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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Coronation Street Wiki

A Spin-off - in media terms - is to derive a new television or radio programme, novel, video game or special video release from an existing (or previously existing) one.

Although all somewhat forgotten today, Coronation Street has had several spin-offs since the mid-1960s, which have achieved varying degrees of success but none of which have, understandably, reached the same levels of success as its "parent". This article summarises those spin-offs but separate pages go into further detail on each one.

Contents

Pardon the Expression

The first spin-off from the programme featured the character of Leonard Swindley, as played by Arthur Lowe, and followed his progress after leaving Coronation Street when he became deputy manager of one of the Department Stores in the national chain of Dobson and Hawkes. The programme was a situation comedy, complete with audience laughter, and ran for two seasons totalling thirty-six episodes between 2nd June 1965 (just two days after Swindley's last appearance in Coronation Street) to 27th June 1966. Paul Dawkins co-starred as Swindley's boss, Ernest Parbold in the first series and, following a bad car crash involving Dawkins, was replaced by Robert Dorning as Walter "Wally" Hunt in the second. A notable regular cast member was Betty Driver who appeared as Mrs Edgeley, canteen manageress, some four years before starting in Coronation Street as Betty Turpin.

Turn out the Lights

Arguably more a spin-off from Pardon the Expression than the Street proper, this unusual departure featured the adventures of Swindley and Hunt after they had been sacked from Dobson and Hawkes and they investigated paranormal activities as they travelled the country lecturing on astrological matters. A comedy-drama (without an audience laugh-track), the series lasted for only one series of six episodes from Monday 2nd January to 6th February 1967. The six episodes no longer exist in the Granada archives.

Christmas on Coronation Street

This special one-off fifty-minute programme was broadcast on Saturday 28th December 1968 and featured the characters of Jack and Annie Walker as they reminisced over Christmases past on the street. Featuring extended sequences from the previous years' episodes (when the programme had a tradition of the programme characters being involved in parties, plays or pantomimes rather than sensational storylines) the special was Executive Produced by H.V. Kershaw, and was watched in 5.9 million homes (the 15th most popular programme that week).

All Star Comedy Carnival

In the long-running tradition of the BBC's Christmas Night with the Stars, ITV produced a rare multi-region extravaganza for four years running between 1969 and 1972 which featured short segments from contemporary running comedy shows. Even more unusually Coronation Street was included in the line-up for the first two years and these two segments are, the pilot episodes aside, the only Coronation Street material which are known to be missing from the Granada archives. Both programmes were broadcast on 25th December in their respective years.

Rest Assured

This proposed series would have followed the comic misfortunes of Jerry Booth and Ray Langton as played by Graham Haberfield and Neville Buswell. A pilot written by H.V. Kershaw was recorded in 1972 but to date has not been transmitted.

Annie and Betty's Coronation Street Memories

Broadcast in the programme's usual timeslot on Monday 22nd December 1975 , this half-hour programme repeated the formula of the 1968 special but this time featured Annie Walker and Betty Turpin as they reminisced over past Christmases on the street. H.V. Kershaw provided the linking material.

The Brothers McGregor

Episode 2203 of Coronation Street, broadcast on 12th May 1982, featured the appearance of Cyril (Carl Chase) and Wesley McGregor (Tony Osoba), two half-brothers from Liverpool, who arrived in Weatherfield to join in the riotous engagement party of their old friend Eddie Yeats to Marion. John Stevenson, the writer of the episode, was so taken with the potential of the two characters that he suggested that a sitcom could be developed around them. Granada agreed and Stevenson was partnered with Julian Roach in writing the twenty-six scripts of The Brothers McGregor which were transmitted in four series from 4th September 1985 to 24th August 1988. In the series the parts of Cyril and Wesley were played by Philip Whitchurch and Paul Barber. Bill Podmore was Executive Producer in addition to his duties on Coronation Street.

Video specials

Episode compilations

Several video specials were released from the 1980's onwards which either featured either clips or complete episodes from the archives and had newly-scripted linking material of characters in the programme reminiscing.

"Straight to Video" specials

Two special programmes were made by Granada and released immediately to video. Both featured the adventures of characters away from the street and their departures and arrivals back were featured in the main programme proper, thus altering viewers to the opportunity of purchasing the video to "see what happened" in their absence.

After Hours

Variously known as The Brighton Bubble and Coronation Street - After Hours, these six episodes were shown nightly from Monday 8th November to Saturday 13th November 1999. They featured Steve McDonald and Vikram Desai as they travelled to Calais via Brighton where they encountered Steve's ex-wife Vicky McDonald as well as the return of Bet Gilroy and Reg Holdsworth. The programme's on-screen title was just Coronation Street and it featured the normal theme music and logo, thereby giving the impression that they were just additional episodes of the main programme.

Out of Africa

Released straight to DVD on 10th November 2008, this special was shot in South Africa and featured the return of Wendi Peters as Cilla Battersby-Brown to the programme. Other regular characters who featured were Fiz Brown, Chesney Battersby-Brown and Kirk Sutherland.

Romanian Holiday

Released straight to DVD on 26th October 2009, this special was shot in Romania and featured Roy Cropper, Hayley Cropper and Becky McDonald with a cameo appearance by Eddie Windass.


This article uses material from the "Spin-off" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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