After almost ten years of covering British comedy, drama, pop culture and pretty much everything British, today is a first. As in the first time we write about Coronation Street. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running television soap opera, the series premiered on 9 December, 1960 and centers on Coronation Street in the fictional town of Weatherfield.
The street, which has as much worldwide recognition as Baker Street (Sherlock), Eaton Place (Upstairs Downstairs) and maybe even Sesame Street, was built in 1902 and named in honor of the coronation of King Edward VII according to the show’s fictional history. It’s probably a safe bet to say there isn’t a subject the series hasn’t dealt with. But after almost six decades of airing 6 days a week, greatness is moving to Coronation Street as the brilliant Maureen Lipman has joined the series as Evelyn Plummer, the grandmother of Tyrone Dobbs, an ‘outspoken battleaxe’ who will ‘ruffle a few feathers’.
While I was, sadly, only introduced to the acclaimed British actress and comedian in the ITV comedy series Ladies of Letters in which she co-starred with Anne Reid, the newest resident of Weatherfield is best known for starring in The Pianist, Educating Rita and Oklahoma. Her theatre credits include over 25 West End productions. In a sense, Lipman is returning to Coronation Street having had a brief stint in the soap in 2007 as Lilian Spencer, a relief manager at the Rovers Return pub. Her late husband, Jack Rosenthal, wrote 250 episodes during the series’ early days.
At 72, Lipman is currently appearing in new a one-woman show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe called Up For It.