Christmas Comes Early For Coro Fans

July 1981: Ken Barlow (Bill Roache) and Deirdre Langton (Anne Kirkbride) tie the knot — back when NZ broadcasts lagged five years behind the UK’s.

To mark Coronation Street’s 60th birthday, TVNZ 1 will run a Diamond Jubilee Week of event programming from December 6-12.

In addition to the 9.30 Tuesday-Thursday broadcasts, there will be two primetime specials and eight daytime commemorations.

Over the past 30 years the show’s had a rocky history in this country, as a succession of TVNZ programming chiefs, starting with Australian Mike Lattin, tried to wean us off it as a primetime institution.

It endured haphazard scheduling — at one stage it was relegated to 5.30 — and after a heroic effort to close the five-year gap between NZ and UK broadcasts in the mid-1980s, the time difference was allowed to stretch to about two years.

But the programme’s value, especially on-demand, has led to it being rightfully recognised as one of the jewels in TVNZ’s crown (even if those of us who remember when Florrie Lindley ran the corner shop still quibble over today’s souped-up storylines).

So kudos to TVNZ for its courageous decision to fast-forward two years’ worth of storylines to the point where we now trail the UK by five hour-long episodes.

Here’s the full line-up of what to expect in Jubilee Week, complete with blurbs:

Coronation Street: Soapy Slip Ups (7.30 Tuesday) will expose what goes wrong on set, from misbehaving props and wardrobe malfunctions to cursing, missed lines and the cast’s own Giggling Gertie. Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald), Jimmi Harkishin (Dev Alahanl), Ben Price (Nick Tilsley), Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby), Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) and Jenny McAlpline (Fiz) are among the star who will reveal their biggest bloopers.

Coronation Street: 60 Unforgettable Years (8.00 Tuesday) is a 90-minute celebration of the soap’s 10,000 episodes airing, 57 birthdays, 146 deaths and 131 weddings. William Roache (Ken Barlow) and Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner), the longest-serving soap stars in the UK who have been off-screen because of COVID-19 concerns, are returning for the special (he’s been a fixture since it began and she for 48 years).

Coronation Street: Stories That Gripped the Nation (3.55 Sunday)

A look back at pivotal storylines that made headlines, broke new ground in television drama, challenged taboos and reflected the seismic changes in society which have occurred since the very beginning of the soap in 1960.

Coronation Street: Famous Faces (4.25 Sunday)

A parade of the famous faces that have graced the Street including Sir Ian McKellen, Joanna Lumley and Maxine Peak, plus those that have made cameos like Prince Charles, Cliff Richard, Mel B, Status Quo and Patrick Stewart.

Coronation Street: Off the Cobbles (4.30 Monday)

To Blackpool and beyond — a compilation of the most memorable trips residents took outside the comfort zone of Weatherfield.

Coronation Street: Villains (4.30 Tuesday)

Most wanted: the notorious baddies who stalked the Street.

Coronation Street: Battle-Axes (4.30 Wednesday)

Long before women’s lib, Coronation Street was built around the dominating matriarchs and grand matriarchs common to Northern working-class society.

Coronation Street: Scandals (4.30 Thursday)

Revel in the Street’s biggest scandals to date.

Coronation Street: Partnerships (4.30 Friday)

A tribute to the classic pairings and comedy double-acts that have kept us entertained since the first Milk Stout was poured in the Rovers.

Coronation Street: Weddings (4.30 Saturday)

A toast to the Street’s most memorable marriages: expect high drama, shocking scandals, camp comedy and the shedding of a tear or two.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

3 Responses to “Christmas Comes Early For Coro Fans”

  1. How did they manage to cut down the five-ear gap in the 80s, Phil? My first memory of Coro is the early ’90s watching with parents, and I don’t watch now but I’m a sucker for historical stuff like this so may end up watching a bit of it.

  2. It was 1985, Clint. Des Monaghan was controller of programming for both channels. He took the unprecedented step of stripping hour-long eps of Coro five nights a week at 7.30. I think the strategy closed the gap to about six months. Then successive regimes, starting with Lattin’s Aussie-skewed shake-up of the channels, let it stretch out to about two years.

  3. Interesting! Thanks for that!

Leave a Reply