Friday, 26 November 2010

When Was Mark Eden Wally Randle? Answer: 1981 - And No, You're Not Going Bonkers!

Wally Randle in 1981? No, you crate egg, it's Alan Bradley in 1988!

Speaking as somebody who can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, I was set in a spin by an e-mail today:

Claire writes:

When exactly was Mark Eden Wally Randle in Coronation Street? A Manchester Evening News article states he was Elsie's love interest in 1974, and Mark himself indicates 1979 in his autobiography, yet I have all the Granada Plus repeats and it's 1981! Elsie was not even in the Street in 1974 - Pat Phoenix took a break from 1973-1976. Am I going bonkers?!!!!

No, you're not, Claire - Mark Eden was Wally Randle in 1981. He appeared from February to April of that year. I believe he landed the role in late 1980. Elsie saw Wally in a romantic light, Wally didn't see Elsie in the same way at all, and away he went.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Grape Street Set - Why Was It Re-Built In Brick?

The old brick-built facade in the early 1980s. How can I date this? Because the new front door at No 3, fitted in 1980, is in place!

Andrew writes:

I've just read on Corriepedia that the original wood and lath exterior set which was erected on the Grape Street lot in 1968 was rebuilt in brick in 1969 possibly because of the advent of colour TV showing up the fake bricks. Is this merely supposition? I always thought that HV Kershaw wanted it rebuilt in brick so that it would be more hardy?

You are probably better off contacting the "Corriepedia" people, Andrew, but according to all the resources I have at my disposal (including Mr Kershaw's 1981 book, The Street Where I Live), HV Kershaw was worried by the effects of a single winter on the original structure and asked for money to rebuild it in brick.

The original outdoor Street terrace set made its final appearance on-screen around early November 1969 - in an episode that would have been recorded in the October. The building of the new set then took place, in time to avoid the worst of the winter weather.

I have never read that the impact of colour on the Street set had any bearing on the decision to rebuild the terrace facade. Mr Kershaw's concern seemed to be simply that it would withstand the elements. As he was in charge at the time, and left records of his concerns, I go with them.

In fact, I can heartily recommend The Street Where I Live (1981 - updated edition published 1985). It's a fabulous insight into the first twenty-five years of The Street by a man who was there from the start.

A totally engrossing read!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Did Tony Warren Plan To Blow Up Coronation Street?

Percy Sugden: "This street is nothing but an eyesore, Councillor Roberts - it should've been blown up in 1960!"

Alf Roberts: "Nay, Mr Sugden, there's more bulldozers than explosions round 'ere. Now, if we were to hire a Tardis and go forward twenty-three years, well, I wouldn't want to be standing here..."

Katie writes:

Just read in the Sun that Tony Warren wanted Coronation Street blown up after 13 episodes. As Daran Little, he of the fevered imagination, said this, and I don't trust him - although he's hailed at the ultimate Corrie expert - I thought I'd ask for second, third and fourth opinions!

I've certainly read, several times in the '70s and '80s, that the Street had a demolition story-line built in as a possible early ending, but never that Tony Warren wanted it blown up or to only run to thirteen episodes!

In 1985, Tony Warren wrote in the book Coronation Street 25 Years:

"I was to go on writing to episode twelve, and plan a possible bulldozing of the Street for what might prove to be a final thirteenth episode."

I took it from that that the demolition story-line would simply have reflected the trend to pull down old terraces and build high rise blocks, and that Granada was providing itself with a get-out route should the show prove to be a disaster.

Do note that what Daran Little actually said (according to the Sun) was:

"His [Tony Warren's] vision was that, on the 13th episode, the Street would blow up, or something like that, and it would end."

What Tony Warren now has to say on the subject, I've no idea!

Only he knows what only he knows...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Speak Easy 5

Bright and breezy, free and easy - that's Speak Easy - here your voice can be heard!

Gary writes:

What do you make of the North/South rivalry between Coronation Street fans and EastEnders fans? Also, I read in a Coronation Street book that the London-based Press immediately got behind EastEnders in 1985, predicting that it would sweep Corrie under the carpet!

Hmmm... well, there's certainly no evidence of that in the newspapers I have from 1985, Gary!
In fact, Sun newspaper TV writer Charles Catchpole actually took a swipe at Midlands-based soap Crossroads when he wrote his review of the first EastEnders episode!

