In 1960 a former child actor with writing ambitions,Mancunian Tony Warren begins submitting television scripts for 'Shadow Squad' to progressive Canadian producer Harry Elton,who wants to nurture local talent. Tony,however,is keen to sell a drama he has written about real Northerners,called 'Florizel Street',after a picture of Prince Florizel in his office. Harry is supportive but Granada studio boss Sidney Bernstein is lukewarm,feeling it is seedy and unglamorous. Fortunately his brother Cecil sees the virtue in cheaply made studio drama with local actors and,with writer Harry Kershaw and director Derek Bennett on board,the street's residents are cast. Thirteen episodes are commissioned but the pivotal character of battle-axe Ena Sharples is proving impossible to cast until Tony brings in a cantankerous old actress from his radio days - Violet Carson. She is perfect. Less perfect is the title,which the tea lady says sounds like disinfectant. A new title must be found quickly - and so...Written by
don @ minifie-1
I've just finished an on-line viewing of this opus on the CBC's website and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it's well-acted, well-done and worthwhile: "Coronation Street" is a national, even international, phenomenon, and seeing its very beginnings is at least educational. It's interesting that William Roache is played by one of the Roache family--the actor himself felt that the show he had been cast in was only to run 13 episodes. The woman who plays Pat Phoenix was, I think, better-looking than the actual actress, and played here with conviction: Pat Phoenix was about to quit her acting career when offered the role of Elsie Tanner. That the show was conceived and initially pushed forward by a man, Tony Warren, who felt strongly that he had something to say that others would want to see shows the power of perseverance. As a long-time "Street" watcher, I am glad he, and those who supported him, got what they wanted.
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