BBC celebrates Women of Weatherfield

Stephen Chapman's picture

The BBC has produced a new documentary looking back at the strong female characters in Coronation Street.

The Women of Weatherfield will air on BBC Radio Manchester and through the BBC Sounds app.

Combining archive material with cast interviews, it will pay tribute to characters including Annie Walker, Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner, Hilda Ogden, Vera Duckworth, Bet Gilroy, Deirdre Rashid, Audrey Roberts and Rita Tanner.

“The formula of the show is them strong northern women and the men are, kind of, supporting them. It’s showing it in a different way to what we’re probably used to,” stated Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby.

“Corrie’s formula is its strong women, it’s feisty, bolshie, down-to-earth, working-class women… and that’s what’s kept it going for so long.”

Airing at midday on the 26th August, it will also feature Sue Nicholls and longest serving female cast member, Barbara Knox, who said that viewers used to think Rita Tanner was a real person:

“I used to get letters from people saying I saw you with Shirley Bassey, and I’m thinking, ‘you didn’t!’ I saw you at Batley Variety Club and you were marvellous… It’s pretty real the Street, if people can think that, isn’t it?”

The Women of Weatherfield is presented by BBC Radio Manchester’s Chelsea Norris and the idea came from life-long Corrie fan, Baroness Helen Newlove:

“I’m delighted The Women of Weatherfield has been made by BBC Radio Manchester. Corrie runs through my DNA like lettering in a stick of Blackpool rock. As soon as I hear that famous theme tune, I conjure up an image of cobbled streets, and a roof topped with a ginger cat. 

“I grew up in Salford when working-class women really did scrub their own doorstep and the iconic characters mirrored my own community to a tee. It was an era when women were the linchpin at home and Mancunian women were tough, and often ‘wore the trousers’ - albeit under their pinnies! I particularly loved the strong, inspiring characters such as serial spouse Gail who must be Weatherfield’s very own Liz Taylor. I also love how it weaves tragedy, hardship, humour and friendship at its heart.”