Last Thursday, Coronation Street celebrated its 50th anniversary on the air. It was first broadcast on December 9, 1960. Its creator, Tony Warren, originally named the show Florizel Street and thank goodness that didn't last! Legend has it that the name was changed because Agnes, a tea lady (a British term for a woman who serves tea and refreshments at an office) at Granada Television, remarked that "Florizel" sounds like the name of a disinfectant. I, for one, can't argue with that. By the way Granada Television is the ITV franchise for North West England and it has produced Coronation Street since 1960.
I have to admit that I have never been a follower of Coronation Street. It's not that I don't like it. It's just that I have never been able to fit it into my daily routine. However, the venerable British drama (I understand that serious fans become annoyed when it is referred to as a "soap") is hugely popular in Canada. So if you are a reader from the UK and don't already know this, I'd like you to be aware that Canadians love Coronation Street and that it has a huge following in this country.
The CBC has broadcast the show in Canada for over 40 years. The network estimates that 6.55 million Canadians have viewed a weeknight airing of Coronation Street this year. That works out to be about one in five of us. Last Thursday, to mark the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street, the CBC aired a one-hour special entitled "Corrie Crazy: Canada Loves Coronation Street."
GEORGE HAMILTON ON THE DONNA REED SHOW
In my November 27, 2010 posting on Shelly Fabares, I mentioned that I've been watching DVDs of the early episodes of The Donna Reed Show. In a 1959 episode entitled "Have Fun," the Shelley Fabares character, Mary Stone, dates a teenage boy named Harvey Shields. I noticed that Harvey was played by a very young George Hamilton - yes, he of the eternal tan. Hamilton was born in August of 1939, so he must have been 19 years old at the time as the episode would have aired before his 20th birthday on August 12, 1959.