Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Day British Viewing Figures

Christmas Day British Viewing Figures top 10
  1. The Queen (BBC One and ITV) - 7.82 million
  2. Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special (BBC One) - 7.61 million viewers
  3. EastEnders (BBC One) - 7.55 million
  4. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (BBC One) - 6.98 million
  5. Call The Midwife (BBC One) - 6.83 million
  6. Miranda (BBC One) - 6.67 million
  7. Coronation Street (ITV) - 6.41 million
  8. Doctor Who (BBC One) - 6.34 million
  9. Emmerdale (ITV) - 5.53 million
  10. Downton Abbey (ITV) - 5.52 million

Source: Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Filming at Daisy Nook - again!

We've been filming at Daisy Nook for Channel 4's 'How To Sell Your Home'.  The home owners were being filmed looking for ideas to transform their garden - they liked what we had so much that they actually bought everything from us too!  that's what we call a result.  The show airs in the UK in January.

Best of British Weekend

Our Best of British Weekend at Daisy Nook was a big hit and raised over £650 for Help For Heroes which supports our servicemen and women.

Daisy Nook at Christmas

Turkeys waiting for Christmas

A traditional tree

Polar bears wanting a good home

Garden features

Furry mice

Downton Abbey

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Around Manchester

Another picture of Manchester.
It's the Big Wheel viewed from the cathedral gates.
Courtesy: Shutterstock

In Manchester next weekend?

In Manchester next weekend?

We have a great 'Best of British' weekend planned at Daisy Nook.
All activities are free but we are taking donations for the charity Help For Heroes who will also have a stall selling all their merchandise on both days.

The programme is as follows:

Sat 8 November:
All day: Meet the Town Crier and the British Lion plus climb aboard a London bus from the Manchester Transport Museum.
Noon - 4pm: Meet our Del Boy lookalike and his Reliant Robin as we celebrate classic British TV show 'Only Fools and Horses'.
Noon - 4pm: Enjoy traditional clog dancing by The Milltown Cloggies
2.30pm - 3.30pm: Our gardening expert Paul will be talking all things gardening in the Community Room - and answering your green fingered questions.
Shop open 9am - 5pm

Sun 9 November:
11am: Silence in memory of fallen heroes.
Noon - 4pm: Meet the British Lion
1pm - 4pm: Our Christmas designer Wendy will be available in the main shop to assist with your purchases, offer advice and share the tricks of the trade in making your home sparkle this Christmas.
2pm: Mark will be talking about the world's longest running continual drama 'Coronation St' in the Community Room between 2pm and 3pm.
3.15pm: Paul shares all his gardening top tips until 4pm in the Community Room
Shop open 10.30am - 4.30pm

Friday, 31 October 2014

Tracy's wedding location

Here's where Rob and Tracy's wedding was filmed - Capesthorne Hall near Macclesfield in Cheshire.

As far as I'm aware it's the first time it's been used as a Corrie location - though I could be wrong.

Behind bars - on Corrie

Here's the answer to that popular question - what's inside the shells of the houses on the Corrie set.  Well, this is the inside of the Rovers Return at the new Salford studios.

Daisy Nook's Christmas Look

The entrance and start of Daisy Nook's royal themed displays - here we have Balmoral

The castle entrance

The purples and silvers of the Throne Room

Santa's sleigh

Santa in his house preparing for the big night

The entrance to our 'Downton Abbey' section

The Flower Market

The Food Market

Jennie's in a pickle

Fiz (aka the divine and heavily pregnant Jennie McAlpine) launched her range of Annies pickles, jams and sweets at Daisy Nook this week ... and they went down a storm!

A great Christmas gift - or a treat for yourself!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Christmas is Coming

Just some of the Christmas events at Daisy Nook this season:

Wed 29 Oct 6.30-9pm
Join us as we launch our Royal themed Christmas displays.  Meet the live owls!  Meet Corrie's Fiz! 10% off just about everything in store.  Free drink and cake for each customer*
*First come, first served basis.

Sat 8 and Sun 9 Nov
Best of British Weekend
Loads of things going on - all free!  We just ask that you donate something to our charity of the month - Help For Heroes.  Activities include: Climb aboard  a vintage bus, watch the clog dancing, meet the British Lion, meet 'Del Boy' and have a picture with the Reliant Robin plus talks on gardening and Coronation St + get loads of advice from our Christmas designer.

Thur 13 Nov
Flower Arranging Night 7pm
Join Kathleen Williams as she shows you all the tricks of the trade needed to create something fantastic for your home.  Tickets cost £3 in aid of Guide Dogs.
After the demo take some time to do a spot of shopping.

Sun 16 Nov
Meet Queen Victoria.
The official royal lookalike from Osborne House will be in store throughout the afternoon.

Weekends in December - we welcome a changing programme of bands and choirs.

Around Manchester

Another of my pictures of Manchester.  The old coal dock at Castlefield.  For Corrie fans - it's where Roy Cropper went into the water at the hands of Tony Gordon - and where Tyrone tried to dispose of some Christmas turkeys.

Stars in Pantomime

Want to see an ex-Corrie star in pantomime?  Here's a pretty comprehensive list:

Chris Gascoyne (Peter) - Birmingham - Jack and the Beanstalk
Sherrie Hewson (Maureen) - Hull - Aladdin
Nigel Havers (Lewis) - Swindon - Dick Whittington
Eric Potts (Diggory) - Bristol - Dick Whittington
Marc Baylis (Rob) - Bromley - Sleeping Beauty (see bottom picture)
Bruce Jones (Les) - Touring - Aladdin
Scott Wright (Sam the Stripper) - Lytham St Annes - Aladdin
Vicky Entwistle (Janice) - Mansfield - Sleeping Beauty
Bradley Walsh (Danny) - Milton Keynes - Peter Pan
Tupele Dorgu (Kelly) - New Brighton - Snow White
Kevin Kennedy (Curly) - Norwich - Peter Pan (see top picture below)
Fine Time Fontayne (Peter's cell mate) - Oldham - Aladdin
Nigel Pivaro (Terry) - Rickmansworth - Aladdin (see middle picture below)
Brian Capron (Richard Hillman) - Sevenoaks - Cinderella
Ken Morley (Reg) - Southport - Sleeping Beauty
Nick Cochrane (Andy) - St Helens - Jack and the Beanstalk
Steven Arnold (Ashley) - Woking - Aladdin

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ex-Corrie cast in pantomime

Here's a list of the main ex-Corrie actors (and some who will be ex- by the time the curtain goes up) in pantomime this season:

Chris Gascoyne (Peter) is in Jack and the Beanstalk in Birmingham
Sherrie Hewson (Maureen Holdsworth) is in Aladdin at Hull.
Nigel Havers (Lewis Archer) is in Dick Whittington at Swindon
Eric Potts (Diggory) is in Dick Whittington in Bristol
Marc Baylis (Rob) is in Sleeping Beauty at Bromley
Bruce Jones (Les Battersby) is in Aladdin touring to a number of venues including Heywood and Ellesmere Port
Scott Wright (Sam the Stripper) is in Aladdin at Lythan St Annes
Vicky Entwistle (Janice) is in Sleeping Beauty at Mansfield
Bradley Walsh (Danny Baldwin) appears in Peter Pan at Milton Keynes
Tupele Dorgu (Kelly Crabtree) is in Snow White at New Brighton
Kevin Kennedy (Curly) is in Peter Pan at Norwich
Fine Time Fontayne (Peter's prison cell mate) is in Aladdin at Oldham
Nigel Pivaro (Terry Duckworth) is in Aladdin at Rickmansworth
Brian Capron (Richard Hillman) is in Cinderella at Sevenoaks
Ken Morley (Reg Holdsworth) is in Sleeping Beauty at Southport
Nick Cochrane (Andy McDonald) is in Jack and the Beanstalk at St Helens
Steven Arnold (Ashley Peacock) is at Woking starring in Aladdin

There will be others I'm sure - but these are the ones I've noticed so far.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Come and meet Fiz


Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine’s Manchester restaurant and tea rooms, Annies, has won many accolades and awards since it opened two years ago.  More recently she and partner Chris Farr have expanded the business to sell their own made range of pickles and preserves through the restaurant and at specialist food markets.

 Now they’ve teamed up with Oldham’s leading family-run garden centre, Daisy Nook, to offer their products direct to the public - the first time the range will be available through another retailer.

 “It’s a perfect partnership,” explained Jennie.  “Both businesses are family run and share a common ethos of promoting local products that are superb quality.”

 Jennie and her family will be launching the range, called Annies Tea Shop, at the garden centre’s Christmas preview evening on Wednesday 29 October between 6.30pm and 9pm.

 “We’ll be letting people try some of the jams and chutneys for themselves – I’ll be happy to sign any of the purchases – and there’s a 10% discount for the night!” said the actress who is expecting her first child in November. 

The Daisy Nook Christmas Preview Evening sees the unveiling of the store’s royal themed Christmas displays.  As well as Jennie’s appearance, Gary’s Feathered Friends will be giving shoppers the chance to meet their owls and birds of prey – and there’s 10% off just about everything in store for the evening.  Doors open at 6.30pm.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Around Salford Quays

A few things to look out for if you visit Salford Quays.
 This model of the Rovers Return can currently be found in the reception of the main BBC/ITV building (right be the entrance for the BBC orchestras)

 Further along the same reception area is Doctor Who's Tardis and a couple of Daleks.

This is the view from the 'Air Tower' at the Imperial War Museum of the North looking over the new studio sets.  Sadly the view of Corrie Street itself is largely obscured but you can still make out quite a bit.  Worth the £1.20 admission fee  anyway.

