Tuesday, 18 August 2009


I've managed to persuade precocious Corrie five year old Simon Barlow (right) to fill in a question and answer form for me!

The enfant terrible of the street has baffled viewers with his IQ of 197. He could hold his own in conversations with previous thespian types who have walked the cobbles such as Sir Ian McKellen and, ahem, Joanna Lumley.

These are some of his views.

Q: How old are you, Simon?

A: Age is such a figurative concept. Indeed, our physical physiognomy changes over the years but our inner being is mercurial. To me, age is irrelevant.

Q: Do you enjoy working on Coronation Street?

A: I enjoy work in that it is a challenge. It is refreshing to be among actors, although some of them are a little shallow as people. Still, of course, even the dull and ignorant have their story. Hopefully, my time on The Street (as it is known) will be a platform upon which I can build my real ambitions.

Q: What are your real ambitions?

A: I strive. Every day, I strive. One should never be content with one's lot. In some way, I want to act. There are not many openings for real actors in this day and age, which is rather sad. I want to do my real work as an actor in the fringe theatre, but one has to pay the bills so one may have to look into other options. I also strive to be a sculptor, and to carry on the work done by Henry Moore. However, these are just the tip of the iceberg of my ambitions, if one wants to mix metaphors. Ha ha!

Q: Is it frustrating to be typecast as a "Coronation Street star" at such an early age?

A: Au contraire, because I am so young my whole life is ahead of me. I can throw aside the so called typecasting and become myself! As I said before, age is irrelevant but one should strive to change throughout life so that one is like shifting sands. In this way, one is not "typecast"!

Q: How do you intend to change like shifting sands?

A: The phrase "Renaissance Man" is not in use so much nowadays, but I intend to become a Renaissance Man. I want to act, to sculpt, to paint, to compose, to study, to save lives. It is my ambition to surprise people and to innovate. In that way, one can never become dull!

Q: What do you intend to study?

A: At present the ideas are very vague, but I certainly intend to get into the Sorbonne by the age of eight at the latest. The child maths prodigy Ruth Lawrence is a huge inspiration to me. She understood, and controlled, the beauty of mathematics. Perhaps I will study mathematics! The Greek approach to mathematics is a constant source of fascination to me. If only today's culture were like the Greek culture!

Q: Do you have an interest in the modern arts - for instance, pop music?

A: Ah, I have arguments with other people about popular culture all of the time! It is so vacuous! Why should one listen to the thumping gibberish of a modern popular music star such as Madonna when one could be awed and lose oneself in the works of Rimsky-Korsakov? The actor who plays Peter Barlow is trying to persuade me to listen to the music of the popular group Animal Collective, and tells me that they will change my pre-conceptions about popular music. He says that we must go to see them at Manchester Academy (a venue) when they next perform! They have been described as "challenging" and "innovative" which certainly appeals to me. Well - we shall see!

Q: What are you reading at the moment?

A: I am reading Homer's Odysseus in the original language. Therein lies its true power and ability to shock and inspire us - still.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, Simon!

Thursday, 23 July 2009


"The Rita Tushingham Community Centre".


Monday, 15 June 2009


Bernie Nolan

Ever since Awful Mollie's Auntie Pam turned up in The Street she has cast a shadow of inertia and low level misery over the cobbles :(

Her nylon anoraks, the enormous patent plastic mock snakeskin shopping bag she smuggles past-its-sell-by-date luncheon meat in and her Nolan Sisters hairdo (the standard hairdo which was inflicted on any woman who visited a provincial hairdresser from 1974-1983 inclusive) ... all of these things in themselves would be enough to send the viewer into a vague depression.

Far worse though, her character gets involved in all of the feeblest plots on the street, brings out the worst in writers and she is most closely associated with Corrie's other least likeable characters (Awful Mollie and her Village Of The Damned eyes and relentless jauntiness! Gormless mouth breather Tyrone, nearer to an ape than a human being! No wonder poor Jack Duckworth takes such long extended leaves of absence these days).

Last week's Pam went on a double date with Bill Webster, Gabrielle "Nick Drake's sister" Drake and some bloke who looked as if he could have been in a second rate 1950's British comedy film alongside Ian Carmichael and Pat Coombs.

Pam was pretending to be a concert pianist in order to impress 1950's man and Gabrielle "Nick Drake's sister" Drake.

The script was so awful that I actually started to feel sorry for Pam. I'm sure that at some point she said "oooooooh, Brahms and Liszt!" in a pseudo posh accent.

Perhaps it's time for Pam to go back to her day job in The Nolan Sisters.

