Coronation Street, ITV's perennial soap opera, celebrated its 25th anniversary in December 1985. Granada TV launched Albion Market in August of that year, six months after the BBC's EastEnders. Albion Market was a "continuing drama series" - Granada TV had always refused to use the term "soap opera", considering it derogatory - that was set in a covered market in Salford, a city with a direct border across the River Irwell with Manchester, in the northwest of England. At launch the chairman of Granada claimed that "When Coronation Street celebrates its Golden anniversary, Albion Market will be celebrating its silver anniversary..." However, the show lasted for only one year.
The show ran twice weekly on Friday and Sunday night; at the time, 7.00pm on Fridays and Sundays were considered "graveyard slots", usually broadcasting American imports or British game shows such as Play Your Cards Right. The critics disliked it, and the viewing public were simply indifferent, despite an attempt to re-launch it by bringing in veteran television actor Antony Booth and 1960s singer Helen Shapiro. After exactly 100 episodes, the market closed.
For many years the outdoor set, complete with its distinctive arch-shaped Albion Market sign, perched regally over the River Irwell, could be spotted from Bridge Street in Salford. When the Granada Tours Experience was closed in 1999, the sign was removed, and the building which was once Albion Market now forms part of the Victoria and Albert Hotel.