Sunday, 12 June 2011

Speak Easy - June 2011

Above: Mrs Connie Clayton, official portrait; text below - Mrs Connie Clayton having a "natter" in the pork butchers, 1985:

"So, we've just moved into this house in Coronation Street. To be honest, I'm not that keen, but Harry likes it. Mind you, he'd settle anywhere. Seems a bit rough to me, this district, and I'm worried about Sue. She's pretty impressionable. I'm glad our Andrea's got her head screwed on - she'll be all right. Mind you, she were saying last night that she'd like a computer to help her with her studies. A computer! How daft can you get? Harry says we must look to't future. Apparently, Ernie Wise made the first mobile phone call in England during January just gone. 'We'll all have them in twenty-five years or so,' says Harry. 'And there'll be serial killers in this street and life round here'll be like a bad soap opera!' I said. He does talk wet - watches too much Tomorrow's World... Anyway, what were I sayin'? Oh aye, No 11. Ooh, you should see the outside cludgie - disgustin' in't word for it..."

And so from the thoughts of Connie Clayton, played by Susan Brown, in 1985, we pass to your questions and opinions in 2011.

Jamie asks:

Why did Philip Lowrie leave Corrie in 1968?

Reports at the time indicate that he was frustrated with the character of Dennis Tanner, who was used a great deal to comic effect in the story-lines. Mr Lowrie felt that Dennis was not being allowed to grow up, but was pleased with Dennis's final story-line in which he finally married, despite some opposition from his mother, Elsie.

Paula asks:

There was a young blonde actress around in the soaps in the early 1980s. I believe she appeared in the Southern TV soap "Together" and in Corrie, very briefly. I can picture her very clearly, but can you give me a name?

Gina Maher, Paula - she played Debbie Nuttall in The Street, daughter of Eunice Nuttall/Gee.

Albert writes:

A friend of mine says that Mavis Riley received anonymous phone calls in one plot, and had a nervous breakdown. Is this true?

Yes, and no, Albert. Mavis suffered a series of strange phone calls in February 1980, but she didn't have a nervous breakdown over them. The story-line was in comic vein and saw Eddie Yeats being mistakenly arrested as the caller. The identity of the true caller was never discovered, but Mavis had other fish to fry at the time and managed to put the incident behind her without resorting to a breakdown.

Coffee asks:

Why is this blog updated so rarely?

Because I'm working elsewhere, Coffee. I do update whenever possible though. Thanks for dropping in.


  1. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Wonderful wonderful blog - shame about the infrequent updates though. Any chance of a feature on Linda Cheveski? By far and away I reckon one of the best characters of the 60s, even her appearances in the 80s... classy, flirtatious, perfectly complementing Pat Phoenix, but so so underrated...

  2. Thanks for the compliment. As Mrs Walker would have said, you are clearly a discerning viewer!! I'd love to do a feature on "our Linda" and will add the idea to my list of "Must Do's When I Have Time"! Thanks again.

  3. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Excellent :) I regularly check here in the vain hope of an update :) Always a joy to read, with such attention to detail, thoughtfulness and understanding of the characters and their social context.

    As for Linda, it's a real shame that she was reduced to very much a supporting role, she had so much potential to be developed further... the Tracy Barlow of yesteryear.

  4. I think it would be wonderful for Linda to make a brief return now that Dennis is back on the cobbles.

    I live in hope...! :D

  5. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Didn't the actress (Ann Cunningham, IIRC) leave in disgrace or on very bad terms with Granada?

  6. I don't think so... but I do recall reading somewhere on the net that she is not keen on returning because of the numerous changes in filming the show since the 1960s. She did not find it all that easy when they brought her back in 1984, IIRC, compared to filming it all "as live" and in-sequence.