ITV opens its new doors to unveil the next Coronation Street set
Yesterday, the 54,000 cobbles and 400,000 bricks it has taken to rebuild the famous Coronation Street were unveiled. The soap is to move away from its old home in Manchester city centre to its brand new set in Trafford, next to the Imperial War Museum.
The day entailed putting up the new Coronation Street sign, chatting to the cast and crew, wandering around the new Weatherfield and allowing guests to make their own marks on the set by etching their names into Webster’s garage door.
Executive Producer Kieran Roberts expressed that they have “seen 53 years of Coronation Street so far, and we plan to see 53 more years here, on this street in New Trafford.”
The set is now 2.5 feet bigger, meaning that two cars can now pass each other, and the buildings are also larger, unlike the limiting previous set.
Sue Nicholls, the actress who plays Audrey, expressed how her first reaction was “that it’s exactly the same.” She joked that as a character she is now “institutionalised” in the soap.
The new tree which has been planted outside of Audrey’s salon from Holland now stands as one of the largest trees planted in the UK.
Another talking point was a new additional window which has been put above the famous Rovers Return pub, which according to Roberts is “so that Steve and Liz McDonald don’t have to share with Michelle any more.”
The press launch did however reveal something that still needs a bit of tweaking: the rain proved that part of the road needs to be dug up and re-laid because the puddles formed were much deeper than those of the previous set.
Other positives however include the ability to film actually inside the Underworld factory and Street Cars buildings, whereas these locations have previously been set in interior studios. Everything as a result will now appear to be even more authentic.
There were mixed feelings amongst cast and crew, torn between their love of the old set and the excitement of this newly built one, but High Definition televisions and the progression of the televised world within the last 50 years have made all of this necessary.
And as Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street, who briefly made an appearance at the press launch has said, the bricks and cobbles “are not the real Coronation Street. That is still whatever you want it to be – inside your own imagination.”