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Tony Warren

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Tony Warren

Tony Warren pictured with Doris Speed.

Tony Warren MBE (born Anthony McVay Simpson at 3 Wilton Avenue in Pendlebury, Salford on 8th July 1936, died 1st March 2016) was the script-writer who at the age of just 24 created Coronation Street.

In his youth Tony had been a child actor, appearing on Children's Hour alongside Violet Carson, Doris Speed and Alan Rothwell under his real name (for example, all four appeared in a play together on the life of Humphrey Chetham broadcast on 17th August 1952 at 5.00pm). Realising that his acting ambitions would not be met, he moved into script-writing with an unsolicited episode of Shadow Squad which was eventually commissioned and transmitted by Granada Television in two parts on 3rd and 6th November 1958. Warren was given an exclusive contract with Granada in March 1960 and found himself on the team of writers working on adaptations of the W.E. Johns Biggles books, an assignment which he loathed.

At the prompting of drama executive producer Harry Elton, Tony proposed a new series more suited to his interest and skills. This series, initially titled Florizel Street, was a redraft of a script he'd submitted to the BBC under the name Our Street back in 1956 . Initially commissioned for a thirteen week run, Warren undertook to write the first twelve episodes, with the thirteenth in which the street is demolished not being produced, and continued to regularly write for the programme until 1964, from 1967 to 1969 and from 1975 to 1976. In total he wrote 69 episodes of the programme plus a further episode (372) which was never recorded due to the 1964 ITV Strike.

Tony Warren Building

Tony Warren at the dedication ceremony of "The Tony Warren Building"

After leaving the show he continued to work as a writer, penning scripts and novels. There are two portraits of Tony in the National Portrait Gallery.

On 20th May 2014, the main studio block at the Media City Studios at Trafford Wharf was named "The Tony Warren Building" in a special ceremony attended by ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier, the cast and production crew and Mr Warren himself. William Roache made a speech during the dedication.

Tony died just under two years later after a short illness. Many paid tribute to his work and legacy. William Roache stated "Tony was the father of Coronation Street and he gave us all so much" while Helen Worth said '"Tony was a genius of our time, the dearest funniest and most inspirational man of his generation. He brought real life into our homes for us all to relate to and enjoy. He will of course live on forever through Coronation Street."

ITV said, “All who worked with Tony throughout his illustrious career had the utmost respect for his achievements and he remained a consultant on the Manchester-based soap until the day he died. He was considered one of the television industry’s greatest minds as he devised the idea for the Weatherfield soap at the age of 24, at the very beginning of his acclaimed writing career.”

Carol Ann Duffy said, “Manchester has lost its dearest son and so many of us a beloved friend. And the millions who have loved Coronation Street for over half a century have lost their Dickens.”

Tony's 1969 autobiography was titled I was Ena Sharples Father. He has received many awards and an honorary degree for creating the UK's longest-running drama series. In the 2010 fiftieth anniversary drama The Road to Coronation Street he was played by David Dawson who gained Warren's thorough approval for his portrayal.

Tony passed away on 2nd March 2016, aged 79. His funeral was held two weeks later, with cast members past and present attending.

External linksEdit

Episodes written by Tony WarrenEdit

1960sEdit

1960 (7 episodes)

1961 (17 episodes)

1962 (15 episodes)

1963 (9 episodes)

1964 (6 episodes)

Tony also scripted Episode 372 which was due to be transmitted on Monday 6th July but which was never recorded due to the 1964 ITV Strike.
1967 (7 episodes)

1968 (3 episodes)

1969 (1 episode)

1970sEdit

1975 (3 episodes)

1976 (1 episode)

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