Writers were faced with crafting an exit storyline for Ernest Bishop following a dispute with actor Stephen Hancock over the cast contract system. Hancock objected to the fact that senior members of the cast were paid for every episode, and others only for the ones they appeared in, and threatened to resign unless Granada moved to a fairer system. When producers did not oblige him, he carried out his threat. As writers could not think of a believable way to have the Bishops split up, they agreed that Ernest had to die. In January, Ernie became the first major Coronation Street character to be murdered, shot during a bungled wages snatch at Baldwin's Casuals. The storyline, in particular the depiction of Emily's grief, drew wide acclaim, and according to writer John Stevenson elevated the critical standing of Coronation Street as a whole (50 Years of Coronation Street: The (very) Unofficial Story, JR Books, 2010).
Neville Buswell also left after ten years playing Ray Langton. Buswell had decided to quit acting and move abroad. Where the Langtons were concerned, Anne Kirkbride was told that Deirdre and Tracy were being written out with Ray, as writers felt there were enough young women in the cast. They changed their minds and decided to explore Deirdre's life as a single mother after Buswell pleaded for Kirkbride to keep her job. In November, Ray left the street for Holland, going alone to a country that had been supposed to a new start for the entire family following Ray's affair with waitress Janice Stubbs. Blanche Hunt was seen during Ray's departure episodes, her only appearances that year.
In one year, aside from losing his business partner, Len Fairclough lost his seat on the council for being drunk and disorderly, and nearly lost his business. The Kabin was also forced to undergo changes when Dawson's Cafe opened next door, and owner Joe Dawson shopped his rival to the council for not having customer toilets. The cafe - a permanent set addition - was run by Dawson for a while until Emily Bishop took over as manager. Meanwhile, the Kabin's cafe section was closed down and transformed into a record shop.
Viewers were introduced to factory loudmouth Ida Clough, who was a semi-regular for ten years appearing in factory-related stories, and, in the last episode of the year, young biker Brian Tilsley, the first sign of an increased role for Lynne Perrie's character Ivy Tilsley which would occur in 1979. Short visits were also made by Derek Wilton, Peter Barlow, again played by Joseph McKenna, and Billy Walker, the latter for a storyline in which Annie Walker risked losing the Rovers due to a takeover at Newton & Ridley which ultimately didn't happen. Both of Annie's children returned to her side for the first time since 1963, although Joan Davies was played by Dorothy White and not the original actress June Barry.
Once again, Coronation Street had no episode on Christmas Day even though it fell on a Monday.
Ratings fell from 1977 in all but the last four months of the year, with Spring ratings over two million viewers down on the previous year. The year as a whole averaged 15.01 million viewers, the second-lowest average of the decade after 1972 and an 870k fall from 1977. Three episodes reached twenty million viewers - two in January, following Ernie Bishop's murder, and another, Episode 1871 on 20th December, which had an audience of 20.44 million viewers and was the highest rated episode of the year.
Eight episodes reached the top of the weekly ratings chart, a drop from nine the year before. After the success of the first half of 1977, Coronation Street's ratings were almost back to 1972 levels.
|1||1770||Monday 2nd January||H.V. Kershaw||George Spenton-Foster||13,493,000||19|
|2||1771||Wednesday 4th January||Brian Finch||George Spenton-Foster||18,858,000||1|
|3||1772||Monday 9th January||John Stevenson||Alan Grint||17,840,000||3|
|4||1773||Wednesday 11th January||Julian Roach||Alan Grint||20,241,000||1|
|5||1774||Monday 16th January||Janey Preger||George Spenton-Foster||17,514,000||3|
|6||1775||Wednesday 18th January||Leslie Duxbury||George Spenton-Foster||20,386,000||2|
|7||1776||Monday 23rd January||Leslie Duxbury||Jeremy Summers||17,300,000||3|
