10 facts about Coronation Street to mark Weatherfield soap's birthday

This Is Local London: Cast members from Coronation Street stand behind a ribbon on the new set during a photocall at Media City, Manchester. Cast members from Coronation Street stand behind a ribbon on the new set during a photocall at Media City, Manchester.

TODAY is the birthday of iconic soap opera Coronation Street which was first broadcast on December 9, 1960.

Some 53 years and around 8,000 episodes on from when Tony Warren’s creation first hit our screens, Corrie is a huge ratings winner with millions of people glued to the events of fictional northern town Weatherfield.

To celebrate the Street’s special occasion, here are 10 facts about the series you might not know (or remember):

  • Corrie was originally going to be called Florizel Street but the story goes that the title was changed after a Granada TV cleaner remarked on how the name supposedly sounded like a disinfectant.
  • A new purpose-built set for the show was unveiled last month. Based at Salford Quays close to the BBC's HQ, it is the fifth interpretation of the celebrated street and took about 3,000 workers more than two years to create. Of the 400,000 bricks used on the lot, 144,000 of them were reclaimed from a derelict row of properties in Salford.
  • Deaths greatly outnumber births in the show’s long history - 160 people bumped off (including heart attacks, car accidents, suicides, cancer, murders and electrocutions) to 47 babies born.
  • There have been 93 weddings. Mike Baldwin and Jackie Ingram had the shortest marriage, their wedded bliss lasting just seven days in 1991.
  • Married five times, Gail is the most-wed character.
  • Famous people you may have seen treading the famous Weatherfield cobbles include Joanna Lumley; Ben Kingsley; Ian McKellen; Stephanie Beacham; Patricia Routledge; Patrick Stewart; Martin Shaw; June Whitfield; Anna Friel; Nigel Havers.
  • Ken Barlow’s son Peter Barlow is the character to have been played by the most actors. The current performer Chris Gascoyne is the seventh to have had the role.
  • As the show’s sole-surviving original character, Ken Barlow has spent the longest time in Coronation Street followed by Emily Bishop.
  • It’s estimated that if real the Rovers pub would served more than 3.5 million pints since the soap started. The ‘beer’ used on the show is very weak shandy.
  • More than 5,000 characters have appeared during the soap’s long history. We bet you can probably only name about 4,950 of them at most.

Do you watch Corrie? What is it about the show that makes such compulsive viewing? Why are us Brits so obsessed with soap operas? What’s been your favourite Street moment of all time? Add your comments below.


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