Coronation Streets 60th anniversary storyline is a major throwback to 2000 – digitalspy.com

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Coronation Street spoilers follow.

If you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu watching Coronation Street at the moment, you’re not alone.

As we head towards the show’s exciting 60th anniversary celebrations in December, we can’t help noticing some intriguing parallels between 2020’s major storylines and memorable plots from two previous big milestone years – 2010 and 2000.

If you cast your mind back ten years ago, Natasha Blakeman’s dramatic exit storyline caused some major shockwaves for the Platt family in the build-up to Corrie‘s 50th birthday. She was barely mentioned in the years that followed, but now she’s back and causing ripples for the beleaguered clan yet again.

2010 also saw Peter Barlow support Carla Connor through her drinking problem, which led to her misinterpreting his friendship and making a move on him.

carla connor and peter barlow in coronation street

ITV

Sound familiar? We’ve seen a similar set-up recently with Peter offering support to Abi Franklin, who also got the wrong idea over their connection. (It’s easily done where Peter is concerned, apparently.)

While an affair between Peter and Abi has mercifully been ruled out, we’ve been told that they’ll take centre stage in the upcoming anniversary storylines.

Ten years ago we were also watching the twists and turns of Nick Tilsley and Leanne Battersby’s affair ahead of the 50th anniversary. Now, a decade later, their relationship is still at centre stage but seems to be heading for breaking point amid Oliver’s illness storyline. What a difference a decade makes.

But perhaps the biggest throwback comes with Ray Crosby’s ruthless plans to buy up the properties on Coronation Street, send in the bulldozers and create an expensive new development in its place.

ray crosby in coronation street

ITV

Ray’s masterplan is currently a secret on screen, but will ultimately bring him into conflict with some of the Street’s longest-serving residents, sparking a classic David and Goliath-style tale of a small community standing up for its own history and importance. Corrie‘s 40th anniversary, anyone?

Back in 2000, Corrie‘s 40th birthday was a more low-key affair than the big, explosive storylines we’ve become accustomed to for soap milestones.

Corrie aired a live episode to mark the occasion, but there were no explosions, arson attacks or tram crashes to keep the Weatherfield favourites on their toes. Instead, the big storyline simply focused on the future of the cobbles – literally.

In a storyline which had started weeks earlier, the local council planned to bring the Street into the 21st century by – gasp – laying tarmac over the iconic cobblestones.

ray crosby arrives to take over the bistro in coronation street

ITV

The revelation left the Street’s residents up in arms and they banded together to make their voices heard with a Save The Cobbles campaign, not wanting to lose such a unique feature of their home.

In the live episode, workmen from the council turned up to begin the transformation, but Ken Barlow and Duggie Ferguson came up with a rota (that’ll teach ’em) so that demonstrators would be blocking their way at all times.

The scenario led to a race against time, as the council applied for a court injunction which would give the police permission to disperse the protestors.

Ken and co fought back by seeking a preservation order from Northern Heritage, and when it took too long to arrive, a plan was hatched to fool the police with a hastily-printed-off fake one. Only in Corrie.

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By the end of the episode, the Street’s residents had triumphed and Ken fittingly took centre stage with a rousing speech about community spirit.

Gathered in front of his neighbours, just before the credits rolled, Ken enthused: “It wasn’t just the cobbles that got us here today. It was a feeling of tradition, of community, and I’m proud of where I come from.

“I’ve lived here all my life, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, a lot of changes, a lot of dramas down the street – like lots of other streets where people are living together.

“It’s just that I find there’s something a little bit special about this one – and I know that you all feel the same. So I want you to raise your glasses with me and drink a toast – to Coronation Street.”

20 years later, the stakes are a little higher – as Ray’s plans don’t just threaten the cobbles but the Street itself. We’re gradually seeing him target more and more properties in the area, with everyone apart from Gary Windass currently oblivious to his intentions.

mikey north as gary windass in coronation street

ITV

The original plan for Corrie‘s 60th anniversary celebrations included Hollywood spectacular stunt elements, but these were scrapped when COVID-19 restrictions came into play.

With big budget stunts off the table, show bosses made the choice to focus on the community-based storyline instead. Perhaps this is the biggest throwback of all – returning the focus back to characters and the fabric of the local community, rather than upping the ante with ever more eye-catching explosions and stunts.

Let’s face it – there probably isn’t too much suspense here, since nobody in the audience really thinks that Coronation Street is going to be torn down after 60 years.

Even so, what should be interesting is seeing how the community bands together to take down Ray and his plans. Plus, with Corrie legends Bill Roache and Barbara Knox back filming in their roles as Ken and Rita, we know that the A-Team should hopefully be involved in the fightback.

ken barlow at still waters in coronation street

ITV

Mark Frost, who plays Ray, has hinted that his scheming character is underestimating the power of the Street’s residents when they’re strong and united – just like that pesky council did 20 years ago.

Speaking to Digital Spy and other media recently, Mark explained: “I think probably it’s in the collective that he’s in most danger – if some of those people get together and if some alliances are formed. If you prod the community too hard, they will get together.

“Ray ought to be most fearful of the collective, and perhaps it’s in that spirit of Weatherfield that he has so little respect for, that will be his undoing rather than any one individual.”

Let’s hope Ken has another rousing speech planned for the Street’s inevitable victory…

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.


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