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When Corrie was king!
on 15 August 2008
It's hard to believe now, given the state the show is in now (and has been for some time), but 'Coronation Street' was once a very realistic, highly entertaining working-class drama with the perfect combination of drama and comedy.
Luckily, we have this brilliant ten disc DVD boxset, with eight episodes for each year in the 1980s, which was a very strong decade for the nation's flagship soap opera.
It was wonderful to be able to see things like the superb comic paring of the unlikely couple Bet and Alec Gilroy, the acid-tongued Poison Ivy Tilsley at her vicious best, the wonderful, constantly bickering Jack and Vera Duckworth before they became glorified extras, and of course - dear old Stan and Hilda Ogden, who were pure television gold.
Watching these classic episodes serves as a reminder of how good the show used to be. There are many classic episodes to be savoured on here, including Elsie Tanner's emotional departure, Stan Ogden's funeral (with Jean Alexander's incredibly moving BAFTA nominated performance as wife Hilda breaking down at home), Alan Bradley's sensational death by a Blackpool tram, and a wonderful episode from 1984 when a talent contest was held in the Rovers Return, Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts) puts his voice (which he has used to record albums in real life) to good use, and old-time clubland acts Liz Dawn (Vera) and Lynne Perrie (Ivy) give an hilarious rendition of 'We're A Couple Of Swells'.
The only downside really is that I do wish more episodes were included, the show was so good back in the 1980s that I was dying to see more. It's a shame that they didn't include the really big episodes like Derrick Wilton and Mavis Riley jilting each other during their first attempt at marriage, Bet Lynch when she was trapped in a fire upstairs in the Rovers, and Brian Tilsley's nightclub murder (and it's aftermath, because Lynne Perrie gave a cracking performance after receiving the news that her son was dead). However, you can't have everything, but with 80 episodes, you can't go all that wrong really.
This boxed set is a five star release all the way, and must for any soap opera/classic British television fans.