Coronation Street was, and is, very much of the North of England, very much of Lancashire, but the characters were, and I suppose are, universal. We working class folk all had Elsie Tanners, Len Faircloughs and Mrs Sharples living in our localities, and that was why it succeded. That's what made it complete and utter magic way beyond county borders.

The North/South rivalry "thing" was not something I ever encountered in my Street fan days, and as there's so much claptrap written on the internet, so much juvenile baiting, it's not something I can take seriously. Certain recent books on Street history also puzzle me when it comes to that point. England is a tiny country on a tiny island. The fact that Coronation Street was - and is - a hit across that country - and also in the neighbouring countries of the UK - and abroad, is something to be celebrated.

I'm from the East of England and I adored the show, wrote to Producer Bill Podmore and members of the cast many times in the mid-to-late 1970s, and it helped me through some pretty bad times when I was a child and into my early teens.

From the old lady from Kent who lives next door to me and has watched The Street from the beginning, only ever missing about twelve episodes in all that time, to my Glaswegian uncle-in-law, who was so dedicated to Bet Lynch/Gilroy it became a family joke, The Street is a hit. A young Polish man I work with, who only arrived here a few years ago, is absolutely hooked, and in fact I know people of many different origins who like the show.

As I said, Coronation Street is very much of the North of England. But its characters are recognisable to many different people, simply because they are people - and that's why its appeal is so wide!

And building up petty rivalry and bitchery based on location is not something I am familiar with, nor can have any truck with.

Life's too short.

Lorraine asks:

Could you update this blog more often? I'd like to see more regular stuff. I'm particularly looking forward to the continuation of your screen grab partition cubes, dealing with individual years in the Street's history.

I'm really glad you like the blog, Lorraine - and thanks for saying so!

I don't have a huge amount of time, and I'm a one-man-show here, so that's why updates are irregular. I am trying to update as frequently as possible, though.

In the pipeline, I have more of the "cubes" you mention, a look at early Street architecture as drawn by the original designer, Denis Parkin, a peep at an architectural quirk at the Ogdens', more Sadistic '60s, Savage '70s and Evil '80s, more cliffhanger quizzes, and a look at how the Daily Mirror celebrated the Street's 20th anniversary in 1980.

Please keep popping in.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

31 Years Minus 1 - Why Didn't Jack Duckworth Appear In 1980?

Jack and Vera Duckworth brought a touch of glamour to the Street with their stone cladding in 1989. Well, Vera thought so.

Lilian writes:

I've read so many tributes to Jack Duckworth and William Tarmey lately - all richly deserved because he truly was a Street legend. But some of the tributes say things like: "He's been a massive part of the Street for 31 years..." - and so on. Of course, those of us who do our research (often accused of being "pedantic" by those who don't and then get caught out) know that Jack first appeared in two episodes in late 1979, then disappeared until 1981, when he became a semi-regular. So, what happened to him in 1980?

He was mentioned occasionally, Lilian, but the production team simply hadn't decided to make Jack a full-blown character. Vera was the Duckworth in Coronation Street, had been for years - and she didn't even live there! The idea of bringing Jack in for occasional story-lines in 1981 was inspired, and the idea of making him a regular in 1983, by moving the Duckworths into the Street, was even more so.

Norris Cole, But Not Norris Cole Quiz Question...

Flaming Nora! It looks like Norris Cole has stumbled into a highly dramatic situation here!

But, of course, although the man on the right is Malcolm Hebden, now the lovely Norris, he wasn't Norris then. It was a different show and Mr Hebden was playing a very different character.

Can you name the show and the character Mr Hebden played?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

1987 - Part One!

1987! This was the climactic year when the 1980s sealed their fate as being a one Prime Minister decade by electing Margaret Thatcher for a third term, and in Coronation Street the subject of women in politics was also on the agenda...

Ken Barlow (William Roache) had hoped to stand for the local council, but his position on The Weatherfield Recorder put paid to that when his boss raised objections. Ken contemplated chucking the job in and going ahead anyway, but decided he must back down, being a man with responsibilities.

Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) had already fallen out with Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley), the existing local Independent councillor, and her boss at the Corner Shop, over matters political. This had resulted in her walking out on the job as Alf's assistant at the shop, which she had held since 1980.

And the idea was then born... if Ken couldn't stand for the local council, why shouldn't Deirdre?

And so she did.

Enlisting the help of Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor) and Susan Baldwin (Wendy Jane Walker), Deirdre sallied boldly forth.

Sally dropped out when she stepped into Deirdre's shoes at the Corner Shop. She couldn't very well campaign against her new boss. Deirdre totally approved.

Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow) complimented Sally on her approach to work at the shop, and Sally was thrilled.

Having heard there was a flat above the shop, Sally asked Alf if she and Kevin (Michael Le Vell) could rent it, but Alf said no - it was being used as a store room.

Sally sought the aid of her current landlady, Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander), asking her to tell Alf that she and Kevin would shortly be moving away from the district. Alf, dreading finding a replacement during his busy campaigning period, gave in - and Kev and Sal moved into the shop flat.

When a local youngster was run over at a local accident black spot, where Deirdre was campaigning for a pedestrian crossing, her election campaign really took off. Ken used The Recorder to report the story, complete with a photograph of Deirdre and the unlucky youngster.

Deirdre won the election.

She celebrated her victory with a party at The Rovers, where she was hoisted by Ken and Pete Jackson (Ian Mercer) and paraded around the pub, whilst her supporters sang She's A Lassie From Lancashire around the piano.

Alf and Audrey (Sue Nicholls) had attended the party, at Audrey's insistence - she didn't want the neighbours thinking they were hiding away, crushed by defeat.

Alf, feeling unwell, left early.

And, alone at No 11, he collapsed with a heart attack.

Audrey found him on the floor when she returned from the party.

She was terrified. As Alf was stretchered into the ambulance, she said: "Please God let him be all right... just let him be all right..."

A crowd of onlookers had gathered in the dark street. Hilda was there, of course.

"What's happened?" asked Sally Webster.

"It's Alf Roberts," Hilda sucked in her breath. "It doesn't look good to me!"

"That's it, 'ilda, let's all look on the bright side, eh?!" said Betty Turpin (Betty Driver), scathingly.

Deidre was devastated - blaming herself for Alf's condition. If only she hadn't stood against him in the election.

With some changes to his diet and a decrease in stress levels, Alf was expected to make a full recovery, but Audrey still let Deirdre have it, both barrels, when she called at the Corner Shop to see if there was anything she could do to help:

"Getting 'im out so you could go in! Well, all I can say, lovey, is enjoy it while you can, because do you know life has a very funny way of comin' round - and one of these days somebody might just come along and do the same to you!"

When Audrey returned to the Street with Alf in a taxi, Deirdre was just leaving on her first official council function.

She greeted Alf warmly, and Alf returned the warmth, telling her he felt fine.

"You want to get 'im inside, he looks worn out!" said Percy Sugden (Bill Waddington) to Audrey.

Nobody could be more insensitive than well-meaning Percy, who then said of Deirdre and Ken:

"They're off to the mayor making, you know, where they elect the new mayor, then they decide who's going to be on various committees. Then they 'ave a slap-up lunch."

Talk about rubbing Alf's nose in it!

Alf's smile faded: "Yeah, well, I do know what a mayor making is. I've been to one or two in me time, Percy!"

Being at home at No 11, recuperating, got on Alf's nerves, particularly as Percy elected himself chief visitor. Deirdre also visited, and although Audrey was still frosty, Alf gave her advice about her position on the council and seemed to have accepted the situation.

But he wanted to get back to the Corner Shop. How he longed to get back to the Corner Shop! Audrey told him to stop worrying about the place, he'd be back there soon enough and anyway it would be there long after they'd both departed this mortal coil.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Rita And The Duckworths - Everybody Needs Good Neighbours...

Florin asks:

How did Rita get on with the Duckworths? She must have been so disappointed when they moved in next door to her posh new house at number 7!

I think a groan ran through the entire street when Jack and Vera Duckworth (Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn) moved into No 9 in 1983, Florin.

They weren't anybody's idea of ideal neighbours.

Add to them shifty Terry (Nigel Pivaro), and you can appreciate that nobody was welcoming the Duckworths with open arms - apart from us viewers!

