CORONATION Street’s new bookies have already made their mark.
The arrival of father and son Harry and Dan Mason opens yet another new era for the bookmakers’ shop across the way from the Rovers.
I’ve often wondered if it’s Weatherfield’s answer to the Bermuda Triangle.
People go in to place a bet and then we don’t see the inside again, or those punters in the background, until years later.
But it must be mainly still in business, with a life of its own unseen by viewers.
How else, for example, would Streetcars co-owner Lloyd (Craig Charles) have run up a £400 debt?
Actors Jack Ellis and Matthew Crompton follow in a long line of Corrie bookies at the “Turf Accountant”.
Their first scenes brought back memories of one of the more recent incumbents – at least one who was visible on screen.
Step forward Eric the bookie, played by Tony Slattery.
There was quite a fuss when his casting was announced towards the end of 2005 – but then Eric vanished from the screen last year.
Perhaps it’s just me, but his exit was never really properly explained.
So when I met up with Tony recently, I asked him: “What happened to your character in Coronation Street?”
He maintained it was linked to Jamie’s mum Carol, played by Lynne Pearson.
“Eric the bookie. I would have liked that to have gone on a bit longer,” Tony told me.
“But, the thing is, the character Carol, who had the alcohol problems, I was brought in as her love interest.
“And her contract had to end. So there was nowhere for my character to go after that.
“I was sad about that because it’s lovely to be in Coronation Street, in the Rovers Return and to meet all of them.
“So I was just brought in for those scenes, for a few episodes.
“I was told it was dependent on the actresses’s contract and whether she wanted to renew it, whether my character would continue, so we could have a relationship together.
“She had other work to go to, so there was nowhere for Eric to go.”
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