|8||1777||Wednesday 25th January||Adele Rose||Jeremy Summers||18,450,000||2|
|9||1778||Monday 30th January||Barry Hill||Jonathan Wright-Miller||17,300,000||2|
|10||1779||Wednesday 1st February||H.V. Kershaw||Jonathan Wright-Miller||16,450,000||10|
|11||1780||Monday 6th February||Kay McManus||Bill Gilmour||18,000,000||5|
|12||1781||Wednesday 8th February||John Stevenson||Bill Gilmour||18,050,000||4|
|13||1782||Monday 13th February||Adele Rose||Oliver Horsbrugh||18,100,000||2|
|14||1783||Wednesday 15th February||Leslie Duxbury||Oliver Horsbrugh||16,750,000||6|
|15||1784||Monday 20th February||Julian Roach||Stephen Butcher||18,450,000||2|
|16||1785||Wednesday 22nd February||Brian Finch||Stephen Butcher||17,750,000||4|
|17||1786||Monday 27th February||H.V. Kershaw||Bill Gilmour||17,750,000||4|
|18||1787||Wednesday 1st March||Barry Hill||Bill Gilmour||17,900,000||3|
|19||1788||Monday 6th March||John Stevenson||Charles Sturridge||16,950,000||5|
|20||1789||Wednesday 8th March||Brian Finch||Oliver Horsbrugh||15,900,000||12|
|21||1790||Monday 13th March||H.V. Kershaw||Stephen Butcher||17,500,000||5|
|22||1791||Wednesday 15th March||Leslie Duxbury||Stephen Butcher||16,350,000||7|
|23||1792||Monday 20th March||Adele Rose||Quentin Lawrence||18,300,000||2|
|24||1793||Wednesday 22nd March||Julian Roach||Quentin Lawrence||17,950,000||4|
|25||1794||Monday 27th March||John Stevenson||Charles Sturridge||13,800,000||13|
|26||1795||Wednesday 29th March||Adele Rose||Charles Sturridge||16,550,000||2|
|27||1796||Monday 3rd April||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Richards||14,950,000||9|
|28||1797||Wednesday 5th April||Julian Roach||Colin Richards||17,450,000||3|
|29||1798||Monday 10th April||H.V. Kershaw||Quentin Lawrence||15,250,000||8|
|30||1799||Wednesday 12th April||Brian Finch||Quentin Lawrence||17,000,000||4|
|31||1800||Monday 17th April||Adele Rose||Charles Sturridge||14,550,000||10|
|32||1801||Wednesday 19th April||Julian Roach||Charles Sturridge||14,000,000||16|
|33||1802||Monday 24th April||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||14,550,000||11|
|34||1803||Wednesday 26th April||John Stevenson||Philip Draycott||17,400,000||3|
|35||1804||Monday 1st May||H.V. Kershaw||Brian Mills||11,861,000||n/k|
|36||1805||Wednesday 3rd May||Brian Finch||Brian Mills||15,365,000||4|
|37||1806||Monday 8th May||John Stevenson||Charles Sturridge||14,533,000||7|
|38||1807||Wednesday 10th May||Kay McManus||Charles Sturridge||15,787,000||4|
|39||1808||Monday 15th May||H.V. Kershaw||Stephen Butcher||13,557,000||4|
|40||1809||Wednesday 17th May||Adele Rose||Stephen Butcher||13,606,000||3|
|41||1810||Monday 22nd May||Julian Roach||Ken Grieve||13,280,000||4|
|42||1811||Wednesday 24th May||Leslie Duxbury||Ken Grieve||14,051,000||2|
|43||1812||Monday 29th May||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Sturridge||10,550,000||20|
|44||1813||Wednesday 31st May||H.V. Kershaw||Charles Sturridge||11,800,000||8|
|45||1814||Monday 5th June||Barry Hill||Stephen Butcher||12,300,000||3|
|46||1815||Wednesday 7th June||John Stevenson||Stephen Butcher||11,950,000||8|
|47||1816||Monday 12th June||Adele Rose||Ken Grieve||12,850,000||4|
|48||1817||Wednesday 14th June||Brian Finch||Ken Grieve||11,450,000||15|
|49||1818||Monday 19th June||Paula Milne||Oliver Horsbrugh||12,100,000||8|
|50||1819||Wednesday 21st June||H.V. Kershaw||Oliver Horsbrugh||13,250,000||5|
|51||1820||Monday 26th June||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Sturridge||12,450,000||6|
|52||1821||Wednesday 28th June||Brian Finch||Charles Sturridge||13,000,000||4|
|53||1822||Monday 3rd July||John Stevenson||Richard Stroud||12,750,000||8|
|54||1823||Wednesday 5th July||Barry Hill||Richard Stroud||13,900,000||3|
|55||1824||Monday 10th July||Brian Finch||Oliver Horsbrugh||12,200,000||6|
|56||1825||Wednesday 12th July||H.V. Kershaw||Oliver Horsbrugh||13,050,000||2|
|57||1826||Monday 17th July||Paula Milne||Philip Draycott||11,100,000||10|
|58||1827||Wednesday 19th July||John Stevenson||Philip Draycott||11,650,000||6|
|59||1828||Monday 24th July||Adele Rose||Charles Sturridge||11,250,000||3|
|60||1829||Wednesday 26th July||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Sturridge||10,250,000||10|
