|The Headline Makers|
|ITV transmission date||Wednesday 20th July 2011|
|Next episode||The Firsts|
This first edition focussed on how Coronation Street produced storylines that made such an impact that they were front-page news. Mark Robinson was the executive producer of the programme and Kerry Allison the series producer and uncredited Director.
The examples shown were:
The Weatherfield One storyline from 1998 when Deirdre Rachid was wrongly imprisoned which then-Executive Producer Carolyn Reynolds revealed came from a lunchtime conversation with the writers in which she told them of a friend of hers who had been conned by a man in a similar way to Deirdre and told them to "do with [the idea] what you want". Both she and Brian Park went on to describe how the suggestion generated numerous pay-offs as viewers expected Deirdre's initial discovery of Jon Lindsay's deception to be the end of the affair but her subsequent arrest for fraud, trial and imprisonment took the matter much further than was usual in the programme at that time with the subsequent newspaper campaign in which The Sun they claimed they had obtained her release, even though the development had been planned, scripted and filmed months before.
Sheila's Suicide from 1963. Archivist Daran Little and actress Eileen Mayers explained the background to the character of Elliston's Raincoat Factory machinist Sheila Birtles and her affair with Neil Crossley in her search for excitement. The actress's contract was ending and the writers' idea for the departure of the character by suicide led to a moral outrage in 1963 when such a development was unheard of. Journalist Ken Irwin of the Daily Mirror leaked the story in the edition of 11th September under the headline Horror in Coronation Street saying that even hardened television technicians were upset at what they saw in the studio. As the press-led uproar developed Granada suddenly got cold feet with transmitting the episode ending as recorded and the latter part of the suicide scene was untransmitted but retained on the archived recording of Episode 287. Eileen Mayers watched the subsequent scene where Sheila turned on the gas and lay on the bed to die with viewers also given a chance to watch these moments for the first time ever. The character's subsequent rescue and happy departure were related as well as the Mayers' experience of the press and public reaction at the time.
Deirdre's Affair from 1983 in which John Stevenson and Anne Kirkbride talked of the huge press reaction at the time and how it proved a watershed in subsequently generating far more tabloid stories about soaps than ever before.
Sally's Cancer Battle from 2009 when actress Sally Dynevor subsequently discovered that she too had the disease. Director Tony Prescott related how Sally said she couldn't rehearse the scenes in Episode 7237 (25th December 2009) where she revealed her condition, only film them, although she initially wouldn't tell anyone at the studio that she too had found a lump in her breast (she went public with the news the following May after her own treatment had finished).
In order of appearance
- Carolyn Reynolds
- Daran Little
- Anne Kirkbride
- Brian Park
- Neil Marland (Granada photographer who took the famous publicity picture of Deirdre behind bars)
- Eileen Mayers
- Ken Irwin
- Sean Wilson
- Tina O'Brien
- Yvette Cooper MP (The Public Health Minister at the time who praised the research and realism of the storyline of Sarah's pregnancy)
- William Roache
- John Stevenson
- Michael Le Vell
- Tony Prescott
- Lester Barr (Consultant Surgeon and member of the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal)
- Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 4,530,000 viewers (30th place).
- This edition was repeated as follows: ITV2 on 23rd July 2011 at 8.35am, ITV2 on 24th July 2011 at 1.35pm, ITV2 on 1st January 2012 at 12.45pm, ITV1 on 22nd August 2012 at 7.30pm, ITV2 on 27th September 2012 at 1.00pm and ITV2 on 10th January 2013 at 1.30pm.
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|The Headline Makers • The Firsts • The Changing Face of Britain |
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