A fizzy sweet treat

Why's Corrie's Fiz making jam?
Come along to Daisy Nook on Wed 29 October between 6.30pm and 9pm and see for yourself.
Actress Jennie McAlpine has teamed up with Manchester's leading garden centre to launch her own range of jams and chutneys which will be on sale at the centre.  Meet Jennie and her family at the Daisy Nook Garden Centre Christmas Preview Evening on Wed 29 October 6.30-9pm.
 Free tastings, 10% off just about everything in store, meet Gary's Feathered Friends - birds of prey and owls, free cake and a drink whilst stocks last, and the launch of our royal themed Christmas displays.
Please note: the shop is closed 5pm-6.30pm

Blooming Dogs Weekend

We had some special visitors at Daisy Nook this week - as you can see - Norma Jones and her guide dog Hetta met Doctor Who's K9.  They were joining us to launch this year's Flower Arranging Festival which runs from Fri 3 - Sun 5 October.  It takes place during garden centre opening hours (9-5 except Sun when it's 10.30-4.30) and there's free admission.  As well as over 40 fantastic displays all with a doggy theme we have raffles, competitions and demonstrations in aid of Guide Dogs.  Amongst the VIP visitors over the weekend will be TV's Dulux dog and animals from Blue Peter.
On Sunday top Canadian florist Neville McKay will be giving a floral art demonstration at 11.30am.

Thanks to Kemptville Travel

For many years I've been the guide for Canada's Kemptville Travel - and this year was no exception.  As ever it was great fun sharing with a fantastic group of fans lots of locations around Manchester - and a trip around the new Salford studios.

As you can see we had fabulous weather - and we managed to catch sight of some new areas of the set.  Would Eccleston be the name of one of the production team I wonder?  We also saw what's going to be done to the old butcher's shop - but I can't share the picture at the moment as we were sworn to secrecy!

If you want to know how you can join next year's tour - visit Kemptville's website and sign up!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Looking back

Going through some of my old pictures this week I found these.  I took them at the opening of Jayne Tunnicliffe's art exhibition in Manchester's Northern Quarter a few years ago.  Jayne played Yanna of course (that's her in the second picture with Wendi Peters).  Top is David Neilson and bottom is Tony Warren, Corrie's creator.  I asked him to choose which picture he wanted to be photographed with - and he chose Elsie.  He was very close to Pat Phoenix.  In fact, when she was gravely ill she checked into the hospital as Miss Warren.

Please don't reproduce these images without permission.  Thanks!

Chimney Pot Park

Those of you who have been on a Corrie locations tour with me will no doubt have been taken to the 'Red Rec' (Chimney Pot Park) and seen the 'upside down' houses which were constructed from the shells of the old terraces.  I found the first picture recently.  I took it about 15 years ago and it shows the view of the houses from the park before the work.    You'll recognise it from the old Corrie credits.

Some years back Urban Splash bought the area up and basically kept the shells but put new homes inside.  They have bedrooms downstairs and lounges up top and where the back yards and alley used to be they have decked gardens with parking below.  You can see these in the second picture. 

I was there on Tuesday when some friends (who are Corrie mad) came to visit from Birmingham and I gave them the grand tour of Salford.  I think it's great that they preserved the old whilst making them suitable for modern families.  The only thing I don't like is the skylights.  It's a nod to the old chimneys which gave the area it's nickname but they look 'bolted on' to me.

Some more pictures of Greater Manchester

In  order we have: A lovely shot of Castlefield in the city centre.  Then two doors at the Moravian Settlement in Droylsden.  A view of a church in Oldham - and finally, a misty November morning in Alexandra Park, Oldham.  I took the second and fourth.  Thanks to Shutterstock for the other two.

Coronation St to be demolished

It has been confirmed this week that the old Corrie set will be demolished in coming months.  This was always the plan and comes as no surprise.  The temporary tours were scheduled to continue until October - I suspect that they might be extended for a while longer but ultimately the set will go to make way for a new development.

I'll be sad to see it go but then, that's what happened to the original outdoor set which was used between 1968 and 1982.  I actually own a brick from that one!

Although the tour has done well - and taken a lot of money - there's no doubt that ticket sales would have petered out.  After all, the show gets (in the UK) around 8 million viewers and I think I read that they've sold a million tickets already.  The cost of upkeep would start outweighing the income so it would have to come down eventually.  The other issue is that the whole Granada site has been sold to a developer and the income from any kind of tour is also going to be smaller than the income from building flats on it.

It's sad but when Granada (or ITV as they are now known) moved to Salford the bulldozers were sure to come round the corner of Rosamund Street before too long.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Hartshead Pike

Two views of Hartshead Pike which sits on the hill between Oldham and Tameside.  There's been a 'pike' or tower on the site for many generations.  It was used as a place where a beacon was lit to announce major events such as royal weddings - or the outbreak of war.

It's said that this young lady used to live in or around the pike.  A gypsy woman - she was said to have special powers and to live on a diet of roast hedgehog!