Logo 1975.JPG

1977 was Coronation Street's eighteenth year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1 Elsie Howard Patricia Phoenix Full year 81 1186 8
2 Len Fairclough Peter Adamson Full year 78 1362 1
3 Bet Lynch Julie Goodyear Full year 76 571 2
3 Hilda Ogden Jean Alexander Full year 76 934 5
5 Rita Littlewood/Fairclough Barbara Mullaney|/Knox Full year 74 406 12
6 Ray Langton Neville Buswell Full year 69 718 5
7 Betty Turpin Betty Driver Full year 68 639 3
8 Annie Walker Doris Speed Full year 66 1337 4
9 Ken Barlow William Roache Full year 64 1155 7
9 Alf Roberts Bryan Mosley Full year 64 457 9
9 Eddie Yeats Geoffrey Hughes Full year 64 146 22
12 Deirdre Langton Anne Kirkbride Full year 62 294 9
13 Mavis Riley Thelma Barlow Full year 61 259 16
14 Fred Gee Fred Feast Full year 60 115 18
15 Renee Bradshaw Madge Hindle Full year 59 103 20
16 Gail Potter Helen Worth Full year 58 167 9
16 Stan Ogden Bernard Youens Full year 58 870 15
18 Ernest Bishop Stephen Hancock Full year 57 406 13
19 Mike Baldwin Johnny Briggs Full year 56 72 24
19 Emily Bishop Eileen Derbyshire Full year 56 967 13
19 Albert Tatlock Jack Howarth Full year 56 1024 17
22 Suzie Birchall Cheryl Murray From January 54 54 -
23 Tracy Langton Christabel Finch From January 40 40 -
24 Ena Sharples Violet Carson Until August 32 1061 21
25 Vera Duckworth Elizabeth Dawn Full year 17 24 27
26 Ivy Tilsley Lynne Perrie Full year 16 55 28
27 Steve Fisher Lawrence Mullin From August 14 14 -
27 Derek Wilton Peter Baldwin April, July to August and November to December 14 26 25
29 Blanche Hunt Maggie Jones January to February and May to June 10 90 26
30 Peter Barlow Joseph McKenna August to September 6 35 -
31 Janet Barlow Judith Barker February only 3 71 -
31 Billy Walker Kenneth Farrington October only 3 328 -
33 Alan Howard Alan Browning July only 1 256 -

Production

The residents mark the Silver Jubilee

After being appointed the programme's producer in 1976, Bill Podmore carried on for a second year. Two former producers, June Howson and Leslie Duxbury, stood in for Podmore for episodes 1738 to 1739 and 1744 to 1747, respectively. Podmore then remained in the role until Episode 2269, broadcast on 29th December 1982 - the longest run of any producer to date.

Although Podmore is mostly remembered for his comedic storylines, his tenure occasionally veered into darker territory. In February, the first suicide of a main character occurred when Janet Barlow took her own life after failing to affect a reconciliation with Ken. As Janet and Ken were still married, Judith Barker was approached about reprising her character for a final time in order to close off that chapter of Ken's life. Unlike the planned suicide of Sheila Birtles in 1963, this storyline does not appear to have stirred up any controversy.

Len Fairclough and Rita Littlewood's wedding in April broke 20 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode of the decade. The culmination of a five-year courtship, the occasion was marked by a special TV Times souvenir magazine entitled There’s a Wedding in the Street. The magazine is notable as it contained a wedding album of colour photos taken several weeks before the film shoot at All Saint's Church on Barton Road, Stretford. The cast effectively performed the ceremony twice so that the magazine would have time to go to press before the episode aired. This caused a problem when, on the day they were set to film the wedding scenes, Patricia Phoenix called in sick. The result was that Elsie Howard had to be painstakingly removed from all of TV Times's photos.

Alongside the programme's on-screen celebration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, almost all of the main cast appeared in a skit written by John Stevenson in a Jubilee variety show at Manchester's Palace Theatre.

A major location shoot took place in the Peak District for a storyline in which Ken Barlow was injured during a walking holiday with son Peter. The Royal Air Force Service and the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team assisted the production team during filming, for which they received a credit in the transmitted episodes. Peter was aged up by several years as Joseph McKenna took over the part, the only actor to play him with a Scottish accent.

