Access All Areas: Behind the Scenes at Coronation Street

My next book clear-out centres on my favourite TV show with Access All Areas: Behind the Scenes at Coronation Street by David Hanson with Jo Kingston and photographs by Roger Dixon. It was a library discard. While only 120 pages long, it provided an abundance of information into the production of the show from character development to set decoration, costumes and makeup. Editing, filming on location and sound were all covered as well. All the jobs were profiled, and I was surprised to discover that so many people worked so hard and under such time pressure to pull off four–at the time–new episodes each week. The writers covered all aspects to painfully detailed degrees and I felt that the staff of “Coronation Street” must be obsessive-compulsives in order to keep 39 years of the show’s history (the book was published in 1999) in check. One little continuity or factual error and droves of people will phone in to complain. They once mixed up the sexes of two budgies–and with me as a longtime budgie owner, I’d have noticed that in a second. The show employs a paid historian to ensure storylines follow from where they left off, sometimes resuming after many years. 

I watch the show via its daily episodes. There are now six new episodes each week. Years ago, I noticed sometimes that when I watched the omnibus edition, where all the week’s episodes are broadcast back-to-back on Sunday mornings, that little details were left out. (I would unfortunately have to wait to watch the show until Sunday if for some reason the episode shown during the week was preempted or if I neglected to note a timing change. I could still see all the episodes in order, but I would have to wait till they were all packaged together in one long Sunday omnibus edition.) The writers confirmed my suspicions about edits during the Sunday broadcast, that, when there were only four episodes each week, editors would need to trim the show “by a minute”. Nothing of crucial importance is trimmed during the Sunday broadcast, fortunately. 

The book was filled with black-and-white photos at every page spread but while the abundance of photos was a blessing, I found some of the tones too dark and they seemed more black than white. Many of the characters from twenty-one years ago have left the show and some have returned and of course many are still there, but I admit I did have to check some actor and character names as I had forgotten them. Once I realized who the writers were referring to, my Corrie memory bank opened up.  

I could not find a cover image on-line that wasn’t blurry. The book is a large square and cannot be scanned in one piece. I had to scan the top and bottom halves separately and then knit them together.

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