Revealed: The Coronation Street star who DOESN’T want a 60th anniversary live episode

Coronation Street
(Image credit: ITV)

The actor thinks it’s a bit old hat…

With Coronation Street celebrating its sixtieth anniversary at the end of this year, many fans are expecting the soap to do a live episode.

But one cast member hopes that won’t be on the cards. Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Rovers' landlady Jenny Connor, admits she would prefer the soap to think of a more original way to mark its record-breaking milestone.

coronation street, sally ann matthews, jenny bradly

Sally Ann - landlady Jenny Connor - says there's "no point" in a live ep

Asked if she would be nervous about the prospect of going live, the 49 year old star tells us: “I wouldn’t be terrified, but I wouldn’t be loving it.

“I don’t see the point in doing a live. It’s been done. They should do something different.”

Coronation Street set a trend in 2000 when it went live for its fortieth anniversary. The production team chose the nerve-wracking format as a nod to the soap’s roots – Corrie’s very first episode in 1960 was live, as were many other subsequent episodes. The storyline in the hour-long instalment centred on the resident’s efforts to stop the local council digging up the street’s famous cobbles and replacing them with tarmac.

The show also went live for its fiftieth anniversary in 2010, with the action focusing on the aftermath of the Weatherfield tram crash, and again in 2015 to mark 60 years of ITV, when Kylie Platt memorably murdered drug dealer Callum Logan.

Soap rivals EastEnders and Emmerdale have since got in on the act. ‘Enders did a live episode for its 25th anniversary in 2010 and 30th anniversary in 2015, while Emmerdale took the plunge and went live to mark forty years of transmission in 2012.

Meanwhile, several EastEnders episodes have included live scenes inserted into the usual pre-recorded drama. In July 2012, to mark the imminent start of the London Olympics, there was a special seven minute live segment in which Billy Mitchell carried the Olympic torch as part of the official torch relay, as granddaughter Lola gave birth to daughter Lexi.

EastEnders' Billy takes Olympic Torch to Walford

EastEnders' Billy (Perry Fenwick) takes the Olympic Torch to Walford

And the week of the show’s 30th anniversary also featured a series of live scenes – one including the infamous moment when actress Jo Joyner (Tanya Branning) incorrectly referred to the character of Ian Beale as “Adam” – confusing the character with the cast member who plays him, Adam Woodyatt.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.