TV preview: Coronation Street: A Moving Story

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There have been quite a few ‘moving stories’ on Coronation Street over the years - in January, the death of Hayley Cropper saw the nation claiming to have something in its collective eye.

But in this documentary, it’s the cast and crew who are getting emotional as they prepare to say goodbye to their home of more than 53 years.

But before you start panicking that the producers have tired of the greyness of Weatherfield, and are transplanting the action to sunny Florida or the picturesque Scottish highlands, the show isn’t abandoning its roots.

Instead, this documentary, which was filmed over two years, charts the mammoth job of transferring Coronation Street from the iconic Granada Studios to its new base two miles away in Trafford Park, one of the most complex moves for any show in British TV history.

There will be a few differences to the new set - the new road is wide enough for two cars to get down it at the same time (thus increasing the potential for crashes on this already accident-prone street), while sharp-eyed viewers will notice subtle changes to some of the houses.

Executive producer Kieran Roberts told the BBC: “We’ve added an extra window here and there, which makes the buildings a little bit more realistic in terms of the huge clans that are living inside the houses.”

However, it seems the spirit of the street remains the same. “We want to make sure this is the Coronation Street that our many millions of fans know and love. But we want to make sure this will equip us for a very bright future.”

But even knowing there will still be cobbles, a Rovers, and an underwear factory waiting for them at their new home hasn’t made the move any less of an upheaval for some of the residents.

“I’ve been on a lot of journeys in this show,” explains Ryan Thomas, aka Jason. “You don’t know how much it means to you until it’s gone.”

While Sally Dynevor (Sally) is emotionally torn as she packs up her belongings, Helen Worth (Gail) has always felt like her position was temporary, despite having been in the soap since the mid-1970s.

“I do have this superstition that if I ever made it like home, I wouldn’t get my contract renewed,” she explains from her dressing room. “So believe it or not I never really moved in”.

We also hear from Julie Goodyear, who as Bet Gilroy (nee Lynch) spent 25 years behind the Rovers bar, as well as Corrie creator Tony Warren, who explains how the streets of Salford provided the inspiration for the original set.

So in a way, the move is a homecoming, but as cameras cover the final week of filming in December 2013 at Granada Studios in Manchester, we might all still get a little misty eyed.

And by the time filming on the new set started on January 9, 2014, Sally may be still worried about her family, and Peter may be up to no good outside the builder’s yard, but it’s clear cast and crew have taken a big step into the future.


Rev Kate Bottley, Raphael Rowe, Neil Morrissey, JJ Chalmers, Ed Byrne, Debbie McGee  and  Heather Small.

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