The Firsts
The Firsts
Series 1
Episode 2
ITV transmission date Wednesday 27th July 2011
Narrator David Morrissey
Previous episode The Headline Makers
Next episode The Changing Face of Britain


This edition covered some of the firsts in Coronation Street's history, both as production firsts and also within the storylines. Mark Robinson was the executive producer of the programme and Kerry Allison the series producer and Becky Sawle the producer of the edition.

The examples shown were:

Live headlines

The first live special when the programme celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a move back to its roots by transmitting Episode 4945 (8th December 2000) live. William Roache spoke of his fears during transmission with the fact that he had experience of such a medium being no consolation as it had been forty years before while Chris Gascoyne made his debut in the episode and revealed he was so nervous that rivulets of sweat were running down his arms. William Tarmey laughed at the memory of Prince Charles visiting the set and Elizabeth Dawn, lay down on a hospital bed as Vera Duckworth underwent a kidney transplant, asking him if he’d brought her any grapes!

The first transsexual character when Julie Hesmondhalgh joined the programme in 1998 as Hayley Patterson. Writer John Stevenson stated that there was no intention to purposely introduce a transsexual character, but the move came about following discussions about the sort of girlfriend that Roy Cropper would have and that the storyline was not an issue-led one but simply that of two characters. Professor Stephen Whittle of the pressure group “Press of Change” stated that the public’s positive reaction to the character played a huge part in the eventual adoption into law of the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 and that this move simply could not have happened without the programme.

The first hour long special in 1995 when the programme marked its thirty-fifth birthday with its first custom-written sixty minute episode in which the characters of Raquel Wolstenhulme and Curly Watts were married. Sarah Lancashire left the programme a year later but returned in January 2000 for…

The first two hander when she and Kevin Kennedy handled a complete 45-minute episode by themselves. John Stevenson’s script was rehearsed in the rehearsal rooms of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and, unlike other episodes of the programme at the time, only moved into studio for recording which was all done in one day.

The first gay character, Todd Grimshaw, who was created by Daran Little and was based on his own experiences. Actor Bruno Langley was himself confused as, contracted to play a gay man, he then spent his first eighteen months portraying him as straight with no hints of his hidden sexuality. Finally, in 2003, in a scene with Nick Tilsley, the programme showed its first gay kiss.


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

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