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Tony Warren tribute: 'He was that rare thing: a genuine television revolutionary'

The director of Bafta-winning The Road to Coronation Street on how he got to know the soap’s creator – and how he reacted to the drama about his life

Like most Granada drama directors, Coronation Street was my first drama directing job. I was 26 at the time and a snob. Contemptuous of lower-level TV drama, I had hidden in documentaries for two years making World in Action films but finally had to pass through the factory gates of Coronation Street before anything else was allowed.

Walking into that rehearsal room for the first time in 1978 was perhaps the most terrifying experience of my directing life but I immediately fell in love with it, both because of the incredible cast, Pat Phoenix, Violet Carson and Doris Speed were all still there, and because of the sharp-edged, comic writing that had been there since the beginning.

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The Street Writing Man

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Tony Warren 8th July 1936-1st March 2016

'The first Coronation Street writing team contained some of the biggest homophobes I've ever met. I remember getting on my feet in a story conference and saying "Gentlemen, I have sat here for two-and-a-half hours and listened to three poof jokes, a storyline dismissed as poofy, and an actor described as 'useless as he's a poof'. As a matter of fact he isn't! but I would like to point out that I am, and without a poof none of you would be in work today." So reflected the writer & television dramatist Tony Warren on his early uphill, but routine struggle with homophobia of late 1950s Britain. It was a brave and brazen stance given that homosexuality was still illegal. He also stated later that "the outsider sees more, hears more, and has to remember more to survive" and that in those days if
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Tony Warren obituary: creator of Coronation Street

Writer, child actor and creator of Coronation Street who was inspired by the indomitable women of his northern childhood

The writer Tony Warren, who has died aged 79, brought his knowledge of north of England back streets and the rich lives of their working-class characters to television when he created Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running TV serial. For the first time, it gave viewers the authentic voices and speech patterns of those who lived there, as well as a wry humour that became more prominent over the years.

The programme began more than half a century ago as television’s equivalent to the stage plays of John Osborne and the novels of John Braine and Alan Sillitoe, as well as the cinema adaptations of those writers’ work, such as Look Back in Anger, Room at the Top and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Most striking about Coronation Street’s original cast of characters,
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Michael Apted: 56 Up and still going strong | Andrew Anthony

He's a feted Hollywood director, whose career started with a bunch of children in Seven Up! And he is still charting their lives 49 years later in a landmark of documentary broadcasting

They understand longevity at Manchester's ITV Granada, which was Granada Television and is the only survivor of the original four independent TV franchisees awarded in 1954. Not only does it make Coronation Street, the world's longest-running television soap opera, but this week sees the return of its Up series, which may be the world's longest-running documentary.

The first Up programme was the brainchild of Tim Hewat, the brilliant Australian producer behind the World In Action strand. Legend has it he walked into the World in Action office and quoted the Jesuit motto cited at the beginning of the film: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." And then instructed a young trainee
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Michael Apted: 56 Up and still going strong | Andrew Anthony

He's a feted Hollywood director, whose career started with a bunch of children in Seven Up! And he is still charting their lives 49 years later in a landmark of documentary broadcasting

They understand longevity at Manchester's ITV Granada, which was Granada Television and is the only survivor of the original four independent TV franchisees awarded in 1954. Not only does it make Coronation Street, the world's longest-running television soap opera, but this week sees the return of its Up series, which may be the world's longest-running documentary.

The first Up programme was the brainchild of Tim Hewat, the brilliant Australian producer behind the World In Action strand. Legend has it he walked into the World in Action office and quoted the Jesuit motto cited at the beginning of the film: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." And then instructed a young trainee
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Letters: Soundtracks with street credibility

Mark Lawson is right about "orchestral overkill" in TV music (TV matters, G2, 4 August) – and I write this stuff. There are many demands made of composers and they have all the gear and expensive sample libraries that provide the means to emulate any type of music. As Lawson points out, the music nearly always underscores the picture, not the story. This is called conformance. It's rather like using two lights to illuminate the same subject. As any lighting person will tell you, this is not how it's done. They use a key light for the subject and a fill light the background. Result: depth.