But Rita (Barbara Knox) seemed to get on with them fine, considering they were living in such close proximity. Well, as you can see above, she got on with them fine most of the time!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Why Only Three Decades?

After Alan Bradley walks out on her, an emotional Rita Fairclough pours her heart out to Bet Gilroy about how lonely and empty her life feels without him. Bet comments: "And there's norra lot on telly, is there?" Meanwhile, Vera Duckworth gets fruity with her Jack. Poor Jack is not happy!

An e-mail from Mrs Campbell:

I'm a recent convert to this site, and I enjoy it. But I wonder why you confine it to the first three decades? I'm not complaining, because I started watching Corrie in the early 1960s and I've never stopped, so this site brings back memories and provides great insights, but I'd love to see the events of the 1990s and 0's given your very distinctive treatment!

Thanks for writing, Mrs Campbell. I write about the first three decades because they interest me most, and also because I no longer watch soaps! The "big time strife" story-lines of today's soaps don't appeal to me. My favourite era of The Street originally was 1976-1984, but I've since discovered the '60s through various DVD releases and love that decade in the show! I stopped watching the show on a regular basis in 1983, simply because I was busy and with the original characters departing, apart from Ken Barlow, felt it would no longer greatly appeal to me.

Recently I've been watching hundreds of mid-to-late 1980s episodes, and the likes of Curly Watts, Phyllis Pearce, Terry Duckworth, Percy Sugden and Alec Gilroy - alongside Mavis, Rita and co - have absolutely delighted me. I'm astonished at how well the production team coped with the departure of so many of the old favourites.

This blog has been a little 1980s-centred recently simply because I am studying those episodes.

I didn't view the 1990s and 2000s episodes, and from what I've seen of them, after about 1992, they weren't really to my taste, so that's one reason I don't include them. The other is that thirty years is quite a wide time span to cover and keeps me very busy!

As I say, I don't watch soaps now, but I'm thrilled that The Street is about to make it to its 50th anniversary. It has always reflected viewers' tastes, always updated itself, and I daresay there'll come a time when the blockbuster explosions, murders, etc, are no longer in vogue and I'll return to watching it. It's like an old friend, and I hope it continues for at least another fifty years!

Friday, 5 November 2010

1988 - Part Two!

Some Corrie moments of 1988... click on the image to enlarge, then read the text below for the full story...

Back we go, back down the time tunnel to the decade of big hair, big shoulders and big trouble. Yep, we're talking 1980s, and as we land in The Street this time, we discover more events of 1988 via screen captures.

The wedding of Mavis Riley and Derek Wilton (Thelma Barlow and Peter Baldwin) had not happened in 1984. Both had had second thoughts on the day. But after Derek had proposed to Mavis through the Kabin letter box in 1988, a second try was on the cards. Derek decided to spend his stag night at The Rovers, where his "pals" decided to have some fun: Martin Platt (Sean Wilson) phoned the pub's private number from the payphone and Jack Duckworth (William Tarmey) called Derek to the phone, saying it was somebody called Victor.

Victor?!!

Derek went to the phone and Martin, who had no idea what Victor Pendlebury sounded like, told Derek that Mavis had decided to marry him instead!

But Derek was not fooled. Returning to the bar, he said so:

"Victor Pendlebury has a voice once heard never forgotten. You find that with opinionated people. For another thing, Mavis would never desert me for him, never in a million years."

One thing was troubling Derek: Percy Sugden (Bill Waddington) was paying him close attention. Was he...? Derek asked Jack, making a limp wristed gesture. Jack pointed out that Percy was always saying that his happiest days had been in the Army...

Derek was worried.

And after two pints and a brandy he was also extremely drunk.

Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) told Mavis about Derek's sorry state when she arrived at her hen night party, and Mavis sped round to The Rovers, tremendously concerned. But Derek was safely concealed in the back and Alec and Bet Gilroy (Roy Barraclough and Julie Goodyear) told Mavis that he'd gone home for an early night before the Big Day arrived.

Mavis's hen night went well, apart from a sozzled Vera unwittingly introducing the spectre of 1984 to the revels by singing There Was I Waiting At The Church.

