Farewell Grape Street
A decision was made to build a new outdoor set to replace the Grape Street set. Although it was still in good shape, the current backlot had a number of problems which could not be solved without building an entirely new street. The main one was its small scale, which was particularly glaring in shots featuring large vehicles. The tops of the houses couldn't be shown nor anything past the Rovers Return, as the roofs didn't have chimneys and a set of gates lay where Rosamund Street should be. In addition, there was a lack of drainage facilities for rainwater, and a bonded warehouse immediately behind the set constantly cast it in shadow. Finally, it was notorious among the cast for being cold and damp, with Jean Alexander dubbing it "the coldest place on Earth".
Late in the year, Granada purchased a former railway marshalling yard on the opposite side of the bonded warehouse at Tickle Street, Camp Street and Garden Court, for Coronation Street's new set. The build included the houses, Baldwin's Casuals, the Community Centre and flat, a purpose-built viaduct, and a section of Rosamund Street. The houses were built from bricks reclaimed from demolition sites, and the roofs - containing fibreglass chimneys - from reclaimed slates, though the cobbles were already in place. Construction began on 12th November, after a ceremony conducted by Doris Speed, and carried on into 1982.
A major change was made to the street when it was decided to replace the gap at the centre of the row with a new house. Within storylines, 7 Coronation Street had collapsed in 1965 and the space had been filled by a bench since 1967. In the present day, Len Fairclough bought the ground rent and began building the new property in the space. The story was timed so that Len would finish the job just as the programme transferred to the new set, which was built with a fully completed house. Although frequently referenced, the building work was never seen due to size restrictions at Grape Street.
Like the last few years, long-term additions to the cast were few and far between. The only regular cast member who lasted the year was Warren Jackson as Nick Tilsley, baby son of Gail and Brian who was born the previous December. Sue Nicholls made several guest appearances as her character Audrey Potter became a grandmother. Audrey was also paired romantically with future husband Alf Roberts for the first time.
Fred Gee gained a wife in Eunice Nuttall, played by Meg Johnson. The Gees briefly worked as caretakers at the Community Centre until Eunice left Fred at the end of the year. This was the first time that another character had held Ena Sharples's position since the departure of Violet Carson from the programme.
Amanda Barrie was seen in four episodes as Alma Sedgewick, initially appearing as Elsie Tanner's overbearing boss at Jim's Cafe as she stood in for her ever-absent husband Jim Sedgewick. She would be seen occasionally before joining full-time in 1989.
Meanwhile, Emily Bishop's bigamy storyline was revisited in March when Arnold Swain re-surfaced and attempted to convince her to join him in a suicide pact. Arnold was later admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where he received an off-screen death in December. Also, the Faircloughs became foster parents when Len and Rita took in 13-year-old John Spencer. This storyline would be taken further in 1982.
The wedding of Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton in July featured appearances by Maggie Jones as Blanche Hunt and Suzy Paterson as Susan Barlow, with the latter playing her character for the last time before the previous actress, Wendy Jane Walker, stepped back into the role. Lastly, William Tarmey returned for a longer stint as Jack Duckworth following his 1979 introduction, testing the waters for his full-time role which would begin in 1983.
Coronation Street continued to gain traction, increasing its overall rating for the third year in a row. Its average viewing figure was 15.88 million viewers, the second highest average of the decade after 1985, and the top rated episode - 2075 on 18th February which gained 20.8 million viewers - was the highest peak since 1977 and the first episode of the programme to gain more than twenty million viewers since 1978.
Across the year, the first eight months saw increases from the same months in 1980, with May, July and August gaining by more than 10%. In the weekly viewing charts, 32 episodes reached number one - 18 higher than in 1980, and the most since 1968.
