The minute Weatherfield’s 63 bus pulled into Coronation Street we were on the edge of our seats, as Coronation Street’s live episode, celebrating ITV’s 60th birthday, got underway.
And what an episode it was!
From Roy Cropper losing his rag with the local bus service for being early (twice!), to Kylie Platt nutting villain drug dealer, Callum Logan, over the head with an adjustable pipe wrench, it was packed-full of classic soap moments.
But the biggest surprise of all was that not one of the 47 cast members taking part in the soap spectacular fluffed a line. In fact, the only noticeable error in the hour-long live special was a minor glitch with the sound five minutes before the end credits, when heartbroken Craig Tinker (Colson Smith) couldn’t be heard for a few moments. Coronation Street have well and truly set the bar for live television for some time to come.
And let’s be honest, as much as we wish the hardworking cast and crew well in these sorts of endeavours, not-so-secretly we all long for Acorn Antiques moments, such as a panicked Jake Wood (Walford’s Max Branning) sticking his fingers down his throat in EastEnders' 2010 live episode, or Jo Joyner’s ‘Where’s Adam?’ moment earlier this year in EastEnders’ 2015 live outing.
And there were other, outside, concerns for the Coronation Street bosses this time round. Namely, the worry that fans attending the Manchester United Vs Ipswich Town match at Old Trafford, close to the studio, might begin to sing the EastEnders’ theme tune and be overheard during the show! But fortunately for all, the cheers for Wayne Rooney’s goal midway through the match weren’t picked up in the live episode!
So the highlights, in no particular order…
The killing of Callum
Sarah Lou Platt’s ill-advised attempts to dupe Callum (Sean Ward) into confessing his many crimes, while she secretly recorded their conversation, backfired spectacularly when wannabe-Columbo, Sarah, (Tina O’Brien) forgot to put her phone on silent and Callum rumbled her plans.
Things turned murderous as he viciously attacked Sarah, only to be suddenly killed by Kylie with a single blow to the back of his head with one of Jason Grimshaw’s builders’ tools!
Terrified Sarah and Kylie called David (Jack P Shepherd) who convinced his sister and wife they needed to get rid of Callum’s body. But their plans to dump the dead drug dealer hit a major bump when Tony and Todd stole Callum’s car and took it for a joyride, before blowing it up!
Down in a hole
Left with no other options (calling the police is never an option in Soapland) David convinced Kylie (Paula Lane) that the best place to stash Callum was in a manhole discovered recently in the Platts’ house. And there he lies, still…
Roy Cropper lost the rag quite a few times in this episode. First with the 63 bus driver who was three minutes ahead of schedule. Roy’s predicament struck a chord with viewers when he later expressed his frustration at the public transport’s report procedure exclaiming: ‘As a rule I eschew exclamation marks, but on this occasion I am going to make an exception!’ Carla managed to get to the root of birthday-boy Roy’s real problems – he was having difficultly accepting his blossoming romance with widow, Cathy, played by Melanie Hill.
Later reticent romantics Roy and Cathy had a heart-to-heart on the back of the 157 bus (it’s a long story). It was a tender and loving moment and led to the couple’s first kiss.
Worse for wear after a few wines, Anna blurted out in the packed Rovers that Sally and ex-husband Kevin recently shared a smooch! Craig was stood up on his first date with Caitlin. And Lloyd was stood up by his best mate, Steve McDonald, who failed to wake up from a drunken stupor and attended Lloyd and Andrea’s going away party. Everyone else, however, waved goodbye to Lloyd and Andrea, who departed Weatherfield for Jersey in a plume of balloons and exhaust fumes
So what does the future hold?
Well, David and Kylie have their work cut out for them in trying to remove Callum’s body from Weatherfield Murder Central, i.e. the Platt household, and making it look like he’s simply disappeared.
With Sally and Tim’s relationship in tatters, we’ll discover whether anything happened between Tim and Anna - he stayed over at hers after discovering best mate Kevin and fiancée Sally kissed…
And hopefully we’ll see Eva back in her rightful place behind the bar, after Sarah Lou’s no-show for most of her shift.
In other news, Manchester United won their match against Ipswich, but that’s not really our remit…
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