The two soaps I’ve seen the most of are Coronation Street (1960-Present) and Eastenders (1985-Present) and while I will be talking about EastEnders later on, today I want to look at something Coronation Street related. Soap characters are some of the most iconic in British television, after all, we see them almost every day, follow them in their daily lives and through both the hard times and the easy, and know them better than our own neighbours. In respect of that, I’m going to count down my five favourite Coronation Street characters. Why top five? Well, frankly I never saw THAT much of Coronation Street, I’ve seen a few hundred episodes and don’t have enough information to pick 10 or 20 characters. In addition to this, soap characters don’t tend to have the emotional and psychological depth that you find in other fictional characters, due mainly to the fact writers change so often so we tend to get a very mixed view of these characters. Regardless, these are my top five favourite Coronation Street characters.
When was the last time you saw an actor from a British soap in a film? Or a successful, mainstream tv series? I bet you’re struggling to think of one, aren’t you? No, Barbara Windsor doesn’t count, she was famous BEFORE she went into soap. No, nor does Kylie Minogue, she’s Australian and besides, she went into the music industry, I’m talking about people who found fame in British soaps and then went on to become part of a successful film or television production. It’s a hard thing to do, and while they are some, they are few and far between. So, why is it that some of the most famous and hard-working people in British television fail to find work when they leave soaps?
Soaps tend to be right at the bottom of the TV drama shaped barrel. Despite the fact that millions of people watch them almost everyday and many have been airing for decades, there is still a lot of snobbery when it comes to considering the quality of soaps. I should probably elaborate on exactly what shows I’m talking about here. Originally, the ‘big three’ were considered to be Emmerdale (1972-present), Coronation Street (1960-present) and Eastenders (1985-present) but in recent years Hollyoaks (1995-present) and Doctors (2000-present) have joined the fray. All of these shows have received criticism from many for being overrated, poorly acted and using overthetop plots that never occur in real life. This criticism is unjust, I’m not an avid soap watcher but I know enough to say that soaps are actually really important and well made.