The Corrie Years – final episode airs tonight!

New three part series, The Corrie Years, focuses on 50 years of storylines which have been national talking points throughout its history. It touches on the plots and characters that have made headlines and courted controversy, broken new ground in television drama, challenged taboos and reflected the seismic changes in society which have occurred since the very beginning of the soap in 1960. Narrated by David Morrissey, the programmes will exclusively feature previously unseen footage, cast interviews both past and present and classic highlights from the show. This series celebrates Britain’s longest running TV soap and provides a closer look at how the show has continually produced some of the most talked-about storylines ever seen.

Ep 3: The Corrie Years: The Changing Face Of Britain

In the final episode we see how events in the outside world played a part in creating some key moments in Weatherfield’s history, and tell the stories about the impact they had.

1981 – Ken and Deirdre Get Married: Britain was preparing itself for two weddings of the year in 1981 – both falling within the same week in July. Two days after Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton became man and wife in Weatherfield, Prince Charles and Lady Diana tied the knot in a slightly more lavish ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Anne Kirkbride who plays Deirdre says “There were an awful lot of viewers for that episode and it was amazing to think that we were actually attracting as much attention as the royal wedding.”

1978 – Strike on Coronation Street: When Mike Baldwin sacked cleaner Hilda Ogden over the small matter of a new brush, Ivy Tilsley led the workers of his factory out to the picket line in protest. Just one year later however, a real-life strike by technicians at ITV meant that Corrie was off the air for two and a half months until matters were resolved.

1960 – Revolution at the Barlows: Ken Barlow represented the typical 1960s student movement seen growing on the streets of Britain – much to the annoyance of his father, Frank. When Ken followed his fellow campaigners on a Ban the Bomb march in 1961, he echoed the feelings of many protesters in this country at that time, who fought against the introduction of nuclear weapons. William Roache who plays Ken Barlow says “Coronation Street is not a documentary, it’s a drama, however we need to be as truthful as possible and it reflected the worries and concerns of the day… Ken doing that was very much representing the feeling of the time.”

1995 – Tracy’s Drug Shame: Britain’s drug crisis worsened in the mid-nineties thanks to a huge rise in the use of Ecstasy – and in Weatherfield, Tracey Barlow also found herself in grave danger as a consequence of this, when her wild child days took a darker turn.

1997 – Emily’s Eco Protest: Emily Bishop’s nephew Spider turned up on her doorstep in as an archetypal eco warrior, straight from the Swampy school of environmentalism – but it was his Aunty Emily’s tree top protest during the battle to save Weatherfield’s Red Rec that really gave the campaign the publicity it needed.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011, 7:30PM – 8:00PM