Corrie Nation

Consider this: Tracey Barlow murdering her boyfriend with a blunt object, the scandalous affair between a married Deidre and local shop owner Dev, Kirsty abusing her husband Tyrone, the mysterious death of factory owner Frank, the kidnapping of Gail Platt’s family by psychopath husband Richard, and the tram crash of 2010. Mentioned above are just a small number of storylines shown on one of the world’s oldest television series.

Coronation Street is a show over 50 years old and a beloved soap opera watched by many all over the world. It’s particularly popular in both the UK and Canada. I have only been watching Corrie for seven years, and when I mention this to anyone around my age the typical response I get is: “It’s so boring though.” This is a response that would be true if you only watched one episode. Allow me to touch on the history of Corrie, why it’s so popular in Canada, and why it’s so exhilarating.

Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, a young man at the time, who wanted to create a show about working class folk who lived in a cobbled street much like the one he grew up on. Warren’s series proposal was rejected by many who thought it sounded “too dull” and wouldn’t get enough viewers. Granada television studios eventually accepted Warren’s scripts and Coronation Street debuted on British TV on December 9th, 1960. Coronation Street was a struggling soap at first with hardly any viewers, but within 6 months of the premier it would become the most watched British Programme.

11 years later, in 1971, CBC got the rights to start airing Coronation Street in Canada. Initially a success, Coronation Street became one of the most popular programs on CBC. Two reasons for this British soap being such a hit with Canadians is its depiction of a working class community combined with light-hearted humor. Other reasons why it has such a large fan base is because of the cast’s realistic looks, which you don’t see often in American soap operas. The Coronation Street cast is a combination of various age groups and very homely people. In 2007, I was an obnoxious middle schooler who thought I was above Coronation Street and its dull storylines. New Years Eve of that year I decided my News Year’s resolution would be to give Corrie a chance, and it was a life-altering decision. To explain how this glorious show isn’t dull or uneventful I will quickly highlight some of the more recent storylines, which basically sums up why I and so many others love it so much.

Three years ago, local pub owner Stella Price broke up with her cheating boyfriend Karl Munro and started dating a man 15 years her junior. Karl began stalking Stella and even at one point secretly setting her boyfriend’s truck on fire. Karl thought of a brilliant plan that involved another fire. Karl set Stella’s pub on fire so he could save her and win her back. It worked except someone caught Karl starting the fire, so Karl had to murder her and then all was well with him and Stella. A few months later, Stella and Karl got married. The wedding day is when Karl started unraveling and went as far as holding Stella hostage in the pub until turning himself in to the police. This is a lesson to us all on how to get a grip and keep quiet on the killer way you reunite with your ex.

Earlier this year, the always homely and four time divorcee/widow Gail Platt was robbed by one Michael Rodwell. Michael did steal Gail’s stereo that faithful day, and he eventually stole her heart as well and they married in the summer of 2015. Sadly, this marriage is already over after Gail lies about Michael’s son’s death and tells simple Michael that some random guy is his son (which he believes for almost a year).  They are not a couple that one would see on TV often as both Gail and Michael are two middle aged unattractive people.

These storylines and more are why Coronation Street is such a success and why it’s the longest running soap opera. Coronation Street is the show that keeps on giving and as it’s closing in on its 60th anniversary, one can only hope it will remain on TV for another 60.