|61||1830||Monday 31st July||John Stevenson||Alan Bromly||11,700,000||3|
|62||1831||Wednesday 2nd August||Leslie Duxbury||Alan Bromly||12,000,000||2|
|63||1832||Monday 7th August||Julian Roach||Bill Gilmour||12,250,000||3|
|64||1833||Wednesday 9th August||Adele Rose||Bill Gilmour||11,850,000||4|
|65||1834||Monday 14th August||H.V. Kershaw||Quentin Lawrence||12,700,000||2|
|66||1835||Wednesday 16th August||H.V. Kershaw||Quentin Lawrence||12,550,000||3|
|67||1836||Monday 21st August||Adele Rose||Charles Sturridge||10,150,000||20|
|68||1837||Wednesday 23rd August||Ben Steed||Charles Sturridge||11,500,000||6|
|69||1838||Monday 28th August||H.V. Kershaw||John Black||9,937,000||n/k|
|70||1839||Wednesday 30th August||Leslie Duxbury||John Black||13,257,000||3|
|71||1840||Monday 4th September||Julian Roach||Alan Bromly||13,299,000||11|
|72||1841||Wednesday 6th September||John Stevenson||Alan Bromly||13,065,000||14|
|73||1842||Monday 11th September||John Stevenson||Philip Draycott||12,943,000||9|
|74||1843||Wednesday 13th September||Barry Hill||Philip Draycott||12,783,000||12|
|75||1844||Monday 18th September||H.V. Kershaw||Laurence Moody||14,294,000||4|
|76||1845||Wednesday 20th September||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||11,782,000||19|
|77||1846||Monday 25th September||Julian Roach||Alan Bromly||15,350,000||4|
|78||1847||Wednesday 27th September||Paula Milne||Alan Bromly||12,850,000||15|
|79||1848||Monday 2nd October||H.V. Kershaw||Matthew Robinson||16,650,000||1|
|80||1849||Wednesday 4th October||Kay McManus||Matthew Robinson||13,700,000||10|
|81||1850||Monday 9th October||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||17,800,000||1|
|82||1851||Wednesday 11th October||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||15,050,000||7|
|83||1852||Monday 16th October||Barry Hill||Jeremy Summers||17,700,000||2|
|84||1853||Wednesday 18th October||Julian Roach||Jeremy Summers||14,550,000||9|
|85||1854||Monday 23rd October||H.V. Kershaw||Alan Bromly||18,200,000||1|
|86||1855||Wednesday 25th October||John Stevenson||Alan Bromly||14,650,000||7|
|87||1856||Monday 30th October||Ben Steed||Philip Draycott||15,100,000||1|
|88||1857||Wednesday 1st November||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||14,150,000||6|
|89||1858||Monday 6th November||Kay McManus||Jeremy Summers||16,500,000||5|
|90||1859||Wednesday 8th November||Paula Milne||Jeremy Summers||14,800,000||13|
|91||1860||Monday 13th November||Julian Roach||Alan Bromly||17,300,000||2|
|92||1861||Wednesday 15th November||Leslie Duxbury||Alan Bromly||16,900,000||6|
|93||1862||Monday 20th November||H.V. Kershaw||Laurence Moody||18,850,000||1|
|94||1863||Wednesday 22nd November||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||17,200,000||5|
|95||1864||Monday 27th November||John Stevenson||Richard Stroud||18,585,000||2|
|96||1865||Wednesday 29th November||Barry Hill||Richard Stroud||17,069,000||8|
|97||1866||Monday 4th December||H.V. Kershaw||Jeremy Summers||18,593,000||1|
|98||1867||Wednesday 6th December||Barry Hill||Jeremy Summers||16,823,000||3|
|99||1868||Monday 11th December||John Stevenson||Alan Bromly||18,238,000||1|
|100||1869||Wednesday 13th December||Leslie Duxbury||Alan Bromly||15,384,000||6|
|101||1870||Monday 18th December||Adele Rose||Richard Stroud||12,875,000||n/k|
|102||1871||Wednesday 20th December||Julian Roach||Richard Stroud||20,443,000||6|
|103||1872||Wednesday 27th December||John Stevenson||Jeremy Summers||15,350,000||8|
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Annie Walker and Fred Gee.
- 1 Coronation Street - Albert Tatlock and Ken Barlow. Peter Barlow (from August to October).
- 3 Coronation Street - Ernest (until January) and Emily Bishop.
- 5 Coronation Street - Ray (until November), Deirdre and Tracy Langton.
- 9 Coronation Street - Len and Rita Fairclough.
- 11 Coronation Street - Elsie Tanner, Gail Potter and Suzie Birchall.
- 13 Coronation Street - Hilda and Stan Ogden.
- Corner Shop (No.15) - Renee Bradshaw. Alf Roberts (from April).
- Corner Shop flat (No.15a) - Bet Lynch.
- Community Centre flat - Ena Sharples.
|Coronation Street in the 1970s|
|← 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 →|