Sunday, 22 February 2009

When Was Coronation Street Shortened To Corrie?

Coronation Street - "The Street" in the 1970s, "Corrie" in the 1980s.

I've had a couple of e-mails asking when and why the Coronation Street title began to be shortened to "Corrie". Some folks, it seems, remember a time before it was so.

As it happens, so do I. It's one of those things that you can get a million different explanations for if you look around the Web, but I prefer to rely on popular TV programmes, radio programmes, magazines and newspapers of the past - plus my trivia-loving memory banks!

It was in the 1980s that Coronation Street became widely shortened to Corrie. In the 1960s and 1970s, the title was sometimes shortened to "The Street", but back in those days it was not openly respectable for youngsters and teenagers to watch soaps. Particularly boys. Soaps were considered "fogey" and "for women". Most open watchers, being of mature and steady temperaments, were quite happy to trundle out the entire mouthful when they discussed the show.

In November 1982, Brookside burst upon our TV screens. Soap-loving kiddies at last came out of the closet, and peer group converts swelled their ranks, as this subversive cul de sac, with its heavy left wing bias, suddenly made soap respectable for the young to watch. And the Brookside ripples spread out to the other UK soaps. It was followed by the strife-ridden saga EastEnders (1985), and the not-as-subversive-but-high-youth-content Australian imports Neighbours (first UK screening 1986) and Home And Away (first UK screening 1989). Before the decade ended all soaps were happily courting youthful audiences.

Back in 1982/'83/'84, one of the most noticeable effects of Brookside was the nationwide explosion of what I call "Scouse speak" - slang popular in Liverpool. Suddenly Christmas was "Chrimbo", police officers were "bizzies" and electricity was "'leccy". The name shortening became a huge trend - and, as part of it, Brookside became "Brookie" and Coronation Street became "Corrie".

Pop magazines like Smash Hits took up the trendy, zappy, youthful Corrie chorus, and that was that. Coronation Street became widely known as "Corrie" - and it has been ever since.

No comments:

Post a Comment