Newly separated Deirdre Langton moved in with Emily Bishop and started a romance with Ken Barlow, selling No.5 to the arriving Tilsleys. The new family were built around Lynne Perrie's Ivy, who for the last eight years had played a secondary role at the warehouse and factory. Ivy was well established as one half of a childless couple with Jack Tilsley, but producers decided to wipe the slate clean when crafting her new family, giving her a 20-year-old son, Brian, and a new husband, Bert, played by Christopher Quinten and Peter Dudley respectively. Now a street resident, Ivy rose to prominence as one of the programme's key matriarchs.
In April, Sue Nicholls made her first appearance as Gail Potter's unwed and man-hungry mother Audrey, a role which was recurring until Audrey married Alf Roberts in 1985. Audrey paid her inaugural visit to the street for Gail's 21st birthday, the occasion on which Gail and Brian Tilsley went public on their engagement. Vera Duckworth was a guest at the wedding in November, joined by her husband Jack for the first time. William Tarmey was part of the programme's stable of background extras, usually seen playing darts in the Rovers. He was cast as Jack for two episodes and would reprise the role in 1981, eventually to become one of Coronation Street's best-loved characters.
As Gail embarked on her married life, Bill Podmore decided to get rid of Elsie Tanner's other lodger Suzie Birchall in order to revitalise the household. She and Steve Fisher, Mike Baldwin's number two, were both written out in December. Their exits left the programme without any young, unmarried characters.
The programme missed a transmission slot on 23rd July due to a national one-day strike called by EETPU (Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union who handled electronics in the studios) and NATTKE (National Association of Theatrical, Television and Kine Employees) after rejecting a 9% pay offer from the ITV companies. The was one of a series of incidents which culminated in a ten-week strike by the unions which had spread nationwide by 10th August. The strike resulted in all ITV stations, except for Channel Television, being blacked out from that date until 24th October, when management increased the pay offer to 17.5% backdated to 1st July. Coronation Street was off the air for the duration of industrial action, with no production of new episodes taking place.
Episode 1935 on 8th August was the last episode transmitted before Granada staff joined the strike and the station went off the air. When the show returned on 24th October, it led with a specially-recorded scene in which Bet Lynch and Len Fairclough chatted about recent events to remind viewers of what was going on before the strike. The regular twice-weekly schedule then resumed, starting with the five episodes which were already in the can when production shut down. The following episode, broadcast on 12th November, is unique in that the recording of parts one and two were separated by the strike, indicating that the plug may have been pulled during a studio session. In terms of the programme's narrative, no mention was made of the ten-week gap however the Tilsleys' wedding, which was meant to be held in the summer, took place in November despite no delay being mentioned.
On-screen, the most spectacular event of the year occurred in March when a lorry overturned outside the Rovers, smashing the frontage with its load of timber, the first disaster to hit the street since 1975. Cast comings and goings included the usual visits by Derek Wilton and Billy Walker, their last until 1982 and 1984 respectively. This would be the last time Kenneth Farrington acted opposite his screen mother Doris Speed. Lastly, Susan Barlow appeared for the first time since 1974, recast with Suzy Paterson in the role. Like the current incarnation of Peter, Susan was aged up by several years and now spoke with a Scottish accent, two changes which would be reversed by the next recasting.
The most-watched episode of the year was Episode 1894 on 14th March, which saw the residents continue to deal with the after-effects of the lorry crash, with a bereaved Deirdre Langton contemplating suicide, yet to discover that Tracy wasn't crushed by the lorry, which was seen by 19.5 million viewers.
The average figure for the year was 15.45 million viewers, an increase of 400k on 1978 and the 6th highest of the decade (although this total is missing the ratings for five episodes). The biggest drops on the previous year were in October and November, immediately after the strike finished, which were down by two million viewers on 1978, however March to August all rose from that year.
