Speaker Hoyle hosts reception of thanks for Coronation Street and Emmerdale stars
Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow and Emmerdale’s Mandy Dingle were among a host of stars from both soaps to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle invited cast members, representatives of the crew, directors and writers from two of the nation’s favourite TV shows to celebrate more than 11 decades of continuing drama from the North.
Last month Emmerdale marked its half century, and Coronation Street will celebrate its 63rd birthday on 9 December.
Chorley MP Sir Lindsay said he was ‘beyond proud’ that two of Britain’s most well-known institutions ‘were exports from the North’.‘Coronation Street and Emmerdale are two of the best-loved, hard-hitting dramas in the UK, if not the world – and their storytelling really touches on important social issues that affect us all,’ he said.‘The fact that both programmes have been mentioned more than 320 times during debates across Parliament just goes to show how important they are to the fabric of our society and the economic contribution they bring to the North.’
John Whiston, MD Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North, said it was ‘an honour’ to be invited to Speaker’s House ‘to celebrate a little bit of TV history’.‘It is hugely important to everybody on Emmerdale and Coronation Street that we tell stories that don’t just entertain, but sometimes also inform and make change,’ he said.‘Being recognised by Mr Speaker for that, and for over 100 years of TV from the North, has made this a very special evening for everybody concerned.’
During the reception at Speaker’s House, Sir Lindsay met 37 actors from the two soaps, including Coronation Street’s William Roache, who portrays aged lothario Ken Barlow; Barbara Knox, who plays Rita Tanner; Tanisha Gorey, whose young character Asha Alahan was part of the huge hate crime storyline, and Sally Dynevor – the Street’s busy body Sally Metcalfe.
The Speaker also rubbed shoulders with Emmerdale bad boy Cain Dingle, played by Jeff Hordley; Nicola Wheeler, whose fiery character Nicola King recently faced a brutal and devastating attack; Kevin Mathurin, who plays the village’s latest Vicar Charles Anderson, and Eric Pollard actor Chris Chittell, who made his first appearance in the show in 1986.Last year the Speaker brought his counterpart, Nancy Pelosi – Speaker of the US House of Representatives – to the Rovers Return pub on Coronation Street during the G7 Speakers’ Conference.
He told the Commons’ reception that he also hopes to drop in on Emmerdale’s Woolpack Inn, quipping: ‘Who knows who I might bring as part of that visit!’
Picture credit: ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor