Monday, 21 September 2015

If I was Producer ...

At the weekend I was on a creative writing course and on the last day we took Coronation Street as our inspiration (simply because we all knew the show) for a series of workshops based on things like character usefulness, character demographics etc.  Basically you had to look at the current list of Corrie characters and decide who you would keep/lose if you were new producer, who should live in each house to give you a good spread of characters, and outline how you got there.  It was really fun.

Now, I should say that this was not organised by ITV Granada - and you had to lose at least 15 characters making sure that your motivation wasn't just to axe characters you disliked but that you should end up with a good cross-section of ages etc.  (I also wasn't allowed to keep characters just because I liked the actor!) So, for what it's worth, here's my attempt:

THE PLATTS /GRIMSHAWS

Gail makes a last bid to save her marriage to Michael but – after a false start – he returns to Eileen.  Eileen puts her house on the market and sells to Jason who moves Eva in with him.  Eileen and Michael move away to start afresh.  Gail agrees to a divorce.  She goes to stay with Stephen who offers her a better life in Italy.  As she boards the plane to come back to the UK she is seated next to Susie Birchall, her old mate, who it transpires lives in Italy with her wealthy husband.  Gail feels it’s a sign and makes up her mind to move out there subject to Audrey’s approval – which she gets.  Kylie and David remain in the house and David attempts to be a better person.  Sara and Bethany head back to Italy never to be seen again.

TULLY/MAYHEW

Sean applies for a job as the manager of the bingo hall and is successful so finishes at the Rovers.  With changes at the factory he packs that in too.  He loves his new job.  Billy is told that it’s time for him to move parish and that it’ll be in Dorset.  Sean is furious that having landed his dream job he will have to pack it in.  There is a huge row and Billy and Sean split up.  Ironically the Bishop then offers Billy the chance to stay in Weatherfield but by then Sean has burnt his bridges.  When Eileen sells her home to Jason he asks Sean to move out.  Sean bids farewell to the street whilst Billy stays as vicar.

THE ROVERS

Liz starts dating a new fella who tries it on with Michelle.  When Michelle tells Liz, she doesn’t believe her and suggests that she’s jealous of Liz.  Steve backs his mother.  Michelle tells him it’s over and packs her bags.  Eva continues as barmaid.  Liz is determined to keep Steve by her side – the only man she can truly trust.  Steve sells Streetcars (as below).

 SALLY

Sally and Tim marry but Sally tires of having Sophie at home so she issues her with an ultimatum – get a career or move on.  Sophie shocks Sally by telling her that she’ll move out.  Sophie moves in with Kevin.  When Kevin decides to move in with his new girlfriend (who lives in Leeds) Sophie thinks she’ll go along too but she has a shock when the girlfriend refuses.  Forced to stand on her own two feet Sophie gets a job in a hotel which has accommodation and she becomes an infrequent visitor to Weatherfield.  Tim does some work clearing out an old mill and manages to make some extra cash selling bits and bobs to Carla and Tyrone.  Sally thinks he’s quite the entrepreneur.  Then he comes home with news that there’s a locked safe and Sally goes with him at night to try and get into it but with no joy.  Unbeknown to her Tim takes Tyrone along and they get the door open and find a quantity of cash.  He returns to sally with half the money (he gave Tyrone half) - £20,000.  Sally spends a night worrying about the consequences whilst dreaming about what to spend it on.  Tim goes to the Rovers to celebrate and comes back having had a few.  The next day Steve comes to get the cash – he ‘bought’ the taxi business for £30,000.  It then turns out Tim kept £10,000 for himself.  Sally thinks it’s a great idea to buy Streetcars and the sale goes through.  Now she and Tim can be together all day long.

THE BARLOWS

Robert and Tracy clash when Tracy hatches a plan to defraud Ken to finance a new start for the couple.  When Robert unmasks Tracy in front of Ken, she tells Ken that he’ll never see her or Amy again if he doesn’t help her.  Audrey provides Ken with a shoulder to cry on – and with Audrey’s help he sets up a trust fund for Amy and tells Tracy to sling her hook.  Robert, Tracy and Amy leave. Barlow’s Buys is put on the market.  Audrey and Ken enjoy a ‘friendship only’ relationship – nights at the theatre, meals out etc. 

THE CORNER SHOP

Dev is finding business suffering as a new supermarket opens on the outskirts of town.  He is forced to let Mary go.  He begins to wonder whether he actually has a business worth saving.  Norris starts selling food lines in the Kabin – which Dev sees as the final blow.  When he bumps into an old school friend who has a successful chain of shops in Scotland he is intrigued to be offered a job.  On the anniversary of Sunita’s death he reflects on his life and that of his children and decides to take the opportunity and to leave Weatherfield for good.  The corner shop goes on the market and he leaves it up for sale as he departs.  A new owner will subsequently buy it and move into the flat.

