As the very famous Andrew Sachs made his debut on the Street last night, we thought we might take a look back at which other famous actors have made guest appearances on Corrie, though it’s not only actors who’ve walked the Street’s famous cobbles; musicians, famous directors and even royals have also been spotted in Weatherfield!
So let’s take a look at who and when!
One of my favourite guest stars was comedian Peter Kay who played the role of a shoplifter in 1997 and who also made another ‘cameo’ appearance in January 2004 in the role of Eric Gartside, Shelley Unwin’s blind-date. Another comedian to have appeared on the Street is Norman Wisdom who played fitness fanatic Ernie Crabbe in a few episodes during 2004.
Cliff Richard has made a guest appearance on the show but in his scene, he’s only seen from the back wearing a jumper emblazoned with the words “Rock and Roll.” However, for the show’s 30th anniversary celebrations, Cilla Black introduced a live performance from Cliff who sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to mark the anniversary.
The clip below features Cliff and Cilla as well Ena Sharples and her gang of old-lady friends who’d called Cliff “chubby” in one episode. This, he said, prompted him to go on a diet!
Other famous musicians have wandered the cobbles too, such as Davy Jones of ‘The Monkees’ who in fact made two guest appearances on the show; the first being in 1961 and then again in 1972 when he played Edna Sharples grandson, Colin Lomax. And of course, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt appeared in four episodes of what they called their “favourite programme” back in 2005.
Other musical folk who’ve made guest appearances include Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman’s Hermits. I imagine only those of us who are semi-fossilised even know who Herman’s Hermits are though!
Back to actors, Joanna Lumley played Ken Barlow’s posh girlfriend Elaine Perkins in 1973 and the gorgeous Martin Shaw played the part of “hippy” Robert Croft in 1968.
Also, more recently, Honor Blackman – arguably the most famous ‘Bond girl’ – played the part of Rula Romanoff, “an ageing swinger” who wanted to wife swap with Rita and Norris… makes your blood run cold at the thought doesn’t it?
Zöe Lucker, who’s perhaps best known as Tanya Turner in ‘Footballers Wives’, played Sonia Leach in 1996 and a big coup for the show came when Sir Ian McKellen made several guest appearances in 2005.
Legendary actor Laurence Olivier is said to have been very keen to make an appearance too but it seems “scheduling problems” prevented him from doing so and although he didn’t actually appear in any episodes, the famous film director Alfred Hitchcock posed for pictures in the Rovers.
And the list of other famous TV and big screen ‘faces’ who’ve popped up on the Street over the years goes on and on, including Ben Kingsley – pictured on the left in a scene on the show – Prunella Scales, Michael Elphick, Molly Sugden, Ray Brooks, Richard Beckinsale, Michael Ball, Max Wall, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Paula Wilcox.
However, despite that list of venerable stars of stage, screen and music, arguably, the biggest coup de grâce for the show was when HRH Prince Charles made an appearance during the 40th Anniversary episode in 2000.
Although this special episode aired live, The Prince of Wales pre-recorded his appearance which featured clips of him in a fictional television news bulletin meeting Councillor Audrey Roberts, played by Sue Nicholls.
He also met with Liz Dawn, the legendary Vera Duckworth who, as part of the plotline, was in hospital. There were rumours at the time that Vera was going to be killed off by dying while in a coma, of which the Prince apparently told her, “All of the viewers would be horrified if you don’t wake up.”
The Prince was also there to unveil a plaque to commemorate the ITV show’s 40th anniversary and although the plaque was unveiled on a wall next to the Rovers, it was subsequently moved to a ‘green room’ which is where cast members relax between scenes.
He also took time out to enjoy a scotch at the bar of the Rover where it seems he laughed and joked with actress Denise Welch, who played landlady Natalie Barnes at the time.
If you remember any famous faces who’ve appeared on Corrie and who we’ve missed out, please let us know!