Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Susie Blake - Before Bev Unwin...

Here's a quickie teaser question for you! Susie Blake appeared as Bev Unwin in Coronation Street, but she's seen in our photograph playing a very different role on a very different TV programme way back in the 1980s. Can you tell me - who was she then?

Speak Easy - August 2013

I've been driving my long-suffering Mrs daft with modern day electronic dance music - it's all so evocative of my '80s heyday and I can't get enough! "A hustler's work is never through..."... "in your throes as the dust settled around us..."

Anyway, back to more relevant topics, and a very kind message from Llifon, who organised the poll we recently mentioned which saw Alf Roberts being voted as favourite Corner Shop owner of all time.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks again for the ment of my poll on your blog. I don't know if you saw it, but I also did a poll asking people for their favourite 1980s moment. And the winner was Hilda weeping over Stan's death. You can see the results here.

I don't know if you want to mention it on your blog? I'll also be making polls looking at moments from the 1960s and 1970s in the coming weeks.



P. S. I noticed in your profile you like 20th century history like me. I studied it in uni.

Cheers, Llifon, and it's a great pleasure to link to the poll you mention. Yes, I'm really fascinated by 20th century history - particularly the 1910s, 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. Although, I hasten to add, of those decades the 1980s is the only one I really remember! Looking forward to more of your polls - thanks for getting in touch.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Were The '80s Better Than Now?

18 October, 1989 - Alan Bradley (Mark Eden) is in court, but more trauma for Rita lies ahead...

I was thinking about my birthday yesterday. It's approaching over yonder horizon - 18th October to be exact. I'll be forty-eight. With this in my head, I riffled through all my Corrie memorabilia to find this Granada TV press pic from that date in 1989. Was life better in the 1980s, I wondered? No paranoia about "stalkers", no CCTV watching our every move, a political scene that was the subject of fierce dabate/adoration/protest amongst the electorate - unlike the apathy of today...

I certainly think Corrie was much better back then. Amazingly, Sky TV was just beginning in 1989, and the World Wide Web just being invented - it would not be operational until a year or two later. Less complicated times, with some absolutely cracking telly, I think.

Not all jam of course - no rosy coloured specs here, but I still think better. People seemed more concerned, more united. I don't recall ever living in a peaceful, lovey-dovey era. As far as I'm concerned, the "flower garden" '60s thing is a complete myth, but I still think people were a bit more caring in the 1980s than they are now. We didn't watch soaps in the constant hope of tracking serial killers or witnessing a gigantic explosion, for instance. We cared about the characters, enjoyed an occasional "blockbuster" story-line, but also savoured the far more common everyday trivia stories.

I wonder how much our multimedia world of today has contributed to the fragmented society we currently live in? There seem to be so few points of connection. Pubs are dying out round my way, and TV is no longer the great shared experience it once was.

Maybe I'm just getting old(er)! But I do have a sneaking suspicion that during the 1990s we grew smug and hypocritical - and complacent. We rewrote the past, let the politicians get on with it, and kidded ourselves we were lovely now the big bad '80s had gone.

Maybe it's just because I'm getting old (er!) but I can't help wondering...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Once Around Weatherfield - Part 1

So, at long last here is the first part of our Once Around Weatherfield challenge! Once Around Weatherfield focuses on the bit-part and recurring characters of Coronation Street's 1960s-1980s era, and asks YOU for the details! Who is the lady pictured above? Who did she play? What do you know about the character and the performer? Write us up a nice little biography, and we'll publish it! See our introductory feature here to get the full idea.

We look forward to hearing from you!