An ongoing myth is that more viewers watched Episode 2120 (Ken and Deirdre's wedding) than tuned into the real-life Royal Wedding two days later of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. This story came about because the official television figures were for the average number of viewers throughout the duration of the state occasion. The wedding figures for the three channels' multi-hour coverage was 13,700,000 for BBC1, putting them in 3rd place, and 8,000,000 for ITV but the actual ceremony itself attracted 19,000,000 for BBC1, 9,000,000 for ITV and 400,000 on BBC2, which carried subtitles for the hard of hearing. In second place for the week was coverage of the Royal Fireworks on BBC1 on 28th July which garnered 15,100,000 viewers.
|1||2062||Monday 5th January||Leslie Duxbury||Mary McMurray||18,300,000||4|
|2||2063||Wednesday 7th January||Barry Hill||Mary McMurray||19,750,000||2|
|3||2064||Monday 12th January||H.V. Kershaw||Stephen Butcher||17,600,000||2|
|4||2065||Wednesday 14th January||Dave Simpson||Stephen Butcher||18,100,000||1|
|5||2066||Monday 19th January||Adele Rose||Philip Draycott||17,050,000||3|
|6||2067||Wednesday 21st January||Julian Roach||Philip Draycott||17,400,000||2|
|7||2068||Monday 26th January||John Stevenson||John Michael Phillips||17,750,000||3|
|8||2069||Wednesday 28th January||Geoffrey Lancashire||John Michael Phillips||18,050,000||2|
|9||2070||Monday 2nd February||Peter Whalley||Stephen Butcher||17,100,000||3|
|10||2071||Wednesday 4th February||John Stevenson||Stephen Butcher||17,350,000||2|
|11||2072||Monday 9th February||H.V. Kershaw||Philip Draycott||17,250,000||3|
|12||2073||Wednesday 11th February||Tony Perrin||Philip Draycott||17,500,000||2|
|13||2074||Monday 16th February||Adele Rose||Nicholas Ferguson||17,600,000||4|
|14||2075||Wednesday 18th February||Leslie Duxbury||Nicholas Ferguson||20,800,000||1|
|15||2076||Monday 23rd February||Leslie Duxbury||John Michael Phillips||17,750,000||1|
|16||2077||Wednesday 25th February||H.V. Kershaw||John Michael Phillips||17,200,000||4|
|17||2078||Monday 2nd March||Barry Hill||Kenny McBain||18,050,000||3|
|18||2079||Wednesday 4th March||John Stevenson||Kenny McBain||18,400,000||2|
|19||2080||Monday 9th March||Julian Roach||Nicholas Ferguson||17,350,000||3|
|20||2081||Wednesday 11th March||Adele Rose||Nicholas Ferguson||17,500,000||2|
|21||2082||Monday 16th March||H.V. Kershaw||John Michael Phillips||17,750,000||3|
|22||2083||Wednesday 18th March||Peter Whalley||John Michael Phillips||19,000,000||1|
|23||2084||Monday 23rd March||H.V. Kershaw||Bill Gilmour||16,850,000||4|
|24||2085||Wednesday 25th March||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Kitchen||18,800,000||1|
|25||2086||Monday 30th March||Tony Perrin||David Carson||16,198,000||3|
|26||2087||Wednesday 1st April||John Stevenson||Nicholas Ferguson||16,860,000||2|
|27||2088||Monday 6th April||H.V. Kershaw||Jonathan Wright-Miller||15,182,000||5|
|28||2089||Wednesday 8th April||Barry Hill||Jonathan Wright-Miller||16,851,000||1|
|29||2090||Monday 13th April||Peter Whalley||Charles Kitchen||15,411,000||2|
|30||2091||Wednesday 15th April||Adele Rose||Charles Kitchen||15,402,000||3|
|31||2092||Monday 20th April||Leslie Duxbury||David Carson||9,345,000||n/k|
|32||2093||Wednesday 22nd April||Leslie Duxbury||David Carson||16,338,000||2|
|33||2094||Monday 27th April||Dave Simpson||Richard Holthouse||15,211,000||2|
