Coronation Street's most dramatic storylines on its 60th anniversary

Coronation Street turns 60 on Wednesday. Credit: PA

By ITV News Producer Vicky Coxon

The world's longest running soap has had the nation gripped for six decades.

Yes, Coronation Street turns 60 on Wednesday and has brought some of the most sensational scenes to our screens in that time.

This week will be no exception as viewers have been promised some thrilling drama.

Art most certainly reflects life in the much loved show which has never been afraid to tackle hard-hitting and sensitive issues.

Here's ten of the most dazzling plotlines from the archives that has kept generations of Brits glued.

The 50th Anniversary tram crash special

The most spectacular of all cliff hangers was the tram crash which was not so much one disaster but a domino effect of several.

First there was an explosion at The Joinery, Nicky Tilsley's bar at the time, which buckled the tracks on the viaduct.

Then the tram came crashing down onto the cobbles bringing a ghastly end to a few of the characters.

It was touch and go for then Rita Fairclough who was also caught up in the accident.

Deirdre Rachid goes to jail

This plotline captured Britain's attention so intently the Prime Minister of the day staged an intervention.

One of the show's longest standing characters Deirdre Rachid, formerly Barlow, landed herself in jail.

She'd been lured into a financial scam by a con man and her lover at the time, Jon Lindsey.

A campaign for her release followed and even Tony Blair called for her to be freed.

Rita Fairclough's boyfriend Alan Bradley's frightful end

Rita Fairclough's relationship with Alan Bradley was, in the end, a total disaster.

All was well at first, or so Rita thought, but it ended with infidelity, violence, theft and attempted murder.

Finally, Rita vanished from the Street and fled to Blackpool but it wasn't long before Alan tracked her down for a final showdown.

A frightening confrontation ensues and Rita runs but Alan is struck by a tram in the chase.

The first transgender character in a British soap

Again, Coronation Street has never shied away from highlighting social issues that are rarely talked about or shown on TV.

One very poignant example is Hayley Patterson coming out as transgender to her friend Roy Cropper who she later married.

Hayley's character helped get trans rights debated in the Houses of Parliament which eventually led to a change in the law.

Serial killer Richard Hillman drives a car into the canal

Richard Hillman seemed every bit the handsome, dashing and successful businessman when he first appeared in Weatherfield.

He married Gail Platt but soon after things started to go very wrong.

Richard, in crippling debt, left his business partner to die after an accident, killed his ex-wife then set his sights on Audrey Roberts and her inheritance.

It all ended with him kidnapping Gail and Audrey and driving into a canal.

Aiden Connor's struggle with depression

Aiden Connor's mental health problems came to the fore after he was jilted at the altar and his textile business Underworld went under.

The show sensitively portrays the raw and catastrophic consequences of Aiden's illness. The character would later take his own life.

The Samaritans worked with writers of the show to highlight the important issue.

The first viaduct catastrophe

Believe it or not, the 50th Anniversary Tram Crash wasn't the first on The Street.

In 1967, a train derailed and fell from the viaduct killing one character, Sonia Peters.

The iconic character Ena Sharples was recovered alive from the rubble.

Mike Baldwin, Deirdre and Ken Barlow's love triangle

Deirdre Barlow had been married to Ken for two years before she embarked on an affair with factory owner Mike Baldwin.

This classic scene features Ken confronting Deirdre about her infidelity.

It's made all the more electric by the fact that Ken and Mike Baldwin had a fractious relationship even before this.

Hilda Ogden & Elsie Tanner rows

In the first few decades of the show, the all-too-frequent rows between two of the most celebrated members of the cast became the stuff of legend.

Elsie Tanner and Hilda Ogden never failed to entertain with their very public and shameless spats - often on the cobbles, the Rovers Return or the corner shop.

Elsie and Hilda's other sparring partners were Ena Sharples and Bet Lynch.

Bet Lynch & Betty Turpin get stuck in a lake

Coronation Street wouldn't be the show we all know if it weren't for the lighter moments.

The episode when Rovers Return barmaids Bet Lynch and Betty Turpin end up in a lake because of a dodgy hand brake is a comedy classic.

A fitting end to a list of special Coronation Street moments.