Coronation Street (14th April 1976)

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Written by H.V. Kershaw

Gail and Tricia are currently in charge at the corner shop. This is something that Bill Podmore was keen to change – believing that the shop should be run by an older hand. It’s difficult not to disagree with him, as the pair aren’t terribly good in a crisis.

The opening of today’s episode is a case in point. Gail pops round with Ken’s groceries, only to find him still spark out on the floor (although we’re denied the moment when Gail clapped her eyes on him). She comes squawking back to the shop in a right old tizzy (“covered in blood he was”). But since Ken wasn’t (after all. he was only felled by one little punch) I think this is good evidence that if you had to rely upon Gail as a witness, you’d be in dead trouble ….

Elsie gets a job at a local clothes shop, Sylvia’s Separates, after impressing the hoity toity proprietress Sylvia Matthews (Rosemarie Dunham). Elsie will remain here for the rest of the year, although not that many exciting (or interesting) storylines are generated from this location. Today’s visit from a customer (played by Roly Poly to be, Maureen Morland) is a bright start though – even if most of her scene was cut out of the Granada Plus repeat.

Len looks after Ken. Experienced old hand Len isn’t buying Ken’s feeble story about slipping over – he can spot the mark of a jealous husband a mile off.  Len gleefully tells Ken that if he (Len) played around then it wouldn’t affect his position as a local councilor, but Ken’s dalliance with one of his lecturers won’t go down at all well with the bigwigs at the Welfare Department (where Ken works). This seems a little unfair, but then life’s unfair.

Wendy pops round to tell Ken that she’s left her husband. End of part one ….

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Part two sees the pair enjoy another heart to heart at the kitchen table. It’s quite a lengthy scene with Susan Tebbs making most of the running.  Ken assumes that Wendy will now be moving in with him, but she shatters his illusions on that score. There then follows some raised voices, harsh words and recriminations.

And if you thought Ken’s day couldn’t get any worse, then it does when Roger later turns up. At least this time he’s not come to fight – instead the pair have a fairly civilized conversation over a cup of tea. We’ve already had Susan’s view of their marriage (Roger as a jealous, controlling bully) so now he’s allowed to have his say and comes across as a reasonable sort of bloke.

This leaves Ken caught in the middle. He still wants Wendy, but within the space of an episode his relationship with her has been shown to be on much rockier ground than he belived. Previously her marriage seemed to be all but over, but is that actually the case? This is something that a still bruised about the face Ken is left to mull over.

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One thought on “Coronation Street (14th April 1976)

  1. One of Bill Podmore’s less-celebrated, but highly welcome, innovations happens at the corner shop and elsewhere at this period. At long last the goods at the corner shop (discretely) display their brand names, rather than having them covered up with a big sticker reading “KEY”. That was distracting… I mean, it’s also distracting now to see shelves of authentic 1970s packaging, but at least it now looks authentic!

    Liked by 1 person

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