Sunday, 8 August 2010

Granada Studios Tours

I get quite a few people asking whether I can arrange visits into Granada Studios - and the answer, I'm afraid to say, is that I can't.  Of course, there used to be a 'theme park' based at the studios.  It's actually how I got to walk on the famous cobbles for the first time.  You entered off Water Street into a open-air New York set.  Once upon a time, that area had been home to the first outdoor Coronation St set!  It was also later used as Davenport's car showroom when Sally had one of her many flings.  Anyway, there were all kinds of things to do - a Baker Street set, a tram ride through Checkpoint Charlie, a Houses of Parliament set, a room where you appeared to have shrunk, even a mock up of the Rovers where you could buy lunch - and you could walk down the outdoor street set.  It was very good.  All that closed around 1999.  Since then access to the Coronation St set, and the studios, is very limited.  I have been to the odd corporate event there when a firm has hired part of the old tours area.  Sometimes a travel company books me for a locations tour and then they've managed to arrange a studio visit and I accompany them. 
However, what I do is offer visits to the 'off studio' locations.  Places like the one shown in the picture - it's where Richard Hillman drove the Platts into the canal.  He of course, died there.  Later, David drove his car into the water in an attempt to disrupt Sarah and Jason's wedding.  Other locations I tend to include are - the church where the majority of weddings and funerals take place, the hall where Steve and Becky married, the Red Rec, Wetherfield Quays (Don drove Alma into the water there.  Made a change!) where Steve proposed to Karen.  Places like that, out of the studios, but associated with some of the biggest stories.
If you still have a longing to visit the studios and the actual street set then look out for some of the competitions running for the 50th.  Check out the websites of some of the associated companies - Holland's Pies, Imperial Leather, Warburtons and so on.  Quite a few have studio visits as prizes.

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