Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Beatles On Coronation Street (Almost)

The Beatles as soap stars? I thought that might be a little hard to swallow but it was very nearly true.
Coronation Street began transmission in 1960 on what is now ITV and is still going strong to this day. The longest running soap opera in the world, it is set on a working class street in Manchester (which is only 35 miles from Liverpool) and is about the lives of the streets inhabitants. Many actors who went onto worldwide fame have appeared on the street and some who made their name in the music world too; Davey Jones & Peter Noone both appeared in 1961 before they made their names as singers, Patrick Stewart, who went on to become well known to science fiction fans also appeared in a 1967 episode, Ben Kingsley, who also went onto become a Hollywood mainstay was a regular in the mid 60's and there were a whole host of others and perhaps even more to come. But sadly, not the Beatles.

A Missed Opportunity: The Beatles would have made a great addition to the soap opera's archives.

The proposed storyline would be that the band were on their way to a concert in Manchester and their van breaks down just outside the place where the cantankerous old battleaxe Ena Sharples (played by Violet Carson) worked. The police can't control the crowds and eventually end up knocking on Ena's door asking if she can give the four boys sanctuary. She agrees and they file past her which would end the episode. The next episode would have Ena persuading them to give a concert at her Over-Sixties club but when a 14 year old girl hears about it she tells all her mates and two generations get together for an unforgettable concert, after which they'd rush off and barely make their other gig in Manchester. Despite the Beatles being very keen to appear on the show they had a schedule that was full to the brim of concerts, radio and TV appearances & recording and photo sessions. Rehearsal was much needed as at this time the Beatles weren't actors and sadly the plans for their appearance were scrapped. A great pity.

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