Coronation Street

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Television series
Original title Coronation Street
Coronation Street.svg
Country of production United Kingdom
Year (s) since 1960
Episodes 10,077
genre Soap opera
idea Tony Warren
First broadcast December 9, 1960 on ITV

Coronation Street is a British television series . The series initiated by Tony Warren has been running on ITV television since December 9, 1960 . It depicts the everyday life of the residents of the eponymous street in the fictional industrial town of "Weatherfield".

Coronation Street is characterized by comedic, sometimes bizarre humor, but also addresses social issues such as homosexuality and transsexuality or crimes such as rape and serial murder .

In the first few months Coronation Street was partially broadcast live. Today the episodes are produced about six weeks before they air.

Coronation Street was the direct model for the German television series Lindenstrasse , which started in 1985 and which had a lifespan of 35 years.

The street

The fictional Weatherfield is reminiscent of Salford , an industrial city that is now part of Greater Manchester and even has a real "Coronation Street".

Coronation Street is a row of seven row houses inhabited by typical members of the British working class. The street is said to have been built in 1902 and named after Edward VII's coronation that year. The neighboring streets are called "Rosamund Street" and "Viaduct Street". The architecture of the street is based on Archie Street in Salford, which also appeared in the series' original title sequence. Originally, outdoor shots were shot in a slightly reduced setting within a studio. In 1968, the street was initially built as an open-air backdrop near the Granada studios, but it was still reduced in size. It was not until 1982 that a full-size backdrop was built. The houses are built of brick and are intended to be used permanently, but have no walls inside.

English Heritage refused to give the backdrop the status of a protected monument, as the buildings even in the oldest parts are not 30 years old and are only memorable for this series, but not for television in general. The long-term future of the set is uncertain as filming will be relocated to new premises in Trafford in 2014 . The city and a construction company have bought the entire site and are planning a new use there, the details of which will only be made known after the television studio has moved.

In addition to the residential buildings, there is a newspaper kiosk (The Kabin), a small snack bar (Roy's Rolls), a grocery store, a car repair shop, a bakery, a factory (Underworld) and the pub The Rovers Return on Coronation Street .

When broadcasting began in 1960, the series was not immediately successful and also controversial within the production company Granada. Last but not least, the location in the industrial north-west of England and the echoes of the local dialect helped the series to a certain popularity with viewers, as this region in the 1960s through films such as Saturday night to Sunday morning , the " Kitchen Sink " dramas of the BBC and the rise of the beat , especially the Beatles , became increasingly popular.

Plot and main roles

The stories focus on the everyday and family life of the protagonists and their social environment. From religion, politics and family to the redevelopment of neighborhoods, upheavals in everyday British culture are reflected in the long-running series. The secularization of society in “Coronation Street” becomes clear: At the beginning of the series, the Glad Tidings Mission Hall was still an important social meeting place, where street dwellers met for church services and social events, in the 21st century Emily Bishop is just one only practicing Christian resident of the street; otherwise the church is only occasionally mentioned at weddings or funerals.

At the beginning of the series, the everyday stories of Coronation Street mainly represented how the members of the working class themselves set up a kind of miniature class system with various gradations, which is characterized by demarcation from those who seem to be morally, culturally or economically inferior .

Only one role was retained for the duration of the series: Ken Barlow (played by William Roache ). Originally a radical offspring of an extended family, he symbolized the rebellious British youth of the 1960s. In the course of the series he has since worked as a teacher, newspaper editor, civil rights activist and even as a shopping cart collector in the supermarket, before he finally returned to the teaching profession. In the meantime he has been married three times, widowed once and divorced twice, fathered four times and had no fewer than 27 girlfriends. For decades, Mike Baldwin (played by Johnny Briggs ), a conservative clothing manufacturer, was Barlow's archenemy. The two not only clashed in political discussion, but were - typical of a soap opera - connected in many ways through personal relationships, including Baldwin's affair with Ken's wife Deirdre, who had been Baldwin's friend before they were married. Like their actors in real life, Ken and Mike eventually became friends.

Other famous roles include pub leaseholder Annie Walker , who was played by Doris Speed for over 20 years and thus rose to national fame, and the role of Tyrone Dobbs , who has been played by Alan Halsall since November 1998 .


The title music of the series, a piece for brass orchestra with the sound of the 1940s, was composed by Eric Spear and has only been changed slightly since it was first broadcast in 1960.

Broadcast date and quotas

Six episodes of the series are shown each week on three evenings (two on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) on ITV.

The episode of Ken Barlow's wedding to Deirdre Langton on July 27, 1981, had over 24 million viewers in the UK, more than Prince Charles and Diana's wedding two days later. Since then, the ratings have decreased, but Ken and Deirdre's wedding again in 2005 still reached 12.9 million viewers (again more than Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles in the same year). Coronation Street is still the most successful show on ITV with an average of over 10 million viewers. ITV2 and ITV3 show regular repetitions of old episodes.

For years, the annual Coronation Street Christmas episode has been considered part of Christmas in many British families. The 1987 Christmas episode had almost 27 million viewers.

The series has also been running successfully for many years in Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In the USA the series never got a foothold. In the Netherlands from 1967 to 1975 there were 428 subtitled episodes.

Rivalry with the EastEnders

The BBC series EastEnders , also a soap opera based on everyday stories of the working class, developed into Coronation Street's main competitor and, in comparison, had millions more viewers in the 1990s. Corrie was seen as old-fashioned and too far removed from everyday problems. By 2000, however, public perception turned and the more comedic approach of Coronation Street helped it attract more viewers than the EastEnders .

Today Coronation Street's main competitor is the soap opera Emmerdale , also broadcast on ITV , which has many similarities.


Coronation Street won a 2001 special award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for best soap opera. In 2003–2005, the series won the BAFTA Prize for Best Soap Opera.

Individual evidence

  1. 25 years “Lindenstrasse” , interview with Hans W. Geißendörfer at: Spiegel Online from December 6, 2010, accessed on August 23, 2014
  2. Coronation Street set refused listed status on BBC News June 11, 2012, accessed September 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Coronation Street site in Manchester sold for £ 26m on BBC News, September 27, 2013, accessed September 28, 2013


  • Katherine Hardy: Coronation Street. The Epic Novel . Granada, London 2003, ISBN 0-233-05097-3 .
  • Gerlinde Frey-Vor: Coronation street. Infinite drama and British reality. An analysis of soap opera as narrative and dramatic continuum . WVT, Trier 1991, ISBN 3-922031-59-5 .
  • To it Little: Forty Years of Coronation Street . Granada, London 2000, ISBN 0-233-99806-3 .
  • Daran Little: Who's Who on Coronation Street . Granada, London 2001, ISBN 0-233-99994-9 .
  • To Little, Christine Green: Coronation Street. The War Years . Granada, London 2001, ISBN 0-233-99972-8 . (Novel about street life in World War II , which has little to do with the series other than the location)

Videos about Coronation Street :

  • This Is Coronation Street . Directed by John Black. DVD. Acorn Media Publishing, 2003
  • Coronation Street: Secrets . Directed by John Black. DVD. Morningstar Entertainment, 2004

Web links

Commons : Coronation Street  - collection of images, videos and audio files