Tell me about your time on Coronation Street.
I loved it, I absolutely loved it but I found it quite difficult because I got on quite well with local filming, documentary filming but drama was something else, particularly filming I found difficult because I never quite grasped ‘crossing the line’, I never quite understood what that meant. Well I understood it in theory but in practice it didn’t seem to work somehow. But that was the time of people like Ken Grieve, Alan Grint, I trying to think of some of the other directors who were on that, I can’t remember their names now. But yes, once I got into it I did really enjoy it and I liked going to the script readings and dealing with the artists but it was a very different kind of experience. It was much more long winded and doing different takes and all of that type of thing. And of course, typing up the scripts was a nightmare. That’s one of my biggest memories of Coronation Street that long after everyone’s gone you’re still there at midnight typing up the scripts thinking ‘I’ve had enough of this’ and of course there’d be endless script changes. But it was interesting.
What characters were there on Coronation Street then? Was Ena Sharples still there? Pat Phoenix?
Yes, yes. Who was the lovely guy, Eddie someone?
Eddie Yates, yes – yes in fact, he became quite a good mate. He was sort of my contact in the cast. He was very nice to me. And of course Ken Barlow, and Deirdre. Deirdre I remember quite well because we became good friends at the time. And ..
I don’t think Jack, I’m not sure about Jack. I can’t quite remember that but Annie certainly. And of course, Bet Lynch, yes. So it was a very different experience because all I’d ever know up to that point was documentary work really, and news so I was introduced to this world of ‘darlings’ and it took a while to get used to it but I did enjoy it. But it was three week turnaround and I think, of course it’s much worse now, but I think, I think we did two programmes every three weeks, something like that. So there would be a three-week prep period and then we’d shoot two episodes, as far as I remember.
And at this stage it was just two episodes a week?
Yes I think it was, yeah.
Monday and Wednesday?
Yes, something like that and there wasn’t much outside filming, just little snippets to put into the programme. I just remember those being relentlessly cold and wet whenever we had to do any outside shooting and working with my hands in plastic bags. They never quite worked out how PAs were supposed to write in the rain so I would have my pen inside a plastic bag over my clipboard trying to write things down, I remember that. And then of course you’d see them in the canteen and because you were on the programme they’d be quite pally with you. I suppose I did a good six months on that.