50 years. That’s 18,262.5 days (give or take). Whatever the measure, in broadcasting terms it’s an awful lot of episodes.
PR moves fast, and times change rapidly. Like all public relations agencies in Manchester, we only hope we will be so popular after such a long time in the game.
Of course we’re talking about Coronation Street, which celebrates its half-centenary this week. That it remains the UK’s favourite serialised show is both understandable and astounding. With so many awards on the mantelpiece it’s clear the writers are doing something right. But then who would have thought that a bunch of people living in two-up, two-downs in Salford would engage a nation with their problematic lives?
Still, the truth is they have touched us all, in one way or another. Ask Joe Average who Deirdre Barlow is, and there’s a good chance they will be able to answer. Furthermore, many people could recall Bet Lynch, despite the fact she hasn’t been a regular on The Street for over a decade. Suffice to say, whether absorbing narratives and character traits subconsciously, or as a result of dedicated viewing, we all know something about what’s going on around these parts.
Tonight the highly anticipated anniversary week kicks off. Or rather it bursts onto our screens like a tram that de-rails, and plummets from a viaduct into a shop front. Over the next five nights nearly four hours of broadcast time will be dedicated to the tragedy awaiting the poor, dear residents of Wetherfield. And if that’s not enough, you can also have a look at the first ever episode, originally broadcast in 1960, tonight on ITV1.
Those looking for a keepsake might already have grabbed themselves a copy, or all 12, of Radio Times‘ commemorative issue, boasting various covers featuring classic and contemporary characters. Or if you want something a little more timeless, The Royal Mint has produced a series of medallions; each sporting famous faces from the soap’s history. What more fitting way could there be to immortalise TV gold? It might seem crazy to some, but we’re sure there will be more than a few fans ready to part with their hard earned cash. And to think when it all started The Daily Mail claimed it would barely last three weeks…