TV review: My Corrie resolution derails

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Rita Sullivan, played by Barbara Knox, sneaked into the Kabin for some chocolate when an explosion ripped through the shop. Photo / Supplied
Rita Sullivan, played by Barbara Knox, sneaked into the Kabin for some chocolate when an explosion ripped through the shop. Photo / Supplied

Did anyone actually die in the Corrie Street tram crash, or die yet? I know I shouldn't care, having sworn off the thing after the death of one of the very last of the great Corrie characters, Jack Duckworth, but the chances that a few of the very many really annoying characters might be finished off was too enticing a prospect to miss.

I might have known they wouldn't kill off Sally or Gail. No such luck. But their continued whinging existence did give me something to ponder during the interminable aftermath and rescue scenes. Which one, given the chance and the storyliner's power and pencil, would I strike from the cobbles?

That took hours of pondering. As did this: trams on Coronation Street? Who knew? I racked my brain trying to think whether I'd ever heard anyone say "by 'eck, better get this pint down or I'll miss me tram." Perhaps there have always been trams in the street but they're like ghost trains, coming and going with nobody ever getting off because nobody ever just goes to the street for the shopping, now, do they? And nobody ever gets on because they never go anywhere except to the Rovers or to the Kabin or to Roy's Rolls.

They do, as it happens. Once they all went on an omnibus outing to the Lake District, which resulted in a terrible crash. This was in 1969 and was supposed to be a big bang episode to coincide with the first-ever episode in colour. There was some screw up, debated to this day, about why this didn't happen, but anyway, it didn't. What did happen was Betty really did hit her head and "a lot of people got injured". I know this because I managed to watch 25 of the moments of the two-parter 50 Years, 50 Moments before wanting to kill somebody, preferably Gail - or was it Sally?

Also in 1967, a train crashed off the viaduct, just as a tram did in last week's big bang episode (or episodes: you don't go to all that trouble without piling on the cliffhangers). The footage of this crash looked pretty much like the footage of the latest crash, despite it being in black and white. There's only so much you can do with people screaming and bricks falling and cliffhangers and, now, people trying to ring people on cellphones and either not getting signals or getting signals and leaving soppy messages.

Hey, do you remember when the vile Terry Duckworth sold his son? What a swine. And there was Gail's psycho nanny who fell in love with Martin and told Gail to sod off. (She was probably completely normal before she became Gail's nanny.) And when Deirdre left baby Tracy outside the Rover's and a lorry "careered", as lorries always do, into the pub? An awful lot of bother could have been saved if baby Tracy, or Spawn of the Devil, as she should correctly be known, had been finished off then. Many, many years later she drugged Roy and got him into bed (where nothing happened) and later persuaded him she was having his baby, which he could have, for a price. There was Hilda's "muriel". "Do you mean a mural, by any chance?" said Annie Walker. "Oh, no, Mrs Walker. This is a picture, on the wall."

"The street's a pretty dangerous place to be," said Helen Worth (who plays Gail, the poor woman) on 50 Years, 50 Moments. "Who'd live on Coronation Street? Who'd marry Gail?" Well, a serial killer, for one of a few.

"In any little house," said Barbara Knox (who plays Rita), "there's sadness; there's laughter."

The 50th anniversary did go on a bit (and haven't we seen a lot of this before? Including the appallingly awful Come Dine With Me Coronation Street special involving the farting, burping Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth and who appeared to be attempting to hump Julie Goodyear, mistaking her for Bet Lynch and thus proving that people can't be entirely blamed for thinking the characters on Corrie are real.)

But what fun. I might, despite my earlier resolutions, go on popping into that little house, just on the odd occasion - say the next time there's a chance Sally might be strangled.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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