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Top 10 Coronation Street Trivia

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Since its debut in 1960, "Coronation Street" – or "Corrie" as it’s lovingly called by millions of loyal viewers – has become the longest running soap opera in history, and one of the most popular. Outlining the day-to-day lives of the population of a fictional town in Greater Manchester called Weatherfield, the show is an icon in its native Britain – in fact, it’s rare to even find a Brit who doesn't have some passing knowledge of characters like Ken Barlow, Hilda Ogden or Elsie Tanner. In honor of the anniversary of the debut episode of "Coronation Street" on December 9th, 1960, counts down ten pieces of trivia you should know about the show.

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Top 10 Coronation Street Trivia

Welcome to, and today we’ll be exploring ten pieces of trivia you should know about “Coronation Street.”

#10 – An Oldie, But a Goodie

Kicking off our trivia list is the fact that “Corrie,” as it’s lovingly called by millions of loyal fans, is the longest-running television soap opera ever. That honor was bestowed upon “Coronation Street” once the U.S. soap “As the World Turns” was cancelled in 2010. The gang first stepped foot in the Rovers Return at 7pm on December 9th, 1960, and William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, is the only cast member who has remained with the show since its debut, though his salary has gone up quite a bit since then!

#9 – How It All Began

“Corrie” started with a conversation between Elsie Lappin and Florrie Lindley. When it began, the show ran live in the UK twice a week. By the next year it was being taped, but it was recorded as though it was live so all the little mistakes were left in the finished product!

#8 – Don’t Stand There with Curlers in Your Hair

One of “Coronation Street”’s most popular characters was Jean Alexander’s Hilda Ogden. A hard worker, gossip and often the comic relief, she and on-screen husband Stan were an enduring couple. The Oggies stayed together through thick and thin, but after Stan’s on- and off-screen death in 1984, Hilda was alone. She and her trademark curlers left the show on Christmas Day 1987, when over 26 million people tuned in to say farewell – which remains a record for the show.

#7 – A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

Another popular lady on the Street was Elsie Tanner. From the first episode, the unforgettable Pat Phoenix brought the character and her many failed romances to life, until she left Weatherfield in 1984. Phoenix’s smoking habit claimed her life two years later, but legend has it that’s not the last time this fiery redhead was seen on the street: her ghost apparently haunts the “Coronation Street” studios.

#6 – Love and Marriages

Original character Ken Barlow has been paired with many women since his debut, but his most lasting connection has been with Deirdre Hunt. Ken and Deirdre have been married twice, and both their weddings coincided with those of Prince Charles, first to Lady Diana in 1981, and later to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Ironically, the seventeen million people who tuned in for Ken and Deirdre’s second wedding was four million more than watched Charles’ and Camilla’s!

#5 – Celebrity Connections

Since “Coronation Street” is an institution in Britain, many famous actors have made appearances on the show. Davy Jones of The Monkees, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan all walked on the cobbles of Weatherfield, while Joan Collins and Prince Charles also had cameos. Many celebs are also apparently fans of the series, from Queen Elizabeth to Sir Anthony Hopkins to Snoop Dogg.

#4 – A Royal Inspiration

Another famous “Corrie” fan? Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. In fact, the show inspired one of the band’s music videos. The four band members dressed in drag to loosely parody some of “Corrie”’s characters: Roger Taylor as Suzie Birchall, Jon Deacon as Ena Sharples, Brian May as Hilda Ogden and Freddy Mercury as Bet Lynch.

#3 – Alternative Living on the Street

Even with famously homosexual fans like Freddie Mercury, “Corrie” was reprimanded for underrepresenting gay characters – until they introduced their first in 2003. However, Corrie writers were praised for introducing the first transsexual soap opera character in 1998: Hayley Cropper’s struggle with relationships, children and other transsexual issues was commended by the community.

#2 – Booze Ban

For the show’s fiftieth anniversary, “Coronation Street” aired a live episode during which a tram crash devastated the Street. But, like their characters on the show, “Corrie” actors liked to meet at the pub in their off hours. So, to limit mistakes during the live broadcast, they were hit with an alcohol ban for 24 hours before. Fortunately, they were later treated to an extravagant party where the pints and the G&Ts flowed freely.

#1 – Music to Their Ears

Taking the top spot on our trivia list is a fact about “Corrie”’s iconic theme music. That mournful cornet tune was voted one of Britain’s favorite sounds, behind things like children laughing, applause at cricket and Big Ben’s chimes. Just think: the man who wrote it was only paid £6 for his trouble.

What’s your favorite “Coronation Street” factoid? For more entertaining Top 10s, be sure to subscribe to


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