Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Coronation Street - Part 1

First broadcast: Friday, December 9th, 1960 in the UK
Description: Granada Television soap opera created by Tony Warren, set in and around a small terraced backstreet in the fictional town of Weatherfield (based on the real-life city of Salford, near Manchester). Initially broadcast twice a week between 1961 and 1989, the soap then broadcast three episodes a week between 1989 and 1996, four between 1996 and 2009, five regularly between 2009 and 2017, and a sixth was added in September 2017.

There have been several spin-offs over the years, including:

  • Pardon the Expression, a sitcom featuring Arthur Lowe as Leonard Swindley, a clothing store manager who left the parent show in 1965, but appeared in two series and 36 episodes of this spin-off between June 1965 and June 1966. Pardon the Expression itself had its own spin-off, Turn Out the Lights, which ran for one series and six episodes between January and February 1967, also featuring Lowe as Swindley.
  • Albion Market was intended as a sister soap to Coronation Street, set in Weatherfield's undercover market, but only ran for one year (between August 1985 and August 1986) and 100 episodes.
  • The Brothers McGregor, a sitcom set in Liverpool featuring two characters who had appeared in one episode of Coronation Street (Eddie Yeats and Marion Willis's engagement, May 1982). The sitcom ran for four series and 26 episodes between September 1985 and August 1988, but the two leads were not the same actors who's played the wheeler-dealer brothers in the parent show. In Coronation Street, Wesley and Cyril were played by Carl Chase and Tony Osoba, whereas in the spin-off, they were played by Philip Whitchurch and Paul Barber.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Wallace Reid (1891-1923)

Birth name: William Wallace Halleck Reid
Birthdate: April 15th, 1891
Location: St Louis, Missouri, USA

Died: January 18th, 1923
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of death: Renal suppression and pneumonia caused by morphine addiction

Best known for: American silent film star labelled "the screen's most perfect lover" by Motion Picture Magazine who appeared in more than 200 productions, including D W Griffith's Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916), as well as The World's Champion (1922) and Across the Continent (1922).

Born into a showbiz family (both his parents were actors or playwrights), Wallace Reid was an accomplished athlete and outdoorsman, but slipped into the film industry when his father began working for motion pictures rather than theatres. Wallace's first appearance on film was in the 1910 short The Phoenix, and although he initially preferred to remain behind the scenes, directing rather than acting, the studios soon latched onto his matinee idol looks and turned him into one of the greatest sex symbols of the silent era.

Nevertheless, between 1912 and 1917 Wallace directed a total of 69 productions, and wrote 26 scripts between 1912 and 1916. In 1913, while working for Universal Pictures, the 6ft 1in performer met the actress Dorothy Davenport, who he married the same year and had two children with (Wallace Jr, and Betty, who was adopted but who it is believed was Wallace's daughter via an affair).