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Ken and Duggie decide to make up a rota so that the entrance to the street is constantly manned by demonstrators.

At the hospital, Vera is critical but stable, having had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. Tyrone and Maria convince Jack to go home and rest, as he has been at Vera's bedside all night, but when Martin advises them that Jack shouldn't stay away very long, Tyrone panics and phones Curly to ask him to fetch Jack. While speaking on the phone to Tyrone in The Kabin, Curly is overheard by Norris, who assumes from Curly's half of the conversation that Vera has died.

Meanwhile, Audrey brags to Rita about her upcoming lunch date with Prince Charles, who is visiting Weatherfield to open a new planning office at the Town Hall. Before she leaves, she drops by the cafe and warns Ken and Duggie that the tarmackers are getting a court injunction, which will means the police will be able to remove the demonstrators. Ken is working on getting a preservation order from Northern Heritage but he fears it will take too long.

As Hayley prepares to go to work, she questions Roy about their interview with Peter Hartnell, but Roy is more concerned with the demo, oblivious to Hayley's distress.

At the Rovers, Natalie tells Liz that she is spending the day with the brewery, who are going to show her around other pubs. Natalie later overhears Liz and Geena pity her situation as a single mother with a pub to run. Duggie tells Natalie about his experiences growing up in a pub, which make her even more worried.

Jack reads Vera's letter aloud to Curly. Jack is moved by Vera's words but tries not to shed tears. In the letter, Vera also confesses to an affair which she had before Terry was born, which led to her uncertainty over Terry's paternity.

Vera wakes

Vera regains consciousness after the operation

Jack admits to Curly that he knew about the affair, and it was him beating up the man concerned which ended it, despite Vera never finding out. Jack explains that Terry is definitely his, as he reminds him of the way he used to be. They are soon joined by a devastated Emily, who has been told that Vera has died and come to offer her sympathies. Jack and Curly race to the hospital, where they are relieved to learn that there has been no change in Vera's condition.

At the Rovers, the "news" about Vera spreads, putting a dampener on the spirits of the protesters. Curly and Emily confer and, realising that Norris was the source of the false gossip, confront him. Curly later puts the record straight in the Rovers. Just as everybody celebrates the fact that Vera hasn't died, Audrey arrives from her lunch with Prince Charles and tells them that the tarmackers will arrive soon with a police escort. Eileen overhears and hatches a plan.

At the hospital, Terry arrives, having heard about Vera. Jack stops him leaving and berates him. Terry breaks down when he sees Vera. As Curly returns, Vera starts to regain consciousness, managing to utter a few words. Terry watches from outside the hospital room.

Roy hayley liveepisode

Roy explains his position to Hayley

On the street, the tarmackers arrive and the police give the demonstrators five minutes to move or they will be arrested. Norris is ready to admit defeat but Ken and Duggie persuade everybody to stay put. Ken manages to stall the police by saying he's waiting for his solicitor, but with the officer's patience wearing thin, the demonstrators still refuse to move. As the police begin manhandling them away, Eileen and Dennis lead a convoy of taxis from Street Cars, which form a blockade. Steve quickly arrives on the scene but he knows nothing about the scheme and is annoyed when the police threaten to tow the vehicles away.

As the residents celebrate their brief victory, Peter Barlow arrives in a taxi. He isn't surprised to find that his dad Ken is leading the demonstration. Peter tells Deirdre and Blanche that he has finished with the navy and that his wife Jessica has left him. He goes for a drink in the Rovers and tries to chat up Linda, unaware that she is married to Mike. After making a fool of himself by speaking ill of Mike, Peter discovers Linda's identity and storms off.

Audrey princecharles

Audrey meets Prince Charles in a TV news report

Natalie, Geena and Liz watch a news report by Trevor McDonald on Prince Charles's visit to Manchester, and see Audrey meeting the Prince. Elsewhere, Hayley finally gets a chance to speak to Roy. She is disturbed by the fact that Roy doesn't see her as a woman. When he clarifies that he doesn't think of her in the same vein as other women, and goes off to join the demonstrators, Hayley writes a letter for Roy and leaves the flat, suitcase in hand.

Ken realises that the preservation order won't arrive in time. When Duggie realises that nobody knows what the preservation order is supposed to look like, he devises a plan to create a fake preservation order, which will hopefully fool the police long enough for the real one to arrive. They type it on Ken's laptop and email it to Stan Potter, a friend of Duggie's, who prints a hard copy for them. Unfortunately, they must wait for him to get to the street. In the meantime, with the cars moved, the police give the tarmackers the go-ahead to start work. Stan arrives in the nick of time and delivers the fake preservation order. Although sceptical, the policeman orders the tarmackers to pack up for the night.

As the residents celebrate their victory, Roy frantically searches for Hayley, having read her letter. The residents jeer at Les when he tries to join in the celebrations. In the Rovers, Natalie tells Geena that she plans to sell the Rovers to a pub chain. Outside, Ken leads the residents in a toast to tradition and community.


