Coronation Street turns 60

The world's longest-running television soap opera notches up another anniversary.

December 9 marks the 60th anniversary for iconic British soap Coronation Street.

‘Corrie’ began on December 9th 1960, created by Tony Warren, revolving around the residents of a cobbled, terraced street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on inner-city Salford.

But it was not initially a critical success – Daily Mirror columnist Ken Irwin claimed the series would only last three weeks (embarrassing).

Since then it has notched up 10190 episodes, sales to over 130 countries, and counts tens of millions of viewers amongst its fans. In 2010 it became the world’s longest-running television soap opera and into the Guinness World Records.

The original cast of just 12 were filmed in Studio 2 at Granada Television with a wooden set representing the street and cobbles painted onto the studio floor with actors pretending to ‘step up’ on to an imaginary kerb.

Actor William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, has appeared on the show since its debut -now the longest-serving male television star in a continuous role.

ITV Studios has released two aerial views of its present ‘home’ next to a photo of the studio where it all started.

Showing what is now ‘the biggest single television production site in the world’ – the 3.12 hectare site in Trafford, MediaCityUK, is home to the 400 plus people it takes to make a single episode.

‘Corrie’ has been situated at MediaCityUK since 2014 and in 2018 a Victoria Street extension and another two studios were added, leading to a total of six dedicated studios.

It still screens in Australia on UKTV.

6 Responses

  1. My favourite show ever. I’ve been watching since 1980. Never missed an episode. When I came to Australia in 1987 channel 9 were showing eps from 1970 and by the time it caught up it went off FTA and Foxtel took over on Arena TV.

  2. Congratulations on 60 years! And it is still one of the highest rating shows on UK television. That is no a mean feat, to have outlived all manner of trends and changes in public taste over the decades.

    For my money the strongest characters have been those older northern women who also have a comedic side (intentionally or otherwise) to their character, such as the already mentioned Ena Sharples and Hilda Ogden, and current characters like Evelyn Plummer (played wonderfully by Maureen Lipman). And the relatively recently deceased Blanche Hunt was an absolute gem, and there are lots of YouTube clips with some of her best and most withering quotes about her hapless relatives (centred on the Barlow clan).

    Back in the 1990s I was able to do a tour of the Corrie set at its former Granada studios location in Manchester. It wax great fun, and the tour was populated by awestruck fans who…

  3. Happy Birthday to Coronation Street. I’ve celebrated by watching the BBC telemovie made for the 50th anniversary, ’The Road to Coronation Street.’ It’s a brilliant piece on the creation of the show. Plus watching episode one straight afterwards. I have the happiest of memories working there as a tour guide. Here’s to another 60 years.

  4. A real pity that this (and the other major UK soaps like Eastenders and Emmerdale Farm) are not shown on free to air. They would be good weekday afternoon content and would, I imagine, be a cheap viewing option – better than the endless news services at least.

  5. Congratulations to Corrie and all the cast and crew, past and present. What an achievement. It has helped shape TV and left a legacy of some of the greatest characters in TV history (I’m looking at you Ena and Hilda). This show is so ingrained into my family’s DNA first through my Nana, then my mum and now us kids. It will forever hold a special place in my heart not just as a platform for entertainment and escapism, but as something that connected us through the years and helps the memory of my Nana live on in our minds. The countless conversations with her that started with “did you see Corrie last night?” I’ll treasure forever. The 60th anniversary companion book is also a treat! Congratulations and here’s to another 60.

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