It’s a public holiday here today and we took the opportunity to have a noon departure giving anyone with jet-lag chance to lie in or the more adventurous to take some city air and explore the streets around the hotel.
We did a quick drive around the outside of the Granada Studios complex so that I could tell them the story of Granada itself – of the Bernstein brothers who founded it, where the name comes from, why Canadians were brought over to help start it, and just how many Corrie street sets there’ve been.
Next we crossed into the city of Salford, where creator Tony Warren was born and raised. First stop was a real Coronation Street. Yes, it has terraced houses and yes, that’s its real name. We found out why Prince Charles has visited it and how it’s featured in several TV shows. Then we drove past rows of terraced houses and back yards until we reached the park they use to film the Red Rec scenes. It’s also the spot from where they used to film the shots of roof tops and chimneys which were featured in the opening and closing credits. I say ‘used to’ because the houses here have been renovated and look nothing like they used to. As we drove to our next locations we passed a spot where someone (you’ll have to wait for this is Canada) escapes from an ambulance. ….
|The Granada Studios|
Next stop was a little street where Weatherfield Community Centre sits (remember Blanche holding forth at the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in there?) and it’s also been used when Roy and Ken were accused of drug dealing and when Chesney ran away. It also gives me an opportunity to explain how filming is done and what makes a good Corrie location (it was a bit odd giving this talk whilst being filmed!)
The film crew then left us as we headed to the Trafford Centre, a huge indoor shopping mall built in an Italian style. After an hour or two it was back to the hotel for a free evening. Again, we were lucky, ITV were airing a double episode focused on a big event!
Spoiler bit – Tony Gordon escapes and returns to Weatherfield.
Tonight ITV is showing Roy and Hayley’s wedding.