11 episodes reached number one in the weekly viewing charts, climbing from eight the previous year, with fewer episodes.
|1||1873||Monday 1st January||H.V. Kershaw||Alan Bromly||Not known||n/k|
|2||1874||Wednesday 3rd January||Leslie Duxbury||Alan Bromly||16,400,000||6|
|3||1875||Monday 8th January||Julian Roach||Laurence Moody||16,250,000||4|
|4||1876||Wednesday 10th January||Julian Roach||Laurence Moody||16,850,000||3|
|5||1877||Monday 15th January||Paula Milne||Richard Stroud||16,250,000||6|
|6||1878||Wednesday 17th January||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Stroud||16,700,000||2|
|7||1879||Monday 22nd January||Leslie Duxbury||Jeremy Summers||16,350,000||6|
|8||1880||Wednesday 24th January||John Stevenson||Jeremy Summers||17,150,000||2|
|9||1881||Monday 29th January||Adele Rose||Terry Steel||16,500,000||3|
|10||1882||Wednesday 31st January||Julian Roach||Terry Steel||17,550,000||2|
|11||1883||Monday 5th February||H.V. Kershaw||Matthew Robinson||16,300,000||4|
|12||1884||Wednesday 7th February||John Stevenson||Matthew Robinson||17,950,000||1|
|13||1885||Monday 12th February||Leslie Duxbury||Stephen Butcher||16,750,000||5|
|14||1886||Wednesday 14th February||Leslie Duxbury||Stephen Butcher||18,350,000||2|
|15||1887||Monday 19th February||Barry Hill||Jeremy Summers||16,650,000||4|
|16||1888||Wednesday 21st February||Julian Roach||Jeremy Summers||16,700,000||3|
|17||1889||Monday 26th February||Barry Hill||Brian Mills||16,250,000||3|
|18||1890||Wednesday 28th February||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||16,700,000||2|
|19||1891||Monday 5th March||Adele Rose||Matthew Robinson||16,800,000||3|
|20||1892||Wednesday 7th March||H.V. Kershaw||Matthew Robinson||16,950,000||2|
|21||1893||Monday 12th March||Leslie Duxbury||Jeremy Summers||18,300,000||4|
|22||1894||Wednesday 14th March||H.V. Kershaw||Jeremy Summers||19,500,000||2|
|23||1895||Monday 19th March||H.V. Kershaw||Alan Bromly||18,400,000||3|
|24||1896||Wednesday 21st March||Peter Whalley||Alan Bromly||18,800,000||2|
|25||1897||Monday 26th March||Adele Rose||Roger Cheveley||17,700,000||4|
|26||1898||Wednesday 28th March||Barry Hill||Roger Cheveley||18,250,000||1|
|27||1899||Monday 2nd April||John Stevenson||Jeremy Summers||16,650,000||4|
|28||1900||Wednesday 4th April||John Stevenson||Jeremy Summers||17,450,000||2|
|29||1901||Monday 9th April||Barry Hill||Philip Draycott||16,400,000||3|
|30||1902||Wednesday 11th April||Adele Rose||Philip Draycott||16,900,000||2|
|31||1903||Monday 16th April||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Richards||Not known||n/k|
|32||1904||Wednesday 18th April||Leslie Duxbury||Colin Richards||16,700,000||1|
|33||1905||Monday 23rd April||John Stevenson||Jeremy Summers||17,100,000||4|
|34||1906||Wednesday 25th April||Julian Roach||Jeremy Summers||18,000,000||2|
|35||1907||Monday 30th April||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||15,300,000||2|
|36||1908||Wednesday 2nd May||Leslie Duxbury||Laurence Moody||15,700,000||1|
|37||1909||Monday 7th May||Peter Whalley||Paul Bernard||13,650,000||10|
|38||1910||Wednesday 9th May||John Stevenson||Paul Bernard||16,050,000||3|
|39||1911||Monday 14th May||Barry Hill||Philip Draycott||13,150,000||5|
|40||1912||Wednesday 16th May||H.V. Kershaw||Philip Draycott||15,250,000||1|
|41||1913||Monday 21st May||Adele Rose||Alan Bromly||15,100,000||1|
|42||1914||Wednesday 23rd May||Alec Baron||Alan Bromly||13,950,000||4|
|43||1915||Monday 28th May||Tony Perrin||Laurence Moody||11,700,000||9|
|44||1916||Wednesday 30th May||H.V. Kershaw||Laurence Moody||14,450,000||2|
|45||1917||Monday 4th June||Leslie Duxbury||Philip Draycott||14,500,000||4|
|46||1918||Wednesday 6th June||John Stevenson||Philip Draycott||15,300,000||2|
|47||1919||Monday 11th June||H.V. Kershaw||Nicholas Ferguson||13,250,000||4|
