Saturday 4 September 2010
Lovely – a little bit of a lie-in before we set off for Chorley and the Park Hall Hotel. It’s situated next door to a theme park called Camelot, which used to be owned by Granada TV. Anyway, we enjoyed a buffet lunch before setting out for Southport. The gentile seaside town was always used for Alma and Audrey’s shopping trips and it’s where Maria went into labour (remember Tony Gordon delivering the baby on the beach?) with only Ozzie as nursemaid?
Then it was off to the brasher Blackpool further up the coast. Again we had a bit of a surprise lined up as the BBC joined us (goodness, we’ll be more famous than the Corrie cast soon!) to record some stuff for an upcoming documentary about the Blackpool trams. You might just recall Alan Bradley being turned to strawberry jam on the front of one. We had some free time to explore the town and its attractions before we drove up the seafront – we saw the Tower (remember Norris ballroom dancing in there? And Tyrone proposing to Maria at the top?), the piers (as featured in a Peter/Simon storyline), the hotel where Rita was staying when Alan came for her and the spot where Alan (a much misunderstood man if you ask me!) coped it on the front of tram 710 (did you know that was 21 years ago this December?). We pulled up into a secret location and watched a Corrie video for an hour. Why? Because when the famous illuminations came on at 8pm we wanted to zip out from our secret place and straight into the line-up to see the whole thing. Rob, our superb driver, did a great job in getting us right at the front of the queue.
The illuminations were switched on yesterday by Robbie Williams (he did ask to meet us but as he hasn’t appeared in Corrie we politely refused!) and they stretch 6 miles, have over a million light bulbs, and cost £2.5m. Quite a sight!
The BBC stuck with us ‘til the bitter end – recording my commentary and some interviews with the guests. We’re getting quite media savvy now!