Changing Face
The Changing Face of Britain
Series 1
Episode 3
ITV transmission date Wednesday 3rd August 2011
Narrator David Morrissey
Previous episode The Firsts
Next episode The Scandals


This edition showed how events in the outside world played a part in creating some key moments in Weatherfield’s history, and told the stories about the impact they had. Mark Robinson was the executive producer of the programme and Kerry Allison the series producer and uncredited Director.

The examples shown were:

1981 wedding

Ken & Deirdre Get Married in which the scripted coincidence of Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton getting married in the same week as Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981 was covered. Journalist Ken Irwin spoke for the press is saying that such a story couldn’t be ignored by them – “Diana was the nation’s sweetheart and Deirdre was television’s sweetheart”. A mistake was made by William Roache in stating that the wedding was the first time that Deirdre had been seen without her glasses, forgetting the, admittedly few, occasions it had happened before, including the character’s very first appearance in Episode 1236 (20th November 1972) and the myth that the soap wedding attracted more viewers than the London event was restated (see Episode 2120 (27th July 1981) for further details).

Coronation Street on Strike covered the industrial dispute in June 1978 when Hilda Ogden was sacked from Baldwin's Casuals for demanding a new floor brush and the factory staff downed tools in sympathy. This was mirroring the constant strike problems that Britain faced at the time and was also linked in the programme to the 1979 ITV strike that blacked out the network for ten weeks the following year.

Revolution at the Barlows covered the very first real-life event to influence the programme in the form of the “Ban the Bomb” campaigns of the late 1950s and early 1960s and Alan Rothwell (David Barlow) confessed to taking part in two marches as part of the campaign himself.

Tracy’s Drug Shame in which Carolyn Reynolds and Dawn Acton outlined how Tracy Barlow’s disrupted childhood evolved into the 1995 storyline of the character taking Ecstasy and overdosing. Reynolds confessed that it was difficult for Coronation Street to tackle such a story as they hadn’t much experience of doing so, leaving “issues” to EastEnders and concentrating on “heart” instead but they felt they had to show what was happening on Britain’s streets.

Emily’s Eco Protest showed how the programme used as its source the environmental warriors in the introduction of Spider Nugent and concentrated on the event when his Aunt Emily Bishop occupied a tree on the Red Rec in an attempt to stop it being cut down with actor Martin Hancock (Spider) referring to Eileen Derbyshire admiringly as “Wonder Woman” in that she did her own stunts and acted thirty feet up a tree with no safety harness.


In order of appearance


The Corrie Years episodes
The Headline MakersThe FirstsThe Changing Face of Britain
The ScandalsThe FeudsAway From the CobblesThe KidsThe StuntsAfter the Street
At Christmas