Sunday, 3 August 2014

Downton's Corrie connections

All the tours from Canada this year are combining a visit to the filming location of Downton Abbey.  This show has been a huge worldwide hit and has driven thousands of tourists to visit Highclere Castle and the village of Bampton where the house and village scenes are shot.  They are actually some way apart!

There are a few Corrie connections to the cast.  Rob James Collier of course played Liam in Corrie and now portrays Thomas in Downton.  Joanne Froggatt played Zoe, a cult member in Corrie (the cult was called The Cult of Nirab - Nirab being an anagram of Brian.  The producer at the time being Brian Park).  She plays Anna in Downton.  Siobhan Finneran who played nasty O'Brien also appeared in Corrie back in 1990.  Her character was Josie Phillips, a loud-mouthed machinist in the factory when Mike Baldwin had it.  Lord Grantham himself however never trod the Corrie cobbles - but he did appear in EastEnders as a teacher!

My own cast connection is to Mrs Patmore, actress Lesley Nicol, with whom I worked at the Bolton Octagon Theatre many years ago.  The play was written by a Corrie writer!

O'Brien used to work for Mike Baldwin.