Co-incidentally, The Nolans are undertaking a 17 date tour of Britain. They will be hitting all the high spots - Talk Of The Town in Middlesbrough and Weston Super Mare's Winter Gardens among them. Book early to avoid disappointment!!

Monday, 18 May 2009


So, farewell then Scary Mary. You didn't have your evil way with Norris Cole, so all is well and good. The idea that anyone would want to have their evil way with Norris is so abstract that it's impossible to understand. Still, if anyone WAS remotely attempting to get into Norris's knickers, it would be Mary ...

Scary Mary in younger, leaner, hungrier and sexier times.

I'm not sure what Mary's real age is, but mentally she is about 74. Most of us are pathetically attempting to hold back the years ("well, you speak for yourself!" says the blog's only reader). Mary is hurtling towards the grave happily. Having seen her enormous and terrible mother off to the afterlife, she has acquired a camper van and has been dreaming of travelling the world in her twilight years (ie., now, when she's about 38 or summat).

Mary reminds me of the kind of 70+ women who go to BHS on a weekday morning and have an enormous dump which stinks the toilets out for the rest of the day. I think they get a lot of enjoyment from keeping a regular habit. It gives them something to do other than watch This Morning and besides, it means that they don't leave any unpleasant aromas in their own bathroom.

Yep, Mary thinks like a pensioner alright ...

... except that the scriptwriters went into "fringe theatre" mode, and sent her a bit doolally before her exit.

You know what Corrie's fringe theatre scripts are like, don't you? Full of quirky stuff, knowing references and innuendo. You usually have to suffer them on Friday nights, presumably because viewers have had a couple of drinks and can handle the more offbeat vibe.

Suddenly, Mary was throwing herself at Norris, lighting joss sticks to "get rid of any fishy odours" (fnar fnar) and yabbering about Sheena Easton's avant garde hemlines.

WTF? as they say nowadays.

Mary's exit has coincided with the arrival of Norris's "long lost" (soap speak) brother, who naturally has a dark, daaaaark secret.

Come on, we're not that stupid. Anyone over the age of 40 will KNOW WHO HE IS!

... it's Leonard Sachs off of The Good Old Days! Why is that a dark, daaaaaaark secret exactly?

Sunday, 3 May 2009


I've had high hopes that Ken Barlow's torrid affair with Stephanie Beecham would lead to some happiness during Ken's twilight years. Um, actually, hold on - Ken is probably only *59* in Coronation Street years, so I should really say middle age.

Anyway, since Ken walked the ghastly, foul smelling dog Eccles down the towpath and had a chance encounter with the former star of The Colbys he's finally blossomed as a human being.  At last he has found someone who he can talk to about Ibsen, especially as Stephanie once starred in Ibsen's The Doll's House!  They can remember the Ban The Bomb marches, they can remember "smoking potash" and they both luff A Kind Of Blue, as well as all sorts of classical music and proper literature and all!

Back in Ken's house on Tha Street, it's impossible to have conversation or the thrill of shared experiences.  Usually it's as packed as a phone box is when there's an attempt to break the world record for the number of people who can fit into a phone box.

It is impossible to have an *interesting* conversation with Missus Ken (Deirdre).   On and off, Ken has been in a reliable but unexciting relationship with Deirdre for millions of years.  Since he's been retired, he spends as much spare time as possible at the library.

Well, until he finally took the ghastly, foul smelling dog Eccles for a walk down that towpath after it had disappeared from Corrie for two years.   There he encountered Stephanie Beecham and her barge and her drapey grey cashmere cardigans and her bohemian outlook on life.  This was a heady taste of the exotic to poor emotionally famished Ken.

The affair was a slow burner, and Stephanie said she was calling it quits when she found out that Ken was married.  Except, what with her being a woman and all, she has now offered Ken an ultimatum: come with her as she chugs off to Tamworth to see some friends ... or get out of her life forever.

It will all end in doom and Ken will be even more frustrated, which will give him the chance to *get his teeth* into some *real acting*.

My guess is that Stephanie will head all the way to London with Ken, then will dump him for a young black actor who is playing Othello.

Still, only time will tell.  Maybe they'll reach their own crossroads at Bagnall Lock.  Watch this space.


This is yet another Coronation Street blog but this one is different from the other ones, oh yes. The reason that it is different is that there will be a number of inaccuracies, because I usually watch *Britain's Best Loved Soap* through beer goggles, shouting at the screen.

I should imagine that I'll be fairly opinionated rather than objective. That's the way I've been on other blogs, so why change a failing format, eh?

The opinions expressed in no way reflect the opinions of anyone who gives a fuck.  Carry on reading if you want to.