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Alick Hayes wrote a single episode of Coronation Street: Episode 17 in February 1961. Before this, Hayes had written and produced the radio series Just William that ran for thirty-five episodes between 1945 and 1956. Other television work included the Jimmy Clitheroe vehicle Just Jimmy and on radio he produced and wrote The Will Hay Programme. Hayes was instrumental in bringing the Oxford/Cambridge Boat race to television, devising Rowing Blues in 1938.
An actor for many years, he also appeared in the Street as Mr Thornley in December 1971 thereby becoming one of seven people who have both written for and appeared in the programme - the others being Ray H. Dunbobbin, S. Keith James, Alan Downer, Bob Mason, Stephen Mallatratt and Martyn Hesford. At the time that Coronation Street began broadcasting, he was also a regular voice to be heard on Granada Television's What The Papers Say along with then-Street regular Daphne Oxenford.