Episode 1 (Coronation Street)
|Coronation Street episode|
Ken Barlow in the first episode of Coronation Street
|Episode no.||Series 1
|Directed by||Derek Bennett|
|Written by||Tony Warren|
|Produced by||Stuart Latham|
|Original air date||9 December 1960|
The first episode of the British soap opera Coronation Street was broadcast live on the 9 December 1960. Episode 2 was video taped shortly after the airing.
The series first introduces Florrie Lindley, who has bought up the local Corner Shop from Elsie Lappin, who has now retired after working there for many years. Elsie warns Florrie about the residents and stays around to show her the tricks of the trade. She helps her to serve her first customer, Linda Cheveski, who was born and raised on the Street and is visiting from her current home in Warrington.
At Number 11, Linda's mother, Elsie Tanner, berates her 18-year-old son Dennis, who has recently been released from prison. She wants him to find work, which is not easy for him because of his criminal record, but she accuses him of not trying hard enough. Because he went to prison for theft, she also accuses him of stealing 2s from her purse. Elsie tells Dennis that she wishes they were more like the Barlow family, who apparently do not argue all the time.
At Number 3, 21-year old student Ken Barlow is eating dinner with his parents, Frank and Ida. Frank starts accusing Ken of being too snobbish and being embarrassed by his working class family, but Ken defends himself, and Ida tries to keep the peace. Ken states that he is taking his middle class girlfriend, Susan Cunningham, to the Imperial Hotel, which Frank angrily forbids, as Ida works as a cleaner in the kitchens there and he does not like the thought of Ken spending money in the same establishment where his mother works hard to earn it. Ken's younger brother David arrives home from work and tells his father that his bicycle has got a puncture, which Frank is more than happy to repair. David sits at the table and asks Ken what is wrong and Ken tells him about the argument between him and Frank, which David is not surprised about. The two brothers seem to get on fine despite their differences.
Ken heads to the Rovers Return Inn, run by Annie Walker. Ken orders cigarettes, while Dennis Tanner enters and orders a half of mild. Annie seems to approve of Ken more than Dennis Tanner. Dennis begins to wind Ken up about him being smart and being at university. When Dennis cannot afford cigarettes because of his drink, Ken gives him a pack. Annie disapproves of this, telling Ken not to waste his sympathy on Dennis, and that it is Elsie she feels sorry for.
Meanwhile, Linda comes to inform Elsie that she has separated from her husband Ivan and is planning a divorce, but refuses to explain why. Elsie decides to let Linda stay at No. 11. At the Corner Shop, Florrie serves her second customer, Ena Sharples, the 61-year old live-in caretaker of the nearby Glad Tidings Mission Hall, who fiercely demonstrates her moral and religious values. Ken goes to Number 1 to visit his friend, 65-year old widowed pensioner and World War I veteran Albert Tatlock. Ida comes to inform Ken that Susan has arrived at Number 3. They go home, where Ken is relieved to find out that Susan loves him for who he is, not his social class.
- Pat Phoenix as Elsie Tanner
- Philip Lowrie as Dennis Tanner
- Anne Cunningham as Linda Cheveski
- Frank Pemberton as Frank Barlow
- Noel Dyson as Ida Barlow
- William Roache as Kenneth Barlow
- Alan Rothwell as David Barlow
- Maudie Edwards as Elsie Lappin
- Betty Alberge as Florrie Lindley
- Violet Carson as Ena Sharples
- Doris Speed as Annie Walker
- Jack Howarth as Albert Tatlock
- Patricia Shakesby as Susan Cunningham
The episode is often aired when the soap reaches an important milestone in its history. In this regard it was broadcast in December 1990 when the soap reached its 30th anniversary. The first episode was shown again at 7:00pm on 9 December 2000 on the evening of the show's 40th anniversary, then once again in the week of the programme's 50th anniversary celebrations on 6 December 2010. The episode has also been made available to download from iTunes with other episodes and specials. These include Corrie Controversies, The Stars Of Coronation Street; 50 Years, 50 Classic Characters; The First Colour Episode and the 40th anniversary live episode from 2000.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (16 November 2010). "Confirmed: Corrie's 50th week schedule". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 December 2010.