Coronation Street is the oldest of the British TV soaps, first hitting ITV screens back on December 9, 1960. In fact, it’s the longest-running TV serial drama in the world!
Created by Tony Warren, and set in the fictional town of Weatherfield, in Greater Manchester, Corrie has always followed the lives of the working-class residents on the Street.
At the heart of Coronation Street has always been the local pub, The Rovers Return; it has seen hundreds of punters pass through its saloon doors over the past five decades, and dozens of landlords and ladies prop up the bar.
Just one of the original characters still features on Coronation Street to this present day… Ken Barlow, played by Bill Roache. He was a young, ambitious bright student back when the series began, but he’s never managed to reach his full potential and settled for a career as a teacher and later a local journalist.
He is Patriarch of one of the soap’s legendary dynasties… other families of note include the McDonalds, the Platts, the Duckworths, the Barlows, the Battersbys and the Connors.
Corrie has faced some criticism of late from viewers who feel the storylines have become too dark. In the past year alone, there has been a serial killer (Pat Phelan) on the rampage, a grooming plot (Bethany Platt), a male rape (David Platt) and a suicide (Aidan Connor).
However, a look back at some of the soap’s older storylines reveals that the show never shied away from heavy aspects of life: Emily Bishop was widowed in the 60s when her husband was shot dead; Rita Fairclough was the victim of domestic abuse back in the 80s.
Coronation Street currently airs six episodes a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It regularly pulls in some five million viewers.