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The Corrie Legacy
The Corrie Legacy
It was with a heavy heart that I heard Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street had died.
People give you stick if you love Corrie - you're an easy target because it's "one of the soaps" but really, it's much more than that. I remember watching Coronation Street as a child. It was a family event: all round the telly, watching the latest escapades of Curly and Raquel.
When I was little, I was allowed to stay up half an hour later on a Friday, as a treat, with a bar of chocolate and Corrie. It stuck with me, and I've watched it my whole life.
What Tony Warren created was a rich world that told working class tales. Classic characters that we'll never forget: Bet Lynch, Jack Duckworth, Reg Holdsworth, Blanche Hunt. Even now, stalwarts like Sally Webster and Audrey Roberts have been given brilliant new storylines. Sally Webster in particular, at the moment, has grown into a perfect comedy character who is so aspirational it hurts - and it's hilarious.
Another wonderful thing about Tony Warren was his defiance to be 'out' as a gay man at a time when it was actually illegal. You can't believe that someone who died in their 70s today could have experienced that. Coronation Street has always championed gay rights storylines, and has a wide range of gay characters to this day. As it should be: this is a drama about a group of people who live in the same street and come from all walks of life. Sophie Webster isn't the "token lesbian" - in fact she's had a number of relationships on the show as have other gay characters, and it's always been dealt with in a sensitive way.
I think of all the incredible characters that have graced our screens thanks to Mr. Warren's brilliant ideas. Warm, funny, complicated, difficult - you know, like real people. People you feel like you know.
As a writer, I've always loved the writing and humour in Corrie. When Mary or Norris are given a killer throwaway line, or Emily Bishop starts talking about Breaking Bad, or Rita throws shade at the Rover's bar by calling someone "Lady", you know it's a testament to Warren's original writing - his legacy.
While it's desperately sad that such an inspiration has died, his genius will live on through the current, brilliant writers at Corrie. And as ever, I can't wait to see what happens next.