't know what it's like where you live, dear reader, but the traffic in Manchester even on a Sunday is pretty busy. We have discovered that Seb is pleading guilty to assaulting young Jackson and will likely end up serving some time. Faye wants to support him with Phelan's help because her mother won't but he knows Anna doesn't want Faye anywhere near him. You might think he'd do it just to wind up Anna, wouldn't you?

Sally's back on the social media train. Now she's apparently been invited for a posh magazine article. Tim is still suspicious and so should Sally be. You'd think journalists would contact you through work, the Town Hall in this case. I don't know how it works, though, maybe Sally doesn't actually have an office or cubicle in the town hall for council business. I would think that would still be protocol though. Anyway, Sally's snobbery overrides her caution.

Today Sally has an inverview with a posh magazine. She's looking forward to it but Tim is getting fed up. He's not best pleased that Sally has gone back to social media and is putting herself back out there as a target for the trolls so he's ignoring her messages. He doesn't know the half of it. While she waits for him to pick up a message to come get her at the factory, she's going through hell. First in the newspaper (which I thought Tim also read every day now that he knows how) there's a large ad as an obituary for Sally as dying of cancer. She gets messages about someone watching her and then a parcel is delivered to the factory which a very gruesome bloody pig's heart in it. Jenny's right, she needs to go back to the police again. She wants to pretend it doesn't get to her so as not to give the troll any further attention but it's pretty difficult.

Tim and Sophie found her in the factory and when Tim saw the gruesome gift, he's ready to defend her honour to the death. He also wants her to step down from the Council though she's not sure that's an answer. Maybe just one more event even though Tim is furious that she insists on doing it. She's determined to go to the Town Hall for the Mayor's conference but she's not happy to hear she'll be stood in the middle of the crowd. Tim ended up going to the town hall after all and thinks he found the woman that's trolling her.

It wasn't her. It was not the person doing the damage. Tim didn't get charged but Sally's had enough. He's terrified the troll will be a violent stalker, they both are. She's finally giving the troll what they want and she's going to resign. Rosie can't get her head around it. She doesn't think her mother should be giving in but Sally's really on edge. Sophie and Rosie are determined to find out who was behind the newspaper obituary. That's a good place to start, why didn't the police do that?

They go to the Gazette, on a holiday Friday mind you so I'm surprised they even got in the door. The only person there was the photographer that caused Rosie some grief in that interview a few weeks back.

Sally Dynevor is really packing a punch with this storyline, doing an excellent job. I'm intrigued. I have seen spoilers so I know vaguely where it's going but I think there are going to be a few twists that will still surprise me.

Johnny seems to have trouble buttoning his shirt, numb fingers perhaps. He's worried, it's clear. What's going on there? Jenny is oblivious, submerged in wedding planning as she is and it looks like she's hiring Michelle. Michelle noticed but she thinks he's having second thoughts about the wedding. Jenny overheard Michelle advising him to back out of the wedding if he is having doubts and went off on one. I guess she's not hiring Michelle after all and it doesn't look like Michelle is all that bothered. But there's definitely something going on with Johnny.

Phyllis Pearce gets a name check. I remember the lovely purple haired senior with the gravelly voice. She was great! Ken is getting settled at Roy's but Brian isn't the most tactful of roomies. Brian the Selfish is really getting on my nerves. What an obnoxious, selfish toad he is. Ken wants the dog, too. Tracy reluctantly handed her over.

Bethany is still besotted wtih Nathan and Craig, one of her few friends, doesn't get much of a look in, even sat right across from her. She's still feeling bruised after his rant at her about her jealousy over Mel. She does get an explanation from Mel. Nathan's very good at playing Bethany's emotions and decided to try again. Sarah wasn't best pleased.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Coronation Street Blog Interview with Chris Harper

(This post was originally posted by Jordan Lloyd Beck on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Bethany is a “risk worth taking” says Chris Harper, who plays Nathan on Coronation Street

Hiya! It’s just Jordan (I don’t care how serious this post is meant to be – I’m not dropping that intro!)

