Salford Cathedral will ring out its bell for two minutes today (09.12.20) to mark Coronation Street's 60th anniversary.

Coronation Street

Coronation Street

The ITV soap first aired on December 9th 1960 and was the brainchild of Salford-born script writer Tony Warren, so to mark the incredible feat the cathedral bells will be heard at 11am.

A tweet on the 'Corrie' Twitter account read: "If you happen to be in Salford at 11am tomorrow morning, listen out for something very special.

"Salford Cathedral will ring out its bell for two minutes in memory of Salford born Coronation Street creator, Tony Warren in celebration of our 60th Anniversary. (sic)"

The tribute is especially fitting as Father Michael Jones, who will ring the bell, is from Salford's terraced Archie Street, which inspired the soap.

A tweet read: "Father Michael Jones will ring the bell himself - very fitting as he is a great grandchild of Archie Street, which was the inspiration for Coronation Street all those decades ago! (sic)"

'Corrie' tells the story of the residents of fictional cobbled town Weatherfield, which was based on inner-city Salford.

The soap has aired for more than 10,000 episodes and featured 146 deaths, 131 weddings and 57 births.

The first-ever ep - which featured current star Bill Roache as Ken Barlow - aired live at 7pm on December 9th 1960.

What's more, there have been numerous ups and downs in Weatherfield over the years - such as a train crashing off the viaduct in 1967, and in 2010 the soap aired a live episode to mark the programme's 50th anniversary in which a tram crashed onto the street.  

The show's first colour episode aired in 1969, a lorry crashed into the Rovers Return in 1979, there was a fire at the fictional boozer in 1986 and again in 2013.

Off-screen, Queen Elizabeth opened the new outdoor Street set in 1982, and more than 26 million viewers tuned in to see Hilda Ogden - played by soap icon Jean Alexander - depart the cobbles in 1987.

As well as the soap's legendary cast, several other famous faces have made cameos or played characters over the years.

Prince Charles appeared as himself in 2000, Sir Cliff Richard appeared in the Rovers in 1997, Sir Ben Kingsley portrayed Ron Jenkins back in 1966, Joanna Lumley portrayed Ken's girlfriend Elaine Perkins in 1973, Sir Patrick Stewart made an appearance in 1967, and Peter Kay starred on the cobbles in 1997 and again in 2004.  

More recently, Sir Ian McKellen played Mel Hutchwright in 2005, 'Fawlty Towers' actor Andrew Sachs portrayed Norris' brother Ramsay for 27 episodes in 2009, and Bond girl Honor Blackman played Rula Romanoff for five episodes in 2004.

Tony's initial 'Corrie' proposal was rejected by Granada Television, but he was later granted 13 pilot episodes and the show hasn't looked back since.

Just last month, 'Corrie' was presented with an updated certificate from Guinness World Records, confirming it remains the longest-running TV soap opera in the world.

And Bill was also presented with his own unique record, noting he is the longest-serving TV soap star in the world.


tagged in