Percy took Derek home in a taxi. "PLEASE DON'T LET HIM TAKE ME HOME!" wailed Derek, terrified of Percy's intentions. But if he had but known it, Percy was his guardian angel.

Our Mr Sugden had elected himself as the man who would make sure that Mavis was not let down a second time.

As Percy told Ken (William Roache), he'd been in charge of seeing that men went to the firing squad, and they'd gone to that wall smiling!

"Probably with relief!" Ken muttered to Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride), rather uncharitably.

Despite last minute doubts on Derek's part, Percy got him to the registry office. And at long last, Miss Mavis Riley became Mrs Mavis Wilton.

At Jim's Cafe, Gail Tilsley (Helen Worth) had employed Gina Seddon (Julie Foy) to help out as a waitress and to operate her new sandwich round. Gail had bought a butcher's bike for the enterprise. Gina was excited, seeing great promise in the venture if they expanded it: "We'll be a couple of yuppies in no time!" she told Gail.

When Alma Sedgewick (Amanda Barrie) called a halt to the venture, saying that she'd rather Gail concentrated solely on the cafe, Gail was not pleased and gave in her notice. She would operate the sandwich round independently with Gina. Brian (Christopher Quinten) was horrified, deciding that the venture was doomed to failure. Upwardly mobile Gail had a dream in which she could fly. And Sarah Louise could fly. And Nicky. But Brian would never be able to fly, never in a million years, she bitterly told her baby daughter.

Phyllis Pearce (Jill Summers) was horrified, fearing that Gail was making a bad decision which might leave her jobless, and also that changes at the cafe might affect her own little job.

Having played at being the big boss, Alma was severely shaken by Gail's decision to leave. She'd have to employ somebody else. How long would it take? Would she be stuck working at the cafe herself for a while?

She announced that the sandwich round could continue and gave into Gail's final demand that she should have a share of the profits.

So, it all ended happily.

Or did it?

Brian's failure to support Gail with her plans to set up on her own rankled with Gail.

And certainly did nothing for the Tilsleys' marriage.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Speak Easy 4

Back to The Speak Easy, where your views can be heard... Free and easy, bright and breezy, that's Speak Easy.

Janine writes:

I've been reading William Roache's book on 50 years of Coronation Street and he states that Ken and Mike disliked each other before the start of the Great Feud over Deirdre in 1983. Can you tell me about previous fall-outs between them?

Sorry, Janine, no. I have ALL the episodes from 1976 (before and including Mike's debut) until mid-1979 and there weren't any then. I've studied the episodes extensively, many times, and Mike and Ken did not exchange a single cross word. Perhaps they did in the early 1980s, pre-Deirdre drama? Certainly in 1983, at the time of the crisis, Ken made some very disparaging remarks about Mike! They were very different people. I've been reading William Roache's book, too - and I'm loving it!

It's so good to have Ken there - a character who spans ALL the years!

Debs writes:

I have received the Mark Eden book I won in your competition. Thank you so much. It's a smashing read and he has a lovely sense of humour!

Glad you're enjoying it - Alan Bradley is another Street legend! We remember Mark's first appearance in the show as Wally Randle in 1981. A brilliant actor. Viewing Alan's 1987 and 1988 "doings" recently has chilled us all over again and, of course, the worst is yet to come. We're looking forward to tucking into 1989!


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

1988 - Trouble All Round...

Eee, 1988 on't Street... Do you remember, chuck? Derek Wilton (Peter Baldwin) and Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow) made it to the altar - oops, I mean registry office - second time lucky - though Mavis wasn't impressed by a couple of smutty comments from Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor) at the Corner Shop when she and Derek returned from honeymoon. Marriage was not just about that sort of thing, she lectured Sally.

Quite right too...

Meanwhile, Rovers barmaid Gloria Todd (Sue Jenkins) had been feeling her biological clock ticking for some time. So, when she fell for a fella, perhaps marriage - maybe even kids - lay around the corner? Trouble was, the fella belonged to Rovers cleaner Sandra Stubbs (Sally Watts). Gloria couldn't help herself, although she felt terrible. She began seeing Sandra's fella and they really seemed to "click". Gloria was horrified when Sandra turned up for a natter at her flat one evening when she was entertaining Mr Wonderful.

