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.
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.
|1||1666||Monday 3rd January||John Stevenson||Alan Bromly||7,600,000|
|2||1667||Wednesday 5th January||Julian Roach||Alan Bromly||8,550,000|
|3||1668||Monday 10th January||Adele Rose||June Wyndham Davies||8,950,000|
|4||1669||Wednesday 12th January||H.V. Kershaw||June Wyndham Davies||8,900,000|
|5||1670||Monday 17th January||Paula Milne||John Black||8,900,000|
|6||1671||Wednesday 19th January||Brian Finch||John Black||8,800,000|
|7||1672||Monday 24th January||Kay McManus||Laurence Moody||8,800,000|
|8||1673||Wednesday 26th January||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||8,800,000|
|9||1674||Monday 31st January||Leslie Duxbury||Alan Bromly||9,050,000|
|10||1675||Wednesday 2nd February||H.V. Kershaw||Alan Bromly||8,800,000|
|11||1676||Monday 7th February||John Stevenson||Quentin Lawrence||8,950,000|
|12||1677||Wednesday 9th February||Barry Hill||Quentin Lawrence||8,650,000|
|13||1678||Monday 14th February||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||9,000,000|
|14||1679||Wednesday 16th February||Brian Finch||Laurence Moody||8,650,000|
|15||1680||Monday 21st February||Brian Finch||Oliver Horsbrugh||9,250,000|
|16||1681||Wednesday 23rd February||H.V. Kershaw||Oliver Horsbrugh||9,050,000|
|17||1682||Monday 28th February||Adele Rose||Quentin Lawrence||9,050,000|
|18||1683||Wednesday 2nd March||Janey Preger||Quentin Lawrence||9,000,000|
|19||1684||Monday 7th March||Kenneth Eastaugh||Bill Gilmour||9,150,000|
|20||1685||Wednesday 9th March||Leslie Duxbury||Bill Gilmour||8,400,000|
|21||1686||Monday 14th March||Leslie Duxbury||John Black||9,100,000|
|22||1687||Wednesday 16th March||H.V. Kershaw||John Black||8,300,000|
|23||1688||Monday 21st March||Peter Tonkinson||Oliver Horsbrugh||8,850,000|
|24||1689||Wednesday 23rd March||Adele Rose||Oliver Horsbrugh||8,550,000|
|25||1690||Monday 28th March||John Stevenson||Quentin Lawrence||9,144,000|
|26||1691||Wednesday 30th March||Brian Finch||Quentin Lawrence||8,587,000|
|27||1692||Monday 4th April||Adele Rose||June Wyndham Davies||8,883,000|
|28||1693||Wednesday 6th April||Paula Milne||June Wyndham Davies||8,200,000|
|29||1694||Monday 11th April||John Stevenson||Laurence Moody||5,902,000|
|30||1695||Wednesday 13th April||H.V. Kershaw||Laurence Moody||8,483,000|
|31||1696||Monday 18th April||Leslie Duxbury||Stephen Butcher||8,731,000|
|32||1697||Wednesday 20th April||Brian Finch||Stephen Butcher||9,478,000|
|33||1698||Monday 25th April||John Stevenson||June Wyndham Davies||8,680,000|
|34||1699||Wednesday 27th April||Brian Finch||June Wyndham Davies||8,841,000|
|35||1700||Monday 2nd May||Kay McManus||Laurence Moody||8,097,000|
|36||1701||Wednesday 4th May||H.V. Kershaw||Laurence Moody||8,120,000|
|37||1702||Monday 9th May||Adele Rose||Philip Draycott||8,443,000|
|38||1703||Wednesday 11th May||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||7,628,000|
|39||1704||Monday 16th May||Brian Finch||Stephen Butcher||8,211,000|
|40||1705||Wednesday 18th May||Paula Milne||Stephen Butcher||7,135,000|
|41||1706||Monday 23rd May||Barry Hill||Laurence Moody||8,032,000|
|42||1707||Wednesday 25th May||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||5,345,000|
|43||1708||Monday 30th May||H.V. Kershaw||Philip Draycott||7,627,000|
|44||1709||Wednesday 1st June||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||6,848,000|
|45||1710||Monday 6th June||Julian Roach||Bill Gilmour||5,409,000|
|46||1711||Wednesday 8th June||John Stevenson||Bill Gilmour||6,420,000|
|47||1712||Monday 13th June||David Crane||Laurence Moody||7,776,000|
|48||1713||Wednesday 15th June||Brian Finch||Laurence Moody||7,079,000|
|49||1714||Monday 20th June||H.V. Kershaw||Philip Draycott||7,439,000|
|50||1715||Wednesday 22nd June||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||6,350,000|
|51||1716||Monday 27th June||Janey Preger||Bill Gilmour||7,350,000|
|52||1717||Wednesday 29th June||H.V. Kershaw||Bill Gilmour||6,550,000|
|53||1718||Monday 4th July||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||6,400,000|
|54||1719||Wednesday 6th July||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||5,500,000|
|55||1720||Monday 11th July||Julian Roach||Stephen Butcher||6,550,000|
|56||1721||Wednesday 13th July||John Stevenson||Stephen Butcher||6,300,000|
|57||1722||Monday 18th July||H.V. Kershaw||Bill Gilmour||7,000,000|
|58||1723||Wednesday 20th July||Barry Hill||Bill Gilmour||6,050,000|
|59||1724||Monday 25th July||John Stevenson||June Howson||6,850,000|
|60||1725||Wednesday 27th July||Leslie Duxbury||June Howson||5,600,000|
|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|
|70||1735||Wednesday 31st August||Brian Finch||Stephen Butcher|
|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|
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Annie Walker and Fred Gee.
- 1 Coronation Street - Albert Tatlock and Ken Barlow.
- 3 Coronation Street - Ernest and Emily Bishop.
- 5 Coronation Street - Mike Baldwin and Bet Lynch (until March). Ray, Deirdre and Tracy Langton (from March).
- 9 Coronation Street - Len Fairclough. Rita Fairclough (from April).
- 11 Coronation Street - Elsie Tanner and Gail Potter. Suzie Birchall (from February).
- 13 Coronation Street - Stan and Hilda Ogden.
- Corner Shop (No.15) - Renee Bradshaw.
- Corner Shop flat (No.15a) - Bet Lynch (from March).
- Community Centre flat - Ena Sharples
- 37 Hillside Crescent - Betty Turpin.
- Inkerman Street - Ivy Tilsley, Vera Duckworth.
- 23 Jubilee Terrace - Mavis Riley (until May).
|Coronation Street in the 1970s|
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