1989: Brian Tilsley stabbed, Vera Duckworth stone-cladded, the Street transformed by demolition and building work, and the arrival of the PSCs. No wonder Percy Sugden (Bill Waddington), Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy) and Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) look aghast!
Looking at episodes from as recently as the 1980s, I'm surprised at how little exterior set and location filming there was. Why was that?
Well, for most of the 1980s, exterior and location filming was a cumbersome and costly business, Cerys. It was in 1989 that new Corrie executive producer David Liddiment decided to make use of new technology - PSCs, portable single cameras - and so "up" the outdoor work.
The excellent book The Coronation Street Story by Daran Little (1995) reveals:
For years, writers had been restricted to using only one or two location scenes per episode. This was because the scenes would have to be shot on expensive film rather than cheaper studio tape. By the late 1980s, however, lightweight equipment that used tape rather than film made location filming more economic. The cast suddenly found they had to use a new technical term 'PSC' (Portable Single Camera), and adjust to working at weekends.
And so, as The Street moved out of the 1980s and into the 1990s, the world was its lobster - as Hilda Ogden might say.
One of the first changes made in 1989 was the introduction of Bettabuys Supermarket into the story-line - filmed on location at a real supermarket.