|34||2095||Wednesday 29th April||Leslie Duxbury||Richard Holthouse||16,162,000||1|
|35||2096||Monday 4th May||Adele Rose||Charles Kitchen||15,629,000||2|
|36||2097||Wednesday 6th May||Barry Hill||Charles Kitchen||15,732,000||1|
|37||2098||Monday 11th May||H.V. Kershaw||David Carson||14,750,000||6|
|38||2099||Wednesday 13th May||Tony Perrin||David Carson||15,950,000||1|
|39||2100||Monday 18th May||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Holthouse||15,600,000||2|
|40||2101||Wednesday 20th May||Tony Perrin||Richard Holthouse||16,350,000||1|
|41||2102||Monday 25th May||Adele Rose||Charles Kitchen||10,850,000||20|
|42||2103||Wednesday 27th May||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Kitchen||11,750,000||11|
|43||2104||Monday 1st June||Peter Whalley||David Carson||13,900,000||4|
|44||2105||Wednesday 3rd June||Julian Roach||David Carson||14,800,000||2|
|45||2106||Monday 8th June||Tony Perrin||Gareth Jones||14,600,000||2|
|46||2107||Wednesday 10th June||Adele Rose||Gareth Jones||15,100,000||1|
|47||2108||Monday 15th June||H.V. Kershaw||Charles Kitchen||14,150,000||5|
|48||2109||Wednesday 17th June||H.V. Kershaw||Charles Kitchen||16,300,000||1|
|49||2110||Monday 22nd June||Barry Hill||Richard Holthouse||14,200,000||2|
|50||2111||Wednesday 24th June||Leslie Duxbury||Richard Holthouse||16,100,000||1|
|51||2112||Monday 29th June||H.V. Kershaw||John Michael Phillips||14,150,000||1|
|52||2113||Wednesday 1st July||Adele Rose||John Michael Phillips||13,850,000||2|
|53||2114||Monday 6th July||Barry Hill||Charles Kitchen||14,700,000||1|
|54||2115||Wednesday 8th July||Peter Whalley||Charles Kitchen||14,500,000||2|
|55||2116||Monday 13th July||Leslie Duxbury||Gareth Jones||14,750,000||2|
|56||2117||Wednesday 15th July||John Stevenson||Gareth Jones||15,100,000||1|
|57||2118||Monday 20th July||Barry Hill||John Michael Phillips||14,100,000||3|
|58||2119||Wednesday 22nd July||Tony Perrin||John Michael Phillips||15,250,000||1|
|59||2120||Monday 27th July||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Kitchen||15,350,000||1|
|60||2121||Wednesday 29th July||H.V. Kershaw||Charles Kitchen||12,200,000||5|
|61||2122||Monday 3rd August||Julian Roach||David Carson||13,400,000||2|
|62||2123||Wednesday 5th August||John Stevenson||David Carson||13,750,000||1|
|63||2124||Monday 10th August||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Holthouse||14,450,000||1|
|64||2125||Wednesday 12th August||Bob Mason||Richard Holthouse||13,900,000||2|
|65||2126||Monday 17th August||Adele Rose||Ken Grieve||14,150,000||3|
|66||2127||Wednesday 19th August||Tony Perrin||June Wyndham Davies||15,400,000||1|
|67||2128||Monday 24th August||Leslie Duxbury||David Carson||14,250,000||1|
|68||2129||Wednesday 26th August||John Stevenson||David Carson||13,150,000||3|
|69||2130||Monday 31st August||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Holthouse||11,820,000||10|
|70||2131||Wednesday 2nd September||Peter Whalley||Richard Holthouse||14,250,000||1|
|71||2132||Monday 7th September||John Stevenson||Gareth Jones||14,500,000||3|
|72||2133||Wednesday 9th September||Leslie Duxbury||Gareth Jones||14,150,000||4|
|73||2134||Monday 14th September||Tony Perrin||David Carson||15,750,000||1|
|74||2135||Wednesday 16th September||Julian Roach||David Carson||13,900,000||4|
|75||2136||Monday 21st September||Tony Perrin||Brian Mills||16,150,000||1|
|76||2137||Wednesday 23rd September||Adele Rose||Gareth Morgan||14,800,000||4|
