A federal government minister has actually cautioned that Crowning Street would remain in Tier 3 under COVID constraints – and the Rovers Return would just be able to serve takeaway food.
The claim was made by media minister John Whittingdale in a Commons debate in which MPs of all celebrations lavished praise on the TELEVISION soap as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.
Bringing a topical concern into the debate, Mr Whittingdale stated: “I fear that it is practically particular that Weatherfield would still remain in Tier 3 with completion of the national lockdown, which would mean that the Rovers Return would only have the ability to supply a takeaway service.
” But I hope it would not be long before the Rovers Return would remain in Tier 2, which would naturally permit the sale of alcohol with a substantial meal such as Betty’s hotpot.”
Mr Whittingdale also praised social distancing steps taken by the programme, such as positioning furniture between characters, to make sure production could continue during the pandemic.
” But it is very crucial, not simply obviously that production is done safely, however likewise for public messaging, which a show like Coronation Street can assist get across, about the significance of maintaining social distancing and mask using,” he stated.
The Corrie argument was staged by Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who between 1994 and 1997 played Tricia Armstrong, a character who – in another topical twist – was sent out to prison for not paying her TELEVISION licence.
Opening the dispute, Ms Brabin stated Coronation Street is as much a part of British culture as “a nice cuppa, a fish and chip supper or taking a seat to the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day”.
She told MPs: “We have actually wept together, gasped together, laughed together and learned together. Renowned storylines that cause a country to relax from their hectic lives, make a cuppa and pop Corrie on the telly.”
In an uncommon move, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is MP for Chorley, intervened in the dispute, telling MPs: “It’s fascinating with Coronation Street – they always discuss going to Chorley Market since they know the good worth of Chorley Market.
” The other thing is Ken Morley is from Chorley, just among the few stars that’s been in Coronation Street. And in the house I have actually got the tray from Newton and Ridley that was off the set of Crowning Street.
” Both myself and [Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans] were on a politics reveal where we needed to guess many questions. Think who won? I got the tray.”
In his speech, Mr Whittingdale, who was Margaret Thatcher’s political secretary prior to becoming an MP, stated Coronation Street was “undoubtedly the world’s biggest soap” and exposed he had twice gone to the set.
:: Sign up for the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
” The very first time I did so was with Margaret Thatcher in January 1990,” he stated. “And it was indeed the case that I had to inform her en route to the set on the characters who were stars at that particular time.
” And I did certainly go through all the different storylines and she was especially eager to visit Alf Roberts’ corner store since of course her own dad was Alfred Roberts who ran the grocers shop in Grantham.
” However she got here on set and was mad to see that Alf Roberts’ corner store had the sign, ‘accredited to offer alcohol’, and she stated that certainly, this would never ever have been allowed in her own father’s store, who would not have actually imagined offering alcohol.
” But having said that, she did then visit the Rovers Return, but was extremely clear that she would have a bitter lemon from behind the bar.”
Another fan of Mrs Thatcher, previous Tory minister Conor Burns, stated it was time Boris Johnson went to the set of Crowning Street in Salford.
“The prime minister has yet to go to Coronation Street,” he said. “And I hope that is something he will rectify, for those people who are dedicated fans take great offense at the reality that as mayor of London he went to the inferior EastEnders, but has not yet paid tribute to Coronation Street.
“The 60th anniversary would be a great celebration for the prime minister to go up to Crowning Street and say thank you on behalf of the federal government and the United Kingdom.”