Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Mystery Of Sam Littlewood And Rita's Amnesia...

Rita: "I don't know why it says '1989' on this photo, 'cos it's 1983 really. Well, at least I think so..."

 Sue writes: 

Why didn't Rita Fairclough expect to see her Uncle Sam in Blackpool when she had amnesia in 1989? After all, he lived there years earlier!

Eee, chuck! As we know, Rita's mind had retreated back to her marriage to Len. Alec Gilroy stated that Rita had blotted everything out since before Len died. We also know that Sam Littlewood (Harry Littlewood) was living in Blackpool in 1980, and that he'd retired there shortly after Len and Rita married. According to one on-line source the character died in September 1982, so it seems Rita's delusional state had taken her back to a time slightly after that.

In fact, it now seems we can confidently declare that Rita's 1989 amnesia time warp had taken her back to late 1982 or 1983.

We know she continued her singing engagements on an occasional basis under her maiden and stage name, Rita Littlewood, after her wedding to Len, and she was listed as Rita Fairclough on the hotel register (this is clearly seen when Alan Bradley arrives at the hotel searching for her), so it all fits!

She was in Blackpool, Len was at home, and Uncle Sam had died shortly before.

By gum, that was a difficult question to answer!

UPDATED 19/6/12

Monday, 18 June 2012

CHOP! CHOP! The Granada Plus Coronation Street Episodes...

Sid writes:  

I am very interested in your blog. I recently read a post of yours about the Street in 1989 and Jim and Liz McDonald discussing their new neighbours in the Rovers. I now have every episode from 1989 from Granada Plus's screenings and can find this scene nowhere! Was it an invention on your part? 

 No, Sid, it wasn't. I have a lot of full episodes of Coronation Street as originally broadcast in the 1980s and Granada Plus chopped out many scenes. Some were quite fun, the omission of a few even made some of the Plus screenings faintly puzzling as plot detail was chopped with them, but chop them they did. Also cut from the December 1989 episode you mention was a scene between Alf and Audrey Roberts, a scene between Audrey and Gail Tilsley, and a scene in which Bet Gilroy, Emily Bishop and Mavis Wilton discussed Rita Fairclough's return to the Kabin after Alan Bradley's death. 

The screen caps and dialogue of the missing 1989 Liz and Jim scene are below.
Newcomers Liz and Jim McDonald (Beverley Callard and Charles Lawson) popped into The Rovers Return to suss out their new neighbours in 1989...

Liz took a good, long squint at Mavis Wilton (Thelma Barlow) and Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire):

Jim: "What are you looking at?"

Liz: "Those two plain Janes at the bar, quietly knocking it back."

Jim: "Free country, isn't it?"

Liz: "Yeah, I know, but I didn't think they were the type."

Jim: "You're enjoying yourself, aren't yer? Standing here putting labels on everybody."

Liz: "I love it!"

Liz on Ken Barlow (William Roache): "Now, here's a mystery man!"

Jim: "Why?"

Liz: "He's too smooth for round 'ere, a bit too 'shiny-shoed'. I bet even his wife don't see him in his vest and underpants."

Jim: "Eh, now listen, I quite fancy his wife."

Liz: "Well... she's not plain."

Jim: I know, I could... er... breathe on her glasses."

Of course, at that point in time, Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) was unaware that Ken was indulging in a spot of heavy breathing with Wendy Crozier (Roberta Kerr).

And there was so much else going on.

Jim and Liz little realised just what a fascinating street they'd moved to...