Fascinating Coronation Street facts
- Coronation Street began at 7pm on Friday 9th December 1960. The first episode was transmitted live. Nearly 7,500 episodes later Coronation Street continues to be a ratings success, captivating audiences worldwide.
- A young scriptwriter called Tony Warren created the series, originally titled Florizel Street. The first episode was penned within 24 hours, 13 episodes were commissioned and the face of British television was set to change forever.
- Tony Warren penned a total of 76 scripts between 1960 and 1976.
- The theme tune was written by Eric Spear, who died in 1966.
- Viewers were given their first glimpse of Coronation Street in full colour when the first colour episode was transmitted on 3rd November 1969.
- A live episode was broadcast to mark the series' 40th anniversary in December 2000 - the first time the show had been broadcast live since 1960 and 1961.
- Famous faces who have walked on the Weatherfield cobbles include: Joanna Lumley; Ben Kingsley; Ian McKellen; Stephanie Beacham; Patricia Routledge; Patrick Stewart; Martin Shaw; June Whitfield; Anna Friel; Nigel Havers.
- Famous fans include: Anthony Hopkins; Michael Parkinson; Julie Walters; Cliff Richard; Victoria Wood; Cilla Black; Cheryl Cole; Snoop Dogg.
- A number of famous faces have paid visits to the set including: Diana Dors; Dustin Hoffman; Alfred Hitchcock; Howard Keel; Boy George; Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair; Queen Elizabeth II; The Duke of Edinburgh.
- Celebrities who have appeared as background artists on the show include: Cliff Richard; Mel B; Peter Schmeichel.
- William Tarmey and Elizabeth Dawn both appeared as
background artists for several years before making their debuts as
Jack and Vera Duckworth.
- Rita Littlewood first appeared on screen on 2nd December 1964.
- Betty Turpin made her first appearance on 2nd June 1969.
- The 1,000th episode was transmitted on 24th August 1970.
- Roy Barraclough played three different characters during the 1960s, before first appearing as Alec Gilroy on 26th June 1972.
- After 13 years, Patricia Phoenix (Elsie Tanner) left the programme on 8th October 1973. She returned in 1976 and remained for 8 more years, appearing in 1,641 episodes.
- Mike Baldwin made his first appearance on 11th October 1976 and bowed out 30 years later on 7th April 2006 after 2,383 episodes.
- Doris Speed was awarded an MBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 29th November 1977.
- On August 8th 1979, the programme was taken off air as part of an ITV strike. It returned to the screen on 24th October.
- Violet Carson made her last appearance as Ena Sharples after 1,150 episodes on 4th April 1980.
- Jean Alexander made her last appearance as Hilda Ogden on 25th December 1987 - an episode watched by 26 million people. In 1988, she became the first soap opera performer to be nominated for a BAFTA award.
- The first death was the original resident of No.13, May Hardman, in Episode 7 on 31st December 1960.
- Out of 114 deaths on the show, there have been 14 murders and seven were suicide.
- The first birth was Elsie Tanner's grandson Paul Cheveski on 12th June 1961.
- The first Street wedding was that of Jack and Annie Walker's daughter Joan to Gordon Davies on 8th March 1961.
- On 4th August 1962, Ken Barlow - today the show's
sole-surviving original character - married for the first time,
having sold his scooter to fund the wedding. Valerie Tatlock became
bride number one when she walked up the aisle at St
- The most enduring marriage on the Street was that of Jack and Vera Duckworth, who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary just months before Vera's death in January 2008.
- The shortest marriage was that of Mike Baldwin and Jackie Ingram, whose union lasted only seven days in 1991.
- 51 barmaids have served behind the bar of the Rovers Return since 1960.
- Kenneth Cope holds the record for the cast member with the longest time elapsed between appearances. There was a 42-year gap in his stint as Jed Stone between 1966 and 2008.
- Ben Price is third actor to portray Nick Tilsley, following Adam Rickitt (1997-2004) and Warren Jackson (1981-1996).
- Peter Barlow is the character to have been played by the most actors. Chris Gascoyne (2000-present) is the seventh incarnation, following David Lonsdale (1986); Joseph McKenna (1977-1978); Linus Roache (1973-1975); Christopher Dormer (1970-1971); Mark Duncan (1970-1971); John Heanneau (1965-1969).
- There have been only two episodes broadcast featuring only two characters. In January 2000, Curly and Raquel Watts were reunited in a Millennium special. In 2007, Tracy Barlow confessed to murder to her mother Deirdre in a tense two-hander.
- The series originally aired twice a week. A third weekly episode was introduced in 1989, and a fourth in 1996. Coronation Street has broadcast five times a week since 2002.
- The production team has travelled abroad to film at
foreign locations on seven occasions: Majorca (1974); Torremolinos
(1987); Normandy (1994); Amsterdam (1998); Paris (2000 and 2006);
- There have been five spin-off video/DVD releases: The Feature Length QE2 Special (1995); Viva Las Vegas (1997); Out of Africa (2008); Romanian Holiday (2009); A Knight's Tale (2010). A six-part series ('After Hours') set in Brighton, featuring the returns of Bet Gilroy and Reg Holdsworth, aired in November 1999.
- The show's most prolific director was the late Brian Mills, who directed 524 episodes between 1968 and 2000.
- Famous directors who cut their teeth on Coronation Street include: Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter); Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough, The Chronicles of Narnia); Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited, A Handful of Dust). Charles also recently directed The Road to Coronation Street which is the story of the show's conception by Tony Warren.
- Peter Whalley is the series' longest-serving writer, and has been on the team since 1979, penning more than 540 episodes.
- Notable writers who have contributed scripts over the years include: Kay Mellor (Band of Gold, Fat Friends); Paul Abbott (Shameless, Clocking Off); Sally Wainwright (At Home with the Braithwaites, Unforgiven); Lucy Gannon (Soldier Soldier, Bramwell); Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, The Street).
- The current exterior Street set was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh on 5th May 1982.
- HRH The Prince of Wales made a pre-recorded cameo appearance in the 40th anniversary live episode on 8th December 2000.
- On 14th December 1994 Tony Warren collected his MBE from Buckingham Palace.
- In HM Queen Elizabeth II's 2010 birthday honours, Barbara Knox and Eileen Derbyshire were awarded MBEs.
- The top 10 longest-serving cast members:
1. William Roache - 51 years
2. Eileen Derbyshire - 49 years (50 years on 27th January)
3. Betty Driver - 42 years (Died 15th October 2011)
4. Barbara Knox - 39 years
5. Anne Kirkbride - 39 years
6. Helen Worth - 37 years
7. Elizabeth Dawn - 32 years
8. Sue Nicholls - 31 years
9. William Tarmey - 31 years
10. Johnny Briggs - 30 years