Anne Kirkbride Memorial

A public Memorial Service for Anne Kirkbride will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Saturday 30 May 2015.

Respected and much loved by all who came into contact with her, Anne played Coronation Street’s Deirdre Barlow over a 40-year period, and passed away in January this year. Anne’s character first appeared on our TV screens in November 1972 and entertained us each week appearing in over 3,300 episodes. Anne’s final appearance on the programme was in October 2014.

The Cathedral’s Sub Dean, Philip Barratt, will conduct the public service with hymns performed by Manchester Cathedral choir. There will also be readings and tributes by members of the cast including William Roache MBE, Beverley Callard and Elle Mulvaney and Executive Producer, Kieran Roberts together with members of the Coronation Street Production Team.

Anne’s husband Dave Beckett has helped the Coronation Street production team produce the service and has been involved in every aspect of the celebration including the choice of music and readings. The service will be a celebration of Anne’s private and public life with colleagues and members of the public paying their respects. Anne’s passion and verve for life will be present throughout the service.

Photographic images of the actress in her role as Deirdre and photographs taken with her real life family will be on display. An exhibition of artwork which Anne photographed and painted throughout her life will also be on view.

The Manchester Cathedral choir, singing The Lord’s My Shepherd, Hills of the North Rejoice and How Lovely are thy Dwellings, will be conducted by Christopher Stokes, Organist and Master of the Choristers, at Manchester Cathedral.

Musical accompaniment will be provided by Roman Lytwynlw on the violin and James Ellis on the piano. Both are members of the Chetham’s School of Music.

Classical Tenor, Tom Spence, will perform Lucio Dalla’s Caruso during the service. Merseyside based Tom has supported Russell Watson on tour and will be performing at the 2015 International Mersey River Festival in June.

Members of the public are invited to attend the service and join with Anne’s family and the Coronation Street cast and crew in the celebration of Anne’s life.

Shayne Ward cast as new Connor cousin

Women of Weatherfield watch out - there is a new Connor in town and he means business.

Aidan Connor is a distant cousin of Michelle and grew up on the same estate as her and Carla. He turns up in Coronation Street in August after hearing that Carla is having problems at the factory.

Aidan will be played by singer turned actor Shayne Ward who starts filming in the role next month.

Good looking and charming, Aidan’s arrival will set female hearts fluttering - but he’s no pushover and quickly makes an enemy of Tracy Barlow’s ex hubbie Robert Preston, played by Tristan Gemmill.

Aidan grew up with Michelle and Carla

Manchester born Shayne received a nomination at the 2012 What's On Stage Awards for his role in Rock of Ages in the West End, and appeared in Jeff Wayne’s Stage version of War of the Worlds. He has signed a one year contract with Coronation Street.

Aidan is just the first of the new Connor clan to arrive in Weatherfield and will be followed in the coming months by his dad and sister.

Like Shayne, Aidan is from Manchester and has an extended family over in Ireland.

Stuart Blackburn said:

"When Shayne came in and auditioned we knew he was up against some very stiff competition. But he blew us away from the very get go delivering a charm and a swagger that is perfect for the character. I can't wait to see him in action!"

Shayne Ward said:

"On hearing the news I had been offered the part on the show I was in total disbelief. It still hasn't sunk in. Shayne Ward the lad from Manchester, given such a role on such an iconic show - it is an absolute dream come true. I'm excited to walk down those famous cobbles.

"My family and friends know just how much this means to me and I cannot wait to do them all proud. 2015 has been a great year for me so far and I look forward to joining the Coronation Street family."

BAFTA Winners!

We're delighted to announce that Coronation Street was last night awarded the BAFTA for Soap and Continuing Drama.

Credit: BAFTA

This is the second year in a row that Corrie has won and in the words of Producer Stuart Blackburn - wow!

Stuart dedicated the award in memory of Anne Kirkbride.

Here are some Tweets from the night:

Tracy's ex husband arrives in Weatherfield

Actor Tristan Gemmill is to join the cast of Coronation Street as the ex husband of Tracy Barlow.

