PERHAPS it’s just me.
Was there a subtle tribute to actress Liz Dawn and the character she played for 33 years in Coronation Street’s final farewell to Vera Duckworth?
I’ve not seen a comment on it anywhere, so maybe I saw what I wanted to see on Vera’s funeral day.
We’d already watched a large number of Corrie residents gather on the cobbles to pay their respects.
As the Co-op hearse carrying Vera’s coffin to the crematorium drove away from No 9 and past the Rovers, the camera swung slowly upwards.
And looking down back along Coronation Street, the majority of the cast fell into two separate diagonal lines – spelling out V for Vera.

THE start of a New Year and the first murder mystery of 2008.
If you’re feeling a little jaded today, then John Nettles may be just the tonic you need this evening.
Midsomer Murders: Shot At Dawn is another gloriously daft adventure with yet more inventive methods of murder.
Former Coronation Street star Brian Capron – Weatherfield killer Richard Hillman – plays Mayor of Causton Dave Hicks.
Check out his Footballers’ Wives style mansion while you’re trying to guess who the murderer is (ITV1, 9pm).
Brian is joined by fellow guest stars George Cole, Donald Sinden and Samantha Bond, along with Barnaby’s deliciously dry sense of humour.

THE day before Christmas and a return home for Green Wing star Darren Boyd.
He came back to Britain for good earlier this year after five years working in America and Canada.
And the former Kiss Me Kate and Smack The Pony actor arrived at UK customs with something extra special.
While out in the USA he married New Orleans-born TV producer wife Amanda.
“She’s here now. I imported her. We’re spending Christmas with my mum and dad,” he told me.
You can see Darren at 9pm tonight in ITV1’s big festive comedy Christmas At The Riviera, set in a seaside hotel.
He plays Tim, with Sam Kelly as father Dennis, on a poignant mission to scatter the ashes of Tim’s mum in Eastbourne.

THE guilty verdict and life sentence for killer Ronald Castree today finally brings justice for Lesley Molseed’s family.
But it comes too late for the innocent man who spent 16 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
I was at the Appeal Court in London on Friday Dec 20 1991 when a judge ordered the release of Stefan Kiszko – pictured.
The MEN front page that night was headlined: “Kidnap Case ‘Killer’ Freed”
But there was to be no happy ending for Stefan.
Some seven years later, ITV screened an acclaimed film about the former tax clerk.
It was called A Life For A Life.
Below is one of the features I wrote about the drama, telling just part of a heartbreaking story for two families.

A dazzling evening at one of TV’s big nights of the year.
That was mainly down to the blizzard of camera flashes in the backstage press room.
“I can’t see now,” protested Corrie’s Kym Ryder, as she faced the massed ranks of photographers.
The actress, who plays Rovers barmaid Michelle Connor, was beaming after being voted Most Popular Newcomer.
And she had to beam a whole lot more after coming off stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
No wonder she turned away from the snapper in this pic.
It works like this:
Star wins an award. Star is escorted to the press room, along with the person who handed over their gong.
Star then climbs on small stage while grown men standing on chairs attempt to break the world record for most pictures taken in 60 seconds.
Snappers try to extend the ordeal by flashlight for as long as possible.

REGULAR readers of this blog will know that the MEN has a policy about revealing future soap storylines.
In general, we don’t do it. It annoys many readers who want to watch their favourite show without having it spoiled by advance information.
These “spoilers” are now the stock in trade of the red tops, not to mention soap magazines which flaunt future storylines on a weekly basis.
But it’s not just tabloid newspapers and magazines involved in this game. ITV’s very own website now offers online trailers for several future episodes at a time.
The MEN does make an exception to our general rule when a storyline is so widely known – and trailed – that it would be a bit daft to shy away from it.
That’s the decision we made yesterday when ITV Granada issued a total of 26 new photos from this Friday’s Coronation Street.

JUST back from Spam sandwiches, fruitcake and a nice cup of tea.
The Imperial War Museum in south London was the venue for the launch of Victoria Wood’s new TV drama.
Housewife, 49, is a wartime film based on the real diary of a Lancashire housewife called Nella Last.
To be screened on ITV1 next month, it follows Nella’s life through the Second World War alongside her difficult husband, played by Shameless star David Threlfall.
“This is not the war of the newsreels – it’s about tiny domestic difficulties, chilly church halls, lumpy custard,” explained Bury-raised Victoria.

A final word on last night’s one-off special of The Royle Family, which was watched by 7.8m viewers – the highest audience for a comedy on British TV this year.
Actress Liz Smith, who played Nana, appeared on Channel 4’s The Paul O’Grady Show this teatime.
“I just want to let you see that I didn’t really die last night,” she said. “For a woman who’s just died, I feel quite good.

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.”

AND talking of Life on Mars guest star Marc Warren…
Get the garlic, crosses and stakes ready, Hustle actor Marc is about to get his teeth into a new TV adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.
He takes the lead in the BBC1 production which begins filming this month in and around the West Country.
Lined up as a possible Christmas or New Year treat, the 90-minute film co-stars Line of Beauty’s Dan Stevens as Lord Holmwood and Thunderbirds actress Sophia Myles as his fiance Lucy.