John Goldie Temple, former Take the High Road and Coronation Street executive has died aged 84.

John brought together one of the many Corrie great double acts, with the marriage of Bet Lynch to Alec Gilroy.

“He played the ukulele banjo, sang, told jokes and tap-danced his way onto the Glasgow Empire stage – later, jokingly, referring to his act as something like “Val Doonican crossed with Ronnie Corbett” – but his career on the stage never took off, and sadly, after a period of severe mental ill health, the banjo stayed in its case and was never played again.” – Herald Scotland

The Scottish television writer and executive passed away on January 15th, with the news being broken by the Herald Scotland newspaper yesterday.

John’s name will be best remembered on the closing credits of Granada Television’s Coronation Street – his episodes have recently had a re-screening on ITV3 and, as avid viewers have seen, he was behind some memorable storylines in the mid-1980s

He first worked on the serial, then airing just twice a week, as a writer in 1970. He had always been interested in show business while at the Paisley Grammar School, however initially working for a confectioner, then a move into the banking industry didn’t hold back his dreams of being a creative. He got his break with Glasgow based Scottish Television as a continuity links writer and later Manchester-based Granada Television as a screenwriter.

The start of trouble. John introduced viewers to Alan Bradley who tried to marry Rita Fairclough, only for her to reject his surprise wedding.

Shows he helped bring to life included drama The Cuckoo Waltz starring former Crossroads actress Diane Keen and The Professionals star Lewis Collins. He would during his time write 200 episodes of Coronation Street, ITV’s flagship serial set in the fictional Salford borough of Weatherfield.

As the producer from 1985 to 1987, he brought to screens a mix of comedy and drama that Corrie became famous for. The marriages of Mike Baldwin to Susan Barlow, Kevin Webster and Sally Seddon as well as the comedy pairing of Alec Gilroy and Bet Lynch were all under his watch.

He also gave viewers the dramas that came with everyday life such as a car crash involving Martin Platt and Jenny Bradley, a major inferno at the Rovers Return Inn, Deirdre Barlow beating Alf Roberts in the local elections, Alan Bradley being stood-up by Rita Fairclough at her ‘surprise wedding’, Gail and Brian Tilsley breaking-up after Gail’s affair and Terry Duckworth robbing the corner shop were all played out during his tenure, gripping millions of viewers.

Vera and Jack were horrified when they had to bail out wayward son Terry after he raided the corner shop on New Years Eve 1986.

As well as Granada John was also a regular face at the STV studios, bringing to screens shows such as Highlands-based soap opera Take The High Road, which he revamped in the early 1990s into simply High Road. Classic High Road can be seen every weekend on STV2 in Scotland. He also worked on Gaelic serial Machair for the company.

Other credits include sketch show Alfresco which starred among others, Hugh Laurie and Ben Elton. He also spent time with the RAF for his national service and found an early interest in performing while at school putting on friend-audience concerts in his home.

 “John Temple died in Cedar House care home, Leicestershire, with his daughters at his side. He had been frail for some time following strokes, but his mind remained sharp until the end.” – Herald Scotland

John Goldie Temple 1933 – 2018

The full obituary, written for Herald Scotland by his daughter Fiona Temple Roache, can be seen here.

John boosted Take The High Road and revamped it into the more modern High Road serial.
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