Weatherfield brought to Westminster: MPs encourage Boris Johnson to visit Coronation Street to mark show’s 60 years

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

For six decades, Coronation Street has been a national institution.

And Weatherfield came to Westminster on Wednesday as MPs encouraged the Boris Johnson to visit the cobbles to mark the soap's 60th anniversary.

Previous PMs have visited the iconic set including Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and Tony Blair in 2005. Both of the premiers enjoyed a drink at the Rovers Return with cast members.

Former PMs Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair visited 'the cobbles'. Credit: ITV/Coronation Street

Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who played Tricia Armstrong on the show between 1994 and 1997 said in parliament on Wednesday that Corrie is as much a part of British culture as “a nice cuppa, a fish and chip supper or sitting down to the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day”.

Opening the debate, Ms Brabin said: "Since those early days on the street, we’ve witnessed one or two things happen to the people of Weatherfield over the decades, many things.

"Since then, those famous cobbles have been the stage to storylines that have gripped our country.

"We’ve cried together, gasped together, laughed together and learned together. Iconic storylines that cause a nation to take a breather from their busy lives, make a cuppa and pop Corrie on the telly."

Tracy Brabin played Tricia Armstrong on the soap for three years. Credit: ITV Coronation Street/ITV News

Ms Brabin also hailed Corrie for having “bravely challenged us and our way of thinking with ground-breaking” storylines.

She explained: "Those stories that we have heard of have helped untold numbers to understand their own personal difficulties, to speak out and get help if they needed it.

"Hayley, the first ever transgender British soap character, portrayed wonderfully by my good friend Julie Hesmondhalgh, who gripped us right to the end when she committed suicide in Roy’s arms."

Other MPs recalled famous scenes from the soap, with "ardent" fan and Conservative former minister Conor Burns making a suggestion for Mr Johnson.

He told the Commons: “The prime minister has yet to visit Coronation Street and I hope that is something he will rectify for those of us who are dedicated fans take great offence at the fact that as mayor of London he went to the inferior EastEnders, but has not yet paid tribute to Coronation Street.

"The 60th anniversary would be a good occasion for the prime minister to go up to Coronation Street and say thank you on behalf of the Government and the United Kingdom."

Mr Burns also noted one of his “most prized possessions” is a cobble from the original street, which he now uses as a paperweight.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, also told the debate: "It’s interesting with Coronation Street – they always talk about going to Chorley Market because they know the good value of Chorley Market."

The cobbles has had an impact on the corridors of power before, most notably when Labour PM Tony Blair who ordered his Home Secretary to look into the case when the nation called to free much-loved character Deirdre Rashid.