With Relish

I remember the moment I started watching. Do you? It was a hangdog morning in bed after a night out with the footy team dancing at Menopause Mansion. Unable to move, bedroom TV it was going to be. I surfed around the TV listings thingy and they caught my attention: five neat, bite-sized half-hour entries in a row for  “Coronation Street”, the chief attraction of which was a guaranteed 2.5 hours of not moving my head.

I knew it was a popular British serial and people on it drank at lunch. I tuned in that first morning to the throes of Steve and Karen McDonald breaking up. I was riveted. I peered like a voyeur into the lives and homes of the citizens of Weatherfield. I loved how it got dark at freakin’ four-thirty, just like here. I loved the characters chirping and slagging each other off with accents like mouthfuls of marbles, just like most of my footy friends. I loved that the townsfolk came in all shapes, sizes and ages, with bra-bulges and hair scrunchies. I loved that their houses (which they smoked in!) were crammed full of bric-a-brac, piles of laundry, stopped clocks and plastic rooster napkin-holders.

It was adoration. So kitsch, so cool. And it didn’t take long..a few hours over some post-match bevvy to figure out that most of my teammates…men!… watched it too! The no-nonsense Scot from Paisley, the party boy from Aberdeen, the spoons player from Belfast, the lad from Nottingham who ran into a bus teeth-first (while on foot), the Irishman who sings his own brogue-saturated extendo-mix of Floyd’s “Mother”. 

It is like being part of an “understanding”…we-who-are-Corrie-watchers. Almost like we ought to have a water-buffalo handshake, a secret knock, or a road-wave like Harley riders do. So it is with pleasure and relish that I have joined the writing team here at Corrie Canuck, kettle on and ready for service!




About t. kunzie

Toni Kunz is a female soccer trainer in a mens' world, graphic designer and aspiring writer. She lives and works in Toronto.
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21 Responses to With Relish

  1. Mandy says:

    Yay! Great post. I look forward to reading your updates!

  2. debbie1975 says:

    Welcome Kunzie. I’m glad you joined the fold!

  3. geenee says:

    Kunzie. We watch for the same reasons, though I started in the 60s when the kitchen sink dramas were the latest thing from Britain, back before the Beetles. I loved that the characters were skint half the time, all different ages and sizes and worked in factories and stores. They weren’t all rich like the American soap characters.

    I did miss a few decades while working, but got some re-runs a few years ago on the Women’s channel and started serious viewing in the 90s.

    I love the humour in these updates and comments and look forward to more of yours.

  4. eila says:

    Welcome, Kunzie. And many thanks to everyone who writes summaries and updates for us!

    I started watching in the mid-90s, when Steve and Andy McDonald were teenagers. I remember, in the first episode I saw, Jim being angry with Steve for nicking something (a car battery, maybe?) from the garage where he (Jim) worked.


  5. tanzie says:

    I’m more of a newbie to the street I guess. I went to stay with my sister in April 2002, and she watches the show. There was a story line involving Les Battersby that I had to see how it ended. When I got my own apartment I couldn’t afford cable, so I bought a set of rabbit ears. Yes…they are still sold. CBC came in fuzzy, but I was hooked and the rest is history. I’ve since remarried, but before we even moved in together, he had to be ok with my corrie habit. He’s never denied me an episode. Oh..and i believe i was born a week after the first episode aired in Dec 1960.

  6. Glacia says:

    I started watching in 1966, because I think I was hearing it in the womb.

  7. pip says:

    I started watching at the time Tracy was pregnant with Amy. In one of the first episodes I watched she was arguing with Dierdre about her plans for the baby when it was born, and kept threatening to ‘send it to the Croppers’. I didn’t know any of the other characters or the storyline, but I knew the English have some very inventive slang, so I thought ‘sending to the Croppers’ meant ‘place for adoption’. Took me a while to figure that out. Heh.

  8. S. Poole says:

    I was hooked in by my Auntie Beryl, early 1980s I’m guessing. Eddie Yeats was working with Stan Ogden washing windows and cadging bacon sarnies from Hilda for his breakfast. The Mike and Deirdre affair was winding down, or maybe winding up. I also remember a storyline where Eddie was minding Mike’s flat and was caught with his future wife canoodling on the sofa when Mike came home early from a trip. Annie Walker (and later her slimy son Billy) were running the Rovers. good times! (sniff)

  9. geenee says:

    The 80s sound really good and I wish we could get the re-runs. A lot of the main characters seemed to start then. When I started watching Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Minie Caldwell, etc. were on and Ken was a university student.

