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I love Kat Kelly as an actress, especially when she isn't yelling, but I don't know where they can go with Becky. If it were me I would put her back with Jason and then if she still wants a child, he could raise that baby Holly, the one he didn't want anything to do with for a while when she was dropped off at his door before the mother realized Charlie Stubbs was the father.

The only time I buy anything with Michelle is when she's with Ryan, she's a believable mother and it's believable when he calls her on her sluttiness. Otherwise, no thanks. The 2008 stuff was dreadful. I still have very bad memories of the way she treated Leanne when she thought Leanne was sleeping with Steve (not that the show remembered this when Leanne went off on Michelle as she thought Michelle was sleeping with Peter).

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To be honest, I don't know Michelle from a ham sandwich. The two times I've watched the show long-term or with any sense of regularity (now and last summer), I don't think I've seen her on screen at all.

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To be honest, I don't know Michelle from a ham sandwich. The two times I've watched the show long-term or with any sense of regularity (now and last summer), I don't think I've seen her on screen at all.

Lucky you. The Ryan/Alex story was so heinous and abusive it has been completely forgotten.

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Betty's not leaving after all...

Coronation Street's new producer Phil Collinson phoned show veteran Betty Driver yesterday evening to assure her about her future with the show.

A Sunday tabloid reported that the 89-year-old - who won this year's 'Lifetime Achievement' trophy at the British Soap Awards - had expressed her intentions to retire after the show's 50th anniversary celebrations in December.

However, Corrie bosses were quick to ensure that Driver knew her job was safe and that she is "very much" a part of their golden year.

A source told The Mirror: "She told him she hadn't been saying anything about wanting to retire. She's obviously not as fit as she used to be but she loves the place and everybody loves her."

They added: "She was assured by Phil that she is very much part of our 50th anniversary plans later in the year and she was pleased with that."

Over the last few weeks, Collinson has axed Claire and Ashley Peacock (Julia Haworth and Steve Arnold) and crimper Natasha Blakeman (Rachel Leskovac).

Other departures this year will include Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) and Vicky Binns (Molly Dobbs).

To be honest, I don't know Michelle from a ham sandwich. The two times I've watched the show long-term or with any sense of regularity (now and last summer), I don't think I've seen her on screen at all.

She was placed on the backburner for the majority of the summer - they shipped Michelle off on some tour with a band, while I presume, they figured out what to do with her. Now, she hasn't been on screen for a couple of months.

You are so fortunate to not have had to endure the terrible baby switch storyline, with Michelle's son Ryan, and some other kid, called Alex. It was badly executed, plotted, structured, paced, acted, written - you name it, and it was all kinds of bad. They didn't know who to focus on at any given point in the story, which had no direction. As soon as they realized it was despised by viewers, they abruptly ended it, and now pretend it never happened.

ETA: I think they should go all the way, and turn Michelle into their version of Brooke Logan. Sometimes she feels like she's close to that type of character, what with her many men; it might make her more interesting, too. Although, they'd have to make sure they don't over do it, like B&B have with Brooke; but it could work. Anything to make her more engaging and interesting.

Edited by Ben
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I think I will become anorexic if Michelle starts being a "flagship" character.

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I've been watching the first of Blanche's funeral episodes, and there was one of those "this would never be on a US show" scenes where Steve, Becky, Peter, AND Liz were all puffing away right in front of their children and grandchildren.

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The first thing I thought, was that I've never seen so many characters smoking in a soap before, and then I realized that I've never seen anyone else smoke in any other soap, either (bar EE's Dot, who hasn't had a smoking scene in ages). It's one of those things, that soaps don't like to portray. I think the only character I've seen smoking on a US soap, was Deacon, on B&B. Oh, and didn't Days' Princess Gina used to smoke as well? I don't watch Emmerdale or Hollyoaks, so maybe they have characters who smoke, too?

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I can't remember anyone smoking on Hollyoaks. I read that they have a ban on that, even though a number of their cast members smoke.

Emmerdale doesn't have a lot of smoking. Aaron used to smoke sometimes. So does Chas. Eli smoked sometimes.

On American soaps characters only smoke if they're evil or if they don't care about life anymore. When Buzz Cooper on GL gave up on life for a while, he started smoking again for the first time in many years.

