Tag Archives: Manchester

Coronation Street celebrates 50 years of Mancunian kitchen-sink dramas

To Manchester. Not for sparkling urban regeneration, nor pop-culture heritage, but a lowly street with a corner shop, a local pub and a cast of everyday folk.

Coronation Street celebrates its 50th birthday on December 9 and ITV will mark the big day with what is alleged to be the most expensive shoot in soap history.

Urban renewal

Me? I’m a lapsed Corrie viewer. Lapsed since I was a teenager in the Eighties, to be honest, although I do remember coming to the now-defunct Granada TV Studios tour as a child.

But I’ve come to Manchester to see how – or if – the story reflects the way Manchester has changed since the gritty, monochrome days of industrial decline in the early Sixties.

Manchester is a pretty different place to the city where three TV producers gathered in 1960 to work on ideas for a new programme called Florizel Street, just commissioned for a 13-week run.

The Beetham Tower is Europe’s tallest residential building, MediaCityUK will come alive at Salford Quays in May next year when the BBC moves into its new premises and the Manchester International Festival returns in 2011, attracting European visitors to its high-profile cultural events.

Walking tour

But does Corrie accurately reflect Manchester life on the screen? To find out, I joined a walking tour this week led by Ed Glinert of New Manchester Walks.

His Corrie anniversary tour is a two-hour spin around the city, revealing Corrie-fan anecdotes and uncovering nuggets of showbiz gossip at each location we visit.

“It’s still compulsive viewing but I yearn for the great characters,” says Ed, who loves what he calls “the golden age of Coronation Street” – that’s 1975 to ’85.

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Where did we go? What happens behind the Checkpoint Charlie facade of the studios? And what inside gossip do I know about the storyline this December?

You can read more in my stories over the next couple of months. I’ll be posting links up here and to my Twitter account.

Meanwhile, how do you feel Manchester is portrayed by Coronation Street? Post your thoughts below.

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Filed under Manchester, Northwest, Travel writing

Can Manchester lead the way for digital tourism promotion?

Do you know what a Application Programming Interface is? Me either. But Marketing Manchester has one and is not afraid to use it for the new tourism website launched today, May 21.

The press release explains:

[It] weaves its way across the web and through the city itself, providing an ever-growing source of information about Manchester …

Glad we cleared that up, then.

Manchester has lead the way in the Northwest over recent years, reinventing the urban cityscape, revolutionising tourism and engendering northern pride. It may well continue to do so with this project.

Today’s launch promises to be just the first stage in an evolving digital strategy. The next phase will be multi-touch interactive surface tables at the city’s new visitor information centre, opening next month.

But what do people make of the new website? And do you get the concept. If so, please enlighten me.

Finally, a word of advice: put a link for press on the homepage. I’m sure other writers will have questions.

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Filed under Manchester, Tourism

Manchester vs Liverpool: the great debate

Interesting piece on the Times website this weekend. Read it here before the paywall ensures we all stop reading the travel section for good.

Well, I say interesting. The story, written by Northwest tourism stalwart, Stuart Maconie, is more of a puff for his new book Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England.

But the comments at the end of the piece make for some fascinating reading and an insight into an age-old debate.

So, to keep the discussion going, it’s time for Hit the North’s first poll. Your votes please.

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Filed under Liverpool, Manchester, Tourism