Coronation Street: A Moving Story

Opening the new Coronation Street "lot".
Opening the new Coronation Street “lot”.

“IT’S going to be hard to walk through that door for the last time.

“I will cry. I know I will.”

Veteran actress Barbara Knox is not the only one to shed a tear in Coronation Street: A Moving Story.

Screened on ITV at 9pm on Thursday March 6, the hour-long documentary tells the story of the cast and crew’s farewell to the show’s historic site in Manchester.

Then captures their excitement at the move to a scaled up but identical Weatherfield at Trafford / Media City.

There has been the odd daft story this weekend derived from what both Barbara and Street creator Tony Warren say in the film.

Barbara, who plays Rita Tanner, recalled ghosts from the past on an emotional tour of the Quay Street sets.

“Some of the essence of us, our spirit or emotions, must be still in here,” she said on her last day of filming before the move to Corrie’s new home.

“You can hear and feel the people who worked here.”

While Tony said: “This isn’t just a street of memories, it’s a street full of ghosts. I just hope they get on the right bus to Media City.”

Leading to a “creative” front page lead and page three story in a certain tabloid yesterday, including the headline: “Ghosts snub new set.”

Make your own mind up about the worth of that when you watch the documentary.

Barbara Knox as Rita.
Barbara Knox as Rita.

Barbara, 80, first appeared – briefly – on the cobbles in 1964 as a friend of Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) and became a regular cast member in 1972.

She dabbed her eyes before shooting her final scene on The Kabin set.

“My little kingdom. This is where I have spent some of the happiest hours of my life with some wonderful people.

“And it’s going to be hard to walk through that door for the last time. I will cry. I know I will.”

Co-star Philip, 77, who now plays her just departed screen husband Dennis, was one of 21 original cast members in the first episode on December 9 1960.

The documentary shows him visiting the Granada studio where Coronation Street began – walking through the doors for the first time in almost half a century.

An emotional Philip said: “My goodness. Isn’t it small? This is astonishing.”

Philip Lowrie as Dennis.
Philip Lowrie as Dennis.

Having played the teenage son of Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix), he left Weatherfield in 1968, returned in 2011 and was seen leaving the Street with Gloria Price (Sue Johnston) in last Friday’s night’s second episode.

Reflecting on the show’s 53-year history, Philip added: “I’m very privileged and very emotional to have been a part of that. And still part of it.”

A TV team spent two years documenting the rise of the new Corrie HQ at Media City where cast and crew began filming in early January.

With the first episodes made at Trafford due on screen soon.

The documentary also includes film discovered in the Granada archives and unseen for half a century.

It features original Rovers Return licensees Jack and Annie Walker, played by Arthur Leslie and Doris Speed, filming on the original set.

Tony Warren recalls how he drove around the streets of Salford with a designer and found the inspiration for the original Weatherfield.

While cast members reflect on the move as they pack up their dressing rooms to head for the fifth version of the Street in its 53-year history.

A lovingly made film and essential viewing for all Coronation Street fans.

And yes. Best have that box of tissues handy.

Doris Speed, who played Annie Walker, before a previous new Street incarnation.
Doris Speed, who played Annie Walker, before a previous new Street incarnation.

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Coronation Street Trafford Wharf Photos

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