|48||1920||Wednesday 13th June||Adele Rose||Nicholas Ferguson||15,100,000||2|
|49||1921||Monday 18th June||Alan Downer||Alan Bromly||13,000,000||2|
|50||1922||Wednesday 20th June||Adele Rose||Alan Bromly||12,750,000||4|
|51||1923||Monday 25th June||John Stevenson||Laurence Moody||12,950,000||2|
|52||1924||Wednesday 27th June||Julian Roach||Laurence Moody||13,400,000||1|
|53||1925||Monday 2nd July||H.V. Kershaw||Nicholas Ferguson||13,100,000||1|
|54||1926||Wednesday 4th July||John Stevenson||Nicholas Ferguson||12,700,000||2|
|55||1927||Monday 9th July||Adele Rose||Malcolm Taylor||12,550,000||2|
|56||1928||Wednesday 11th July||Barry Hill||Malcolm Taylor||13,200,000||1|
|57||1929||Monday 16th July||Leslie Duxbury||Richard Holthouse||13,050,000||2|
|58||1930||Wednesday 18th July||Julian Roach||Richard Holthouse||13,200,000||1|
|59||1931||Wednesday 25th July||John Stevenson||Nicholas Ferguson||12,000,000||5|
|60||1932||Monday 30th July||Adele Rose||Nicholas Ferguson||12,850,000||2|
|61||1933||Wednesday 1st August||Peter Whalley||Ronald Fouracre||12,650,000||3|
|62||1934||Monday 6th August||Leslie Duxbury||Mary McMurray||11,400,000||12|
|63||1935||Wednesday 8th August||Tony Perrin|
|Malcolm Taylor||Not known||n/k|
|64||1937||Wednesday 24th October||John Stevenson||Richard Holthouse||15,100,000||13|
|65||1938||Monday 29th October||Julian Roach||Richard Holthouse||12,850,000||18|
|66||1939||Wednesday 31st October||Barry Hill||Mary McMurray||13,750,000||13|
|67||1940||Monday 5th November||H.V. Kershaw||Mary McMurray||13,250,000||20|
|68||1941||Wednesday 7th November||Alec Baron||John Michael Phillips||13,950,000||15|
|69||1942||Monday 12th November||Leslie Duxbury||John Michael Phillips||13,950,000||19|
|70||1943||Wednesday 14th November||Tony Perrin||Laurence Moody||14,750,000||15|
|71||1944||Monday 19th November||Adele Rose||Laurence Moody||15,200,000||9|
|72||1945||Wednesday 21st November||Peter Whalley||Mary McMurray||15,000,000||10|
|73||1946||Monday 26th November||H.V. Kershaw||Mary McMurray||15,750,000||9|
|74||1947||Wednesday 28th November||Leslie Duxbury||Malcolm Taylor||17,850,000||1|
|75||1948||Monday 3rd December||John Stevenson||Malcolm Taylor||18,150,000||1|
|76||1949||Wednesday 5th December||Barry Hill||Richard Holthouse||16,000,000||6|
|77||1950||Monday 10th December||Alan Downer||Richard Holthouse||14,950,000||6|
|78||1951||Wednesday 12th December||Adele Rose||Mary McMurray|
|79||1952||Monday 17th December||H.V. Kershaw||Mary McMurray|
|80||1953||Wednesday 19th December||Julian Roach||Mary McMurray|
|81||1954||Monday 24th December||Leslie Duxbury||Malcolm Taylor||14,500,000||7|
|82||1955||Wednesday 26th December||John Stevenson||Malcolm Taylor||Not known||n/k|
|83||1956||Monday 31st December||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Holthouse||Not known||n/k|
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Annie Walker and Fred Gee. Billy Walker (May to June)
- 1 Coronation Street - Albert Tatlock and Ken Barlow.
- 3 Coronation Street - Emily Bishop. Deirdre and Tracy Langton (from February).
- 5 Coronation Street - Deirdre and Tracy Langton (until February). Bert, Ivy and Brian Tilsley (from February). Gail Tilsley (from December)
- 9 Coronation Street - Len and Rita Fairclough.
- 11 Coronation Street - Elsie Tanner (until November, then from December). Gail Potter (until November). Suzie Birchall (until December).
- 13 Coronation Street - Hilda and Stan Ogden.
- Corner Shop (No.15) - Renee and Alf Roberts.
- Corner Shop flat (No.15a) - Bet Lynch.
- Community Centre flat - Ena Sharples.
- 37 Hillside Crescent - Betty Turpin.
- Inkerman Street - Bert, Ivy and Brian Tilsley (until February), Jack and Vera Duckworth.
Awards and nominations
Pye Television/Writer's Guild Awards
|Coronation Street in the 1970s|
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