Finally, she confessed all to Sandra and got a pint of beer in her face for her trouble. Gloria left the Rovers after the incident.

Alan Bradley (Mark Eden) had left Rita Fairclough (Barbara Knox) and was living in a bedsit away from the Street. Rita was completely besotted with the man, and begged him to return to No 7. Alan refused, but changed his mind when the bank refused to finance his business's move to new premises. Alan returned to Rita and daughter Jenny (Sally Anne Matthews) for his own benefit - with a plan in mind. He also secretly continued to see Carole Burns (Irene Skillington).

Terry Duckworth (Nigel Pivaro) made Vera (Liz Dawn) so proud when he began work for Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs). His work was mainly chauffeuring (Mike had been banned from driving), but there were prospects. When Terry took a married girlfriend out in Mike's Jag and her husband sprayed "STAY AWAY FROM MY WIFE" down one side, the writing was on the wall as far as Terry's career at Baldwin's Casuals was concerned. Vera was distraught. Terry left the Street just before Christmas, feeling that he no longer had much in common with old pals like Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) and that it was time to move on again.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Connie Clayton - Could She Make Perfect Pastry?

Clayton vs Duckworth: Vera (Liz Dawn), Jack (William Tarmey), Connie (Susan Brown) and Harry (Johnny Leeze) air their views in public. Flamin' Nora! What was that street comin' to?!

First it was Victor Pendlebury, now it's Connie Clayton - another obscure character from Coronation Street's past that has aroused great interest (well, ten e-mails!) here at Back On The Street.

Here's a few snippets from those e-mails...

Jane writes:

I remember Connie Clayton actually made it on to the legendary Black Type letters pages in Smash Hits in 1985! A reader expressed interest in the character, and Black Type pooh-poohed it, asking how much we actually KNEW about her? Was she qualified to look after Nicky Tilsley? Could she make perfect pastry?

LOL, Jane! Black Type is an '80s legend. I'm not surprised he covered the crucial topic of Mrs Clayton on his pages.

The MC Dent writes:

The Claytons struck a chord with me because they WERE so mundane and, as you wrote, all the conflict came from outside. Connie was very mumsy. I would of loved it if they had stayed.

Yes, it would have been fun, I think!

Keith asks:

Have you any more Clayton piccies? I was 9 in 1985 and they're one of my early TV memories. I liked Connie and Sue in particular.

The only other Clayton pics I have are featured in this post, Keith.

And finally, Sally says:

I know poor old Connie was miserable at Number 11, especially after the Duckworths kicked off. I think she had a particularly bad time, with Andrea letting the family down by getting pregnant like that and then Vera's dress. I think Connie felt it most of all. Do you know where the Claytons went when they flitted from the Street?

They went to live with Connie's mother for a while, Sally.

We've been watching episodes from 1988, featuring Alan Bradley's affair with Mrs Burns, played by Irene Skillington, and we can't help thinking about Ms Skillington becoming Mrs Clayton later.

And on that note, we'll close the book on the Claytons for a while.

But I'm sure we'll be featuring them again!

Vera thought that her new dress would make "Joan Collins look like a lollipop lady!"

Monday, 1 November 2010

Alan Bradley - The Cold, Dark Centre...

We've been watching episodes of Corrie from 1987 and 1988 and we must say we're bowled over by Mark Eden's performance as Alan Bradley. On the surface, Alan seemed like your average everyday bloke - a bit of a hot temper, but OK.

But there was a cold, dark void where Mr Bradley's heart should have been.

We found ourselves shuddering, watching him gently manipulating Rita into helping him financially with his plan to buy Brian Tilsley's garage in 1987, and his affair with Mrs Burns in 1988, resulting in his walking out on Rita and his daughter, Jenny.

He only returned to No 7 when finance for his business venture was not forthcoming from the bank, and then he put a new plan into action...

This was a slow build-up story-line, echoing real life. It lacked the occasional pantomime feel and outlandishness of the "Killer Corrie" Richard Hillman era. Corrie was more rooted in reality back then.

Alan Bradley was simply frightening.

He had his own logic.

And, at the end of the day, no heart at all.

Mark Eden's life story - Who's Going To Look At You? - is published today and we'll certainly be having a read. Insights into the life of the actor who brought Mr Bradley to life should be absolutely fascinating!