Robert Preston will turn up unexpectedly at the funeral of Deirdre Barlow - to the surprise of his ex Tracy.

Grieving over the sudden loss of her mum, and newly single following the end of her affair with Tony Stewart, it isn’t long before Tracy falls into the arms of Robert.

But chef Robert has omitted to tell her one detail about his new life since they split - he is still married to his second wife who quickly arrives in Weatherfield to lay claim to her man.

Robert will land a job at the Bistro, but will he win Tracy round after she finds out the truth about his wife?

Tracy married Robert in 1996, she had an affair in 2002 and eventually divorced Robert, much to Deirdre’s dismay.

Tristan who played Consultant Adam Trueman in Casualty for five years starts filming this week and will be on screen in July. He has been signed up for a year.

His other credits include London's Burning, Death in Paradise, Atlantis and on stage in The Bodyguard.

Coronation Street producer Stuart Blackburn said:

"Tristan is a fantastic and classy actor who will bring a real gravitas to the role of Robert Preston.

"We're all delighted to have him on board and I can't wait to see him striding down those famous cobbles."

Tristan said:

"I’m excited to be joining such an iconic show. Coronation Street is a great British institution and it will be a huge challenge to meet the expectations of its devoted audience. But it is a challenge I am really looking forward to."

Andrew Paul joins Corrie

Unlucky in love Liz McDonald is set to find herself a new man after she uncovers Tracy’s affair with Tony.

Andrew Paul will play Dan Jones

Still reeling over the betrayal she falls for smooth talking brewery rep Dan Jones when he calls to do some business in Weatherfield.

It looks as though she might have found the perfect man to help heal her heartache - but she hasn’t bargained on Dan having a secret past with another Weatherfield woman.

Former Bill actor Andrew Paul has been cast as Dan - he has started filming and will be on screen next month.

Andrew played PC Dave Quinnan for 13 years and was later seen as Billy Boothe in Where the Heart is.

Will Liz find out Dan’s dark secret before it is too late? And how will he react when he bumps into the blast from his past who could ruin his budding romance with landlady Liz?


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Jessica Ennis-Hill shows her support for Team Corrie

Jessica Ennis-Hill visited the cobbles today as Team Corrie prepare to tackle the Great Manchester Run 2015.

Our 50 strong team made up of Cast and Crew will take to the streets of Manchester to run 10K in memory of our much loved friend and colleague Mike Curtis who tragically died in January this year.

Ben Price and Alison King met with Jess outside the Rovers

Please show your support for the team by cheering them along on Sunday 10th May.

If you would like to help the runners to raise money for CALM:

Text CALM63 followed by £(AMOUNT) to 70070 or visit for more information on why the team is running.

See you at the finish line!

Go Team Corrie!

Paddy McGuinness lands guest role

Comedy actor Paddy McGuinness is to have a guest role in Coronation Street and he will be giving Bear Grylls and Ray Mears a run for their money!

Paddy will star in six episodes as wilderness survival enthusiast Dougie Ryan who meets up with the Tinkers and Dobbs on a camping holiday.

It isn’t long before Dougie is putting Kirk, Beth, Craig, Chesney, Sinead, Tyrone and Fiz through their paces with hilarious consequence, as he shames the boys with his expertise in all things outdoors.

Sinead, Kirk, Bethany and Craig will meet Paddy's character Dougie on holiday.

Dougie will be on holiday with his teenage daughter Caitlin who strikes up an unlikely friendship with loveable Craig Tinker.

Take Me Out presenter Paddy, whose acting credits include Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy and The Delivery Man, starts filming next month, the episodes will be filmed on location and will transmit in August.

Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn said:

“It's an absolute delight to be working with Paddy who is a talented actor with a flair for comedy that will ensure he fits right in with the Corrie cast.”

Paddy McGuinness said:

“Being asked to appear in Coronation Street was a very special moment for me.

"I remember Peter telling me how much he enjoyed his guest spot on the show and I can't wait to get started.

"It's an iconic and much loved show, not just in the UK but around the world. The character I'll be playing is very funny and I'm sure the Corrie fans will love him.”


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