Sunday, 29 July 2012

Geoffrey Hughes

The other week I was feeling thoroughly cheesed off at work (one of THOSE days!) when my mind did what I call a "retro lurch" and I heard a cheery scouse voice inside my head saying: "It's a lovely day for the race! What race? The human race!" My mind often experiences these retro lurches - they throw up all sorts of things from the past when I least expect them - visions of old fashions and ancient family occasions, prehistoric snatches of music and TV dialogue - you name it! The older I get, the more it happens. In this case, the lurch made me smile. The cheery scouse voice was that of Geoffrey Hughes in his role of Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street. It brightened my day a lot.

I was very sorry to read of the death of Geoffrey Hughes. Eddie arrived in the Street in 1974, was elevated to permanent character status in 1976, became a binman and moved in with the Ogdens in 1980, and met his wife-to-be on CB radio in 1982. He bowed out in late 1983, and popped back briefly in 1987. Today, we remember him as one of the Street's legendary characters. I loved Geoffrey as Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances, too.

God bless, Geoff. Thanks for all the viewing pleasure. You made me laugh and I'll always love Eddie and Onslow. Read our 1980s newspaper interview with Geoffrey here.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Coronation Street 1989: "Mind Out, You're Treading On Mr Watts!"

This is cross-posted from '80s Actual, our sister blog, and inspired by a Back On The Street reader who absolutely LOVES the comic pairing of Kimberley Taylor and Mr Watts!

A classic Coronation Street comment from Bettabuy supermarket employee Kimberley Taylor, played by Suzanne Hall, forms the title of this post. She and poor old Curly (Kevin Kennedy) had walked straight into aggro in The Rovers Return in 1989 as building site workers picked a fight with Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell). The workers were transforming the factory and community centre side of the street into a new development of houses, shops and industrial units, an enterprise of one Maurice Jones (Alan Moore). 

Wonderfully drippy Kimberley was one of several new characters introduced to the Street in 1989, including the McDonald family and Reg Holdsworth (Ken Morley). The Street went three episodes a week, and Alan Bradley (Mark Eden) met his death when he was hit by a Blackpool tram.

The original Bettabuy's scenario was a great favourite of mine and I adored Curly, Kimberley and Reg. Add Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) to the supermarket staff and you had a heavenly brew.  Fabulous Corrie days!