|77||2138||Monday 28th September||H.V. Kershaw||Gareth Jones||15,100,000||4|
|78||2139||Wednesday 30th September||Barry Hill||Gareth Jones||15,900,000||2|
|79||2140||Monday 5th October||John Stevenson||Charles Kitchen||15,750,000||2|
|80||2141||Wednesday 7th October||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Kitchen||15,650,000||3|
|81||2142||Monday 12th October||Peter Whalley||Gareth Jones||16,600,000||2|
|82||2143||Wednesday 14th October||Leslie Duxbury||Brian Mills||16,650,000||1|
|83||2144||Monday 19th October||Leslie Duxbury||Gareth Jones||16,900,000||1|
|84||2145||Wednesday 21st October||Cliff Gerrard||Gareth Jones||16,800,000||2|
|85||2146||Monday 26th October||Tony Perrin||Richard Holthouse||16,200,000||2|
|86||2147||Wednesday 28th October||John Stevenson||Richard Holthouse||16,150,000||3|
|87||2148||Monday 2nd November||H.V. Kershaw||Gareth Morgan||15,600,000||5|
|88||2149||Wednesday 4th November||Peter Whalley||Gareth Morgan||16,650,000||2|
|89||2150||Monday 9th November||Bob Mason||David Carson||16,250,000||3|
|90||2151||Wednesday 11th November||Leslie Duxbury||David Carson||16,450,000||2|
|91||2152||Monday 16th November||John Stevenson||Richard Holthouse||16,563,000||2|
|92||2153||Wednesday 18th November||Julian Roach||Richard Holthouse||13,311,000||n/k|
|93||2154||Monday 23rd November||Barry Hill||Gareth Morgan||17,250,000||1|
|94||2155||Wednesday 25th November||Leslie Duxbury||Gareth Morgan||17,550,000||2|
|95||2156||Monday 30th November||Peter Whalley||Charles Kitchen||17,100,000||2|
|96||2157||Wednesday 2nd December||Leslie Duxbury||Charles Kitchen||16,500,000||3|
|97||2158||Monday 7th December||Julian Roach||Richard Holthouse||16,700,000||2|
|98||2159||Wednesday 9th December||H.V. Kershaw||Richard Holthouse||17,300,000||1|
|99||2160||Monday 14th December||H.V. Kershaw||Gareth Morgan||17,450,000||2|
|100||2161||Wednesday 16th December||Tony Perrin||Gareth Morgan||18,050,000||1|
|101||2162||Monday 21st December||John Stevenson||Charles Kitchen||16,700,000||4|
|102||2163||Wednesday 23rd December||Adele Rose||Charles Kitchen||17,150,000||1|
|103||2164||Monday 28th December||Cliff Gerard||Richard Holthouse||15,200,000||4|
|104||2165||Wednesday 30th December||Leslie Duxbury||Richard Holthouse||16,900,000||1|
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Annie Walker. Fred Gee (from January to September and December). Eunice Gee (from May to September).
- 1 Coronation Street - Albert Tatlock and Ken Barlow. Deirdre Barlow and Tracy Langton (from July).
- 3 Coronation Street - Emily Bishop.
- 5 Coronation Street - Bert and Ivy Tilsley. Vera Duckworth (May only).
- 9 Coronation Street - Len and Rita Fairclough. John Spencer (from August to September).
- 11 Coronation Street - Elsie Tanner. Wally Randle (April only). Audrey Potter (from September to November).
- 13 Coronation Street - Stan and Hilda Ogden, Eddie Yeats.
- Corner Shop (No.15) - Alf Roberts.
- Corner Shop flat (No.15a) - Deirdre and Tracy Langton (until July).
- Community Centre flat - Fred and Eunice Gee (from September to December).
- 37 Hillside Crescent - Betty Turpin.
- Ludlow Avenue - Bet Lynch.
- 5 Buxton Close - Brian and Gail Tilsley. Nicky Tilsley (from January).
- 20 Inkerman Street - Jack Duckworth. Vera Duckworth (except May).
- 46b, St. Mary's Place - Mike Baldwin (from March onwards).
|Coronation Street in the 1980s|
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