A couple of weeks ago, this nervously excited blogger was sent on his way to ITV Studios in Manchester to take part in interviews with four Coronation Street actors revolving around some of the major storylines taking place this spring. As the first in a series of four blog posts regarding the interviews, this makes a change from my Wednesday ramblings, right?

After getting up at a time I’ve not seen for years and spending two hours on a train to Manchester, I couldn’t help but smirk to myself as I hopped into a black cab asking to be taken to Coronation Street Studios. Ten minutes later, I’d been driven through the security gates, welcomed to Corrie with a handshake and found myself amongst a swarm of proper journalists. To them of course, this was no big deal. They’d been here many times before and not one of them nearly died when Catherine Tyldesley bounced into the reception. 

Along with the proper journalists, I was ushered through the studios and onto the set of Roy’s Rolls – a change of venue since the Bistro was unavailable. The residents of the Street would probably consider lunch in Roy’s a bit of a downgrade from the posh Bistro, but I was more than happy to have sandwiches in the iconic greasy spoon.

The last interview of the day was with Chris Harper who plays Nathan, a character currently at the helm of a much-discussed grooming storyline involving Bethany Platt.  However, had the bosses at Corrie not decided that Chris was too nasty, we could have been watching him in the role of Mary’s long-lost-seen-for-a-week-and-never-mentioned-again son. I bet Chris is glad to be playing the “better” character!

Nathan may be a sinister character, but that doesn’t stop Chris Harper being attractive, so of course I was rather happy to sit and listen to him talk about a storyline which - as it transpired - has had a tremendous amount of research on all sorts of levels.  Chris explained how he and the rest of the team at Corrie have worked with numerous charities which deal with grooming victims.

There has been a little bit of controversy over the storyline’s suitability. After all, Corrie is a family show and usually the premise of a sex ring would belong after the watershed. However, Chris spoke in favour of the brilliant way Corrie are tackling what may seem to some an issue too far.

He said: “Unfortunately, these are crimes that affect families. They are just hinting enough. You don’t need to see what they do it. Bringing it up and raising the conversation is vital. Just to know that it’s never the victim’s fault. Just to have that knowledge, would be brilliant. I just hope it doesn’t ruin anyone’s tea.”

Chris went onto explain the “alien” network that Nathan is. He is not the only perpetrator; he is simply a pawn. And of course, with things on Corrie happening on the Street or not at all, we know that Shona is an ex-girlfriend of Nathan’s; a victim still bearing his scars who somehow managed to escape. This, if a little contrived, will create an interestingly complicated link between Shona, Nathan and the Platts, should she get involved. 

When teasing what is to come in the storyline, Chris made it clear that things will get darker for Bethany. Much darker. The clever thing about the storyline, as he explained, is that Nathan has not done anything illegal to sixteen year old Bethany. Yet. No photographs have been taken. Yet. No money has changed hands. You guessed it: yet. On screen, we have already met Nathan’s friend Neil, who according to Chris is “just the beginning”.

When asked whether Nathan is likely to stay around, Chris was clear in his answer that he is not, which makes a lot of sense. There would be outcry should Nathan – or anyone in soap really – get away with such a crime. Chris also commented on Nathan’s motivation, which I hadn’t realised before the interview, we know precious little about: “It’s quite a fun job as an actor to play someone so duplicitous. It’s much more important we see this through Bethany’s eyes.”

With the whole Bethany storyline thus far set to run until September, we are sure to be tuning into much deeper and much darker scenes. But we can be assured that Nathan will come to a nasty end. Where that will leave Bethany, only time will tell.

“I’d like to see Nathan suffer”

To leave things on a lighter note, here’s a jolly titbit: Lucy Fallon likes to share her Maltesers with Chris under the quilt in between takes!

And that concludes the first of my four interview posts. More to come very soon!

As always,

Thanks for reading!