THE KABIN

Rita has a fall in the shop (accidentally caused by Norris) which leaves her in a wheelchair and unable to access her flat.  Norris offers to put her up in the front room of his house.  Rita has no option but to agree but she quickly tires of being cared for by him and he quickly tires of having her there all the time.  Meanwhile Mary is drafted in to assist in the Kabin.  Emily and Rita pass the time by bitching Norris.  As Rita starts to get on her feet she makes her way to the Kabin where she finds many changes.  There’s a huge row and Norris storms out of the Kabin.  He is knocked down and subsequently dies.  Todd is driving the car and is breathalysed and found to be over the limit.  He is sentenced to three years and so leaves the street.  Norris has left Emily the house in his will and Emily asks Mary to move in – it’s what, she thinks, Norris would have wanted.  Mary agrees – temporarily. Rita buys the Kabin back when it goes on the market and Mary works alongside her.

THE BISTRO

Nick decides to open a second bistro in town and offers David the chance to borrow money against the house and join him in the venture – so long as he buckles down and starts a night school course.  David sees the opportunity and agrees.  Audrey advises him not to extend his mortgage.  She offers to sell her home, move into the granny flat and to lend them the money to expand, which is what happens.  Audrey, takes to her role as matriarch of the Platts, and becomes rather waspish. 
 
THE SALON

David and Audrey continue with the salon but Maria asks for a rise when she’s offered a job elsewhere.  Audrey is considering giving her the pay increase but David, fresh from his new management evening class at the college, refuses and offers to pay her a bonus based on customer satisfaction and bookings only.  This is agreed to but Maria finds she is earning less than before.  In a huff she quits.  The next day she’s back at Audrey’s begging forgiveness.  David refuses to give her the job back so she is forced to take a job across town.  After a while she moves away with Liam jnr.
 
ROY’S ROLLS

Roy and Cathy’s relationship continues.  Anna’s nose is put out of joint as Cathy picks up more hours in the cafĂ©.  It pushes Anna into reflecting on her options.  After a holiday in Wales she returns with ideas of moving there and starting her own business.  At first Roy isn’t pleased but he soon decides to share his experience with her and he takes her to Wales to look at suitable cafes and to act as her mentor.  Eventually Anna and Faye move away.  Roy talks of buying another flat and Cathy assumes he’s wanting to progress their relationship and have her move in or live closer by.  When he rents the flat over Audrey’s she’s quite excited but he explains that he’d never leave the flat he and Hayley shared – and he wants room to lay out his train set so that’s what he’ll do in the new flat.  He gets Alex interested in trains and the two share quality time up there in the evenings.

 NAZIR’S

Zeedan is found to have been stealing money from the health club.  There is an altercation between him and Sharif.  Sharif suffers a fatal heart attack.  Yasmeen decides they should sell up and the health club is sold.  Ayla splits up from Gary after a short reconciliation and she leaves for pastures new.  Zeedan lands a job at the factory as a driver and eventually becomes Carla’s boyfriend.  Zeedan is doted on by his grandmother who brings his lunch to the factory each day to the hilarity of his co-workers.

THE GARAGE

When Kevin leaves he sells his shares to Tyrone – except that Ty can’t afford them all so Luke buys 10% and becomes junior partner.  Luke rents the flat above with his sister Steph.

THE FACTORY

After a stint in rehab Carla returns with a new fire in her belly and a contract to make curtains.  Meanwhile Aidan launches a branch of the business selling online and half the factory is converted to a call centre/web business.

PRIMA DONER

When Dev leaves he keeps his share in the business and Chesney stays on as manager.  When he and Fiz start their dog grooming business he quits Doners and it closes.

OTHERS
Leanne Battersby takes Simon to visit Peter. They don’t return having decided to attempt a reconciliation.
Erica and Nick’s relationship struggles on and eventually she leaves seeing no future.
Izzy quits her job after a confrontation with Aidan and leaves to join her father. 
Kirk and Beth continue to live in the street with Craig. 
Tyrone and Fiz continue after the death of Hope.  Chesney lodges with them.  When Tyrone gets the cash via Tim he thinks they should use the windfall to start a little business for Fiz to run.  She and Chesney set up a mobile dog groomers/walkers business.
Andy buys Dev’s house and takes Gary in as a lodger to make ends meet.  Andy continues to work in the bistro.  Gary works part time in Roys Rolls and also at the bistro.

STREET RESIDENTS:

Rovers – Liz and Steve with Eva working there
1 – Ken
3 – Emily and Mary
5 – Kirk, Beth, Sinead and Craig
7 – Andy and Gary
9 – Tyrone, Fiz and Ruby
11 – Jason and Eva
13 – For sale (will eventually be let to allow the 'trying out' of new characters)
Corner Shop and flat – new residents
Barlows Buys and flat above – For Sale
Street cars – Owners:  Sally and Tim
Audrey’s – Owners/workers: Audrey, David and Kylie
Above Audrey’s – Roy's train set
4 – Sally and Tim
6 – Zeedan and Yasmeen
8 – David, Kylie, Max and Audrey
Above Kabin – Rita
Kabin: Owner: Rita with Mary working
2nd Flat over Kabin – Luke and Steph
Roys Rolls – Owner/workers: Roy and Cathy, Gary and Alex
Bistro – Owner/workers: Nick, David, Gary, Andy, Steph
Factory: Carla and Aidan
Flats – Carla, Aidan, Nick

EXITS INCLUDE:

Gail, Michael, Eileen, Sophie, Kevin, Sara, Bethany, Sean, Dev, Norris, Leanne, Simon, Izzy, Erica, Ayla, Sharif, Maria, Anna, Faye and Tracy.