Music is used to much better effect by providing a subliminal mood, conducive to understanding sometimes complex narrative and subtext. I personally hardly ever score to picture. Instead I rely on the idea of what the programme or the series is about. All the production team talk about the ideas.
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These Bafta nominations are a mixed bag

There's plenty of interesting omissions but also some forward-thinking nominations. What do you think of Bafta's shortlist?

Doctor Who's Matt Smith and E4's Misfits win Bafta nods

There's always one Bafta nomination that makes you do a double take. This year it's Mrs Brown's Boys, which gets the nod in the sitcom category at the expense of shows such as Friday Night Dinner, Grandma's House, the Inbetweeners, Him & Her, and, most notably, Miranda, which aren't nominated. Perhaps the judges thought it was mandatory to include an actual joke in the comedy nominations. (See also: Come Fly With Me's nomination in comedy programme). Fellow nominees Rev, The Trip and Peep Show must be hoping Mrs Brown's Boys inclusion ups their chances of winning. Because let's be honest, it definitely couldn't beat them. Could it?

Elsewhere there are some interesting omissions. There is not a sniff of Channel 4
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Coronation Street live episode – review

Some characters did not live to see out this live hour-long episode, in a week of shows marking the soap's 50th anniversary and billed as 'a wedding and four funerals'

By marking its 50th anniversary with an episode strenuously advertised as "live", Coronation Street rather rubbed it in for the several members of the cast who ended this hour-long special in the opposite condition.

The celebratory week began on Monday with an explosion shattering a viaduct and bringing a tram down on to the cobbles of Weatherfield. Last night, the show climaxed by revealing which familiar residents had perished in the inferno to justify ITV1's "a wedding and four funerals" teaser ads.

Fifty years to the day since Ena Sharples came into the corner shop for some eclairs and began a franchise that has made soap opera the foundation of British popular TV, Corrie marked its half-century with events
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TV review: The Road to Coronation Street

BBC4 screens a Coronation Street tribute – starring Kat Slater from EastEnders

So Corrie was almost Florrie – Florizel Street, after Prince Florizel. But a cleaner called Agnes at Granada TV said Florizel Street sounded like a disinfectant (does it, Agnes?), so they changed it to Coronation Street. This was the second time Agnes had saved what would become Britain's longest-running soap opera. It was because she was instantly spellbound by the pilot while clearing away the tea things from the producer's office that he knew it was a winner.

Is that true, I wonder? Did Agnes even exist? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that Harry Elton, the Canadian producer, decided to fight the Granada TV executives – who couldn't understand the appeal of a drama about the ordinary lives of ordinary people and were about to pull the plug on the whole thing – with everything he had. Guess what, he won.
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BBC4 to air Anna Nicole Smith opera

Work based on life of former Playboy model to join Douglas Adams adaptation and Macbeth film in new season's lineup

BBC4 is to broadcast an opera based on the turbulent life of the former Playboy model, Anna Nicole Smith, and a TV adaptation of the late Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

The digital channel's programming lineup for autumn 2010 and early 2011 also includes Patrick Stewart in a film version of Macbeth.

Anna Nicole – The Opera will dramatise the life of Smith, who married oil tycoon J Howard Marshall, more than 60 years her senior, in 1994 and then after his death the following year was drawn into a lengthy legal battle over the settlement of his estate. Smith died of a prescription drugs overdose in 2007, aged 39.

In a collaboration between BBC Productions, the Royal Opera House and Olivier award-winning composer Mark Anthony Turnage, the title role will be sung by Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek.
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BBC Four announces Corrie drama cast

BBC Four announces Corrie drama cast
BBC Four has announced an all-star cast for its Coronation Street 'origins' drama. EastEnders returnee Jessie Wallace takes on the role of Pat Phoenix, who became tart-with-a-heart Elsie Tanner, while Open All Hours star Lynda Baron will play Violet Carson, who landed the role of harridan-in-a-hairnet Ena Sharples. Renowned actress Celia Imrie, meanwhile, has signed to appear as Annie Walker performer Doris Speed and William Roache's real-life son James will portray a younger version of his father. The one-off drama is to tell the story of how ITV soap Coronation Street was born and how the show's creator Tony Warren - a younger version of whom will be played by David Dawson - brought Salford to life on television screens around the world. Then-Granada casting director Margaret Morris will be portrayed by Jane Horrocks, and (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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