It just shows Corrie's uniqueness, I guess, in that even now when smoking is so verboten in popular culture, you will still see so many character smoking, and not in a "Smoking is bad," way. It doesn't bother me, because the truth is that tons of people still smoke and it's insulting to say they're bad people. The only downside is that when I hear Deirdre, especially when she's crying or laughing, she sounds exactly like a relative of mine who spends much of her time hacking up tar.

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They didn't have anything to say to each other on Corrie (I think they just showed May and Archie sitting next to each other at the wake), but Roy Hudd and June Whitfield worked on a radio show together in the late 90s.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/how-we-met-june-whitfield-and-roy-hudd-1291789.html

Corrie will be going HD at the end of the month.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/s3/coronation-street/news/a219473/coronation-street-to-join-itv1-hd.html

Edited by CarlD2
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So, finally watched the funeral episodes...

Outside of the slanging match between Tracy and Becky, which I don't care about, I thought the funeral was a very fitting sendoff for Blanche.

What I liked was that they had characters who didn't go along with the idea that Blanche was some curmodgeonly dear (Roy barely managed to hide the contempt he felt for her), as that's fitting to what Blanche was. She could be nasty sometimes, and not just because it was what someone needed to hear.

I also liked the beautifully written conversation Deirdre had with Ken about how no one but her had ever seen the kind or supportive side of her mother. This is true of a lot of people after they die, but this and the comments Deirdre made about Blanche being so proud during Tracy's christening were a nice reminder that Blanche wasn't always a battleaxe. In her first years on the show she was a much warmer person, she still had sarcasm and told home truths, but there wasn't as much bitterness. I'm glad the show references those days because I think that was Deirdre's peak as a character, her days with Ray -- she was much funnier and feistier, and not so dour. I think one of the reasons they made Blanche dour was to match what Deirdre had become.

Deirdre's eulogy was also very well put together, Anne Kirkbride, who I'm not overly fond of in emotional scenes, gave such wonderful performances with these moments. It also got to me when they kept cutting to poor Peter as he cried. The relationship between Peter and Blanche was one of the best on the show in recent years and I'm glad they gave Peter some moments of his own to talk to Leanne about his loss. If Kim Crowther is to be remembered positively for anything, it should be bringing Peter back and making him an important part of the show.

Ken's speech was also lovely, and you could tell William Roache was affected by what he was saying. Roache is often seen as being a wooden actor but this performance seemed to be from the heart.

Anyway, it was a much better goodbye than I had initially thought she'd get, as it was full of the heart and the little moments which are more difficult to come by on soaps now.

I was watching a minute of the Goodbye Blanche special and they showed one of her first scenes as Blanche. She bumped into Jerry Booth, who is one of my all time favorite Corrie characters. I hope Maggie Jones and Graham Habberfield are having a nice conversation right now ^_^

Edited by CarlD2
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She was placed on the backburner for the majority of the summer - they shipped Michelle off on some tour with a band, while I presume, they figured out what to do with her. Now, she hasn't been on screen for a couple of months.

I think that Kym Marsh's personal problems last year might have something to do with Michelle being backburned for a while too. She did after all tragically lose her baby shortly after birth last year, suffer from depression, split with her partner (though they are now back together) etc etc so the producers probably decided to keep Michelle low key for a while until some time had passed before they began using her heavily again.

Unfortunately though Michelle has never actually had a really successful storyline. The triangle with Sean and Sonny wasn't too great, The baby switch was a complete disaster and she was upstaged by Becky who took Steve McDonald away from her and left her adrift so they really have a lot of work cut out for them if they want Michelle as a central character. The only thing that seems to save Michelle from the chopping block is Marsh's high profile status.

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I think that Kym Marsh's personal problems last year might have something to do with Michelle being backburned for a while too. She did after all tragically lose her baby shortly after birth last year, suffer from depression, split with her partner (though they are now back together) etc etc so the producers probably decided to keep Michelle low key for a while until some time had passed before they began using her heavily again.

I had forgotten about her tragic loss, last year. Was her summer hiatus the reason for this? I seem to remember her barely being used before the summer, as I'm sure she had time off during the spring. Either way, I don't think you can say she's been used heavily at all - she had that fling with the handyman guy (or whatever it was he did); disappeared; popped back up for Tony being revealed as Liam's killer; had a few scenes with Ryan; became the crush of Ryan's best mate Ben, and has since disappeared again.

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