Jordan, twitter: @JordanLloyd

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Listen: When the Corrie theme tune really did have words

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Yesterday's April Fool from ITV Coronation Street said that a new theme tune had been created, with the cast singing along with words.

Well, it got me thinking and remembering, all the way back to 2007 when I'd found this little gem.

It's a real version of the Coronation Street theme tune - with words. It's an unreleased Stock and Aitken production called Sing Me A Memory, featuring Neil Sean on vocals.

It was meant to be a single to co-incide with the release of Coronation Street's Viva Las Vegas video, but unfortunately the single was pulled.

You can listen to it here. I find it quite moving - what do you make of it?

And if you like that, you might like to see our list of all of the different versions of the Coronation Street theme tune that we've been able to find over the years. 

Have a look at it here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Will.I.Am wants to join Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.) recently filmed his new video Fiyah on the set of Coronation Street. To use the parlace of my youth - it's really cool - and you can watch it here.

And now, The Voice judge and US rapper says he'd love to join Coronation Street.

He tells the Star today: “It would be so cool if they would write a role for me on Coronation Street. I wouldn’t play a gentleman though. I’d want to be a comedy character. I’d be comedic. I’d want to be like Norris”

“It’s such a great show. I could have a relationship with somebody on there...that would be real cool. I’d rather work in the pub…in the Rovers. That would be great.”

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Watch: Will.I.Am's new video Fiyah on Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Will.I.Am has released the full video of his new tune Fiyah, which was filmed on the set of Coronation Street.

All the favourite outdoor sets are there - the Kabin, the corner shop - and there's a sequence set inside the Rovers Return too. 

I like the video, in fact, I like it a lot. It's a catchy little number and the dancing's good to watch.  In fact, I'd love to see the Coronation Street cast do a re-take of it with them all dancing to Will's song in the Rovers too!

Will.I.Am says on his twitter account that it's "In appreciation for #BritishCulture

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present - FIYAH ft. India Love.You can watch the video below:

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Friday, 28 April 2017

Bill Roache 'the only one who knows who pushed Ken'

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a story in The Mirror today that claims Bill Roache is the only Coronation Street cast member who knows who pushed Ken Barlow down the stairs.

Could this really be true, I wonder? 

"A soap insider" tells the Mirror this news.

And from now on I'm going to refer to this mystery soap insider as Sophie Snider in the same way that we refer to The Sun's "Corrie Source" as Mr Curry Sauce.

So, er, Sophie Snider tells the Mirror: “A lot of the cast have been asking to not know who is guilty, so they don’t change how they act on screen. They also like playing along. But Bill has just had another batch of scripts sent to him, so he now has worked out who it is.

“For now Bill is keeping his lips sealed about who is the guilty party. It is the source of lots of conversation backstage at the moment. It has really grabbed the attention of the cast and viewers.”

I reckon there are red herrings in the Who Pushed Ken? plot - and if you'd like to you can read my thoughts here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Coronation Street: Interview with William Roache on Ken's attack

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

How much can Ken remember about his attack?
He can’t remember a thing, he remembers pretty much up to it, he remembers the morning of the day quite clearly beyond that nothing that would give him a hint that he was pushed or who might have done it.

What’s his reaction when the police suggest a family member could have pushed him?
He is horrified, absolutely horrified and very frightened, there is a moment when he looks at them all and is terrified as it could be any one of them because he has had rows with all of them. To find that it could be someone who is very very close to you is very frightening. It really does upset him and he can't remember. He is deeply hurt that a member of his family might want to kill him, that really hurts.

Does he really believe any of them are capable of doing such a thing?
He is put into a position where he does because of events leading up to it, It is very cleverly done with the storyline that he has got everybody’s back up, he is frail and wouldn't be thinking too clearly so he is in a position where he could believe it possible.

Is there anyone in particular that he suspects?
No not straight away, he follows the police inquiry and each time he goes along with what they discover and tries to work out himself if each person could be responsible. That is why he stays with Roy as he is totally confused and extremely upset. As each one is arrested he thinks ‘it could be that person.’

