Friday, 17 September 2010


Charles Sturridge's television film based on actor/writer Tony Warren's fight to get his script for "Florizel Street" made by Granada Television is as perfect a piece of entertainment as I've seen on the box for many a day. It's easy to get snobby about soaps - I've given them up along with broadcast television - but I still remember clearly the day back in 1960 when CORONATION STREET(as it eventually became) first appeared on our screens. I was 14 at the time and now 50 years later it is still running. Like many I followed it for years and for many years I enjoyed it for its balance of drama and comedy. I was never a fanatical follower and it never worried me if I missed episodes but it was part of my life and there were many characters that I still feel genuinely fond of. This film tells how the show came into being, how the pivotal characters were cast and ends just as the first episode goes on air.I admit that I felt quite emotional watching it and loved the way that, like the show, it balanced the drama and comedy. It is helped enormously by casting that is near genius. David Dawson is superb as Tony Warren - keeping his portrayal of the then 22 year old writer just this side of camp - while it took me a good thirty minutes before I realised that the Canadian producer Harry Elton was played by none other than Christian Mackay who proves that he is more than a one trick pony after his portrayal of Orson Welles in ME AND ORSON WELLES. But Warren and Elton were behind the scenes faces and films of this kind can lose credibility if no attempt is made to cast the more familiar faces. Lynda Barron is magnificent as Violet Carson and Celia Imrie as regally perfect as Doris Speed. A nice touch was having James Roache play his own father William ("Well, it's only for 13 weeks")Roache but the real plaudets must go to actress Jessie Wallace(herself a veteran of over 500 episodes of EAST ENDERS) who gives a performance as Pat Phoenix that is so spookily accurate that it has to be seen to be believed. Steven Berkoff appears as Granada supremo Sidney Bernstein. Script is by Darren Little whose previous work includes EAST ENDERS, HOLLYOAKS and, of course, CORONATION STREET episodes. Rating ****


Dis Guy said...

Never saw that but I was a huge EastEnders fan when they used to show it here. Unfortunately they stopped showing it about five or six years ago.

Cerpts said...

Bring back Disa!!! Bring back Disa!!!

Nope, they never showed CORONATION STREET in America. Funny. Youda thunk they would have at some point. But yeah, EASTYENDIES was shown hear from its inception in the mid-80's until the commie pinkos at WHYY took it off the air in the middle of the previous decade.

However, I'm sure that having two comments which have absolutely nothing to do with the post about the CORONATION STREET movie should be worth a giggle and a sigh over the mental state of two Americans who can't get enough of this blog.

Weaverman said...