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Coronation Street 2000

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2000th special

Coronation Street 2000, a TV Times special to mark the programme’s two-thousandth episode, was a ninety-six page magazine published in May 1980 at the price of sixty pence to mark the broadcast of Episode 2000 (2nd June 1980).

Greater in scope, scale and detail than the 1000th Episode TV Times Souvenir published in July 1970, it was noteworthy for several notable items. Firstly, its main photospread, a street party on a rain-sodden Grape Street set, is possibly the final time that Violet Carson was pictured with her colleagues of many years before illness led to her unexpected retirement from the programme. The same photographs contain uncredited shots of the production team at the time including programme creator Tony Warren, producer Bill Podmore, archivist Eric Rosser and writers such as H.V. Kershaw, Adele Rose, John Stevenson and Barry Hill.

Secondly, forty pages of the magazine were given over to the first ever attempt to present an episode guide to the programme as twenty double-page spreads, well-illustrated with photographs, covered the events contained in 100 episodes each of the programme. The magazine also presented what was billed as the script of the first episode, complete with camera shots listed although the accuracy of the dialogue probably means that this item was, in truth, half-camera script and half-transcript of the transmitted item. Nevertheless, as the episode had at this point not been repeated since February 1961 it was an opportunity for readers to find out exactly how the serial had begun twenty years before.

Other items included a flashback to Len and Rita Fairclough's wedding three years before, a large photo-feature on what the cast did to escape the pressures of their roles away from the cameras, short features on the programme's sales abroad, its connections with royalty and a strange photospread where the magazine took Patricia Phoenix, Anne Kirkbride and Johnny Briggs to see the sights of Singapore. Writing many years later, Bill Podmore confessed that he had no idea what the reasons were on the part of the magazine's editor in choosing to sanction the trip.

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