Corrie marks 50th with near faultless live episode
Coronation Street marked its 50th anniversary with a death, a birth and a wedding as it staged its first live episode in 10 years. Molly Dobbs, played by Vicky Binns, became the second victim of the tram crash disaster after finally confessing to Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor) that her husband Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) was the father of her baby Jack. Viewers saw Fiz Stape (Jennie McAlpine) give birth to a premature baby girl, and a seriously injured Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) married Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) from his hospital bed before flatlining, leaving fans to wonder if he would survive. The hour-long transmission came after months of feverish speculation about who would die when an explosion rocked the Joinery and caused a tram to career on to the cobbles in the soap's highly-anticipated anniversary week. The live broadcast appeared to go smoothly, with barely a fluffed line from the cast, but fans on Twitter wondered whether they had spotted disabled Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston) standing up from her wheelchair. In a further revelation in the nail-biting episode, paramedics found that Charlotte Hoyle (Becky Hindley) had a pulse after a frantic John Stape (Graeme Hawley), who had clobbered her with a hammer, tried to pass her off as a victim of the tram crash. The episode also saw Becky McDonald (Katherine Kelly) and sister Kylie Turner (Paula Lane) come to blows after it emerged that Kylie had snatched her son Max. In a poignant scene, the voice of Ashley Peacock (Steve Arnold), whom viewers saw die in Wednesday's episode, was heard in an answerphone message on the mobile of his distraught wife Claire (Julia Haworth). Sixty-five members of the Coronation Street cast and a crew of 300 were involved in the production, which comes 10 years after the soap's 40th anniversary live episode.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.