My news report on the launch of the Coronation Street Tours was an exciting and once in a lifetime opportunity.
Yesterday, I obtained exclusive coverage of the studios before they go open to the public on April 5 for a limited time only.
It was surreal to walk along the hallowed cobbles of the nation’s most famous street and see the Coronation Street icons.
The heart of Coronation Street happens here. From deaths, births, fights and major events like lorry crashes. I was privileged to be able to go behind the Rovers Return and I was told so many secrets about the filming of the pub. Did you know, it’s almost impossible to get drunk in there? No alcoholic drinks are actually served! It is all a mixture of soft drinks.
The Kabin…Or as I like to call it, Rita’s Kingdom!
The local newsagents down Rosamund Street.
The Cafe owned by Roy Cropper and where Roy and Hayley were married in 1999.
And the Ginnel. The place where all the mischief happens, affairs are revealed and where Jason Grimshaw was once seen in his boxers!
These are only a few of the Coronation Street symbols on display. The set also offers the chance to walk inside sound stage one and take a peek inside stars’ dressing rooms, see iconic outfits from the show’s history and look inside the characters’ homes at selected interior sets and artefacts. Some of these have never been revealed to the public such as Hayley’s coffin, Roy’s train set and Deirdre’s spectacles!
I was lucky enough to interview Brian Capron who played Richard Hillman, the mass murderer of the street. He is such a lovely man and it was a pleasure to meet him. Unfortunately I did not have long for the interview, so I had to be really selective with my questions and had to wrap up the interview as soon as possible at an appropriate moment.
Since starting University, I have conducted quite a few interviews, so I am starting to learn how to interview spontaneously without looking at my notebook. It is difficult, but keeping eye contact with interviewees is crucial. Therefore, journalists try to memorise questions in their head and ask follow up questions to their interviewee’s answers.
As well as Richard, I interviewed the producer of Coronation Street, Stuart Blackburn, behind the Rovers itself. This interview was interesting, as he revealed that he preferred the new set at MediaCityUK. He liked the idea of the soap embracing change and moving forward.
While interviewing him, I learnt how important it was to remind your interviewee to repeat the questions in their answers, as this makes your TV piece more understandable to audiences.
I then interviewed Kate, one of the tour guides, outside Rita’s Kabin. I asked her why she decided to be a Coronation Street tour guide and what the tours would bring to the public.
The guides and Continuum Leading Attractions management were all very hospitable and without a doubt, this news report will always be one to remember.
Take a look of some more images I took while reporting from the cobbles.