Three new younger characters were introduced. One was Tracy Langton, daughter of Ray and Deirdre. Tracy was the first baby born in Coronation Street since 1965, and actress Christabel Finch the first child in the cast since the Barlows twins were written out in 1971. Unlike the twins whose appearances in the late 1960s were kept to a minimum, a conscious decision was made to feature Tracy as much as possible. Blanche Hunt returned for the birth, with Maggie Jones making further appearances in the summer.

The other arrivals were Suzie Birchall and Steve Fisher, who along with Gail Potter made up the programme's trio of teenagers. Gail and Suzie, who both lodged with Elsie Howard, worked together at Sylvia's Separates which became The Western Front, a modern boutique owned by Mike Baldwin.

Derek Wilton, Billy Walker and Alan Howard also featured. With 14 appearances across five months, Derek was cemented as the main man in Mavis Riley's life. The occasion of Kenneth Farrington's return was the 40th anniversary of Annie Walker becoming landlady of the Rovers Return. The same episode saw Deirdre Langton molested under the viaduct by a mystery attacker. Alan Howard's appearance was a vocal cameo where his voice was heard as Elsie Howard read a letter from her estranged husband. This was Alan Browning's final contribution to the programme as the characters were divorced in 1978.

A minor change was made to the title sequence with Episode 1768 on 26th December. Following the refurbishment of the Rovers exterior, the final shot was re-filmed to reflect this fact.

Viewing figures

Ratings chart for the year

TAM/AGB (see Viewing Figures) changed their publishing method on 1st August. On that date, they abandoned their previous system of measuring viewers in terms of number of homes watching, and went over to number of viewers.

The early part of the year saw ratings climb to their highest levels since 1965, with five episodes gaining over twenty million viewers. The last of these - seen by 20.85 million viewers, the biggest audience of the decade - was Episode 1697 on 20th April, which saw Len Fairclough and Rita Littlewood finally tie the knot after a five-year on-again/off-again relationship. Six months gained on the same intervals in 1976, all but one of which were in the first half of the year. The last quarter of the year was over a million down on 1976 but the strong performance in the early months were enough to elevate the yearly average to 15.88 million viewers, the second-highest of the 1970s after 1970 and an increase of nearly 500,000 viewers on 1976.

Nine episodes reached number one in the viewing charts, the most since 1971 and an increase of eight from 1976. This number would steadily increase over the next few years as Coronation Street regained its position as the UK's top-rated programme for the majority of the year.