Regular cast[]

Guest cast[]



  • This live episode was an hour-long edition broadcast at 8.00pm to celebrate the programme's fortieth anniversary. One hour before, Episode 1 had been repeated with an introduction by William Roache from the outdoor set where last minute preparations for the episode were taking place.
  • First appearance of Peter Barlow as played by Chris Gascoyne. Peter last appeared in 14th May 1986, where he was played by David Lonsdale. Gascoyne was the seventh actor to play the role. The character's return marked the first time since 1971 that Peter appeared in the programme regularly.
  • Last appearance of Terry Duckworth until 26th October 2001.
  • All scenes were broadcast live from the outdoor set and the Stage One studio complex next door. The episode charted the events of a single day but since transmission was during the hours of darkness all scenes set outdoors were near the start or end of the episode with the middle section being studio based.
  • To enable the smooth flow of the action between the studio sequences and the outdoor set, three first directors were utilised, all coordinated by main director Tony Prescott.
  • The episode was preceded by a montage of the Coronation Street cast members posing, played to the soundtrack of "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You". The sequence ended with the caption Coronation Street - Forty Years - Thank You.
  • The programme's title sequence was not used at the beginning of the episode. Instead, the opening moment of the first scene showing Sarah telling David Platt to come inside for his breakfast was transmitted in black and white with a "scratchy film" overlay to simulate supposed early broadcasts. As the picture mixed to colour, the music played and the Coronation Street title caption appeared.
  • The last "indoor" scene in the episode was, uniquely, acted out inside the shell of the outdoor Rovers set with suitable scenery and close-ups used. This was to enable the actors concerned to be able to move directly to the outdoor set for the final scene and not have to make their way from the Stage One complex.
  • The only pre-recorded material in the episode was an ITN bulletin shown on the television set in the Rovers back room, read out by Sir Trevor McDonald and showing Audrey Roberts meeting Prince Charles. In reality the scene shown was that of Sue Nicholls meeting the Prince when he visited the studios earlier in the day and his staff had previously agreed for the footage to be included in the narrative of the episode.
  • Fred Elliott was originally to have had a part in the episode, but the character was written out when actor John Savident was advised by doctors not to appear, as he was recovering from neck wounds sustained in a knife attack. Fred's lines were given to other characters.
  • This was the first live edition of the programme to be broadcast since 3rd February 1961.
  • The end credits of the episode included the caption: With thanks to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.
  • TV Times synopsis: Jack keeps a bedside vigil; Hayley breaks Roy's heart; and Ken has a surprise visitor amid the battle for the street.
  • Viewing Figures: UK broadcast - 16,680,000 viewers (3rd place - combined figure including repeat).
  • This episode was included in the Golden Anniversary DVD Collection, released by ITV Home Entertainment on 11th October 2010. Also available as part of the Stars of the Street - 50 Years, 50 Classic Characters DVD set released on the same day.
  • This episode was repeated on ITV3 on Thursday 10th December 2020 at 10.00pm to mark the programme's sixtieth anniversary. This was part of a sequence of episodes shown which had originally been transmitted on or near every tenth anniversary of the show.

Notable dialogue[]

Duggie Ferguson: "Just make sure that there's always two or three out there that are capable of standing up to rough-looking tarmackers and police dogs."
Roy Cropper: "Who's out there now?"
Ken Barlow: "Blanche and Ashley."
Jack Duckworth: "(reading Vera's letter) "If it can be arranged, I would like to be buried near me mother." Can't see why not, I don't know anybody else that'd like to be buried near 'er."
Norris Cole: "I just heard you say I'll give Jack the message and take him straight to the hospital."
Emily Bishop: "Well that didn't mean she was dead."
Norris Cole: "Well it did the way he said it."
Rita Sullivan: "And what way were that?"
Norris Cole: "Well, all sort of funereal like, as if he was about to burst into tears."
Curly Watts: "I always talk like that."
Ken Barlow: "It's a cause worth fighting for."
Peter Barlow: "What, saving the cobbles?"
Ken Barlow: "And what they stand for."
Peter Barlow: "No, lives are worth fighting for. Your country's worth fighting for. This? This is a flamin' pantomime."
Ken Barlow: "Well it'll do for me."
Peter Barlow: "Oh yeah, I know. Because this is you in'it, this is all you've ever known, eh? This little in-bred world, everybody mindin' everybody else's business, lace curtains twitchin'. It's a small world 'ere dad. It's as small as it gets."
Ken Barlow: "It wasn't just the cobbles that got us here all together today, it was a feeling of tradition, of community. And I'm proud of where I come from. I've lived here all my life. I've seen a lot of people come and go, a lot of changes, a lot of dramas down the Street, like lots of other streets where people are living and trying to get together, just that I find there's something a little bit special about this one, and I know that you all feel the same. So I want you to raise your glasses with me and drink a toast to Coronation Street."

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