CORONATION Street celebrates its 60th birthday on Wednesday – and there is bound to be carnage on the cobbles.
Following on from HOAR’s Corrie Week, when we featured the show’s legends, today we talk to eight of its younger stars who will help to carry the legendary soap forward from its diamond anniversary.
‘My photo was on family mantelpiece’
ADAM took over as Dev’s son Aadi Alahan in February, with his debut episode aired two months later during the country’s first lockdown.
He said: “I felt like I was in a dream when I walked down the Street and saw the Rovers Return for the first time.
“But it was when I was doing a scene with Jimmi Harkishin (Dev) and seeing my photo in a frame on the mantelpiece that it hit me, ‘I’m a main cast member on Coronation Street’.
“Being here for the 60th anniversary is mind-blowing. Corrie is the biggest soap in the nation and it is great to be here for this milestone.
“It’s a British institution. The stories and the characters relate so well to viewers, and especially northerners.”
‘My grandad records all my episodes’
TANISHA has played Asha Alahan since she was six and is grateful for storylines that have resonated with fans, including when her character tried to bleach her skin.
She said: “I was a sassy little girl when I started, even though I had no idea what I was doing. It was a case of, ‘Say these lines, don’t look at the camera’.
“I was that little baby growing up on set. It was probably easier than normal life because you have a second family to support you.
“My grandad, who records all my episodes, always says, ‘What better job could you have than being on Coronation Street?’
“I feel so privileged to be given the responsibility to show issues like skin lightening. I had so many positive messages afterwards, it’s incredible Coronation Street can have such an impact.”
‘I met Rita and was totally starstruck’
THE daughter of Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher and singer Lisa Moorish, Mollie was working in a shop when she heard she had won the role of Roy Cropper’s niece Nina Lucas last year.
She said: “I had a job at a gift shop, having just graduated from drama school, when my agent rang. I thought, ‘If I haven’t got the part, I’ve got an eight-hour shift to get through’.
“When I got the good news, I kind of froze. The world stopped.
“I was terrified on my first day, having watched all these characters and actors for years and years.
“The first scene I filmed was with Barbara Knox (Rita) and I was completely starstruck.
“The first time I was in the Rovers, I was just staring at everything and thinking, ‘Here I am, on Coronation Street for real’.”
‘Playing Ken Barlow’s grandson is honour’
WHEN Alex joined the soap as Simon Barlow 12 years ago, he knew it would change his life. He even won Best Young Performance at the British Soap Awards in 2011.
Alex said: “Even at seven years old I knew getting a part on Corrie was a very big deal, and playing Ken Barlow’s grandson is a huge honour.
“Bill Roache, who plays Ken, is one of the best people, such a kind soul. Him, Jane Danson (Simon’s adoptive mum, Leanne) and Chris Gascoyne (Simon’s dad, Peter) are so amazing and talented. They’ve taught me so much. I never want to be in anything else, I absolutely adore the place.
“I grew up on a street in Blackburn, in Lancashire, that was very similar to Coronation Street, so it’s almost like a home from home.”
‘I can assure you Tracy’s not like that’
ELLE has played Tracy Barlow’s daughter Amy for ten years.
She said: “The first question fans ask me is, ‘Is Tracy like that in real life?’
“Kate Ford, who plays Tracy, is nothing like her character, I can assure you. She’s the loveliest person.
“I remember Anne Kirkbride (Amy’s grandma Deirdre) sitting me on her lap on my first day and asking my star sign.
“When I told her I’m a libra, she said, ‘We’re going to get on just fine’.
“Annie was absolutely hilarious, probably the funniest, craziest person you could hope to meet. She would play the harmonica on set.
“I still get nervous working with Barbara Knox (Rita) because she is so brilliant and outshines everyone.”
‘I look at Sally and think: You legend’
WHEN Ellie joined as Faye Windass in 2011, she was lucky to have a family member show her the ropes.
She said: “As a child, I used to watch my cousin, Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster), on Corrie and it was so confusing. She was on the telly, but at home at the same time.
“When I started, it was a great comfort to see her at work. I was a newcomer there, with all these people off the telly.
“I remember feeling quite starstruck meeting Bill Roache (Ken Barlow).
“Even now, working with Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe) a lot, I’ll look at her and think, ‘You’re such a legend’.
“I am linked to someone who has a big storyline for the 60th anniversary, which is very exciting. I’m looking forward to the viewers’ reaction.”
‘It’s like being in a book that you love’
BABY-FACED Harriet took over as 16-year-old Summer Spellman last month. She replaced Matilda Freeman, who quit earlier this year.
On playing Summer, who is under the guardianship of vicar Billy Mayhew, she said: “I burst into tears when I got the part. My parents are massive fans.
“After watching the show for so many years, actually being on the cobbles was very, very strange. It was like entering your favourite childhood book.
“Because of Covid restrictions, we have to limit the number of cast members on set so I haven’t met everyone yet. I don’t know what I’ll do when I meet Simon Gregson, as Steve is one of my favourite characters.
“It’s incredible to be a part of the 60th celebrations, especially after the year we have all had.”
‘I’m the favourite grandchild now!’
COLSON has grown up in front of the nation, having joined the soap nine years ago. He plays policeman Craig Tinker.
Colson said: “My grandma Sheila is a big Corrie fan, she won’t answer the phone if it rings during an episode – not even to me.
“When I told her I’d got the part, I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m the favourite grandchild now’.
“There are times when you have to pinch yourself and that always happens to me when I’m filming on the cobbles, especially at night. It’s such a special place.
“When Tony Warren created the show, he wanted to open up the doors into people’s lives.
“Sixty years on we’re still doing it, and even in the midst of a global pandemic we’re putting out six episodes a week. It just shows the size and scale of it.”
GOT a story? RING HOAR on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]