Episodes

# Ep.
No.
Date Writer Director Viewing
Figures
(homes,
until August/
viewers)
Chart
Position
1 1666 Monday 3rd January John Stevenson Alan Bromly 7,600,000
16,720,000
13
2 1667 Wednesday 5th January Julian Roach Alan Bromly 8,550,000
18,810,000
2
3 1668 Monday 10th January Adele Rose June Wyndham Davies 8,950,000
19,690,000
4
4 1669 Wednesday 12th January H.V. Kershaw June Wyndham Davies 8,900,000
19,580,000
6
5 1670 Monday 17th January Paula Milne John Black 8,900,000
19,580,000
3
6 1671 Wednesday 19th January Brian Finch John Black 8,800,000
19,360,000
4
7 1672 Monday 24th January Kay McManus Laurence Moody 8,800,000
19,360,000
5
8 1673 Wednesday 26th January Leslie Duxbury Laurence Moody 8,800,000
19,360,000
5
9 1674 Monday 31st January Leslie Duxbury Alan Bromly 9,050,000
19,910,000
2
10 1675 Wednesday 2nd February H.V. Kershaw Alan Bromly 8,800,000
19,360,000
4
11 1676 Monday 7th February John Stevenson Quentin Lawrence 8,950,000
19,690,000
2
12 1677 Wednesday 9th February Barry Hill Quentin Lawrence 8,650,000
19,030,000
5
13 1678 Monday 14th February Adele Rose Laurence Moody 9,000,000
19,800,000
3
14 1679 Wednesday 16th February Brian Finch Laurence Moody 8,650,000
19,030,000
5
15 1680 Monday 21st February Brian Finch Oliver Horsbrugh 9,250,000
20,350,000
2
16 1681 Wednesday 23rd February H.V. Kershaw Oliver Horsbrugh 9,050,000
19,910,000
6
17 1682 Monday 28th February Adele Rose Quentin Lawrence 9,050,000
19,910,000
2
18 1683 Wednesday 2nd March Janey Preger Quentin Lawrence 9,000,000
19,800,000
3
19 1684 Monday 7th March Kenneth Eastaugh Bill Gilmour 9,150,000
20,130,000
4
20 1685 Wednesday 9th March Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 8,400,000
18,480,000
7
21 1686 Monday 14th March Leslie Duxbury John Black 9,100,000
20,020,000
2
22 1687 Wednesday 16th March H.V. Kershaw John Black 8,300,000
18,260,000
6
23 1688 Monday 21st March Peter Tonkinson Oliver Horsbrugh 8,850,000
19,470,000
3
24 1689 Wednesday 23rd March Adele Rose Oliver Horsbrugh 8,550,000
18,810,000
4
25 1690 Monday 28th March John Stevenson Quentin Lawrence 9,144,000
20,116,800
1
26 1691 Wednesday 30th March Brian Finch Quentin Lawrence 8,587,000
18,891,400
4
27 1692 Monday 4th April Adele Rose June Wyndham Davies 8,883,000
19,542,600
2
28 1693 Wednesday 6th April Paula Milne June Wyndham Davies 8,200,000
18,040,000
4
29 1694 Monday 11th April John Stevenson Laurence Moody 5,902,000
12,984,400
n/k
30 1695 Wednesday 13th April H.V. Kershaw Laurence Moody 8,483,000
18,662,600
3
31 1696 Monday 18th April Leslie Duxbury Stephen Butcher 8,731,000
19,208,200
4
32 1697 Wednesday 20th April Brian Finch Stephen Butcher 9,478,000
20,851,600
1
33 1698 Monday 25th April John Stevenson June Wyndham Davies 8,680,000
19,096,000
4
34 1699 Wednesday 27th April Brian Finch June Wyndham Davies 8,841,000
19,450,200
2
35 1700 Monday 2nd May Kay McManus Laurence Moody 8,097,000
17,813,400
6
36 1701 Wednesday 4th May H.V. Kershaw Laurence Moody 8,120,000
17,864,000
5
37 1702 Monday 9th May Adele Rose Philip Draycott 8,443,000
18,574,600
1
38 1703 Wednesday 11th May Leslie Duxbury Philip Draycott 7,628,000
16,781,600
5
39 1704 Monday 16th May Brian Finch Stephen Butcher 8,211,000
18,064,200
1
40 1705 Wednesday 18th May Paula Milne Stephen Butcher 7,135,000
15,697,000
8
41 1706 Monday 23rd May Barry Hill Laurence Moody 8,032,000
17,670,400
3
42 1707 Wednesday 25th May Adele Rose Laurence Moody 5,345,000
11,759,000
n/k
43 1708 Monday 30th May H.V. Kershaw Philip Draycott 7,627,000
16,779,400
1
44 1709 Wednesday 1st June Leslie Duxbury Philip Draycott 6,848,000
15,065,600
4
45 1710 Monday 6th June Julian Roach Bill Gilmour 5,409,000
11,899,800
n/k
46 1711 Wednesday 8th June John Stevenson Bill Gilmour 6,420,000
14,124,000
9
47 1712 Monday 13th June David Crane Laurence Moody 7,776,000
17,107,200
1
48 1713 Wednesday 15th June Brian Finch Laurence Moody 7,079,000
15,573,800
7
49 1714 Monday 20th June H.V. Kershaw Philip Draycott 7,439,000
16,365,800
1
50 1715 Wednesday 22nd June Leslie Duxbury Philip Draycott 6,350,000
13,970,000
7
51 1716 Monday 27th June Janey Preger Bill Gilmour 7,350,000
16,170,000
1
