FRED Elliott ended up back on the counter of his butcher’s shop in Coronation Street last night.
Sadly, his return to Elliott & Son was in a glass jar which once contained gravy granules.
Attempting to resolve the row over the ownership of Fred’s ashes, barmy Bev plonked some of them on top of Ashley’s packed lunch.
Asked by Claire what was in the jar, Bev declared: “His father…well, half of him. Plenty of him to go round.
“I’m sorry about the jar. I know he couldn’t abide instant gravy, but it were the only container I had to hand.”
There was also plenty of Corrie to go round last night – three episodes, including an early visit to Weatherfield at 7pm.
That was the episode moved from Sunday evening because of live ITV1 coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It meant Street fans had to devote an hour and a half to the show last night – or 66 minutes of actual programme time if they recorded the episodes and skipped the ads.
Last week John Savident, who played dearly departed Fred, repeated comments he had made before about there being too much Corrie on our screens.
Aside from testing the loyalty of viewers, he said five episodes of the Street each week – and sometimes six – was putting a huge strain on cast, crew, writers and the entire production team.
As discussed here before – ITV risk killing the golden goose in their exploitation of Coronation Street. Five episodes is one too many, never mind six.
Last night’s three visits to Weatherfield had strong storylines, including David’s discovery (above right) of Maria’s affair with Charlie, and left TV bosses smiling.
The first two episodes between 7pm and 8pm attracted an average of 10.2m viewers with 9.7m for the 8.30pm conclusion.
That’s good news for ITV. Even so, I can’t help feeling they’re playing with fire by scheduling so many episodes and stretching a number of storylines to fit.
The jar of instant gravy granules was marked: “For that traditional taste.”
Keep on at the current pace and the long term danger is that some Corrie viewers with busy lives and other distractions will simply lose that taste.
*Nancy Banks-Smith’s review in The Guardian includes the observation: “That Bev found a large empty jar of gravy granules in the Rovers leads one to look at Betty’s Celebrated Hot Pot with a more jaundiced eye than before.”
*A report in a national newspaper claiming that former Shameless star Anne Marie Duff is to join the Corrie cast is untrue, a Street spokeswoman told me this afternoon.
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