  10. TrudyC says:

    I started watching in the early 80s during a trip to England. I really had no choice because life stopped at the time to watch the episode – didn’t matter where we were, at home, in a pub, at a hotel. It’s a little fuzzy at the time but I remember Percy Sugden being thrown out of where he was living. All his belongings were in the back lane.

    Of course when I got back we were so far behind – took me a while to get caught up.

    I have pictures of my son before he could walk pulling himself up in front of the tv. On the tv is Percy Sugden and Curly Watts. (my son is 20 now). He now insists he was trying to turn the tv off.

  11. Yanyan says:

    I started watching mid-90s, for the same reason as Kunzie. Too. hungover. to. change. the. channel. Little did I know I would quickly become hooked! My first episode was the Battersbys arrival on the street, so I’ve always had a soft spot for that lot, especially our Leeanne, who smoked her cigarette (mmmm, cigarettes) with such aplomb.

  12. glacia says:

    Trudy…you need to send me those pics for posting. hee-hee :-).

    No, but seriously, I need them.

  13. fondue says:

    I started watching in 1974. CBC played it in the afternoon and these were pre-VCR days! Because I was in Grade 13 (anyone else remember Grade 13??!!??), I had a few “spares”, so I did manage to catch a few episodes here and there. What I remember most about it from that time was how dingy everything looked. Gritty and real, it all seemed very post-war Britain. It was 1975, but these characters seemed like they were still on rationing.
    I guess my earliest story line memory of the street is of Gail and her friend Suzie Birchall living with Elsie Tanner. I always thought it would have been cool to live with Elsie, she was pretty free and easy so you’d probably get away with a lot, but if necessary, she could comfort you just like a mum. I remember when Gail got married to Brian and they had to live with Brian’s parents…there was some story line where Ivy objected to Brian putting a little latch lock on their bedroom door! Honestly, Ivy was never easy, and Brian was the quintessential mama’s boy, so Gail didn’t have an easy time of it in her first marriage. Come to think of it, Ivy was still around to throw a spanner into her second marriage too! Oh Ivy, I kinda miss you.

  14. Modge says:

    I started watching more years ago than I can (or care to) count – my mom used to do the ironing while watching and I drifted into it. I remember when Ken Barlow’s wife (Janet?) had that run-in with the homicidal hairdryer.

    I feel old now…

  15. geenee says:

    I remember that death by dryer episode! I always used to iron while watching soaps too. Good times.

  16. stickybee says:

    My first episode was Richard Hillman driving into the canal… Have been hooked ever since.

  17. eps says:

    I remember being so enthralled with the regularness of Corrie as opposed to the constant unrealistic high drama of American soaps. One entire episode revolved around a water line being cut and folks ferrying glasses from the Rovers across the street to various houses to wash them. Health Department be damned.
    I started watching, I believe, when Alec Gilroy owned the Rovers. I remember where I lived so it had to have been sometime between 89-92.

    Remember when Ken wanted to commit suicide on NY Eve and Bett intervened? She is my all-time most favorite character. I can see Becky possibly growing into a pseudo-Bett but no one will ever replace the original in my affections. No one does sardonic like ol’ Bett although Blanche is darned close. However, her age sometimes makes her come off as just crotchety.

  18. Betty says:

    Still reading and lurking here but I stopped watching Corrie about 2 years ago. 🙂 still love popping in here, the British Aisles show (ha!), my pal Glacia, the ever-perverse and crushable MJ, etc… Love you guys,

  19. Jen says:

    Thanks so much for this!

    My sister and I started watching (that is, we were allowed to watch with our parents) when we were around 10-12 years old. My first memory of Coronation Street was Brian being murdered, and we’ve watched ever since!

  20. eila says:

    Dear tanzie,

    I’m with you on the rabbit ears. I bought some when I moved into my apartment (over 4 years ago), because I object to paying for television. (Aren’t the commercials supposed to cover that?) I get 9 channels, if you count French CBC and the Omni (multicultural) channel, and it only cost me $28.00, once!

    The bad news: I’m gonna hafta buy a digital box, or new t.v., come February. Sigh.


  21. missusmac says:

    I started watching whole heartedly in the 90s, after Atlantic Canadian cult favorite soap Another World got the axe. I was desperate for something to watch at 3 p.m. (I had two toddlers, it was naptime, and mommy wanted her turn-into-a-vegetable time!)

    I had seen bits of episodes before, courtesy of my grandmother, but never really watched. Still I knew who Curly was, who the Battersbys were, Rita and Ken and Deirdre. (I saw the first episode the Battersbys were in. They nicked something off a truck that was parked outside.)No freakin’ idea who owned the pub then, there just always seemed to be a lot of ’em in the living room area.

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