52 1717 Wednesday 29th June H.V. Kershaw Bill Gilmour 6,550,000
14,410,000
6
53 1718 Monday 4th July Adele Rose Laurence Moody 6,400,000
14,080,000
3
54 1719 Wednesday 6th July Leslie Duxbury Laurence Moody 5,500,000
12,100,000
18
55 1720 Monday 11th July Julian Roach Stephen Butcher 6,550,000
14,410,000
5
56 1721 Wednesday 13th July John Stevenson Stephen Butcher 6,300,000
13,860,000
11
57 1722 Monday 18th July H.V. Kershaw Bill Gilmour 7,000,000
15,400,000
3
58 1723 Wednesday 20th July Barry Hill Bill Gilmour 6,050,000
13,310,000
13
59 1724 Monday 25th July John Stevenson June Howson 6,850,000
15,070,000
1
60 1725 Wednesday 27th July Leslie Duxbury June Howson 5,600,000
12,320,000
17
61 1726 Monday 1st August Adele Rose Oliver Horsbrugh 10,915,000 8
62 1727 Wednesday 3rd August Julian Roach Oliver Horsbrugh 10,306,000 16
63 1728 Monday 8th August H.V. Kershaw Tristan de Vere Cole 12,738,000 2
64 1729 Wednesday 10th August John Stevenson Tristan de Vere Cole 11,217,000 7
65 1730 Monday 15th August Brian Finch Darrol Blake 11,841,000 10
66 1731 Wednesday 17th August Kay McManus Darrol Blake 12,251,000 9
67 1732 Monday 22nd August Leslie Duxbury Jeremy Summers 12,604,000 6
68 1733 Wednesday 24th August Julian Roach Jeremy Summers 11,660,000 11
69 1734 Monday 29th August H.V. Kershaw Stephen Butcher
Laurence Moody
10,525,000 n/k
70 1735 Wednesday 31st August Brian Finch Stephen Butcher
Laurence Moody
12,728,000 11
71 1736 Monday 5th September John Stevenson Tristan de Vere Cole 12,820,000 13
72 1737 Wednesday 7th September Adele Rose Tristan de Vere Cole 12,798,000 14
73 1738 Monday 12th September Leslie Duxbury Marek Kanievska 12,057,000 16
74 1739 Wednesday 14th September Julian Roach Marek Kanievska 12,111,000 15
75 1740 Monday 19th September H.V. Kershaw Philip Draycott 13,492,000 8
76 1741 Wednesday 21st September John Stevenson Philip Draycott 12,813,000 17
77 1742 Monday 26th September Leslie Duxbury Roger Cheveley 13,887,000 8
78 1743 Wednesday 28th September Adele Rose Roger Cheveley 12,592,000 n/k
79 1744 Monday 3rd October Janey Preger Oliver Horsbrugh 14,740,000 2
80 1745 Wednesday 5th October Julian Roach Oliver Horsbrugh 12,767,000 17
81 1746 Monday 10th October Adele Rose Matthew Robinson 14,288,000 5
82 1747 Wednesday 12th October H.V. Kershaw Matthew Robinson 12,328,000 n/k
83 1748 Monday 17th October Barry Hill Colin Richards 14,818,000 4
84 1749 Wednesday 19th October John Stevenson Roger Cheveley 12,731,000 20
85 1750 Monday 24th October Leslie Duxbury Oliver Horsbrugh 15,011,000 4
86 1751 Wednesday 26th October Leslie Duxbury Oliver Horsbrugh 13,162,000 19
87 1752 Monday 31st October John Stevenson Matthew Robinson 14,350,000 5
88 1753 Wednesday 2nd November Julian Roach Matthew Robinson 12,900,000 13
89 1754 Monday 7th November H.V. Kershaw Colin Richards 16,150,000 3
90 1755 Wednesday 9th November Kay McManus Colin Richards 13,450,000 18
91 1756 Monday 14th November Leslie Duxbury Jonathan Wright-Miller 15,500,000 9
92 1757 Wednesday 16th November Brian Finch Jonathan Wright-Miller 15,800,000 7
93 1758 Monday 21st November Julian Roach Jeremy Summers 15,950,000 8
94 1759 Wednesday 23rd November Paula Milne Jeremy Summers 16,350,000 6
95 1760 Monday 28th November Brian Finch Colin Richards 16,600,000 7
96 1761 Wednesday 30th November Leslie Duxbury Colin Richards 16,000,000 10
97 1762 Monday 5th December John Stevenson Roger Cheveley 16,550,000 9
98 1763 Wednesday 7th December H.V. Kershaw Roger Cheveley 15,700,000 16
99 1764 Monday 12th December Leslie Duxbury Jeremy Summers 16,300,000 5
100 1765 Wednesday 14th December Adele Rose Jeremy Summers 16,250,000 7
101 1766 Monday 19th December Paula Milne Colin Richards 16,500,000 6
102 1767 Wednesday 21st December John Stevenson Colin Richards 15,250,000 10
103 1768 Monday 26th December H.V. Kershaw Roger Cheveley 8,564,000 n/k
104 1769 Wednesday 28th December Brian Finch Roger Cheveley 16,210,000 6

Storylines

Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street

Victoria Street

Others

Coronation Street in the 1970s
1970197119721973197419751976197719781979
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