The team at Coronation Street say they are ‘deeply honoured’ by the royal visit earlier today.
Her Majesty The Queen has made another visit to the world of Weatherfield today. It’s however the first time the royal soap opera lover has visited the production at its ITV Salford base, which it moved into 2013. The Queen originally opened the former exterior site for Corrie at the old Granada Studios in Manchester in 1981.
“It has been such an honour to have Her Majesty here today. The whole team has worked so hard through a very difficult period and it was very special for all of us to have Her Majesty walking the famous cobbles of Coronation Street. It will never be forgotten!” – ITV CEO, Dame Carolyn McCall
This morning Her Majesty The Queen took a walk down Coronation Street and stopped off in the Rover’s Return whilst visiting the cast and crew of the nation’s favourite street. The visit took place to celebrate the programme’s 60th Year and the whole team’s mammoth achievement of staying on the air throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cast members including Bill Roache (Ken Barlow), Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts), Helen Worth (Gail Rodwell) and Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) joined the ITV crew to chat about challenges of filming two metres apart while making it look like characters in the same family were much closer. They also discussed how the writers adapted the plotlines to reflect lockdown, how everyone had to adapt when key cast had to self isolate and how the show managed to still do stunts such as ‘hit and runs’ whilst maintaining social distancing.
Gifts presented to Her Majesty by cast members Mollie Gallagher (Nina Lucas), Liam Bairstow (Alex Warner) and Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) included an original ‘Corrie Cobble’ from the set opened by HM back in 1981, specially engraved by a local stonemasons, an early edition bottle of 60th Anniversary ‘Weatherfield Spirit’ Gin with a pair of Meehart Manchester Skyline gin glasses and a bag of ‘Corrie’ goodies including a signed Anniversary book and some Newton & RIdley beer mats for the Royal table!
Young cast members Kirsty Soames (Ruby Dobbs) and Harriet Atkins (Hope Stape) also presented a ‘Little Red Robin’ tree, with Robins known to be a sign of good fortune and good luck. The tree was gifted back to the programme for planting in the Victoria Street Garden in celebration of this very special visit.
“For everyone who works on Coronation Street this was a very special and very personal event. We felt deeply honoured to have Her Majesty walk down the cobbles and visit The Rovers. I hope Her Majesty went away knowing how much her visit meant to us in the North after what has been a very difficult and dark 18 months. It has been a real morale boost for all of us as we come out of the pandemic and look to the future.
“And with so many doors in Buckingham Palace, we hope Her Majesty will find a use for an original Coronation Street cobble. They make very effective doorstops.” – John Whiston Managing Director of Continuing Drama, ITV
ITV serials have seen several senior royal visits over the nearly 70-years the station has been on air with Emmerdale and Crossroads both also having visits from the royal family. It has been noted in the past that The Queen has been an avid viewer of all three.
Corrie itself has created some of the UK’s most memorable soap queens, including legendary Bet Lynch played by Julie Goodyear, Doris Speed as Annie Walker and Pat Phoenix as Elsie Tanner.