How much does he tell the police about his previous fallings out with his family? Is he honest about what has been going on?
All he tells them is that he doesn’t remember, he doesn’t drop anyone in it or give any indication that there has been any falling out - the police glean that from various other people along the way.

Why does he end up refusing to see any members of his family?
He is so scared, it has been put into his mind that it must be somebody close. If a suspicion is put into your mind and you are a bit frail and sick the paranoia would be huge, he is going through each of them in his mind and with each one there is a possible motive, an argument he has had which could have triggered it.

How does he feel when the doctors discharge him?
He is no longer in the safety of the hospital so when Roy comes to collect him he doesn’t want to go home, he is really genuinely frightened, he is upset paranoid very frail and frightened. He is delighted that Roy offers.

Does he have anyone else around to help and support him?
Roy has come to the rescue and he totally understands how Ken is feeling so Ken is grateful that he has his support.

How will this affect his relationship with his family?
I think he is very ready to try and build bridges. He knows that it is not all of them, if it is a member of the family it is only one of them so more than anything he wants to know who it is. There are of course other people the police are looking at  such as Phelan and of course Sinead has a motive. Ken would love nothing more than it not to be a family member but whilst the suspicion is there it is very difficult for him. He wants clarity, it is the unknown that is frightening him. He actually says although it is painful for him he would like to know sooner rather than later who it is so he can start to build bridges with his family.

What was your reaction when you first heard that somebody would try to bump off Ken?
Haha well my first thought was ‘are they trying to write me out’ that was my question to Kate. But once I knew Ken would recover I was thrilled with the storyline. Strong stories are great to do, as an actor they are very enjoyable . I have always liked the idea of having this strong family, one of the oldest families all together again and when i did that first scene with the boys and Peter after the stroke I felt this power of a male family. Almost mafia like. It occurred to me that I wanted to remain head of the family and have great stories and this is what is happening.

Were you told from the start who it would be? Or have you been left to guess like the rest of us?
No we didn’t know and only now, some weeks on from filming a lot of the story and as we get closer to finding out in scripts, have we been made aware. It was great to play it like that and all of the suspects were told to behave as though they were guilty or hiding something and they didn’t know. It was fun to be part of the secrecy and to act out the story not knowing the truth. I hope the viewers enjoy trying to work out who it could be in the same way that we all did. It is very cleverly done and I am thrilled to bits with it.

What’s it been like for you having so many members of the Barlow clan around you?
Wonderful, a whole new dynamic for Ken. His stories have always been female orientated, about his relationship with different women now he is right in the middle of this very powerful family feeling. To be masterminding a little gang of the boys and Tracy. A very complex group of individuals each with their own issues and foibles. 

How does it feel to still be very much at the heart of the action after all these years on the cobbles?
It is a great compliment and I do appreciate it very much, I want to be able to do it justice and to be able to continue to be part of the action. The boys who came back immediately fitted in, it could have been something that could make an older actor concerned having all these new younger actors around but for me it has meant I have been given some amazing storylines and out be back at the centre.

What would you like to see happen to Ken next?
I would like him to become the natural wise leader the patriarch of his new family a respected elder statesmen who wouldn’t do the footwork or physical work of anything but would be the mastermind behind the family. They will still infight but if anyone attacks them from the outside they will close ranks and woe betide them.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Guess who's the bookies fave in Who Attacked Ken?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog March 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Boyle Sports the bookies are now taking bets on who pushed Ken down the stairs.

Ken’s grandson Adam Barlow has been installed as the red hot 4/7 favourite.

Ken’s son Daniel Osbourne is next in the betting at 6/1 alongside Pat Phelan.

Both Tracy and Peter Barlow are 8/1 to have committed the crime alongside Sinead Tinker.

No doubt in the coming weeks more suspects will emerge and Boyles say they will be keeping a shrewd eye over the market as Tracy Barlow cannot be ruled out despite her currently trading at 8/1.

*Prices correct at time of publication

We don't condone gambling but if you want to place a bet, the website is here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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